The comments from a wide and diverse range of people regarding this topic has certainly been an eye opener.
Firstly, I need to get something off my chest….. I find it absolutely remarkable, that an overtly sexist comment from an “Ex-ALP Minister” hits the headlines three days after the polls screamed loudly that Tony Abbott is falling out of favour with women. Now call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but I do find that linking an extremely sexist and controversial statement to the ALP three days after polling highlighted that women would rather #putyourironout rather than vote for Abbott again, an attempt at political strategy by the right. #diversion.
John’s originally wrote his article as opinion for The Australian and they labelled John’s as an ‘ex-ALP’ Minister whereas the Australian Newspaper could have labelled him either senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) (Abbott linked right-wing think tank) or the Associate Commissioner of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission from 2002 – 2004 under the Howard Government. I find it interesting that the Murdoch press chose to link John’s to the ALP instead, although he hasn’t been a Minister of the ALP and has been critical of the ALP since at least 1996. The Australian may as well have gone onto social media and asked some random their sexist opinions on welfare and contraception.
Which takes me to my next point. I have taken a selection of comments via Facebook, across various pages and groups. This is just a small sample and if you could quantify the negative comments supporting this argument, I would estimate it was approximately 70% (in favour) 30% (not in favour) across the board. The narrative in this country is something that we need to look at a lot more closely.
Some of the themes from those on social media go something like this (hit it)
Only the rich should breed (or why I shouldn’t exist)
Facebook Comment: “Still my point is valid…. There are other ways to prevent people from having children! Sterilisation is a good one! Some people have children completely dependant (sic) on the government… Those people need to be told NO!”
According to this Facebook User (and many like this person) I should not exist. You see, my father was an invalid pensioner (completely dependent on the Government) and my mother on the wife’s (carer’s) pension. So going by what this person is saying, because my father had a disability and mum looked after him, she should have been sterilized. This is the type of person who would vote for a Government to forcibly sterilize a woman because that woman is not ‘their ideal woman who should be breeding.’ But give her a job and she will be Mother of the freaking year!
In fact, with this line of thinking, I should not exist and neither should my two sisters or three brothers. Why? Because we are not the product of a ‘born to rule’ ideology that salivates at the thought of social cleansing, where only those ‘not in need’ have a space in society? This person and many commenting like this person, obviously dream of a society, where the ‘undesirables’ (aka those on welfare) are left to rot or be eliminated altogether.
What these sort of people don’t understand is when you have kids and you are on welfare, it is usually the mother who goes without to accommodate the needs of the children. People just make do with what they have. They don’t scream and ask for more to live a wealthy lifestyle.
Bludgers and deadshits (Or how those with privilege seek to label the disadvantaged)
Facebook Comment: How anyone can disagree with this is beyond me. Bums breeding more bums! And so the cycle will continue.
and this gem
Facebook comment: What about the rights of children not to be born to deadshit parents?
According to this Facebook user all children of welfare recipients should be cast aside as ‘Bums’ before they are even given a chance in society. In my own lived experience as a child of welfare, every single one of us has gone on to achieve a full and productive life. I have worked in Management across private, public, community, vocational and higher education sectors. I have gone on to postgraduate education and also have a partially completed PhD which may or may not ever get finished. My brothers and sisters have all worked in either a professional capacity or in management. We all have families and children. My family is not a unique example. Many great leaders have also come from very poor backgrounds. To deny a child a life, because others seek to cleanse society of children not born to “Women of Calibre” is beyond the sickest ways of thinking.
What people like this do not understand, is that there is more to life than money. Sure, we lived in commission, didn’t eat fancy meals, but the values that our parents instilled in us, cannot be bought with money. How one parents is not governed by how much money someone has. In fact, there was more love in my home growing up, than what I had witnessed in some of my much better off friends homes growing up. Turn to any Youth Agency and you will also see that young people who need assistance come from a wide and diverse background. Not just welfare.
This type of person believes that people born into welfare are Bums or their parents are ‘deadshits’ and have nothing to contribute. Please tell that to Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling, just two successful women with links to welfare.
Culling of Humans (or Eugenics and the sick mind in favour of it)
Facebook Comment: Besides there needs to be a cull of the human race anyway. Weeding out bottom feeders bogans just plain right pieces of crap from society. This is why we have such a f u ked (sic) up society because of all the bottom feeders who have kids that dont (sic) bring them up with morals and values respect this is why there is alot (sic) of kids on the dole its (sic) all they know (Just imagine the punctuation is there. You can do it!).
and this gem
Facebook Comment: Agreed. The rats have a screw and produce a rat might be different size whatever u still breed a rat a bottom feeder (Once again, use your magical powers so this makes freaking sense!)
Once again, we have the mentality that thinks Eugenics are a fine thing to implement in society. Do these people really believe that only a certain ‘type’ of person should be allowed to have children? Do they really believe that the Government should have the right to stop the bloodline of those that are in need of social supports?
The rat comment is also even more chilling, as the Jews were referred to as rats during the Holocaust, a time where there were those that thought a blond haired blue eyed race was the only race that should exist.
What these people do not realise is, if Eugenics, Social cleansing or the likes were adopted, there will always be someone ‘at the bottom of society’ and that person could very well be you.
Then we move on to the ‘related topics’ that show how people’s mind link other negative societal behaviors to those on welfare.
Those drug-addled welfare recipients (or how to stigmatised those already stigmatised through negative association)
Facebook Comment: Totally agree and don’t forget to drug test as well
This comment is actually from a person who is well known in a certain town and aspires to be a Lord Mayor. You know – making decisions about people and their lives in an entire region/community. As Keating said, “God help us….God help us.”
This type of (let’s face it) brainless idiot, touts this sort of rubbish, because it gives them a sense of self-importance. The problem is it only feeds the ego and not the brain, as statistics on drug use are completely contrary to what this person is implying. This type of person seeks to further stigmatise the already stigmatised in society, as it makes them feel so much above everyone else when in reality, they are the lowest of the low.
I won’t go any further into this one, as I have already published two articles on this topic of welfare and drug testing.
Those heathen young girls who have babies (or how to slut-shame women because you are a judgemental moron)
Facebook comment: Dude it’s what is happening. It’s not only adults popping kids out now a days it’s teenagers. You walk in to centrelink and there’s 16 year olds sitting every where with kids on there hip
It always fascinates me how people specifically target young women who are mothers as the primary burden, almost a parasitic burden on society. It also fascinates me that although we now have Google and no longer need to trawl through the Funk and Wagnells, people just can’t be bothered checking facts before they open their bigoted mouths.
Only 10% of lone mothers are aged 15 – 24 and the peak group for lone mothers is age 35-44 years of age and the major contributor to sole parenting is the break down of marriage. 12% of sole parents are men, and are usually over 35. Doesn’t this indicate to people that if a relationship breaks down for a younger woman, that it is the younger woman who is most likely left to care for the baby? Let’s not target and label bright, young enthusiastic women, because they have the extra responsibility of sole motherhood. They have much to contribute to society.
Having a child out of wedlock is not a crime and the only people who are bastards are the people who think this way.
After reading comments across so many different forums yesterday; it is quite evident that the Australian narrative needs to be scrutinised further and Australians themselves need to be openly challenged in their thinking. If we did not have the safety net of unemployment benefit, what impact would this have on the economy? It could be assumed that most people would keep spending to a minimum so they could support themselves in the event of job loss. So many people are so judgemental, yet, never question the tax payer funded benefits of big business, but feel it is just and moral to kick the boot in to the already disadvantaged. The derogatory vilification of people in dire circumstances, simply needs to stop. To quote my most favourite politician Anthony Albenese:
It’s time for a more serious debate on welfare – one that goes beyond dog whistling and demonisation of the poor
One theme very evident through all the comments, is that taxpayers feel they have some type of ‘ownership’ over the lives of those on welfare. Kind of like the Master / Slave mentality. It is quite appalling really, that these people think they can dictate to others how they can live their lives. Most people who are on welfare at one point in their lives, have contributed to a tax system, which is used to pay for welfare. For those that never have and never will pay, it is the duty of the Government of this country to ensure that these people are supported and they simply do not deserve the disrespect dished out to them.
(taken from a Facebook user on the Sunrise thread) I will end with this post with his comment:
Facebook Comment: Some of you seem to think that unemployment benefit isn’t a right… well, you are not correct. It’s right there in Hansard.
(He sounds NOTHING like the Liberals of today – who are these people?)