Now here's where I have a problem with a lot of what's being said here. My interpretation of this comment is that you're painting any man who doesn't agree with you as a selfish mercenary. This is patently unfair.
"Legal fatherhood." That's the point of the thread, right? Most of that is money. Child support, namely. How often you have visitation, care for the kid yourself if you choose, but definitely money. Should men have to care for and pay for a child they didn't want. Should there be any responsibility outside of "I wore a condom" for men. That's the question. To me, if you take more precautions, then NO, it is not fair. But the precautions to date are extreme at best for most men. We don't have precautions with guaranteed results.
There is no balanced thing anywhere in this debate. Any. Where. And as my first post said.. There are so many unbalanced factors women deal with in their daily lives, that this ONE aspect seems very nit picky in comparison, considering the amount of control men potentially have over the situation.
It's that in today's society, there's a vast difference between responsibility vs. choice for men and women.
And I am saying there are plenty of choices, they just factor in much earlier than an unwanted pregnancy.
I said above that I agreed 100% with Marmotini that responsibility for conceiving a child is as much a man's responsibility as a woman's, and I meant it. The thing is... that one conception has occurred, a man's choice on what he would like to happen next is completely irrelevant, irrespective of the consequences of parenthood. A woman still has options. Yes, those options are not simple, and may be painful on physical, emotional, financial, social, etc. levels. But it's undeniable that she has those options - and she *should* have those options.
But if a conception is accidental (in the minds of both the man and the woman), and a woman doesn't feel ready, be it for whatever reason - financial, maturity, professional, etc. to be a parent, she can choose to have an abortion, give the child up for adoption, etc. The man - legally -- can't.
If you say she should have those options, than they are there no matter what. So now, we consider where the man comes into the picture here. We're talking about men not wanting a child (not the woman.. A completely different topic to me, since she already has the freedom of choice you're seeking here.) at all to be fathered by him. Legally speaking.
He's obligated to do whatever she wishes, regardless of how it will affect his life. She can change her mind, for any reason. He can't. His ability to make decisions on the matter is over. But hers isn't. Granted -- the immediate consequences of a pregnancy are by no means equal - which is *why* her opinion matters, and his is basically inconsequential.
My point is that there is not going to be an equal scale. There is NOTHING in neither the actions before or the pregnancy after that forces a man to change his body. If we allow a man's decision to influence entirely the legal way a woman deals with her own physical body, than he too can change his mind on a whim. The concept that someone else's opinion is enough to get a change in health status outside of a doctor... I'd prefer it to be the person owning the body.
It's why I never once said that men should be forced to get vasectomies. It's why I made such an extreme case for them. Because it is NOT right to tell a man to change his body to suit the needs of anyone else. I don't think dudes that have 20 kids from 20 different women should be forced to have a vasectomy. I don't think anyone should be told what is best for them outside of their doctors and their own hearts.
The article is talking about legal issues--but that's a narrow scope. Too narrow for this crazy of a topic. The money is not what makes this so tricky. The right to privacy and the right to one's own body, and how big of a factor biological fatherhood plays in current legal issues (an outdated system imo) ARE what's truly at legal play here. It is forced upon men because of those two issues--and they are issues that are hard to argue for changing. It isn't about money alone, and whether a dude has to pay child support for a kid he doesn't want even if he used a condom.
While the consequences are almost certainly of greater magnitude for her, the woman, post-conception, can do what she thinks is best for her own life. The man, who has lesser (but still does have very large) consequences cannot. In this respect, his complete lack of choice is absolutely not "fair". But hey, life isn't fair, and with respect to this issue (at least in today's society, given the relative lack of social support to single parents), the legal situation as it is now is probably as good as it's going to get.
Which I've stated time and time again in my posts. How it is now is as fair as it will ever get for every complicated aspect of this issue. I don't see it getting fixed without more extreme alternatives being put into place.
I'm not going to restate every concept in this thread I agree with--there were plenty. I stuck to the stuff I did not agree with, and expounded upon why. Those do not ever invalidate my first and ultimate point on the issue, which I mentioned in my very first post.
This is one of those things where men are going to say, "Hell no it isn't fair!Stupid double standards! " and women are going to say, "Tough shit because EVERYTHING ELSE we put up with isn't fair! You can be stuck with ONE thing!"
There is no logical thing as a forced parent (outside of extreme circumstances that can truly be awarded the title, as Marmotini pointed out.). Especially in today's day and age with so many options available. To assume there is such little amount of choices and control is to neglect the entire process. Women have more options throughout the entire thing.. for men, it stops after a while. But that doesn't mean men lack choices or options.
For what it's worth, I think if a man WANTS to keep a baby and a female doesn't, she ought to have the heart to carry it to delivery and hand it over so that the man can be a father to it. I think women take advantage of their lengthier decision making times against men who don't really look at that aspect on the road ahead of them--and I feel bad for those men when that happens. But that's what happens with humanity in general--if you have the option to do something, chances are you're going to do it. I don't think women are selfish assholes just because they biologically have a lengthier decision making process. I also think no one should think abortion is the ending of a life before the third trimester. But these are personal opinions. They don't matter to the legal aspects that the OP is talking about. I stuck my personal opinion at the bottom--that money has nothing to do with parenthood. But that's a bit regardless of the OP.
There is literally NO way of making this balance out perfectly for both sides. And in a culture where men haven't gotten it right in terms of treating women equally in so many other aspects of life, Yeah, I tend to favor the women in this issue. There's another life at stake.
There is no way to make this right for both sides. But there are more factors to support keeping it like it is rather than changing it--and contraceptive evolution is one of the very things *supporting* that, not changing it.
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The woman can opt out via abortion because she is the one who carries a child to term, thus changing her physicality and ability to remain competitive in her job market. (Doc appts, time away, etc). The man she had sex with is not physically changed during this time. Lets all remember it hasn't been very long since laws were in place to protect women against firing or discrimination when pregnant.
Men do have a choice as lots chose not to pay support. Yes, they risk losing money from garnishment if she goes through courts but a lot of women do not have money for lawyers either. Not too long ago there was no outlet in court for child support. You had a "bastard" and you were shamed while that very man was well on his way.
The OP is essentially saying that if neither party wants responsibility then either can opt out - out of *fairness* ? Seems idealistic. Does she want us to go back to the 50's?
Whose responsibility is it? All of ours because we pay taxes.
You did the deed, gotta man up. No pun intended. And if you don't want to, we are all here as a collective society to bail man and woman out.
Let me guess? You accidentally knocked some gal up? It's the only thing that makes sense really due to the fact that this is the second thread that you've now created on this.
LMAO I started the discussion because I thought it was a controversial op/ed, particularly by a female academic of gender studies. I'm also pretty sure this is the only thread I've created on this. My views are not synonymous with the author's.
And yes, as EcK mentioned, I'm a woman.
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