. . . One piece missed from the analysis is the cultural movement which embraced the idealisation of ‘motherhood’ as a career option regardless of the financial means to support this ‘career’ choice. Prior to the ‘liberation’ of women in the 1970s or rather the ‘liberation of entitlement’, motherhood was always associated with how it was to be financially supported in the long term- hence marriage and the partnership with men.
The whole women’s movement, with its middle and upper income roots, did no service to women with little education/income or their children. Likewise the liberation of women, liberated men from their connection with parenting and their responsibilities towards their offspring.
I do think the liberation of women is a good thing but it is only now that the younger generation is getting it right and pairing it with the need to assume the responsibilities which go with it- earning your own living!
My generation may well have been the last to have been brought up with the expectation that we would marry and have children, in that order; that we would probably give up our careers, or at least put them on hold while our children were young; and that our husbands would provide for our families.
That was before the DPB which enabled women to escape abusive relationships, but also enabled them to replace their children’s fathers with the state.
I wouldn’t want to return to the days that women and their children were beholden to their husbands for everything and trapped in dreadful situations because they were financially dependent on bad men.
But I applaud government initiatives which are working with women on the DPB to help them help themselves and escape the poverty trap in which welfare can snare them.