Mandatory reproduction? We already have that. For men.

27 Jan



A few days ago, I wrote about the draft and women being compelled to reproduce as a moral equivalent.


So obviously I’ve been thinking about reproductive rights lately, and specifically, men’s reproductive rights. I don’t think there can be any honest debate about women’s reproductive rights. They must have them, in all circumstances, with no exceptions of any kind.


I came across this article in the Atlantic about a man named Mel Feit, who aligns himself firmly with the Men’s Rights Movement, and unsurprisingly, reproductive rights are a very important topic. While I am a contributor at A Voice for Men, a prominent website in support of men’s rights, I would never claim to speak for the movement, and that is out of sheer ignorance. I simply do not know the issues well enough to claim to represent them.




And I’m working on rectifying that, but keep it in mind when you read this blog.


The current situation is this: when a woman becomes pregnant, she has complete sovereignty to decide if that baby will be born. Yes, life begins at conception. That’s irrelevant. The baby cannot exist without the use of her body, and she has an absolute right to decide if she wants her body used in that way.




To be clear, I don’t think it’s great that women make that choice. Killing your baby because it has Down Syndrome or because it’s the wrong gender or because it’s a twin or for any reason at all is a terrible thing to do. Those people are just awful. People who belong to the Ku Klux Klan are fucking terrible human beings, too. That doesn’t invalidate their basic human rights.




So what rights should men have to decide if a baby is born? None. It’s not their body that will be used to bear the baby, so they have no rights IN THAT REGARD. Men’s reproductive rights do not kick in until AFTER the baby is born.


First of all, men have the right to request a DNA test to prove that the baby is, in fact, their own. DNA testing ought to be mandatory. No exceptions. Men are not held to be responsible for children that are not their own.


Or are they?


In fact, courts around the world have declared a man to be the “father” of a particular child, even if he DID NOT contribute genetic material, if it is in the best interests of the child. Apparently, the best interests of the man are irrelevant.


There is no moral or legal equivalent for a woman. It’s kind of a joke in our house that whenever one of our kids does something particularly clumsy or lunkheaded, I say to my husband, “I want a DNA test. I’m not sure that kid is mine”.


When a pregnancy occurs, a woman has a right to decide whether or not to bring a child into the world. Once the child is born, she has the further right to place the child for adoption and surrender all rights and responsibilities.




Men do not have this right. They are not permitted to surrender their rights and responsibilities for a child they did not intend and do not want. Why is that? Women are allowed to avoid the consequences of sex, but men are not. Men are held to a higher standard of behavior than women are. And how is this fair?


It’s interesting that you don’t hear many feminists screeching for this kind of equality, isn’t it? Women can determine for themselves whether they wish to be mothers. Men do not get that choice. In the legal forum I linked to, a number of commenters say something along the lines of “if you don’t want to pay child support, keep your trousers zipped.”


Isn’t that the same argument pro-lifers use against abortion? If you don’t want to have a baby, don’t have sex.


It’s stupid.


I’ve argued before that children have an inherent right to know their fathers.


But do they? Children don’t have an inherent right to life. Women make that call. Men ought to have the right to determine whether they will be fathers at all, but they don’t. Only women get to choose. Men CANNOT force women to be mothers, but women CAN force men to be fathers.




Men have no choice. Fatherhood is mandatory. And that’s unacceptable.


Lots of love,







23 Responses to “Mandatory reproduction? We already have that. For men.”

  1. Liz January 27, 2013 at 15:43 #

    Of course everything you have said is true. And DNA testing should be mandatory for child support. It isn’t fair that men do not have the choice on whether or not to father once the egg is fertilized.

    However, a percentage of our income is deducted every paycheck to pay for the support for children that are not my own (via taxation). So I’d prefer first the mother pay, and then the father pay, and then I pay when nothing else is feasible. Though this is not a fair process to the father it is less fair to me and my family (and the rest of the taxpaying people).


  2. Wilson January 27, 2013 at 17:00 #

    Except you don’t in fact demand that the mother pay. Because that could be you, and it “takes a village” to raise your babies, doesn’t it?


  3. Liz January 27, 2013 at 18:48 #

    I assure you I expect neither the taxpayers nor the proverbial village to raise my babies for me.


  4. Liz January 27, 2013 at 18:59 #

    Just to add, yes I do demand the mother pay first.
    I don’t think any father should have to pay if the mother’s income level is adequate to escape the social welfare system (where everyone else has to pay).


  5. judgybitch January 27, 2013 at 19:04 #

    Yikes! Doesn’t that mean that only poor men would end up paying child support? That doesn’t seem fair.


  6. Liz January 27, 2013 at 19:22 #

    None of it is fair. There is no way to make it fair to everyone. It isn’t easier being a man. They have some very bad deals. So do the taxpayers. So do the kids born of these unions. There is no fair answer….the foster care system is extremely expensive too (with suboptimal results in many cases).

    I’ve seen a lot. I’ve lived in rich areas and in areas that were very poor where i had to keep my toddler from trying to pick broken glass off the ground and used condoms out of the bushes. I taught science for a short time at a middle school where about 3 out of 4 kids didn’t have a father at home, and about every third one of those had never even met his/her father. The product is bad. If a woman has an abortion, there is no child, no need to worry about the current wellbeing of that one. If she has one and doesn’t give it up for adoption and can’t afford it we all pay in many ways.

    When my sons come of age to learn about sex in a sort of in depth way (our oldest has), it’s our job to warn them. My husband told him about his highschool prom date in particular. Cheerleader, lovely, horny, yadda yadda….they were messing around in the dark and she said, “just put it in!” (not wanting him to have to go get a condom). He went to get the condom and then she wasn’t interested anymore. If he had screwed her without a condom there are a couple of things that might have happened: nothing or she got pregnant. If the second case, she might have had an abortion (sigh of relief) or he’d be stuck as a teen father and his life irreparably changed. She was a nutty skank, and a heroin addict too. Son, do what your dad did and don’t let that happen to you!


  7. Leap of a Beta January 27, 2013 at 20:43 #

    There’s an option your forgetting – if she can’t pay, and he doesnt want to pay, nobody pays or you rely on charity and private organizations that choose to pay.

    It is your thought process where you’ve already determined ‘every child WILL be cared for’ then you’ll only find answers that gives women a way out of their responsibilities. If they know neither they nor the child have to suffer no matter what their choices, too many have shown they’ll do whatever they want.


  8. happycrow January 27, 2013 at 21:05 #

    Feminists don’t want equality; they want priveleges, “all the traffic will bear.”


  9. Ter January 27, 2013 at 22:29 #

    Safe Haven laws (Safe Harbors) were introduced to allow mothers to walk into a facility, had over her child, and just walk away – absolving her of any further responsibilities to her child.

    Can a man walk in, and just sign away any further responsibilities to an unwanted child?


  10. judgybitch January 27, 2013 at 22:30 #

    Excellent question. Can he?

    I doubt it very much.


  11. M3 January 28, 2013 at 03:11 #

    Brilliant post.



  12. M3 January 28, 2013 at 03:13 #

    He can’t. That’s why the talks of ‘financial abortion’ and full legal surrender by the father are attacked as being so contentious. It’s against the ‘best interest of the child’.

    No. It’s against the interests of the mother, who still has every one of her legal choices available to her.


  13. princesspixiepointless January 28, 2013 at 07:25 #

    Cheerleader, Lovely, Horny to Heroin Addict, Nutter, Skank??? That’s a big leap in an instant, isn’t it?


  14. Kai January 28, 2013 at 16:54 #

    I think the idea behind that was to avoid infants being left in garbage cans and such. When a person no longer wants to parent their child, in the best interest of the safety of that child, I want it to be as easy as possible for the parent to get rid of it so we can get it into better hands. I do think that if you ever leave your child like that, you should have no possible chance of getting it back.

    but then, as I’ve said elsewhere, I strongly believe that men should have the right to a ‘legal abortion’. As in, an abortion in the eyes of the law, which causes the infant to not exist in relation to him, just as an actual one allows for a woman.


  15. Ter January 28, 2013 at 20:41 #

    Yes, I’m aware that it was apparently to avoid cases where the mother “couldn’t handle being a mother” and to therefore avoid the child being mistreated, abused, neglected, etc.

    The obvious questions are then:

    1) What if the man can’t handle being a father? …”too bad, man-up and be responsible – if not directly as a father then pay support for 18 years” – even being the victim of a statutory rape does not excuse boys from this (as has happened when a babysitter gets pregnant from having sex with an underage boy she was minding.)

    2) If the mother has given up custody to the state, why shouldn’t she be held responsible (as men are) and be compelled to pay child support to the state? In which case, I could see a case that the mother and father should both be compelled to pay (but at least now it would only be half each).


  16. Kai January 28, 2013 at 22:10 #

    As I said, I support men’s right to have an ‘abortion in the eyes of the law’, which gives them the exact same rights to get rid of a child as the woman gets (working around biology).

    As for giving up to the state, I kind of like your idea about child support to the state, but I think it’s more practical to just let them both walk away with no strings, and treat the child as any other given up for adoption.


  17. Liz January 29, 2013 at 00:15 #

    PPP, “Cheerleader, Lovely, Horny to Heroin Addict, Nutter, Skank??? That’s a big leap in an instant, isn’t it?”
    Not if it’s precoital/post coital, lol!
    Just kidding…he dated her over a couple of months and her true character gradually emerged.


  18. Liz January 29, 2013 at 00:21 #

    Leap: “There’s an option your forgetting – if she can’t pay, and he doesnt want to pay, nobody pays or you rely on charity and private organizations that choose to pay.”
    If a child is born and has to be raised, how is it possible that no one pays? Every state has a criteria for what is considered to be an adequate level of income for a family and if the mother’s income is below the money for child support comes out of our tax dollars. Charities exist, and they help, but the state doesn’t rely on them it relies on our tax money. It’s not utopian, it’s reality.


  19. Ter January 29, 2013 at 00:44 #

    Hi Kai, just thought I’d clarify, I did note your support for ‘legal abortion’ so I wasn’t directing my thoughts as some kind of challenge to you – I was just thinking out loud 🙂


  20. Kai January 29, 2013 at 07:09 #

    Sounds good!


  21. SadMan March 8, 2013 at 21:57 #

    Does anyone have a solution to these problems? Perhaps we can start a petition on


  22. sean March 13, 2013 at 04:21 #

    first of all, The woman have the right to say no to sex it is her body so she is in control, The man just stick it in as people say without her consent, so it is not the man’s fault that she got pregnant so he shouldnt have to pay. If the get to make the decision becasue it is her body then she should protect her body. fatherhood, like motherhood should be a choice not a legal trap.


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