More guilt for mums…What were Abbott and Hockey thinking using comments like double dipping and rorting the system?
It all felt very shifty. How shifty time will tell, but for now here’s my hypothesis. I’m assuming they were attempting to cover a mistake made in the original policy. It either wasn’t clearly written, or there was an oversight. Rather than own their mistake, they shifted the blame to greedy, double dipping mothers. What about their partners who are also beneficiaries, how come they aren’t labeled as greedy too? I would like to think most fathers to be would have, at some point, had a discussion about their financial situation and how they plan to financially navigate having a child. No mention, that I heard, of fathers as accessaries to the crime.
But what worried me the most most was the shifting of blame from the confusion or oversight in their paid maternity leave policy, to the vulnerable pregnant woman.
This blaming of woman for the mistakes of men goes back a very long way. Whether it’s Adam blaming Eve for tempting him to eat an apple, or comments like a woman shouldn’t be out on her own, as if by being out alone, even is she is going to work at 5am, she is in someway inviting sexual assault. I believe this turning the focus on what the woman is doing is underpinned by the belief that men are helpless victims of women’s behaviour. This is embedded in every religion and gets more extreme the more fundamentalist someone becomes.
Rather than just apologise to families for the mistake or misunderstanding in the application of the policy, Abbott and Costello (oh no wrong man he was the one that said something like come on girls have one for the nation).
I mean, of course, Abbott and Hockey – rather than an apology for jeopardising the family budget because of poor delivery of policy – mothers get an emotional stoning. You double dipping, rorting women. Whislt this is definintely an improvement on being stoned with real stones the action is driven from the same underlying premise. It’s always the woman’s fault.
I feel incredibly disappointed that not one interviewer that I heard made this point. I sincerely hope they did and I just missed it. Instead they all focused on the superficial use of language not the beliefs behind it.
It would be wonderful to see some of the fathers of these babies come forward with protests, protecting the integrity of their partners, reminding politicians that in the main, having a baby is a decision made by and funded by a couple.