Exador sent me a link yesterday to this story about a woman in Britain who made some fertilized eggs with her boyfriend almost a decade ago and now that she’s had ovarian cancer, wants to use these fertilized eggs to have some kids. Her now ex-boyfriend has succeeded so far in his efforts to legally prevent her from doing this.
The Shill just sent me a link to this story about a guy in Michigan who didn’t want to have kids with his ex-girlfriend, who told him she had a condition that prevented her from getting pregnant, who got pregnant anyway, and now he’s got to pay child support for a kid he didn’t want.
In short, my opinion is that no person or government entity should be able to force a person to become a parent against his or her will, and that Mark Felt, the director of the National Center for Men, is right, since he “doesn’t advocate an unlimited fatherhood opt-out; he proposes a brief period in which a man, after learning of an unintended pregnancy, could decline parental responsibilities if the relationship was one in which neither partner had desired a child.”
Honestly, I don’t think that goes far enough. A man, upon learning of any pregnancy, intended or not, should have a brief window of time to decline parental responsibilities. No compulsory parenthood for anyone, I say.
But I also want to talk about the National Center for Men, because, my first reaction when I looked around the website was, honestly, derisive snickering. I don’t know anything about this group. It could be that, once you get to know them, they’re a bunch of misogynist pigs, but I wasn’t snickering because I thought they were pigs. I was snickering because it seems kind of unmanly to devote a whole website to bitching about how rough you have it.
Woo hoo, America, I am a giant asshole! Sure, I preach about gender equality and how the current system we have for relating to each other is incredibly damaging to us all. But when some folks want to get together and address that problem from the point of view of men? And to band together to address real, live, legitimate ways that the system screws over men?
My gut reaction is derisive laughter.
Today, you might have noticed, is Blog Against Sexism day.
I didn’t participate because who am I to talk about being against sexism?
I don’t know about this one, Aunt B. I just hope none of these fellows are white, male, and conservative. Because those fellows are all supposed to be about individual responsibility (if you don’t want to risk an unwanted pregnancy, practice abstinence!). I also hope none of them are ‘pro-lifers’, either. Those fellows are supposed to value the lives of all children (unless they’re post-natal and/or foreign and brown?).
Snark aside, I have to disagree with their entire premise. It reads like a warehouse full of cheap whine. If we as a nation are going to use the law to ram the notion of chastity down women’s, er, throats, then I say it should be the same for men. If the state is going to assume control of women’s bodies, then at least men can be expected to control their own (or pay their fair share for the consequences).
Mr. Dubay’s case elicits no sympathy from me. If he wanted a get-out-of-fatherhood-free card with an ‘infertile’ woman, couldn’t he at least have gone to the trouble and expense of having her condition clinically verified? To him I say: “tough nuggets, Dad.”
These whining wussies are trying to get legal cover for doing the same thing they’d likely chide poor and minority sperm donors for allegedly doing: running out on their responsibilities.
If I were a woman, and I knew that a man I was dating was so much as signed up for e-mails from the “National Center for Men,” I’d tell that punk to go have a wank. Thank goodness I’m not a woman, and I don’t have to deal with this insulting crap from that perspective.
CS–I agree that they’re probably sketchy but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss their points just because they’re likely asshats.
I mean, I don’t know that these are all white, male, conservatives. And they’re right. You shouldn’t have to have a kid you don’t want. Women shouldn’t and men shouldn’t.
I mean, when you say “Mr. Dubay’s case elicits no sympathy from me. If he wanted a get-out-of-fatherhood-free card with an ‘infertile’ woman, couldn’t he at least have gone to the trouble and expense of having her condition clinically verified?” I have to ask, when your sex partner(s) tell you something, don’t you take her at her word?
I mean, really, are you advocating that every man assume that every woman, even one he loves, is always lying to him?
If the woman you love tells you she’s infertile, why are you under any obligation to assume that she’s not being truthful with you?
I mean, really, do we want to promote a view of the relations between men and women where men have to just assume that women are always lying to them about what’s going on in their uteruses? Where we assume that, if a man is stupid enough to sleep with a woman–who by definition is probably lying to him–then he deserves to be punished with kids?
I can’t accept that.
So basically then CS is advocating abstinence as birth control.
I don’t know a lot about women, but I’m pretty sure if the woman I’m dating says “You don’t need a condom, I can’t have kids.” and I say “Can I see your doctor’s note?”, then my chances go down to close to zero.
I know B mentioned the whole trust issue, but I think this one hits closer to home.
On second thought I do have to agree with CS on one thing. Fair is fair. If abortion isn’t legal, then a guy shouldn’t have an opt out clause. It wouldn’t be right to just ditch that responsibility.
W., of course, I agree with you about both things.
To make a long story short, both man and woman should remember that sex can produce children. Both partners– whatever the nature of the relationship– have to be aware of that biological fact. If either one feels that the other is not approaching the sexual act in a sufficiently responsible manner, then it is his/her responsibility to remove him/herself from the equation.
There are no excuses for failure to do the above. If you can’t trust your potential sexual partner, then you shouldn’t be having unprotected sex with that person. If your trust in said partner isn’t built on a sound foundation, then it’s your own damned fault for being lazy. Either way, it’s really the ‘unwanted’ child who takes the brunt of the punishment, never mind the careless adults.
If people don’t want to take the time and effort necessary to establish trusting relationships, then they should either use protection, abstain, or get ready for the wage garnishment. Welcome to adulthood.