Whatever happened to the good old days when this word meant something completely different ?
bastard [ˈbɑːstəd ˈbæs-], noun
“a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult”
Straightforward stuff. Some bloke knocked up an unmarried woman. Legal consequences followed. The overseers for the poor of the parish hunted down the father and made him support the child. Often this involved putting considerable ‘pressure’ on the woman to reveal who he was. Stigma was attached to the dastardly deed.
Some of us might even be old enough to remember when women were bundled off by their parents to live with relatives far away while they had their bastard baby. After the birth it was unceremoniously adopted so the mother could return home with her reputation unblemished.
Now I’m not advocating that we should return to these draconian times, but I do think we should regard unwanted pregnancies in unmarried women as just a little more than a minor inconvenience.
OK, so it has become socially acceptable to not bother with even civil marriage. However, when you bring a child into the world it carries certain obligations. If you are working on the basis that marriage is not for you because you regard your relationship as transitory, then why are you having children?
Our new Labour (no pun intended!) party leader claims to escew family values and wants to support the family through the welfare system, and yet he has one bastard child already and is in the process of producing another.
Children are being born today with no hope of ever tracing their roots because either the mother doesn’t know who the father is or because the father – as in Miliband’s case – is so disinterested he doesn’t even bother to get his name on the birth certificate.
If this is you, then you are a selfish bastard – in the other sense of the word…