This article was submitted to the Mail on Sunday for publication on the 17th of March, it is not identical to the final edit which appeared in the paper.
There was a time when a single lady having a child was a shameful thing, I know this through experiences in my own family; the comments and remarks some people made were disgraceful. Thankfully as a nation we all woke up, nowadays the birth of a child is celebrated of itself and not for the moral parameters of the backdrop they are born into.
I can’t think of a single person who in calling another ‘bastard’ is making any sincere reference to the origin of the term, it’s still derogatory, but never used an indication of birth legitimacy. The move away from shame and guilt to seeing new life for wonderful even that it is has transformed us for the better.
That those views ever existed was an example of cultural consensus at its worst, but it’s happening still, only now it’s with debt, it’s time to change this broken record.