Men already have all the options in paternity - the Hathor Legacy

Men already have all the options in paternity

By BetaCandy | 03-10-2006 at 01:03 pm

This post is mostly satire, and apparently poor satire, because it didn’t seem to come through to some readers.  The point was to turn the “keep your legs shut, slut” mantra of conservatives onto men who find themselves feelings deprived of reproductive options.  I do not actually believe anyone needs to remain a virgin until they’re ready to have kids.  I do think Matt Dubay is ridiculous to ask for consideration after taking absolutely no precautions.  I think the court order for him to pay $500 is fair, because there’s no way that’s intended to cover the child’s entire expense burden: the mother will be paying for it, too.  Both were irresponsible: both will pay.  The taxpayers won’t.  That works for me.

I normally try to avoid politics and religion on this site - as elsewhere in life. I honestly believe the influence of entertainment has far more impact on our daily lives, because that’s where far too many people get their ideas about what we should legislate and believe. But this is one instance where the two overlap in such a way I can’t bring myself to avoid it:

Matt Dubay’s been watching too many soaps. And where’s the right wing on this issue? Why aren’t they castigating this sinner? Never mind: I’ll do it for them.

The National Center for Men is helping Matt Dubay, a 25-year-old filthy slut who had sex outside marriage - sue to get out of paying child support on the offspring with which nature has so generously blessed him.

The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood.

“There’s such a spectrum of choice that women have — it’s her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions,” said Mel Feit, director of the men’s center. “I’m trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly.”

Guess what, Mel? There already is a way for a man to have “some say over” unintended pregnancies, and it’s incredibly effective: he can abstain from sex. Keep his pants zipped. Be a good boy instead of a whore. And maybe once women start raping abstinent male virgins, forcing them to climax in all sorts of really demeaning ways, even Bill Napoli will grant you guys some sort of special reprieve on child support, even though he really doesn’t feel rape should be a factor in anyone’s reproductive rights.

Don’t like it when the shoe’s on the other foot, do they? And yet it’s exactly what women have been told: want reproductive control? Keep your legs crossed, tramp. Jesus was a big fan of celibacy for men. If the US is determined to legislate a peculiar fundamentalist brand of pseudo-Christianity into our allegedly secular government, they can damn well follow all the Bible’s teachings instead of just the ones that make it acceptable for men to use women as sextoys, punching bags and baby machines. (And I’m confident genuine Christians will back me up on the fallacy of picking and choosing which bits of the Bible you feel like following.)

Or here’s an even better thought: maybe we could just stick to the material world and legislate according to what’s best for all taxpayers and citizens. Which brings up another question: if these wicked fathers don’t pay for their own bastard offspring, who will? Why, I guess that would be me! At least in many cases. Assuming the US doesn’t manage to cut off what’s left of our social services completely.

But it gets even worse. This wasn’t an issue of failed birth control. This was an issue of a scheming soap opera type vixen tricking him:

He contends that the woman knew he didn’t want to have a child with her and assured him repeatedly that — because of a physical condition — she could not get pregnant.

So not only did this whore not abstain like a good boy - he also didn’t use a condom or get himself reversibly sterilized in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. And we’re supposed to feel his options have been taken away? Let me inform you guys about something else, too: women get misdiagnosed at their OB-GYNs, and medical knowledge is always changing. If a guy tells a girl, “Don’t worry, I’m sterile” and she believes him and gets pregnant, who would most guys blame?

If you’re too ignorant to know how the human body - of both genders - reproduces, then you’re too ignorant to be having sex.

Let’s face it: men actually already have more options for avoiding pregnancy than women have, because rape can very effectively cancel out a woman’s choice to abstain. The reverse - a man raped by a woman - is so rare as to be negligible in a legal discussion.

As for a woman’s glorious options after the fact of unintended conception - abortion, adoption, or raising the child - again, you guys wouldn’t need any options after the fact if you exercised your most important ones before the fact. Abstain from sex, boys, and this will never happen to you. Until then, if you can’t remain virgins like you’re supposed to, you can just freakin’ well hand over the child support and be thankful every day you’re getting to miss out on all the physical discomfort.

Some other bloggers have done this story more justice than I can: Amanda Marcotte and Twisty Faster, and no doubt others I didn’t see.

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Categories: The Fem-Nazi Backlash, Women in The News, Men

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55 Comments »

Comment by Maartje
2006-03-10 14:08:07

Oh come ON! He’s stupid enough to have an affair, stupid enough to not use a condom (or should I assume his dick’s too tiny and it wouldn’t fit?), stupid enough to blame it all on the woman and stupid enough to think he can weasel his way out of paying but he has scraped enough braincells together to convince a lawyer that his case would not get laughed out of court?
What the hell kind of argument is this? Because I didn’t get to decide I am not responsible and don’t have to pay. I assure you, stupid fellow, the moment you get preggers you get to decide whether to abort or not.

Honestly, this thing sort of thing really gets me riled up, bunch of hypocrites all of ‘em! Thank you for writing about this, I’ll have to go now and rant to someone about this!

 
Comment by Nialla
2006-03-10 15:10:08

I had to laugh over the “My girlfriend said she couldn’t have kids!” line. Sucker.

Even if the girl was being straight up that she thought she couldn’t have kids, unless you know for an absolute fact the uterus and/or ovaries are gone, wear a condom.

Which is a lesson I wish one of my cousins had known before his girlfriend announced they were having a “miracle child.” Of course she’d already had one to marry her previous husband, and is now pregnant with the third for her third sucker husband.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-10 15:51:57

I edited out a paragraph that was almost what you said here. I used to have a condition (very common) that was considered to make women infertile. Fortunately, I had a doctor who told me, “But unless the ovaries are gone, there’s always a chance, so use birth control”. I’ve known a number of people who got pregnant when they didn’t intend to - frequently married couples - because of bad doctor advice about which method of BC to use, and how to use it.

People really need to do their own research. But if you’re telling me a 25 year old computer program can’t Google this shit, if he’s so concerned, I’ll eat my mouse.

Nah, clearly this was a case of a guy developing concerns after the fact.

Comment by Nialla
2006-03-10 17:19:56

But it’s not a man’s job to be concerned about birth control! Women have to deal with that stuff, including raising any child that should result, because they were naughty girls who had sex outside of wedlock.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-11 09:12:27

A long time ago on “Politically Incorrect”, Dennis Miller was bitching about some court case where a woman claimed she didn’t realize she was pregnant and thought she was just putting on weight (can’t remember what the case was about). He scoffed and said, “Oh, come on, women always know they’re pregnant. They’ve got these tubes and stuff…”

Everyone looked at him like he was a moron, which he is, and he backed off. But Simon leBon (love that guy) leaned forward, zeroed in and said, “No, no… I want to hear about the tubes. What tubes? Dennis, what tubes?” Miller just blushed and choked and wouldn’t respond, and leBon explained how women don’t always know they’re pregnant, and more to the point, why they don’t have bullshit cases like this in England. :D

 
 
 
 
Comment by scarlett
2006-03-10 19:22:01

I remember reading an article a couple of years ago about Prince William. The gist of it was that he’d been told, given how lucrative bearing the child, illegitimate or not, of the future king could be, the onus of protection should always be on him - use a condom. I thought it was a fairly refreshing change of a man taking responsibility for the consequences of his sexuality and hopefully an indictation of men in general.

Apparantly not. I myself have been in situation where I’ve had to insist on using a condom when I’d taken a pill too late, because the guy in question just didn’t understand while it was a small risk, it was a risk I wasn’t prepared to take - maybe he was prepared to take it on my behalf. It’s a worry how much more resposnsible I’ve been in those situations. I guess it was his intention to ditch me and weasel out of paying chjild support if worst came to worst.

As far as abortion goes, I know that’s a touchy subject. In Australia there’s a squabble over legislating a new abortion pill and a lot of male parliamentarians have related how shut-out they felt when their girlfriend’s chose to have abortions over their wishes. I don’t know how to resolve that - is the alternative to handcuff women to a bed and force them to bear the child, against THEIR wishes? - but I don’t believe that just because WOMEN have the choice to abort, adopt out or raise the child, doesn’t mean MEN have the hoice to support the child financially or not.

Keep us posted on this case, I hope he gets laughed out of court.

 
Comment by Wally
2006-03-11 04:38:59

Your post is, and I’m being kind here, BULLSHIT.

Men have all the options? Hmmmm, and once there is a pregnancy, what would those options be?

Women on the other hand, have the option to abort (for the time being). And that really is what this case is all about — the fact that women hold all of the cards.

It is hypocritical in the extreme that you would use the “keep it zipped” arguement here. In other places I’ve run across even worse, for instance the femi-whiner arguement that the anti-abortion camp only cares about controlling women — but who is all about retaining control in a case like this?

You people slay me.

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-11 08:38:19

That’s what I was saying, that I realise abortion is a touchy subject and I imagine there would be a lot of men out there who are devastated by the woman’s choice to have an abortion over their wishes. But what’s the alternative, to make a woman go through with the pregnancy against HER wishes? If two people’s wishes are at odds, I think the one who’s body it is wins.

I think (and this is opinion and common sense as opposed to stats) that the number of women who deliberately deceive a man into having a child are far, far, FAR outweighed by the number of women who fall pregnant by way of being misdiagnosed with infertility conditions, their contraception fails, or they’re raped. Are men meant to plead ’she lied to me’ for all of those cases just to get out of paying child support.

Yeah, there are a few men who are deceived by women looking to have a child with them, either for financial or emotional reasons. I have sympathy for them. But I think the far greater number of unwanted pregnancies are caused by the things listed above, and if a man feels THAT strongly about not having children, he should make it his responsibility.

I personally do not want children at this point in time, so I take precautions and am a little over-zealous in my back-up. I consider the effort to be well worth the peace of mind. If men are too lazy or chevenistic to take the same effort then they can reap the consequenses of their actions.

 
Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-11 09:02:09

The post is satirical. I can’t figure out how you missed that.

It is hypocritical in the extreme that you would use the “keep it zipped” arguement here.

Why? Are you assuming I’ve never used abstinence or celibacy as forms of birth control?

Look, it’s very simple: if you’re male, and you’re really all that concerned about not having a baby or abortion against your will, then you need to make sure you don’t impregnate anybody. You can use condoms and reduce the risk considerably (100% with perfect use) (see ifritah’s comment). Or if you’re really paranoid, you can abstain. Dubay took no precautions, so he deserves no consideration. Had he even used a stupid condom, I probably never would have written this post, because I’d feel a lot worse for him. He’s an idiot.

And it gets worse if you look at the US as a whole: abstinence is the only form of birth control Bush wants to fund in education, so I’m insisting it should apply to boys as well as girls, if that’s the retarded direction this country’s going to take. And when that fails because of rape, Bill Napoli still wants to force a woman to gestate and give birth to a living human being she had no say in conceiving.

So we’ve got Dubay effectively complaining that it’s not fair he can’t force a abortion or adoption on his girlfriend, and Napoli ensuring that South Dakota women will have gestation and birth forced on them. There is no way to read the trends of male thinking in this country except: “Goddamnit, these bitches think their wombs belong to them! Well, they’re gonna learn their place, which is to make me some heirs! And get me a beer!”

You think adoption’s a simple choice for everyone? What if the child has a serious health condition that makes it undesirable to good families? What if the child is non-white in an area where there’s no demand for non-white babies? Do you have any idea how few people looking for adoptive children are willing to take such kids as their own? Do you know what growing up in foster homes is like, even when they’re good foster homes?

It’s clear to me where the hypocrisy is.

Comment by Ifritah
2006-03-13 08:55:33

I don’t mean to split hairs here, but I think it’s really important that it’s noted that even with perfect use, using a condom is not 100% effective. It’s 97% effective with perfect use. There is ALWAYS a chance of pregnancy, no matter how careful you are.

Abstinence is the only 100% effective means of preventing pregnancy.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-13 09:06:49

You’re right - sorry about that. I read one site that claimed 100% with perfect use, but the rest do claim 97%.

 
Comment by scarlett
2006-03-13 19:24:33

I assume that a vescectomy/hysterectomy would be 100% too?

Comment by Ifritah
2006-03-14 18:33:19

Hrm, for some reason my comment was put at the bottom of the comment list instead of as a comment to your comment. Hopefully, that won’t happen with this comment to let you know I did answer your question!

 
 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-03-15 13:54:00

BETACANDY: Look, it’s very simple: if you’re male, and you’re really all that concerned about not having a baby or abortion against your will, then you need to make sure you don’t impregnate anybody.

KYLE: Look, it’s very simple: if you’re female, and you’re really all that concerned about not having a baby or abortion against your will, then you need to make sure you don’t get impregnated by anybody.

 
 
Comment by sbg
2006-03-11 19:00:57

Hmmmm, and once there is a pregnancy, what would those options be?

Apparently:

1) Take at least some responsibility in the matter.
2) Become a deadbeat.
3) Blame the girl.
4) Whine and complain about not having rights.

Of the four that I can think of off the top of my head, the only one that isn’t ludicrous is #1.

And I believe the options are proactive rather than reactive, which was made clear. If a man doesn’t want to risk impregnating a woman, he should either, practice safe sex (and be sure it’s legit - this is a joint responsibility) or just don’t have sex with her. Since the celibacy thing isn’t really likely, then a guy should show responsibility and caution beforehand so he’s not rendered ‘without rights, waaaahhhh’ AFTERward.

I have absolutely no sympathy for someone claiming such preposterous things when he did nothing at all to prevent this woman from becoming pregnant.

 
 
Comment by Glaivester
2006-03-13 20:21:32

Note: Before you read this, I should point out that I actually do not believe that men should be able to get out of paying child support in cases of consensual sex. However, I also am not pro-choice on abortion. So what I am writing is not advocacy for “choice for men” as much as it is pointing out why I fell that the “pro-choice, pro-mandated child support” position is hypocritical.

But what’s the alternative, to make a woman go through with the pregnancy against HER wishes? If two people’s wishes are at odds, I think the one who’s body it is wins.

And in terms of child support, the wishes of the one with the paycheck should win, shouldn’t they? If you truly believed in equality, the man should be responsible for one-half of the least expensive way of dealing with the pregnancy (which, when considering that putting it up for adoption probably requires a lot of funds for medical care, etc., would probbly be abortion) unless he chooses to have greater responsibility (the flip-side is that he would have to lose all paternal rights).

There already is a way for a man to have “some say over” unintended pregnancies, and it’s incredibly effective: he can abstain from sex. Keep his pants zipped. Be a good boy instead of a whore.

But apparently that option isn’t good enough for women. They need the right to an abortion, and according to a lot of pseudo-pro-choicers, also need the right to make the taxpayer pay for the abortion. So why should that option be good enough for men?

Don’t like it when the shoe’s on the other foot, do they? And yet it’s exactly what women have been told: want reproductive control? Keep your legs crossed, tramp. Jesus was a big fan of celibacy for men. If the US is determined to legislate a peculiar fundamentalist brand of pseudo-Christianity into our allegedly secular government, they can damn well follow all the Bible’s teachings instead of just the ones that make it acceptable for men to use women as sextoys, punching bags and baby machines. (And I’m confident genuine Christians will back me up on the fallacy of picking and choosing which bits of the Bible you feel like following.)

Please. Abortion is currently legal (except maybe in South Dakota, and htat law won’t likely stand up in court), and getting out of child support isn’t. So to claim that women are getting the short end of the stick here is rather topsy-turvy.

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-14 00:11:03

I assume in this day and age, BOTH parties have a paycheck? Maybe it’s not fair that a an who has no say in weather or not his child is born or not, but I think it’s even less fair that financial responsibility for the child he conceived should be palmed off onto society.

I crashed my car recently. It was my fault, I was distracted and had too greater faith in my own ability to drive, so I have to pay for all damaged incurred. I don’t see any difference (in theory at least - I know people will call me on it) between that and paying to support a child conceived through lack of caution.

Incidentally, what was men’s argument for not paycing child support before abortion?

 
 
Comment by Glaivester
2006-03-13 20:23:36

Oh, and by the way, I am a 27-year-old virgin male who intends to wait for marriage to have sex. I mention this to dispel any notion that I have a personal stake in this.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-13 22:33:17

Good for you. I hope you don’t mind me saying, you’re proving my point. Whether for religious or practical reasons, I think one of the prime reasons for waiting until marriage has been to prevent children from being born into unstable environments. Clearly, this wasn’t Matt Dubay’s concern until he saw the support order dollar signs.

There are no easy answers to the issue of responsibility for children, ever. Even a child born into a happy marriage can become an orphan, and the question of society’s responsibility to such children has always been an issue, throughout history.

 
 
Comment by Ifritah
2006-03-14 18:31:26

Sorry for the delay; I didn’t receive an email that you commented, so I didn’t notice until today that you asked this.

A vasectomy, theoretically, is 99.9% effective. User effectiveness (what is actually reported) is 99.8%.

A tubal ligation is 99.9% effective.

A hysterectomy is 100% effective, but it is not a form of birth control. It’s a procedure used as a treatment for certain medical conditions.

 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-17 03:32:45

The man bringing this suit knows that he will lose and still have to pay child support (he and his lawyers have publicly stated so). They want to start a debate about what they perceive to be the unfairness that exists between the sexes when it comes to reproductive freedom.

Here’s a scenario: a couple agree that they don’t want to have children. They mutually decide on a method of birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. They also mutually agree that she will have an abortion if she does become pregnant. To their surprise, she does get pregnant. One of the parties changes their mind and wants to have the baby. The other says “No way. We agreed not to have children”.

Should one party be able to force the obligations of motherhood/fatherhood on the other against her/his will? If the answer depends on the sex of the party that changed their mind, isn’t that unfair and hypocritical (not to mention sexist)?

I believe that it is questions like this that the plaintiff and his lawyers are trying to raise. Anyone wanna try answreing these questions for me?

Thanx.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-17 08:39:55

Those are questions worthy of discussion, and like I said in another comment, if those were the questions here, I’d never have written this post. The situation you’re describing is a tough one, legally and morally.

Which begs the question… if they’ve been waiting this long for a test case, why did they pick a guy who was too irresponsible to take a simple precaution (condom) to save himself this trouble? Surely the scenario you’re describing happens from time to time. Why not use one of these cases?

My guess is: when two individuals are mature enough to take responsibility for birth control, they’re most often mature enough to work out a compromise when something goes awry, without the intervention of the courts. I’m hoping that is the case, because it would go toward proving that mature adults don’t need esoteric laws and court rulings to tell them how to live their lives. That stuff is only necessary for eternal children, who expect the government to parent them.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-17 12:10:00

Thanx for the reply Beta, but I can’t quite figure out what your answer to the question I posed was. Was it “I dunno”?

As to why they didn’t find another test case, I’d say it probably didn’t matter. They needed a case where the two parties could not agree. I believe that most of those who call this guy a deadbeat, would call the reluctant father in my scenario a deadbeat too.

“mature adults don’t need esoteric laws and court rulings to tell them how to live their lives”. Like child support laws?

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-17 14:18:10

Yes, Hank, my answer was I don’t know. I thought that was implied, but if you get a kick out of hearing the words, I have no problem saying them. ;)

I believe that most of those who call this guy a deadbeat, would call the reluctant father in my scenario a deadbeat too.

I disagree. In your scenario, a verbal agreement was reneged upon when preventative measures failed to prevent an event.

“mature adults don’t need esoteric laws and court rulings to tell them how to live their lives”. Like child support laws?

Exactly. We originally developed child support laws because of certain men who were too irresponsible to realize: if you want to ditch your wife and kids and go your merry way, you owe them something. Now the laws have been expanded by precedents, and people are becoming more and more reliant on the courts to tell them how to handle their own family disasters. And these are the cases we hear about.

But I’ve known a number of people who have amicably split their own assets and set their own payment arrangements when they divorced. This suggests to me that some people don’t need a court to settle their differences, because they are mature enough to do it themselves. The laws exist for those who aren’t.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-17 14:49:54

I appreciate your continuing the debate, Beta.

If my question is “a tough one, legally and morally”, why villify Dubay for raising it (”Matt Dubay’s been watching too many soaps”, “a 25-year-old filthy slut”, “Be a good boy instead of a whore”, “wicked fathers”)?

Seems like you’re shooting the messenger.

“There already is a way for a man to have “some say over” unintended pregnancies, and it’s incredibly effective: he can abstain from sex. Keep his pants zipped. Be a good boy instead of a whore.”

Change “man” to “woman”, “good boy” to “good girl”, “his” to “her”, etc. Wasn’t that argument used against abortion? Is it valid in that debate?

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-17 16:20:32

Change “man” to “woman”, “good boy” to “good girl”, “his” to “her”, etc. Wasn’t that argument used against abortion? Is it valid in that debate?

No. Apparently, the satire in my post was clear to my regular commenters, but not to some of the new posters like you. Allow me to spell it out now:

The point of the post was to throw the usual short-sighted arguments at men instead of women for a change. Because I’ve known a lot of people who feel women should remain virgins or “suffer the consequences” but want to shield men from the consequences of “sewing their wild oats”. That’s who the satire was directed to.

And I’m villifying Dubay because he did nothing to prevent his current fate, and is now whining. I don’t personally choose to accept that behavior from people of either gender, in any context. The guy in your scenario, I could relate to.

If you want to know what I think, I think people need to realize when they have sex, they’re gambling on more than the effectiveness of birth control or alleged infertility: you’re gambling on the psychology of your partner. This is true even in marriage, where the actuality of even an intended pregnancy can sometimes cause one partner or the other to realize they have huge issues about becoming a parent, and drive a wedge between the partners. I don’t see any great legal solutions to these problems, but then I’ve never been a fan of turning to the law for everything. The best solution I know of for social problems is to get people thinking, “That couldn’t happen to me, though… wait, could it?”

If there are a lot of guys out there who are as stupid as Dubay is when it comes to thinking about birth control, then he may serve as a good object lesson. But as for his purpose as a legal lesson, he rather reinforces the idea that men have all the choice they deserve, if they’re that irresponsible at the get-go. Conversely, the responsible guy in your scenario is a good example of a man who has some grounds for asserting he shouldn’t have to pay child support - your scenario involves verbal breach of contract. Though a judge might declare that it was a pretty stupid contract, and neither party should have been naive enough to think anyone (male or female) can decide what to do about a pregnancy before they actually experience one. So many people make the opposite choice of what they’d always planned.

Comment by Glaivester
2006-03-17 18:40:15

The point of the post was to throw the usual short-sighted arguments at men instead of women for a change. Because I’ve known a lot of people who feel women should remain virgins or “suffer the consequences” but want to shield men from the consequences of “sewing their wild oats”. That’s who the satire was directed to.

Your attempt to point out the “double standard” of “woman should suffer the consequences of sex” and “men should be able to get out of the consequences” would be a lot more effective if it weren’t for the fact that the legal double standard runs in the OPPOSITE direction (i.e., women get choice, men get a mandate to pay child support).

What you are missing is the fact that much of the support for Dubay getting out of paying child support is based on a similar desire to parallel, or in my case, parody, the pro-choice stance, or more specifically to point out the current legal double standard on these issues.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-17 21:52:26

Oh, no, I get it. I just don’t find your arguments compelling, because you just don’t get how favored you are as a man.

You see, I live in a world where my chances of being raped are significant, and the conviction rate is very, very low. I live in a world where my chances of earning what a man does are slim, even though my expenses are higher. I live in a world where marital rape wasn’t a crime as recently as 20 years ago, which meant even being a good girl and getting married like I’m ’spose to wouldn’t necessarily protect me from violation and brutality.

And you’re upset that nature granted women some measure of control over one single thing: gestation and birth?

You can have the last word now, if you want it. I’ve had this argument before with dozens of people, and I know there is no point in my taking it any further.

 
 
 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-17 18:03:51

You’re right, I am new here, so I missed your satire. I thought you were saying:

“There already is a way for a man to have “some say over” unintended pregnancies, and it’s incredibly effective: he can abstain from sex. Keep his pants zipped. Be a good boy instead of a whore”

was a legitmate response to:

“I’m trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly.”

“And I’m villifying Dubay because he did nothing to prevent his current fate, and is now whining.”

He did try to prevent this. It’s not like he just said, “I don’t like rubbers, baby”. She told him she was physically unable to conceive. I’d say he was naive and should have been more cautious, but not villainous. What if she told him she was on the pill? Is a man always foolish to believe what his wife or girlfriend tells him she is doing to avoid conception? What steps does a man have to take to prevent impregnating a woman before the claim Dubay is making is valid, and not “whining”? Abstinence?

“I don’t personally choose to accept that behavior from people of either gender, in any context.”

Is the woman also a villain for not taking more steps to prevent having a child with a man she knew didn’t want one?

“I think people need to realize when they have sex, they’re gambling on more than the effectiveness of birth control or alleged infertility: you’re gambling on the psychology of your partner.”

I agree completely. The point I’m trying to make is that if the woman loses her gamble, she has rights that a man who loses his gamble does not. That is the unfairness I see.

“So many people make the opposite choice of what they’d always planned.”

Only women can make the opposite choice. If a man always planned to be childless, he cannot force the obligations of motherhood a woman. If he always planned to father a child, he cannot abdicate that responsibility (financially, anyway, which is not insignifcant) after conception.

I hope you’ll find the time to answer these questions again.

Thanx.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-17 22:23:34

He did try to prevent this. It’s not like he just said, “I don’t like rubbers, baby”. She told him she was physically unable to conceive. I’d say he was naive and should have been more cautious, but not villainous.

Perhaps you’re more liberal than I am. If a man told a woman he was sterile, and she was stupid enough to risk having unprotected sex, then if she contracted a disease or conceived, I’d suggest she take responsibility for being a moron. Diagnoses of sterility and interfility are incredibly dodgy, as medicine is still learning so much in these areas. This is not arcane knowledge. Can grown, employed adults not bother to educate themselves on these things?

What if she told him she was on the pill? Is a man always foolish to believe what his wife or girlfriend tells him she is doing to avoid conception?

The pill isn’t 100%. Infertility diagnoses, as I said above, are unreliable. If he’s really serious about not becoming a father, why not double up the precautions? There are men out there who insist on using a condom every time they have sex. And, as an aside, nothing but condoms protects anyone from STD’s.

What steps does a man have to take to prevent impregnating a woman before the claim Dubay is making is valid, and not “whining”?

I’ve answered this before: had he even used a condom, I’d have some sympathy and agree that it’s a tough legal call.

Is the woman also a villain for not taking more steps to prevent having a child with a man she knew didn’t want one?

Yeah, they’re both useless assholes, and I consider it a great pity they’ve procreated a child with their genes (at the same time as I pity the child, who will grow up knowing her father saw her as a “test case” for the rights of his dick to experience maximum pleasure with minimum consequence). But we have enough other webmasters villifying women - I’ll leave that to them. ;)

The point I’m trying to make is that if the woman loses her gamble, she has rights that a man who loses his gamble does not. That is the unfairness I see.

Yes, and as I said in above response to another poster, we women have the unfairness of a 1 in 4 chance of being raped, and about a 10% chance of securing a conviction. I’ll trade child support checks for never, ever having to worry about being raped again. Or raped and blamed for my own rape. Or raped and being convicted of murder if I kill the men who did it.

Wanna trade? I really wish we could.

If a man always planned to be childless, he cannot force the obligations of motherhood a woman. If he always planned to father a child, he cannot abdicate that responsibility (financially, anyway, which is not insignifcant) after conception.

I’m confused by this paragraph.

Hey, do you suppose maybe resentment of child support is the reason why murder causes at least 31% of deaths among pregnant women, and more if you count women who’ve just given birth?

Comment by Glaivester
2006-03-18 04:48:37

If a man always planned to be childless, he cannot force the obligations of motherhood a woman. If he always planned to father a child, he cannot abdicate that responsibility (financially, anyway, which is not insignifcant) after conception.

I think he put the conditional clauses in the wrong order. He meantto say:

If he always planned to father a child, he cannot force the obligations of motherhood a woman. If a man always planned to be childless, he cannot abdicate that responsibility (financially, anyway, which is not insignifcant) after conception.

 
 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-18 00:46:34

Unfairness in the laws governing rights after an unwanted conception is acceptable beacause of the unfairness of men raping women? I’m not sure I see what one has to do with the other.

“I’ve answered this before: had he even used a condom, I’d have some sympathy and agree that it’s a tough legal call.”

I’m a little slow sometimes. Are you saying that the only way a man should be 100% free from the obligations of fatherhood is to abstain from sex?

I’ll try to clarify that cofusing paragraph.

You said earlier, “neither party should have been naive enough to think anyone (male or female) can decide what to do about a pregnancy before they actually experience one. So many people make the opposite choice of what they’d always planned.”

My point was that you should have said “So many WOMEN make the opposite choice of what they’d always planned”, because men cannot make those same choices. For example:

If a couple always planned to remain childless but the woman becomes pregnant, she can change her mind, have the baby, and obligate the man to fatherhood against his wishes. If they always planned on having a baby, she can change her mind after conception and have an abortion against the man’s wishes.

But if the couple had always planned to remain childless yet the woman becomes pregnant, the man may not change his mind and obligate the woman to motherhood against her wishes. If they always planned to have a baby, he may not change his mind and abdicate his obligations as a father after conception.

I hope I was more clear this time as this unfairness is the heart of my argument.

I absolutely think that resentment of child support is behind many of the that obscene number of murders of pregnant women. I am not a woman hater. I probably support 95% of women’s/equal rights issues. If a guy is just too lazy or stupid to take proper precautions against prenancy, well too bad, it’s his fault that he has obligations to the child. But I always use some form(s) of birth control, and have always had my lover declare that she would have an abortion in the event of conception before we started having sex (I only lost one woman because of that - but I have never wanted children, so it was the price I had to pay). If after all that I was still obligated to pay child support (which could happen under the current laws), I’d be resentful too. While it was not one of my original arguments, don’t you think that allowing men to opt out of the obligations to their unborn, unwanted children would perhaps reduce those murders? Not that this is a reason to change the law, but just unintended benefit.

The ball is once again in your court. ;)

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-18 09:37:39

Unfairness in the laws governing rights after an unwanted conception is acceptable beacause of the unfairness of men raping women? I’m not sure I see what one has to do with the other.

Biology isn’t fair. The law has been surprisingly unhelpful against rape. The law is being surprisingly unhelpful in balancing the rights of men, women and children when the three come into conflict. These things happen.

I’m a little slow sometimes. Are you saying that the only way a man should be 100% free from the obligations of fatherhood is to abstain from sex?

You keep making this about law - that’s fine, that’s your focus. I prefer to deal with actuality, though, and the reason I always give is “We have laws against murder, but we still have murder”. Abstinence is logically the only way a man can guarantee he won’t father an embryo/child. And aren’t you guys fortunate, because it’s virtually impossible for you to have your abstinence stolen from you by an act of rape? Count your blessings, there. We have no such assurance. We just have this wonderful, fabulous choice to abort that you guys are so concerned about.

That’s nothing to do with the law, though. There are cases where a woman pays child support to the man. There have been cases where a man was not ordered to pay support, and I’m sure I would agree with some of them. This is just not one of them.

My point was that you should have said “So many WOMEN make the opposite choice of what they’d always planned”, because men cannot make those same choices.

No, men make choices like dumping their pregnant wives, or cheating on them, or murdering them. And only in the past 20-30 years has there been any repercussion for men who leave their wives and unborn offspring to fend financially for themselves.

If a couple always planned to remain childless but the woman becomes pregnant, she can change her mind, have the baby, and obligate the man to fatherhood against his wishes. If they always planned on having a baby, she can change her mind after conception and have an abortion against the man’s wishes.

You know what would make this a whole non-issue? If women earned more than men. Enough to cover the extra expenses associated with being female, and the care for any offspring a woman might have. Then there’d be no reason for men to contribute, because the monetary privilege of being female would be built in.

But we can’t have that: the whole point of not allowing women to have jobs, education or property was to make them entirely dependent on men. As were babies. Now that women are struggling to be independent of men, employers are creating a financial backlash so that when babies come along, women STILL find they need more support, and who’s the logical candidate? Dad.

Seriously. If women on the whole made more money than men, I’d say we could reassess the whole way we look at financial responsibilty for kids. You could reasonably give women full financial responsibilty to go with full choice, IF they weren’t already being penalized by inequal pay.


But if the couple had always planned to remain childless yet the woman becomes pregnant, the man may not change his mind and obligate the woman to motherhood against her wishes.

Talk to Bill Napoli. He’s working on that for you guys.

But I always use some form(s) of birth control, and have always had my lover declare that she would have an abortion in the event of conception before we started having sex (I only lost one woman because of that - but I have never wanted children, so it was the price I had to pay).

I’m shocked you’ve found many women who would agree they would have an abortion. That’s bizarre. I don’t personally know any women who feel sure they’d have an abortion if they conceived unintentionally.

Vasectomies are also good for a man who has no intention of ever having kids (and they’re generally reversible in the event of changing your mind).

If after all that I was still obligated to pay child support (which could happen under the current laws), I’d be resentful too. While it was not one of my original arguments, don’t you think that allowing men to opt out of the obligations to their unborn, unwanted children would perhaps reduce those murders? Not that this is a reason to change the law, but just unintended benefit.

Again, I’ll swap my worries of being raped with your worries about paying child support any day. I’d be fairly sympathetic about you having to fork over some money, but honestly, I don’t consider money issues “real” problems in the grand scheme of things - maybe because I’ve been desperately poor before, through no fault of my own, and I was resentful, but I kept perspective. It didn’t compare to the suffering of people who are sexually abused in childhood, or raised by an undiagnosed sociopath, or genitally mutilated in a backward culture. Or starving in a third world country. Etc.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-18 11:50:13

“Biology isn’t fair. The law has been surprisingly unhelpful against rape. The law is being surprisingly unhelpful in balancing the rights of men, women and children when the three come into conflict. These things happen.”

I agree with you that these things aren’t fair. I disagree that we should do nothing to correct the unfairness. If I were decrying the inadequecies and unfairness of rape laws, would you tell me, “these things happen”, or would you agree something should be done about it?

“You keep making this about law”.

Yes, because that is what this discussion (and your original post) was about; Dubay’s lawsuit and the legal debate surrounding it. The morality of it is another debate (as is the morality of abortion).

“the reason I always give is “We have laws against murder, but we still have murder”.”

I’m not sure what this means. Are you saying that laws against murder do not prevent murders from occurring, so the law is unnecessary?

“We just have this wonderful, fabulous choice to abort that you guys are so concerned about.”

I’m not concerned about it. I’m happy that women have that choice, and would never deny it to her. I just believe I should have that choice too.

“No, men make choices like dumping their pregnant wives, or cheating on them, or murdering them.”

If he dumps her or murders her, he must face the legal consequences (enforced child support, jail, or the death penalty) Do you think there should be a legal penalty for infidelity, too?

“Abstinence is logically the only way a man can guarantee he won’t father an embryo/child.”

Of course. But my question wasn’t what does a man have to do to avoid fathering a child. My question is what does a man have to do to avoid legal, not moral, responsibility for a child?

“You know what would make this a whole non-issue? If women earned more than men.”

Amen. But unfortunately they don’t yet, so it is still an issue.

“the whole point of not allowing women to have jobs, education or property was to make them entirely dependent on men.”

I’ve never not allowed a woman to have a job, education, or property. I don’t personally know anyone who advocates such a position. In fact, I’ve dumped a woman who wanted to be dependant on me. I desire relationships where we are equal partners.

“Talk to Bill Napoli. He’s working on that for you guys.”

I’ve never heard of him, but if wants men to be able to force women to have a baby she doesn’t want, he sounds like a religious nut to me.

“I’m shocked you’ve found many women who would agree they would have an abortion. That’s bizarre.”

I’m Canadian, and up here we do not have the stigma attached to abortion that seems to be that case in the US (in fact Henry Morgentaler became a hero to many in Canada when he set up the first abortin clinic in 1967 despite laws against it - he was arrested several times over the next two decades and was the man most influencial in changing the laws). We have a small number of anti-abotionists, but religion does not influence government in Canada, and they are considered to be the “lunatic fringe”. But this case interests me because Canadian law mirrors American law regarding paternal obligations arising from an unplanned conception, and I could one day find myself in a similar situation. I would hope that in this day and age, abstinence is not the only option for a man who doesn’t children.

“Vasectomies are also good for a man who has no intention of ever having kids”

After three children, my brother had a vasectomy. Two years later his wife got pregnant. No birth control is 100% effective, short of castration or hysterectomy.

“It didn’t compare to the suffering of people who are sexually abused in childhood, or raised by an undiagnosed sociopath, or genitally mutilated in a backward culture. Or starving in a third world country. Etc.”

Yes, and equal pay for women is much less significant that the genocide occurring in Darfur. Should we not work at ending that inequality anyway?

“Again, I’ll swap my worries of being raped with your worries about paying child support any day.”

I’ll explain what I think you’re argument is; since women have been treated unfairly by men for so long in so many ways, it’s acceptable that men are treated unfairly in this area. Maybe I’m naive, but I think the law should treat all people equally, regardless of gender. I think that you’d agree with me that if a law gives men rights that a woman does not, it is unfair and should be changed. Why do you not agree that if a law gives women rights men do not have, it is also unfair and should be changed? Equal rights is not a zero sum game. Extending rights to women does not have to be done by removing rights from men, and vice versa.

As I stated earlier, I’m a supporter of women’s/equal rights issues. All the inequities that you describe are real and should be rectified. But I think feminists shoot themselves in the foot by refusing to concede that there are a few areas in which men get the short end of the stick. If you were concerned about inequality and unfairness when it applies to men as well as women, you’d have more credibility. I used to think I was a feminist (if a man who supports equal rights for women can be called a feminist). But I’ve recently found that I’m actually a humanist, as I believe that all people should have equal rights, man or woman. Perhaps it’s because I’m Canadian.

 
Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-19 00:44:31

If I were decrying the inadequecies and unfairness of rape laws, would you tell me, “these things happen”, or would you agree something should be done about it?

I agree much should be done about it. But I have never espoused law as the primary agent of change in society. I believe culture is - that’s why I started this site. None of the laws against brutality seem to have slowed its steady increase in the US. Making people think about the shit they’re letting TV put in their brains… hey, that just might eventually have some effect.

Yes, because that is what this discussion (and your original post) was about;

No; see above. My post is about the media/cultural perception of male and female responsibility.

I’m not sure what this means. Are you saying that laws against murder do not prevent murders from occurring, so the law is unnecessary?

I’m saying the laws are ineffective. And I’m not sure anarchy would fare worse, to be honest. If I were free to kill anyone who attempted to rape me, that might serve as a much greater deterrent than the empty threat of the law catching up to rapists, as it so rarely does.

I’m not concerned about it. I’m happy that women have that choice, and would never deny it to her. I just believe I should have that choice too.

But you’re equating the choice to abort with the choice to opt out of financial responsibility. Maybe you’re not aware, but Dubay is not paying enough in child support to take care of the child’s entire living expenses. He’s paying probably half what will be required. That suggests to me the judge held both parents equally responsible for the child’s financial welfare. Considering they’re both responsible for the whole mess, that sits pretty well with me.

My question is what does a man have to do to avoid legal, not moral, responsibility for a child?

See above: my concern is not the law. My concern is that Dubay thinks he deserves my sympathy for being a complete moron. There are a ton of blogs covering this story from a legal and moral perspective, so I left that perspective to them.

I’ve never not allowed a woman to have a job, education, or property.

Doesn’t mean you haven’t benefitted from past sins in the form of higher wages and opportunities. We all pay for the mistakes of past generations: at least you’ve seen some benefit from it. I feel the same way about arguments against “Affirmative Action”, which arguably gave minorities an extra boost over whites, and in particular white males. White men have been so pissed about this, and it’s hilarious: for years, they were promoted unfairly for having the right skin color, and now that other groups are getting a similar benefit, just to help them catch up and equal the playing field, poor little white boys are mad.

Yeah, they may not have done a thing to bring this on themselves. But what they see as a removal of rights is actually a lessening of unfair privilege. That’s what keeps getting lost in the shuffle here.

I’ve never heard of him, but if wants men to be able to force women to have a baby she doesn’t want, he sounds like a religious nut to me.

He’s the senator behind the ban on abortion in South Dakota. Women in SD can no longer terminate a pregnancy, even if it’s by rape or incest. Napoli described an instance where he might make an exception, and his descriptions of the theoretical rape of a teenage virgin, anally and vaginally, were filthily pornographic. See my link in the original article.

Sure, he’s a religious nut. Most of our current government is claiming to be on a religious mission that I’m pretty damn sure Jesus wouldn’t approve of.

We have a small number of anti-abotionists, but religion does not influence government in Canada, and they are considered to be the “lunatic fringe”.

I really hope that doens’t ever change. The infiltration of our government by fundamentalists began in 1979, and as recently as the late 90’s, people still refused to believe it could get as bad as it’s gotten. It’s a nightmare.

No birth control is 100% effective, short of castration or hysterectomy.

Hysterectomy’s aren’t 100%. Abstinence is the only method that is. I don’t know about castration as I’ve never seeen it evaluated in terms of a form of birth control.

Now that I know you’re Canadian, I’m thinking maybe you just don’t have any way of “getting” just how misogynistic the attitudes in the US have traditionally been. Women have been blamed for their own rapes, so forget any sympathy if a dirty slut gets herself pregnant by failing to be a virgin until marriage. That wasn’t just a religious belief: it was a cultural stereotype, that women should be abstinent, or pay the price.

That’s what my article was all about, by the way.

I’ll explain what I think you’re argument is; since women have been treated unfairly by men for so long in so many ways, it’s acceptable that men are treated unfairly in this area.

How is Dubay being treated unfairly, paying for half the child’s expenses? Is he not half the reason the child is here?

Extending rights to women does not have to be done by removing rights from men, and vice versa.

Removing of rights, or of invisible built-in privileges? ;)

But I think feminists shoot themselves in the foot by refusing to concede that there are a few areas in which men get the short end of the stick. If you were concerned about inequality and unfairness when it applies to men as well as women, you’d have more credibility.

Okay, you just lost all credibility with me. You’re assessing me as a person from one article? If you actually read anything else on the site - you know, articles that might not apply to your penis - you’d be aware that one of my main precepts is that gender inequality hurts everyone, of both genders. See the category I label “Huamnist”? Your choice to lump me in with whatever “straw man” feminist lives in your head, rather than actually finding out what I’m about, convinces me there is no point in further discussion with you.

 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-19 12:58:20

I assume from your last post you are no longer willing to continue this debate. That’s too bad. I was enjoying it (and being educated on American viewpoints). If you only debate those who agree with you, how will either party learn anything new?

I’ll ask a few more questions for you (or any other reader) to answer.

“My post is about the media/cultural perception of male and female responsibility.”

Are you saying that the media is somehow revealing its perception of male and female resposibility by reporting on this case? If so, how?

“But you’re equating the choice to abort with the choice to opt out of financial responsibility.”

If a woman chooses to abort for purely economic reasons (”I” or “We just can’t afford a baby now”), isn’t she opting out of financial responsibility?

“If I were free to kill anyone who attempted to rape me”

Are you saying you can’t kill someone who attempts to rape you? Wow, the US is screwed up worse than I thought it was! Why do you stay there?

“How is Dubay being treated unfairly, paying for half the child’s expenses?”

I agree that Dubay is not being treated unfairly. He is in the position he is in due in large part to his own actions. I keep trying to move this debate to a hypothetical situation where a man has taken precautions (short of abstinence) to prevent coception of a child he doesn’t want and has no intention of being a father to.

“Removing of rights, or of invisible built-in privileges?”

I see that my question was not worded properly. Men did not have rights removed by granting women the right to refuse motherhood against their will. But women now have a right that men do not. I can’t get my head around why one sex should have a right that the other sex doesn’t. As you say, maybe that’s beacause I’m Canadian, and women here do not seem to have the same indifference to the rights of men. There is no acceptance of the “sins of the father” reasoning here. The few women I have talked to about this agree that is unfair, and that men today should not be blamed for what was done by those who came before.

“You’re assessing me as a person from one article? If you actually read anything else on the site - you know, articles that might not apply to your penis - you’d be aware that one of my main precepts is that gender inequality hurts everyone”

I have read some of your articles, and agree with them. I’m assessing you on your answers to my questions (since you have to worry about being forced into sex against your wishes, I should have to be worried about being forced into fatherhood against my will). Huh? If gender inequality hurts everyone, why not rally against these inequalities, regardless of the sex of the one who is be treated unequally?

I apologize if I offended you, but I am just honestly stating my opinion. As I said earlier, I have shared this opinion with women I know, and they think it is reasonable.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-19 13:19:50

I’ve been debating with people I disagree with for decades. I enjoy it. But years of doing it have taught me when to recognize we’re at an impasse. You’re not listening to my points, and I’ve heard all yours before. Nothing personal. Maybe someone else will take up the debate with you.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-19 13:00:28

P.S. It seems I’m the one asking all the questions here. I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have for me, so that you can find out how I think about some issues of interest to you.

 
Comment by scarlett
2006-03-20 08:25:31

Hmmm, I go away for a few days and come back to find a controversial debate that I missed out on! So here’s me wading into the thick of things and trying not to upset too many people. (Oh, what am I saying. Be offended all you like. I don’t care.)

Someone made a point at some point that Dubay was a really bad case to make a point over the unfairness of men having no choice in paying for children they don’t want when the woman has the choice of having an abortion, because he comes across as a responsibility-evading whinger - even if he might have some moral right, its difficulty to have sympathy for him. (Anyone seen The People Vs Larry Flynt? You agree with the principle of free expression but it’s all you can do not to take to the streets protesting his kind of free expression. Same principle.) I agree with that; if the men’s movement wanted to get any kind of public sympathy they should have chosen someone more, well, sympathetic. I would have far more sympathy for a man who was deliberately deceived or a man who took reasonable precautions and was unlucky enough to be part of that .1%. Dubay is neither; he’s someone who was irresponsible and as such a lot of people won’t be able to see that. Incidentally, I believe in Roe Vs Wade their pregnant woman had a pretty sympathetic reason for wanting an abortion, like she’d been raped or the pregnancy was endangering her health or something like that.

As far as the greater picture of men who absolutely didn’t want children and took reasonable precautions having no choice in paying child support when the woman had the choice of abortion, I agree that in some cases that’s an issue. For sure, there are women who deliberately deceive men into getting pregnant; I’m aware of tricks like poking holes in condoms, pretending to take the pill, pretending to be on birth control etc. But I think they are very much in the minority. I’d say most women have the common sense to realise that falling pregnant against the father’s wishes is not going to do anyone good in the long run and the percentage of such women is negligable enough that it’s ridiculous to have a defence like ’she did it deliberately against my wishes.’

As far as accidental pregnancies , beyond reasonable protective measures, I think that’s a risk you take. I agree that if you have a verbal agreement as to what happens (I really don’t want children and if you fall pregnant that’s your responsibility - hey, at least she knows what she’s in for)then you have some moral grounds to get out of paying child support. But how many men go into a relationship with such conditions and how many plead that defense afterwards?

I’m open to the possibility that men and women can create written agreements in the case of pregnancy - for example, they share the cost of abortion or the woman shoulders the financial responsibility of raising the child on her own IF SHE WANTS THE CHILD THAT BADLY. Or they agree to pay a set amount and share custody. Or the father pays the mother to be a quasi-incubator and gets custody. Whatever, so long as both partners know what they’re getting into. The problem then becomes that I can see a lot of women being blinded by love signing away their rights to child support, but I’m open to the concept that two people can create a legally binding agreement regarding the possibility of pregnancy and enter a sexual relationship knowing what would happen in that eventuality.

Which brings me back to Dubay. As far as I know, there was no agreement, written or verbal. He was irresponsible and now he’s whinging about the consequences. I’m sure I would have sympathey for different men in different circumstances but for Dubay I have none.

 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-20 13:58:40

Hi Scarlett.

“I’m open to the possibility that men and women can create written agreements in the case of pregnancy - for example, they share the cost of abortion or the woman shoulders the financial responsibility of raising the child on her own IF SHE WANTS THE CHILD THAT BADLY.”

That’s exactly what Dubay’s lawyers are advocating. A man has a short period of time after he learns of the pregnancy (a week or two) to either accept the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood of the child, or reject them. Do you agree with that suggestion?

I think you’re gonna be in trouble with BetaCandy. She spent the weekend telling me that I wasn’t listening to her points about rape (I listened and agreed with her - but didn’t see what it had to do with this case). Thanx for continuing the debate in her place.

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-20 19:44:50

I think what betacandy was saying about rape was that in a lot of cases, women don’t even have the choice to have sex and conceive. I think if a woman is raped, then the man (among other things) forfeits the right to any say in a child which might be conceived (including child support)- incidentally this could be covered by a contract, because I would hazzard a guess and say no contract would be signed, so it would default to child support payments and the man couldn’t complain about it.

I can see where she’s coming from regarding rape. Women are so far behind men in rights and address (and I don’t think you can really appreciate it until you ARE a woman) that it seems hypocritical for men to be complaining about one of the few things women might have a little more say in because, oh, I don’t know, it’s their own bodies, when they should be looking at the bigger picture - that women need men to pay child support because their own income is so far behind, because the US has an almost non-existant welfare system, etc.

I’m curious how many fathers who take no interest in their child are doing so because they truly have no interest in children (and I’m sure there are as many women out there) and how many do it because we live in a society when its permissable for men to pick and choose their parental responsibilities. We live in a society where negligent mothers are far more villianised then negligent fathers, and I think society as a whole has to change before men have the right to complain about things like paying child support.

Comment by Hank
2006-03-20 23:22:34

I am not concerned with the rights of a rapist. I believe he should have no rights of parenthood, but all the financial responsibilties when a child is born of a rape. We are on the same page here.

You too seem to be telling me that since men rape women, it is acceptable for men to have fewer rights regarding an unintended prgnancy than women. Unfair is unfair (regardless of who is being treated unfairly - man or woman) in my opinion. Am I wrong?

You didn’t answer the question I posed in my previous post. I’d ask you to please re-read it and let me know what you think.

Thanx.

 
 
 
Comment by scarlett
2006-03-20 23:57:49

What I said was that women are so far behind men in their rights and address that it’s hypocritical for men to point to one area where women may have more choice then men when the other 90% of the patriachy is geared towards men. We should be changing society as a whole so women aren’t relying on men to pay child support just so the kid might eat and have a roof over its head, rather then saying ‘women can choose weather or not to have an abortion so men should be able to choose weather or not to pay child support.’

Legally, men don’t even have a week or two - once the woman’s pregnant, there’s not much he can do about it. At one point I agreed with you that yes, there should be more upfront understanding about what a couple should do in the case of pregnancy - even have written contracts drawn up. We’ll forget about the fact that such a contract wouldn’t hold much water for the moment, and focus on the fact that men tend not to worry about such things until AFTER the woman’s pregnant. If a couple agree that the woman will be responsible for any pregnancy then the man has some moral ground for getting out of child support, and that was the point I was making with the contracts. But if the man simply didn’t think about it - because many men and women have been conditioned to think of pregnancy as a woman’s problem - then he was irresponsible and short-sighted and should shoulder the financial consequences of his irresponsibility and short-sightedness.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-21 08:27:07

Point of simple, legal fact: a contract must be in place before an event takes place in order to hold up in US Courts, and I daresay the same is true in every other nation. Allowing a man to sign a no-support contract after learning the woman is pregnant would be like allowing a woman to sign an “I get everything” pre-nup after the man sues her for divorce. Contracts absolutely have to pre-empt the event for which they’re written.

The very idea that one can write a contract after the fact is preposterous.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-21 00:27:09

Scarlett, I agree with everything you said about women having less rights than men. This debate keeps sliding into issues that I have no argument against, instead of addressing the questions I am asking.

As you didn’t respond directly to my questions, I’ll ask them again in hopes of getting your answers this time:

You said “I’m open to the possibility that men and women can create written agreements in the case of pregnancy - for example, they share the cost of abortion or the woman shoulders the financial responsibility of raising the child on her own IF SHE WANTS THE CHILD THAT BADLY.”

That’s exactly what Dubay’s lawyers are advocating. A man has a short period of time after he learns of the pregnancy (a week or two) to either accept the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood of the child, or reject them. Do you agree with that suggestion?

I think unfair is unfair, regardles of who is treated unfairly - man or woman. Do you disagree?

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-21 01:54:51

I went a roundabout way to answering your question. I’ll be more concise.

I don’t believe men have the right to start bickering over paying child support AFTER the fact. If not wanting to support children they didn’t want was such an issue, they should have raised it before entering a sexual relationship. I’m open to the idea of consenting adults signing a contract which stipulates what happens in the event of pregnancy, but there should still be a default if the couple chose not to discuss it afterwards, and I believe that default should be forced shild support payments. Such a default would cover men who were too self-absorbed/irresponsible to think of it beforehand, and rapists. And it may just force men to be more upfront about their intentions.

Your suggestion seems to be that, in the case of an unexpected/unwanted pregnancy, a man can abdicate his responsibilities. So then who does it fall to? The woman? What remains of the US welfare system? It takes two people to create a baby, and in the absence of a pre-agreed arangement, I think both people should shoulder financial responsibility.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-21 02:05:04

Eureka! I think we figured out the solution. A non-reproduction contract that both parties enter into before starting a sexual relationship. The man can declare that he has no desire to have a child, and in the event of an unintended pregnacy, he has no legal obligation to the child. This way the woman knows his intentions, and can take actions she feels to be appropriate. Sounds like a winner to me!

I believe you mentioned something about Australian law in an earlier post. Are you Australian?

 
Comment by scarlett
2006-03-21 02:44:47

Yeah I’m Australian. I can’t find where I mentioned Australian law though.

I’m certainly open to the idea of a pregnancy contract (which wouldn’t be recognised in most countries at the moment) but my concern is that a woman might be so blinded by love that she’d sign something to the effect of ‘i have no interst in having children or paying for children I don’t want so if you fall pregnant it’s your responsibility’ because she thinks in the eventuality of pregnancy he’ll fall in love with the idea of a family. I guess that makes the woman delusional but it’s also about greater social issues like women’s socioeconomic dependance on men. But it would at least mean that people are honest about what would happen in the eventuality of pregnancy, and maybe enough women would refuse to enter a sexual relationship with men who planned to abdicate all responsibility that those men might think about taking responsibility.

 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-21 03:44:22

“my concern is that a woman might be so blinded by love that she’d sign something to the effect of ‘i have no interst in having children or paying for children I don’t want so if you fall pregnant it’s your responsibility’ because she thinks in the eventuality of pregnancy he’ll fall in love with the idea of a family.”

I’ve got two problems with this.

1. Are women too emotionally sensitive (blinded by love) to enter into a legally binding contract willingly?

2. Some women (not many, but not zero either) will get pregnant with a man who clearly states a desire to remain childless, hoping he will change his mind, as you state. Is it fair to force the obligations of fatherhood on him?

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-21 06:35:36

I think there are many more women who are blinded by love then there are men. I think it’s a conditioning, that women are raised to be financially and emotionally reliant on men, so contracts about the relationship get signed because the woman believes they will never come to fruition.

I have the same problem with pre-nups. As a pragmatic, educated woman, they make great sense; what’s mine remains mine, and what’s your’s remains your’s, and at the end of the marraige, we both leave with our own stuff. But there are plenty of women who have been conditioned to believe that divorce will never happen, that there husband will never screw them over, so whatever they sign is merely symbolic. And at the end of the marraige you get this: you signed away your rights to anything, regardless of your sacrificies, regardless of my indiscretions, you get nothing.

THat’s why I have a problem in practice with any pregnancy contract. Myself, I would kick the ass of any man who tried to fob off responsibility of pregnancy onto me. . And I’m sure if enough men came up against enough women like me, they would start to rethink their resonsibilities. But my concern is that there are enough women out there who are conditioned to think everything will work out fine, the love of their live will rescue them, who will sign a contract abdicating their rights to child support thinking the man will stand by her.

I guess that’s a social thing, and something that needs to be rectified by education. Women have to realise that they have to stand on their own two feet, and stand together. As I said, I’m a big fan of contracts; everyone knows where they stand from the get go. My concern is that there are women out there conditioned to have absolute faith in men who will sign anything in the name of love.

And yes, I believe there are women out there who will deliberately deceive a man to get pregnant, about the same amount as there are men who will sabotage contraceptive for the same reason (Desperate Hosuewives, anyone? I refuse to believe Carlos is merely a fictional character) - to keen the wo/man with them, or for financial reasons. Mia Farrow and Woody Allen come to mind. I think this is where a contract comes in. I think knowing where you stand from the get go will do a lot to mitigate people’s willingness to take you to court.

Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-21 08:24:43

When you get talking about conditioning though, men are conditioned too. Women are conditioned to invest in these obviously silly romantic fantasies, true. But Dubay was conditioned to think he’s entitled to stick his penis wherever it feels good without consequence and still think of himself as a resposible adult. Women are conditioned to think they need surgery for bigger boobs, but men are conditioned to think they’re better off with a surgically enhanced neurotic than a woman who might actually make them feel good.

At some point, we ALL have to take responsibility for overcoming the conditioning, and I can’t ask the Matt Dubays to get over it unless I ask the same thing of women.

So as far as contracts go, I expect grown adults to understand contracts that aren’t deliberately deceptive or contradictory (and those should be thrown out by judges, anyway). If they can’t, then they are not mature enough to be functioning adults.

 
 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-21 03:50:05

Regarding Australia: you wrote “In Australia there’s a squabble over legislating a new abortion pill…”

Comment by scarlett
2006-03-21 06:47:33

ah ok, that was a while ago. And that got sorted. The conservatives won.

 
 
Comment by Hank
2006-03-22 03:57:46

BetaCandy, did you hear the latest news about Debra Lafave, the teacher who admitted to having sex with one of her students (she was 23, he was 14)? She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 3 years of house arrest in one case. She was going to plead guilty in a second case (the rapes occured in two different counties). The judge refused the plea saying:

“honoring the plea agreement would undermine the credibility of the criminal justice system and erode public confidence in our schools.”

“Accepting the proposed plea agreement would likewise send the message that if enough publicity is generated, and the media’s interest continues long enough, and because of that interest the victim does not wish to testify, a defendant can avoid an appropriate sentence,”

“Quite frankly, if the allegations against the defendant are true, the agreed-upon sentence shocks the conscience of this court.”

The prosecutors then dropped the case against her.

When I heard this I thought of you and the discussion we had recently.

Any comments?

 
Comment by BetaCandy
2006-03-22 08:00:52

That you’re more concerned about the erosion of male privilege than about the establishment of equal rights? Or that maybe your main point in posting here is to promote that Russian scraper site you keep putting in your URL?

I felt some of your points were valid, and I addressed them. Others were ludicrous, such as the “let’s let people make a contract AFTER the fact” which tells me you know less about the law than my grandma watching Perry Mason. You aren’t informed enough to have a debate on this topic, if you don’t know contract law better than that.

You have continually snidely inferred that people aren’t answering YOUR precious questions, but there are plenty of ours you conveniently skipped.  But I understand that’s an important male privilege you expect to be afforded.
You are contributing nothing to this site anymore, despite being allowed to leave a record number of comments on one thread.

 

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