Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How to Piss Me Right Off

Every time I read an op-ed about unwanted fatherhood, I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, then grab a hatchet and run through town swinging randomly. I'm speakign figuratively of course.

Comes now Matt Dubay with a proposal to make things worse. A 25-year-old computer programmer in Michigan, Dubay wants to know why it is only women who have "reproductive rights." He is upset about having to pay child support for a baby he never wanted.

Not only did his former girlfriend know he didn't want children, says Dubay, she had told him she was infertile. When she got pregnant nonetheless, he asked her to get an abortion or place the baby for adoption. She decided instead to keep her child and secured a court order requiring him to pay $500 a month in support.

Not fair, Dubay complains. His ex-girlfriend chose to become a mother. It was her choice not to have an abortion, her choice to carry the baby to term, her choice not to have the child adopted.

She even had the option, under the "baby safe haven" laws most states have enacted, to simply leave her newborn at a hospital or police station.

Roe v. Wade gives her and all women the right — the constitutional right! — to avoid parenthood and its responsibilities.

Dubay argues that he should have the same right, and has filed a federal lawsuit that his supporters are calling "Roe v. Wade for men." Drafted by the National Center for Men, it contends that as a matter of equal rights, men who don't want a child should be permitted, early in pregnancy, to get "a financial abortion," releasing them from any future responsibility to the baby.

Jacoby is, for once in his long benighted career, correct that Mr. Dubay just makes things worse. He concedes Dubay has a point, but not much of one.
I do not have any data in front of me, but something tells me that the percentage of guys in Dubay's position (and mine: I'm nowhere near forgetting the circumstances in which I was told that I was a father and that was that; and as previous posts will remind you, I am painfully aware of the fact that I got fucked out of fatherhood, giving up 25% of my meager paycheck every fucking month for a kid I see for a week every other month, and somehow this is fair) are a lot fewer than the number of women who are impregnated by irresponsible men and left to fend for themselves.

The only way in which Dubay's point is valid is if women are constitutionally guaranteed the right to an abortion, and the state provided a generous safety net. But they're not, and it doesn't, and Roe v. Wade for Men if enacted in today's circumstances would be nothing but a tool for feckless men to get out of responsibility for their children.

Which is exactly the conclusion that the normally brainless sack of guts named Jeff Jacoby arrives at.
For men, legal choices end with the decision to have sex. If conception takes place, he can be forced to accept the abortion of a baby he wants — or to spend at least the next 18 years turning over a chunk of his income to support a child he didn’t want.

All true. But it is also true that predatory males have done enormous damage to American society, and the last thing our culture needs is one more way for men to escape accountability for the children they father.

It would've been easier for me, emotionally,if I had just cut bait at the time and agreed to support provided I never saw my son. The shit I go through every single waking minute I would only wish on my worst enemy, the panic attacks, the spontaneous emotional overloads, bah. I don't care about it when I see my son.

Dubay's "point" to me is further undermined by the child's existence, because once a child is involved the rules of the game are fundamentally changed, and I don't mean this in legalistic terms although that is certainly so.

You can't abandon blood. It's impossible. The blood bond haunts you.
That blood bond is some tough stuff.


Blogger Brendan said...

and even then, Jacoby is a fucking moron because the guy doesn't carry the baby or murse it or any of that shit.
Gah. Conservatives,even when they almost get it they don't.

11:30 PM  

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