Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The spider matriarchy

What would the feminists do if they completely got their way? I think that some of them get their inspiration from spiders. The NY Times reports:
Males of a tropical species of orb-web spider castrate themselves, either partly or fully, after mating. ...

By becoming a half eunuch or full eunuch, the spider reduces its weight by 4 to 9 percent. It then stands guard by the female it has mated with. ...

“When invaders — intact males — come in, eunuchs fight and do much better than the intact males,” said Daiqin Li, a behavioral ecologist ...

All this is contingent on male spiders even surviving to this stage, however.

About 75 percent of the time, females of the species Nephilengys malabarensis cannibalize males after copulating. Females are aggressive, and much bigger and heavier than males, Dr. Li said. Males can mate a maximum of two times in their lifetime, depending on whether they remove one or both of their sperm-delivery appendages.
Wake me up from this nightmare.

Meanwhile, another NY Times article reports:
It is an uncomfortable question that, in today’s world, is often asked by expectant mothers who had more than one male partner at the time they became pregnant. Who is the father?

With more than half of births to women under 30 now out of wedlock, it is a question that may arise more often.

Now blood tests are becoming available that can determine paternity as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy, without an invasive procedure that could cause a miscarriage.
This sounded like a promising and useful technology, until some feminist lawyers start using it to expand men's obligations:
And if the tests gain legal acceptance, some lawyers say, women and state governments might one day pursue child support payments without having to wait until the birth. Under current law, “until and unless the pregnancy produces a child, any costs associated with it are regarded as the woman’s personal problem,” said Shari Motro, a law professor at the University of Richmond.
The usual feminist line is that a pregnant woman has the constitutional right to decide on her own to abort the child at any time during the pregnancy, and she is not accountable to anyone for her decision. What if they start doing paternity tests and issuing child support orders during the pregnancy? Would that give him any say in abortion? Would his payments terminate with the abortion?

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