Letter: Some jobless boys do grow up

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The Independent Online
I OBJECT to the patronising tone of Anna Coote's article 'Boys who can't grow up' (14 November). I was brought up by my single mother, and have only recently signed off the dole. I therefore feel qualified to comment.

Thirty years ago unemployment was seen as unacceptable, and this stigma is still felt by my parents' generation. However, there is no such stigma attached to unemployment within my peer group. I was unemployed for 18 months and at no time did I feel the need to 'use crime to prove my masculinity'. I find the idea utterly ridiculous. The lack of a male breadwinner in my family has, if anything, had a positive effect on me as I was able to develop into a free- thinking young man without the constraints of my father imposing his masculinity on me.

Ben Jolly

London SW19

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