I was very surprised by how many up-votes I got for my 2 cents on the question "Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?"
309 (by 1PM June 15) is not shabby at all. I thought at most I would get 10. But there's no telling how many down votes I would have received if the NYTimes had made that an option. Certainly some of the crankier respondents to my comment would have down-voted me, especially Terrence from Cincinnati who said, in part:
...Consider suggest a contrary position: that the art of contraception has so advanced that unless a woman signifies otherwise a man may assume the woman has taken steps to prevent pregnancy. If medical remedies advance to the point wherein a man simply has take a Plan-z pill, then perhaps he might be held to be equally responsible...
If this was Facebook I would engage in a debate, but the comments are closed - the NYTimes ain't no Facebook.
I will say that it's remarkable he thinks the "art of contraception" is so advanced that any man engaging in intercourse with a woman can simply assume that she's taken precautions against pregnancy, and so if a man does impregnate a woman - Terrence clearly implies - he is not to blame and should not be forced into fatherhood. Because in his mind the default position is automatic no-fail birth control.
But his best statement is:
Nancy's remarks sound like a commonly encountered brand of feminism associated with lesbian hatred of men.
I really have to wonder how things are there in Cincinnati for Terrance to declare the brand of feminism associated with lesbian hatred of men "commonly encountered."
I was wondering when men would start to squeal about being forced into legal fatherhood after they became unwilling biological fathers. This was not an issue until the very recent development of cheap and routine DNA testing completely screwed (so to speak) the traditional male option of denial or running off.
As I noted in my NYTimes comment, the reason that men could always be so casual about heterosexual sex (well, besides the whole rape-potential issue and the double-standards issue) compared to women is because the stakes have always been lower for men as far as unwanted pregnancy. And now, suddenly, that playing field has been leveled. In the past the woman was always left holding the bag if the man so chose - and millions did - but now suddenly men are on the hook. And of course they hate that.
Now to be fair I could have tempered my last statement "And men don't want to give up the old unfair advantage" with "some men" although we really don't know what the percentages are. And people generally don't like to give up any kind of advantage, fair or not.
Maybe one issue with me is that my father loved being a dad. And he certainly wasn't the kind of person to run out. He was a rock. So it's hard for me to sympathize with men who think they can hit and run. Although I am very pro-choice I can't agree that because a woman could have an abortion in the case of unwanted pregnancy it means she should if the man is unwilling to be a father. And if she doesn't have the abortion, this position says, society should permit the man to refuse all responsibility for the child.
DNA testing really does change things - men have to take more care in where they stick their penises now than ever before - and wow does that make some men mad. They want society to give them their old advantage back. Well too bad.