It is a fact well established that a woman not in possession of a husband must be in want of a baby. Or at the very least a cat, so I was of course not surprised to see (on Twitter. Not in the course of my own literary wanderings. I prefer something a little more highbrow. Like the National Enquirer) that the Daily Mail have made it official.
I had long suspected that everyone at the Daily Mail hates me. I am, after all, a teacher, a single mother, and a single mother by choice at that. And I voted Remain. I am, in short, everything they hate. But then what is one in life if one is not detested by the Daily Mail? Not being on the Daily Mail’s Hate List would put me in a narrow range of undesirables consisting of Nigel Farage at one end, and Adolf Hitler at the other, with Theresa May squeezed in between, crushing the saboteurs whilst receiving approving glances from Paul Dacre whilst engaging in a Best Legs contest with Nicola Sturgeon. No one wants to be on that list.
Anyway, without wishing to give them the clicks which would (wrongly) indicate that they had aroused my ire when in actual fact I find the whole sorry farce of which I write a source of pathetic amusement, I present to you, without linking to it and placing my own pristine and unsullied website in direct web-link-tangle with it, an article written by Jan Moir, a woman (or man?) who is either barely literate or writing for those who are, about how single mothers by choice are an outrage and a blight upon the NHS. Strange, as I didn’t think right wing people gave two hoots about the NHS, but perhaps I am not giving them enough credit.
So Jan, I take to my quill and ink to protesteth your rantings. Let’s have a look shall we (disclaimer. I had to go to the Daily Mail website to read this. I will be washing out my eyes with bleach and praying two hundred Hail Marys later to rid myself of this filthy and pestilential sin).
So I come to Jan’s first point, where she (he? Sorry to imply you might be trans Jan, as I’m fairly certain you detest that sort of thing, but I profess I am not aware of your sex) opens this particular tirade with several rhetorical questions asking me, the single mother by choice, if I have a husband, partner, significant other or “friend with benefits” (the latter placed in inverted commas as if to satisfy the horrified pearl-clutching readers that that’s not really a thing, which is just as well, because if I know those readers they probably think it’s got something to do with fraudulently claiming universal credit and will be UP IN ARMS).
She goes on. Apparently it’s “no problem sister” (I’m not your sister) because the NHS will help provide me with the baby I’ve always wanted.
Except that that’s not really true, is it Jan? Even Ms Moir is forced to concede, somewhat later in the article, that a single woman wanting IVF on the NHS has to have had twelve (TWELVE! Do you have any idea how much that costs Jan? Do you sister?) failed IUI treatments BEFORE they can be considered for treatment. I had one failed cycle of IUI, and it cost me three thousand pounds. Twelve cycles. Just think about that for a moment Jan.
She then goes on to congratulate me for my “courage, commitment and fortitude,” buttering me up to stab me in the back before leaping in there with the barbs, pointing out that I and my ilk are “striking (Dad) out of the equation as if he were an unaffordable luxury, like a cashmere blanket for the crib or a shiny new tricycle.”
Interesting that Jan is so keen on painting fathers as “unaffordable luxuries.” Interesting to me as a single woman, who not only spent thousands on fertility treatment (a luxury that most heterosexual couples don’t need), and lives as a single person in a world which is only too keen to financially reward married people for their good fortune in coupling up and by punishing (financially) those of us who haven’t got anyone with whom to share the mortgage, bills, hotel rooms, holidays, wedding presents, cars or any of the other items, luxury and basic, that one might need.
Apparently “these days it’s not just careerists who seek a late solo baby, but women who have failed to find Mr Right.” There is so much wrong with this sentence I can’t even. Careerists, you say? What in God’s name is a “careerist”? A woman who (pass the smelling salts, sister) actually wants a job? Whatever next Jan! A woman with a job? You’ll be telling me all women should be married next. Oh wait….
Ah, but it’s not *just* those pesky careerists, is it Jan? It’s those women who have “failed” to find “Mr Right.” I’m sorry Jan, I really am. I’ve ruined my life. I should have spent my entire teens and twenties out there looking for the fabled Mr Right to sweep me off my feet. Oh, hang on. I did. I wasted my life looking for a man who never materialised and I realised that blind luck is not the same as “failure.” We are all hostages to fortune Jan. Know what I mean sister?
And it gets worse. Not content with attacking the likes of me, Jan goes for the jugular. It’s not just single women who are crippling the NHS. Oh no. It’s all those pesky infertile couples with their “struggle to conceive,” a struggle which, according to Jan, is not a disease and taxpayers would surely prefer their money to be spent on those who are actually ill. Well Jan, you’ve gone too far now, even attacking the marrieds. I have news for you. I would not prefer my tax money to be spent on “those who are actually ill,” at least not “actually ill” by some arbitrary Daily Mail-approved standard which I strongly suspect covers virtually no one. I’d like it spent on fertility treatment please. Creating new people who will grow up to pay taxes and fund the NHS when-God forbid Jan-you get old and “actually ill.”
And now for my personal favourite part of your article Jan. This bit is brilliant, sister. “I read a newspaper article about Kate, a typical elective single mother.” Great journalism there Jan. Absolutely brilliant. I hope the taxpayer didn’t pay for your education Jan because frankly I want my money back. Nothing like going undercover and researching a story, is there sister? Nothing like being first with the breaking news and the thrill of uncovering the next big scoop. Or you could always just thumb through some other useless rag in the doctor’s waiting room. Sorry Jan. Didn’t mean to imply you are wasting the NHS’s valuable resources. Unless of course you are “actually ill,” in which case be my guest. I’ll even bring you a bunch of flowers, and a newspaper to read so you can find another story to pick out of the air, like “I saw this thing on Facebook one time,” or “someone on my mate’s Snapchat story said.”
Apparently this fabled “Kate” (always good to hide one’s sources. Makes one think of the truly great journalists. Martha Gellhorn, Kate Adie, some “source close to” Heat magazine) had some of the cost of her IVF treatment funded by her parents. Hooray! That’s brilliant Jan! Far from bankrupting our beloved NHS-mine and yours sister-she’s using her own funds to pay for treatment!
Oh wait. Poor old Kate. “Waity Katy” another newspaper might have called her. She’s almost 40 years old and she’s still living off the Bank of Mum and Dad? Shame on her! Can’t win really, can you sister?
And thus ends our sorry tale, with the alleged irrefutable proof that a throwaway article about one person which Jan Moir may or may not have read (far be it for me to suggest that your sources sound a little, um, made up Jan) proves that all women who become single mothers by choice-all of us!-are in fact starved of affection and should have made like a medieval caricature of a witch and got a cat. Those medieval witches and cat ladies. No one ever criticised them, right sister? I’m off to get me a cauldron and some spells. What with all those single women demanding free IVF and only the right wing media to fight their corner, only magic can save the NHS now.