Welfare is a women’s issue. Beveridge’s blindness ensured that women would always be seen as undeserving even when it became apparent that our benefits system was almost entirely about masking the economic inequality caring responsibilities and motherhood bring. When Rachel Reeves says ‘tougher than the tories’ she means tougher on women.
This is an eviction notice from South Ayrshire Council, as a result of the bedroom tax.
It says a referral to Children’s Services will be made. Poverty is violence. From the internalising of the need to deny yourself food so your children can eat, to the threat that they can be taken from you as a result of policy. As a result of a banking crisis(good RBS or bad?). Bureaucracies blind to the gender inequality they are there to bridge, working on behalf of finance and the parties who serve our banks, are threatening to take the children of women for whom deliberate poverty has been created as they face homelessness. That Children’s Services departments are breaking and don’t have the resources or capacity to carry out this threat will probably not occur to those cowed by it being made.
I am not going to go through the ways in which women paid for austerity, it’s old news, a wilful blind eye was turned to the entirely predicted effects.
It was a stated aim of both our political parties that gender inequality would be the thing that made austerity deliverable. Blue Labour and the Big Society. Noone had the right to be shocked when research showed that women were staying with abusive partners as a result of the benefit cap. That was the stated aim of welfare reform.
To encourage marriage by making sure leaving an abuser would result in penury, a penury that will result in the state threatening to take your children. That was the desired and stated effect of welfare reform. It was done in broad daylight and it was sold by our political press and every last columnist within every publication defined as our political press.
I will say this. What is happening now to working class women to silence will be remembered. A look at the Guardian ‘feminism’ page brings reams of shit, from ‘patchwork and crochet politics’ to shit about Jane Austen and that page tells you what modern feminism was discussing as equality was rolled back and women paid for the deficit lie by being raped, abused and having the state threaten to take their children should they demonstrate the effect of that poverty. All it ever needed was a girl in a hoody with a pram, as a picture on an article about benefits and it wasn’t about equality at all. It was about ‘those’ women.
The guaranteed way to make sure austerity was not challenged was to make sure people were forced to submit in silence for fear of losing their children, and that was done in broad daylight while nothing was said, and nothing was done, by those who make healthy livings congratulating themselves on being concerned with the poor and women’s rights. Left and right and modern feminsts worked in symbiosis to make sure it was not discussed.
It will be remembered. If you were one of those people you will have to lie and hide your shame when you explain why you did nothing. If that is feminism then fuck feminism. And if that was you, then fuck you.
THose women were not like you. They were better than you. Your failure will be remembered, not theirs.
I won’t chase what will not feed me, I won’t waste my time and energy.