Via Insty (wow, that is getting repetitive, but hey, people send him all the good stuff), further discussion of the matter of sexist inequality in reproductive rights. (IE, unless you are a woman, you don’t have any.)
Neo-neocon admits that there is an underlying inequality in reality – ie, women get pregnant and men don’t – but I have a big, big problem with people who demand “equality” for women suddenly coming down with a case of Reality Isn’t Equal when it suits their purposes.
Both female bloggers have pointed out that Reality Isn’t Equal, and they both believe that fathers have a moral duty to provide for their offspring, and that this moral duty to provide for their offspring is one which ought to be enshrined in law such that men who shirk this moral duty find themselves on the wrong side of the law and subject to its punishments.
I agree with this provision. However, back in the Reality of the Legal Environment, no woman anywhere is held to this standard, ever. At every single point in the process of parenting, society is arranged so that she can opt out, at any time, of any degree of responsibility towards her offspring that she desires. She doesn’t want to give birth? Abort the baby. She doesn’t want to raise the child? Give it up for adoption. She wants to raise the child? Well, there’s WIC and SNAP and TANF and Social Services and public education (with free breakfast and lunch!) to fill in and provide facsimiles of what an involved father would provide to an intact family. Because it’s For the Children and Compassionate, don’cha know.
Meanwhile, the father has no right to know about the existence of the child; even if he does know, gaining custody of the child if the mother is abandoning it via adoption is incredibly difficult; and if the mother does go on welfare to replace what a father would have provided, the state requires her (better late than never! /sarc) to divulge the name of the father so that she may receive assistance while the state extorts money from the man so named. At no point does he have ANY of the above options, so helpfully provided by the state, to ameliorate the burden of parenthood: in fact, it’s very likely for the state to command him to produce more money than is actually possible for him (due to poor wages or job loss), and then throw him into jail for failing to produce it.
And then when this problem gets a little attention, the women collectively say “Man up!” (Althouse) or “There’s no good solutions!” (neo)
Okay, well, maybe if your definition of “good” means “politically likely to happen” or “preserving the privileged status quo of women in society.”
Historical evidence is now in, that providing more welfare benefits to single mothers than to intact families has resulted in: more bastard spawn, more crime, more poverty, and a truly stunning level of societal breakdown among underclasses in First World countries around the globe. The obvious solution: stop giving welfare benefits to sluts with kids.
Sure, it’s not Compassionate(TM) – but by simply saying, “You know what, ladies? Unless you get the father of your baby to consent to support that child, the state’s not gonna come in and pick up the slack. If the two of you together can’t make ends meet, then we’ll help the both of you. But only if it IS the BOTH of you.”
It’s not ever going to happen politically – sluts vote, as the Democrat party so helpfully reminded us – but this is exactly what will happen when the money runs out and the 1% at the top (which includes all the politicians) cash out and leave the ignorant underclass to fend for themselves. And in the meantime, all those welfare benefits that go to
Heroic Single Mothers Sluts With Kids just ensure that for the women trapped on the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, having kids without their fathers in the picture is essentially the rational choice. It’s not the moral choice, and it’s not the choice that’s good for the children or for the rest of society – but it IS the choice that’s good for the individual women. Women want to have kids. Living with another adult human being and having to make compromises and do the hard work of relationship-building is damn difficult, especially if you’ve never actually seen a functional husband/wife relationship before and every voice on the TV is telling you that women need men like fish need bicycles and Men are OPPRESSIVE and your babymomma Grrrl Powrrr is all your kids need in life. (If the men in your community actually are oppressive, controlling, self-centered jerks totally unsuited for fatherhood, this is going to sound very good to you.)
Notice what my “good” solution is, and isn’t. Nothing about abortion; that’s still unequally weighted toward the woman, so no arguing about “my body my choice.” No restrictions on putting kids up for adoption. No taking away all of welfare benefits; not even requiring the parents to be married or cohabiting, just that both be contributing towards the raising of the child. (Presumably, based on current arrangements, the mother would have custody and the father would be paying child support.) BUT, women would know up-front that taxpayer-funded “Babymomma” is not a career option for the woman who wants to sleep around indiscriminately. She’d need to be a little more choosy about whose baby to carry, since whether or not she’d be eligible to receive taxpayer support would be based on whether or not the father of her child was voluntarily helping support the child. And rather than having the current system, in which the state pays out support and then goes after the father to recoup welfare costs, the state could still go after the father for child support – but if he didn’t pay… the woman and her child would have to find some other way to make ends meet, through family and community rather than cash handed out willy-nilly through the government.
And if you’re worried about the kids left starving on the street in this scenario – why don’t YOU do something about that, instead of having the government pick everyone’s pocket and create the perfect scenario for there to be even more irresponsible women and children in “disadvantaged” home environments? The problem right now is that ALL the negative consequences fall on the male, and absolutely NONE of them on the female, who also gets the added perks of having other people pick up the costs of her behavior (encouraging the female to make poor choices) – so as a matter of “good” solutions, there aren’t any that won’t require some form of negative consequence to fall on women’s heads. Period. This literally cannot be fixed until women feel the pain of the consequences of their actions – and putting the children in peril as a result of their parents’ choices (right up until the mother is deemed an unfit parent and the child taken by social services) is what’s ALREADY HAPPENING NOW. Making that peril a little more scary for the prospective mother is not likely to result in children starving on the streets: it may well result in more children taken by social services until the underclass culture adjusts, but that can of worms can be dealt with separately.