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Reader’s Comment of the Day: When did a man providing for his family become a grubby activity?

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In response to Laura Perrins: Fathers can bring home the bacon and be a good role model, Groan wrote:

As always there are fantasies. I’m pleased that Netmums still regard men as teachers and role models, rather traditional that. I’m pleased for them that they regard breadwinning as rather easy; clearly they are untroubled by the recession. It appears they are untroubled by such mundane stuff as paying the rent/mortgage and so on.

Yet for the majority breadwinning is vitally important with ‘one and a half’ jobs required to fund a modest family life. For all the ballyhoo in the broadsheets about the small number of families where the wife earns the main income, stay at home dads or professions that allow home working and flexibility these all remain rarities overall. Rarities for reasons of family economics more than anything else, particularly housing costs. Even for supposed ‘single mums’ reliant for their bread on the state. The breadwinner, the taxpayer, is 70 per cent male.

It is one of the most irritating aspects of the modern era that there appears a never-ending parade of quite privileged men and women presuming to lecture the majority. As if devoting their energies to providing for their families is somehow a grubby activity unworthy of validation. On simple pragmatics (state ‘free money’ to those unable or unwilling to provide has ballooned our welfare spend and debt) we really do need to support those of both sexes who together try to build families. I say ‘build’ because outside a gilded privileged few it takes hard graft to form and maintain a family still.

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