So Richard Littlejohn’s a vile nasty piece of work, which we all knew of course. He’s been at his usual tricks yesterday (this originally appeared in the Daily Mail but I don’t want to give them any more advertising revenue)
Jack Monroe, the target of his pathetic bit of clickbait replied in excellent style this morning (I DO want to give her more advertising revenue):
Single mothers across the land read it and cheered wildly.
There’s been lots of discussion online today of whether she replied the right way; some people think she fell too easily into the trap of justifying herself to a dickhead, or that she should have made more of an effort to reject his bullshit skivers/strivers division (he amazingly manages to accuse her of being both at once) instead of pointing out how hard she tried to get a job, or that she’s working now so it no longer applies to her. But Littlejohn’s article demonstrates what most single mums know anyway – it really doesn’t matter how hard you try to escape that label. However many hours you work, however many days you get up three hours before you have to be at work to get the children ready and off to school or nursery, however many days you get home late and simultaneously wash dishes and do homework and cook dinner and do bathtime before you get to sit down and feed yourself after 9pm, it will never be good enough. Once a single mum, always a lazy entitled scrounger in the eyes of the Daily Mail and its target audience. And it’s not only the Daily Mail.
Shanene Thorpe also found out the hard way that being working poor doesn’t get you off the feckless single mum hook. You don’t get to decide you are respectable, fallen woman. We the media get to decide if you are respectable or not. We might let you off if you become incredibly wealthy and world famous like JK Rowling. But even then you’ll still always have that single mother label hung round your neck like a millstone. You try finding a news article about JK Rowling that doesn’t mention that she wrote Harry Potter when she was a single mum.
So here Jack, here’s a badge for you and me and all the others. Wear it with pride, not the one they want us to wear.