Petronella speaks out!

The state penalises women who are childless and unmarried: \’I might be single, but I’m not a failure\’
As new figures show that marriage is becoming more popular, women are persecuted for being solo and childless.

Err, yes.

I\’d certainly say that the photographer has done her no favours at all. Or perhaps the picture editor: that particular expression should have been better left out of the paper I think.

But there\’s another point entirely that can be made. And this might not be what society ought to be but to a certain extent it\’s what it is. Those young women who trade looks and vivacity into a career are in possession of a wasting asset, those looks and vivacity. When that asset has wasted it\’s not all that much of a surprise if the career falters a little.

And on the marriage and children side it\’s not entirely surprising that if one spends some years in a long term affair with one\’s married editor, aborting one (or was it two?) along the way, then as those assets waste then that alternative career as wife and mother becomes a little less achievable.

Or as an economist might put it: there are opportunity costs to every decision made. It is indeed glorious that women now have many more choices but that just means that there are therefore more such opportunity costs. And as the economist might then go on to say: having made your choices please, please, don\’t whine about the costs of them.

13 thoughts on “Petronella speaks out!”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    And as the economist might then go on to say: having made your choices please, please, don’t whine about the costs of them.

    Ahh, but you see it is not her fault. She did not make any wrong choices did she?

    “Freakish! It is not as if all SACs have taken a conscious decision to live unmarried and childless. It is mis-timing and bad luck that has prevented me from meeting a man to grow old and grey with.”

    All down to mis-timing and bad luck. Nothing to do with bad decisions at all.

    She is also wrong about society having no place for single childless women. I am sure Florence Nightingale would be welcome in society. Diane Fossey never married. Or had children. She probably would have been invited places. But people of either gender who manage to combine total cluelessness about the origins of their situation with self pity and blaming others are likely to be ignored even if they have spouses and children.

  2. While the ins and outs of her personal life and the consequences thereof are indeed her responsibility, the point she makes about the disparity between what single people get out of society, and what they put in is very valid.

    As a single man I pay taxes that pay for maternity hospitals, child care, free education to age 18, child benefits and tax credits, maternity/paternity pay or leave, and benefits for single mothers.

    I get zero use/benefit from any of these. I get a single discount on my council tax, which is also available to anyone who has children but lives without another adult in the house.

    It doesn’t seem very fair to me.

  3. A quote from the article: ”You have to get married and have children. It’s the only thing that will improve your economic and social status.’’

    Wyatt’s biggest problems are her choice of friends and a desire to conform to the values of the circles she moves in.

    On the matter of employment, benefits and the like she’s not being penalised. She’s not being persecuted. She’s just not being rewarded. Wyatt identifies the issue in one sentence: “Just having a baby entitles one to comparative wealth.” It shouldn’t be like that.

  4. @Jim, look at the use of your taxes for maternity hospitals, education, child benefit etc. as repaying the investment made in you by the maternity hospital that delivered you, the education that enabled you to earn a living, and whatever it was your mother bought with your child benefit. After all, such benefits are intended for consumption by children, not by their parents. Since children are not capable of producing maternity or educational services or paying for them, we have to provide them on the assumption that they – whether they have kids of their own or not – will likewise provide said services for the following generation.

  5. All of that’s fine, but as half of a childless couple what drives me to incandescent rage is “parents with prams” parking spaces. Dammit, it’s bad enough that they’re blocking aisles with all terrain perambulators and letting toddlers roam wild and free, but they get preferential parking too! Convert the lot to disabled spaces, I say.

  6. JamesV,
    Couldn’t disagree more, old boy. Education is a service provide to parents, not children. Ditto maternity, etc. Just because yesterday’s taxpayers were forced to help my parents pay for my education places no obligation on me to help other people educate their children today. The whole idea is repugnant. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yes, that’s it. Socialist.

  7. @JamesV:As it happens my parents paid for my education, and as they were self employed they had no rights to benefits such as tax credits or maternity pay/leave. My mother looked after me while working on the family farm. Can I have tax reduction then?

  8. And I got scholarships to prep and public school so my education was paid for by other people’s parents. I was not a consumer of State education. No tax rebate of course.

  9. Matthew L,

    Assuming these spaces are at supermarkets, they are there because babies are two things: a right pain to move around and very expensive.

    Tescos and their like have sensibly identified that if they want to spend their evenings rolling in the gelt it costs to buy nappies, clothes and shoes that are too small after 90 days, food that will be thrown away or on the walls, brightly coloured flashing distraction machines and all the other stuff that is apparently essential for the squeakers, then they better let us park in a place where we can actually open the door wide enough to get the little pink ball of snot and rage out of the car and into the shop without developing a hernia.

    If that means putting us ahead of you with your need for a loaf and a pint of milk, so be it.

  10. I can quite understand how a woman in a grand’s worth of schmutter, sitting outside the Café Rouge in St Johns Wood High Street, sipping coffee can feel persecuted. Of course I can.

  11. @ David Gillies
    Scholarships are (or were in my day) funded by charitable gifts, often centuries old.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    MrPotarto – “Assuming these spaces are at supermarkets, they are there because babies are two things: a right pain to move around and very expensive.”

    There is another reason too. Most of us are creatures of strong habits. We shop where we always shop and we are strongly resistant to changing. The one time that people do change is when they have a baby. If you can get a woman with child to switch from Sainbury’s to Tesco’s while pregnant, you may have her for life.

    So it is well worth doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *