Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Opening a Can of Worms

Well, it appears my last post touched a nerve. So it's time to clear some things up and deal with the bumper family-sized can of worms it opened.

Twice, fellow blogger Saffy commented with this point: "How can you say whether or not
it (childbirth) is amazing or an achievement if it's something you will NEVER do because you're a bloke."

Saffy, you completely missed my point in the post and then completely missed it again in my comment. I'm not denying that childbirth is a wonderful, miraculous thing….from a biological point of view. My point is that the physical act of having a child is neither an achievement or anything to be proud of.

Do you understand? Yes, childbirth is amazing…but then so is the cell-phone network that lets me talk to anyone in the world with a tiny device I can carry in my pocket… but that doesn't mean it's an achievement for me to make a phonecall. It's like the internet is amazing… but I don't take credit for its invention when I send an email.

Basically, if you have a kid, all it means is that you had sex nine months ago. That's not an achievement. As I mentioned in the original post, if you actually raise that child properly and turn them into a sane, well-adjusted adult, that's an actual feat that I'm willing to applaud.

Now for the can of worms.

Saffy said: "It's a bit like when men get their noses in the abortion debate - you don't have the ability to be pregnant so it shouldn't be your business."

I have to admit, when I read that, my monocle popped clear off my fucking face.

I'm sorry, Saffy, but that's one of the most ridiculously sexist, bullshit thing I've ever read.

In the past, I've said that my point of view on abortion is that it's none of my business, because I agree that it's not my place to tell a stranger what to do. I won't lie, I have my own views on the subject, but those views are superceded by one of the main tenets I live my life by: Morals and values are personal things that no-one should force on anyone else.

Basically, if a woman wants an abortion, that's none of my business…but saying men in general shouldn't have a say is total horseshit. A random female I've never met wanting a abortion is none of my business, but when it comes to their partners and husbands? You're damn fucking right it's their business.

As fellow blogger Evan said:

"(1) A man and woman have sex, and a child is conceived. Heck, to further the argument, let's say that he wore a condom and it broke. She becomes pregnant and decides to have the child. The man has NO say in this, and also is on the hook for child support. This, by the way, is the status quo.

(2) A man and a woman have sex, and a child is conceived. She becomes pregnant and decides to terminate the pregnancy, despite HIS willingness to raise the child.

I understand that in the end it's the woman's body, but how can any woman worth her salt claim that it's "not the man's business?""

Let me take this a little further and expand on what Evan said.

If a child is conceived, by law, the man is required to care for that child, even if he's not 'in the picture'. The thinking there is that the man is 50% responsible for the creation of that child, so he's 50% responsible to raise that child to adulthood. That's perfectly fine and I agree with it…even though the laws governing custody basically treat fatherhood as a joke.

However, you're saying that if a woman wants an abortion, it's none of the father's business, even though the law (and conventional wisdom) states that the father is 50% responsible for the child. In other words, if you choose to have the baby, the father should be forced to support the child because it's his baby as well. However, if you choose to have an abortion, it's none of the father's business because 'it's your body'.

Let me illustrate this further and hopefully make you see this a different way.

In our society, motherhood is all but worshipped, while fatherhood is diminished to the point where the only real 'right' of fatherhood is the legal obligation to financially support the child and mother.

If a couple get pregnant and the woman chooses to have the child against the wishes of the father, that's exactly the same as a woman getting pregnant and being forced to have the child whether she wants it or not. If the woman chooses to have an abortion against the wishes of the father, that is also exactly the same as a woman wanting a child and being forced to have an abortion.

As simply as I can put it, if a woman was forced to abort her child that's a human rights violation and a crime against nature…if a man is forced to abort his child, it's no big deal. If a woman wants to abort her child because she wants to stay in school or keep her career, that's her right as well. If the man wants that, tough shit, he shouldn't have dipped his dick if he didn't want a child.

Are you spotting a double standard here? I'll give you a hint: Motherhood is sacred, Fatherhood is meaningless.

Now, okay, I'll admit that the fact the woman has to carry the child is a factor…but when we're talking about sexual equality, this is one area where the sexes are absolutely not equal and everything is entirely in the female's favor.

Basically, I want you to imagine getting pregnant, wanting to keep the child, and being forced against your will to have an abortion…or vice versa… because that's what millions of men are forced to go through every day.

Put simply, if Sunny got pregnant, she would be pregnant with my child…and the very idea that you can say that I have absolutely no right to any sort of say in what happens to my child is just downright fucking offensive.

In other words, the things you claim as a basic human rights don't apply to men. Your argument, in the same breath, says that men are completely responsible and obligated to the children they produce…but also don't matter at all.



Saffy said...

You know, I had typed out a whole big argument on this, but i've decided I just can't be bothered. The fact is, it's a woman's body and therefore her choice. End of.

Evan 08 said...

I had a big statement ready too... but I'll suffice to say...

On the macro level, I thoroughly agree with you. On the micro level,... Bull-mutha-fuckin-shit! Or... keep your vagina off of my fucking wallet... or, it's your choice, not my child.

Paulius said...

Saffy: Fair enough...but by the same reasoning, it's the guy's wallet, so no guy is required to pay child support. Ever. End Of.

Oh, and it's the guy's child as well, so he can force the woman to have the child. End of.

What? Completely unfair?

I think so too...that's why BOTH parents should have a fucking say.

Way to be completely selfish AND sexist.

Paulius said...

Oh, and this is just my opinion, but when someone answers an argument by basically saying "I'm right, end of discussion"...for me, that's when they officially lose the debate.

Saffy said...

I wont be goaded any further on this. I have made my point and don't feel I lost any kind of debate because for me, there was no debate.

Paulius said...

Sorry Saffy, but you DIDN'T make a point. You said 'I'm right,' and didn't defend your point of view.

That's not making a point, that's putting your fingers in your ears and going "NANANANANANANA".

Saffy said...

I didn't defend it because I don't and shouldn't have to. It doesn't make my point of view wrong - it just means trying to reason with you is senseless when you will never, ever be in a position to actually have to make the decision you are getting on your moral high horse about.

Paulius said...

Who says I've 'never, ever be in that position'?

What if Sunny gets pregnant and decides to abort/go through with the pregnancy based on health risks?

What you're saying is, in that position, I have absolutely no right to any sort of say in whether my wife aborts my son or daughter, or risks her own life going through with a risky pregnancy.

Call me crazy, but that's a situation I believe I have a say in. If my wife or potential child's life is in danger, you're damn fucking right I have a say.

Just for a bit on contrast, playing by YOUR would you feel if, without ever discussing children with you, your husband arrived home and told you he'd got a vasectomy?

Then, when you tried to raise the subject he said it was HIS body, and because you're incapable of producing sperm and will never know what that's like, the subject is closed, end of discussion.

Don't you think that would be a little unfair? Don't you think you should have been given a say?

The saddest thing is, I'm not even saying the man should get to dictate what happens or that his opinion is worth more than a woman's.

All I'm saying is he should get a SAY in whether he's going to be forced into fatherhood or robbed of a child.

It just makes me laugh that someone who is so vehement about whether she should be forced to have a child or not says that men have absolutely no right to the same thing you're so quick to defend.

So, basically, women always get to choose, because that's your right...but men can be forced into parenthood or have their unborn child killed without even getting to express their opinion on it.

Paulius said...

Oh, and I'm also highly unlikely to ever be the victim of racism or be sold as a slave either...but that doesn't mean my opinion on either of those is invalid either.

Saffy said...

"So, basically, women always get to choose, because that's your right...but men can be forced into parenthood or have their unborn child killed without even getting to express their opinion on it."

Yes, that's about the gist of it. Legally speaking.

As for the vasectomy issue, that actually became part of the discussion that Toby and I had about this whole dramatic little episode (incidentally, Toby agrees with everything I have said). The top and bottom of it is, it's a mans body to do with as he will. If he wants a vasectomy, a woman can't stop him. No doctor will refuse him based on what someone else wants him to do!

Until a woman grows a penis, she doesn't get to decide.
Until a man grows a magical life giving womb and vagina, the same applies.

Saffy said...

Re the racism, i'd say you're lucky. I see it everywhere. White people are HIGHLY discriminated against. The US has all black colleges, all Black Beauty pageants, magazines called 'Sista' and 'Ebony' aimed just at Blacks. If there were an all white college there'd be uproar, an all white no blacks allowed pageant? Lynchings....
So you are already a victim of racism - the white mans burden.

Paulius said...

""So, basically, women always get to choose, because that's your right...but men can be forced into parenthood or have their unborn child killed without even getting to express their opinion on it."

Yes, that's about the gist of it. Legally speaking."

With that, you can officially go and fuck yourself, because with an attitude like that, I honestly don't give a shit WHAT you think any more.

That's the most ridiculously selfish, sexist and downright WRONG thing I've ever heard.

As long as YOU get what you want, eh?

We're done.

Saffy said...

Not going to lose any sleep over that - but next time, if you want people to candy coat the truth for you, let them know ahead of time. Idiot.

rayray said...

oh i'd LOVE to sound off on this one, using my own stymied situation for a basis...........but I won't.....;)

Paulius said...

"Not going to lose any sleep over that - but next time, if you want people to candy coat the truth for you, let them know ahead of time. Idiot."

Nice. I love how your opinion is the 'truth' now.

Plus, I spend a thousand words explaining my opinion, you say "I'm right, you're wrong, end of story." Then put your fingers in your ears and I'M the idiot."