Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Okay then let's talk about the laws

So we have Amp saying that choice for men is wrong because:
"The pro-choice status quo is one in which women and men are legally equal, when it comes to reproduction. The inequality that exists is caused by biology, not unequal laws, and disadvantages both sexes, not only men. And unlike legal abortion, so-called “choice for men” would have very bad consequences for both society and for children."
Neverminding the the whole choice for men thing in and of itself let's skip the biology and go on to the law.

First let's look at this story from last week in which it talks about a man that's been in the cross hairs of the child support system in Chicago, Illinois. Sean Harbin had been paying support for a child since 1991. Upon doubting the paternity of the child he stopped paying. Let me say that he was wrong for simply stopping payment over doubts with no solid proof so it makes since that his wages and income tax refunds were garnished.

Ten years later in 2001 he was excluded as the father of the child. But that didn't end the nightmare. The system continued to send him bills and he continued to go to court, representing himself because he could not afford an attorney (I guess unlike criminal cases family court cases don't have a requirement to provide a state attorney if one cannot afford one). An unidentified caseworker from Division of Child Support Services commented that even with the results saying he is not the father Harbin did not file the correct motion to have the payments ended.

Even with the mother coming forward to say he was not the father did not stop the system from ending the demands for payment (which sounds reasonable) although some of the back payments were forgiven. In the meantime Sean is still in the dark about what exactly he needs to do in order to get the demand for payment stopped. Oh and two months he found out they suspended his driver's license - back in 2009.


Second we have Ramsey Shaud of Crestview, Florida. Shaud had a relationship with Shasta B. Tew that went to a sexual level and in 2009 he learned that Tew was pregnant and was due to give birth in February 2010. Ramsey told Tew and her mother that he was willing and able to raise the child and even argued against her having an abortion and argued against her planning to put the child up for adoption. Sure you can argue that he was trying to control her body but she chose not to have the abortion. He even signed up with Florida’s Putative Father Registry (which is another conversation in itself) and refused to sign off on adoption paper work. In mid-December he got a note from her saying she was going to travel to Arizona and Utah for the holidays and planned to “stay on in Utah for awhile.” Here's where it gets interesting.

Ramsey registered on Arizona's registry but was unable to find out what the procedure was for protecting his parental rights in Utah (how convenient). He hires an attorney who faxes in the paperwork to register on Jan. 12 2010. The attorney also mailed mailed notice to the record office which was listed as received on Jan. 14. Plenty of time before that Feb. 2010 due date right? Tew gave birth prematurely on Jan. 15 2010. However Jan. 15 and the following Monday Jan. 18 were holidays in which the record office was closed. As a result the paperwork was not filed until Jan. 20, one day after Tew gave up her parental rights and the child was turned over to adoptive parents.

The rest of that article is pretty much a back and forth passing of the buck between Ramsey, his attorney, the adoption agency, and the attorney of the adoption agency.


So in one case we have a man where the legal system would rather waste precious time and resources by letting said man run around confused about what the procedure on terminating child support orders in hopes of getting as much money out of him and in another we have a case in which a man has to register to be a parent but may become one of many who may end up losing his connection with his child because of a holiday observance and a vindictive mother that would rather see a child put up for adoption than to see the child's father be in her life.

Bear in mind that this is not an attack on Amp. This an attempt at trying to shedding some light on the severe inequalities that quite literally get in the way of the father/child relationship. Inequalities that if resolved just might calm some of those angry men and might even diffuse some of that "choice for men" tension. I have to admit I'd stand a good chance of becoming pretty hateful if after conception I proceed to have little to no say in what the level of my relationship with the resulting child would be. As we can see here the system is more concerned with money than trying to foster the father/child relationship (and it seems President Obama only cares enough to complain but not actually do something) and the law literally allows a mom to decide if the dad will be in the child's life (and I find it amazing that hardly anyone ever says anything about these moms). So you got folks saying they shouldn't be able to just leave after conception and you got folks saying they should be able to stay after conception. When men are treated like that its no surprise they become blinded with rage and suggest extreme measures like this.

Although a part of me wonders. Wouldn't choice for men also make women more mindful of who they have sex with? I don't imagine many women would want to have sex with a man they think is just going to run out on them at the first hint of conception right?

We may not be able to do anything about the biological imbalances but there is pretty much no other excuses than misandry and greed behind legal imbalances like this.


EasilyEnthused said...

I left a comment over at Amp's blog - but I didn't want to get too hostile with a person whom I generally think has his head on straight in the gendersphere.

But, this line from him: "And unlike legal abortion, so-called “choice for men” would have very bad consequences for both society and for children" shows where he's having a blindspot.

"Very bad consequences for both society and for children."

So - I agree that society and children are paramount when it comes to social justice. The only problem is that Amp's definition seems to exclude men from it.

If we really want what's best for "society" you can't exclude 50% of the population from your definition, which is what Amp is implying here - men being unable to opt out of financial responsibility for a child is unfair to 50% of SOCIETY.

Danny said...

I can understand the not wanting to be hostile.

It does seem to be the popular thing to exclude men from society when it comes to fairness doesn't it? As it stands now mothers, courts, judges, politician, adoption agencies, law firm,... basically everyone except the father seems be able to have it both ways. If they don't want him around they can push him away if they want him (or his money at least) they can reel him in to their heart's content. When faced with unfair odds like that its no surprise that guys would push for something like choice for men.

While the idea of choice for men may be wrong (funny how some of the same people who say its wrong seem to have no problem with safe haven laws) I am not inclined to hold the anger of the men who push for it against them. They might be misguided but they aren't totally wrong.

People (namely feminists) like to roll their eyes when MRAs talk about how men are treated like walking wallets and success objects. They can roll their eyes all they want but that doesn't change the fact that there is a lot of truth to what those MRAs are saying.