Thursday, March 09, 2006

To father, or not

Rob has some advice for men everywhere :

If you can't father, don't F@&^.

Of course, he didn't censor. While I believe Rob and I arrive at the same conclusions, I have a different take on the matter. While he, and other commenters, have offered that this is a stupid lawsuit, I honestly think this man has a point. A point I don't agree with, but a point.

From Foxenews:

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. The activists involved hope to spark discussion even if they lose.
"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."

They are absolutely right. A woman can be just as irresponsible as a man by having unprotected sex, and while that woman has a "choice" (albeit a difficult one), the man is at the mercy of whatever that woman decides. He's a sorta-father. A father if the mom decides he is. While the man in the lawsuit complains that he is now a father against his will, what about the man who sits helpless while is child is sucked into a sink (I can hear the chants now - MY BODY, MY CHOICE.)
Dubay says he has been ordered to pay $500 a month in child support for a girl born last year to his ex-girlfriend. 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.

Ok, now for this reason alone the man is a total (farking) moron. Situation: A 19 year-old woman tells you she cannot get pregnant. You:

A) Do the happy dance because now you don't have to wear a condom.
B) Nod your head, but opt for the rubber as added protection, because, -obviously - what 19 year old would know that with any degree of certainty?
C) Run in the other direction because this woman is obviously lying.

Our little friend chose "A", so he is a moron.

State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society's interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents. Melanie Jacobs, a Michigan State University law professor, said the federal court might rule similarly in Dubay's case.
"The courts are trying to say it may not be so fair that this gentleman has to support a child he didn't want, but it's less fair to say society has to pay the support," she said.
Feit, however, says a fatherhood opt-out wouldn't necessarily impose higher costs on society or the mother. A woman who balked at abortion but felt she couldn't afford to raise a child could put the baby up for adoption, he said.

See, this is my major gripe with this lawsuit; that it is all about the money. As if financial support of a man is "enough." The state doesn't care if a man doesn't actually "father" the child, as long as he pays for it. And this men's organization is arguing that it isn't enough that he doesn't "father", he wants to get out of "paying" as well. So, you see - I have a problem with BOTH positions of this argument. Which is why I find it interesting, not stupid. The plaintiff doesn't expect to win this lawsuit, he even says that. He want's to get a "debate" started on this issue. Fine, let's debate. I think there is something wrong with BOTH sides.

Now, for the most ironic position, we have NOW's Kim Gandy :

"None of these are easy questions," said Gandy, a former prosecutor. "But most courts say it's not about what he did or didn't do or what she did or didn't do. It's about the rights of the child."

GET THAT? The "rights of the child?" I thought it was all about the woman's right to choose? The child has no rights while it is inside a woman, right? I guess the pecking order goes: woman's right to choose, the child's rights (to financial support only) , and then- way down there - a man's rights.

I have an idea; why don't we teach kids that the "reason" for sex is babies. Somewhere between the discussions of how to put condoms on cucumbers, and how to explore your varied expressions of sexuality, we introduce the idea that maybe you should only have sex with someone you feel strongly enough for that if a pregnancy occurred, you could deal with the consequences without a lawsuit.