To the guy that says “Single Mums: You don’t deserve help”…

…and to the other people out there who support him:

You have no wiggle room if you screw up from now on.

I read with amazement at the raw heartlessness expressed in the following letters written to local daily, Today, published in the “Voices” section on their website. Carrie was the one that really kickstarted my interest in writing this post, so here’s her take on it. As for the letters, they can be found here and here. You can also click on my screen caps to get to the articles:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.23.58 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.24.10 pm

 

Both letter writers assume wrongly that single, unwed mothers are undeserving of:

  • Housing and tax breaks
  • Baby Bonus Scheme
  • Full Maternity Leave

The first letter writer very proudly states that single mothers made the choice to get pregnant every step of the way and so, do not deserve any help. As he put it:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.39.06 pm

You know, Kelvin, you’re a very special kind of person. Specifically, you’re special in thinking of this issue within a vacuum of logic, with only certain facts put in place. I propose we consider the following cases:

  • Motorcyclist is maimed because he decided to go out riding in the rain, leaving his kids with no breadwinner.
  • An old man decided he didn’t want kids. He has no present-day support and is going to die alone.
  • A hearing-impaired parent and a hearing partner choose to take the risk. They end up with a hearing-impaired child. (This one hits close to home, btw)

Like the single, unwed mother, the people in the above cases chose to do something and then…

Yes, Kelvin. Shit happened in every single one of those cases. Do we deny grants to these people? Nope. We use words like “circumstance” and “incidentals”. Yet, an unplanned baby isn’t “incidental”?

I’ll tell you what’s incidental then: A BROKEN CONDOM is incidental. #justsaying

So what you have done, Kelvin, is look at the issue in a vacuum, choose the relevant facts and then create an argument that ignores the complex, multi-factored reality of this issue.

Sum Siew Kee, who wrote the second article, decided to liken being a single mum to being a criminal. Like, I mean… for real.

 

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Yes. Sum Siew Kee just said that in order to deter more single mothers, we should make current single mothers, their children, and their related family members ALL SUFFER. 

There has NEVER BEEN a better time to use this meme

There has NEVER BEEN a better time to use this meme

Okay Siew Kee, let’s not stop there! Let’s also do the following:

  • Remove healthcare subsidies for fat people because it would deter people from getting fat.
  • Reject medical treatment for cancer patients who developed their illness from second-hand smoke exposure to deter people from smoking.
  • Remove assistance to sub-level income families to deter people from being poor.
  • Remove Yellow Ribbon Project because we shouldn’t help ex-convicts and their families reboot their lives, to deter others from committing crime 

STEADY BO?

Just to add on right, Future President Keith Toh (don’t forget when your time comes) and his First Lady Kristen (incidentally my good friends) had this to say:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 11.24.18 pm

Look, let’s quit punishing people.

We have a habit of falling back on punitive measures for things that are not “socially acceptable”. Interestingly enough, “single parent families” are not covered in the social (and legal) definition of “Family Unit”, and are therefore not recognised as such. In this case, the letter writers believe that there is a reasonable right for society to punish them for this.

I propose a different approach: Let’s treat single mums as contributors to our population first.

Our problem is that we have an ageing populace that needs to be bolstered by people having babies. You know, babies that these single mums are already having? Yeah.

Therefore, we have to ask ourselves objectively: Did they contribute to our population increase? Well, the short but obvious answer is Yes.

Hence, if we look at it from this angle, then having this child and bringing this kid up is an endeavour. It is a serious piece of effort and it is their lifelong “National Service”.

If that’s the case, then there should really be no argument here: All mothers, single or not, deserve the nation’s fullest support.

13 comments

  1. Merlin says:

    Well said ! It not the woman that chose to have the man ejaculate in her was it Kevin and Sum Siew Kee
    It was a fucker with an attitude like theirs

    Time for men to stand up and accept responsibility

  2. kerpal says:

    I noticed the 2 letter writers used the term “unwed mum” and you cleverly changed it to “single mum”. While it may not be on purpose, in the end, I think you are actually talking about apples when they are talking oranges.

    If you husband is abusive and you leave him, you are not an unwed mum. (Like the example from Keith Toh)
    If your husband passed away, you are not an unwed mum.
    and so on and so forth.

    All unwed mums are single mums but not all single mums are unwed mums. While I have no strong stand about this issue, It is important to use the correct term when you are trying to properly debate opposing views. If you want to rant, then of course you can do anything lar. =)

    • Splitting hairs here, Kerpal. Splitting hairs.
      If your point is that Unwed mums and single mums all deserve out support, then what’s the issue here again?

      • kerpal says:

        No issue, I happen to share your opinion, but I do understand that different people have different opinions.

        Why do people get so upset when they encounter different opinions, I wonder? “Deserve” is very subjective. A may think B deserves help, C may not think that way. Who can say who is right or wrong?

        If A gets D (the government) to force C to help B, is that really ideal? That is the heart of the issue correct, the proper use of taxpayers money? Anyway I rant, its food for thought. =)

        • Then don’t do anything for anybody, Kerpal. I’m serious because Everybody will definitely say someone else won’t deserve help at one time or another.

          But if peopl want to do something for mothers, do them for all mothers based on the fact that they deal with a lot of problems on a regular basis – Single mums even more so.

          End of the day the message is still the same: don’t deny other people what I have because I think they don’t deserve it. Don’t punish others because they didn’t have “a socially acceptable family”

          • Kerpal says:

            If I understand your argument correctly, you are saying, “If the policy is such that $10 is given to married parents and $5 is given to unmarried mums, that is so unfair and it should be obvious to anyone that it is just so blatantly wrong because it is punishing unmarried mums!”

            If there was no such policy for both parties, $0 is given to both type of parents, it is actually a better policy in your eyes, because then, no one is punished?

            Hmm, very interesting I have to say. =) I recall the parable that Jesus shared about the workers in the vineyard, in that train of thought.

          • then you understand me wrongly.
            The accurate comparison is “This policy is $0 to unmarried mums, and $5 to married mums”.

            There is the other argument that we should “give $10 to unmarried mum, and $5 to married mums” because the married ones have 1 other person to help out.

            What do you say to that?

          • Kerpal says:

            Hmm, for your first point, I thought you started this blog entry by stating that unmarried mums do not get 3 types of benefits that married ones do.

            But there are other benefits that helped the kid that all mums get, child development accounts, edusave, medisave grants for kids, and so on.

            Based on that information, wouldn’t it be wrong to start with unmarried mums getting $0?

            As for your second point, like I said, I share your opinion but I recognised that everyone have different opinions.

            Who ultimately decides for “we”? If there are some conservative Singaporeans who do not agree that unwed mums should be helped, do we ask the government to force them to do so anyway, thru taxation?

            I see the best solution that respects freedom for all is this: those who really feel they deserve help should be the ones doing the contribution. I would, and I am sure many others like you would too, feel good doing so, knowing that our own money has gone forth to help these unfortunate children.

            For those conservative Singaporeans who disagree that unwed mums deserve help, they should be left alone and not be forced by the government to do so.

            If we feel it is good for them and us to be donating to these unwed mums, surely there is no need for us to force those, who are unwilling, to also join in the contribution?

          • In an ideal world, I would agree with you. Leave them alone, let other people help them. Let those that don’t agree, not help them. That’s really nice to think of because no one would feel unhappy about this.

            But we don’t live in an ideal world. You (and I) live in a world where we… have to pay tax even if we are unhappy to. We also serve NS even though some people are unhappy to. Can we just… leave those that don’t serve or don’t pay tax alone?

            In an ideal world, yes. Not in the real world.

          • Kerpal says:

            Nice discussion with you Kenneth. I understand you are saying we do not live in an ideal world, so some degree of force would be necessary. I certainly agree with that, that is what any government is for.

            I understand where the first letter writer is coming from in his conclusion. It is definitely not straightforward to argue that, just because some people in a society think that unwed mums deserve to be supported, everyone in that society should now be obliged to provide that support whether they like it or not.

            If you know the statistics in Western countries that provide this kind of support, the % of children born of unmarried mums has been increasing over the years. That is something I think Singapore should really seriously consider, before forcing everyone to support them.

            Cheers, nice discussing this issue with you. Have a good NDP weekend!

          • Hey Kerpal.

            Yes western countries with this policy do have a rising % of unmarried mums. However, to attribute this to policy making is actually a logical fallacy. Correlation does not equal to causation.
            A more balanced, logical solution and view point comes from this letter writer: http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-on-the-web/unwed-mums-tackle-issue-at-its-roots#xtor=CS1-10

            So yes, I think we’re on the right path, and need stronger levels of education and clarity of thought on this.

  3. theonion says:

    Kenneth

    Agreed with Kerpal.
    Please do take note that all legally married mums but who are made single either thru divorce, death etc have the same exact benefits as married mums who are still wedded.
    So please do argue oranges or apples unless it is as stated meant to be a rant.

    It can be argued for compassionate reasons that unwed mums should be given the additional benefits but that it is a separate social argument based on compassion

    theonion

    • Onion,

      I don’t need to term or re-term anything here. Unwed, single mothers, single parents, etc etc.

      We already know who we’re talking about. And no, we’re not arguing on compassionate reasons. We’re talking about having a child, and then not having support for that child. It’s pretty simple.

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