Australian MP insults thousands of women with childcare comments.

Can you smell the bitter acrid scent of warfare today? The air laden with tension between opposing sides of the battle, the snipers in position and the battalions ready to face off once again?

There was an attempt today to re-ignite what we in the media like to term the “mummy wars”.

The always-attention-grabbing MP Fred Nile, facing the looming NSW election on March 28th has, once again, strived to gain a headline for himself – this time tweeting: “Stay-at-home parenting is superior to ‘day orphanages’ (childcare). We need to reform our tax/welfare system to support parenting”.

The comments, a blatant attempt by Nile to cement himself as the bastion of family values in our political system, were teeth-grindingly annoying.

They were also archaic and insulting, not just to the thousands of women who battle with the decision to go back to work for reasons that aren’t actually anybody else’s business – whether it be financial, for their own happiness, to set a good example to their daughters, or to pave the way for a career after their kids flee the nest – but to their partners and childcare industry workers, too.

5 reasons you shouldn’t feel guilty about putting your child into childcare.

This latest round of insults come only a week after Nile’s equally stomach-turning statement that the only “real man” present at the Sydney siege was the gunman, Man Haron Monis.

Reverend Nile tried to defend the sentiment of his latest tirade, saying it was a key value of his party to favour “mother care” over “childcare”.

Fred nile twitterRESIZED
Image via @frednile.

(Now, excuse me while I take a moment to jump in my time machine and return to 1952 to quickly point out to the Reverend that in 2015 “mother care” actually ceases to exist -it’s “parent care”.)

David O’Byrne, from the union representing childcare workers, told News Limited that Rev Nile’s statement was deeply offensive: “It’s offensive to early educators, it’s offensive to families who make the decision to have children in childcare, and it’s offensive to women who make a decision to have a career,” he said.

Do not judge these people, Reverend Nile. You are not entitled to. None of us are.

What Nile’s statement also showed was ignorance: Study after study has shown clear benefits for children from good quality childcare.

Time and time again, parents have collapsed exhausted into bed after a day at work thankful for the dedication and hard work for the men and women who look after their children. Who teach and nurture them.

Study after study has shown clear benefits for children from good quality childcare.

So while it’s tempting to just ignore Nile’s inciteful comments and refuse to give him any air, instead let’s band together and applaud him for bringing into the spotlight an issue that faces the majority of mothers: childcare.

BUSTED: The child care myth making parents feel guilty.

So instead of shrieking at Nile’s stance and defending our right to choose how we care for our children, let’s turn around and talk about the real issue – the desperate need for a range of alternative forms of childcare, nanny rebates, family day care and holiday care.

Instead of slamming the Reverend for his ignorance and bile, let’s petition him to join the cause to improve our childcare system rather than degrade it.

So thanks Reverend Nile. Instead of breaking our apron strings, you’re only making them stronger.

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