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I was recently gripped by an article written by the glamorous SAC (single and childless) Petronella Wyatt in which she details the unpleasant and judgmental comments other people make about her situation.

Is it true? Are single childless women penalized by society?

As a childless woman myself I’m always surprised when I hear about the prejudice endured by other women in a similar position. I’m very thin-skinned but I have never in my life been made to feel inadequate because I am in my 40s and don’t have children. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but more likely it is because my friends are fairly non-conformist, most of them realizing that it is not our circumstances that make us unhappy but our reaction to them.


As well as being slighted by her dreadful sounding friends, Petronella explains that she would be better off as an unmarried mother. She writes: ‘As an SAC, paying a mortgage of £350 a week, not to mention utility bills and council tax, the maximum I am able to claim in benefits is £65. Were I married with a child I would receive £283. So would my spouse, if he was also unemployed, bringing our state-funded income up to £567 a week. Just having a baby entitles one to comparative wealth.’

It all sounds monstrously unfair. Surely with the world’s population straining at the seams the childless are the ones who should be given benefits, not the fecklessly fecund?

Incidentally, the comments beneath her article are just as riveting as the article itself.

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