It is a two-sided coin yet feminists only ever see heads when it's flipped.
While it furnishes some freedom from men who would hurt women, it has increasingly made them more vulnerable to those very same individuals.
Men attach themselves to women who have a certain level of cash security, four walls and a roof over their heads. The logic of that is clear.
But a NZ Herald piece I missed last weekend exposes another way in which men exploit the DPB and the women who rely upon it.
Children's advocate Dame Lesley Max wants more promotion of contraception as a step towards tackling child abuse.
She told a public meeting in Mt Roskill yesterday about a man who came to a parenting class in Papakura saying his goal in life was to have 11 children - even though all his children so far had been taken off him by Child, Youth and Family.
"He doesn't care for them. He can't care for them. He enters relationships with one vulnerable woman after another, and our system enables him to do so."
At last count the man had exceeded his target, fathering at least 12 children with at least three women. Dame Lesley said he was not working. She thought all his ex-partners were on the domestic purposes benefit.Of course he is not working. Paying child support for 12 children (IF he is the named father) means working makes him no better off. Financially he is better off on a benefit paying the bare minimum. That leaves him broke and he's back to looking for someone else to sponge off.
But who would welcome him? Someone else looking for free money. And his babies guarantee it.
"My experience, after 20 years of being responsible for a community agency with families facing multiple challenges, is that the planning of families is something that is hardly considered, hardly talked about, and children just happen without intent."
Maybe. Maybe not. While not denying it is a factor, contraception is the wrong primary focus. The attention needs to go on the incentive. The money.