The patriarchy has regulated motherhood through different means such as medically, economically, and socially. Additionally, the sexuality, relationships, and quality of life of young, single mothers using social assistance is policed by a system. This is because these mothers are less accepting of heterosexist notions of motherhood, and do not conform to gender roles that make them financially dependant on their child’s father (Byrd, p. 489). Rules have been made so that if women are insubordinate they will be punished economically and institutionally. Furthermore, support outside of the state through social means, is limited because of state propaganda painting young, single mothers on social assistance as drains on society. Thoughts formed by neoliberalism divide the poor into the “deserving” and “undeserving.” The deserving will assumedly be taken care of by charity and the generosity of others. The “undeserving” are expected to simply work harder and make better life choices. This mindset is to alleviate the state of social responsibility. It is a powerful binary adopted by mass society. Social services will often demonize young, single mothers. This essay explores how these mothers are not inherently socially deviant but are constructed as such by a patriarchal institution. Read the rest here on my Academia.edu profile!
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