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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:

    “The only thing a dude can do is rubber up and screen for sexual partners with similar values.”
    Sounds about right (and really, shouldn’t that be the case anyway?).

    Anything else would get too complicated and then the legal battles would begin in earnest. It cuts too close to restricting and censuring a woman’s rights over her body. Once a man can step in and have a court order her to keep a baby, then the next step is to have the court take over her health care and diet to ensure her a healthy unwanted baby. And from there one can look forward to legal suits against women who want to keep the baby, but the father doesn’t believe that she’s taking proper care of herself and therefore the baby and so wants to have greater influence over her medical care, and then it effects every pregnant woman. And let’s not forget the days of the coat hangers. Give a woman no choice, and she’s apt to feel she has no other recourse but to handle it herself. We might as well just become pretty brood mares.
    Then of course there’s the flip side. She wants to have the baby and he doesn’t. So he runs to the court and suddenly she doesn’t have the right to refuse a medical treatment because she’s been ordered to have an abortion. Never mind that having an abortion puts her at risk of becoming sterile. Oh yeah, and also never mind that it is potentially fatal for the woman, as well. AND, maybe abortion is against her religion, so now they’re also stepping on her freedom of religion. And what a great country we would be!
    I’m not saying it’s fair, but it certainly is one hell of slippery slope.

    In truth I believe it should always be handled on a case by case basis between the two people involved. If we can have an STDs talk before having sex (which I should is a given) then why not add in a couple of extra lines about pregnancy. Surely if one is grown up enough to be having sex, one should be able to discuss it’s possible consequences in a similarly mature manner.

    On a personal note: Abortion isn’t the only choice, just the best.

  2. Dannie Says:

    I think it may become dangerous confusing “male reproductive rights” with “the man has the say in the relationship.” Little can be done when the baby has not been born yet, because a woman does have a right over what happens to her body. But after the kid’s born? Often in this country, men are still put on the back-burner when it comes to rights to see their (knowingly conceived, and not from a sperm bank) children, or have much say in their lives. Just something else to think about; born progeny is as much a factor of reproduction as unborn progeny.

  3. Johhny Says:

    RE: the first comment

    I think court injunctions forcing women to take one course of action or another with their bodies is obviously out of the question.

    But once the kid is born, that’s where dads get screwed: sky-high child care, limited visitation rights, almost certainly no custody rights even if the mom is a total screw-up…

    Maybe there should be a legal opt-out clause for dads who favor abortion and want nothing to do with the situation?

    Of course, if such a choice existed, I would look down on and judge negatively guys who took it. Abandoning a kid is a shitty thing for a father to do. But so is selfishly having a kid in bad circumstances (no money, uninvolved dad, drunk screw-up mom…). I also judge mothers for that.

  4. Spes Says:

    Oh, I certainly can agree with you, Johhny. There should be some sort of opt out clause for a man if a woman insists on having the baby against his wishes. If a woman knows that the father doesn’t want the child to be brought to term, and yet follows through with the pregnancy, then let her do so with the understanding that she has FULL responsibility for the child once it’s born, and he has no rights to the child AT ALL. If at a later date the father has a change of heart and wishes to see his child, then he should assume part of the responsibility for that child AT THAT POINT. I can’t honestly say that I would negatively judge a guy who didn’t want to have a baby, and the female didn’t care and so had it anyway, if he opts out of being a part of the child’s life–it wasn’t his choice. Sure, it’s his sperm, but at that point it’s not really his child. If the woman has a problem with this, then she should consider alternative options to carrying it to term.
    However, I do NOT agree with a guy being a part of the child’s life, or getting the girl pregnant under false pretenses, and not taking responsibility for the child. I also don’t agree with a guy who doesn’t wear a condom and then when the girl gets pregnant refuses to help with the child.

    Withdrawal doesn’t work; wrap it up or don’t jump in. And for the girls, condoms aren’t 100%, and neither is he, so take up some personal responsibility and have some form of backup birth control. Male reproductive rights don’t have to be an issue, if everyone does their part.

    Alright, I’ll get off of my soap box now.

  5. Mary Says:

    I am currently living this dillema (minus the alcohol, but plus her mental and emotional instability) through my boyfriend and his EX (girlfriend of only 6 months). HE fathered her 3rd illegitimate child. The first was with a boyfriend while he was in college and she was only 18. He did not want the baby and wanted to focus on his future. She did and had her first child. Since that time, he’s paid his dues but has nothing to do with his daughter. Just last year his new wife found where some of his check (as an Engineer) is going and was none too thrilled. The second illegitimate child was through a second boyfriend of a few months. He SAID he wanted to take care of her and her previous child but was not up to the task aside from having a decent steady paycheck to offer. And then we come to my current boyfriend. 6 years ago he briefly got involved with her and OOPS AGAIN. He does his part AND THEN SOME for his daughter and even then sometimes for the others because he’s the only one who gives a damn and she apparently cant’ get her personal life together! STOP THE INSANITY, people! I do put blame where it belongs. If my current boyfriend didn’t want children, he should have used a condom, but his EX…c’mon…three oops?? She has taken it to the bank and then some! she got her present job through the fact she is a single mom and has 3 seperate child support checks to give her a grand total yearly income of approx. $75,000 and lives in deluxe luxury apartments. Mean while she plays games in allowing my current boyfriend to see his daughter and always tries to rope the other 2 in so they have a father. She dates and screws (luckily she had her tubes tied after the third) and currently is in a court battle with her own mother where her sanity is (finally) under scrutiny.(I certainly have shortened this soap opera story for easier digestion). Maybe there is some justice and I just have yet to see it. For someone like me who doesn’t have children, this has been quite the eye-opener!

  6. kb Says:

    You can argue for these quote “male reproductive rights” when they don’t involve taking over my body. not before. til then, uh, yeah, rubber up and screen for partners with your values. Nobody owes you 100% consequence free sex. get that through your head.

  7. Becky Says:

    Hey, I sympathize with the OP, but let’s not forget that FEMALE reproductive rights are still under constant attack in this country. Just because Roe v Wade is still law does not mean that all women have access to safe and affordable abortions. Plan B is still routinely denied to women across the country, and there are plenty of members of Congress who would gladly make birth control illegal if they could (and in the meantime they just deny its funding it poor women). Abortion and female reproductive rights are on the line right now in the health care debate – it is imperative for all people who believe in choice to take action now before a bill is passed that doesn’t include funding for abortion and birth control. Once women truly have control over medical decisions involving their bodies, I will gladly donate time and effort to the cause of male reproductive rights.

  8. POLARIS Says:

    First what is frmale birth control for, women that do not wont to get pregnet so any women that is not using birth control is trying to get pregnet so there are no ooops and a condom is not a form of birth control read the package it states that rigth on it qnd you can still get her pergnet with one on. Untell men have a working form of birth control like women do men should not be held responecible. But as long as childern are worth money in the form of child support there are going to be women that use childern as income producing propity and have them for the money I know I am in mess myself right now and 75000 a year is nothing compaired to some women out the with child support and wefare checks. I know one women that has 12 childern and make over 200,000 dollars a year in child support and she is on goverment programs. P.S. There is a articel out there about how much we are spending on the war as compaired to our welfare system but i hope you have a good heart cause you will not believe it.

  9. Johnny Says:

    Maybe male PARENTAL rights would better describe the debate at hand, since a man’s “reproductive” work is complete upon ejaculation, and we all agree that legislating womens’ bodies is bad.

  10. Spes Says:

    Men do have a working form of birth control-vasectomy and to a degree, condoms. Also, Polaris, chemical birth control is not 100%, just like condoms. According to your logic any man who doesn’t have a vasectomy and has sex with a female is trying to get a girl pregnant. Some women’s bodies don’t tolerate birth control (not a great percent but there are some). Putting all the responsibility on the female is not only wrong and unjust, but also more than a bit cowardly. It takes two to tango, so both parties have to exercise personal responsibility because they both have an equal part in conceiving a child.

    Unfortunately, this thread seems to have digressed. How sad.

  11. Holly Says:

    Spes is absolutely right about some women not being able to tolerate birth control. I suffer from migraines and any combination method (pills, patch, Nuvaring) makes those migraines more frequent. My husband and I have agreed that we don’t want children but none of the options that are left seem to suit our situation. I’d love to have my tubes tied or have my husband get a vasectomy but since we’re both in our mid-20s it’s nearly impossible to find a doctor who would perform either procedure at this point. I’ve also been trying to convince doctors to let me try Mirena for years but since I’ve never had children they’ve all said no. We are responsible and try to make sure I don’t get pregnant but to say that we’re trying to get pregnant just because I’m not taking birth control is both ignorant and offensive.

    As for the question at hand, I have to agree with the general consensus here. It’s difficult to give men reproductive rights without infringing upon women’s reproductive rights and since it’s her body that’s involved in a pregnancy her rights are ultimately more important. If anyone could come up with a solution that would protect both genders’ rights then I’d be all for it but I just don’t see a way to make that happen.

  12. ms Says:

    Spes – a lovely rebuttal.

    I’d say that as soon as we’ve figured out a way to safely remove a viable fetus from a woman’s uterus and attach it to a man’s bladder or something, men can have all the reproductive rights they want. Until then, the still contentious battle for women’s reproductive right is more important.

    Now, I do think that if a woman is morally opposed to abortion and wishes to carry the child to term but then intends to put it up for adoption, the male partner, if he so wishes, should have every opportunity to legally adopt his own kid with very little hassle; in this case, the mother might have the same sort of limited visitation privileges (and perhaps have to pay child support?) as a man would traditionally have – since we might as well treat both genders equally, as long as we’re talking about ideals.

  13. Spes Says:

    Thank you, ms.
    I concur, especially with the part about a father being able to have the child with little trouble, and paperwork, if the mother doesn’t want it. Also, I think it would be a good idea that if a woman wishes to be a part of the child’s life later, then she too, would have to take part of the responsibility for the child’s well-being.
    However, a man should not be able to force a woman to carry a child to term, even if he’s willing to take full responsibility of said child after birth, if she’s not wanting to carry it. (Some women, and men too, just simply don’t want their genetic code moving into the next generation.) As you’ve said, it’s her body, she should have the right to control what’s done with it.

  14. nawny Says:

    FWIW, I’m a woman, and I consider myself a feminist.

    I think women already get two choices:

    1) Do I consent to pregnancy?

    No? Abort, the sooner the better.

    Yes? Carry the fetus to full-term and birth.

    2) Do I consent to parenting?

    No? See if father wants to be a single dad. If he also says no, see if other family members want baby. If not, offer baby up for adoption.

    I don’t think men should have any kind of rights over the first question women answer — the fetus is in the woman’s body. She is the only one that can consent to pregnancy.

    It seems simply reasonable that men should have the same choice that women do in regards to question two… Assuming that the woman wants to carry the fetus to term, then the man should have the right to answer this question:

    Do I consent to parenting?

    No? See if mother wants to be a single mom. If she also says no, see if other family members want baby. If not, offer baby up for adoption.

    As it stands now, men have far, far fewer choices regarding contraceptives than women do (permanent vasectomy or error-prone condoms). They have very little legal say in what happens with their genetic material once it leaves their body. It seems to me that we, as a culture, have gone from vilifying women who have sex (pregnancy and maternity as punishment!) to vilifying men who have sex (paternity as punishment!).

    We need to keep pushing. We need more options for male birth control. We need to see paternity as a bigger issue than child support.

  15. Eve Says:

    I like a lot of what Spes and Nawny have said. I don’t think anyone except the pregnant woman should have any say in whether or not the child is carried to term. As Nawny said, “…the fetus is in the woman’s body. She is the only one that can consent to pregnancy.”

    When it comes to parenting, if the child is carried to term, both parents should have equal say. And I do think paying child support is fair if one parent chooses not to be an equal participant in caring for the child.

    I agree with Nawny that there should be more options for male birth control. Also, as Spes said in the first comment, if you can have an STD talk with your partner (which you should!), you can have a talk about accidental pregnancy too. If you don’t like what they would do in that situation, you might want to reconsider having sex with them. (but also keep in mind that they could change their mind if the situation actually happened…there’s no guarantee)

  16. Mary Says:

    Nawny, you nailed it right on the head in all your points. My “detailing of the situation” was not intended to state that men should have the CHOICE of determining carrying the babies to term and keeping them but rather that women should be more conscientious of their sexual partners and their own ability to carry the responsibilities involved in parenthood. (I know, a tall order for most young girls/women) Because, as my story elaborates, there is so much fallout that affects everyone outside the situation for years to come. It isn’t just about “Reproductive Rights” it’s about RESPONSIBLE reproduction and parenthood. The CHOICE these women make can effect so many others and not necessarily in positive ways. It would be a much more fair world, in my view, if there were more options for men, birthcontrol-wise and father’s rights, as well.

  17. Demosthenes XXI Says:

    Wonderful topic, Em & Lo!

    But one thing that I haven’t seen brought up is the concept of reproductive fraud by a woman. This is when a man is tricked by a woman into becoming a father by entering a sexual situation with the expectation that assurances against conception are in place or by nefarious post-coital activity.

    The way that this can happen is by:

    1) Sabotaging the use of birth control (i.e. putting holes in the condom).
    2) Deliberate deception (woman telling the man that she’s on the pill or using a form of birth control).
    3) Misappropriation of sperm despite the male’s wishes to the contrary (i.e. robbing the condom, etc…).
    4) A woman deliberately and falsely legally naming a man as the father of her child.

    Currently, American, British, and Canadian law has no provision for protecting or even recognizing the fact that men are being victimized in this manner. The dockets are filled with cases where this has happened to men, but the courts are not interested in justice, but in simply having a resolution for the case on the books.

    Before I continue, men can also commit reproductive fraud (claiming that they have a vasectomy or are otherwise sterile), but they are the only ones held legally liable for it.

  18. M. Says:

    “Abandoning a kid is a shitty thing for a father to do. But so is selfishly having a kid in bad circumstances”

    Because as we all know Johnny, only the white upper middle class are entitled to keeping their unplanned pregnancies, and NOT wanting extract a fetus from your uterus is selfish. Its comments like that that make it hard for me to wave the pro-choice flag so vehemently sometimes.

    Yes it must really suck sometimes that men “don’t have a say” but that’s just how pregnancy works. Sure there are manipulative-bitchy-selfish-golddigging women out there who trick men into having unsafe sex, but they are NOT the majority.

    If you want consequence free sex by all means, go wack off. Just stay away from MY rights.

  19. Frank Says:

    I can’t say I agree with M’s comment. To say that men shouldn’t be given any protection from, “manipulative-bitchy-selfish-golddigging women out there who trick men into having unsafe sex” simply because there aren’t a lot of them isn’t a good argument. There’s a minority of men who will assault women for wearing revealing clothing, but that doesn’t mean we should tell women, “You’re asking for it” if they choose to don a miniskirt. Granted, the two groups are different in the social damage they cause, but to simply make the argument that there aren’t a lot of them is unfair. It suggests that we as individuals are responsible for everyone else’s actions. It’s an argument so basically unsound it’s aggravating.

    What you’re suggesting to men is abstinence education at its most basic, and most unsuccessful, level. If you want to promote that kind of legal protection for men, I hope you have a great vibrator (provided by sponsors of this great website, of course), because if the moment we stumble across someone trying to get pregnant, it’s the man’s fault for having a sex drive and being around someone who would take advantage of that, then the smart thing for men to do would be to buy a good lube (again, provided by the sponsors of this great site) and stay home .

    Men know there is a risk. Men also know that sometimes we’re played for chumps. If a woman takes advantage of a man and tricks him into impregnating her against his will, how is that not something completely wrong and worth defending his case? Should he be punished for having a sex drive? From my reading of your comment, the answer seems to be, “yes.”

    It is a slippery slope, to be sure. Men can be quick to freak out at the word “pregnant.” I’ve dealt with it, and when it isn’t time to start a family, it’s not fun. A man, in my opinion, should have 0 legal power when it comes to deciding whether or not a woman has a child or not. That’s not my territory. I can give my opinion, explain why I think what I think, financially support an option of my choosing (whether it be to keep the baby or no), but I can’t make that decision.

    However, if either she compromises the safety of sex, or she agrees to have and raise the baby without my involvement, is it fair that down the road that I’m still responsible for her decision to get pregnant in the first situation, or that at any moment she decides to change her mind in the second, I’m still as liable?

    I think that something as simple as a legal document stating that the man does not have to worry about the pregnancy, if that is the agreed consensus between the man and the woman, would be a step forward.

    I don’t want to tread upon your rights with the baby inside you, and the assault on women’s rights is a travesty chosen by rich men who don’t know a thing about being pregnant. However, I think men deserve some legal protection.

  20. Mary Says:

    Frank, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  21. johnny Says:

    M wrote [ironically]:

    “…only the white upper middle class are entitled to keeping their unplanned pregnancies”

    I said “shitty circumstances”, M. That includes eing the dependent white child of a manipulative, attention crazy, decidedly upper-class Alaskan governor with a dumbass for a baby-daddy… or putting your eight rich white children through the trauma of reality TV exposure… etc…

    I didn’t bring race or class into it. YOU did. YOU suggested that non-whites and non-upper class people have shitty lives.

    You show me one bit of textual evidence that I’m a racist. Don’t put words in my mouth, especially when you’re pulling them out of your ass.

    Finish your college freshman year and try again, you smarmy brat.

  22. Spes Says:

    First I have to agree with, johnny. I was more than a bit offended when I read that same line. I already gave my two cents about the issue of bringing a child into a poverty stricken, or shitty situation under the ’38 and wanting a baby’ thread. M, I suggest you read it.

    I also somewhat agree with what Frank has to say. It’s not right for a woman to trick a guy into getting her pregnant–shamefully there’s obviously enough women who have committed such an injustice that it is an issue. However, there are paternity tests that can help solve the issue of ‘It’s not mine’. In the end it simply means that just as women must protect themselves from men who falsely claim sterility, men must protect themselves from women who falsely claim to be on the pill. Though, lets not forget that the pill isn’t 100%, so that backup form of birth control that I already mentioned, should be in place anyway.

    And let’s face it folks, if you’re having sex with someone who you don’t know well enough to know whether or not they can be trusted, shouldn’t you be using a condom anyway? If they’re apt to lie about birth control, do you really think they’d not lie about a STD?

  23. Frank Says:

    Spes is absolutely right. Guys need to take those precautions. My girlfriend is on the pill, and we still take every precaution we can. Sex without condoms is an experience to be described only as “glorious,” but intelligent people are willing to sacrifice a little free reign for a big boost in safety.

    Pregnancy tests are important for people more sexually active than myself, and I’m glad you mentioned them. Would anyone happen to know (Em and Lo included), how much a pregnancy test costs?

  24. Joanna Says:

    Yes, men should definitely have a say in whether or not to have kids! I know too many women who have gotten pregnant on purpose. Why should men not have a say? If you don’t want to have a kid, why should you be forced to have one? We don’t force women to have kids. But yet, somebody gets pregnant in hopes it might help seal the deal, and the man just gets screwed and forced to pay for the kid whether he wanted it or not. Women can have an abortion but the man’s stuck for life. Oh, yeah, p.s, I’m a woman.

  25. Joanna Says:

    Oh, don’t forget, next thing that happens is our tax dollars pays for it when the stupid woman who planned it doesn’t get child support so she goes on food stamps and welfare.

  26. Katie Says:

    I’ve always known that I’m in a minority on this issue, but I’m going to voice it anyway.

    I absolutely believe that if a mother doesn’t want the child and the father does, that she should carry the child to term and he raises the child. Is that “imposing” on the woman’s body? Perhaps. But they were equal partners in the situation knowing full well how a pregnancy works. They deserve to be equal partners in making the decision.

    I am pro-choice, which in my mind says the man deserves a choice too. I think the fact that we as a society say “it’s a woman’s body, it’s her choice” helps to perpetuate irresponsible fathers who *don’t* participate in the decision and child-rearing. We send a message that the woman is dominant and the man is helpless. How can we do that and then be surprised that some men take the low-maintenance route.

    I know my opinions are controversial. And I am a woman. I am a woman who also had an unplanned pregnancy where I didn’t know who the father was. I told both potential men and involved them both in the final decision of the child’s fate. Was it *ultimately* my choice? Yes. But the child was only half mine and the men deserved input on their own child’s future.

    Period.

    If I had wanted an abortion and one of them wanted to keep the child, I would have carried it for them. It’s not surrogacy. And it’s not “unfair” or “imposing rights on/over my body”. It’s dealing with the consequences of your actions. Women are equally as responsible as men in these situations and we know it. Taking away a man’s right to decide his child’s future is vile to me.

  27. Talia Says:

    I’m sorry, did I actually read someone say a man should be able to opt out of taking care of a child if he doesn’t want to have it but that the woman carries it to term and that he can come back in the childs life he he so chooses later?

    Yes, I did read that, Spes said it and its the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

    Basically, men can have sex all day. If they get a girl pregnant they can point to a stomach and say ‘abort that.’ If she chooses not to (for whatever reason she may have to not want to abort her child) the man can walk away from the situation with no legal or financial responsibility but if he wants to throw a football around in 10 years, he has that right? What planet do you live on???? I assume you will be paying back child support if you decide to be a part of this kids life sometime in the future, or can you opt out of that indefinitely?

    You complain about women trapping you and not using birth control and not conforming to your wishes to abort or not abort a child and sometimes that’s true. There are a lot of shady women out there. Its also true that condoms don’t always work, birth control gives headaches whatever. If you don’t want to run the risk of not getting a girl knocked up or getting knocked up–don’t have sex! How about that option? As far as I know sex isn’t necessary for survival. Man can’t be tricked into having sex. Its a conscious decision to put your dick somewhere. Stop being weak and putting your dick in places it will get in trouble. Period. The unwanted pregnancy issue would stop altogether if men kept their dick in their pants until they found a woman who shared their same values (to either not want a baby and practice safe sex on both ends or to want a baby both parents plan to raise).

    If you are stupid and weak and have been tricked into sex either through use of a spell or potion or large amounts of alcohol or however that happens to men, yes, you are kinda option less in my opinion. Men’s reproductive rights don’t dictate or usurp womens reproductive rights. You can’t tell her to abort because you don’t want it (you shouldn’t have taken your dick out of your pants if you didn’t want it) and you also can’t forgo the responsibility of taking your dick out of your pants if she decides to keep it. Undeniably men get the short end of the stick decision wise in this instance but as I mentioned before: Dick in pants=problem solved.

  28. Anony Says:

    Man’s reproductive right=vasectomy. Period.

  29. Rio Says:

    Yes, men do need rights!! The idea that a woman can choose to get pregnant without telling the male that she was not taking birth control. Or the she pin pricked the condom so the sperm would get her pregnant! She thinks “he will love me” and some men are trapped into a relationship that hey don’t want and a life time of slavery.
    When there is no prior agreement,then yes,males should have the right to say your decision your money!!

  30. Beckie Says:

    Why not wait till you’re married? Don’t even
    get pregnant or get anybody pregnant until
    you are ready to be a mom or dad. Learn how
    to be a loving, responsible mate first, then
    have all the children you can afford fin-
    ancially and emotionally. Doesn’t this sound
    better than having all of these problems?

  31. Frank Says:

    I meant *paternity* test, not pregnancy test, on my last comment up there.

    I don’t think a vasectomy should be a man’s only form of reproductive rights. Should a woman’s only form of protection be tying her tubes? Sure, pregnancy is pretty hard to get when you’ve gotten the procedure, but it doesn’t discern between the right to have children and the right not to have children. I think you have to have both before you can say men have reproductive rights. Vasectomy covers the latter half, and after you have all the children you want, I think it’s a great idea.

    But what about those of us who want to have kids, a family, and the like? I don’t think waiting until after you’ve tied the matrimonial knot is a good solution, either. The recent post:

    http://www.emandlo.com/2009/10/dear-em-lo-hes-mr-perfect-except-for-the-sex/

    shows what might happen when you wait until after your married to discover a rather important aspect of your partner. I’m really glad I didn’t wait until I was married to have sex. It’s a natural part of a relationship as it develops, and why forcibly stunt the growth of a relationship like that? Because you know what else is risky? Agreeing to spend years of your life with someone to build a relationship that might not last the rest of your life.

    I wish there was a clear answer to what we should do to ensure male reproductive rights, but I know that, “just keep it packed in” or, “if someone tricks you it’s your own fault for not seeing through it” are at best shoddy answers.

  32. Anthony Says:

    It seems to me that it took two to produce a pregnancy,and it takes the commitment of the two people involved to raise and support the infant from the start of birth. Yet I’m to believe and think correctly of ‘That the male has nothing to say about,the termination of the pregnancy,because of a womens right to have the final say in this matter. I have felt for the longest time that people should be required to get an issued license to have a child through sexual relationships,be them married or not. Also if I may add,that this is a severe break down of our society in the rearing of our children through neglecting our responsibilty as parents in teaching values. So for the lack of our elected leaders to use some common sense,they put everyone in the same illiterate class,so we all can be held back. People “we are not all created equall as humans, and never will there be a “Law” that will ever make that work. Only in America

  33. Meg Says:

    No, Katie. Just no. IDK how it is where you live, but here, people have the right to bodily autonomy, and women are considered people. We can (and probably should) talk about pre-conception and post-birth parental rights for men, but I’m not going back to the kind of society where women’s bodies are considered the property of men just because they are in a relationship. Marital rape was only outlawed a few short decades ago — why rush back so soon?! Your own personal anecdote, btw, doesn’t come close to what you’re suggesting. You *chose* to ask for input, and, as you say, it was still your decision in the end. That is a completely different animal.

    @ Frank: take heart, I’m sure you’ve heard but if you haven’t, they’re working on a version of Depo for men. :)

  34. Frank Says:

    @Meg

    Hadn’t heard that, but it’s good to know.

    I’m in a pretty good monogomous relationship at present, but if she ever decided to break it off, I’ll know I can help salve the seven-year itch. :P

  35. Spes Says:

    Talia. Yes, I did voice that opinion. And yes, I’ll stand by it. I must admit, I am amused that you seem to think that I am a man. I’m not. Sit down, sweetheart, this is a real woman talking who is isn’t stupid, just one that believes in personal responsibility.
    Granted it takes two to conceive a child in the natural order of things, and preferably it takes two to properly raise a child. BUT if a woman insists on carrying an unwanted child to term after the father explicitly stated that he wants nothing to do with the child, then she should be fully responsible for the care of the child. Yes, financially, too. (And if she can’t handle it financially, she should get an abortion. To do otherwise is just plain cruel, selfish, and abusive.) She wouldn’t have to worry about the finances of a child if she chose to abort. I believe if a man supports aborting the child, then he should pay for at least half of the expenses accrued.

    And I’ll agree that if a man does want to come around in ten years because he realized that he made a mistake and now wants to be apart of the child life, he should have that option, too. NOT because he’s earned it or somehow deserves it, but because at that point the child should have a say in whether or not it want’s to know it’s father.–My dad skipped out on me when I was an infant, and then decided to come back into my life when I was 12. We no longer speak, but at least I stopped being a child wondering why daddy didn’t want me and had the chance to discover that he’s just an ass. A child shouldn’t be robbed of the chance to know their father because a woman’s foolish, stubborn pride. However if he is an abusive ass, or has the propensity to harm the child, then by all means keep him away.–Should a guy pay back-child support if he want’s to be a part of the child’s life later on? Sure, that would be fair. One could also apply such to a woman if she choose to carry the child to term, gave it up to the father because she didn’t want motherhood, and then decided to come back later. Equality, folks.

    A man should NEVER EVER have the right to dictate, or even lawfully influence, what happens to a woman’s body concerning pregnancy, but neither should he be stripped of his right to choose fatherhood.

    And to reiterate, both parties need to take personal responsibility for their choice to have sex by protecting themselves and discussing pregnancy along with STDs BEFORE having sex. And what’s so wrong with being a bit choosy about who you have sex with? Why does screening your potential partners such a bad thing? I don’t see how the ‘inconvenience’ of screening is too much to deal with, when it could save one from so much grief.

    And stop with all this BS of ‘she poked holes in the condom’. Come on guys, don’t tell me you’re incapable of supplying and putting on your own condom. What a cheap cop-out.

  36. Doug Says:

    I think what a lot of people are missing is that a child is a lifetime commitment from both parents, and right now the man has no say in it. You can argue that he should have used protection or just not had sex, but that’s like saying abstinence education works. People are going to have sex, they always have and they always will. What about the cases where the woman is willfully negligent of birth control because she wants to have a child or specifically wants a child with this man. We can ignore it, but sometimes women prey on men by poking holes in the condom or not taking their birth control then railing the father in court for child support. They actually advise professional athletes to never trust a condom they didn’t purchase themselves for just this reason. These women are despicable, and certainly not representative of the greater population, but the simple fact that it CAN happen means there needs to be something on the books requiring that it cannot.

    No woman should ever have to carry a child she doesn’t want or abort a child she does. Ever. To require a woman to carry a child to term or have an abortion is absolutely inhumane and an insult to personal rights. However, I feel the father has a right to know who is carrying his child and when it’s due. If he is not present at the appointments, the office should have to notify him by both mail and telephone. This not only prevents predatory women who do not care about their children from cashing in on famous fathers, but it also lets teenage boys know if they’re going to be a fatehr before it’s too late. The notification would be moot, though, if the woman has an abortion. The father need only know if she is keeping the child. When he receives this notification, and if he does not want a child, his recourse should be what would be equivalent to a “male abortion.” This would mean that for a fee, (I would say 1000-2000 that the mother receives) he waives all his parental rights and is not responsible for any part of the child’s welfare. This doesn’t just mean not paying though. This would mean that he CANNOT see the child, he is not allowed in the mother’s home or his child’s school or daycare without her consent and the mother is not allowed to bring the child to his home or work without his consent. This means all rights as a father are waived, ALL rights.

    The final say in bringing the fetus to birth is the mother’s. This should not handcuff men in a lifetime of child support if they did not want the child.

  37. Fay Says:

    … you are in control of your own sperm… ’nuff said!

  38. JB Says:

    Hi,

    Original poster here. Let me begin by agreeing with what Johnny said before – maybe male “parental” rights would have been a better way to put it than “reproductive” rights. Obviously I’m not suggesting that women’s bodies should be legislated.

    But I do perceive an unfair imbalance of control over the future once once sperm and egg meet.

    In the event of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy, women basically have three chances to make it all go away:

    1. morning after pill
    2. abortion
    3. adoption

    While none of those options may appeal to some women as individuals, the options are there. Men have no such “make it all go away” option. With one trip to the doctor, a woman can erase what she considers to be a mistake. Whereas the guy is stuck with whatever she decides. No fair.

    And for all you, “shoulda thought of that before you had unprotected sex” folks… there’s a HUGE percentage of the population who would consider it your just deserts if you took proper precautions and got pregnant anyway. “Should have waited till marriage, as God intended,” they’d say. No one likes to take responsibility when they fuck up, and everyone wishes for mercy when they do.

  39. LEE Says:

    I didn’t read any of the previous comments…but I’m a girl and I’m thinking of the baby’s sake because I do not agree with abortion…if the mother wants to abort and the father wants the child, he should have the right to make the girl have the infant and then give him up to the father to take care of! The child should have a chance at life…not decided by the mother to just end its life…

  40. richard ludwig Says:

    i wholeheartedly agree with lee. the baby is the innocent one in the matter. the baby SHOULD NOT, REPEAT NOT, be given a death sentence it DOES NOT DESERVE!!! the father should be allowed to adopt the kid or put it up for adoption.

  41. richard ludwig Says:

    oh – and by the way – do not give me that ”its my pussy and my responsibility” garbage – it takes 2 to tango and if the mom is pro-abortion and the dad is not – let the dad have some say in the matter and if the dad says to let the baby live then let it live.

  42. jim Says:

    Bottom line is that even with the best intentions guys get screwed. Only guarantee is to get a vasectomy, and store up some juice in this fridge for when they’re ready to father their own kids.

  43. Doug Says:

    I think people need to stop grand-standing about the sanctity of unborn life. The law has clearly upheld a woman’s right to choose, this issue has no bearing on whether or not you’re pro life or pro choice. It doesn’t matter what you think is right or wrong, it only matters what is. And what “is” right now is a massive disparity between father’s rights and mother’s rights when it comes to supporting a child. Like I said earlier, the father should have the right to know if someone is carrying his child and plans to give birth to it. I know a few people who, while admittedly acted stupidly when they were younger, were served “surprise” warrants for child support payments years after the child they never knew about was born. I would go so far as to say that the father not only has the right to knowledge of his child, he also should have the right to disown it for, say, 6 to 8 weeks after finding out about it. If he chooses that route, of course, he would have the same rights as the mother who put her child up for adoption; meaning he would not be allowed to contact the child or the mother in any way and the child would not be legally granted the knowledge of his father’s identity until the age of 18. That’s parity.

  44. Spes Says:

    I think you have a great point, Doug.

  45. Doug Says:

    Thank you Spes, you bring up some excellent points in your comments as well!

  46. S. Anthony Says:

    In this area I have some expierience. Posession being 9\10 of the law give all of the rights to the women and none to the men, however let that woman be some type of minor(or indiginant) the male has the right to pay. The woman agreed to an abortion, and without the males knowledge has decided to keep the child.. Again the male has the right to financial oblgation… So now I ask in this day and age why are there no rights for the males as equal to the women’s rights. For example a woman comes froms another country use’s a HONEY TRAP to stay in America… What right does the male have at this point? So it is with that vigor I say,”YES!.. We bloddy well do.

  47. T Says:

    What about, “the child” who may have a parent that opted out… Either the mother opts out gives birth and gives child over to father afterwards. Or the father relinquishes all rights and opts out of all contact, requested no involement, no support, but mother chooses to have child. Do you think it’s possible the child will search for thier birth parent – mother or father whichever one opted out and break the OPT OUT agreement to attempt to bring birth parent into the child’s life?

  48. Doug Says:

    T,
    Of course the child will. It’s the same as being adopted. It’s up to the parent to keep the child from knowing who their father is until the child is no longer a minor. Adopted children ahve access tot he record once they’re 18.

  49. Doug Says:

    *have access to the record…. damn sticky keys

  50. Cami Says:

    When men are able to carry a child then they can have reproductive rights. Until then it is a woman’s decision to keep or not keep a baby.


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