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» Compulsory parenthood is for women only from I See Invisible People
While South Dakota, Mississippi and Missouri have or are working a ban for all abortions, a mens rights group calling themselves The National Center for Men is backing a lawsuit by Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Michigan. He claims that he should not ... [Read More]

Comments

Michelle

Have you heard about South Dakota yet? They're pushing thru legistion for state-enforced pregnancy.

AKA an all-out abortion ban. Which just makes the reality official, I suppose.

Next up: separate fountains for coloureds.

Michelle

What exactly would a man be getting "compensated" for here? One sperm? Because that's all he put in (no pun intended). That clump of cells that is the fetus was made entirely from the woman's body. Does /she/ get compensation for all the resources /she's/ devoted up to the point of abortion?

As initial investments go, it's a pretty small loss if a man loses a few sperm in the effort to get a baby by having someone else do all the work. Wow. My heart bleeds.

The Happy Feminist

Amanda at Pandagon has often spoken of a factor I had never thought of before: the subconscious (or maybe even overt) assumption that the baby is the man's product. As soon as the man does his bit, voila, we have HIS creation that must be preserved! In reality, of course, we don't have much of anything until the woman's body engages in the intensive labor of taking the fertilized egg and turning it into a baby. Amanda talks a lot about the idea that anti-choicers simply ignore the fact that the man's contribution is so minimal-- sure it's 50% his DNA but look at what's required of the woman to turn that clump of DNA into a BABY.

My first response upon exposure to this idea (that anti-choicers value the man's contribution to creating the child more than the woman's) was, "Naaaah. That can't be." But then the more I hear anti-choicers talk, the more it rings true . . .

Anyway I think it's helpful to constantly point out the WORK and BURDEN and RISK that pregnancy really is and that it is the woman's role in reproduction that really creates the baby from the basic materials contributed by both sexes. (Not that I don't think men matter -- they're certainly very decorative. Especially Will.)

Sara

One of my very first blog posts was on this subject. My gist was that unexpected children are an inherent risk to living, and that men simply cannot decide for women whether or not they are to carry a child to term. Accidents happen, and you have to pay for them even if they're not your fault. It seems like some men feel entitled to consequence-free sex in a way that no woman can; every woman knows that when she has sex, there is the possibility that something will go wrong and she'll become unexpectedly pregnant, no matter the precautions taken. It's an immediate, physical risk - she will either have to have a child or an abortion, and neither is a walk in the park. A woman can't just walk away from an accidental pregnancy, and if we're going to be fair about this, I don't see why a man should feel morally justified in doing so.

The Happy Feminist

That's a really well-balanced post, Sara. Maybe the best solution is to go triple on the birth control:

condom plus pill plus IUD! (or whatever other options suit your fancy!)

nik

I don't think most C4Mers are all that bad.

The interesting case is this one: (1) the woman doesn't want the child, (2) the woman doesn't want (or doesn't get) an abortion, (3) the man wants the child. Most C4Mers I've spoken to have no problem with the woman unilaterally disavowing parental rights in this situation. I think that's perfectly consistent (and equal).

The only other position that can be held in this situation is that the only way a woman can avoid paying child support is by undergoing unwanted surgery, or that the child should be adopted against the father's wishes. I don't really like C4M, but neither of the other options make me very happy either.

TangoMan

Sara,

every woman knows that when she has sex, there is the possibility that something will go wrong and she'll become unexpectedly pregnant, no matter the precautions taken.

How much do you think that this awareness influences other aspects of personality. Here we have an intellectual awareness haivng influence over all sorts of sex-related decisions. Do you think that such a consequence-heavy awareness slips over into other decision realms, and perhaps causes an over-emphasis on consequence related issues which men parse through a different filter?

will

"A woman can't just walk away from an accidental pregnancy, and if we're going to be fair about this, I don't see why a man should feel morally justified in doing so."

"It seems like some men feel entitled to consequence-free sex in a way that no woman can"

Ok. I'll bite. Let's agree that both the man and the woman are not morally justified in walking away.

What does that mean?

Michelle

Do you think that such a consequence-heavy awareness slips over into other decision realms, and perhaps causes an over-emphasis on consequence related issues which men parse through a different filter?

What kind of leading question are you asking here? Sounds like you're trying to suggest that women are inclined to be "too" responsible. Whatever that means. If it weren't for your loaded wording ("over-emphasis"), one would think you were suggesting /men/ were inclined to be irresponsible. Yet that's not the meaning that comes across at all. Interesting.

Darren

Then we disagree.

You're looking only at the abortion issue. I'm looking at the entire legal issue surrounding the birth of a child.

I still don't see how you can say what we have now is "fair", how both sexes are equal before the law. You want guys to practice "safe sex"? Women can too! That arguement doesn't fly with me.

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