NSW Senator, David Leyonhjelm made a speech in Parliament, defending childless people and couples during discussing “No Jab, No Play” legislation to be passed, which would make children who are not fully vaccinated, ineligible to be enrolled in childcare.
While he made a few insightful points, Leyonhjelm’s speech seem to become a rant that was, in my opinion, just condescending. In part, he said:
Since it is about time we did, I arise to ask, won’t someone think of the childless? Politicians seem to be obsessed with families, so it may surprise many that most households in Australia are childless. A quarter of all households consist of an individual. And more than a quarter of all households consist of an adult couple. There are also hundreds of thousands of households where unrelated adults live together. And childless households are on the rise. in part, because kids have grown up and moved out of their parents’ homes.
Thank you Senator Leyonhjelm, for giving us that acknowledgement. However, in my opinion, the speech took a condescending turn, attacking parents and portraying them as a burden on society and the social services system.
To the childless people of Australia, I want to say, on behalf of this Parliament, thank you for being childless. You’ve worked for more years and become more productive than the rest of Australia. You pay thousands and thousands of dollars more tax than other Australians. who get next to no welfare. Your use of public health services is minimal, but you pay when other people get pregnant. You pay when they give birth. You pay when they stay at home to look after their offspring. You pay for the child’s food, clothing and shelter. You pay when the child goes to childcare. And you pay when the child goes to primary and secondary school. And then you pay when it goes to University.
Thank you for all you do for others. I am sorry that rather than receiving thanks, you are often ignored, pitied, considered strange, or even thought of as irresponsible. For your sake, I hope the children you are forced to support don’t end up as juvenile delinquents. And I hope they get immunised so that you don’t end up getting sick, because, you’ll pay then too.
Like I noted above, as a childless woman myself, I do appreciate the acknowledgement. or mere mention. But I’m not a martyr. I’m not some superhero because I don’t have kids. To me, this is just what women who are childless have received, only in reverse. No need for it.
Most people are going to continue having children. And I would think most of them will do a good job in raising them. I’m sure that not all of them will be burdens, like Leyonhjelm has suggested here.
Likewise, adults who are childless are not automatically off the hook when it comes to welfare. What if a person is childless, but also unemployed? What about adults who look after elderly and/ or sick relatives, and because of that, can’t work full – time? Are they burdens too?
To me, Senator Leyonhjelm seem to make us childless people as martyrs. We’re not. Just like most parents aren’t just there to mooch of taxpayers. I’m sick to death of single vs. married, parent vs. childless, etc wars. Let’s just all accept each other please and realise that we’re all at different stages and have different needs, wants and desires. We’re just different. I’m not a martyr. I’m not a hero. It just happens that I don’t have kids. That’s it.