Let’s talk about Men’s Rights, okay?
More specifically, let’s talk about men’s rights and the rights to the unborn.
When it comes to rights to a woman’s body, I work within a very narrow channel that I feel I can freely comment on. Specifically, I believe my expertise lies in critiquing the opinion of other men when it comes to women and birth.
So what is my opinion?
Bluntly put, when it comes to pregnancy, men act psychotic.
Logically, morally, ethically, they have no right to any part of the process, save what rights the woman deigns to grant them.
I’m well aware this opinion annoys to f— out of my fellow brothers.
It’s hard for them to imagine themselves in a position where they are fundamentally powerless, except in ways that make them actively harmful. Which means when you say they are powerless, let the whining commence.
So, the typical male statement is this: as a father, they’re a vital part of the process. Without the sperm, the baby can’t exist! Therefore, they have an inherent right to monitor any part of the process and stop things if they think it’s going wrong.
There’s only one problem with this. It’s based on delusional thinking.
Here’s a thought experiment. Somebody hands me a squirt bottle. It might be filled with my seed. Or someone else’s. Or it might be a neutral hormone soup.
With consent, I squirt it up there in my partner. I check back in a month and her body is reacting to it.
But what is it actually doing? Without her consent, I have zero chance of discovering if (a) a child actually exists (remember… it could be hormone soup!) or (b) whether the group of cells in there actually hosts some of my DNA.
And here’s a funny bit. Biology class teaches you that you get 1/2 father donation and 1/2 mother donation. Technically that’s true but it doesn’t say anything about expression of the parent’s traits.
There’s an astonishingly chaotic dance as the genes work to find some sort of balance where they can work to create a viable human. That means that some genes are shut off, others turned on, and you might end up with a child that is more 1/4 grandmother on your mother’s side with 3/4 mom.
That gets into another question: does your DNA count if it’s not actively expressed in your actual being?
Let’s get back to our consenting tester. Here’s what is clear, without medical intervention. This woman will spent somewhere between seven to ten months experiencing something that may be correlated with pregnancy. At the end, a human being might emerge.
Or not. Even if she didn’t get the hormone-soup squirt, you don’t have to be a medical student to know there are a thousand ways that scenario could go wrong. And even then, we’re still not addressing paternity.
How can you determine if you have paternal rights to something where there’s a 2/3 chance you’re not the dad? And that’s being generous! It’s saying that 1/3 chance of you actually expressed the blueprint of you in a meaningful way.
Technically, the only way this resolves is through building a court case. On a flimsy proposal that once a reasonable fascimile of a human emerges, it is property. Then, you can test the property to see who has the rights to ownership.
Tiny problem with this. Legally, the woman still has overwhelming rights to the property. The vast majority of labor in this process came from her. Unless there’s a pre-existing contract that guarantees the male’s right to the child as property…
Now you’re seeing why some folks demand that sex only occurs in the context of marriage. A child becomes a fiduciary duty or spousal asset, subject to division under state law. Unless there’s a pre-nup. Or you promise to compensate your spouse for any assets spent up to that point.
There’s only one way a man can, free and clear, get the rights to determine the course of a pregnancy. In essence, he has to believe, and enforce the belief, that the woman is property.
And it also affirms that since she is property, he can violently remove her consent from consideration. Any time he wishes.
This is not rational behavior.
If you believe a child is human and you believe a woman is human, then her right to the entire process becomes very clear. And it does not involve the man.
It can involve a partner, but that right is expressly, and, again, legally, morally and ethically, her choice. It involves a consent that can be revoked at any time.
It’s time we–and by ‘we’ I’m explicitly talking about men–stop hiding behind half-baked reasoning and horrifying justifications. We have to recognize that we have no power in this matter.
It’s time for us to grow up and reclaim our sanity.