…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:
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:
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.
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.
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
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:
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.