A US Men’s group is calling the feminist bluff with regard to “reproductive choice”. They say that if women have the “right” to abort any pregnancy without a man’s consent, the same right should exist for men who want to opt out of fatherhood.
This case is attracting a lot of attention but nowhere have I seen mention of the role of the welfare state in creating this dilemma. And it is a dilemma. What say should a male have in whether or not the female progresses with a pregnancy by him?
Most will disagree with me but as long as the state is going to fund single child-rearing, as of right, the father should be able to opt out. Having said that, it would be far better to just avoid the situation by taking responsibility for his own fertility.
If a female wants all the control over becoming a mother and the future of the child she should also have all the responsibility. That's tough on the child but it is the only way forward I can see.
If the state wasn't paying welfare then, on proof that the male is the biological father, the court should order he pay realistic child support, not simply a percentage of his earnings. In any case, the incidence of this happening would greatly reduce once the welfare incentive was removed.
My argument has always been that subsidised single-parenthood has lessened people's committment to each other and their children. It has made moving in and out relationships that have produced children, far too easy. It has created far more problems than it ever solved. Problems like this.
UPDATE; Cathy Young has written a column about this subject at Reason. She says, Sometimes, male complaints about women who get pregnant and ensnare men have strong overtones of misogyny—just as female tirades about men who cut and run easily turn to male-bashing. But not all women, and not all feminists, think alike. Feminist attorney Karen DeCrow, a former president of the National Organization for Women, has written that "autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice."
One can hardly castigate men for treating an unwanted child as a burden to be avoided unless one recognizes that prochoice feminism has fostered such a mentality. Given the biological differences between the sexes, there may be no way to find a balanced approach to reproductive rights that would be equally fair to women and men. But the issues raised by Feit's lawsuit deserve consideration.
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