Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fatherhood is the new 'privatisation'

This illustrates how welcome the advanced intervention of the state is in some quarters. Benefits introduced solely for single parents subsidised the rapid rise of (mainly female) single parenthood. Now that governments want to reduce or remove these benefits here's a feminist calling the process 'privatisation';

That public policy is what we call welfare-or what anti-welfare reformers of the mid-1990s named Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). At the time welfare reform policy was enacted, it was widely hailed for transforming single mothers into breadwinners by forcing them to take low wage jobs in the labor market. While compulsory labor market work is a feature of welfare reform, the reform equally emphasized the compulsory introduction of fathers into single mother families.

Indeed, the guiding principle of welfare policy is that the economic security of families requires mothers to have relationships with fathers. This is a privatizing move, tying the economic well-being of families to the presence of fathers' wages. It also is a patriarchal move, conferring economic security only to those mothers who conform to traditional father-mother norms.

1 comment:

Manolo said...

Absolute lunacy! What demented dimwit would have such an idea?