Thursday, February 5, 2009

If it should be her choice then why must it be his responsibility?

As anyone that's been reading this blog for the can tell, I don't exactly come with hard hitting subjects that set the blogshpere ablaze with insightful commentary and words that are the most profound of the profound. I kind of just go with the flow that I feel. Well today I feel like something should be addressed when it comes to parenting. Unfortunately I think I'm about to paint a bulleye on my back. Oh and before you take the time think of a wiseass comment about how basic this is just suck it up or move the hell on.


When it comes to parenting one of the most often heard phrases is, "Her body, her choice". I agree with that...to a point I think.

Now before you start loading up the personal attacks let me clarify. On the topic of abortion I suppose I'm pro-choice. If a woman gets pregnant it should be up to her to decide to bring said child into the world. It's her "choice" as it were. That's fine, well, and good. Now I have a question. Why is it that in most parenting conversations people talk about its her choice and his responsibility?

On one most people that tell a man to step up and take responsibility and be a father will fire back with something to the effect of "he should have kept it in his pants", "he choose to have sex now he has to live with the consequences", or something like that. But on the other those same people don't tell her "she should have kept it out of her pants", "she choose to have sex now she has to live with the consequences, or something like that (in fact people who do say such things to the mother are accused of trying to take control of her body, funny that they don't notice they are doing the same thing to the father...)

People advocate that from the moment of conception the mom she should have control (barring complications and risks beyond her control) over whether that child lives or dies. The support for that position usually comes in the form of commenting that since she is the one carrying the child in her body it should be her choice. Why are men given that same choice when it comes to being a father?

What type of father a man becomes or even if he becomes a father is not up to him as much as people like to think. Men that want to be a part of their child's life getting pushed away while simultaneously getting drug through court for child support. Women abandoning babies (and not always in safe places like hospitals and firehouses) without telling the father about them. Even the occasional story of mothers whisking the child away from dad and not even informing him when the child dies.

I know all this sound incoherent but what I'm getting at is if a woman gets pregnant and wants to abort lots of people will stand by her but if the father of that child doesn't want to be a father those same people will scorn him. Why is that? Why is one allowed to choose and the other is held at the mercy of that choice?
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