I am taking single mothers as an example because this is my own experience, but this is about when people pick on a person who needs support most or someone they see as an easy target who they can easily dominate. To try to understand this behaviour (because I think that by gaining an insight into it helps us prevent it in ourselves) I believe that there are many people who don’t believe that injustice exists or don’t want to believe it, because to believe in injustice means that something unjust could happen to them. Maybe this is too simplistic but aren’t we all quick to judge and to gossip? I think so. I truly think that people believe that ‘you reap what you sow’ and that for example, those born with money deserve it over those less fortunate.
I have had a nice, middle-class life. I am educated, articulate and well equipped to stand up for myself. Some would call me assertive. I’m certainly someone who makes my opinions known. I mention this only because if I feel the way I do when very well prepared to stand up for myself I wonder how others less assertive must feel. I am a single parent but I was always happy with that - I knew that I would be bringing my son up alone from the outset and had friends, fantastic parents and enough money and having a child was something I really wanted. I am happy to say that my son is now a well-adjusted, sociable boy with lots of friends and I am settled with my partner.
I have found one of the benefits of no longer being single is the improved way I am now treated by others. When I was single I found myself on occasion patronised and quite frankly, excluded. Sadly, because this is what really riles me, when I got stronger in their eyes (i.e. got a partner) and needed less (or no) support I became more accepted and offered more support. I feel safer as a part of a couple and am included more than when I was on my own and it doesn’t sit well. We should be helping those who need help, not derogating them. My sad conclusion is that instead of recognising that it could have just as easily been them many want to believe that they have escaped difficulties through their own doing.