Whatever will she do? (Women’s Voice, 1981)



‘MUM’S THE WORD’ said the front page of the Sun, and all the other national papers rejoiced the wonderful news—the Princess of Wales is pregnant. Big deal! was Su Weston’s reaction to the news. Su has a seven year old girl and was married for nine years.

POOR KID! Whatever will she do? She’s only been living with the guy for three months, surely that’s not long enough to know whether they’ve really got it together or not. I mean, how, after so short a time, does she know whether they’ve got a permanent relationship or not or whether he’ll run out on her. It’s a good job she got married, at least he can claim the £25 grant that might pay for a few nappies, that’s if she chooses to give it to her—she isn’t entitled to anything in her own right.

She can’t even be certain about where she’s going to have it, the local hospital could shut at any time because of the Tory cuts.

It wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t so young. How can a girl barely out of her teens cope with the responsibility of being a mother? She’ll have to give up the things that young girls do, no more parties, discos and things. It’s such a tragic shame.

What would you think if you heard of a woman in this position? Would you say she was irresponsible, a possible burden on society, in need of help from a social worker, recommend for an abortion or should be aided in a fight for a place in a nursery, good housing… the right to keep her job?

NO! This is no ordinary pregnant kid. This is an event the world has been waiting for. This is a child that will be kept in luxury, cushioned from the realities of life by our work and money. The Princess of Wales won’t have to worry about whether or not she can get maternity leave if she’s fully paid up with her National Insurance to qualify for benefits. She’s got a job for life, living in luxury while we pay, she’s part of a wealthy class—the privileged few. It doesn’t matter that she is so young to take on the burden of caring for a child. She won’t have to do it. Nannies and servants will take care of all the nasty, burdensome tasks.

She’ll give birth in a comfortable, private, and no doubt expensive room, not an overcrowded, understaffed, outdated maternity hospital.

‘Our Princess’, along with the other women of her class, will never know the difficulty that young working class girls have to go through when they are pregnant. She will never know because she belongs to a class that have nothing in common with the majority of women. It should be every women’s right to have the freedom and choice whether to have children or not, and if we do, to have the time and the facilities to be able to enjoy them. We will never have this until we grab it from the few who do—to allow freedom and choice for the majority and not the minority of society.

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