Friday, June 21, 2013

Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?

Women's studies professor Laurie Shrage writes in a NY Times op-ed:
Women’s rights advocates have long struggled for motherhood to be a voluntary condition, and not one imposed by nature or culture. In places where women and girls have access to affordable and safe contraception and abortion services, and where there are programs to assist mothers in distress find foster or adoptive parents, voluntary motherhood is basically a reality. In many states, infant safe haven laws allow a birth mother to walk away from her newborn baby if she leaves it unharmed at a designated facility.

If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman, and does not want to raise the child with her, what are his choices? Surprisingly, he has few options in the United States. He can urge her to seek an abortion, but ultimately that decision is hers to make. Should she decide to continue the pregnancy and raise the child, and should she or our government attempt to establish him as the legal father, he can be stuck with years of child support payments.

Do men now have less reproductive autonomy than women? Should men have more control over when and how they become parents, as many women now do?

The political philosopher Elizabeth Brake has argued that our policies should give men who accidentally impregnate a woman more options, and that feminists should oppose policies that make fatherhood compulsory.
One proposal is that if the woman has a positive pregnancy test and has a unilateral right to choose an abortion, then fairness should require that the man have a right to disavow paternity. Likewise, if the mom has the right to give up the baby at birth, then the dad should also have a similar right.
Feminists have long held that women should not be penalized for being sexually active by taking away their options when an accidental pregnancy occurs. Do our policies now aim to punish and shame men for their sexual promiscuity? Many of my male students (in Miami where I teach), who come from low-income immigrant communities, believe that our punitive paternity policies are aimed at controlling their sexual behavior. Moreover, the asymmetrical options that men and women now have when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy set up power imbalances in their sexual relationships that my male students find hugely unfair to them. ...

Policies that punish men for accidental pregnancies also punish those children who must manage a lifelong relationship with an absent but legal father. These “fathers” are not “dead-beat dads” failing to live up to responsibilities they once took on — they are men who never voluntarily took on the responsibilities of fatherhood with respect to a particular child. We need to respect men’s reproductive autonomy, as Brake suggests, by providing them more options in the case of an accidental pregnancy.
I am not sure about her reasoning, but we should have policies that assure that kids have parents who have voluntarily accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. That system used to be called marriage. Even as the feminists and gays destroy marriage, we still need a system to make parenthood work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. Mark Flowers is a true dedicated Christian but a non denominational and non church going Christian, a praying man upon his knees and he gives all credit to his survival to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his savoir and protector of him and his loved ones. Mark has to continually break all curses in Jesus Christ’s name, sent by witch craft and the Satanic agenda.

2. Mark Flowers is a fighter, a man that will never bow to any evil corruption, to DEATH.

3. Mark Flowers has had the fatherhood of his children stolen by the masons / system / The Australian Government.

4. Mark Flowers is a survivor of more than a decade of intense murderous Freemasonry Gang Stalking {a term he coined} and raised in the Federal Magistrates Court Parramatter Sydney Australia in 2009 & 2010 whilst defending his rights to father his children.

5. Mark Flowers has had so many attempts on his life in the process of Freemasonry gangstalking that they are too numerous to list, most have been whilst driving in road traffic accident setups by gangstalkers . But all manner of threats have come against Mark Flowers, One time a sour mason wielding a hammer at Mark’s head got a lesson in respect and kicked off Mark’s property. The police always fail to follow such death threats against Mark Flowers.

6. Mark Flowers has self-represented in some 60 appearances in the Federal Magistrates Court, the District Court and the Supreme Court in Australia and all with nil formal education, in fact Mark left school at 14 years and first job was in a lumber yard.

7. Mark Flowers is a Father first, and a former children’s safety film producer, but the dogs of gangstalking were released on him for doing so. Mark has been fighting ever since and will never give in, as the eternity in spirit and fear of God through Christ Jesus motivates him to be fearless against evil.

If I fall in this good fight it will be into the arms of my saviour Jesus Christ.

Brother Mark

http://www.markflowers.org/