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Labelling Single Mothers As 'Lazy' Is Misogynistic And Ignorant

02/02/2017 08:00 SAST | Updated 02/02/2017 08:06 SAST
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Being a "single mum" is nowhere near as sh*t as people who have never actually been a single mum think it is.

This week it was revealed that One Nation candidate David Archibald wrote a 2015 paper claiming that single mothers were "too lazy to attract and hold a mate, undoing the work of possibly 3 million years of evolutionary pressure." He continued, "This is an easy one for defunding."

Alrighty then.

Let me just speak for all people of any intelligence and ask Mr Archibald if the same could be said of the men whom the women left because they preferred to be single mothers rather than remain married to them? Those men also failed to "hold a mate", namely, the mother of their child/children. Surely that's a reasonable inference of your words, Mr Archibald?

The comments indicate that Archibald believes there are only two options for a woman to survive: partnership/marriage, or a burden to tax payers. Sigh.

But Archibald places no standards or burdens on "a mate". Apparently a man's appearance, or capacity and willingness to look after a family, are irrelevant, as long as he simply exists in a woman's life as her "mate", negating her single mum status. Making her something he can understand, like his understanding of "3 million years of evolutionary pressure".

The comments indicate that Archibald believes there are only two options for a woman to survive: partnership/marriage, or a burden to tax payers. Sigh. The poor man. He obviously doesn't know that women can be in paid employment. Do you think he knows that we can also vote and get an education?

Yes there are some single mothers who need and deserve government assistance because they can't work, or because being on a single income is not easy and children are expensive. And some fathers don't want to/can't provide support. But apparently these are not just facts of life, worthy of the government's assistance as an investment in the country's future, but the consequences of a woman's laziness in her relationship. And that's why Archibald's words are a gross generalisation, misoginystic and ignorant.

By Archibald's reasoning, anyone who is a single mother only has herself to blame. Her poor choices, and probably her constant appearance in slovenly activewear, have led to her being the worst thing that could possibly happen to anyone in the world -- A.L.O.N.E. And that shouldn't be the government's problem.

I don't understand why society has evolved to embrace all sorts of families that were not traditionally accepted -- two dads, two mums, inter-racial -- yet this stigma against single mothers remains? Why are they constantly accused of not being good enough? Is it because it makes people uncomfortable when others buck tradition and don't validate their lives with the same choices?

Society, despite its evolvement, despite Beyoncé's Run the World (Girls), still struggles with the concept that an independent woman, especially one with a child, does not need "a mate" to win at life.

I was married when I had my son -- but I'm not sure that I would have been brave enough to launch into first-time motherhood knowing from the outset that the father wouldn't be involved, as some single mums have done. But I would definitely do it now, knowing that I've done it for seven years, and done it bloody well. It is possible. Because -- here's the newsflash -- being a "single mum" is nowhere near as sh*t as people who have never actually been a single mum think it is.

It is hard work, but parenting in general is hard work.

And in fact... shock horror... I've enjoyed it. I've really enjoyed it. I feel it's a luxury and privilege to be able to raise my son in peace. It is hard work, but parenting in general is hard work. Doesn't mean I don't go to bed and think every single night how grateful I am to be able to provide a stable, loving home for my occasionally ratbag, always kissable, son.

I know some married parents who certainly don't go to bed at night thinking this way.

I know some women who would rather stay in miserable marriages than have the social stigma of "single mum" attached to them -- because they have told me that to my face. They have pitied me for my "need to work" to provide for us -- because they have no idea how satisfying it is to know that I can look after us no matter what happens.

They tell me: "I don't know how you do it alone." I know, it's a miracle.