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Your Call: Do We Need Male Reproductive Rights?

Wed, Oct 14, 2009

Advice, Your Call

seahorsephoto of seahorse — the only male animal that gets knocked up — by cliff1066

Dear Em & Lo,

The way I see it, there is simply no such concept as male reproductive rights. If your girl gets pregnant and wants to keep the baby, congratulations, you’re a dad! Pay up, sucker. If you want to keep it but she wants to abort it, tough luck — there goes your progeny. The only thing a dude can do is rubber up and screen for sexual partners with similar values.

We get it, the baby’s growing in the woman’s body, and ownership is 9/10ths of the law. But come on, now. There’s got to be some kind of reasonable compromise. I don’t have an easy answer to this, and I doubt anyone else will either. Men will continue to get a raw deal here. But could you open the topic to discussion?

– Cat Amongst the Pigeons

Consider it done! What do you think, do we need male reproductive rights? And if so, what would they be? Let the debate begin (no throwing things, please) in the comments section below.

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134 Responses to “Your Call: Do We Need Male Reproductive Rights?”

  1. Spes Says:

    Madamoiselle L said:…what he NEEDS to say to any hook up or girlfriend he wants to have sex with, and make sure she agrrees: “If you get pregnant, I don’t want you to have an abortion, but I don’t want to have to support the kid even a little, either.”

    Again poor assumptions. It wasn’t even implied that the man would be asking the woman NOT to have an abortion.
    What he should tell her from the start is: “I don’t want to be a father right now (or ever), so if you get pregnant I would like for you to have an abortion. But if you choose to keep it, please understand that I do not wish to support it nor to have anything to do with it.” (I’ve been on the receiving end of such a statement, and also on the flip side of this informing the guy before we’ve had sex that if I got pregnant I’m having an abortion and he’s paying for half of it.)

    And for all our sakes please quit with the ‘writing a check isn’t near as difficult as raising a child’ tirade. No one said it was. Which just might be why the man doesn’t want to be a father–because he isn’t ready to do more than open a checkbook.(or simply doesn’t want children)

    This seems to be where you’re missing the point. The woman, if she doesn’t want to be a single mother CAN choose to have an abortion. A man CANNOT choose (and should not be able to, either) to make the woman have an abortion. If the woman knowingly brings a child to term understanding that the man doesn’t want to support it or have anything to do with it, then SHE has CHOSEN to become a single mother and should not blame him for her choice. Also, I keep reading posts, some of them yours, that state that the man should make sure he always wears a condom if he doesn’t want to get a woman pregnant, which is true, BUT last I checked, a woman is just as responsible for making sure there’s a condom involved as the man. And not only that, if a woman doesn’t want to chance pregnancy then SHE should make sure that not only is a condom being used, but that SHE is also using some other form of backup birth control.
    I am sick to death of reading the arrogant writings of people who insist, or at least imply, that the responsibility of protection lies only with the man. Sorry folks, but IN SEX IT REALLY IS EVERY MAN/WOMAN FOR HIS/HER SELF WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING ONE’S SELF.

  2. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Spes said: “And for all our sakes please quit with the ‘writing a check isn’t near as difficult as raising a child’ tirade.”

    NO! Because THAT is the crux of the entire debate.

    It’s NOT even. SO, predictably the resolution isn’t “even.”

    Having an abortion is also a hell of a lot more difficult than writing a check.

    Because the outcome of some sexual encounters can NEVER be “fair” (women get pregnant and men don’t) it makes it “unfair” that men sometimes have to pay for kids they didn’t want.

    The child shouldn’t suffer, ONLY a woman can get pregnant and the man can’t decide the fate of the pregnancy. It may not “be fair” that a woman can make a decision to abort or not, and the man can’t. But, the man can’t EVER get pregnant. There is unfairness in this entire event.

    Real Men take responsibility for their actions and accidents. If the woman wants to abort, fine. But, to say, “If you don’t, you are on your own, babe.” Jeez, guys like this actually GET laid? Who’d do him?

    If I man ever told me I would have to “be on your own or have an abortion if you get pregnant. I’ll pay for half of the abortion, but not a kid, {because I’m too immature to even write a check for even a small part of MY OWN child’s well being.”) he would NOT be in MY bed.

    EVER.

  3. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Spes also said: “Sorry folks, but IN SEX IT REALLY IS EVERY MAN/WOMAN FOR HIS/HER SELF WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING ONE’S SELF.” END QUOTE

    It depends on your relationship. My Man is responsible for our birth control. I’m not anymore. We rarely use condoms, so we use withdrawal. (The Planned Parenthood widget actually SAID this was our preferred method.) Is it NOT “every one for him or herself.” for all people, at all times. I have TRUST in this man. (Yes some people DO.) That he will either pull out, like he says he will, or he will help me raise the child which may result if he doesn’t. Which he has.

    Many relationships, or even flings rely on only one member having BC responsibility. You may have wanted to preface your announcement with “if it’s casual sex.” In a relationship, it’s usually not “everyone for himself.” And I have to disagree, not only should there be some TRUST in even casual flings, but there should be responsiblity on the part of both.

    But, as men can’t get pregnant, there will always be some inequality in the decision making and how much responsibility the NON pregnant memeber of the coupling has.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I would never screw a guy who used the term, “You’re on your own.” to me. I think many women feel the same. BUT, if a man feels this way, YES, he should come out and say it, for no other reason than the woman who was about to have sex with him can see him for the selfish immature Peter Pan that he is.

    Sex is risky. For both genders. A woman can die. A man can……have to open his checkbook. AW.

    Guys don’t get off just by whining, “But, I didn’t want a kid right now. I want all my pennies for mySELF.” Sorry.

  4. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Hey, Spes, Truce. OK?

    Hugs.

  5. Spes Says:

    Sure. Agree to disagree. Every one is entitled to their own thoughts on what’s right or wrong.

    I suppose in the end, men and women should attempt to only engage in sex with people of like minds concerning having children (with such is stated up-front), and pray that the other doesn’t change their mind when it counts.

  6. Spes Says:

    Oops! Correction: “…with such stated up-front…

  7. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Agreed! :)

  8. The Javelineer Says:

    Here’s how it should work.

    Women can terminate their parental rights and responsibilities, any time during the legal period for an abortion and any time after that by adoption or “sanctuary laws.”

    Men should have the same rights. Any time durign the period an abortion would be legal for the woman, a man should be able to give up permanently all legal rights and responsibilities to the unborn child.

    The pregnant women is free to keep or abort the baby, or later give it up for adoption.

    IMHO, this is the only just way to give equal reproductive rights to both women and men.

  9. kentuckyliz Says:

    All we need is a reliable male contraception, then men can take back ownership of their bodies.

    If it’s a permanent decision to not have children, go for the snip snip. Cheaper than 18 years of child support.

  10. moonrage Says:

    men don’t have the right to have sex. they only have the right not to have sex. when a man inserts his penis into a woman’s vagina, the woman decides whether that act is sex or not. whatever she decides is what is for the man.

    men are far behind women in reproductive rights, but i am glad that we are at least starting to raise the question whether men are equal to women. gender equality exclusively proceeds from the assumption of power differentials favoring men, never from those that favor women. discussions on gender equality is anything but equal and so the question of equal rights for men is a small step in a very long journey towards a new focus on the inequities that favor women.

    men should have the same rights as women to control their own reproductive destiny. the real burden to a woman that abortion eliminates is often not the 9 months of pregnancy but the lifetime impositions of parenthood that follows. to the extent that abortion isn’t a medical issue but an economic, social, and mental issue, there is no rational justification to deny men the same protections from the same conditions that affect both men and women.

  11. Toads Says:

    Madam L is just a moocher who wants to cheat a man out of his hard-earned money.

    This article on societal misandry is a must-read for everyone.

  12. Oxbay Says:

    Yes.

    Men should have the right, irrespective of what their female partners choose to do when pregnant, of aborting their parental rights. These rights should mirror exactly the rights Courts have made up for women while pregnant.

    For example, if a woman can abort the baby up to the day of birth the man should be able to abort his parental rights up to the day of birth.

    Equal rights, baby. Yes, I mean the irony.

  13. MeMyself&I Says:

    Did I really just read that the author is relying on WITHDRAWAL as a method of birth control?

    It is a very good thing that you and your mate are in agreement…

  14. MeMyself&I Says:

    (Mademoiselle L.)

  15. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Toads so kindly said: “Madam L is just a moocher who wants to cheat a man out of his hard-earned money.”

    ROTFLMAO!!!! My Man and I have been together and in love for several decades, have four children, own our SECOND house together, and share our lives together each fulling a different role, one as a husband and father and the other as a wife and mother. Sorry you can’t appreciate a good relationship, or understand what one consists of.

    I would think if I was going to “cheat” this man, I wouldn’t have waited over 25 years to get around to it.

  16. submandave Says:

    The child shouldn’t suffer

    Unless the woman decides the child’s suffering and death is less important than her inconvenience.

  17. LoboSolo Says:

    @The Javelineer … Spot on!

  18. Charles Collins Says:

    All of this was covered several thousand years ago when “marriage” was invented.

  19. Ronnie O Says:

    So if a man has procreated with some one he loved and later decided to have a vasectomy for health or any other reason, does that mean his mate has the right to chastise him for his decision?
    Pro choice is because it’s the women’s body it is her choice. Responsible men are intitled to a choice involving their body as well?

  20. Kara Says:

    It seems to me I never hear men want thier child maybe once in a while maybe. Women have abortions usually because they don’t think they can support a baby or thier family friends and the man say it your problem girl. I think there is a lack of responsiablity on all fronts here.Abortion is the abandonment of the mom that leads to the murder of a child because people don’t want to help with a grandchild,niece or nephew or daughter or son.Frankly I am tired of hearing Men want sex without consequence,pleasure with no pain joy with no sorrow life with no death it just doesn’t work that way people.If you don’t want children get a v-sectomy.Birth control fails often even when used properly so man up or zip up, same for the women don’t lay down with a man that can’t Man up if you have a opps baby.Then we won’t be having all these damn fights. A little thinking will solve alot of these issues.

  21. AJ Says:

    The child is the most important. Oh KentuckyLiz, shove snip-snip after you research the real pain of several men who’ve had vasectomies – not the smiling article that says it’ll be so much easier for the men.
    Okay, on the the kids. Unwanted kids – can anything be sadder?
    In first trimester if both parents don’t sign a document saying they want the child then both should be on required to pay for abortion. That is the only fair way to the children and the parents. The woman’s body yes. No arguing there. And the man’s body in terms of labor to earn more and perhaps divide his future family’s (saying the first mother does not want him as her husband but onlt the child) income while “doing the right thing” that he had no choice in.
    I really do not think one parent should have more choice than another, because one endures initial suffering – very respected and life-threatening at times) for 9 months. There really is long-suffering when anyone is a parent. Men are not all punks. While I never faced this because I married and later fell in love – took about 22 years but it’s true – I did suffer quite a bit. The tiniest part but perhaps an eye opener is being ignored by 2 of the 3 children, 2 whole years when I wanted to hug them, for the first year of their lives. Lots of hugs after, though. And the never-ending knowledge that if we fail, it’s my fault and mine alone. No one ever blames the woman. Somehow I stayed, and stayed, and stayed, and stayed true and with a standard, a wee bit dominant cause I don’t go the other way, created all my dreams coming true.

  22. SJ Says:

    I attached an article about Baby Emma.

    I don’t know the dynamics of the people involved. If he was a really bad guy, I might have done the same thing.

    When I was 25, I lived with an abusive and controlling man. I skipped a period. I realized that my life would be a living hell if I had a baby with this man. My friend and I worked out a plan to go to a clinic to terminate the pregnancy while he was at work. As it turns out, I wasn’t pregnant, just very stressed from my bad relationship. The plan worked though. I cleared out my stuff and moved into another place while he was at work. I didn’t leave a forwarding address or phone number.

  23. SJ Says:

    Sorry. Here’s the website.

  24. SJ Says:

    I read the link that Toad submitted. It was very disturbing. It’s the equivalent of the KKK burning a cross on someone’s lawn and getting mad because you call them racist. There were some folks who politely disagreed on some points and were called names like “faggot,” or “she-male.” It’s really nasty stuff. Why on earth did you attach this?

    Um, Toad. Were you attaching that article because you wanted to show how whacked the author is or because you’re a TRUE BELIEVER?

    If you’re a TB, Women don’t have teeth down there. You need some therapy in regards to your anger issues. Are you going to call me names now? If you do, you’ll only make me right. Watch out for the anger issues, dude. They’ll eat you alive. If you’re not a TB, please note that the first sentence of this paragraph was an “IF” statement. If you’re not a TB, thank you for the illumination into the world of misogynistic crazy men.

  25. Shell Says:

    This article is really interesting. The writer of this question poses an interesting topic. The answer to this is very simple. Anytime two people have sex, unless one of those people cannot have children, there is always a chance that a woman can get pregnant. Men know this and women know this. In having sex, this is a chance that you take. Whether protection is used or not, there is still a chance that a life will be created. The problem is that sex is trivialized. Sex is a big thing. It is not just recreation or exercise. If a man wants to guarantee that he will not have a child, outside of not having sex, having a vasectomy or date women who cannot have children. If you are not ready to become a father, then be selective with who you have sex with. This may mean that there are less one night stands and spontaneity and just maybe you might have to get to know the person. You might have to have to tell them your feelings about procreation during the time you get to know her. Let her know up front that you do not want children at this point and that you do not want to be a part of the child’s life, nor to you want to support the child, financially or otherwise.

    This might limit your chances at sex but it will also limit your opportunities to produce offspring.

    I do want to say though that children are innocent and whether you want the child or not, it is a cruel thing to participate in bringing a child in the world but if a child is produces, you would leave the child fatherless.

  26. Heather Says:

    Men have several choice – you can’t say they don’t. Get it fixed, wrap it up, or keep it in your pants. Those are choices. They can also take custody and collect child support just as well.

  27. Abby Says:

    Yes, we need male reproductive rights. I am a pro-choice, hetero woman. You are right, ownership is 9/10 of the law (I am an attorney). However, there are women out there who will lie and connive to get themselves pregnant. It’s true, although it seems the majority of the female community doesn’t know how to deal with these derelicts who drive all of our numbers down. My suggestion has always been male reproductive rights. I say, if you want to bear junior so bad, you be prepared to pay for junior yourself. It’s the standard that I have always held myself to, and I think that, as a collective, it’s time that we made it our own. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

  28. Andrea Says:

    I’ve read through several of these comments and am fascinated. What I have learned from my own experience, is that even when you do discuss with your partner (even someone you’ve known for 10 years) your stance on abortion/keeping a child and the fact that neither of you are using birth control — and you’re both in your forties —once the woman gets pregnant, it’s like all of those discussions did not take place. AFTER I became pregnant, the man who said he was “ok with me getting pregnant” and “would never ask me to have an abortion,” suddenly told me to get an abortion or he and I would no longer be a couple. Although the timing of my pregnancy was not ideal (when is it quite frankly?)I knew I wanted a child, and he did too. Not just from what we said, but from what we did (it takes two, period). I have never agreed that women are victims in terms of becoming pregnant and men leaving them to raise the child solo, and I don’t feel victimized now. However, I did have the conversation(s) with my partner, and he chose to ignore them. I’ll end with this, a man may not be able to decide whether or not a woman keeps a child, however a woman can not decide to keep that child from the man. If the man wants to be part of the child’s life, the woman can’t do anything (legally anyway) about that.

  29. Robert Says:

    Interesting article…

    The rights lie with both parties for me

  30. Michal Says:

    Yes, males should have reproductive rights when the situation is a short term heterosexual relationship. The male should not be party to be extorted financially by another person or have that person benefit financially as a result of a one sided decision. Golddiggers beward. It encourages unprotected sex as a devious woman can profit from her pregnancy as doe the lawyers who get involved in the litigation.

  31. Jaybe Says:

    The comments are very interesting. I was unable to find strong answers for any of the following:

    Why are women given the right to have casual sex but also have the choice to abort or give away the child – but men are not rewarded this same right?

    Also, a further point, when one catches a cold – is it the victims fault for not washing his hands, not being warm enough, etc.? Or is it the fault of the person where the germs originated?

    If women are given the choice to control what happens to their own bodies as far as abortion is concerned – why are they also not expected to control their bodies before they actually get pregnant?

  32. Pam Says:

    Well now, waaaa waaaa waaaaa. Historically it’s been the woman who has always gotten the short end of the stick. Has to quit school and raise a child, people think negatively about her and the guy gets off scott free. Here’s some simple advise. Keep your pants on and you won’t find yourself in this situation. Yes, possession is 9/10′s of the law. Sorry!

  33. Dustin Says:

    We will forever get the raw deal now. Until humans remember our place the world will remain junk. Scorned women don’t realize that it is their choice as well. They don’t realize that there are women out there that do nothing but prey amongst the males, getting pregnant, getting child support and government assistance. That is all they do (they being the ones I just specified for all those fem-Nazis out there). Its no wonder males are moving towards what they are. You have taken advantage of us since the beginning and all we did was love you. Every single great man met his fall because of a woman. Look at your histories. On the other side, there was a time when women were respectable and trustworthy, I would guess about 5 or 6 centuries ago, but there was a time. I could be wrong on that point though. You are too easily influenced. Too easily drawn in to deviant and deceitful behavior. To clarify, I am not defending men in general. To those that are too short-sited to see the point I will stated it very clearly. We had control for thousand of years because we did it best. It maintained a unique set of priorities and disciplines for both and the family unit was successful and supportive. Everyone now is so concerned about having power that no one can see or take on anything beyond themselves. Change comes from within though and in a world full of self-important egotists, change will never come. When the world is finished shaking, you will all fall away. Blessings and good day. I hope for the best for all of us.


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