An interesting interchange of blogging has been going on between Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds; here’s the latest I’ve read. (Insty rarely comments at such length.)
But here’s the thing. Ann believes that men should not be protected from the potential consequences of promiscuous sex – as in, if there is a child, that child must be supported: the right and just solution is that the child be supported by both biological parents rather than the taxpayer. This is a noble and laudable principle, in theory.
The problem is, she’s pro-abortion, and sees only “whining” when men complain that they are drafted into parenthood, EVEN IF it is by outright fraud on the part of the woman. (Men, if she says it’s an “ooops” pregnancy and won’t abort or adopt out the kid, assume she got pregnant on purpose and is lying to you about it. Get the kid paternity tested, especially if she throws an epic bitchfit over the very thought.)
What Ann doesn’t seem to realize is that in the current social and legal climate, women get to have all the free-from-consequences sex they want – and as part of the “free from consequences” part, they bill the males if the woman’s desired outcome is transition from single woman to babymomma. You can pompously say all day that the man should have been less promiscuous with his sperm if he didn’t want to become a parent liable to the state for child support, but the truth of the matter is, if a female gets to have all the promiscuous sex she wants along with absolute control of whether or not she accepts the burden of motherhood after conception, i.e. she may unilaterally abort her child, then it is outrageously unjust to not offer the male a similar post-conception opt-out from parental responsibility. If having sex is biological consent to parenthood for men, then it should be equally binding consent to parenthood upon women, unequal biology re: pregnancy be damned. “She has to bear the child for nine months in her body!” is no better a get-out-of-responsibility-free card than “He has to financially support the child for 21 years!” Imagine being thrown in jail: which sentence would you rather have? Nine months or twenty years? Yet somehow the nine months is an unconscionable impingement on the freedom of women, while the twenty years is a man’s just desserts for having sex, the pervert!
So Ann, as a woman, is defending other women’s right to consequence-free promiscuous sex at the cost of men and mocking men and telling them she’s not sympathetic to their desire for equally free-from-consequences sex.
This attitude is why, when pro-abortion people ask if pro-lifers are willing to lock women seeking abortions in prison for nine months and commit the hysterical imaginary crime of “forced birth,” I am tempted to look them straight in the eye and say, “Yes, I AM willing to throw a pregnant woman into a padded cell in a straightjacket and force-feed her with a tube down her throat for nine months, and then forcibly sterilize her for good measure so that she’ll never be able to seek an abortion again.” Because our society routinely throws men – often the men lowest on the socioeconomic scale – into prison for failure to pay child support. Where God knows what will happen to them. (Abortion is very serious. Prison rape is not serious, because it happens to dirty men who deserved it anyway, and the inability to hold a job in prison or afterward as a consequence of prison and therefore render the man even more unable to pay child support does not occur to these geniuses.)
Sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. If women can’t be told to keep their slutty legs crossed, why should men have to keep it in their pants? Either punish promiscuity for both sexes by making them equally responsible for what happens after conception (i.e., the civilized Western way, which did in fact include women getting super-secret illegal abortions from doctors, as long as they made sure nobody else knew they were pregnant yet), or give them both the “opt-out” card. I’m sure we can find or build some handy crevasses near all our population centers to serve as modern Apothetae so that the taxpayer need not be unduly burdened by the unwanted offspring. */sarc*
So yeah. I don’t have any respect for Althouse’s position. Either you’re pro-life and the welfare of the child demands that both father AND mother be conscripted to its care from the point at which either one of them knows of its existence – OR “man up” and be logically consistent and allow unwanted children to be discarded like waste by both parents. As long as a promiscuous woman has all the options after conception – abortion, adoption, or motherhood subsidized by the state (which extracts the money from taxpayers and from whichever male the mother chooses to name) – and men have, quite literally, NO options after conception other than “wait and see what the mother will choose”… yeah. It’s not whining.
But of course, if your worldview requires you to uphold the Sisterhood at the expense of reason and justice, that’s exactly what you’ll call anyone who points out the gross injustice of our current system. A whiner.
How about this? If a woman gets pregnant and the father (ascertained by DNA testing, because women are unrepentant liars when it comes to paternity) takes his abortion-equivalent right of swearing off, in perpetuity, any responsibility for the child he doesn’t want, then the woman and her child receive no welfare from the state. If the man won’t pay, the government won’t pay either, and the woman gets to exercise her Free Choice by paying for it by her own goddamn self. And if, “for the best interests of the child,” it’s found that she cannot support her offspring, well, there are plenty of people who want to adopt babies.
Any women who object to this proposition that they pay for the results of their own choices will hereafter be labeled “whiners” and their concerns ruthlessly mocked.