Child support and male entitlement

The more I hear men’s rights activists fulminating about the unfairness of child support, the more I wonder how typical my situation is, and whether there are any general lessons to be drawn about expectations of men and women when it comes to child-raising.

My relationship with the father of my child ran into difficulties before my pregnancy was even confirmed. Initially, we hoped to live together, but it quickly became clear that there were too many barriers, both logistical and emotional, for this to be a viable possibility, at least for a few years. I did some research into the rights and obligations of a non-custodial parent and found that although I would be entitled to a certain level of support as a custodial parent, I wasn’t legally obliged to demand it.

I had no desire to take him for every penny I could get: he was someone I cared deeply about but couldn’t live with. Since bearing and raising a child would affect my ability to work, and since I hoped he would want to see his child well cared-for, I envisaged a compromise whereby he made voluntary support payments and was in other ways an active father.

I reckoned without his stubbornness and commitment to traditional family structures. He informed me that it would be better for the child if he was in no way involved, since this would free me up to find a stepfather I could live with and build an approximation of a traditional family. That I have emotional problems that would make the search for a stepfather the worst possible fate I could inflict on myself or the child did not enter into his thinking: the child needed two parents who lived together, and since we couldn’t provide that, he didn’t want to be involved.

Later, he tried to soften that approach by saying that we lived too far apart to make visitation practical. If I lived closer to him, he suggested, it would be far easier to work something out. When I finally ended the relationship, he said that he’d hoped we would be able to find a solution, although I’m not sure what that solution should have been. I can only assume it would have involved my seeing the light and moving halfway across the country to live close to someone who had proved himself incapable of respecting anything about me that he didn’t agree with.

When I look back over the uglier arguments, I’m struck by how often he tried to put both blame and responsibility on me for the fact that he’d fathered a child without being ready for fatherhood. My explanation that I hoped to get pregnant was rendered meaningless by my statement that I’m committed to a woman’s right to choose. That I told him I wasn’t using any birth control wasn’t enough: I should also have told him the date of my last menstrual period. He believes that a child needs a father figure on the spot, therefore I had to enter another relationship despite my own understanding of myself.

I’ve also been told by family members that I’m not being fair to him and should have done more to make the relationship work. I don’t know what more I could have done without sacrificing my self-esteem and my plans for the future on the altar of his personal convenience, but I suspect that is a sacrifice I was expected to make. Not for him, of course, but for the child. It would be equally reasonable to expect him to move halfway across the country to be closer to me, but no-one is demanding that. Because I have no job to leave? Because I’m a woman? Because all my reasons for not wanting to move have been sifted through the mesh of rationality and found wanting?

The bottom line is that we both made a choice when we engaged in unprotected sex, and that choice has consequences for both of us. I go through the discomforts and dangers of pregnancy and childbirth and have the joyful but heavy responsibility of a child at the end of it. He has to pay a percentage of his income to support the child.

And yet he’s the one who feels treated unfairly.

This entry posted in Anti-feminists and their pals, Choice for Men, Families structures, divorce, etc. Bookmark the permalink. 

258 Responses to Child support and male entitlement

  1. 101
    crella says:

    ‘We have a divorce, and I get half of the eggs.” Why would you get half? They’re hers. Fertilized embryoes, yes. Eggs, I doubt it. But, if this did happen, once YOU have sole control over them and how they’re used, she ceases to be responsible for them. It’s the same principle as sperm donors being exempt from being sued for child support.’

    In recent news was the story of a woman who used her husband’s sperm well after their divorce to concieve, had the child and is now asking for child support. If divorced women can have their ex’s sperm, why can’t the man have the ex’s eggs?

    ‘once YOU have sole control over them and how they’re used, she ceases to be responsible for them. ‘

    So in this line of reasoning, why is a man responsible for the results of his sperm after he’s lost control of it?

  2. 102
    crella says:

    ‘Boo-hoo, boo-hoo I came in her doesn’t that mean I get to tell her what to do? It used to be that way, boo-hoo boo-hoo. Why couldn’t the world stay unjust until after my death?’

    Intercourse takes two…why should not both individuals have an opinion as to what happens afterwards? Men are not asking for the right to ‘tell women what to do’ but to even be able to discuss it…current law allows the woman to get an abortion without consulting the partner at all.

  3. 103
    ginmar says:

    Oh, Jesus Fucking Christ already. Men and women already do have a choice, Crella, and it’s been discussed to death here.

    They have choices at different times in the process. This is because of biology. Once the sperm leaves the guy’s body, he’s done with it.

    Men have to deal with the fact that their choices occurs a great deal sooner than women’s. This is because women carry the pregancy. Deal with it.

    And I wish to Christ someone would pound this really fact into people heads because it’s getting to be really damned old to hear it again and again from people who evidently flunked Biology 101.

  4. 104
    piny says:

    Men already have the right to discuss their partners’ pregnancies. They can talk all they damn well please. It’s just that their wishes have no bearing on the woman’s decision. She has the final say in what happens inside her uterus. Men can choose not to conceive children by insisting on either birth control or abstention. If they don’t want women to have control over their sperm–which includes possibly making babies with it, babies that have two biological parents who share responsibility for conception–they should refrain from leaving it inside women’s bodies.

    Nick, moreover, did not save a condom–like most women. The man involved didn’t use one. Does that mean Nick has every right to demand his contribution as a parent, even though he demanded after the fact that Nick abort?

  5. 105
    pennywit says:

    I realize I’m a latecomer and have no real authority, influence, or even right to speak here, but one thing occurs.

    If a close friend told me about this sort of problem, I would strongly urge her to spring for a family attorney rather than just your own research. You can’t anticipate all contingencies, and a good, experienced family attorney can help you in that regard.

    –|PW|–

  6. 106
    Amanda says:

    Emma, you’re completely off base. That’s like saying that someone showing up at your house and handing you a $100 bill is the equivalent to someone showing up and dumping a big pile of shit in your hands. The latter could be considered assault.

    But if someone gives you a $100 bill, you have the right to spend it or burn it. If someone dumps a big pile of shit in your living room, that’s offensive by any standard. Totally different.

  7. 107
    mythago says:

    current law allows the woman to get an abortion without consulting the partner at all

    Do you think that ‘current law’ should require the woman to sign a form saying her male partner has been told, or bring in a permission slip? Or what?

    Fertilized embryoes, yes.

    Fertilized embryos, no.

  8. 108
    lucia says:

    In recent news was the story of a woman who used her husband’s sperm well after their divorce to concieve, had the child and is now asking for child support. If divorced women can have their ex’s sperm, why can’t the man have the ex’s eggs?

    Do you mean >this recent story?

    It’s undeniably a very weird story, but the couple is still married. They seem to have been estranged a long time. At least one baby was conceived using the frozen sperm. That baby is 8 months old. A second is on it’s way. (The story doesn’t say if the father is the woman’s estranged husband or someone else.)

    You can read various answers to your hypothetical in question in the newspaper article. But, the direct answer is, evidently, she can’t have access to his sperm unless he gives permission, which she claims she got. (The man claims the form is forged and is suing the notary.)

  9. 109
    mythago says:

    And she’s not his “ex-wife.” If she were, then he would not be presumed the father.

  10. 110
    Sheelzebub says:

    “If a woman lies to a man , for instance tells him she is on the pill when she isn’t, he has intercourse presuming a child will not result. If she decieves him and concieves, it’s her decision. She made the decision to have the child without his consent….it’s her responsibility.”

    Except that Nick told her partner that she was actively trying to get pregnant, wasn’t using birth control, and would continue with any resulting pregnancy.

  11. 111
    Barbara says:

    There is a saying that lawyers have, that “hard cases make bad law,” which means that adopting general rules based on outlier situations tends to bring about illogical and unfair results. So again without discussing Nick’s situation specifically, there is a big difference between the “average” predicament faced by a dad to be, in which neither he nor his partner wanted or expected to face a pregnancy (even if they should have known better) and a situation in which a woman “knowingly deceives” or tricks her partner into having intercourse that turns out to be unprotected, or, for heaven’s sake, where an adult woman engages in statutory rape of a minor but sexually mature boy. Nick isn’t in any of these camps, but I would venture that her situation is also pretty rare.

    So is the law justified in overlooking these “nuances” and applying a the general rule (you are obligated to support anything that bears your DNA)? I tend to think that allowances should be made — certainly for the protection of the crime victim, and perhaps where the dad really can show that he did not consent to the use of his sperm. But neither of these is going to help Nick’s boyfriend. Support is for the benefit of the child who was not a moral agent of either of his parents and their bad conduct should not be attributed to him in any way. Although there may be valid reasons not to require support in order to deter patently obnoxious and unfair conduct, such conduct is not the norm and should not drive policy regarding custody and support.

  12. 112
    piny says:

    >>Except that Nick told her partner that she was actively trying to get pregnant, wasn’t using birth control, and would continue with any resulting pregnancy. >>

    Well, but women lie. By definition. They just do.

    Do you really think crella read any further than “Pregnant, wants child support from the other major player if not too much trouble, thanks so much”?

  13. 113
    Lee says:

    Nick, good luck with your journey to motherhood. Good luck with motherhood, too.

    A (male) friend was in a similar situation to yours about 7 years ago. He wanted to get married and start a family, she didn’t, they had unprotected sex while she was taking an oral antibiotic with the birth-control interference warning label on it, and she got pregnant. He was thrilled to pieces, she was more ambivalent but agreed to carry the baby to term. Bottom line was that they got married just before the birth, she took maternity leave, then she filed for divorce and he got full custody of their daughter. He’s doing the single dad thing now and loving it, although he admitted to me recently that he wished it had worked out better with his ex because a girl needs a mom, but he knows now that his ex just wasn’t cut out to be a mother. So take heart – sad as it is that your ex couldn’t stick to his original position, for whatever reason, other people have gone through the same thing and are doing fine.

  14. 114
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Well, but women lie. By definition. They just do.

    It’s the ovaries that do it. Ovaries make your words not to be relied upon.

  15. 115
    alsis39 says:

    So if one’s tubes are tied, does she tell half-truths ?

  16. 116
    Nick Kiddle says:

    So if one’s tubes are tied, does she tell half-truths ?

    Nope. It’s a purely binary thing: ovaries present/ovaries absent. The only way to have reliable words is to have them removed altogether, or better still, arrange to be born without them in the first place.

  17. 117
    alsis39 says:

    Ah, yes. It’s all clear now. ;)

  18. 118
    kuntakintee says:

    Amanda

    It’s the law? Good answer and true…..but the law changes and evolves. Slavery was formerly allowed and protected by law but then the pendulum eventually swung the other way. It took hundreds of years to start a civil war to end slavery based on skin color.

    With most statistics indicating that 85% to 90% of the time that women are ajudicated custodial rights…that gives one class…100% of the choice, 90% of the custody and leaves the slave class toiling full time for 35% of their fruits (child support = 30% and taxes = 35%)

    I have heard the Nazis allowed the Jews in Polish ghettos a similar portion of their fruits.

  19. 119
    kuntakintee says:

    your blog your right to censor……

    why does amanda have right to discuss the way she did and me just state facts and be censored…
    shame

  20. 120
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    Kunta;

    One, you’re being inflammatory. Two, you’re being extremely simple in your exposition. Were you to be honest and genuinely academic within this conversation, you’d acknowledge the fact that custodial parenting may end up as the responsibility of the mother most frequently, it does not mean that the father had no say. Fathers pushing for custodial rights equal to, or more than women are becoming more and more common, and providing they are good parents, bully for them.

    Addressing it as a non-evolving and intentionally oppressive system is frightfully dishonest.

  21. 121
    RonF says:

    This entire situation is a great argument for getting married before having kids. Both these people were idiots for having unprotected sex when clearly neither one of them had any concern regarding what the consequences of producing a child would have for themselves and (most importantly) for the child. Then there’s the fact that getting married first makes the legal responsibilities of the mother and father towards the child much clearer than they are now.

    And both of these folks are saying, “I’m being treated unfairly.” Hey, guess what? Both of you took an action that has resulted in entirely forseeable consequences. You are both getting treated entirely fairly; do something like this without getting to know the person involved and heedless of the consequences and a bad outcome is entirely fair.

    You want to know who’s getting treated unfairly? The child being produced by this union. That kid deserves two parents committed to each other and to the welfare of the child they are producing it. He or she is not going to get that. Instead, they’re going to get two parents who have no bond to each other and whose first concern was then and is now themselves. That’s what’s unfair here. These two should stop whining and act like grownups.

  22. 122
    Q Grrl says:

    “With most statistics indicating that 85% to 90% of the time that women are ajudicated custodial rights…that gives one class…100% of the choice, 90% of the custody and leaves the slave class toiling full time for 35% of their fruits (child support = 30% and taxes = 35%) ”

    … and it would be cheaper for the slaves to have custody? And did you just compare men supporting their children to slaves? Wow. How do you perceive custody as being the less expensive of the options (implied by your whining about men paying child support)? If it were the cheaper option, why would women need help to begin with?

  23. 123
    piny says:

    >>Both these people were idiots for having unprotected sex when clearly neither one of them had any concern regarding what the consequences of producing a child would have for themselves and (most importantly) for the child.>>

    I have a sneaking suspicion that you didn’t read too carefully before commenting, but you’re wrong. The father apparently didn’t think too hard about what would happen if the unprotected sex he was having resulted in a baby, but Nick certainly did. Considering said father’s failure to inform Nick that he had no intention of taking any parental responsibility whatsoever–”You didn’t tell me this was a particularly fertile time of the month!”–and that he is by all accounts an adult, Nick had no reason to believe that he would demonstrate a near-sociopathic inability to bear the consequences of his actions.

    Nick, on the other hand, has no plans to either abandon the baby or neglect it. Nick is fully prepared to care for it, financially and emotionally. It’ll be a much larger burden than it would have been had the father not abrogated his parallel responsibilities, but Nick has assumed it. That child will be sheltered, fed, and loved. It’s pretty fucked up of you to complain about that.

    You know what else is fucked up? Comparing “Got pregnant, had no help, decided to assume all responsibility for the child,” with “Got someone else pregnant, refused to help, shoved all responsibility for the child onto its mother.” Nick’s only mistake was in trusting that the father would sack up and help raise and maintain his child. The father’s mistake was…being a child.

    >>Then there’s the fact that getting married first makes the legal responsibilities of the mother and father towards the child much clearer than they are now.>>

    No, it doesn’t. The law is perfectly clear about the legal responsibilities that parents have to their children. If you contribute to the making of a child, you owe that child support. The _amount_ of support you must provide requires more detailed analysis, but the simple fact of obligation is not at all ambiguous. The law doesn’t deprive children of parents just because said parents happen not to have been married. Good thinking on the part of legislators, eh?

    Not just that, but plenty of abuse, neglect and abandonment occurs in families headed by married couples. A marriage contract doesn’t seem to prevent a good number of parents from taking off, or from pushing parental responsibility onto the other parent. Given this guy’s demonstrated ability to take big risks with other people’s lives and then flit off blithely as a swallowtail when the shit hits the fan, I doubt he would have had any more problem marrying and then jilting some unlucky woman than conceiving a child and then pretending it sprang fully-formed from Nick’s forehead.

  24. 124
    Marina says:

    Having had a similiar situation, I offered my child’s father the ability to walk away without any strings. I realize that I have no legal ability to do this, but I meant it. I made 2x as much money as he did and I was ready to put “unknown” on the birth certificate. Instead, his choice was to stay around and torment me for having gotten pregnant in the first place, which ultimately was defacto torment of our child. I didn’t collect a penney of child support, or any other kind of support for five years, but that wasn’t enough to create peace.

    I finally realized that his real problem was his desire to control, and one thing a guy doesn’t and never will have is any significant control over the reproductive process.

  25. 125
    Nick Kiddle says:

    I finally realized that his real problem was his desire to control, and one thing a guy doesn’t and never will have is any significant control over the reproductive process.

    I wonder if that’s common to most men in that situation. Certainly, the father of my child seems most bothered by the fact that I have more control than he does: in the last discussion we had, he seemed to be saying that the reason he didn’t want to be an involved father was because he didn’t get the final say on all important decisions.

  26. 126
    hun says:

    >> he didn’t get the final say on all important decisions.

    Did he get the “final say” on _any_ important decision?

  27. 127
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Yes, he got to walk away from all parental responsibility and let his child grow up without a father.

  28. 128
    hun says:

    Well, the final say on the former is yours; on the latter is indeed his.

  29. 129
    mythago says:

    Did he get the “final say” on _any_ important decision?

    Indeed he did. Nick informed him that she wanted a baby and was not using birth control. At that point, he had the final say on whether he wanted to have sex with a woman who not only wanted a baby, but was making sure that she could have one.

  30. 130
    hun says:

    You’re right; indeed that was the single most important decision concerning him and he had the final say… and, in light of the later happenings, his “final say” was definitely the wrong thing.

  31. 131
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Having considered overnight, I offer you a (non-exhaustive) list of decisions on which the father had the final say:

    Whether his semen ended up in me in the first place.
    Whether to address the conflicts in our relationship or pretend they could be waved away (or I could be talked into ignoring them?)
    Whether to gain automatic parental responsibilty by registering the birth jointly with me (the offer is still open, but has thus far been resolutely turned down).
    Whether to apply to the courts for custody.

    I find it very telling, actually, that he hasn’t even mentioned applying for custody. If he was awarded custody, he would have all the control he liked, but he would also have to do some of the irritating practical tasks connected with raising the child.

  32. 132
    silverside says:

    Well, the ex wouldn’t necessarily be burdened by all those “irritating practical tasks connected with raising a child.”

    One thing we have noticed in the non-custodial mothers camp is that custodial fathers seem to have a real talent for dumping day-to-day care on another woman. The new enabling girlfriend of the month, or maybe dear old mom. So in a sense, the kid is passed from a devoted caretaker to a series of often indifferent ones.

  33. 133
    hun says:

    “enabling girlfriend”, “dear old mom”… “indifferent [child caretakers]” – the sheer respect for women [other than bio mom] is just amazing.

  34. 134
    Alice says:

    To prevent men from avoiding their responsibility, should DNA testing to prove paternity fraud be made illegal? or at least very difficult? See this:

    http://www.mensconfraternity.org.au/menswebpage74.html

  35. 135
    Ian Miller says:

    From reading this blog and numerous others accross the web,it is obvious that there are lots of problems with child support. Well here is my contribution to the mix.
    In 1998 I met a woman who had four children from a previous marriage. Despite many many warning signs I married her in 2000. In 2001 we were living in New York. One day she packed up and left the kids with her ex husbands parents and left the state. NY immediately filed for child support against me. Despite the fact that I was neither the biological nor adoptive parent to any of the children Ny required me to pay support. I appealed the order and in 2003 my wife and I divorced on the grounds of her infidelity and abuse. I ended up reconciling with my first wife and our two children. In 2004 NY attached my wages and in 2005 they intercepted my tax refund. This hindered my ability to provide for my physically disabled wife and our two children(whom I always supported even when we ere divorced). In August 2005 I was notified in writing that I had satified the child support judgement and that NY would return my intercepted refund in Dec 2005. Well guess what it is now 2006 and still not one sign of a refund. I have called and emailed Montgomery County NY child support and the Governors Office. No responses have been received.
    Children are a blessing from GOD and biological parents must support their children. Adoptive parents have the same obligation. To require a person like myself to support children unrelated to me is wrong. NY required me to pay them support while not hitting the biological mother or father for the same support.

  36. 136
    The Bitch says:

    My point as a female is this bitches – YOU SPREAD YOUR LEGS – YOU PAY THE BILLS. I’ve been with two men tricked into fucking a broad with a condom only to have the broad stick the condom inside her to get knocked up – which by the way takes knowing when you’re ovulating. I have pets – and not once when I got divorced and my ex left the pets with me did I begin describing my poor sorry ass as a “single pet owner” know why? Because people would say well why don’t cha just get rid of em if you’re gonna bitch about paying for em. But alas – pop out a human puppy and behold–violins play and “single mom” is met with “awww, you poor thing the bastard won’t give you money for the rugrat?”
    I am a woman but WOMEN MAKE ME VOMIT!!!!!!!!!! Pathetic whores who knowingly spread their legs welcoming the cum, knowing Goddamn well a baby will be made and then whining that “they were victimized”.
    My take on it is YOU pay the bill ho-bag. I’ve got several guy friends who are harassed to death for money for kids they did not want – they were lied to – “Oh its OK I’m on the Pill” or the bitch that sticks the used condom into herself. No matter how you get knocked up IT IS YOU who has the option to say no slut. Get that ! Not one bitch is accountable for the free money she gets to raise the offspring. Listen bitches – ya need a friend so bad because you’re a lonely loser don’t have a kid – adopt a dog or cat. And quit whining about support. Fuck supporting kids you don’t want. Women HAVE the last word in getting knocked up – close your legs bitch. Sorry I gotta go puke now.

  37. 137
    Nick Kiddle says:

    Oh what a lovely trolly troll. Anyone up for a troll roast?

  38. 138
    alsis39 says:

    What kind of wine/whine are we having with it ? :/

  39. 139
    Ampersand says:

    My point as a female is this bitches – YOU SPREAD YOUR LEGS – YOU PAY THE BILLS.

    I’m thinking of a word… It starts with a letter that sounds like an insect that loves honey and lives in a hive… and it rhymes with “land.” Can you guess what word I’m thinking of?

  40. 140
    Elkins says:

    ::gasp::

    You want to BRAND the TROLL?

    I think that sounds a bit violent, Amp. Surely there’s a more peaceable solution?

  41. 141
    Ampersand says:

    Hell, no, there isn’t! I am sick and tired of seeing “Alas” trolls that Alsis and others have sweated blood over, beating them into shape, showing up on other blogs like “Feministe”! They’re MY trolls, dammit, and once I’ve burned an & mark into their flesh they’ll STAY my trolls!

  42. 142
    alsis39 says:

    “Branding” ? “Sweating blood” ?

    Bah. I knew this would be the inevitable result of all those goddamn BDSM threads, but did anyone listen to me ?!?! Nooooo…

  43. 143
    Robert says:

    “Bland”? I guess it was predictable but I don’t know about bland.

    And your troll-hogging made Lauren quit blogging, Amp, you bastard! Oh, she SAYS its because she needs to earn a living but we know what’s really going on.

  44. 144
    mythago says:

    Didn’t anyone ever teach you to share, Amp?

    Ny required me to pay support

    On what grounds, Ian?

  45. 145
    nik says:

    I think “The Bitch” has a point. To put it slightly more elegantly, if you have a child then either:

    (1) Having the child (and paying for it) makes you happier than you would be otherwise, and having it was a good decision. If this is the case then I’m happy you’re happy and I hope you enjoy being a parent. Or,
    (2) Having the child (and paying for it) makes you unhappier than you would be otherwise, in which case you made a mistake having it. If this is the case you should put the child up for adoption and try to get on with being happy.

    I think it’s difficult to say that either of these situations is “unfair” to the single parent. (Though they may well be unfair to the child).

  46. 146
    Nick Kiddle says:

    The unfairness isn’t in the fact that I have to raise my daughter (or even pay for her upbringing), the unfairness is in the way her father has sulked, accused me of treating him unfairly by getting and staying pregnant after he decided he didn’t want his sperm doing that, tried to argue and emotionally blackmail me into bringing up the child he doesn’t want as he sees fit and generally acted like a dickhead.

  47. 147
    nik says:

    Nick, I was not accusing you of anything or suggesting you hold any particular views. I know nothing about your life and wouldn’t presume to speak about it.

    I was just clarifying what I thought was an interesting general point “The Bitch” made. I thought there was a rather elegant argument at the heart of an ugly rant. It wasn’t aiming it at you, or my post wasn’t at any rate. (And for what it’s worth, if someone promises to do something and then doesn’t, or tries to promote their interests to the exclusion of yours then that obviously is unfair).

  48. 148
    alsis39 says:

    Please. I wouldn’t dignify #136 by calling it a rant. I’ve seen clots of puke in bus shelters more “elegant” than that, frankly. Babies are punishment because women act like sluts. How inventive. How balanced. [snicker]

  49. 149
    mythago says:

    I think it’s difficult to say that either of these situations is “unfair” to the single parent.

    What happened to the other parent? Was this parthenogenesis?

  50. 150
    nik says:

    What happened to the other parent? Was this parthenogenesis?

    No, but either the child makes the single parent happy (in which case they benefit) or it makes them unhappy (in which case they can have it adopted, which will prevent the child making them unhappy). So having a child could not have decreased the single parent’s happiness. So it is hard to say they are victimised by being a single parent.

  51. 151
    zuzu says:

    Hell, no, there isn’t! I am sick and tired of seeing “Alas” trolls that Alsis and others have sweated blood over, beating them into shape, showing up on other blogs like “Feministe”! They’re MY trolls, dammit, and once I’ve burned an & mark into their flesh they’ll STAY my trolls!

    Better fix that fence, though, ’cause Robert keeps getting out. ;)

  52. 152
    mythago says:

    nik, again, you’re pretending there is only one parent and one person with any say here.

  53. 153
    patty says:

    Ok, here’s my input. I think things sorta got off the main subject when abortion, wanted or not wanted, planned or not planned, started being the topics. I thought the main thing was the child support issue. So that is what I am addressing. Whether he has any relationship now or later in life with the child, it is still his responsibility to support his offspring. Of course if he has a relationship with the child, it’d be the best thing, if the father is a decent person. If not, just take his support and be glad he won’t be around. But regardless, it is STILL his responsibility to support his child. I have 3 children. My oldest is now 23. I let her dad off the hook, but took in leiu, a restaurant we had. I knew I’d be chasing him forever for support. And he ended up when I was really in a tight, coming through. My 2nd and 3rd children were from my 2nd marriage. He has always paid support. And he’s a horrible, mad at the world, alcolhic. He’s been there but in a way the kids don’t even want to be around him. But then again, alcolhic or not, he also comes through even w/ extra funds when needed for them to do extra activities, etc. And yes now, my 3rd husband! he has custody of his 3. Which the youngest girls are twins, now 12. He has had custody for 11 1/2 years. His ex was fooling around. Ended up marrying her lover. Anyway, to make his divorce go smoothly, I guess is the reason, he let her get away with paying nothing. He had to pay off their van and give to her. He has to cover them on insurance. She has all the non custodian rights though. Every other weekend, holidays, summer weeks, etc. And the kids think she hung the moon! And me? I’m just the mean ole stepmother that raises them in the real world. Point is, I kinda get off the subject when I discuss this, when they divorced she had quit her job, didn’t have a steady home to live in, etc. It would have been useless for her to have to pay, cause she had no way to pay it. Yes, I understood when I married him this was the way it was. Well, over the last 6 1/2 years, her and her husband have come a very long way. They do quite well financially. While, my husband got laid off, went back to school, and I quit my job and opened my own restaurant. She still pays 0. My husband won’t even discuss modifying child support. She won’t even pay for both of the twins to go to a Church function! She only sends half, but yet now, she pays nothing all year long. She has a brand new convertible sports car, RV, camper, 4 wheelers, 2 new trucks between her and her husband, boats, etc. I paid for her son’s braces. And the girls need them too, but I refuse to even make a dentist appt. So, needless to say, this is like a disease eating at me. His loyalty is more to keeping the peace with her and not upsetting his kids, while we struggle to pay bills until we get on our feet. In fact, I will be leaving him when I get the extra money.
    Morale of this story is: get the support. On down the road, maybe years later, you’ll be glad. I’m a strong believer in it took 2 people to make a child, it should be both’s responsibility to at least support it!

  54. 154
    Raymond says:

    Here’s my take in all this; I fathered a child in a similar way as Nick’s ex. I took financial responsibility for this child since she was born in 1997. I still support her as there is a court order in place as is the custom in Florida that deducts the support from my paycheck. Unlike Nick’s ex, I want to partake in the child’s life however the mother moves around and keeps me chasing to where I have to hire PI’s to locate their whereabouts. She insists on making the kid who is now almost 9 call stepdads “Dad”. It just seems to me we all end up with the wrong partners at the wrong times. By the way Nick, this child was fathered in a one night stand, drunken stupor from a Christmas eve party. I never once have questioned the legitimacy of this child. I would not go so low and would not ever want that child coming back to me someday (assuming she is in fact mine) and saying her dad questioned. I hope your ex comes around and realizes he brought a life into the world and now he owes both finacial and emotional support; whether you want the money or not.

  55. 155
    B says:

    That sucks Raymond.
    If you stay in touch occasionally, with letters and birthday gifts or whatever, and show that you care your girl will probably contact you on her own when she is old enough. If that is any consolation.

  56. 156
    Kimmie says:

    A woman gets pregnant, she decides to have the baby, the man says he does not want anything to do with the child, he wanted you to have an abortion (this has been a prior discussion, Sorry I know this does not relate to Nicks situation)? Here’s a thought, if you make a decision to get pregnant and the man wants nothing to do with you or the baby, move on. Why can’t you as a woman take resoposibilty, for your actions. you should know that when you decide to get pregnant you need to be prepared for that man to say” ok I want nothing to do with the baby”. I think that most women before they get pregnant should know their financial situation, don’t you all? If you can’t afford children and have to depend on a man, then take responsibilty for YOURSELF and go on the pill. You want to depend on a mans checkbook, go ahead, but most of us smart, educated, independent women know better and don’t need a monthly check from a man.

  57. 157
    Demonspawn says:

    Well Nick, it’s been a year, hope everything is going well.

    I found this site searching for details on County of San Luis Obispo v. Nathaniel J. which I was using as a point for a letter to the editor. I have nothing specific to your case, Nick, but I pose this question to the debate raging here:

    If Abortion, Adoption, Abandonment at a hospital/firestation, and the morning after pill were all outlawed; leaving women to face the same choices as men: keep it in your pants or take your risks; would the women here perfer that to giving men some level of post-conception choice?

  58. 158
    Ampersand says:

    If Abortion, Adoption, Abandonment at a hospital/firestation, and the morning after pill were all outlawed; leaving women to face the same choices as men: keep it in your pants or take your risks; would the women here perfer that to giving men some level of post-conception choice?

    Not for the first time, the “C4M” argument reminds me of the classic short story Harrison Bergeron.

    THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

    Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

    It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

    Funny, how conservatives suddenly start favoring Harrison Bergeron policies when what’s being discussed is women’s bodies. If we’re really going to apply your notion of using the law to eliminate biological inequality between the sexes, shouldn’t we also outlaw men peeing standing up? And use sandbags and restraints to take away the unfair biological advantage of the biggest people, most of whom will be male? And create special devices that will produce cramps and bleeding in men once a month?

    Look, in a perfect feminist world, women and men will have unequal abilities regarding pregnancy and childbirth; and the biggest people, on average, will be male; and women but not men will have monthly periods. Feminism cannot eliminate these inequalities. Only a fascist state of the sort Vonnegut described can do that.

    That women get pregnant and men don’t is not a policy feminists advocate; it’s a biological fact.

    Anyhow, to answer your question (even though I’m a man, not a woman): Even if all those awful things you mention come to pass, I’d still favor the policy that both women and men are responsible for their born children. Because children still need to be clothed, and fed, and housed, even in the awful society you describe.

    However, if we chose a different hypothetical – which is to generously socialize the costs of raising children, so that relieving men of the horrible burden of being responsible for their own children wouldn’t mean screwing over children and their mothers economically – then I could favor C4M. In some ways I think it would still be a lousy policy, but not as bad as it would be in our current society, when men who favor C4M are basically saying that they don’t give a shit if their children are homeless, starving and in rags.

  59. 159
    mythago says:

    would the women here perfer that to giving men some level of post-conception choice

    Only men? Why do you think men should be given a ‘post-conception choice’ women don’t have?

    Kimmie, like many posters here, is forgetting that we’re talking about child support, not alimony.

  60. 160
    Kimmie says:

    Right child support, why can’t a woman support her own child, when SHE made the choice to carry that child and the father has told her in the past he does not want children! (oh yeah he should know better I agree, but some women will go ahead and have the child anyway and have the nerve to ask for child suppprt. My thing is if a women wants child so bad she should be able to take care of it on her own and not depend on a man, and I was not actually talking about Nicks situation? That’s all I’m saying and pumkin I realize we are not talking about alimony obviously you missed the point like most people. If you would actually read a post mythago you would have gotten what I was trying to say so I have repeated it for you. Some people have different perspectives and just because it does not go along with the way everyone else thinks does not mean it is wrong! Every situation should be looked at seperately, everyone has the right to do as they wish, I am simply giving you MY OPINION, so you probably don’t agree, that is why it’s mine and not yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. 161
    Kimmie says:

    post conception idea was was demonspawn not me!!!

  62. 162
    mythago says:

    her own child

    It’s not “her” child. It’s their child.

    By the way, this is not the No Tagbacks Blog. If you post your opinion, it’s silly to throw a fit because people disagree with it. If you want to post opinions and not allow anyone to say anything but “Right on, Kimmie!”, start your own blog.

  63. 163
    Kimmie says:

    Wow mythyago you are comical, In a blog everyone posts their opinions and people read them and respond, is that not not expected? I’m sorry you must think I did not get that part! Has anyone ever told you that you are brilliant? I don’t expect people to agree with me, and I never wrote that I did, and I’m not throwing a “fit”. You see my response as me throwing a fit that’s fine, but if your going to respond make sure you read thoroughly, get the right person and then post your response. Now I think people can get back to the topic at hand.

  64. 164
    mythago says:

    Kimmie, stream-of-consciousness insults are not the ‘topic at hand’. You made the claim that if a woman is truly independent, her child is somehow not entitled to support from the father.

  65. 165
    Q Grrl says:

    Kimmie: it is nigh impossible for a woman to get pregnant without a man’s ejaculate. If men don’t want children, the responsibility to not procreate lies with them. Men cannot simply *say* they don’t want children and then continue to ejaculate with insufficient birth control, on their part, and then after-the-fact demand that they *still* don’t want children. The different biologies of male and female demand a significantly different sexual and reproductive ethics for men and women. Men’s choices are entirely constrained by their particular biological function. Women’s choices, on the other hand, are constrained by biological function and, ta-da!, the interference of the state. Men, as it currently stands, take up a sexual ethic where in order for the playing field to appear equal, they have to take away some of women’s choices. They take away women’s choice to cover up their denial of responsible choice on their part.

  66. 166
    Kimmie says:

    Again you miss the point, The question I simply raised was, Why can’t she do it on her own? Support from a dad (because it takes more than sperm to make a father) a man that does not want anything to do with supporting that child in the first place. If you want to take the money go ahead, I on the other hand I personally would not because I can do it on my own.

    The child is entitled to support? lol I know a lot of people use that their “child support money” for other things, and most of the time it’s not for the child.

  67. 167
    Kimmie says:

    Q Grrl, then I guess that woman should take responsibilty and close her legs!

  68. 168
    mythago says:

    The question I simply raised was, Why can’t she do it on her own?

    Why is his responsibility to his children dependent on her income?

    If you know a ‘lot of people’ then you would know people who are struggling because the other parent decided that drugs or a new car or presents for the arm candy are more important than meeting their obligations to their children. You’d also know people who were very enthusiastic about having kids right up until the time they started to cost money.

  69. 169
    Q Grrl says:

    Well, which scenario do you want Kimmie? Your original one suggested that the women *did* want to become pregnant, told the man, the man said he didn’t agree, but he ejaculated into her without his own birth control, and she subsequently became pregnant. What part of him saying “no, I don’t want a child” did he really mean?

    Yes, abstinance is an option. But if women are keeping their legs together, men are also not having the sex they desire, so your comment is a bit sophmoric. I think it is entirely possible to explore sexual ethics that take into consideration the limits/boundaries of men’s choice and also explore men’s responsibilities to the children they help create. I often say, if men dont’ want child support, they should keep their zippers up. I say it in the atmosphere of a male, heterosexual sexual ethics that completely lacks awareness of men’s active and passive choices regarding reproduction. If gay men can wear condoms to reduce AIDS transmission, why can’t straight men wear condoms for birth control? The most apparent answer, by default, is that straight men simply do not view birth control as their responsibility and an active part of their sexual ethic.

  70. 170
    Kimmie says:

    I see your point, I do! But maybe they are struggling because mom spent the money on drugs or a new car, it goes both ways, no one is the victim here. My best friend has raised her son for the past 10 years without any child support, she has struggled, but she also says she would not have it any onther way, because she does not want the dads money, and her child is better off because of it.

  71. 171
    Kimmie says:

    What’s wrong with a person taking accountabilty for themselves, if thats sophmoric then I’m sorry. Why would you depend on a man for birth control and STD protection, if you want to have sex get on the pill and carry your own condoms. PROTECT YOURSELF, yeah it’s easier said than done!

  72. 172
    Q Grrl says:

    Well, you are correct Kimmie. Absolutely. But the very same standard holds true for men who do not want to pay child support or even have children. You seem to be imply that men have no responsibility for the consequences of their sexual activity. If a man risks a court order demanding child support from him, why doesn’t he accept that risk and head it off accordingly?

  73. 173
    Kimmie says:

    The only people we can control is ourselves, not the ignorance or lack of responsibilty in someone else .

  74. 174
    Demonspawn says:

    mythago-
    I’ll address you first. As far as post-conception choices that women have which men don’t: Abortion, which a woman can choose to have without a man’s consent, and a man cannot have without the woman’s consent. The morning after pill, which works the same way. Both of those choices are post-conception.
    Women also have post-birth choices that men do not. Abandonment at a hospital or fire station can be done without the man’s consent, and I have never heard of a man being allowed to do so. Adoption is another woman-only choice, and while it supposedly is to be done with the father’s consent, I can give you many cases where it was done without that consent.

    Ampersand-
    While you suggest that not everyone should be treated the same, feminist policies and the laws of the goverment suggest otherwise. Apparently, women and men have exactly the same ammount of interst in sports, otherwise title IX would not exist. I can also point to several instances where the feminist movement has harassed/sued/etc to have standards lowered so that women could enter previously male-dominated fields. But I’m not here to discuss that, simply reproductive choice.

    Why? Because women have so many choices, men’s reproductive rights end the moment sperm leaves his body. It doesn’t matter if the man never consented to the sperm leaving his body. It doesn’t matter if he wears a condom, if the female decides to use the sperm inside to inseminate herself at a later point (I can provide cases for both points if you desire).

    And then, after the baby is born, men are seen as nothing more than wallets. That is why several attempts to get accountability for how a man’s child support is used has failed. That is why if the woman decides to refuse visitation, no big deal, but if a man decides to refuse his money, he’s sent to jail. If you want I can provide details of a striking case where the mother decided to quit her job, and therefore the father’s child support was increased. I can name probally a thousand cases where a women decided to alienate the father from the children, raising them on her own, yet when she decided she really did want his money, she’ll sue for BACK child support. When have you ever heard of a man winning back child visitation? Quite simply, women have all the rights, men have all the responsibilities.

    Q grrl-
    Women’s choices:
    Pre-Conception: Abstinance, oral birth control, IUD, Sponge, Diaphram, Noroplant, Depoprovera, Spermacidal cream, Female Condom, VFC, Contraceptive Patch, Nuva-Ring.
    Post-Conception: Morning-after pill, Abortion.
    Post-Birth: Abandonment, Adoption.

    Men’s choices:
    Pre-Conception: Abstinance, condoms.
    Post-Conception: None.
    Post-Birth: None.

    Do you care to explain what choices the govement is taking from women?

  75. 175
    nik says:

    Surely people don’t have a duty to support their children? Plenty of people don’t support their children: donors, surogates or people who have had their children adopted are good examples. Isn’t it just cruel to suggest these people are behaving wrongly when they do what they do?

    If we’re really going to apply your notion of using the law to eliminate biological inequality between the sexes, shouldn’t we also outlaw men peeing standing up?

    Quite, before we knew it we’d be doing all sorts of crazy stuff like introducing maternity leave and medical assistance for pregnant women, on hang on… I think government action to reduce the effects of biological inequalities on people’s lives might not be a bad thing.

  76. 176
    Ampersand says:

    Surely people don’t have a duty not to cut or shoot at each other? Plenty of people shoot or cut each other; surgeons, actors shooting blanks, and policemen defending themselves are good examples. Isn’t it cruel to suggest these people are behaving wrongly when they do what they do?

    Quite, before we knew it we’d be doing all sorts of crazy stuff like introducing maternity leave and medical assistance for pregnant women, on hang on… I think government action to reduce the effects of biological inequalities on people’s lives might not be a bad thing.

    As far as I know, men get time off and medical assistance for male-only conditions, such as prostate cancer. I don’t oppose that. However, I think there’s an important difference between providing assistance to help reduce the effects of biological inequalities, and limiting other people’s choices or taking away their rights in order to reduce the effects of biological inequalities.

    As I’ve said a few times, I’d be content* to have “choice for men” if we fully and generously socialize the cost of child-rearing, because in that situation we can provide fairness to men without increasing the unfair burden on children and women. But I don’t see how it’s really “fair” to screw over children and mothers so that fathers’ lives can be better.

    As far as I can tell, C4M advocates just don’t see anything wrong with leaving children unsupported. I can’t understand that at all.

    (*Content but not thrilled – because a likely side effect of C4M is more single mothers who aren’t well prepared for motherhood).

  77. 177
    Ampersand says:

    Demonspawn -

    For the most part, you’re talking about stuff that’s due to biology, not the law, and which really can’t be altered. You say that men can’t get abortions without the woman’s consent, but that’s because men don’t get pregnant, not because the law requires pregnant men to get the mother’s consent.

    I do agree with you that the handful of cases in which men are raped, or sperm is stolen deliberately, leading to children being born, are not cases in which child support should be ordered (unless the father is also the custodial parent). And I’d support legislation that was narrowly tailored to correct the injustice in such cases. This is because the useful effect of child support laws is not only to support the child, but also to encourage men to act responsibly and use birth control. In those rare, extreme cases that you refer to, it makes sense to consider the man a sperm donor rather than a father, because otherwise men might begin to feel that there’s no point in being careful.

    However, bad cases make bad law. The idea that we should deprive tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of children needed financial support because there have been a handful of isolated cases in which victims of rape or stolen sperm have been unfairly made to pay child support, is wrongheaded.

    Finally, you’re wrong about “safe harbor” laws – except for Georgia’s law, all those laws allow either the father or the mother to drop off the baby. And all of them require the authorities to try and find the parents and confirm that they don’t want the baby.

    Now, it’s true that it’s easier for mothers to secretly abandon a baby that the father never knew about than vice versa. But that’s because mother’s get pregnant, go into labor and give birth, and fathers don’t. You’ve got an incredibly self-centered “no one in the world but men matter” view if you genuinely think that’s an advantage for mothers, on the whole.

  78. 178
    Q Grrl says:

    Do you care to explain what choices the govement is taking from women?

    Every once in a while I allow myself to believe that most people are compassionate, insightful, and concerned about their fellow humans. Then I read something like this.

    Demonspawn: I can only assume that you read and watch absolutely no media and that you live in a vaccuum — possibly somewhere in upper Manhatten, or downtown Tokyo. This is where I can safely say that this is your homework to do. Seriously though.

    Men do not have a single reproductive choice that is being actively legislated against, which is my point; but which you missed by tripping over the gaping whole in your knowledge of women’s reproductive rights and choices.

    I’m trying to be charitable to you here; Amp prefers it that way. But I find it ethically and morally repugnant that an adult male can baldly state that he doesn’t see where women’s reproductive choices are being legislated into oblivion. Whether you agree with that legislation or not is another matter entirely. But to say that you’re not even aware of this political and legislative climate is shameful.

  79. 179
    nik says:

    You missed the beauty of the pregnancy point. Pregnancy isn’t treated as a just another sex specific illness, and feminists have campaigned long and hard to make that so. You get maternity leave, not sick leave, and so on. Plenty of policies have been put in place specifically to limit the damage this biological difference causes to women’s prospects which you don’t get if you come down with a random women’s illness. I’m not complaining about this. It’s a great example of ‘Bergeronite’ government action to reduce sex specific biological inequalities. But people who live in glasshouses…

    Surely people don’t have a duty not to cut or shoot at each other? Plenty of people shoot or cut each other; surgeons, actors shooting blanks, and policemen defending themselves are good examples. Isn’t it cruel to suggest these people are behaving wrongly when they do what they do?

    I’m probably being slow, but I don’t see what the point of that was. For what it’s worth I think is a totally compelling argument. You’ve convinced me that people don’t have a duty not to cut or shoot at each other. I hope I’ve convinced everyone that people don’t have a duty to support their children. I do think people are throwing it about like it’s a general obligation when there are pretty broad classes of people who don’t have to do it.

    If one parent wants a newborn adopted and the other doesn’t, then why don’t we act on that parents views, or at least allow them to unilaterally disassociate themselves from the child (which is essentially what C4M is)? The ‘children in poverty’ point isn’t that compelling. If that happens then it’s as much the fault of the parent who refused an adoption as the fault of the parent who doesn’t pay support. They could have both avoided it. And no-one opposes single women using sperm donors because of potential future poverty.

    I’m dropping gender neutral terms here. When it comes down to people oppose one option because they view the ‘mothers’ right to keep the child (and maybe not to be influenced into an abortion by financial concerns) as more important than the ‘fathers’ right to financial independence. They just view some people as being more important than others. C4M supports the father, defenders of the status quo the mothers. Amp’s completely open about this, I just wish everyone else would drop the pretence of an abstract ‘duty to support your children’. It doesn’t exist, this is just a clash of interest groups.

  80. 180
    Ampersand says:

    I’m probably being slow, but I don’t see what the point of that was.

    The point is, a “but there are exceptions!” argument – which is all that you provided – doesn’t negate the general point. Just as our society can and does have a strong expectation that people will not cut and stab each other, our society can and does have a strong expectation that people will not abandon their children – even though there are some exceptions. If you can’t understand this incredibly basic, obvious truth, then I don’t think you understand enough about the society you live in to be able to discuss it.

    The ‘children in poverty’ point isn’t that compelling. If that happens then it’s as much the fault of the parent who refused an adoption as the fault of the parent who doesn’t pay support.

    For argument’s sake, let’s say I agree with you. It’s always the fault of the custodial parent (probably the mother), and the other parent is not at all responsible.

    Now that we’ve established that, how will our agreement that it’s the mother’s fault put food in the child’s stomach? How will agreeing it’s the mother’s fault pay for doctors appointments and clothing and schoolbooks and braces?

    Until you’re willing to agree that child poverty is a serious problem, and any policy which is likely to make child poverty worse is a bad policy, your ideas cannot be taken seriously. Saying “it’s the custodial parent’s fault” doesn’t address this problem; it just shows that you’re not taking the problem seriously.

    And no-one opposes single women using sperm donors because of potential future poverty.

    Because having a child through artificial insemination is generally done by mothers who have carefully planned to have a child and who have the resources to support a child. If poverty-stricken single-mother families with AI children were a wisespread social problem, then people probably would oppose it – but it’s not.

    Amp’s completely open about this, I just wish everyone else would drop the pretence of an abstract ‘duty to support your children’. It doesn’t exist, this is just a clash of interest groups.

    Oh, please. The “you guys should just drop the pretense” argument has got to be the single lamest argument I’ve seen this month (and I see a lot of lame arguments! I read “family scholars blog” comments regularly!). Nor have I ever said that I consider mothers more important than fathers – nor do I believe they are – so unless you can provide a direct quote of me saying that, stop lying about what I’ve said. (I think there is a good argument that the child’s interests should be given greater weight, however).

    Just because you have no serious response to the child poverty argument, doesn’t mean that the rest of us aren’t serious when we bring it up.

  81. 181
    Robert says:

    Just because you have no serious response to the child poverty argument, doesn’t mean that the rest of us aren’t serious when we bring it up.

    I’m surprised that you don’t embrace C4M and use that as a justification for why we need socialism, frankly. (“It’s unjust that men are oppressed! Only the socialist state will provide humans with the freedom they need to…”)

  82. 182
    mythago says:

    Abandonment at a hospital or fire station can be done without the man’s consent, and I have never heard of a man being allowed to do so. Adoption is another woman-only choice, and while it supposedly is to be done with the father’s consent, I can give you many cases where it was done without that consent.

    If you’d read the previous comments, you’d have learned that:

    a) ‘Safe harbor’ laws (allowing abandoning babies at a hospital etc.) apply to fathers as well as mothers. The reason why should be obvious.

    b) In those ‘many cases’, the adoptive parents had better hope the biological father doesn’t find out.

    I hope I’ve convinced everyone that people don’t have a duty to support their children.

    No. The rule is that people have a duty to support their biological or adopted children, unless those people fall into exceptions that make them legally not the child’s parent (e.g. egg donors), or if parental rights and responsibilities have been severed (adoption).

    You are proposing a new rule for men only whereby if you didn’t want to be a parent and weren’t able to terminate the pregnancy, you are legally not a parent.

  83. 183
    Demonspawn says:

    Mythago-
    Um, the cases I can bring to your attention are where the father did find out, and the courts said: tough shit, too bad, you don’t have any rights. Case in point:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I92_0196.htm

    Q grrl-
    It would be extremly difficult to legislate against men’s reproductive rights: we don’t have any. And I suggest that you do your homework as well; in your personal attack against me you failed to bring up even one piece of proposed legsliation.

    Ampersand-
    The main problem is what all the bad case law has lead to: We are in a country where women have all the rights, and men are walking wallets. “The best intrests of the child” really means “in the best intrests of the mother” as the mother gets primary physical custody 90% of the time. My uncle pays more in child support, for one child, than my girlfriend and I make in a year. Yet, when he wants accountability for where that money goes, he is refused that.

    In my own personal case, my ex-wife moved out of state with the kids, in violation of the divorce decree. Court’s reply? They didn’t care. Later I became unemployed and couldn’t pay my child support. Court’s reply? Find a way or go to jail.

    The sad truth is, women use babies to trap men in their lives. They know they can get away with it too, since they will get custody, and then the man is beholden to that child for the rest of their lives. They know between the child support payments and the goverment handouts, they’ll be taken care of from that point foward. I wish I could say I had an easy experience as them when I was in the WIC office with my kids to go on food stamps.

    Since I realize that women are going to be the primary winners of the custody battles…. I mean, after all, they KNOW the kid is theirs; if men had some level of choice in the post-conception field. If they could sign an affadavid that they were giving up their parrental rights for adoption, that the woman wouldn’t be able to use a baby to trap men, I figure women would stop with the “oops I missed a pill” bullshit that goes on.

  84. 184
    Ampersand says:

    I’m surprised that you don’t embrace C4M and use that as a justification for why we need socialism, frankly. (”It’s unjust that men are oppressed! Only the socialist state will provide humans with the freedom they need to…”)

    Heh.

    Well, from the point of view of C4M advocates, I’m not sure that socialism will ever be a temptation. They favor C4M because they don’t want to have to be responsible for their own children; is a system in which everyone is responsible for everyone’s children really going to strike them as an improvement?

  85. 185
    Robert says:

    is a system in which everyone is responsible for everyone’s children really going to strike them as an improvement?

    I guess it depends on the person. I would rather live in a libertarian-ish but decently civil society than in Sweden – but if I had to choose between AynRandLand and Sweden, I’d pick Sweden.

  86. 186
    Demonspawn says:

    Actually, my last paragraph sent an echo inside of my brain. I remembered an old-coworker of mine who was being crushed under the child support payments to the mother of a child that was not his. I decided to dig:

    If you honestly belive that child support is anything other than men paying for women’s choices, please read:
    http://www.wfmynews2.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=52892
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.support.step-parents/browse_thread/thread/9bd626f8dbf4f36d/9bc14e8a7653a32a
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.true-crime/browse_thread/thread/df61fc098a01edd1/524ca5e4155d3d64

    I’m sure there is more: according to the American Association of Blood Banks (see their Annual Report Summary 2001) 29.6% of men named on birth certificates cannot be the fathers of the children named.

  87. 187
    Q Grrl says:

    Q grrl-
    It would be extremly difficult to legislate against men’s reproductive rights: we don’t have any. And I suggest that you do your homework as well; in your personal attack against me you failed to bring up even one piece of proposed legsliation.

    You’re kidding me right? Are you catching this Amp?

    Demonspawn: South Dakota, Ohio, Mississippi, WalMart, Target, pharmacists, CDC. God, the list is fairly endless.

    I can safely guess that you hate women enough that it doesn’t even register with you that in some states women can’t get abortions; that at some pharmacies women can’t get EC, even though they have script for it; and some pharmacists refuse to even dispense BC because they consider it an abortificant.

    And they are backed by the law. They are backed by legislative measures.

    That’s your homework to do trollspawn.

    For the rest of you playing along at work, this is the face of male privilege.

  88. 188
    Ampersand says:

    Are you catching this Amp?

    Yeah, I am. I like having a few people who post opposing views on “Alas.” But I like them to be from people who are able to acknowledge and understand arguments that they don’t agree with, rather than just posting contradictions.

    I’m not seeing that from Demonspawn. For that reason, Demonspawn, please don’t post here on “Alas” anymore.

  89. 189
    mythago says:

    Oh dear. I was just going to ask him if he bothered to read the case he cited.

  90. 190
    Q Grrl says:

    Thanks. I don’t want to be a cry baby, and I tried to view it as an “oppossing” opinion deal, but couldn’t find even that silver lining.

  91. 191
    Rachelle says:

    So..I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and haven’t had a chance to respond, but after reading this thread I am compelled to do so.
    First and foremost I would consider myself to be a rather liberal 20 something with a 2 year old daughter that I am raising by myself. I have to admit though that child support from her father has never crossed my mind. He still plays a very active role in her life, but money is one thing I neither need or want from him.
    Maybe I just lucked out and that 4 year degree that I have made it possible to get a really good job that has fantastic health benefits, but I have to wonder what is going through some women’s heads when they CHOOSE not to protect themselves against an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy and then complain about how much their CHILD is costing them.
    We could sit here and argue back and forth that men need to have as much responsibility when it comes to sex and protection, but ultimately don’t you all feel that each and every person need to be responsible for themselves, so even if that random guy/girl you decided to hook up with doesn’t feel protection is important at least in your mind you know that you took all the precautions to protect yourself from being in a situation you neither wanted or intended.

  92. 192
    Q Grrl says:

    Because there are a lot of women just like you, who had sex just like you did, who don’t have a good job? Are you saying the child should suffer just because the woman is “complaining” about supporting her kid?

  93. 193
    Robert says:

    No, I think she’s saying that people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

  94. 194
    Rachelle says:

    No..I don’t think that anywhere in my post did I say that a child should suffer because of the choices of their parents. What I was eluding to was the idea that maybe as “potential” parents people who are not in a position to be able to emotionally and financially support a child should better protect themselves from being in a position were they have no choice.

  95. 195
    Jake Squid says:

    … but ultimately don’t you all feel that each and every person need to be responsible for themselves…

    Absolutely. And that is why I keep pushing to 3 year olds to work in coal mines. It’s time for them to be responsible for themselves and provide for their own upkeep.

  96. 196
    Rachelle says:

    Well there is always one in every bunch. You took that comment way to literally and if you had read the entire thread and took it in the context of the conversation going on you would understand that the statement was intended for people that are choosing to have unprotected sex and then complain about the outcome.
    And if you know any 3 year olds out there having concentual sex there is something REALLY wrong.

  97. 197
    Q Grrl says:

    Rachelle: to step it back on degree further, do you think it is unfair or unethical for women to ask men for child support?

  98. 198
    nik says:

    Myth;

    You are proposing a new rule for men only whereby if you didn’t want to be a parent and weren’t able to terminate the pregnancy, you are legally not a parent.

    I’m not. I actually think that there’s much, much a stronger case for Choice 4 Women than there is for C4M. If a pregnant woman doesn’t want to be liable for child support her only option is to have an abortion (let’s not get into the adoption/abandonment thing here). I really think it’s intolerable – on standard feminist grounds – that that sort of influence should operate on a woman deciding whether to undergo that sort of surgery.

    I’m more ambivalant on C4M. My position isn’t total support, but I feel there’s a stronger case for it than advocates of the status quo accept. (Anecdotally, most C4M advocates I’ve seen have no problem with C4W.)

    Amp;

    The point is, a “but there are exceptions!” argument – which is all that you provided – doesn’t negate the general point… If you can’t understand this incredibly basic, obvious truth, then I don’t think you understand enough about the society you live in to be able to discuss it.

    That is kind of my point. You’re saying “there is a duty, but exceptions”, I’d say that the exceptions means there is no such duty. But let’s not quibble. Either way, I think they both land us in the same place. People can’t just say “fathers have a duty to support their children”, they’ve got to explain why some people are exceptions and why people who find themselves in a position of unwanted fatherhood shouldn’t be. I that’s harder than people make out. It’s certainly harder than saying “fathers have a duty to support their children” and acting like that’s the end of it, which is what I think we’re seeing.

    Nor have I ever said that I consider mothers more important than fathers – nor do I believe they are – so unless you can provide a direct quote of me saying that, stop lying about what I’ve said. (I think there is a good argument that the child’s interests should be given greater weight, however).

    Sorry for implying you believe something you don’t.

    You may not believe it, but I do think it is the implication of the status quo position. Children’s interests can be served in various ways. If it’s important to eliminate child poverty we could do this by:

    (1) making fathers pay child support,
    (2) loaning mothers money and punitively taxing them when their children are grown to get it back,
    (3) (lets be extreme) forcibly adopting children where one parent wishes for an adoption but the other doesn’t,
    (4) lots of other things.

    Why go for (1) rather than the others? They all do the job of keeping children out of poverty. Isn’t it just a choice of whose interests to hurt and whose not to? I think, basically, it is.

  99. 199
    Jake Squid says:

    Well, Rachelle, my concern is for the well-being of actual children. Who should provide for them? IMO, due to our societal structure, that falls to the parents. You are advocating releasing one parent from that responsibility on the flimsy reasoning that the woman should have abstained from sex. Why you excuse the man is beyond me – well, I suspect it’s for all the usual biased reasons. Having read the thread myself, I believe that you are either ignoring, minimizing or are just not aware that many of us are more concerned about born children’s welfare than for the financial responsibilities that will be incurred by its parents.

  100. 200
    Rachelle says:

    That would be dependent upon the situation.

    Scenerio 1: Two consenting adults decide that they want to have a child together. Women gets pregnant has said child and then the father of that child decides he’s not up for fatherhood.

    In this situation I am inclined to say that if the mother finds that she needs financial help from the father of the child to make ends meet then yes by all means the father should have at least some financial responsibility for his child. Now if it is a situation that the father can barely support himself on his income then I am under the impression that you can’t get blood from a stone.

    Scenerio 2: Two adults that barely know each other hook up and low and behold she gets pregnant. Neither gave a second thought about protection and the women for her own personal reasons has decided to keep the child.
    This situation is a little bit more complex for me. A part of me wants to say that the women who is pregnant in this situation should have protected herself and she wouldn’t be in this situation and another part of me wants to say it takes two to tango.

    Scenerio3: Women decides that she wants to have a child, talks with partner who on first reaction thinks it’s a great idea. They get pregnant and once the women tells her partner that she is, he isn’t excited after thinking about the responsibility that goes along with being a father.
    In this situation I am going to throw myself out to the wolves and say that I don’t think that the women should think that she is entitled to child support for that child. She is the one that initial brought up the idea of having a child and once pregnant and realizing her partner was not on the same page decided to keep the child. What ever happened to advance planning, knowing that you are in a position to support a child before you decide to have one.

    If I had thought for one minute that I would not be able to give my daughter the lifestyle that I feel she deserves I would never have put myself in a position to have a child. Now i know bad things happen and people lose their jobs and what not, but I am not talking about after the child is born, I am talking about the situation you are in when you first decided you wanted to have said child.

    I guess the point of this way too long response is that I wish that people would sometimes take the economical aspects of having a child into consideration before they find themselves in a situation they have no way of affording.