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to ask why society hates single mums?

309 replies

maxxytoe · 06/09/2015 13:30

Just why?
I very rarely see the press mention anything about single mums in a good way , it's always vilifying them for being single , on benefits etc
Even on facebook people I know (who have been raised by single mums may I add Hmm ) do status' saying something along the lines of 'the single mums will be out spending the child benefit in town tonight' Hmm

There's a guy at my work who got custody of his children and people cant praise him enough and say how he's doing a great job etc
But yet my colleague who is a single mum doesn't get the same ?

What is societies problem with single mums?!

OP posts:
UrbaneFox · 08/09/2015 23:46

yes surleycue, that tennant wouldn't be a dream tenant if she had a ring on her finger.

A big problem i think, is couples pretending to be single. They are a couple, a family, with two addresses, but they prefer to have their freedom (the man?) and the woman gets an allowance for being 'single'. That drives me crazy. I judge those couples

BlahBlahUsername · 09/09/2015 00:09

I recently read a second world war diary style memoir, and was amused when the author mentioned something about mothers being the most vilified group in society! Nothing changes...

It's probably a mix of factors, but misogyny is high up there.

RyanORiley · 09/09/2015 00:11

Same reason some sections of society hate refugees, people on benefits, people with disabilities- to have a whipping boy. Someone who has little or no power to strike back to vent your frustrations on rather than stand up for yourself and your fellow human beings. People in power often encourage that kind of thing- it's a basic part of "divide and rule". It stops genuine change and means those who are entrenched in power/privilege get to keep a tight grip on it.

Like people who kick the cat when they are in a bad mood.

SoleBizzzz · 09/09/2015 01:38

I'm a single Mother to one DS and have been since 2005. We were not married and I grew up in two parent home and we were financially stable.

damselinthisdress · 09/09/2015 06:17

unless a married mother earns enough on her own that she could fund rent or mortgage, pay childcare and pay bills with no help from the state, then she has no business judging a single parent. It is fugly and hypocritical

Yes, yes and yes again.

Bottlecap · 09/09/2015 07:04

unless a married mother earns enough on her own that she could fund rent or mortgage, pay childcare and pay bills with no help from the state, then she has no business judging a single parent. It is fugly and hypocritical

Well, naturally.

lighteningirl · 09/09/2015 07:04

Yes and yes again

Scoobydoo8 · 09/09/2015 08:09

Lurkedforever said
The man who has kids doesn't casually drop into conversation he doesn't pay. And the single mum doesn't tend to mention it either unless they are either able to stand up to mail reading twats very confident, very rich, or know you well

Maybe the lack of mentioning of a past DP by the single mum is part of the problem, I would then assume the DCs have no contact with their DF which would make me feel sorry for them even if he's a twat.

SurlyCue · 09/09/2015 09:23

I would then assume the DCs have no contact with their DF

Dont assume this, many NRPs still have contact even though they dont support them financially.

I didnt/wouldnt tell randomers at the school gate my financial business A) because it doesnt come up! B) because my DC tend to be present when im there and i wouldnt do that to them. And C) its really only the thing very close friends know about.

I'm also very aware of "3 sides to every story" and have had the experience of people in the street (who knew my EXp) attempting to discuss infront of my DC how much EXp sees DC, whether he pays child support, and asking what really happened between us. I am not the only person among my single parent friends to have experienced this. It seems being a single parent gives the general public a sense of entitlement to your personal and financial business. Odd. I cant recall my married mother ever being stopped in the street and being asked about her marriage and financial affairs infront of us as children.

SurlyCue · 09/09/2015 09:28

The "3 sides to every story" was in reference to the fact that the people asking me questions had clearly had his version of events and were fishing for my side. I quite expect they'd have been going back to him and saying their chinese whispers version of what i'd said. When my eldest was born his paternal grandmother accosted me in a shop when he was 7 weeks old because they had "heard" i had changed his middle name to my fathers name instead of his dad's. It was bollocks, she wouldnt divulge where she had heard it. Some shit stirrer obviously. It was never ever going to be anything other than his dad's name.

Lurkedforever1 · 09/09/2015 09:54

As surly says, there's a misconception single parents should willingly offer personal details to justify themselves, when actually it's got fuck all to do with them.
I'm confident and have no issue in telling people what I think, I won't be hounded into explaining myself, nor do I feel anyone except my dd has any right to ask about her father. My stock line is usually along the lines of pardon, I think I misheard as I'm sure you just asked blah blah blah. One persistent judgemental twat at a playgroup I did eventually ask her outright why she thought it was her business, and got the actual truth, i.e she was wondering if I could offer evidence to prove I wasn't a stereotype. One I've met since who was hugely thick skinned I resorted to asking equally rude questions, 'so were you with their dad long before you were pregnant' 'how do you pay your mortgage, do you have a good salary?' 'Did you work pre marriage and being a sahm?'
Again just trying to find out if I ticked the scrounger box or the worthy object of pity one.
Its funny how judgemental people are under their thin veneer of socially minded liberals. Pointing out reality versus daily mail won't change them, and I've found sometimes it's amusing to see how stupidly narrow minded they are in what they'll believe.

UrbaneFox · 09/09/2015 09:57

lurkedforever1 yes, I believe you because I've had all of this. I agree with you too that people can be horribly conservative underneath a thin veneer of liberalness.

MaliceInWonderland78 · 09/09/2015 09:58

I don't think society hates single mum's.

For me they're not a homogonous group. They sub-divide into:

  1. Widowed
  2. Divorced
  3. Never Married
  4. Those that work
    5)Children with multiple partners
    6)Those that got pregnant without really knowing their partner
    7)Those that just wanted children and fully expected/hoped to be single parents

    Different people judge those sub-groups (and many more that I probably haven't listed) differently and for different reasons. I'm not saying that it's right, but it is how it is - and I'll confess for making judgements that I'm not really entitled to make.

    I guess it all goes back to the 'deserving' and 'undeserving'
UrbaneFox · 09/09/2015 09:59

PS! another one to put these types back in their box, as well as the "oh I must have misheard you, I thought you asked how long I was with my x before I got pregnant! ha ha!" I have also said "gosh you're so conservative, so conventional huh?! kind of middle of the road, middle england, right?"

Some people want to sit there and think the worst of you but then when you serve it back to them, that they're conservative, judgemental etc, it jars with their identity.

MaliceInWonderland78 · 09/09/2015 10:01

I should say, the single parent I judge most harshly is my own sister. This (I think) is because I know more of her situation than I ever would a relative stranger.

UrbaneFox · 09/09/2015 10:02

But the questioning to find out which sub division a single mother belongs to is really offensive.

A friend of mine, who is a good person, this only tells me how deep rooted the script is in society that it is OK to judge single mothers, anyway my friend found out that a single mother was a widow, and she apologised for having thought that she was a single mother, and for Confused not having realised that the woman was a widow. She felt she had wronged this woman somehow. She told me this story, cringing at how she had (?) done this woman a disservice or something. We are friends and I called her out on it, gently. I think she just left the subject rather than truly understanding.

UrbaneFox · 09/09/2015 10:08

maliceinwonderland marriages ought to be up for as much scrutiny as single women are.................... why do married women escape the scrutiny?

what should be categories of judgement for married women I wonder

  1. those who married some eejit just out of fear of beinng alone
  2. those who just got lucky and more by accident than design married a half decent man
  3. those who could have taken their pick, through no hard work just genetic lottery
  4. career mothers who earn enough not to need a man
  5. those who know their husband is a bore or a cheat but society is structure in to couples and they'd never be brave enough to leave
  6. those who delude themselves that the tension in their home is somehow better for the children becauuse they
  7. those who are brave enough to admit they made a mistake and try and sort it out (oh hang on, that's possibly number 6 on your list?) they'll be hung drawn and quartered on another list)
  8. those who marry a man who loves them while they're YOUNG and then loses interest. Is that their fault? they could end up being classified under number six on your list!
frankbough · 09/09/2015 10:14

From a governmental point of view it's knowing how productive the citizens are going to be, and it's quite obvious that fractured families are not good for the wealth of the nation.. The men involved are just as culpable, my own mothers father and my wife's father have never paid a penny despite the fact they are both multi millionaires, despicable...

Mcyorkshire1 · 09/09/2015 10:15

I'm a single mum to two young boys following the sudden death of DH last year. I can't say I've encountered any huge prejudice but maybe that's because people may perceive it as more acceptable. Not my point of view I have to say. Bringing up children on your own is bloody hard work and I have the upmost respect for anyone who is doing so. I have had an amazing amount of support in this last year, the most helpful of which has come from other single parents; perhaps because they understand just exactly what life is like on your own. I have no plans to enter another relationship so I could well be encountering these issues for another 15 years.

mollyonthemove · 09/09/2015 10:26

If you think it is bad today...I was brought up my my widowed mum after my dad died when I was 2 in the 1960's. No such thing as liveable benefits, she never stopped working, no subsidised childcare, no other help - and all of her female friends were terrified she would steal their husabnds immediately (!). Notes from school were always addressed to Mr and Mrs... to make me feel 'better' and life was generally not pleasant at all!

MaliceInWonderland78 · 09/09/2015 10:32

Urbanefox I think you're right, but the thread was about single mothers.

Marriages are a matter for the people in it. I think much of the 'pressure' on single mothers comes from the perception that most are a drain on resources and that the price (to them) is that society should somehow be entitled to know the ins and outs of their lives. Many disabled face the same prejudice. I suppose it's how we justify (as a society) who is deserving of what.

Lurkedforever1 · 09/09/2015 11:05

urbane yy. I have a very broad social group both in terms of friends, aquaintances and short interactions. Without a doubt the worst judging comes those wishing to be perceived as a higher class than they are. Judging I've found 9/10 people are either first generation to have a career and mortgage from working class renting parents, or at best second generation. And they think that their improved income makes them classier and superior. When in actual fact being classier and worthy of respect has nothing to do with either your social class or your income. Therefore they need to put another group down to try and prove they are 'better' than them. Those sorts I usually find get flustered when I start commenting on how lucky they/ their parents were that the tax payer funded university grants that allowed the social mobility they take for granted.

Yy on the list of categories for married mothers. But to balance out the lp with 6 kids to different dads that's never worked, I'd add:

  • the married middle class mum that is a sahm because she's a bit too weak minded/ pathetic / lazy to cope with working and raising kids, and has regular pity parties about how hard her life is with juggling waitrose and the school run.

They exist too, and yet I don't think anyone would agree with judging all sahms by that stereotype, and asking them intrusive questions to see which box to put them in.
BackInBusiness · 09/09/2015 11:07

The stupidity and narrow mindeness of the human race never ceases to amaze me. If anyone bothered to Google for a few seconds they'd find that 62% of lone parents are in work. Of the 38% not in work some will be students/carers/disabled or have young babies at home. So out of 1.9 million unemployed around 60000-80000 are lone parents, the other 1.8 million odd are not. Doesn't make for a very exciting headline though does it. I wonder what percentage of married mothers work?
As a LP I cost the taxpayer far less than many of my married friends. Example: Me- Lp work f/t in professional role, 1 healthy child, 1 x education, don't claim benefits (except CB) v SAHM friend- 4 dc (2 with ongoing medical issues) 4 x education, 4 x medical care etc..
Thankfully I've never experienced any prejudice in RL (probably because I don't fit the stereotype), seen plenty judgemental and misinformed posts on here over the years though, you don't have to look much further than this thread.

Gottagetmoving · 09/09/2015 11:12

I was a single Mum for a long time. I didn't think about it or analyse it, I just had 2 children and that is the way it was. I certainly did not feel the need to defend it or explain it.
I hate the way single parents get defensive as much as I hate the way they often get slated.
Single Mums will announce that their children 'Don't need a Dad' and that they can be both Mum and Dad... which is daft.
Ideally, children need both but unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way so you make the best of what you have and people should not be judging you.

UrbaneFox · 09/09/2015 11:21

On here I defend, of course, because it's important to challenge some views. IN real life I am perfectly pleasant.

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