Saturday, December 09, 2006

N is for No Accident

Pete the Patriarch dropped by to say hi in a post, and wondered if I might add a link to his blog in my list of links. Honestly, I can't because I find him too vitrolically anti-feminist.

Doesn't mean that he might not have reason to have become so vitrolic or that he doesn't sometimes have a point, or good stuff:

One entry that struck me in particular was The Reversal of 'This was no accident', which links to two stories - one is about getting tricked into fatherhood, and perhaps marriage via, and includes the following nifty bits:

Imagine for a moment this perfectly plausible scenario: You've had a steady girlfriend for a year or so and everything's going great. You still hold hands at the movies. Friends tell you you're good together. You're both around 30 years old and making plenty of money, maybe living together, but you're nowhere near considering fatherhood. And though you occasionally get the feeling that her biological clock is set far ahead of yours, she tells you she's "safe," so you don't worry. Why would you? It's not as if you'd just picked her up on Dollar Margarita Night at Señor Frog's. But one morning she tells you something has gone wrong. Unlikely as it sounds, she's pregnant-and she wants to keep it. What she doesn't tell you, though, is this: She wasn't being safe all along. She wanted to have that baby— and the way she saw it, this was the only way to make it happen.

Here's how a scenario like that played out in real life. Jody (not her real name), a 32-year-old account manager for a major New York ad firm, decided to speed things along with her boyfriend two years ago by getting pregnant without telling him. "It's not about trapping the guy," Jody says. "That's kind of old-fashioned. Yeah, you want him to be into it, but there are other ways to get a guy to commit. If you're smart and in a good relationship, it's just about the fact that you want a kid." Even in her circle of young, urban, and gainfully employed friends, Jody says, this particular brand of subterfuge isn't exactly condemned the way one might expect. In fact, it's sort of, well, normal. "I see and hear people talk about it, and I understand. I get it," she says, "and I don't even think it's that manipulative. It's more like, 'Hey, the timing is right for me. I got pregnant—oops! Well, it's here, let's have it.' I think that's more the way it is now than it was back in the day when you had to marry someone before you got pregnant. Marriage doesn't matter now."

"Trapping" the guy is "old-fashioned"? "Yeah, you want him to be into it?" "It's just about the fact that you want a kid?" "Marriage doesn't matter now."

What amazing quotes. The idea that trapping a guy is old-fashioned - we don't do that anymore - perhaps we don't have to - because "Marriage doesn't matter now." True - it doesn't - you don't have to be married to pay child support, do you?

No, you don't.

And "I don't even think it's that manipulative. " No - not manipulative at all to put someone in the position of having to choose between having a child you don't want and are not ready for, or killing an unborn infant and traumatizing your partner. WHAT?!?!?!! I can hardly think of a more manipulative thing that you could do.

But that isn't the way many women see it no, according to the article: "some women, particularly ones in stable relationships, don't see this as trickery at all—it's more like a nudge."

Wait, there's more:

"A lot of us feel like it's not even really fair that men should get to vote, considering they could be 72 and, with a little Viagra, have another baby," says Vicki Iovine, author of The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy. "For us women, it's really a limited window. We know that boys who grow up to become men don't necessarily want to be men. They like to be boys. And so women say, 'You know what? He's gonna just have to snap out of it—and my pregnancy will be the thing to do it.'" The end, says Iovine, sometimes justifies the means. "Any guy with a heart and soul, and preferably with a job, once he sees the baby on the sonogram or hears the heartbeat, will melt," she says.
It apparently just isn't fair that men have any say in the disposition of their genetic material, or their potential fatherhood, or the inevitable financial drain that they will suffer when they are railroaded into either marriage, or support. Of course, the coin looks very different on the other side. Remember the feminists arguing that women need to choose, so that they don't have to be forced into poverty, lose opportunity, education, options, so that they aren't enslaved to their wombs? Well now they have that freedom, but men are enslaved to their wombs. Very Nice.

The article continues to touch on Matt Dubay, but then tells us the story of 'Jeremy':

Jeremy, a 35-year-old technical consultant and musician in New York [...] thought he'd found himself a nice girl. He had just split with his longtime fiancée but explains that this new woman was saying all the right things—even when it came to practical matters. She was on the Pill. She was pro-choice. So she and Jeremy (who's using a fake name) enjoyed a couple of months of unprotected intimacy.
Then things got weird. She mysteriously quit drinking. She disappeared for days at a time. She told him she was considering going off birth control, though she assured him she hadn't yet. By July, Jeremy had had enough and broke things off. Then in August, he says, she told him she was pregnant and was keeping it. "She was pregnant all of May, all of June, and all of July," Jeremy says. "I said, 'Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?' She's like, 'I didn't want you to influence my decision.' Something that has potential impact on me for the rest of my life, she doesn't want me influencing her decision!?"

More than a year and $6,500 in legal fees later, Jeremy has a 7-month-old boy he's never met, a child-support case pending, and a judge who's less than sympathetic toward his allegations of contraceptive deceit. Even his own attorney told him he'd better ditch that dream of becoming a full-time musician and focus on the computer gig that he'd hoped would only supplement his income: "She was like, 'You know what? You gotta be a man. You're gonna have to have a job 40 hours a week, and you need to support this child—this is your responsibility and your obligation.' And I'm thinking to myself, like, 'How is all of this my responsibility and my obligation when none of this was my choice?'"

Jeremy's hell is only beginning, but let me direct you back to The Reversal of 'This was no accident' - where Pete relates the story of a man who beat 'the system'.

And in case you think this is all fantasy, paranoia and misogyny remember that "The National Scruples and Lies Survey 2004 conducted in the United Kingdom found that 42% of the women in the survey said they would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, regardless of the wishes of their partners." Add to that that between 10% and 30% of children tested to determine paternity turn up as being "someone else's", and you start to understand how horrifically wrong it is that over 100,000 men - mostly earning at or below the poverty level - are imprisoned for non-payment of support every year.

A comment at Noli Irritare Leones captures the evil of the system well:

First, I have it on good authority from a lady friend of mine that she knows of several women who have been quite candid about getting pregnant for the child support. I was personally horrified to hear this being so candidlty admitted. Prior to hearing this I would have dismissed the idea as an urban legend and it seems a disgusting commodification of humanity. But it’s not irrational given the fact that child support can quickly run up to over $1,000 per month tax free. At those child support figures, being casual about birth control can pay better than a minimum wage job. For example, one local Fresno “celebrity” has two children by two different men. Given that the fathers were medical professionals, she was probably pulling in $30,00 to $40,000 per year tax free from child support. Certainly this is a substantially better gig than working two minimum wage jobs like some women I know.
In the USA, Men are Slaves, Women are Owners. Get wise, or get out of the country, I say.

My best to you in your struggles...


Update: Pete is now linked. I was wrong to deny him. Thanks. See: Pete the Patriarch

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