On the tenth anniversary of the US welfare reforms Cathy Young writes in Reason;
Paradoxically, antiwelfare-reform feminists, most of whom had assailed the idea of full-time motherhood as a noble female vocation, found themselves defending a system that paid women to stay home with children. They mocked — rightly, in some cases — the hypocrisy of right-wingers who attacked poor single mothers for not holding jobs, yet lamented the rise in middle-class married mothers working outside the home. But surely it was at least as inconsistent for those on the left to hail the movement of married women into the workforce, and then treat full-time motherhood as an entitlement for poor single women. No, single women did not have babies to collect welfare checks; but for those who were trapped in lifelong dependency, the welfare system functioned as an enabler.
May 24 in history
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