Monday, September 28, 2009

Which kind of single?

Am I a bad person for being disgusted by the coverage of Breeanna Till's circumstances? I'm not particularly interested in getting involved in exactly how much she receives and whether or not it's adequate - they are valid questions but I need to have read more than the Sunday Telegraph's article in order to have a meaningful opinion.

On the other hand, the fact that she is quoted as saying
"What the DVA are offering ... is the same as if I was on the dole as a single mum. It's disappointing."
is something I find quite disturbing. I understand that Sergeant Brett Till was killed doing something that was foreseeably risky that our Government nonetheless asked him to do, and most people feel that it's reasonable that those he left behind should be looked after by that Government. I'm not disputing that at all. What I find most distressing that it is "disappointing" to be treated like a single mum on the dole. Because you know, getting to be a single mum as a result of a car accident, surviving abuse, cancer or ending a toxic relationship clearly makes you and your children less worthy of support.

I'm not trying to vilify Till, I am quoting her via the Terror, so she may never have said it - but somebody did. Somebody felt that comparing her treatment to that of single mother without a job showed that she was hard done by, without any hint that women who came to be alone by other means deserved better.

The demonisation of single mothers gives me the irrits - I know that some women have had babies to get the money from the Government and I DON'T CARE. I will support every one of them rather than punish the women and children who are trying to survive, not trying to rort the system. And this is without going into what contribution those "rorting" the system might actually make to society.

So by all means support Till's campaign for better support for the families of those lost at war - I am completely prepared to believe that she is going into bat for all of them, not just herself - but please don't use it as an excuse to enforce the vilification of the other kinds of single mother.

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