July 7, 2013

Instapundit says that what he thinks about what he calls my "advice" is "immaterial" but that it's "probably pretty good advice"...

... on what he calls "a prudential level."

So — for all that softening — there's still one strong word: "advice." I stand accused of giving "advice," but I don't see that I gave advice in that statement of mine that he quotes at the link. He introduced my quote with the opinion that I'm speaking "kind of social-connishly." "Kind of" is more softening — but the reader is told to see me as giving socially conservative advice.

Now, I don't think I'm giving any advice other than to say: You are free, you need to think about how you use your freedom, and don't just think about your own perspective as you make arguments that law and society ought to be arranged to facilitate your choices. I'd say I'm being quite libertarian. And as for social connishness, I support abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and — it's right there in my quote — I'm not out to punish those who decline to channel their sexuality into committed relationships with child-rearing. I'm just defending legal and political decisions that center on protecting the interests of children rather than the ability of males to avoid the consequences of procreation, consequences that occur even though the male power over reproduction ends — because he controls only his body and not the woman's — at an earlier point in time than the woman's. This leaves some men aggrieved that a woman didn't abort a baby he didn't want, and I'm just not too sympathetic about this male plight. So maybe I am giving "advice" in the form of saying: Don't expect sympathy.

But Glenn must think I'm advising everyone to form stable, committed, child-rearing couples, because he goes on to say, that my advice is "of course, advice one dare not give to women in today’s society without facing a huge backlash." Of course? Dare not? Oh, come on. How daring do you need to be to tell women they'll be better off in stable relationships? I'll say it now, and I think this advice is given all the time. Huge backlash? I take it he's referring to the "war on women" politics that permeated the 2012 elections, because he goes on to say:
When Rush Limbaugh suggested that Sandra Fluke should at least pay for her own birth control, he was savaged. 
Rush was savaged because he made a joke that was easily portrayed as ugly (and stupid). He set up the false premise that if insurance covers a woman's birth control expenses, she's being paid to have sex and therefore she's a prostitute. And, on a roll, he went ahead and said that if we — the people paying into the insurance pool — were paying for a prostitute, we ought to get the sex, so she should at least give us video of herself having sex.

Now, I listen to Rush, and I get his humor, which is sometimes over-the-top — being absurd to illustrate the absurd, he likes to say. But that was really too nasty, especially since it named and targeted a specific woman, who wasn't — especially at that point — much of a public figure. Sandra Fluke was a women's health-care advocate — still a student — who had testified about how difficult it is for young women to pay for their birth control expenses. Whatever you think about Obamacare and covering the ordinary health-care expenses that young people have, you've got to concede that Limbaugh was not savaged because he "suggested that Sandra Fluke should at least pay for her own birth control."

So Glenn begins with a distorted picture of my "advice" and a bizarrely exaggerated claim of how difficult it is to give women advice. He goes on:
But to suggest that a man should pay child support for 18 years because a woman lied about birth control is fine. You can’t say “she should keep her legs closed,” but you can say, “he should keep it in his pants.” That’s fine.
I certainly will say that fathers owe their children support, and I don't want he said/she said legal battles over women who supposedly lied about birth control.  I agree that it's socially acceptable to say that, and I even suspect Glenn would agree with me about most instances of men who failed to take responsibility for their own birth control and have sex with women who might be deceitful.

But I don't agree that you can't advise women to withhold sex. I'd give that advice, although I would not say it in the crude and old-fashioned "keep your legs closed" form. (I would talk about valuing your own body and your own long-term interests.) And as for telling the man to "keep it in his pants," the main "it" that has concerned me in these recent discussions is sperm. Not the penis. Not even the seminal fluid, since I offered the option of freezing sperm and having a vasectomy. But I think it's ineffective to just tell people — males and females — not to have sex. Women will have distinctive feminist answers to any anti-sex pressure. You'll be accused of wanting a return to the archaic subordination of women. Men can only say you're puritanical or anti-freedom. So what? The pro-free-sex arguments are out there for both males and females.
Over the past several decades, women have asserted a right to make all the judgments in matters of gender and sexuality. 
All the judgments? You mean all the judgments about their own bodies. Men can't control women's bodies anymore. Women have won that argument in America (except to the extent there are some limits on abortion). But I don't think too many women are asserting a right to control men's bodies, unless you think the sperm that has escaped from the man's possession and merged with an egg inside the woman's body should be reclaimable by him somehow. It's the woman — under American law — who gets to determine the significance of that growing entity, whether it's a human being deserving the chance to live, because pregnancy happens inside her body, dependent on her bodily organs. The man doesn't have the right to force her to have an abortion. I doubt if Glenn would favor a man's right of that sort.
And, in fact, we do “facilitate” destructive choices, when they’re by women. We subsidize unwed mothers, we give women a pass on sexual behavior that would be considered predatory if it were done by males, we give them all sorts of “choice” that men don’t have and then absolve them, culturally and legally, from judgment over the way they exercise those choices. No similar dispensation is given to men.
Not even if the male has the primary child-care-giving role? I don't think the line is between male and female here. I think it's about children. I think our welfare policies are neutral about passing judgment on sexual behavior. If men want a "similar dispensation," let them take an equivalent role with respect to children. Do they even want that? It looks like they just want out of child support. They are treated differently because they are doing something different. I know many will want to repeat the complaint about the male's loss of decisionmaking power at an earlier point in the reproductive process, but this is a blatant biological difference, and it's why the man needs to watch where he lets his sperm go. That's his big opportunity to control his destiny.

Glenn returns to his idea that I'm prescribing a behavioral norm for everyone:
A society that ran according to Ann Althouse’s views on marriage and commitment might, in fact, be a better one than the one we live in now, but it is most definitely not the one we live in now. 
I'm not an ideologue about how everyone ought to live. I like individualism, autonomy, freedom, and personal responsibility. I'm not yearning for an old-fashioned society where everyone channels their sexuality into marriage and child-rearing. So what I'm saying doesn't require the society to change into something else. I'm talking about the world as we find it and recommend that people face it as it is and figure out how to live. This is an individual's choice. You can be a good person in a completely evil world, which is obviously not a description of America today. Our society has some problems, but that doesn't change the call to the individual to be a good person and to find a way to live a moral and worthy life. (You can decide to be a completely selfish and unproductive person, but there are consequences, and it's not necessarily easy.)

Referencing the imperfections of modern life, Glenn goes on to say:
Observing that, and noting the unfairnesses involved, is not “victimology” — though given how successful women have been in obtaining power via victimology, no one should be surprise [sic] if men start to give it a try.
So, Glenn is both resisting the breadth of the "victimology" label and toying with the notion that it might be a good strategy for men to use that label. That is, he's contemplating the rhetoric and seems ambivalent. Let's think about this more: Should men move in this direction in the political discourse, portraying themselves as victims? The absurd version of this is claiming to be victims of the way women have gotten so much out of claiming to be victims. Maybe Glenn wants to say since women have gained so much out of claiming to be victims, men should rebalance things by showing that they too are victims. There are costs to that strategy. I prefer to call everyone — male and female — to greater clarity in thinking about how he or she can live a good life.

Next, Glenn disagrees with a belief that I don't think anyone has:
But I do not believe that women deserve a monopoly in determining what views on gender and sexuality and parenting are acceptable. Why would they?
A monopoly on what views are acceptable? Many people state a view and act like it's the only acceptable view. That's typical of political argument. That doesn't stop their opponents from doing the same. But I don't hear anyone saying that men aren't even allowed to participate in the discussion.

And yet Glenn says:
What’s funny is that so many women seem genuinely perplexed that men would even dispute that monopoly. 
I'm only perplexed at the claim that there is a monopoly!
Ann is a thoughtful and open-minded and smart woman, but at some level I feel like she doesn’t really get it. 
What, exactly, is the "it"? Is it the original subject: that men who left their sperm somewhere out of their control are expected to support their own children? I certainly get that men would rather hold onto their money and that they feel ripped off. I just understand why the legal and political decisions put a relatively light weight on that particular preference.
But then, that’s what women have been saying to men on gender issues for decades: “You just don’t get it!” Maybe the not-getting goes both ways. 
Okay, then, I've given Glenn some material to get. We'll see how that goes.
The problem is, if society is to accomplish the goals that Ann sets out above...
Again, I did not set goals. I only called individuals to clear, moral thinking about their own lives.
... it needs to be a reasonably attractive proposition for both men and women. 
With my clarification of what I am doing, this clause makes no sense. I know Glenn is, at this point in his post, building in the thesis of his wife Helen Smith's book "Men on Strike." In order to offer up the idea that marriage needs to be a deal that both men and women will accept, he's using me for premise that marriage is the goal. I don't like that.

He then says:
How are we doing with that? At the risk of stepping on my wife’s turf, I’d say not so well.
At that point he links to this video summary of Helen's book. The book is "Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters" — which I have read — and the video is called "Six Reasons Why Men Are Avoiding Marriage":



Does this video show that men are not doing well? Glenn's "I’d say not so well" actually doesn't refer to whether men are doing well, but whether marriage is "a reasonably attractive proposition for both men and women."

In the video, Helen gives 6 reasons why a man today might analyze his personal interests and decide against marriage. So men are doing what suits them. Helen is not saying they're misjudging their situation. She's saying they are behaving rationally in their own self-interest. The implication seems to be that women are losing out on the opportunity to have marriage partners. That would mean women ought to make concessions and, in their self-interest, offer men a better deal.

Are men "on strike"? The labor union analogy implies that these men who are choosing, rationally, not to marry are somehow organized, acting together, and making demands and that women are somehow the management, the boss. But these men are individuals, and — if we're talking about marriage — they only want one woman.

I'm not the social engineer type. I've always only been talking about individual decisionmaking. Decide for yourself what you want. I do see the problem that if the sex drive is easily satisfied outside of marriage, it becomes difficult for any given woman to ask for much in a marriage, but I don't see this as a reason to lower her standards.

293 comments:

1 – 200 of 293   Newer›   Newest»
Brian Macker said...

Look, your position is equivalent to holding people responsible for all acts done with items they place in the garbage. If I dispose of a baseball bat, or a condom, in the garbage then I am not responsible if some woman decides to take or give a life with the contents therein. Inanimate objects do not have agency and a reasonable person understands that my responsibility for inseminating a woman ends at the garbage can.

Gahrie said...

I'm just defending legal and political decisions that center on protecting the interests of children rather than the ability of males to avoid the consequences of procreation

Well, some of us wonder why the interests of children suddenly don't matter when it comes to the ability of women to avoid the consequences of procreation.

Paco Wové said...

"I'm not yearning for an old-fashioned society where everyone channels their sexuality into marriage and child-rearing"

"The backbone of society is the married, committed couple who channel their sexuality into making and growing the next generation."

Thus, the creamy hippie love chick does battle with the crusty conservative.

Gahrie said...

I certainly will say that fathers owe their children support

I certainly will say that mothers owe their children birth.....

rhhardin said...

The he-said she-said fraud would drop a lot if there weren't paternity payments at all, beyond that the woman might want to wait until marriage to gain that legal right.

Men want sex, women want a child and support.

How can the law arrange itself so that both sides come out ahead.

Not just, in particular, women.

How about no paternity payments outside marriage.

Ann Althouse said...

@Brian Macker A baby is not garbage. We are talking about children. You really are failing to understand why males don't get much traction legally with this complaint.

You're also giving no attention to the problem that men will lie about what the woman told them. They have a motive to lie. They want to avoid child support. How much money will the woman need to have to fight this in court? You have to think about the fact that we don't KNOW what really happened and that the person with the best lawyer will win. The man who is trying to hold on to his money will invest in the lawyer.

We, the taxpayers, will have to pay for the courts AND for the welfare to the mothers when they lose because they can't get the legal representation.

Or should we taxpayers pay for their lawyers?

It's a lot easier to say: Men, take care at the point where you can take care.

I challenge you to look at the problem from other perspectives and try to see why the law works they way it does.

Quayle said...

"But I think it's ineffective to just tell people — males and females — not to have sex."

Sure it is ineffective when we do everything we possibly can to spread the burdens of "free love" on society at large, and relieve the individual of any responsibility.

But what I believe Glenn is saying is that society is unequal in how we presently choose to relieve the genders of the burden of their sex choices.

Women are afforded every possible avenue to shed the poor results of their sex choices, up to and including the physically invasive and morally reprehensible act of abortion.

But men get no such relief even in the paltry domain of money.

"But I don't think too many women are asserting a right to control men's bodies...."

Unless you count trying men to a financial cart and making them pull as not controlling a man's body.

Can't you agree that if women are allowed in our society to unilaterally shed a future human, certainly a man should be allowed to shed the mere financial responsibility of paying for a child.

Or are feminists the most materialist capitalist among us in that they elevate matters of the almighty dollar above all other considerations, even the unequaled human power to create another human?

traditionalguy said...

Succinctly, complete freedom gives complete responsibility.

A true motivating thought, by my favorite thinker. But I found the need to add"...limited only by love."

Gahrie said...

The man doesn't have the right to force her to have an abortion.

That's not the issue. No one is saying he should. The issue is the the woman has the right to force the man to pay child support for 18 years, even in cases where she has raped him, engaged in fraud, and self inseminated without his permission.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, some of us wonder why the interests of children suddenly don't matter when it comes to the ability of women to avoid the consequences of procreation."

We've discussed abortion rights many times.

What sort of equivalent right would you give to men? That's the subject here.

Assuming you hate abortion rights (not just abortion, but abortion rights), what else would you do?

I challenge you to move the other pieces around while leaving that well-established law in place and to think realistically about what men trying to avoid child support will do.

rhhardin said...

It's for the children doesn't work anymore, I don't think.

The line goes to women voters, and women voters are the problem being discussed, ultimately.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
You are free, you need to think about how you use your freedom, and don't just think about your own perspective as you make arguments that law and society ought to be arranged to facilitate your choices

oh brother. From someone arguing for the right to abort your babies how on earth are you going to argue that this wasnt done en masse for women? and very often at men's expense. And what freedom? The freedom to not pay child support? The freedom to be a dad? Or not be a dad? The only Freedom you're advocating is to do what the woman says. And that's not freedom. Sorry.

If you're simply arguing about using your freedom to not screw a jerk, that can be said for both parties. Men should control their sperm, and women control their eggs. But I don't know too many people who would argue that screwing strangers is wise.

Gahrie said...

You're also giving no attention to the problem that men will lie about what the woman told them. They have a motive to lie.

And of course women would never lie, and have no motive to lie about paternity.....

rhhardin said...

Someday I'll do a list of things that women voters are not responsible for.

I need an opening suggestion.

Gahrie said...

What sort of equivalent right would you give to men? That's the subject here.

How about instead of equivilent rights we talk about equivilent responsibilities?

harrogate said...

As we are seeing from all these comments, askong some of these people to look from perspectives other than their own is clearly to present them with a Herculean task.

Moose said...

The earlier post is appropriate - you're both going down the rabbit hole. FWIW, I think Glenn is more correct, though I think you're both missing the point.
Who's got the upper hand these days in matters of childbearing and child-ownership? Clearly the women do. Men used based on cultural fiat, but that advantage is now gone. Women loose the argument when they fail to press their advantage. Unforced errors so to speak.
Women need men for stable familial units, but they don't need men to have and raise children - they have the state for that now...

Brian Macker said...

" I offered the option of freezing sperm and having a vasectomy."

About as considerate as offering women the option of extracting and freezing their ovaries. Need I point out all the problems with that, the costs, the risks, etc. You think this is a reasonable argument? You sound like some crazy mullah straight out of Saudi Arabia.

jr565 said...

"A baby is not garbage. We are talking about children."
And a fetus is not a parasite. We are talking about children (or developing children).
And you think that development should be ended simply because of convenience, as it were trash. But then you get all provincial if guys might have the same attitude when it comes to their offspring. Explain why, logically, a man shouldn't be able to renounce his parental rights during, say the first two trimesters should a woman decide to keep it? Just as a woman can.

rhhardin said...

I'd add to no means no that nonassertive contexts require do-support.

harrogate said...

Gahrie,

Her original post was All About looking at things from a man's perspective. What can a man do? He has options!

The Crack Emcee said...

Cognitive dissonance avoidance strategy - she starts (narcissistically enough) with debating herself, naturally, over a minor point nobody cares about:

I don't see that I gave advice,...

Then later:

Maybe I am giving "advice"...

That's when I stopped reading, because - like caring for the mentally handicapped - I've been around here long enough to know, that's the greatest revelation she's capable of, and the rest will just be more of the same.

Poor Ann.

This is when all that "female autonomy" (and pretend "husband") bullshit becomes rancid, because - with two "husbands" and sons - there's not a man in the lot to say, "Honey, look,..." That fact - that no one who loves her can correct her - allows her to think she's NOT self-destructing before our eyes.

Why not? Nobody's stopping her - which is the only thing (she's proving) she'll respond to.

I told you where that leads,...

edutcher said...

harrogate said...

As we are seeing from all these comments, askong some of these people to look from perspectives other than their own is clearly to present them with a Herculean task

No, reasonable people do it all the time, but Lefties find it an impossibility.

rhhardin said...

Advice in the defence of liberty is not extremeism.

harrogate said...

Hang in there edutcher; these are valuable contributions you are making !

edutcher said...

harrogate said...

Hang in there edutcher; these are valuable contributions you are making !

Of course they are, but yours aren't.

Renee said...

Child ownership?

Once the baby is outside, no one owns the baby. The baby owns you.

rhhardin said...

is clearly to present them with a Herculean task

Second task.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
What sort of equivalent right would you give to men? That's the subject here.

Assuming you hate abortion rights (not just abortion, but abortion rights), what else would you do?

the ability to opt out of fatherhood early on in the process, when a woman is thinking about whether to keep or abort her kids. He could present her with a contract that says " I don't want to be a dad. I can't afford to be a dad right now. I don't want to be a dad WITH YOU. I can't tell you what to do with your own choice, but add those facts to your consideration if you still want to keep it. its your choice so, if you choose, I will have no part in the babies life. I'm just a sperm donor. If I later have regrets, I'm duty bound not to sue you for parental rights. Etc etc etc."
Have him br able to present it put to the end of the second trimester or until the limit when abortion is legal.

Paco Wové said...

"having oral sex with a condom"

Yuck.

Gahrie said...


What sort of equivalent right would you give to men? That's the subject here.


The same one we've been suggesting, and you have been dismissing for the last week:

The right to renounce paternity and financially abort his child.

But please note, I don't want this to happen, however fair it would be.

What I want is for people and society to start worring about responsibilities instead of rights.

EDH said...

Oh, no. Blog Mommy and blog Daddy are fighting!

Here's some "advice"!

Brian: You don't need to put your P in a V right now.

Peter: No, I don't. I need to B my L on somebody's T's.

Brian: That's disgusting. You don't need to be doing that. And if anything... you should leave your P in the V... and blow it inside the V so you can have a B-A-B-Y... and be a normal person.

Paco Wové said...

"I'll say it now, and I think this advice is given all the time..."
"I'd give that advice..."

Pardon me for being thick, but what advice would you give? Can you spell it out in short little words for poor old Paco?

Renee said...

Men, if you don't like the rules the Professor has laid out, there are alternatives.

I don't like the rules, but here the professor is just the messenger.

I control my husband, but equally he controls me. It's mutual and our of free well. We're monogamous and open to the children. The children in fact get 'pre-rights' even before conception. Or should I say we protect the rights of any children that may come from our sexual relationship.

At times it tiring and it sucks, and other times it a joy.

Constitution is about freedoms, but it would be nice if we could tailor our public policy so at the very least marriage (yes, for the sake of children) can be easier attained for all socio-economic groups.

jr565 said...

That might lead to more abortions, which I'm against, and it would reveal the man who presented such a document as a total cad. But at least he wouldn't be killing his kid. Or denying the woman the right to be a mother. He would
Just be asking the same consideration to end his parental responsibility because of convenience that women do.

If you think that makes a man an ass, look at it from the other side. How much of a bitch is that woman who is killing her kid for that same reason, who is telling a dad he can't be a dad, or is telling him he MUST be a dad and to pay in perpetuity for her choice.

Quayle said...

The pregnant woman is granted in our society the unilateral right to decide to continue to full term and have a baby, or to terminate the process.

This under the physical rights of privacy to do with her body as she pleases.

Yet a man' decision to support that baby is wholly subordinate to the woman's choice.

In bed they were equals sharing whatever it was they chose to share - both giving and receiving.

Back on the street the roles are no longer equal.

It will be his body doing the work, getting out of bed, expending energy, to earn the money for the child, regardless of what he chooses.

The woman's unilateral choice automatically attaches to the labors of the man.

If you think that doesn't constitute a woman controlling a man's body, then what is it?

Ann Althouse said...

"Can't you agree that if women are allowed in our society to unilaterally shed a future human, certainly a man should be allowed to shed the mere financial responsibility of paying for a child."

You're forgetting that the child is real.

You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers.

It's not a game played between one man and one woman where there could be an argument for an even playing field.

Step back, observe all the interests at stake, and analyze the entire picture.

There's a reason the law is the way it is, and you need at least to show that you see the big picture.

Brian Macker said...

Paco,

"having oral sex with a condom"

"Yuck."

Not my example. It is one that Ann Responded to before. Her position is that if a man has oral sex with a condom and disposes of it in the garbage then he is still responsible for any pregnancy that my occur due to a woman fishing it out of the garbage.

jr565 said...

Gahrie wrote:
The right to renounce paternity and financially abort his child.

But please note, I don't want this to happen, however fair it would be.

What I want is for people and society to start worring about responsibilities instead of rights.


Right, since I'm against abortion, this would probably lead to more abortions and/or single mothers. But its consistent with the right to choose. And provides some equity for men to be as callous as women. It also makes a woman responsible for her choice, and allows a man to be responsible for his choice.

Gahrie said...

I challenge you to move the other pieces around while leaving that well-established law in place and to think realistically about what men trying to avoid child support will do.

You see, one of the things I can't get my head around (and I am sure I am speaking for others) is the fact that you believe that it is far worse for a man to avoid child support than it is for a woman to kill her child.

traditionalguy said...

Morsi's Bros' rape squads are going to need jobs soon.

Maybe they can come over and will help out with the excessive liberty of our women here.

somefeller said...

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

― Jean-Paul Sartre

I think that's a big part of the underlying concept here. And it's a tough one for a lot of people to take.

The Crack Emcee said...

You're forgetting that the child is real.

And you're forgetting I "lost control" of him/her.

Pay for everything yourself.

ed said...

@ Althouse

"You're forgetting that the child is real."

So isn't a child "real" with respect to abortion? Are unborn children not "real"? Are they figments of the imagination then? Shall we dither down this lane of inquiry?

"You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers."

Astonishingly enough neither the Bill of Rights nor the US Constitution mention that any private individual, even men, have any obligation to "taxpayers". Strange I know. I'm certainly eager to see that in print.

"It's not a game played between one man and one woman where there could be an argument for an even playing field."

So unless it is a "game" then no level playing field is allowed? Strange opinion from a *LAW* professor.

"Step back, observe all the interests at stake, and analyze the entire picture."

Physician heal thyself. Or not and look like a complete twit. Your choice.

"There's a reason the law is the way it is, and you need at least to show that you see the big picture."

Amusingly enough that is the precisely the same argument being thrown at you. With as much effectiveness getting through that self-righteous shell of yours as uncooked spaghetti thrown at a wall.

Gahrie said...

You're forgetting that the child is real.

No, you're pretending that it is isn't real before birth.

Ann Althouse said...

"'I offered the option of freezing sperm and having a vasectomy.' About as considerate as offering women the option of extracting and freezing their ovaries.'"

Before blathering such a nonsensical analogy, you should research what a vasectomy is. Apparently, you think it's castration!

And for those of you who know vasectomy is not the removal of the testicles, I wonder how many of you know whether after a vasectomy, there is any ejaculate?

I'll bet a good portion of you guys don't know the right answer!

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Ann said: What sort of equivalent right would you give to men? That's the subject here.

Question makes no sense. Two things are equivalent - exactly equal - or they are not.

If I am morally or legally obliged to provide food to my pet dog, what do you suggest as an "equivalent right" for my houseplant or pet rock?

Why, if two things (i.e. males and females) are different, must the law or society in acknowledging a "right" to one then also acknowledge a "equivalent right" to the other?

jr565 said...

Ann althouse wrote:
"You're forgetting that the child is real.

not when the baby is in the womb. Not according to you guys. Its just a clump of cells. Why can't the man negotiate away his paternity at the same time as the woman is allowed to choose.
"You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers."

the woman would be forgetting about the interests of the taxpayer if she had a kid she couldn't afford. Isn't that one of the reasons for NOT carrying a baby to term, according to pro choicers. So, she would simply have one more consideration to her choice. The idea that he won't be there. Does she still want to raise a kid knowing that he won't be there to provide support. Shouldn't she be responsible for the consequence of that choice?

"It's not a game played between one man and one woman where there could be an argument for an even playing field." Even if it ant be totally even, it doesn't mean it can't e more equitable, whatever that entails.

Paco Wové said...

"Morsi's Bros' rape squads..."

It's comments like this that first twigged me to the realization that Traditionalguy is the subtlest, slyest troll around.

Gahrie said...

And for those of you who know vasectomy is not the removal of the testicles, I wonder how many of you know whether after a vasectomy, there is any ejaculate?

There is indeed seminal fluid, just no sperm.

I wonder if you know that not all vasectomies work 100%, and quite often cannot be reversed?

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
The issue of the child is separate. I think the child should go up for adoption, which would let the man off the hook, and I think that would happen if the woman went to prison for rape.

or the woman could carry the child to term and the baby could go up for adoption if she finds a kid to be an inconvenience.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

― Jean-Paul Sartre

I think that's a big part of the underlying concept here. And it's a tough one for a lot of people to take.


Which is why most people need a strong framework of social rights and wrongs.

The last 40 years we tried that and all it's gotten us is the Life Of Julia.

Or "Men On Strike", if you prefer.

Leland said...

Warning, most of you lost a Saturday to this moronic discussion. Don't lose a Sunday too. Remember last week, she dissed her commenters for not going to church. If you continue to encourage her, she'll make a bloggingheads episode. Wait... That would end the discussion, because no one ever wastes their time watching those things.

EDH said...

Althouse said...

"You're forgetting that the child is real.

You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers.

It's not a game played between one man and one woman where there could be an argument for an even playing field
."

In much the same way the present rules encourage a woman not to identify the father and become a burden on the state, isn't it the Reynolds' argument that those same rules are rapidly causing men to drop-out of society and eschew gainful employment rather then to step-up into useful social roles?

Who exactly is taking the narrow societal view here?

Ann Althouse said...

I'm clearing some comment clutter, e.g., bare insults.

Also, try to say something new and interesting.

The same points are being made repetitiously. Add something new substantively, with less attention to whether, for example, you think someone else is dumb. I've pushed back a few people already. Take some hints from that or this thread will be unreadable by most people.

And remember: Comments about comment deletions are deleted whenever they are noticed. Read the comments instructions. You can email us if you want to say something about deletions. Don't talk about my comments policy here. You'll be deleted.

Ann Althouse said...

"and self inseminated without his permission"

This is a silly phrase. The sperm did not fall from the sky. The man was negligent and there were consequences.

If the woman committed rape, I support criminal penalties against her.

The issue of the child is separate. I think the child should go up for adoption, which would let the man off the hook, and I think that would happen if the woman went to prison for rape.

So that would be my solution to the problem of the male victim of statutory rape.

Quayle said...

"There's a reason the law is the way it is, and you need at least to show that you see the big picture."

The big picture is that the complexities and problems created by non-marital sex are so huge that no society can ever overcome them, and only a rich society can postpone their full consequences.

Which is why God lovingly gave the law against adultery, and all things like unto it.

And also gave a Savior who took upon himself the consequences of sin, including the pain and suffering, to allow us to learn the virtue and wisdom of God's law and God's way of ding things, by trial and error if necessary.

But part of God's way of teaching us is that he doesn't always fix the problems we create, because he understands the principal of moral hazard.

But what one person learns, can be shared with others.

And if one person learns the misery they received from one course of action, our society should be tuned to listen and learn.

(But we aren't. We rebel at any notion that laws and constraints are or could be loving and saving.)

Because of the Savior, we may be made clean and not held culpable or responsible in the hereafter, but God still doesn't always fix everything in the here.

Is that a picture big enough for you?

Chef Mojo said...

Once again; women and men talking past each other.

I'm a man, and therefore believe that Reynolds has the right of it.

Bob Ellison said...

Larry Niven, in his essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex", speculated that the teenaged Superman could face thousands of paternity lawsuits if he played with himself.

The rest of the essay is very good, too. "Lastly, he'd blow off the top of her head."

Unknown said...

Still no acknowledgement of or response to JR565's solutions to the problems you pose? And you delete my comment pointing this out? Wow

Ann Althouse said...

"Is that a picture big enough for you?"

I would enlarge the picture to include the individual's right of conscience, which exists in American law and is obviously also something that -- if you believe in God -- God created us to have.

As Jefferson wrote in the Virginia act for establishing religious freedom: "Almighty God hath created the mind free" so "all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do...."

Gahrie said...

The issue of the child is separate. I think the child should go up for adoption, which would let the man off the hook, and I think that would happen if the woman went to prison for rape.

1) Why only for rape? How about the child gets placed for adoption to protect the emotional and mental health of the father? Shouldn't that decision be between a man and his accountant?

2) As far as I am aware, in every single case of a woman giving birth after raping a boy, the woman has retained custody of the child, and indeed in several cases forced her victim to pay child support.

DADvocate said...

But I don't think too many women are asserting a right to control men's bodies,...

Really? Controlling men's bodies is what the liberal and fraudulent use of EPOs, false abuse claims, false rape claims is all about. Indeed, they allow women to literally get away with murder rather than be punished for the falsehoods. To the modern American woman, a man's body only acceptable use is to be her servant and the laws are used to enforce that view via intimidation, harassment and jail.

pm317 said...

Nicely done, Ann!

Inga said...

As I said yesterday, what a strange premise for conservative males to glom onto, a "union" of disaffected men. So they see women as having authority over them? Is that what is causing so much angst? Women don't want or need authority over men, in fact it's a turn off, as much of a turn off as men being authoritarian over women.

Men should concentrate on their own bodies, quit trying to control women's bodies and stop the hostility to women's autonomy, physically and economically. If there are inequities in family court in custody situations, men have a legitimate complaint there, hopefully they can channel their energy against women into changing it.

Stop with the silly union analogies, Men on Strike. It is ludicrous.to expect women to go back to the bad old days. Men could face the fact that women and men can come together with mutual respect for each other. No one, not men, not women need to lower their standards.

If some males can't accept that, there are plenty of others of equal worth who can. The premise of Dr. Helen's book that we will be facing a future in which the majority of men don't marry is laughable.

Michael K said...

"You're forgetting that the child is real."

Yes, but only if the mother decides not to abort it.

I've been skimming the past few days as you seem hostile to male commenters. Men are concerned that the legal situation plus the social situation has become anti-male in "real" ways. Your response is abuse and sarcasm about "whining."

Men are making rational decisions and women seem to be noticing and seem concerned.

For many years, hundreds even, men have been stoic about personal matters. It was seen to be less than masculine to complain.

Women now raise the issue about male withdrawal from marriage and college, among other areas. When men respond, they are again accused of "whining."

So, the conversation will atrophy and we go back to the decline of male participation in feminized circumstances. Frankly, I think it is rational and men should avoid useless college degrees and seek apprenticeships in practical careers.

Marriage is in trouble and that crisis is not helped by the sort of feminist rhetoric we've been seeing here.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

Try to say something new and interesting.

You first.

The same points are being made repetitiously.

And you blame us for that? Incredible.

Add something new substantively, with less attention to whether, for example, you think someone else is dumb.

Fine - just as in art, we need to create a new paradigm to exist in, not the likes of you trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

It doesn't have to be this way, Ann. Like a black guy raging about the Confederates, you're itching for a fight with the wrong guy - he's dead. The "Mad Men," the guys with no gay friends and hates them - not here. You're boxing with his shadow but hitting us. How can you expect us not to be pissed when you won't stop, except by being knocked-out yourself?

You want "something new and interesting"? Try these:

Grown men, of any sexual orientation, don't earn respect when their mommies fight their battles.

Just because your son is different, you don't do him any favors by treating him that way.

Just because the trail from rebelliousness to responsibility is rocky, that doesn't mean you have to crawl over them - or attempt to drag the rest of us over them with you. We've done that already and are waiting for you (and Meade) on the other side.

And here's a good one:

Now that you're apparently ready to "kick ass" with a potty mouth, how about deciding to treat me and TMR more fairly for possessing that same outlook and qualities?

Clearly, you no longer see anything wrong with it,...

aronamos said...

Still on this? You won't convince these folks who see a sneaky spermburglar inside every brassiere and lace panty.

My husband paid $700 a month in child support until his daughter turned 18. I know for a fact that $700 didn't feed and clothe and transport and educate that child, even by half. Children are expensive.

Sex has consequences. Sometimes those consequences are children. And adults need to know that.

What is the end-game of these men's rights types? That they can have sex wherever whenever with whomever, and face NO consequences because why? They don't WANT TO?





Chef Mojo said...

As Jefferson wrote in the Virginia act for establishing religious freedom: "Almighty God hath created the mind free" so "all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do...."

And Jefferson enslaved his fellow man and ran up debts that he could never repay, leading to the sale of his slaves to pay off those debts.

(...)yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do....

Reproduction at the end of a lash.

Such platitudes ring hollow when used in this context.

chrisnavin.com said...

I'll avoid the political philosophy for now and repeat that you're making moral arguments that presume a rather high level of freedom and responsibility for individuals. There's probably already some religious tradition and custom woven into the institutions you're a part of, perhaps even your own choices (and I'd argue we have free will and everyone still has to answer for their choices).

This view presumes much that my experience has not shown me to be true, and kind of lines up with what Charles Murray said about the upper middle class adopting a rather liberal worldview and getting on ok, but it's not a long term sustainable model.




harrogate said...

"What is the end-game of these men's rights types? That they can have sex wherever whenever with whomever, and face NO consequences because why? They don't WANT TO?"

That is part of the end game, but it's not the whole story.

They also want this to be a debate about abortion--they want so many things to be a debate about abortion that it is hard to keep track.

At bottom, it may also be that what they most want is to be deferred to. Perhaps on some basic level, they think "Father Knows Best" was a documentary, and want it to apply to themselves.

Gahrie said...

What is the end-game of these men's rights types? That they can have sex wherever whenever with whomever, and face NO consequences because why? They don't WANT TO?

Why not? That's exactly the situation for a woman today.

Jay said...

Check out this NYT Slideshow on single mothers, it starts:

After steadily rising for five decades, the share of babies born to unmarried mothers has passed a tipping point: more than half of the children born to women under 30 in the United States occur outside marriage.

Of course the solution is to screech at men to keep their sperm within eyesight.

Or something.

Paco Wové said...

"Why not?"

Arguing that "they get to be irresponsible, therefore it's only fair that I get to be irresponsible", is, well, irresponsible. As well as unrealistic.

Paco Wové said...

Time for a thudding and heavy-handed analogy:

"If our society allows Africans to be enslaved, certainly we ought to be allowed to enslave Europeans as well."

Gahrie said...

"Why not?"

Arguing that "they get to be irresponsible, therefore it's only fair that I get to be irresponsible", is, well, irresponsible. As well as unrealistic.


Oh I agree, which is why I often try to steer the discussion to the issue of responsibilities rather than rights.

I just refuse to allow them to presume that women have the right to be irresponsible, but men don't.

rhhardin said...

After steadily rising for five decades, the share of babies born to unmarried mothers has passed a tipping point

It jumped the share.

AReasonableMan said...

A lot of male posters have clearly had a hard time with family courts which, not unreasonably, colors their views. There was never any question in my mind that I would end up paying some child support following a divorce. I also resented these payments but agree with Althouse that it has to be paid, for the sake of the child. For me personally the divorce and the aftermath was ultimately money well spent in that it allowed me to move on to a more productive life path.

Bad marriages with children suck. They undermine every aspect of your dreams and hopes for the future. Bad marriages arise in large part because people are unrealistic about themselves and their partner. It is unreasonable to blame the courts, the feminists or anyone else for a crappy marriage. Ultimately our own stupid decisions resulted in a failed marriage. The goal is to own those decisions and try to learn from them.

Althouse is tying herself in knots here at least in part because she is unable to reconcile her apparently firmly held old testament views on the sanctity and importance of marriage with her own personal history. Mistakes were made.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers.

Well said, and not often enough considered.

Much of the several intermingled issues here would be more easily handled in a more Tolerant and Multi-Cultural society.

Let me replace that "Multi-Cultural" with "Federalist."

Why do we need a national law for each and every issue? That's not very tolerant or multi-cultural.

JMHO but the Feral Gummit should just butt-out of many of these issues - which often enough there is no Constitutional authority for it to be involved in - and leave them to the States.

The States, ideally, should likewise leave many more issues than they do open to local decision.

Yes, there would be less support from the Central Government for single parents. That could be handled, one way or another, at a LOCAL level.

If your group accepts communal responsibility for raising children, fine. Collect taxes locally and do it.

If your group wants to suppress unwed childbirth through social pressures and shaming, fine.

It's one thing to demand freedom from the Government to do as you wish. It's quite another to demand the coercive power of Government be used to compel others to do your bidding.

Brian Macker said...

"Before blathering such a nonsensical analogy, you should research what a vasectomy is. Apparently, you think it's castration!"

Now you are worried about precise analogy? Of course I don't think it is the exact equivalent of castration but it carries many of the same effects, costs, and risks.

I was talking about how considerate it was, not how exact an analogy it is. If you want an exact analogy, lets give women the option to freeze their eggs and tie their tubes. Again do I need to point out all the costs and risks for that?

I could get into all sorts of details of castration vs vasectomy on a risk, cost, and other basis. Heck castration carries the benefit of making me not want sex anymore which apparently is your end goal, me never having any sex except for procreation.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Stop with the silly union analogies, Men on Strike.


I also agree that this is a dumb premise. There cannot be anything more individualistic than the decision regarding whom to marry.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Men could face the fact that women and men can come together with mutual respect for each other.

You betcha. And the way to accomplish this is to call men losers, Beta Men, splooge stooges, whiners when they point out the facts of life?

Somehow I don't think that calling people names and completely dismissing their (well founded) concerns as being stupid whining from losers is a successful strategy for generating mutual respect.

I don't know about the guys, but when I'm attacked.....I retaliate.

DADvocate said...

Inga continues to make straw man arguments based on fantasy of what she claims conservatives/men want, etc. Reality escapes her.

Brian Macker said...

"You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers."

You can assume they forgot only if you assume that the person disagreeing with you on this is going to come to the same exact conclusion as you do.

Taxpayers exact interest as taxpayers is not to pay for anyone else's costs that they do not share. There is no free-rider problem if I as a taxpayer don't pay for your irresponsibility.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...

You're forgetting about the interests of taxpayers.


This assumes that "taxpayers" are well served by a single mother receiving child support.

They are not as the common denominator for: Not graduating high school, being addicted to alcohol or drugs, and ending up in jail is: growing up in a single parent household.

When you operate on the preposterous assumption that child support is a "good" you avoid all this.

And of course when you call people who don't want to further single motherhood splooge stooges you operate on preposterous assumptions.

Jay said...

inga thinks Dr. Helen Smith is a "conservative man"

Funny.

DADvocate said...

There cannot be anything more individualistic than the decision regarding whom to marry.

Foolishly, you seem to think that individual decision happens in a vacuum. Reasonable men look at the benefits and risks of any activity or course of action. Given the risks a man faces if married, more and more man are declining marriage.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rhhardin said...

An old Henry strip has a suggestion

If you order a soda and can't pay for it, you shouldn't have to wash anything but the glasses.

chrisnavin.com said...

By that I mean that there are a lot who do not think about the world and their duties such a highly responsible/free manner, and that I don't believe that the rights of man can be entirely deducted from abstract rules that more libertarian/liberal thinkers are always looking to establish for the individual.

Some envision society as a set of born free individuals, revolving its customs, traditions and institutions around a set of sufficiently abstract set of universally true principles. I have my doubts.

Ann Althouse said...

I deleted St. Croix's comment that went like this:

Saint Croix said...
The nice thing about autonomy rights for men is all the angry jumping up and down that feminists will do.

Althouse: "Who came up with this autonomy crap?!"

And we men get to burn our jock straps in public protests. Also, our sperm is sacred. How dare you try to control our reproduction!

"It's our sperm! It's our choice! It's our sperm! It's our choice!"


He purported to quote me, using quote marks, but it was a joke paraphrase, which the reader was supposed to discern.

I don't think the readers are that discerning.

Don't do that again.

harrogate said...

I know a lot of men who are married and who are glad that they are married and glad of whom they married.

cubanbob said...

Ann if we were to revert to pre-Roe, pre-no-fault divorce and pre-no unwed mother welfare there wouldn't be that much of a problem. Throw in no child support for children conceived extra maritally and the problem really pretty much resolves itself.

You want to incentivize men to be responsible that is the way to do it, Unfortunately for feminists that would also incentivize woman to be more responsible as well.

I find it amusing the moralizing about men being responsible about their splooging but the noticeably absent moralizing about woman not being more choosy on whose splooge they are willing to accept. Rights for me, obligations for thee.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
Inga said...
Stop with the silly union analogies, Men on Strike.

I also agree that this is a dumb premise. There cannot be anything more individualistic than the decision regarding whom to marry.

7/7/13, 11:13 AM

Same for staying pregnant.

Oso Negro said...

Sheesh, what a pleasure to have spent the week in Oman where the women cheerfully take direction from their fathers and then husbands! But that little vacation from the West, aside, a couple of additional points -

1) If we are all that concerned about the taxpayers, certainly the last thing on the mind of the average young person who is all jumped up on hormones, we should be better off licensing reproduction. The state shouldn't pay for anyone's children - you breed 'em, you feed 'em!

2) Yes Ann, the posters who have called you out on the control exercised on men's bodies for child support are onto something that is an issue for many men. I am surprised no one has assailed the family court plantation with a 13th Amendment argument.

3) A reduction in the ability of women to extract money from men after relationships go sour or from the government if there are no individual men to extort, would provide a wonderful tonic for old-fashioned courtship and applying one's self in marriage.

cubanbob said...

We, the taxpayers, will have to pay for the courts AND for the welfare to the mothers when they lose because they can't get the legal representation."

And why is this the taxpayer's problem to begin with? The taxpayers didn't get the woman pregnant, didn't have a say in whether or not to abort and shouldn't be compelled other people's child support.

AReasonableMan said...

cubanbob said...
Ann if we were to revert to pre-Roe, pre-no-fault divorce and pre-no unwed mother welfare there wouldn't be that much of a problem. Throw in no child support for children conceived extra maritally and the problem really pretty much resolves itself.


How do any of these things affect the success or failure of a particular marriage between two consenting adults?

harrogate said...

"And why is this the taxpayers' problem to begin with?"

Because to quote George Costanza: "We're living in a society here."

Paco Wové said...

"the noticeably absent moralizing about woman not being more choosy on whose splooge they are willing to accept."

I think, just maybe, that Althouse would argue that she is saying that, kinda sorta, when she says

"How daring do you need to be to tell women they'll be better off in stable relationships? I'll say it now,..."

...well, she edges up close to saying it, but for some reason she just can't seem to get the words out, like she wants credit for having the notion, but doesn't want to be caught it writing expressing it.

Inga said...

Oso negro,
What happens when those Mideastern women don't cheerfully take "direction" from heir fathers, then husbands?

They are set on fire, have acid thrown in their faces, beat or killed. Some choice.

cubanbob said...

Before blathering such a nonsensical analogy, you should research what a vasectomy is. Apparently, you think it's castration!"

And a tubal ligation isn't a hysterectomy.

Paco Wové said...

"...caught in writing..."

edutcher said...

harrogate said...

What is the end-game of these men's rights types? That they can have sex wherever whenever with whomever, and face NO consequences because why? They don't WANT TO?

That is part of the end game, but it's not the whole story.

They also want this to be a debate about abortion--they want so many things to be a debate about abortion that it is hard to keep track.

At bottom, it may also be that what they most want is to be deferred to. Perhaps on some basic level, they think "Father Knows Best" was a documentary, and want it to apply to themselves.


Yes, and in the 60s, the Lefties set out to "fix" everything.

Too bad everything they "fixed" is now broken.

AnUnreasonableTroll said...

Stop with the silly union analogies, Men on Strike.

I also agree that this is a dumb premise. There cannot be anything more individualistic than the decision regarding whom to marry.


It's a metaphor.

Tough concept for some, I see.

Derek Brown said...

Reasonable man seems to think the Old Testament views of divorce are more stringent than New Testament views. Completely and utterly wrong indicative oh a person who has read neither.

That's the problem with trying to bash religions when all you knowledge is second hand.

creeley23 said...

Althouse: Your notion that you do not give advice is bizarre. You more than give advice -- you are constantly lecturing, hectoring, shaming and more. You do not seem to know how to relate to others from anything other than a superior position.

You are fortunate that Instapundit did not direct his readers to your raving, male-hating, psycho-meltdowns of the past week.

Now you are going to present careful arguments?

David R. Graham said...

When I saw Glenn post that I said to myself, "Oh dear, there's going to be a crevice and probably a fight. Over nothing. Everything they talk and will talk about here is something that should be neither legal nor illegal but simply unthinkable."

Lawyers debate, write and manipulate laws. For whose benefit? The only professional with no self-interest in practicing their profession is the soldier.

I'll be happy when churches, hospitals, courts and battlefields are empty. The professions creating those conditions have one mission only: to obsolete them.

Peter Hoh said...

Now if we can only work Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan, and compact fluorescent bulbs into this thread, we might set a record for the number of comments.

Brian Macker said...

"You're also giving no attention to the problem that men will lie about what the woman told them."

I don't need to the examples and hypotheticals is not that the man is lying. Obviously if the man pokes a hole in the condom and lies saying the woman did it then he is at fault. Obviously in such situations of he said/she said the court cannot make a determination, and must use some consistent default ruling. That is an entirely different discussion that we could get into.

You weren't talking about what should happen in court. We were talking about a man who was the victim of a woman pulling a condom out of the garbage.

The courts can in fact determine the facts in many cases. For example that woman who saved Joseph Pressil's sperm from a condom and went to a fertility clinic with it to get artificially inseminated. No question about proving who is lying in that case.

Your argument however seems to be that the interest of the child is that the biological father be punished to the benefit of the mother.

Why shouldn't the mother pay all child raising costs in that case. She already should be responsible for half the costs regardless of circumstances. Think of the second half as punitive damages paid to the child if you wish. The father has zero responsibility in this case, and especially considering all the other factors like the ability of the woman to terminate the pregnancy.

The Crack Emcee said...

AReasonableMan,

A lot of male posters have clearly had a hard time with family courts which, not unreasonably, colors their views.

Good start.

There was never any question in my mind that I would end up paying some child support following a divorce.

That was your first mistake.

I also resented these payments but agree with Althouse that it has to be paid, for the sake of the child.

You resented those payments for a reason. You fool no one - you got hosed.

For me personally the divorce and the aftermath was ultimately money well spent in that it allowed me to move on to a more productive life path.

Good lord, a NewAge man. This is becoming tragic.

Bad marriages with children suck.

That's why it's imperative you fix it.

They undermine every aspect of your dreams and hopes for the future.

Who, exactly, is "they" here?

Bad marriages arise in large part because people are unrealistic about themselves and their partner.

And both refuse reason.

It is unreasonable to blame the courts, the feminists or anyone else for a crappy marriage.

What a load. The courts are to blame for unfair outcomes, which feminism has definitely had something to with. And yes, a feminized society where husbands are routinely depicted as the rapists, oafs, and idiots of The Lifetime Channel is doing marriage no favors.

Ultimately our own stupid decisions resulted in a failed marriage.

Speak for yourself, in which case, you seem to be on-point.

The goal is to own those decisions and try to learn from them.

Again - that's on you - I didn't have shit to do with these "decisions" nor resent how my divorce turned out, but that it was forced on me by feminism. We clear?

You really need to change your avatar and name to something more appropriate,...

Baron Zemo said...

You know why many people will never own a doberman pinscher?

Because they will turn on you.

No matter who much you take of them and feed them and walk them they will still turn on you.

Saint Croix said...

But the really good part with male autonomy rights is all the mind games we get to play!

For instance, we can agree with our opponents. We can say, "You're right! It's wrong when men abandon pregnant women. It's wrong to be a bad father. It's wrong to be a splooge stooge. You're right, you're right, and you're right."

But then we get to say, with a straight face and puppy dog eyes...

"It's just that I believe that men have a right to choose."

jr565 said...

Paco Wove wrote:
Arguing that "they get to be irresponsible, therefore it's only fair that I get to be irresponsible", is, well, irresponsible. As well as unrealistic.


Arguing I get to be irresponsible but you have to be responsible for my choice? how does that compare?
Do you think think that aborting your kid is irresponsible?
They would argue that it's responsible. They can't afford it. Fine, So why can't dads make that argument? Don't bring this child into the world because I can't afford it. If you are going to do it, it's on you. That still gives the woman the power to choose for herself. No?
WHy does a woman having a uterus means she can choose a babies future, and can also choose a mans future. I thought it was only about her body. The baby isn't in her body when the man is paying child support and yet he still is bound by her choice.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey you are making sense.

Don't do that again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ann if we were to revert to pre-Roe, pre-no-fault divorce and pre-no unwed mother welfare there wouldn't be that much of a problem. Throw in no child support for children conceived extra maritally and the problem really pretty much resolves itself.

How do any of these things affect the success or failure of a particular marriage between two consenting adults?

Seriously? You cannot connect the dots?

There are many reasons a marriage might fail that have nothing to do with those quoted issues....HOWEVER.....the fact that there exists such an easy out as no fault divorce and that there is a forced money cushion that will support the party who wants to bail out on the marriage, just makes it EASIER to divorce and less likely to really try to work things out.

Do I think that men and women should be chained into a failed relationship? Of course not. BUT I do think that people need to try a little harder. Work at the relationship without the easy out, pass go card.

Do I think that men or women should not be responsible for supporting the children of their OWN when the marriage fails? Of course I do. It is your responsibility. I just wish my EX had paid some of his child support, but oh well.....such is life. I got by.

Do I think that single mothers, especially those who CHOOSE to be single mothers should be supported by the tax payers? FUCK NO! Charitable institutions exist or used to exist for this purpose. Family structures are supposed to be their for support. You chose not to have that by being a single mother. The support by the taxpayers just further eliminates the need to be married and work at having a stable relationship. Since birth control is cheap and even free for the Julia's of the world......use it! The woman CHOSE to get pregnant or CHOSE to keep the baby. It isn't MY responsibility to support your child or your choices. I'm not your husband. I'm not your family.

Oso Negro said...

Inga said...
Oso negro,
What happens when those Mideastern women don't cheerfully take "direction" from heir fathers, then husbands?

They are set on fire, have acid thrown in their faces, beat or killed. Some choice


Lighten up, Francis!

For the record, I doubt sincerely that the rate of child or spousal abuse in Oman exceeds that of New York City. In fact, I would be willing to wager it is substantially less!

Chef Mojo said...

The baby isn't in her body when the man is paying child support and yet he still is bound by her choice.

Indentured servitude, with the term dictated by the child's majority.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Family structures are supposed to be their for support.

THERE for support....gah. Proofread before posting!!!!

Baron Zemo said...

Sometime when you fall in a hole the best thing to do is not to keep digging.

subduedchick said...

Forgive me if I'm being simplistic or naïve, but we seem to be talking an awful lot about women's "rights" and men's "responsibilities." If men and women equally have a "right" to engage in questionably protected sex, shouldn't they have an equally "right" to choose responsibility after the fact? A woman can choose to abort the child (and yes, it is a child, whether wanted or not - sorry if that doesn't gibe with your particular talking points)or to keep it. The man can choose to -- nope, no more choices for him! He is now resigned to abide by her whims, whatever they may be. Bull - or at least, it should be.

He should have the same right to choose whether to "keep" or "abort" his parental rights as the woman. And SHE should have the same legal responsibility to financially support the child if she decides to keep it.

Society should have no financial skin in this game -- perhaps if the people (men AND women)who were having (possibly) unprotected sex with uncommitted partners actually had to bear the responsibility for their decisions, they would choose to act more carefully.

harrogate said...

It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws. That men are being unfairly treated by being constrained by law, to provide financial support for the children they sire.

Does "Dr. Helen" go that far, I wonder?

Brian Macker said...

"Because to quote George Costanza: 'We're living in a society here.'"

... and he used the phrase as stupidly as you just did. He didn't want to wait to use a pay phone after some man was through, and spent so much time bitching about it instead of waiting on line that another woman who waited quietly got their first.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Forgive Althouse for not being aware of nocturnal emissions. Bless her heard, she has never been interested enough in men to care about their sperm and the lack of control men have over it when dreaming of sex.

That men sometimes ejaculate when sleeping is of no concern to the courts or women because women and the courts are sexist.

Men are not responsible for their semen when it unconsciously is spewed forth. Women who take the sperm and impregnate themselves are the issue here, and sophistry from any perspective simply won't change this.



President-Mom-Jeans said...

You complain about being misquoted, perhaps some actual quotes will be more to your liking.

"I'm clearing some comment clutter, e.g., bare insults."

Like these?

"Lame little men, whining about their meager money?

No one cares about you, because no one should!"

"Don't be splooge stooge."

"Now you'll have something to do other than jerking off to old pics of Joey Heatherton and Barbara Eden while swilling booze on Court Street."

Hypocrisy, thy name is Althouse. I think everyone can take your resorts to censorship as an acknowledgement that Reynolds has won the day. Go ahead and delete this.

You know how I can tell that he won? He didn't declare victory.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Perhaps penis envy takes up so much space in the feminist mind there isn't area enough to empathize with the penis bearers.

The Crack Emcee said...

harrogate,

It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws. That men are being unfairly treated by being constrained by law, to provide financial support for the children they sire.

Does "Dr. Helen" go that far, I wonder?


If you're referring to my comments - I'm not saying you are but "if" - you're either reading into it, or assuming, too much.

I'm a foster child. The idea I'd advocate such a thing can only be made by thinking you know my mind.

Just focus on what I write.

harrogate said...

Brian, he did indeed use it stupidly but it's a memorable retort and it applies here. Really the question I was responding to boils down to "why do we have a social safety net in the first place?"

And the obvious response is, because we are a society. Show us a single prosperous or event halfway decent country anywhere without such a safety net. It'll be as easy as finding a decent "society" that has no public education .

David R. Graham said...

If a doctor has a patient, the doctor should heal the patient gratis.

If a lawyer has a client, the lawyer should protect the client gratis.

If a clergyman has a congregant, the clergyman should foster the congregant gratis.

If a soldier has a loyalty, the soldier should execute that loyalty gratis.

A teacher fully supports a student so long as they remain a student. Anything less is trivial and meaningless. If you are a student paying for an education, you are not getting one.

That's what this crevice is about.

Renee said...

"Men are not responsible for their semen when it unconsciously is spewed forth. Women who take the sperm and impregnate themselves are the issue here, and sophistry from any perspective simply won't change this."


Sleep in separate beds and do your own laundry then, if you are that worried she will steal your sperm.

Inga said...

"It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws. That men are being unfairly treated by being constrained by law, to provide financial support for the children they sire.

Does "Dr. Helen" go that far, I wonder?"

7/7/13, 11:57 AM

Agree! I'll go even further, it appears that some commenters here, admit to being pro life yet resent the woman for keeping the pregnancy and baby because then they will then be unruly burdened with child support. Can't have it both ways guys.


harrogate said...

Crack, as it happens I wasn't responding to you. But thanks for the candid discussion anyway.

Jay said...

Show us a single prosperous or event halfway decent country anywhere without such a safety net. It'll be as easy as finding a decent "society" that has no public education .

Completely nonsensical.

sydney said...

Once again; women and men talking past each other.

I have to say, this is a most frustrating argumentative series - and each post garners over 200 comments! Amazingly, I find myself agreeing with both sides, but probably more with the men than the women.

Professor Althouse wants men to be held responsible for their consequences of their sexual acts. The dissenting commentors want women to be held responsible for the consequences of their sexual acts.

We in the West once had a society that did this, and our laws reflected the customs of that society. A pregnant woman was expected to marry the impregnating man. And the impregnating man was expected to marry the woman he impregnated.Y ou conceive a child- you take care of it- man and woman. If you were a woman that meant pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. If you were a man - that meant paying up. Failing to abide by that societal expectation was not something to be proud of. We no longer have this culture. Now there is no shame in either men or women behaving like rakes. The sexual revolution has made them equals in the right to copulate as freely as they want. It has not made them equals in responsibility, however, and that is where our laws fall down. They have not kept up with the revolution. Abortion has made it even worse by making it possible to think of the unborn child as a non-entity.

It does seem inherently unfair that a man can enter into a sexual union with a woman and produce a child but have no voice in whether or not that child should live or die. And should it be chosen for him that the child should live, he then has to be financially responsible as well. But a woman can enter into a sexual union with a man and produce a child, and then make all the decisions about that child's fate. She has all of the rights and none of the responsibility. Biology is no excuse for this. Contraception is easy, affordable, and effective. In this day and age, a woman is just as responsible for careless conception as a man.

Here is where we go wrong as a society. Sex is not some easy, breezey encounter between two people, like a kiss or a handshake. It is a union of two lives which results in a third life. It is at the moment that the union takes place that responsiblity begins- for both partners. Until we recognize that our laws won't recognize it, either.


edutcher said...

The She Devil of the SS operates on the touching assumption all child custody and support laws are executed equally and in good faith, not intended to favor the woman and punish the man, and men are just whining.

Or she's just being a Lefty hypocrite

Baron Zemo said...

You know why many people will never own a doberman pinscher?

Because they will turn on you.

No matter who much you take of them and feed them and walk them they will still turn on you.


OK, this is an analogy about Mexicans again, right?

Renee said...

"Contraception is easy, affordable, and effective."

Dude... there are method/user failure rates, accept the risks.

You should always choose a partner wisely.

alee85 said...

Long time reader, first time poster.

The disagreement here is fundamentally one of perspective, which is why Glenn says Ann "doesn't get it", and Ann refuses to acknowledge Glenn's assertion of male victimhood. They are talking right past each other.

Hopefully, I can help in this regard. It really comes down to perspective.

For Glenn, the starting point is from a traditional patriarchal society, where the fundamental inequality of women being the only sex to bear the enormous cost of procreation, as well as the only sex capable of procreation, are addressed through a basic bargain. Men provide material support for the mothers of their children, and the children and sexual rights of the mother (to ensure paternity) fall under the authority of the father. The primary vehicle for this arrangement is marriage. The enforcement of this arrangement created a strong set of taboos regarding pre-marital sex, bastard children, cuckolding, and some level of control over female sexuality (be it burkas or chastity belts). All of this social machinery was justified by the quid-pro-quo of male support for the female and children in exchange for exclusive access to female reproductive capability.

In the feminist sexual revolution, women defected from this arrangement, arguing that females possessed autonomy over their own bodies. The free-love movement and birth-control, sponsored by both sexes, generally destroyed marriages' monopoly on legally-recognized sex.

The only thing that remained unchanged was the man's material obligation to the children and the mother. This inequality has then been exploited in countless, documented ways to the detriment of men.

Glenn, as a libertarian, simply doesn't have the stomach to advocate a reactionary return to hard-core patriarchy. He'd rather see men defect as well. Ann rightly argues that this would be disastrous for the children. But to Glenn, the disaster was put in motion long before the current men's-rights-counteroffensive.

To Ann, the feminist revolution simply was a rectification of a previously unequal state. If men enjoyed sexual autonomy, women should have the same rights. The issue of sexual freedom and bodily autonomy is quite divorced from the issue of child welfare. To Glenn, they are linked.

Ann uses fairly strong social-shaming language for male commenters who would seek to defect from the current arrangement. Ann would like the see female sexual autonomy, and also stable family units. Glenn probably views that as having your cake and eating it too. Thus he detects some "social-con" in Ann, while Ann detects none. To Glenn, any preference for stable child-raising family units necessitates a preference for conservative social mores. Ann believes that stable child-raising family units can exist amongst a world of perfect sexual freedom.

Now...my challenge to Ann:

1. Would you agree to a law that would guarantee the right of any man to ask and receive paternal testing of the baby, without the consent or knowledge of the mother, before signing the birth certificate?

2. Would you allow a man to unilaterally renounce paternity of a fetus less than 12 (or 16) weeks old?

(If #2 is agreeable) 2b. Would you agree to a law that required a health provider to inform the potential father within two weeks of a medical confirmation of pregnancy? Or, if it can be proven that the woman avoided medical attention for the express purpose of avoiding notification of the potential father, that she gives up any claim to material support?

Saint Croix said...

I used to be opposed to "autonomy" rights for men, on the grounds that it would make our society even angrier, and meaner, and colder than it already is. And probably even more babies would die.

On the other hand, equality is always good. If the rules are ugly and mean and vicious, it's better to apply those ugly and mean and vicious rules to all people, rather than single out groups for disparate treatment.

If women have a right to opt out of motherhood during a pregnancy, why can't men opt out of fatherhood during a pregnancy?

It's irrelevant that the man is not pregnant. He's not opting out of pregnancy. He's opting out of fatherhood. He's shaking off his legal obligations to his child, as Roe v. Wade allows the mother the right to shake off her legal obligations to her child.

Of course, Roe v. Wade goes quite a bit farther, giving mom a kill-right. Fathers are not asking for a kill-right, and biology makes that impossible. But an opt-out right is entirely possible.

Baron Zemo said...

Dr Helen is fair and willing to listen. Not pompous and contemptuous of other peoples opinions. She has some very valuable insights that she has gleamed from intensive research.

You see she seems to like men.

Not think of them as servants or inferiors.

That is not always the case as you have witnessed in the last few days.

Paco Wové said...

"Arguing I get to be irresponsible but you have to be responsible for my choice? how does that compare?"

It compares badly. But I don't recall making that argument.

For the most part, what sydney wrote is a better statement of whatever else I would have said in response to the rest of your comment.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

So in an adult theater if an employee sees a rich man enter a booth, jerk off, ejaculate on the floor, and exit, would the business be liable for the child if the sperm was taken from the floor and used for insemination by a third party after said third party buys the ejaculate from the opportunistic employee?

Baron Zemo said...

"OK, this is an analogy about Mexicans again, right?"

Man your Reverend Jim Ignatowski imitation is spot on!

You are a really talented guy!

Brian Macker said...

Harrogate says as quoted by Inga: "It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws."

It looks like you better quote someone to prove that position, or look like a liar. You and Inga the person who quoted you like it was fact. I just read all the prior comments and no one claimed that as their position.

Pastafarian said...

Let me sort this out: a woman has the right to abort an unborn child because it's inside her, and it's her body. She controls her own body. Having had sex shouldn't cause her to lose this control.

The sperm donor, or splooge stooge, has no say in the matter; even though it will be his body at work slaving to earn the child's keep for 18 years, should she choose to keep it. He had sex and so now he loses his freedom.

Here's a better solution to restore equality: Let's stop pretending that the woman has the right to murder her child, morally or legally. Once it's conceived, both parents are obligated to it. Don't want to have a baby? Then control your vagina, at the stage when you have control. Goose, gander.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

How can an intoxicated man consent to the use of his sperm?

The organic contract of sperm is null and void if any heightened emotional turbulence or intoxication is present when said contract was delivered.

Brian Macker said...

"Fathers are not asking for a kill-right, and biology makes that impossible. But an opt-out right is entirely possible."

Biology doesn't make that impossible. Why shouldn't a raped underage boy be able to ask for his rapist to be forced into an abortion. Why should he be forced to have his child reared by a rapist? No one is asking for this but maybe they should be, in the name of equality and fairness.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

admit to being pro life yet resent the woman for keeping the pregnancy and baby because then they will then be unruly burdened with child support

I am neither pro or anti abortion, with the exception of being very ANTI abortion after a certain time in the pregnancy. I think abortion is murder, but it is your CHOICE and you will have to live with it.

What I am PRO on is accepting responsibility for your actions.

If you are a single woman and get pregnant, an easily avoidable condition in the first place, and decide to keep your child then it is YOUR responsibility to take care of that child.

If you are a single man or in a married relationship and knowingly have unprotected sex and knowingly have sex with a woman that you know is not using birth control, you are responsible for that child as well.

If you are a single or married man who is TRICKED into being a father by a woman who lied to you about using birth control or were lied to by the woman and are NOT the father of the child...someone else is fucking her......You are NOT responsible for the child. The woman IS since she is the one who CHOSE to create a child. You just thought you were having sex. Many men will step up and be responsible anyway.

It is NOT my responsibility to pay for YOUR children.

YOU are responsible for your choices and your own actions.

jr565 said...

aronamos wrote:
Sex has consequences. Sometimes those consequences are children. And adults need to know that.

And abortion is not an attempt to ignore those consequences? If 700 dollars a month proved too onerous, your husbands ex wife could have had a procedure to remove the child and then never have to deal with the issue of child support.
But if she had that option, what would be wrong with a man wanting the same option? It won't prevent her from still having a baby, so it's not as if it compels her to do something. Whereas, her choice will compel him.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
cubanbob said...
Ann if we were to revert to pre-Roe, pre-no-fault divorce and pre-no unwed mother welfare there wouldn't be that much of a problem. Throw in no child support for children conceived extra maritally and the problem really pretty much resolves itself.

How do any of these things affect the success or failure of a particular marriage between two consenting adults?

7/7/13, 11:37 AM
harrogate said...
"And why is this the taxpayers' problem to begin with?"

Because to quote George Costanza: "We're living in a society here."

7/7/13, 11:37 AM

ARM think it through. Its in the incentives. True none of this might have an effect in any particular marriage but as a whole it would and in the past it did. Ann doesn't want to admit it but her arguments end up at that point. There would less incentive to divorce as there was in the past if no-fault divorce were eliminated. If abortion wasn't available both men and woman would more careful as they were in the past. Absent infidelity there wouldn't be that much of an issue with child support If welfare for single unwed mothers wasn't available there would be as many out-of wedlock marriages as there is today.

Ann's argument boils down to choices for me and responsibilities for thee.

Quoting George Constanza? Really? The taxpayers should get a return for their money, put the mothers on welfare out to earn their child support from the taxpayers by cleaning their homes. Society doesn't owe you, me or anyone else a living. You seem to think that there is some near universal consensus that taxpayers owe single woman who chose to get pregnant and stay pregnant a living. If you have evidence to that effect please show it.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Blah, you're making an appeal to sentimentality by appealing to what is good for children. Long term what matters is how people evolve, and not so much what is good for children but whether children are good. A female who procreates with a loveable person is going to to produce better more beautiful children than a female who procreates with a less lovable or unlovable person. We don't need a world full of conniving brat kids who are more pampered and spoiled than at present, who will grow up to be conniving selfish adults, we need a world more full of beautiful, good, loving, innocent children, even if they don't have as many luxuries. What right has a woman gained by being able to avoid or abort during meaningless sex children she would hate, if she has lost the right to have children who are very loveable instead of blah or somewhat worse? You can say that women shouldn't lower standards, but the only alternative is for women to go childless since you can't limit a female's best options without necessarily limiting her standards or her willingness to have sex. I mean, really, do you expect of a good woman that she should stay unmarried if she can't find a well-loved male willing to marry her? I guarantee you that bad women won't follow such a prescription. Bad women will choose the option they feel best suits their needs, which won't be childlessness, but rather marrying whatever scum remains. No way it can be a good thing for a large portion of good women to willingly stay childless while almost all bad women marry whatever they can get, since the natural moral qualities of people would rather quickly evolve to disappear, as the proportion of the progeny of the selfish women increases, to be replaced by pure selfishness and greed.

I don't buy the elitist materialism behind much of the extreme belief in the importance of children being extremely well provided for. There's a kind of unholy alliance between the materialism that's been present in socialism ever since Robert Owen--that the poor be morally degenerate [I'm not suggesting they are, but so the argument goes] merely because they are too poor to afford the culture, etc., that money can afford--and the new materialism of wealthy elitists who nowadays view themselves as superior because they have been the recipients of the high-brow culture they alone can afford. The wealthy formerly thought themselves superior because they tended to be cleaner people (wealthy men to the extent they are selfish tend to support women making sexual choices from money rather than from other reasons such as love or depraved addiction).

Money is of value mainly because it allows one not to starve to death, and beyond that, mainly because it affords the (cheap) leisure for thought and reflection. It's not something so important for children to have in abundance that women should be restricted to only having meaningful sex with people who are willing to commit to giving them (and their offspring) much money. You can say that it's time with a father that is important, but I'd say time with a bad father it worse than no time with a bad father which is worse than no or little time with a good father. And so if it is money that is important, why not just go farther and say that couples shouldn't be allowed to have children unless they put up money beforehand. Should poor pregnant women be forced to have abortions merely because they are poor? Surely not, but why not if money is so important?

If love were more important, people would evolve to be less selfish, and our economy wouldn't be half tied up with mostly avoidable industries such as finance and insurance as a result of being dominated by rent seekers. After tax incomes should be sufficiently level and jobs sufficiently available that mostly any female could afford to have one child on her own. Not totally level, which encourages addictions and discourages useful industry, but significantly more level they are now.

Paco Wové said...

"I used to be opposed to "autonomy" rights for men, on the grounds that it would make our society even angrier, and meaner, and colder than it already is. And probably even more babies would die."

So you're against abortion, unless being for it furthers even more societal degeneracy? Now I'm really confused.

Freeman Hunt said...

I am pro-life, and I think this issue and abortion are separate.

There can be no corresponding male right to abortion because the biology of the sexes makes them inherently unequal in this regard. Demanding such a right seems as silly to me as the women who demand a right to jobs for which they are physically unsuitable.

Babies grow inside women, not men. Men are stronger and faster than women. Such is life.

DADvocate said...

Sleep in separate beds and do your own laundry then, if you are that worried she will steal your sperm.

It's not just about stealing sperm. It's about stealing the house, the business, etc. A guy I once knew who owned a gas station was married for 3 months when his wife divorced him and he had to pay her $100,000. (This was in the late 1970s when he got divorced. $100,000 then would be nearly $300,000 now.) He went on strike, although he didn't call it that, telling me that he was never getting married again, that he could have had a $,1000 whore every night for less than that.

Heck, I'm on strike. I've got 4 kids, a decent income, a house on the creek, etc. My kids preferr(ed) - only one is still a minor and she lives with me - living with me. What does a woman, as a wife, have to offer me? Nothing.

Even though I do all the household chores - cooking, mowing, gardening, home repairs, vacuuming, ect, except doing my daughter's laundry and cleaning her room - she does that, life is more enjoyable when I can do as I please and not worry about pleasing the unpleasable female. Looking at the married couples I know, about half of the men would be better off and happier following my lead.

dbp said...

"The backbone of society is the married, committed couple who channel their sexuality into making and growing the next generation. Those who do other things are free to make choices, but we as a society have no reason to facilitate their choices, especially their destructive choices."

This is the kind of argument those of us for traditional marriage have been making for quite some time, only to have it dismissed out-of-hand by fair Professor Althouse.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman,

Some men are stronger and faster than some women.

FIFY - and please think it through rationally.

I think a big revelation exists in the difference.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oprah vs. Mr. Bean in a cage match to the death.

Who'd win?

zd87 said...

Is this conversation about the financial responsibility of men who became fathers because their genetic material was somehow stolen? If that's the case, then I think the problem lies in how child support is structured and who gets custody. Both of those seem biased against men (lacking any real data).

As a man, if i ever found myself in this situation, I would by happy to support the child. That's my responsibility. But I wouldn't want to support the mother through child support, as it would benefit her as well as my child*. I wouldn't want to help her with her rent or bills, but I'd be happy to help buy food, clothes, toys, etc. for my child. Child support doesn't allow you to discriminate against the custodian of the child, though.

Would family courts rule in my favor? Would they give me custody? Maybe, but the odds don't seem to be in my favor. Which is what I think Glenn is actually talking about - a legal system biased against men. Men boycotting marriage is just another symptom of this bias.

*To clarify - these are my thoughts only for the case of deceptive insemination because the woman is deliberately trying to have a child. Abortion isn't even an issue in this case, is it? If it's accidental, like a condom breaks, I'm much more sympathetic to some joint custody arrangement. But that wasn't the situation that sparked this conversation, as far as I can tell. And that still doesn't change the way courts rule in favor of women more often than not in a variety of situations.

Baron Zemo said...

Hey Sean Bean would kick his ass.

The dude was lord of Winterfell after all.

Baron Zemo said...

You can blah, blah, blah and try to coverup and back peddle as fast as Antonio Cromartie but it will not matter in the long run.

When you bite the hand that feeds you there will be blood.

(doberman pincher reference Eddy)

Saint Croix said...

It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws.

Yes, that follows from "choice" logic.

Imagine a world where men have a right to choose whether to be a dad.

Men will support their children if they love their children. Thus good men will always pay child support, and be good fathers.

Bad men will abandon their children, and the mother.

Freedom!

It's similar in the abortion context. Good moms will love their children. Bad moms will kill them.

This is just extending the choice argument into child support.

rcommal said...

My late mother used to joke from time to time that a lot of problems could be solved or prevented if someone could invent a substance to be added to our drinking water so that no one could get pregnant or get someone pregnant without getting a prescription for the antidotes. I used to think that was an awful notion and not funny. Now, I'm not so sure. Perhaps that joke was onto something.

Saint Croix said...

Now imagine a world where a wife can seek and get a divorce, but a husband never can. That would be insane, right?

But why can a woman divorce herself from her child, while a man can never divorce himself from his child?

And if "choice" advocates object to this, what's the objection? His choice affects your choices? (See Roe v. Wade!) His choice might result in a dead baby? (See Roe v. Wade!)

It would be nice if we had a world where men and women had obligations to each other and the babies we create. But Roe v. Wade wrecked that world. Now we just have atomistic assholes looking out for #1.

Of course, our society will continue to have good family men and women, who are the backbone of our society. But Roe v. Wade presupposes that you don't have to be a good family man or woman, you can be a selfish asshole, even a baby-killing asshole.

Men aren't asking for an infanticide right. We wouldn't dream of asking for an infanticide right. All men are requesting is a right to sever obligations. Which is implicitly one of the rights women were granted in Roe.

Paco Wové said...

In my role as John Q. Taxpayer, what I'd really like to see less of is single mothers, especially poor single mothers, especially especially poor single mothers on the dole. I don't see how encouraging male irresponsibility furthers that goal.

cubanbob said...

harrogate said...
It looks like some commenters here are arguing that there should be no such thing as child support laws. That men are being unfairly treated by being constrained by law, to provide financial support for the children they sire.

Does "Dr. Helen" go that far, I wonder?

7/7/13, 11:57 AM

Actually no one really is. They are just pointing out the inherit hypocrisy of Roe v Wade. Maybe you can enlighten us as to why wanting a financial abortion is more inherently more wrong than having an actual abortion.

Saint Croix said...

There can be no corresponding male right to abortion because the biology of the sexes makes them inherently unequal in this regard.

That's exactly right, Freeman, but you're missing the point.

Men aren't asking for a right to force a woman to have an abortion. (That would be obscene).

Men are asking for a right to choose, during pregnancy, whether or not to be a parent. This is one of the rights women implicitly have under Roe v. Wade.

Paco Wové said...

"Maybe you can enlighten us as to why wanting a financial abortion is more inherently more wrong than having an actual abortion."

Because one results in an impoverished child who is potentially a burden on society and one doesn't?

AReasonableMan said...

cubanbob said..
Ann's argument boils down to choices for me and responsibilities for thee.


Althouse is being inconsistent, I'm not arguing with that.

Her praise for stupid shows like 'Girls' is inconsistent with the old testament views she expressed the other day: "The backbone of society is the married, committed couple who channel their sexuality into making and growing the next generation. Those who do other things are free to make choices, but we as a society have no reason to facilitate their choices, especially their destructive choices."

She hasn't fully reconciled her '60's concepts of free love with the reality of marriage and child raising.

But I agree with her that a lot of men have become unreasonably whiny over the state of modern male-female relations. Read Shakespeare, it's always been a battle. Winners in this battle figure out a mutual beneficial strategy with their partner. Too many people can't look beyond their own needs to get to this point.

Sofa King said...

"Why not?"

Arguing that "they get to be irresponsible, therefore it's only fair that I get to be irresponsible", is, well, irresponsible. As well as unrealistic.


I disagree. As alee85 above alluded to, you can very easily view this scenario as a "stag hunt" theoretical game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stag_hunt
In this framework, cooperation yields the maximum benefits to everybody, but the worst position is to be the sucker. A stable but non-optimal scenario is that in which nobody cooperates, but there are no suckers.

So, if you are now playing this game, and expect there is a good probability that your partner will not cooperate, the logical strategy is to defect also, so as to avoid being the sucker.

It has been made clear to men that they must respect the decisions of their partners in this game, so it is only logical - you might even say coldly logical - for them to evaluate their own decisions in this context.

jr565 said...

Freeman Hunt wrote:
There can be no corresponding male right to abortion because the biology of the sexes makes them inherently unequal in this regard. Demanding such a right seems as silly to me as the women who demand a right to jobs for which they are physically unsuitable.

Would the opting out of fatherhood though be tantamount to a right to an abortion for a man?
No, it would be family planning for the man. Can she afford a baby? Can he afford a baby? Does she want to be a mother? Does he want to be a father?
Becasue of biology you can tell a man that he can't be a father. But it shouldn't hold that just becasue you want to be a mother that therefore he should be obligated to be a dad. That then throws into question the whole issue of, can a woman abort her baby because having it would be inconvenient. If you're ok with that rationale, and you could kill your kid over it, why choudln't the other partner in the equation simply say I don't want to exert my parental rights simply beacuse you chose to.
Have a contract that can be written up between the man and the woman where he opts out prior to the baby being born. It doesn't mean she can't choose. It doesn't tell her what she can do with her body. It just says, if you can choose convenience over a babys life then so can the man. Plenty of parent give up their kids for adoption and let someone else raise their kid. If it's two people and they barely know each other what's wrong with one or both saying sorry, not going to be there for the kid, so you might want to consider that if you have it anyway.

Besides, remember when Dan Quayle got in trouble for saying Murphy Brown was a bad role model for being a single mom, all the feminists were up in arms. This would empower single moms. They can show us that Dan Quayle was wrong (He wasn't, but it would be a good teachable moment).

Saint Croix said...

Actually no one really is. They are just pointing out the inherit hypocrisy of Roe v Wade. Maybe you can enlighten us as to why wanting a financial abortion is more inherently more wrong than having an actual abortion.

I would consider voting for such a law. It would certainly be a bad law, as Roe v. Wade is a bad law. It would very likely make our society meaner, colder, and more vicious. But it would also, I think, create more sympathy for the pro-life movement and more hostility to Roe v. Wade (particularly among women).

Requiring men to pay child support to their babies is obviously an old-fashioned idea, rooted in Victorian notions of chivalry. It has no place in our progressive future. Autonomy! Liberty! Choice!

Renee said...

Saint Croix,

The right to abortion, has more to do with her body then the right not to be a parent.

I know that is the desired result for the woman, but that isn't the legal argument for her right to an abortion.

The argument rests on the issue of her body.

I mentioned this example previously, my child needs a bone marrow transplant. Can the government force the father of the child (who is a match) to submit to the bone marrow transplant?

Or does the father have a right to his body to refuse?

Paco Wové said...

"So, if you are now playing this game, and expect there is a good probability that your partner will not cooperate, the logical strategy is to defect also, so as to avoid being the sucker."

This is how you approach relations with the opposite sex? As game theory?

Christ, that's depressing. Maybe you shouldn't be having sex with people that have to be dealt with in such a manner.

Anglelyne said...

alee85: The disagreement here is fundamentally one of perspective, which is why Glenn says Ann "doesn't get it", and Ann refuses to acknowledge Glenn's assertion of male victimhood. They are talking right past each other.

Hopefully, I can help in this regard. It really comes down to perspective.


Good discussion, alee85. I don't think it's so much a matter of opposing perspectives, though, but that both are operating from social/moral viewpoints that have reached a dead-end, run out of steam, joined the choir invisible, disinterred the dead equine for a good hiding, re-mortgaged the farm and got foreclosed anyway...well, you get the point.

They're both late Boomer true-believers who want to stay in the '60s funhouse but want everybody to behave - Reynolds clinging to his adolescent libertarianism and Althouse to feminist utopianism, both of which assume of fund of social capital which cannot be maintained by the abstract/procedural foundations they want to rely on. But in the end that's weak stuff and falls apart, as per chris naven @7/7/13, 10:57 AM and @7/7/13, 11:27 AM.

As inconsistent as Althouse's position is, at least she seems farther along the road that leads to that recognition. ('Cause all the consistency in the world doesn't lead to truth if you've got the basics wrong.) Whether she'll ever see the light, I don't know. But it seems that all it would take is for to her to simply acknowledge the monkey wrench that abortion rights throw in traditional expectations of male responsibility. One thin little mint...

Rhythm and Balls said...

Come off it, Althouse. You're just not going to be able to get yourself off of this one. You're essentially saying that celibacy is a greater virtue than honesty. It's not.

How many more words are you going to offer in defense of a position that gives greater importance to a selfish, unnecessarily gendered ownership of biological property than it does to whether the circumstances under which it's created are fraudulent or not?

It's ridiculous. Just end the charade parade already. Even libertarians admit that fraud is one of those evils that the "public interest" should aim to prevent. So don't try to say that throwing in with them is your get-out-of-jail-free card.

We should aim for a more honest, less manipulative, and more responsible society. Your position, even if it were conservative or somehow socially concerned, fails on all three counts.

I'm glad this argument is being had, though. It gets to the core of one of the last vestiges of female privilege that women will have to give up if they really want to be equal participants in a democratic society.

jr565 said...

Renee wrote:
The argument rests on the issue of her body.

I mentioned this example previously, my child needs a bone marrow transplant. Can the government force the father of the child (who is a match) to submit to the bone marrow transplant?

Or does the father have a right to his body to refuse?

It's not exactly analagous. Because the womans right to her body allows her to kill the growing fetus inside of her. Since that fetus has a body of it's own, your choice does not simply effect your body.

The Crack Emcee said...

AReasonableMan,

Dude, really, change your name:

I agree with her that a lot of men have become unreasonably whiny over the state of modern male-female relations.

When one common strategy in divorce is to falsely charge domestic violence, putting the husband under police jurisdiction, you sound insane.

Read Shakespeare, it's always been a battle.

I have - you said you DECIDED to give in, remember?

Winners in this battle figure out a mutual beneficial strategy with their partner.

You're no longer a partner, remember?

Too many people can't look beyond their own needs to get to this point.

Once you've been abandoned, there is no one else to look out for, unless you're suggesting what you did:

Resentfully do as you're told.

Give it a break. You're a wimp. The rest of us aren't made of that. In a zero sum game there can only be one winner.

If you decided, beforehand, it's not going to be you - shut up.

I will not be punked for your outlook,...

Saint Croix said...

Because one results in an impoverished child who is potentially a burden on society and one doesn't?

No, the argument is rooted in equality. Thus father can only divorce his child during pregnancy. As mother can only divorce (and kill) her child during pregnancy.

Once the baby is born, both mother and father have moral and legal obligations to their child.

But during pregnancy, all bets are off.

So this equality might end up with even more abortions. But maybe it will wake up liberals and feminists to the utter selfishness and basic disregard of their own political positions.

I certainly think we need to do something to shake our society out of our abortion rut.

Renee said...

As the father if you deny the bone marrow transplant, you are effectively killing your child, who has a body of his/her own.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Feeling all groovy has become a rut.

jr565 said...

Renee wrote:
"As the father if you deny the bone marrow transplant, you are effectively killing your child, who has a body of his/her own."

I don't know many dads who would refuse such a transplant if it were the only thing to save their kid. Maybe if it was a choice of giving up your heart or your brain you might get some second guessing, but bone marrow?

Saint Croix said...

The right to abortion, has more to do with her body then the right not to be a parent.

I call bullshit!

Casey, for instance, writes this...

The mother who carries a child to full term is subject to anxieties, to physical constraints, to pain that only she must bear. That these sacrifices have from the beginning of the human race been endured by woman with a pride that ennobles her in the eyes of others and gives to the infant a bond of love cannot alone be grounds for the State to insist she make the sacrifice. Her suffering is too intimate and personal for the State to insist, without more, upon its own vision of the woman's role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and our culture. The destiny of the woman must be shaped to a large extent on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society.

Casey is such poetic slush, it's hard to find a law out of that. But clearly the Court is talking about motherhood far more than it's talking about surgery.

You can't ignore all the "choice" rhetoric and "autonomy" rhetoric in the Supreme Court's case law. It's there!

Roger Zimmerman said...

My understanding is that the case here (or was it just a hypothetical? - no matter) involves a woman assuring the man prior to consensual sex that she was using birth control. I believe at some point in the sequence of posts Ann recommended that a man in such a position could allege a tort, and thereby have his financial obligation reduced or eliminated.

My question is: does the law acknowledge such a tort? If so, then I think this is an entirely just and, indeed, libertarian approach to the problem. While I could imagine difficulties in making the case, were this approach possible in the mainstream, then men would be easily able to adopt strategies (such as using the voice recorder app on their phones, calling friend prior to the act, etc.) to protect themselves. Not that these are particularly romantic tactics, but we're not really talking about romance here, are we?

Renee said...

Well, Jr...

Does he have the right to his own body and to say no?

cubanbob said...

Because one results in an impoverished child who is potentially a burden on society and one doesn't?"

Paco lets poll kids on whether they would choose to be born poor or never to be born at all.

Rhythm and Balls said...

As I said yesterday, what a strange premise for conservative males to glom onto, a "union" of disaffected men.

They (and a lot of "their" women) are rightly concerning themselves with a more honest and responsible society.

It is not honest to flood the gene pool with the stocks of those who would lie about something so fundamental as the creation of new human beings.

It is not responsible to flood the gene pool with the stocks of those who can't take responsibility for not only their own preferences by honestly stating them, but who usually do this because they benefit monetarily from it.

It's fraud on a massive scale, from an evolutionary standpoint.

But having a vagina makes it awesome, so you have that.

I understand that you are squeamish about sex or find it to be an uncomfortably personal thing, and want to compensate for that by injecting a massive amount of one-sided power into its implications.

But you are perpetuating a more dishonest, more irresponsible and just plain generally more fucked-up society as a result.

Feel free to let us know about how you intend to raise decent daughters and unexploited sons with these priorities of yours.

jr565 said...

Also, the baby is in the womb because of the mothers (and fathers actions) the sick baby isn't sick because of the fathers actions.
Because of actions a woman took a growing life form, through no fault of it's own, finds itself growing inside a mothers womb. ANd if its just left alone will complete it's development and leave her womb (barring any unseen circumstances of course). NOt the same thing as sick child needing bone marrow and you're the only one who can give it to him.
How debilitating would it be to give him your bone marrow? If it didnt' leave you a cripple and you can go on after a bit of discomfort with your life, then I personally would find anyone who didn't try to help their kid to be a jerk.

Renee said...

Saint C, I'm aware of the poetic slush, but well her body has more rights then the unborn child.

Does dad have rights over his body, over his child who needs a bone marrow transplant?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Freeman Hunt wrote: There can be no corresponding male right to abortion because the biology of the sexes makes them inherently unequal in this regard.

I'm OK with fundamental inequalities, especially physical ones. The physical world depends on them. I'm at odds with many so-called "equality this" and "equality that" social experiments because they are based on false equalities which should really be viewed as equivalencies.

Sofa King said...

This is how you approach relations with the opposite sex? As game theory?

This is how all notionally rational people approach all important decisions, by evaluating costs, benefits, and what other people are likely to do.


Christ, that's depressing. Maybe you shouldn't be having sex with people that have to be dealt with in such a manner.


The point of game theory is to flesh out and formalize the costs and benefits that people weigh when determining how to make decisions in their daily lives, for the purpose of anticipating likely outcomes and strategies for adjusting those costs and benefits to obtain desirable outcomes.

What is your alternative to life decisions? Just do whatever pops into your mind and hope for the best? Intentional recklessness in the hopes of a bailout? All altruism? All selfishness? I'm genuinely curious how you can rationally eschew the mere attempt at making rational decisions.

jr565 said...

Lets say you are cojoined twins. And you both are share one kidney.And one of the cojoined twins is knocked unconcsious for 9 months. But is otherwise healthy and signs of her recovering all faculties are there. Doctors simply say you have to wait for 9 months and she'll make a full recovery. in addition to that they can then operate and both twins will be able to live separately.
However, if the woman goes through with the surgery now, before her twin recovers the twin will surely die.
Who's body is it? And can the one twin kill her sister?

Freeman Hunt said...

Men are asking for a right to choose, during pregnancy, whether or not to be a parent. This is one of the rights women implicitly have under Roe v. Wade.

This makes no sense. The child would be there, so the man would necessarily be a parent. Is that unequal? Yes, but that's the biology of the thing. Women do not actually get to choose whether or not to be parents during pregnancy; they are already parents. They get to choose whether or not to kill their children, a travesty that should hardly be more broadly extended. Technically, they were supposed to gain the right to determine whether or not their babies were actually babies prior to birth, the assumption being that of course a woman wouldn't kill her own baby, but the pro abortion rights movement has so degraded moral sensibility that it's now viewed as the right to end the child's life or not.

Theranter said...

On that whole body-thing & the woman bearing the burden of carrying the child, for most the first 7 months are a breeze, so then you have a couple of uncomf months.

I'd take that over being a guy and having to carry that junk around for your entire life!

Renee said...

This isn't about the child, but the dad s right to his body.

Does he have the right?

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Raylan said...

It's fraud on a massive scale, from an evolutionary standpoint.

So are breast implants, if they enhance a woman's reproductive chances.

Chef Mojo said...

As the father if you deny the bone marrow transplant, you are effectively killing your child, who has a body of his/her own.

So? If I don't recognize it as my child, why should I be compelled to allow a complicated, risky and invasive procedure upon my body to satisfy a sense of morality that I may not share?

By extension, this argument could be used to compel any transplant match to submit to any procedure to satisfy the needs of any individual, related or not.

Jay said...

Men are asking for a right to choose, during pregnancy, whether or not to be a parent. This is one of the rights women implicitly have under Roe v. Wade.

Why not just have it so when men "opt out" of being the financial contributor to the baby the woman gives the baby up for adoption?

Jay said...

Baron Zemo said...
You can blah, blah, blah and try to coverup and back peddle as fast as Antonio Cromartie but it will not matter in the long run.


Doesn't Cromartie have 6 kids with 4 different women?

Baron Zemo said...

Let's keep breast implants out of this please.

Is nothing sacred?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Does he have the right to his own body and to say no?

Re: being a bone marrow match and a donor.

I would say yes, he does have that right to refuse to be a donor. He would be a giant asshole, but he does have that right.

Sofa King said...

Renee - yes he has the right to refuse the medical procedure. But men are not asking for the right to force women to undergo pregnancy, so it is not a good analogy.

A better analogy might be, if the father alone can save the child with a difficult medical procedure, *and* he freely chooses to do so, does he have the right to use the courts to force the mother to compensate him monetarily for all current and future related medical costs for at least 18 years?

Baron Zemo said...

Yes Jay.

It is great when people get the joke without having to explain it to them.

Please explain it to edutcher. Thanks.

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