Top 10 Men’s Rights Issues

What are men’s rights activists so fired up about? Here are the results of our MRA goal poll.

The editors at the Good Men Project Magazine asked if I could write a piece on the top 10 issues for men’s rights activists (MRAs). As I am only one man, I felt I could not speak for the rest of the community on how we prioritize issues. So I came up with 17 things we consider problems men face and set up a poll. (I would like to thank everyone who voted, especially from Men’s Rights Reddit.)

It is important to note that the poll is far from perfect. It has a small sample size, and the ability to pick a single issue did not go over well with many MRAs—in their mind, the goals of the movement aren’t so easily prioritized—they’re all important and interconnected. That said, while this poll isn’t perfect, it does, to some degree, reflect the distribution of priorities among those MRAs who participated.

More notes on methodology here.

Image DieselDemon/Flickr

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About Zeta Male

Zeta Male is a sociology major and author of the blog Rise of the Zeta Male.

Comments

  1. Ugh. Less of these sorts of affairs, please.

  2. I’d like to see rape redefined as women attempting to reproduce without a man’s consent.

    One study of 5000 women showed that 42% would try to get pregnant even if she knew her partner didn’t want kids.

    The same poll also showed that half would tell their husband the baby was his when it was another man’s.

  3. I hope men will realize that feminism is a women’s movement and not a humanistic movement. If you are interested in helping humanity as whole don’t look to feminism. You can’t have a movement promoting one gender that helps both equally, it’s just not going to work. We have arrived at a turning point with young women vastly outperforming young men. We can’t rely on a women’s movement to shift focus to helping our sons. Men have to be men and stop living in fear of women calling us misogynist for doing what they have been doing for 40 years. The difference is we know what equality means and it’s not the special treatment we have grown accustomed to showing women. We don’t need to make fairy tales about the patriarchy or try to treat gender as equivalent to ethnic struggles. A men’s movement seeks the true path where we can form families and be together. It does not try to exclude one gender to advance the other or minimize one another’s contributions to the society. Equality would be great but that’s not where feminism is leading us at the moment. Men need to be who they are and not simply who women tell them to be.

  4. I am new to the Mens Rights Movement .I have personally watched one sucuide a man pleaded with his wife to not leave him and make him pay child support she cheated on him .Me and him spoke while in the community pool he sobbed he was a neighbor on mines .My and my girlfriend went back to the apartment I hard a loud thump about 12 minutes later .His wife came the next day to get more of their belongings they found him dead.I watched another suicide this guy was frustrated over the divorce he had a gun drawn and I heard him cry and seen his tears while the police stood in shock I watched from about 40 yards I saw the blood splatter from where he blew out his brains.After that incident I almost commited suicuide .I found out that the women I was about to marry was a slut.I was drove about 20 miles away to another town .I saw this guy walking in the rain I felt kinda bad and said need a lift it was my second time in my life picking up a stranger.He said hey I was in this car yesterday he said their is a bottle of Passion in here their was I kicked him out and couldnt believe it. That week their was over 500,000 tourist on that beach I was over 20 miles away.She left me took my possessions and sold my possessions legally long story but it would of been hard to prove.I played Russian Rouletter 39 times that week.She later got housing and threatned to take me to court to pay child support for her baby that wasnt mines since I had supported it while together.

    I have collected 85,000 signatures for the Mens Rights Movement.
    The Fathers & Men That Are Exfelons Bill was created to allow men access to housing see most men commit crimes to be men .We have children popping out babies and getting housingI am sick of knowing that virtually all the Vets I have known in my life are no branded as crimnals for petty crimes they did to just have a little happiness.I hope that Mens Rights Activist will not take offense for me speaking out since I am a exfelon I have been out for 10 years .Have attended Purdue University and have A CDL I strive to be a man of honor daily and strive to look in the mirror daily and say I am doing something good for mankind.I seek to not just help felons and vets but to be of assistance to any group .I am willing to write grants help with blogs and support any cause pertaining to Mens Rights .Peace

    Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mPwS-1Dg10

    Web Site
    http://fathersandmenthatareexfelonsbill.blogspot.com/

  5. All men deserve the right to opt out of fatherhood during the first trimester.
    Women need to prove they have the financial and emotional means to support a child before they can give birth.

  6. DavidByron says:

    No surprise about issue number one as that is how most guys are screwed so bad they are forced to become political when they were not before. Men get screwed a lot but they usually don’t see it as a specifically gendered thing. In family court it becomes obvious and undeniable.

    But issue number two is “feminism” itself. I find that telling. Many “nice” feminists would agree that men have issues but none agree that feminism is one of the biggest issues facing men.

    • MorgainePendragon says:

      “Many “nice” feminists would agree that men have issues but none agree that feminism is one of the biggest issues facing men.”

      The only way that feminism is one of the biggest (negative, I assume by the context) issues facing men (or rather, it should be, that men face) is if men don’t want women to have equal rights.

      Feminism has done more to help men redefine their roles and be better men than their fathers than the Men’s Rights Movement has– or, I daresay, any other socio-political movement.

      As Amanda Marcotte’s piece on Good Men Project points out, the best way to solve most of these issues is: MORE FEMINISM!

      http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/solution-mra-problems-more-feminism/

      • If that’s the case then why did Marcotte basically have to misrepresent what MRAs are saying about issues in that post you link to?

        Feminism has done more to help men redefine their roles and be better men than their fathers than the Men’s Rights Movement has– or, I daresay, any other socio-political movement.
        An easy claim to make when one movement has a 40 years headstart over the other.

  7. John Sctoll says:

    I wanted to relay this story from a friend of mine that I think really and truely points to a major problem that society has within our society.

    I friend of mine I will call “KIM” and her husband I will call “CHRIS” had tried for years and year to get pregnant and become parents. After spending a ton of money on IVF and other methods, finally gave up and decided to adopt.

    For the past 2 years or so , they have been going thru the process, interviews, home visits, professional counselling etc etc etc just to see if they would be fit and ‘good’ parents. Alas they were turned down because “KIM” has a little history of drug use when she was a teenager (she is in her late 30s now).

    Well, KIM found out last week that she is pregnant. Now this really brought a though to my mind. No one can now tell her that she can’t have this baby, or more to the point no one will tell her that. Why when you adopt a baby do parents have to go thru 2 years of a process to be deemed a fit parent but when you get pregnant, nothing if required.

    Society is really screwed up. Perhaps though it might simply be that adoption is just a money making industry and if we simply gave children to adults to raise without question then there would be no money to be made.

  8. Traditionalist says:

    I am trying to educate myself on the MRM, and as a woman it is sometimes difficult as I have had to wade through both feminism and misogyny. I certainly am not a feminist, and I would call myself more of a traditionalist, as I believe men and women are biologically suited to having different, but complementary roles in society. What confuses me, however, is when the MRM criticizes feminism, while at the same time taking feminism to it’s absurd and illogical conclusion. Number 10 on the list strikes me as something many men and women don’t want. My husband is proud to be my protector, and I am grateful for all he does for me. What do MRAs want? A traditional loyal wife? Free and easy sex granted by feminism? Complete segregation from women? I want to be a wife and mother, not man’s “equal.”

    • Here’s a great rebuttal(and the MRM in a nutshell):

      “Women’s limitations are men’s obligations.”

      • Traditionalist says:

        Oh, well in that case thank you to all of mankind for putting up with my “limitations” and letting me live.

    • Number 10 on the list strikes me as something many men and women don’t want.
      10.) The Male Gender Role (4%)
      That’s right, folks, chivalry has got to go. No longer should men be expected to be the providers and protectors of society. There needs to be no shame in showing weakness, fear, and emotions other than anger. No one should be expected to “man up” and internalize their problems until they go mad. We don’t want to be conscripted and sent over to die to protect the womenfolk, or be expected to do all the backbreaking labor on our own. Just because we have penises doesn’t mean we should be forced to abide by additional societal expectations, especially when those lead to an early grave.

      Why would many men and women not want men to be free from the male gender role that binds us?

      My husband is proud to be my protector, and I am grateful for all he does for me. What do MRAs want? A traditional loyal wife? Free and easy sex granted by feminism? Complete segregation from women? I want to be a wife and mother, not man’s “equal.”
      That’s the point of the piece. MRAs want men to be free to live the life they wish (as long as it doesn’t harm others of course). Just as you should be free to want to be a wife and mother your husband should be free to want to be a husband and father.

      • Traditionalist says:

        I understand wanting to have the freedom to enjoy your life as you want, but let me remind that we have a volunteer army, and if you don’t want to do backbreaking labor, get a job at Starbucks. You make it sound as though you have NO choices.

        And my husband married me of his own free will. I did not coerce him, nor do I coerce him to open my car door for me, but he chooses to do so because it makes me happy.

        I don’t think we are only the only happy couple in this country either. Feminism hasn’t managed to ruin our lives.

  9. I know this is an old article, but being new to ideas of MRAs, I thought I would take a peak.

    So… I am confused. As a feminist, I am concerned with the vast majority of these issues also (my issues are with 2… obviously, and 5 and 6 which I am not sure I totally understand). The gender stereotypes we have in place in our society screws over men and women alike, in different ways.

    I guess my question is: why aren’t MRA’s just feminists? We already have a name for gender equality, which is feminism. Why is it focused on women? Because in our culture, women have been the historically shafted bunch, so they had to be pulled up to equal rights to men. Now both genders are realizing how much more ground we have to gain. Wouldn’t we be able to make more noise and enact more change if we worked together? I care about men’s rights, I care about women’s rights, which is why I identify as a feminist.

    On a different note: reproductive rights? I don’t know, maybe someone can help explain this. When my boyfriend and I started having sex, the opinions for reproduction were laid out. We discussed it (condoms until I get birth control, if anything fails, then abortion), agreed, and were fine. For us to NOT agree would be an end to the sex, because anything to do with children is a big deal.

    So I don’t really understand what the issue is? Talk it out with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page. And condoms? Though, for the record, I am all for the male birth control pill, that would make my life so much easier/happier.

    • The argument I’ve heard for why MRAs aren’t feminists is because in so many feminist organizations, the policies they promote are harmful to men. At the very least, how many feminist organizations do you hear talk about male victims of spousal abuse, or rape? So because feminist groups weren’t addressing these (and other) issues, men (and some women) created MRAs. Which, you know, that all makes sense to me. I too identify as a feminist, but if you look at the little paragraph that the author wrote about feminism, you’ll see he’s not saying feminism is evil. He’s just saying it hasn’t solved a lot of the problems men face, and it’s even made some of them worse.

      But I agree that more change would be possible if MRAs and feminist groups joined forces and became…um…I don’t know what you’d call it. It couldn’t be called feminist anymore, as that term excludes men. It couldn’t be called MRAs cuz that term excludes women. We could use the word humanist (though that already has a somewhat different definition).

      As for reproductive rights…yeah ideally before having sex everyone involved would sit down and work out all the details of contraception, and their position on abortion and the morning after pill, etc. However that very rarely happens. So until everyone is responsible about sex (which really isn’t likely to ever happen), reproductive rights will be an issue. Now because women are the ones pregnant, abortion rights are just that much more difficult to discuss. Men have a valid point in saying ‘it’s my baby too,’ but women also have a valid point in saying, ‘it’s my body.’ It makes the conversation difficult. It’s also true that the way it currently stands, women have a lot more control over whether they reproduce than men do. I don’t have an answer for that, but I do see how it’s a problem.

    • Artemis:
      I guess my question is: why aren’t MRA’s just feminists? We already have a name for gender equality, which is feminism. Why is it focused on women? Because in our culture, women have been the historically shafted bunch, so they had to be pulled up to equal rights to men. Now both genders are realizing how much more ground we have to gain. Wouldn’t we be able to make more noise and enact more change if we worked together? I care about men’s rights, I care about women’s rights, which is why I identify as a feminist
      I bet the reason you are wondering that is because you have bought into the the idea that being feminist is synonymous with one who wants equality. Perhaps that is why you call yourself a feminist but there are way too many feminists out there to whom this association does not apply and in a lot of case actively contradict that association.

      On a lighter note even though I don’t identify as an MRA it comes off as a bit condescending to just say, “Why don’t they just work with feminism?”. A lot of us have tried just that and it didn’t work because as I say there are people in that movement whose motives are not equality for all people. Now that doesn’t make the entire movement bad but its enough to break the illusion that anyone that wants equality for all people should be a feminist.

      Because in our culture, women have been the historically shafted bunch, so they had to be pulled up to equal rights to men.
      (Bolding by me.)
      This again. How much leeway do you expect to make with men’s activists (or even men in general) by going around saying that women are THE historically shafted bunch? I bet you don’t meant to play Oppression Olympics but that’s what it sounds like when between the genders one is designated at “the victims” of gender oppression.

      As for reproduction you say you and your partner talk things out. Let’s say after talking things out you get pregnant. You could very well go back your desicion to get an abortion. On one hand I readily agree that its your body your choice. Problem is when you make that choice you quite literally have control of the father/child relationship in your hands. And it doesn’t help that there’s a few feminists making the claim that the only reason men feel sad and upset over their partner getting an abortion is because it means he’s lost out on a chance to control her by keeping her bound to child care.

      And let’s say you don’t abort and carry the child to term. You still have the option of:
      1. Safely abondoning the child at a fire house, hospital, et….

      2. Giving the child up for adoption regardless of whethere he wants to be in the child’s life or not.

      3. Put another man’s name on the birth certificate and hold him responsible for child support while denying visitation/custody.

      4. You could also do No. 3 to the actual father if you wanted to.

      In short a lot of the people that will quickly chime off, “He should have kept it in his pants.” will scream the bloodiest of murder over the idea of “She should have kept it out of her pants.”

  10. Being of the female part, I do agree with some of these points. But there is just one point, that I have to ask about. It says in part 5, ‘reproductive rights’, that there is no pill or anything that can prevent them from getting a woman pregnant. If not so, what is a condom for? It couldn’t be for the woman, because she certainly can’t wear it. Sure, there are more option for women, but biologically men continue to produce sperm so why would they want to stop, compared to women who have all the eggs they will ever have and cannot produce anymore. Furthermore, men can surely adopt children, so for their sake, if they so desire a child, why not adopt and help some of the children who are worse off? I’m sure that would portray them as heroes.

    • Traditionalist says:

      It seems to me that MRAs want the freedom to sleep with hundreds of sluts with a guarantee that they will never have to deal with ever fathering a child. I wish there was a male birth control pill, but there’s not. This is one of many things I hate about feminism: teaching women to spread for any man. A woman loses value every time she let’s a man have her body outside marriage, hello! As for me, I’m raising ALL of my children to remain abstinent and only make love when married. But what do I know? I’m “oppressed.”

  11. Kimberly says:

    I’m not sure its so good of men to believe they have no control over their reproductive rights. Sounds like a cop out after something they didn’t do all they could to prevent happens. It is not the 60s anymore, it is not impossible to find a doctor willing to perform a vasectomy for childless young men and having a vasectomy does not make it impossible to ever have children in the future. It does however prevent the chance of accidental or unplanned pregnancy for the man. So fellas hell no, it will never be a good idea to let men choose to abort the fetus or “opt out” after a pregnancy occurs with a woman who does not wish to abort. If you really REALLY were all about reproductive equality you would have seen to it well before hand that you were the one in control of your reproductive rights and made sure no one else would ever have to do that job for you. No crying after you get bit in the ass for being squeamish about your penis. Its no different or uncomfortable than some of the birth control options women have been seeking for a long time now. And its a whole lot less uncomfortable than an abortion or the delivery of a baby.

    • Kimberly,

      Go do some reading about vasectomies before you start writing crap. Vasectomies are usually irreversible. 1 in 1000 fail, 1 in 2000 heal. In some cases you can be sterile in test before and after the impregnation, fertile in between. Some doctor’s won’t even perform vasectomies unless they have the wife’s consent.

      • Chris has it right. Funny enough Kim’s attitude is the exact issue this article deals with. Many men are responsible and If it were as easy as taking a pill, would have no trouble avoiding unplanned pregnancies. Vasectomies are not like taking a pill; they are invasive surgical procedures, and like Chris said they do have medical caveats and margins of error.

      • Chris is right, vasectomies are permanent. Its best for a final decision of not having children for the rest of your life. Its not for young men and most doctors will not perform Vas on someone under 40 without serious scrutiny.Women just need to accept some of the responsibilty. Dont open your legs without some form of birth control simple as that.

        • To Brad’s ugly, nasty comment to women about : ” Dont open your legs without some form of birth control simple as that.”
          Well I say to you : “Don’t take your little thingy out of your pants, and nothing will fall in between my legs that are open!!!”

          • @jean
            what came first? the chicken or the egg. haha

          • Michael says:

            But that is ALWAYS said to us Jean as a way of justifying the fact we have no rights afterwards; ‘if you didn’t want a baby you should keep your pants zipped’. However whenever the corollary is raised it is somehow ‘ugly’. When it is used as a justification by pro-lifers it is ‘ugly’. If a guy shouldn’t unzip if he doesn’t want to lose control of his future then whey shouldn’t a woman not spread her legs? Is his comment really that much uglier? He is trying to say that if you claim complete sovereign right to your uterus and what comes out of it (or not) then you should accept complete responsibility for who and what goes into it. But as is stands the *exact* position men are in is ‘don’t unzip your pants it is as simple as that’.

        • “Women just need to accept some of the responsibilty. Dont open your legs without some form of birth control simple as that.”

          Every fertile individual who does not want conception as the result of a sexual encounter is being reckless with their future if they relinquish the control of contraception to others.

          • Michael says:

            But only a man who doesn’t want a child as the result of a sexual encounter is relinquishing control of his future. A woman never is.

    • Well if more people had more morals to do the right thing like having kids within a marriage, then maybe eveything would be on par. I have had all my children in my 20 yr marriage and have a still support them. I choose to have a vasectomy because of age. And you know I am proud of the fact of only having childen in marriage because a lot of men cant say that.. The liberal mentality of having children out of wedlock and raising kids as a single parent is the start of the breakdown of the american family.It takes intelligence, teamwork and planning when bring children into this world.

      • This guy makes a good point. There’s a reason we are quite a pair-bonding species. Our children have a much longer development stage, and need extra stability. Stability should be the priority before children are even considered. If anything, we should be infertile until marriage (or other equivalent) is considered. Just avoid the whole situation altogether.

      • @Brad … You got it right and I am with ya on this. I have two kids and both were born while mom and dad are married. I’ve been married 38 years and things are going strong. I have no fear that I has some kid somewhere because I slept with someone. Gladly, my daughter has a son and one on the way, BOTH within marriage. Wow, it’s amazing how it works. If I hear “my babies momma” one more time, I’m gonna scream. But you know you’re gonna be on blast for saying what you did. It’s simply the way it is these days. We’re not supposed to force our morals on others, just pay for their lack of morals is all. Yeah, I’m part of MRM but that doesn’t mean I have to accept promiscuity by any gender. “Promiscuity” that’s still a word, right?

    • Why it is not good that the males should have rights to abort or not abort a child.It is completely right if male is responsible for producing he must have right.It is completyly nonsense and against the honesty and justice to not give the male right over the foetus.First when he has caused it He must has right over it.Secondly when he has to pay directly for maintenance as well as indirectly in form of state taxes which are used by laws for child he must have right

      • No man, I said it, no man should and ever will have the right to abort a fetus in a woman’s body. The day we women let that happen, we will have the right over the flow of sperm out of your body.
        How grossly ugly and unfair.

        • Greg Allan says:

          No, “grossly ugly and unfair” is when a twelve year old boy is raped by a woman and subsequently forced to pay child support to his rapist.

        • Michael says:

          “No man, I said it, no man should and ever will have the right to abort a fetus in a woman’s body. ”

          Then no man should ever be forced to pay for her choice. You really can’t have it both ways Jean. Either it is just your choice or not. Now you are going to try to revert to the sentiment you got so mad at Brad for and say ‘you shouldn’t have unzipped your pants’. If you can make the choice to have sex with me and allow me to ejaculate inside you near your womb/uterus in full knowledge of the possible outcome, and claim that the sperm is now inside your body and I have no say about the outcome, then you need to accept full responsiblity for the choice. You can’t say men/society have no say for your concious decision to have sex and not abort and then say men/society need to support that decision. Either accept that you chose to involve the man and his future intimately in your uterus or don’t.

    • it take 2 people to give life. the way i see it, Is given the equality that both men and women are fighting for. men should have a right in the decision to keep what is half theirs. yes it may be your body. but you are not saying that during intercourse. this isnt an argument over who is right or wrong but rather a leap forward in the future of human kind to better facilitate the needs of men, women and their children. the only other time the law steps in to fine you is in the event of commiting a crime and even then you have the right to to an atourney.

      • Miss Information says:

        Hey guys? Have you really thought about this? I mean really thought out all the logistics: what about cases of rape? preclampsia? unknown sexual partners? If you refuse a woman an abortion, will you compensate her? will you assume full financial and parental responsibility for the child? What happens if a guy refuses an abortion, not because he wants the child, but because he wants to punish his partner (or former partner) for rejecting him, getting pregnant, flirting with another guy, etc. etc. Will women be able to insist upon vasectomies for men who demand that they carry a pregnancy to term against their own wishes? I mean, fair’s fair, right? If you can commandeer her body, shouldn’t she have an equal right to commandeer yours?

        • Yeah, a lot of men are willing to take over full responsability but I know of no women willing to give the child up and relinquish her rights. Problem in the court system is that men aren’t given the choices … all they’re asked to be is “financial” support. Look at the child custody stats. LOL, look at what they call dads seeing their kids … “visitation” rights?!?! Things need to change.

    • You’re saying that unless a man gets a vasectomy he shouldn’t be able to walk away from a child after it has been born in the same way a woman is able to by giving it up for adoption?

      No, you’re so wrong. We all deserve the same rights regardless of what surgical procedures we elect to have done on ourselves. Going by your logic, if a woman doesn’t get a hysterectomy, then she shouldn’t be allowed to put her child up for adoption. Is that really what you believe?

    • Michael says:

      I’m not sure its so good of men to believe they have no control over their reproductive rights. .. it is not impossible to find a doctor willing to perform a vasectomy”

      What ASTOUNDING misandry. Would you tell a woman her only option for reproductive rights is to destroy her reproductive organs or even to go for a reversible (possibly) procedure simply so she could enjoy her sexual freedom? YOU’RE not su sure it is ‘good for men to believe’? We don’t believe. We KNOW.

      “So fellas hell no, it will never be a good idea to let men choose to abort the fetus or “opt out” after a pregnancy occurs with a woman who does not wish to abort. If you really REALLY were all about reproductive equality you would have seen to it well before hand that you were the one in control of your reproductive rights and made sure no one else would ever have to do that job for you.”

      Moderators??? How about man posted this:? “Hey ladies no you cant choose to abort after you are pregnant, you were in control BEFORE hand.”

      “No crying after you get bit in the ass for being squeamish about your penis. Its no different or uncomfortable than some of the birth control options women have been seeking for a long time now. And its a whole lot less uncomfortable than an abortion or the delivery of a baby.”

      You seem to miss the entire concept of rights. A vasectomy is analagous to havng your tubes tied. So to be consistent and fair (sorry forgot you are a woman) you’d tell other women ‘hey if you didn’t want to get pregnant, you should have had your tubes tied”.

      It is astounding to me the contempt that women reveal for men on this topic. The point of Roe V Wade was that women should not be forced into, as the judges called it, ‘indentured servitude’ if they were not ready for a child with anyone or specifically the father. In other words it codified a woman’s right to have sexual freedom without being forced into motherhood. And here we have a woman protected by that right saying that men should have to essentially destroy their sexual organs to enjoy the same rights.

      Fight it all you want, the laws WILL change to offer men ‘opt-out’. As it is we have ZERO rights. Our children are destroyed without our consent or knowledge, no crime there. Our children are BORN without our knowledge or consent, if we find out years later, no crime there. In fact if the same women shows up a decade later after depriving us of the choice of the birth of our child and then the right to know about or participate in it’s existence WE go to jail if we don’t support it and her. OTHER men are told they are the fathers and are emotionally and financially hijacked and neither the man that was defrauded, the man whose child was stolen, or the child who was lied to have any course of action. In FACT the man who was defrauded will go to PRISON if he does not continue to support the child. If we are sexually molested at 13 by an older woman i.e. statutory rape, WE are LEGALLY resoonsbile to support the child to.

      The justice system has thrown men under the bus in order to not have ‘society’ pay for the very choices they provided women with constitutionally.

      There should not be a single solitary woman who could POSSIBLY argue against male choice i.e. opt-out if she truly beleives in the principles of reproductive rights, ‘our bodies our selves’ and the principles that made Roe V Wade poossible. It is snivelig contemptuous articles like this that make it clear the type of world many women wish to live in; one where they have every option in the world available and men simply exist to make that possible.

  12. Number 10 should have been number one. All of the other issues on this list were probably cause by the male gender role. I think a big problem with the male gender role is that it views men as powerful, and we all want power, so this actually gives men incentive to abide by an oppressive gender role.

  13. C.V. Compton Shaw says:

    The unjust power of women derives from their electoral majority. At the same time, women’s right to vote was and has never been linked to mandatory military service, the prime duty of citizenship, which only men must perform. I deem the right to vote for women without the concomitant identical duty towards involuntary military service the number one men’s rights issue. Along with this, the tyrannical feminist state results from this feminist electoral majority. The same represents a definitive threat to the continued existence of the state, also. Men should realize that electoral representation for women without ,women accepting the identical duties, rights, and liberties of men is equivalent to making men, de facto, slaves of the state which is controlled by women which state will eventually collapse because the same represents a profound denigration of that “social contract” requisite for the continued existence of the same.

    • Conscription as an institution had been in use since the Civil War but was discontinued in 1973. The Conscription Act passed in 1917- 3 years before the 19th Amendment gave women suffrage. That female electoral majority is so sneaky that it got men drafted *before women could vote*? I’d be the first to agree that it’s unfair that only men can be (hypothetically) drafted, but it’s pretty hard to specifically blame women for that one. The problem is the patriarchal system that forces both genders into rigid and unhealthy defined roles- and hey! Guess what feminism is trying to take down?

  14. I agree with most everything here. However, true feminism as I understand it is being overshadowed and drowned out by the militant anti-male feminists. Those I don’t consider true feminists, but female supremacists. Certainly an unfortunate side effect.
    All in all, if we could fight for all of this, and even out feminism the way it was intended to be, it would be much better across the globe.

    • I agree. I consider myself a feminist, and in the feminist groups I’m a part of, we have numerous men. I suppose “humanist” would be a better term for us, because everyone in my circle talks about masculinity and it’s problems as well. I don’t think these issues should be about one gender or the other: it’s about EVERYONE getting a fair shot at living the life they deserve. MRAs have some valid points, but they do have some very outspoken members that scare me a little. I can understand how some feminists would scare them too.

      Another thing to remember is that women gaining rights doesn’t necessarily mean men lose rights, and men gaining rights doesn’t mean women lose any. In some cases this will happen, but not usually.

  15. I would prefer winning an argument and get a vasectomy anyway as simply having that right regardless of my wife’s feelings. Ask the doc if he’s a surgeon or a preacher. If a woman can have an abortion a man can have male elected surgery. I’ll go to church later. Get the scalpel.
    Laurent

  16. We should get tax payed vasectomies to boot!!

    • I am a 23 year old male. So far in my adult life i feel like i have acomplished a great deal i have a house, a car, a dog, my credit is great and my job is sweet. my parents divoriced when i was 8 and i still spent time with my father. my mom raised 3 kids working 2 jobs. and my dad just sent us checks. for the next 10 years. i still hear about the crap he went through to this day.

      point is im terrified to get married. i have been with a girl for 3 years now. i wont do it with out a prenup, and i wont marry within ohios laws either. not saying i dont trust her just. its just that the possibility of her taking half of what ive worked so hard for prior to us getting married ruins the mood.

      as far as birth control goes condoms are aweful. feeling is out the window. its like packing a snowball with mittens on. im game for a pill. if society is willing to allow for equallity then im willing to participate.

      • on another note. I am mostly bothered by insurance rates. i just applied for a quote to see that i would pay, $200 a month with esurance. i changed my sex to female and got $140 a month.
        i never could understand statistics, if you grab 10 people from one building and another 10 from across the street it likely neither group is much the same. it is the one institution that is allowed to be prujudice to one sex over another and above all is required to drive in america. not saying make women pay more, just move my payment onto theirs till we have an even matching rate. obviosly keep the other statistics the same. but to judge an entire group based on stereotype is wrong and i thought illegal.

      • Songthe says:

        Men, you aren’t going to get consequence-free sex. As appealing as it sounds, it just isn’t going to happen. If condoms feel bad, you’re not putting them on properly. If you have it in you to abandon a child because it was an accident, then you are exactly the kind of person who should get a vasectomy. Consequence-free sex doesn’t exist. Not for women, not for men, never has and never will. If you aren’t ready to accept that every single sexual encounter can possibly end with an HIV infection or unplanned children, you aren’t ready to have sex. There are ways to lower the risk, but there is nothing that is 100% foolproof. Wait to have intercourse until you grow up enough to realize that nobody on earth gets to have consequence-free sex, regardless of gender or laws. That is not women’s fault, or men’s, it just IS. Nature isn’t fair. It doesn’t care about our feelings and it doesn’t give a crap if you’re inconvenienced by the fact that sex causes diseases and pregnancy and there is not a damn thing any of us can do about it except avoid situations where we feel so passionately selfish that we are trying to justify abandoning our children. You’re basically saying, who cares if they are taken care of, they’re unwanted, so screw them because a child who is unwanted, unplanned, or an accident doesn’t DESERVE any quality of life, especially on their *parent’s dime*, right? The important thing is to live in a world where parent’s can abandon their children just because, and leave them to suffer, because you didn’t do anything that calls for such a responsibility, right?

        Sorry men’s right’s movement, that’s illogical. When a teaching defies logic, you let go of the teaching, you don’t let go of the logic. If you’re advocating the above position of justifying child neglect and abandonment, please PLEASE stop having sex until you get a vasectomy. Consequence-free sex is a delusion of the highest magnitude, and mature adults with common sense know this. No matter what their gender may be.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          So your against women having the option of adoption then? Just checking.

          • Songthe says:

            Of course not. Sex doesn’t come without consequences. I will say it again and again. Becoming a mother is a possible outcome of sex. Along with that are awful situations like having to give your baby up for adoption. It’s a horrible consequence and I feel bad that her and possibly her partner would have to deal with that pain for the rest of their life, not to mention dealing with the 9-month-long potentially fatal medical condition and the permanent physical and mental changes that possibly damage the mother and those around her. I know I couldn’t do the adoption thing myself without going batty, honestly. Adoption is a sad thing and the adoption system is fraught with fraud and abuse, but it’s part of the reality that sex is not risk-free and consequence-free. Not for anybody.

          • Here’s the thing, ideally everyone (men and women) would realize that sex has potential consequences. Also, ideally, we’d have a really great system set up for when people make mistakes. Abortion would be viewed as a viable option without such huge social stigma associated with it. We’d have financial support for single parents, so that they wouldn’t end up having to perform two roles and work extra hard to do both well. We’d have an adoption system that didn’t result in kids falling through the cracks and growing up in group homes. And giving up a child for adoption wouldn’t be seen as the failing it is today. We’d have an ‘opt out’ option for men that they could use within a certain amount of time after finding out about the pregnancy.

            But here’s the thing, having an ‘opt out’ is sort of dependent on having better financial support for single parents. Either that, or on getting rid of our capitalist economy altogether and coming up with something else. But at the moment, if we were to only provide an opt out without also providing financial assistance, then we’d end up with more kids in homes below the poverty line. And you may point to adoption and abortion and say – oh she doesn’t need to keep the kid unless she wants to. And I will point to religious and social pressure placed on women to keep the kid if they get pregnant, and point out that I know women who didn’t want to keep their kid after they accidentally got pregnant, but they pretty much felt forced to do so.

            Pretty much everything in that first paragraph I wrote goes together. All of those different systems and options need to start working together, instead of the way it all works now…which is that it really doesn’t.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Not sure about the US, but if anything in Ireland the religious and social pressure has been to give the child up. The idea of single motherhood being acceptable and workable is a new thing, years back they used to effectively turn them into slaves in the magdalene laundries.

              Giving a child up is a hellish thing to have to do, but if someone decides they cannot give that child the life they deserve then they shouldn’t be forced to try.

            • My experience in the U.S. is that the pressure is to keep it…along with pressure to stay with the bio-father.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              Yeah, I’ve heard about all kinds of weird programs to force the couple to marry. As if that’s not a recipe for resentment and disaster.

            • Michael says:

              ” We’d have financial support for single parents, so that they wouldn’t end up having to perform two roles and work extra hard to do both well. ”

              Rigggght. So the same society that shouldn’t interfere with people’s sexual choices and stay out of their bedrooms should work part of each year to support the children they have from that sex? If you don’t have a partner who wants a baby you shouldn’t have the baby. Period. If your reply is that if you don’t want a baby you shouldn’t have sex then you don’t believe in abortion. If your reply is that but a woman’s womb is her own then you don’t believe in child-support since she is then responsible for what goes in and out of it. There is no way out of any of this logic unless you keep coming back to the rationale that women should have privileges without responsibilities.

              Personally I can’t wait for male pills, it will be a gammmmme changer.

              I have to say after reading the astounnnnding opinions on this board, the first thing I am going to do now, after spending 6 years living on a shoe-string and WITHOUT a girlfriend while building a business (what woman dates a man like that after all) is to get a vasectomy. Then I’ll wait for the first woman to ‘tell’ me a baby is mine and sue the crap out of her.

              MOD EDIT: One of our posting rules is about personal attacks on other posters. We aim to encourage an environment where calm discussions can be held, please try to avoid being so sarcastic.

            • I am sure pills for men will be a game changer. And lo and behold when a pregnancy happens anyway you will know for sure what women have been trying to tell you- that NO form of birth control except sterilization is 100% effective. Most women seeking abortion were using birth control. I fail to see how having a pregnancy is proof that women are irresponsible. It doesn’t get much bigger responsibiltiy than raising a child. And most women pay for their own abortions if my friends are any sample. Sex makes babies, whether you want it to or not. Even on the pill, even on the IUD, even when raped. It happens, and I’m sorry you don’t get an equal vote, but most women would prefer not to get fat and go through physical strain and pain accidentally too.

        • “If you aren’t ready to accept that every single sexual encounter can possibly end with an HIV infection or unplanned children, you aren’t ready to have sex.”

          So I really like the sentiment in your comment, I just feel the need to correct you slightly. A more accurate sentence would read: …can possibly end with an STI (including HIV) or an unplanned pregnancy…

          HIV isn’t transmitted via oral sex unless you have an open cut or sore in your mouth. Exact statistics aren’t available, but even when you take into account the possibility of open sores/cuts, it’s wicked unlikely to transmit it via oral sex. :)

          • Songthe says:

            Agreed. I meant that of the possible negative results of having sex, HIV and children are the most severely life-changing due to their permanency.

            I can’t help but wonder if this issue in the men’s movement is a roundabout result of the abstinence-only “sex-ed” falsehoods of the 2000s. It seemed in the 90s, with its absolutely comprehensive sex-ed (due to the AIDS scare still prevalent), things were greatly improving with regard to unplanned pregnancies, using protection, communicating before having sex, etc. They were definitely getting better with teaching kids how to deal with the sexual realities of the world. After Bush’s abstinence mandates, comprehensive sex-ed became a thing of the past. Now we have all of these newly-adult people thinking the worst of each other and frightened about sex instead of prepared for it. The sex-ed given to those who came up in the last decade is downright criminal.

            • Well, abstinence-only wasn’t everywhere, thank goodness. I taught sex-ed in NYC through a program that taught in Chicago, San Francisco and New York (and now probably other cities as well). We definitely weren’t abstinence-only. Though, yes, I do believe that abstinence-only sex-ed has caused more trouble. Though, to be honest, sex-ed isn’t exactly a traditional part of the education system in any form, really. I mean, not comprehensively…not until relatively recently.

              I don’t know if the desire to think of sex and consequence-free is really part of the men’s movement so much as it’s something a lot of people wish. I mean, the Free Love of the 1970s was hardly a men’s movement, but it was all about consequence free sex. I think it’s in part a product of a lack of comprehensive sex-ed and the inaccurate and unfortunate belief a lot of people have that no one dies from AIDS any more, at least not in the west. That, and the mistaken belief that all the other STIs can be cured. I know feminists who think the same things. They just really want to be able to have sex without having to think about it.

            • No it’s a result of feminism promising gender equality and not delivering.

              IF a woman can walk away from her child with no obligations (adoption)

              THEN a man should be able to walk away from his child with no obligations

              That’s feminist theory 101 – EQUAL RIGHTS

        • @ songthe
          i think you read my opinion with the wrong undertone. i am saying i would love to have a child. in fact i feel i would be a great father. however, i have no control over the decision in which is ultimately hers. all im saying is how i want a little more input in the decision. i would support her in whatever decision she makes.but i am prevented from having an impact on that decision due to it being her body.

          my argument is if it takes 2 people to “create” this child why is the aftermath or decision of one person the one that effects both the man and the woman. Im not the male ant allowing the female to eat my head and feed whats left to the children. i have a soul.

          i have the feeling you are being biased as a whole to all men, and you are not giving any room from an equal opportunity. in my case ur opposing the wrong team because again i want to be a father.

          • At some point in the future, I’m really hoping that the only options aren’t raising the child, abortion or adoption. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the woman could say “no I don’t want the child, and no I’m not going to give up my body for 9 months.” But equally the man could say “right then let’s use an artificial womb to gestate the fetus and I’ll take care of it.”

            Then both parties would have equal say in the matter, but no one’s bodily autonomy would be in jeopardy. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. So when it comes to abortion, then the choice should rest solely with the woman because it is her body. The government (or even the father) shouldn’t take over control of a woman’s body for 9 months and force her to remain pregnant.

            • The government (or even the father) shouldn’t take over control of a woman’s body for 9 months and force her to remain pregnant.
              But it’s okay for the mother to decide the father’s role in that child’s life for the next 18 years though right?

              (I know you don’t think that but it seems those that don’t think that are in the minority.)

            • Well I don’t…but also it’s a bit of apples and oranges, Danny. One (abortion) is about bodily autonomy. The other (a father’s role) is about control over your own life. Both are important issues, yes…but they aren’t directly comparable.

              A better comparison would be the way that, back in the day, fathers were the ones with all the legal control over their kids.

            • WE ALSO WANT AWAY WITH THE MALE ROLE. SO THAT WONT WORK.

            • Well, first, could you not write a post in all caps? It’s like the internet-version of yelling at me. Thanks. :)

              I’m also not quite sure what you’re responding to here. In my comment, my use of the term ‘father’s role’ wasn’t meant as a cultural reference but as a quote from Danny’s comment. I literally meant the role of the bio-father…whatever that role might be.

            • reset pc … no more caps… yay
              i guess that’s one of the fall backs from debate over text. it shares the undertone of the reader.

              i can own up to that. sorry

            • A better comparison would be the way that, back in the day, fathers were the ones with all the legal control over their kids.
              Fair enough but for some reason there are plenty of people that would say such control in the hands of fathers was unfair. But when mothers have it its all good I suppose?

              Well I don’t…but also it’s a bit of apples and oranges, Danny. One (abortion) is about bodily autonomy. The other (a father’s role) is about control over your own life. Both are important issues, yes…but they aren’t directly comparable.
              But even still there is a matter of asking something. How does being the one to carry the child for nine months grant the mother rights over the father’s role?

            • “How does being the one to carry the child for nine months grant the mother rights over the father’s role?”

              We’re sort of back to the discussion about how, purely physically, she’ll end up with more responsibility (ignoring society etc). She’ll give birth to the kid, and if she’s not a total ass-hat, she’ll be stuck caring for the kid. There is a baby and she can’t physically leave it. And so then society, adoption, abortion, etc etc…what I said in my other comment. :) Which doesn’t make it all okay or all right…but I think it does help to explain the reason we’re at where we are today. And I think understanding that is more useful in affecting change than simply hollering about how it’s unfair (not that that’s what you do, Danny).

              Here’s the thing…in traditional societies, like wicked traditional, this problem sort of didn’t exist. In part because women’s and men’s roles are so flipping strict that there’s no wiggle room. But also, in part because extended family is often more integral in raising children. When a woman has a kid, all the women in her family will take part in raising it, theoretically. Interestingly enough, in traditional societies it’s also true that a woman’s infidelity is usually treated more harshly. There’s more of a support for mothers (the extended family) and yet harsher punishment for having a child out of marriage. I’m sure there’s a PhD in there somewhere. :)

              Anyway, that’s part of what I mean by saying that I think the normalizing of the nuclear family has caused a lot of these problems. If we were a society that had more stable and important extended families, then single parents wouldn’t be such an issue. If we were more accepting of polyamory, then perhaps we wouldn’t be so hung up on the biology of children. And, heck, if we were more accepting of polyamory, then perhaps when a woman became pregnant there wouldn’t be the social pressure to settle down with ONE man who you’ll have to spend the rest of your life with.

            • “Fair enough but for some reason there are plenty of people that would say such control in the hands of fathers was unfair. But when mothers have it its all good I suppose?”

              And see here I think is where the problem stems from traditional gender norms. Back in the day (particularly from the 1950s onward though it didn’t start there) in the U.S., we created this false idea that men aren’t emotional. That sort of expands on to the expectations of a father. The assumption is that they don’t care…or at least they don’t care as much as mothers. Not because they’re bad people, but because they’re men. And, as I mentioned, men weren’t supposed to have deep emotions. Combined with that is the narrative that men want to ‘sew their seeds.’ Take a kid away from a mother and it’s like ripping part of her away. Take a kid away from a father, and he’ll just go make another one. (I don’t think this…I’m saying it’s part of the narrative).

              No, it’s not okay when mother’s have more control over the kids. But I think it order to see any real, useful and productive change, we have to start by redefining what it means to be a man. (I hear there’s a website for that…lol. ;) ) Because otherwise it’s just going to end up going back and forth…the father has more control, now the mother, then the father, then the mother, etc. And that won’t get us anywhere good.

            • @heather
              @jean
              @songthe

              we are not fighting you. as men in this particular moment in time we are unhappy with the laws and decisions made by others that puts our lives at risk.

              I am am clearly aware women want the same. a woman’s body is hers and hers only.

              if a man and a woman decide to have sex and a egg is fertilized. and if there is any debate, i feel an extra step would be necessary, especially when it impacts the lives of both partners. if a woman or the man wants to keep it, then keep it.
              if both don’t want it. you have an option. if woman doesn’t want it and man does well there is nothing he can do because it (is Your body). however if a man does not want it and a woman does then i feel a court case is in order. at this point you as women have multiple decisions ahead of you
              1. you can keep it, (with 2 options for man) he can elect to support or not to support the child.
              2. abortion: man will be required to pay for abortion
              3. adoption: man will be required to support woman during pregnancy.

              these are obviously just my 2 cents. and i am really trying to come up with a fair, equal, and balanced option for both parties.
              PLEASE DON NOT RESPOND IN HATRED. I AM REALLY TRYING TO FIND A MEDIAN FOR US BOTH. ALSO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CHANGE ANYTHING. JUT KEEP IT FAIR !!!!!!!

            • Wait a second…how is court-ordered abortion or adoption okay? In your list, number 1 I can understand. Numbers 2 and 3…no. How would it be okay for the court to come in and tell the woman that she has to get an abortion or give the kid up for adoption if she wants to keep the kid?

            • SORRY IT WAS AN OFF HAND PARAGRAPH

              IF A WOMAN DECIDES ON 2 OR 3 THEN A MAN WOULD HAVE TO DO THE FOLLOWING.

              PS MY CAPS BUTTON IS STUCK IN LOL

            • Right okay, I get what you’re saying, I think. Here’s the problem with bringing all of these cases to court…well first the U.S. court system is already impacted. More importantly, though, is the fact that it’s a slow process…and decisions regarding pregnancy and children are sort of time-sensitive. What happens to the kid if the courts haven’t figured everything out within the 9 months of pregnancy? Is the mother stuck supporting the kid on her own for that time? Is it put into foster care? (That would be horrible).

              So far all the ‘answers’ I’ve seen for this problem don’t really fix anything. They just create new problems…usually that’ll screw over the kid.

              As for your caps button being stuck…yeah it happens :)

            • DOUBLE POST
              IF SHE FEELS SHE WANTS TO KEEP IT THEN ANY OF THE 3 OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO HER, WHICH EVER FEELS MORE COMPELLING.

              NOW YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL WHEN PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS FOR US :P

            • i didn’t mean for my last comment to sound rude if it did to you. i just feel as opposed to arguing everyone’s point of view here we can come up with a plan that benefits both parties. unfortunately the only ones that seem official to me is court. hahaha pretty soon you will have to sign a contract before i put myself into you i need you to fill out some paperwork. (kill the mood) lol

            • Michael says:

              “. The government (or even the father) shouldn’t take over control of a woman’s body for 9 months and force her to remain pregnant.”

              But can take control of a man’s body for 18 years and force him to labor to support the baby.

        • InsertNameHere says:

          “If condoms feel bad, you’re not putting them on properly.”

          Ever wrapped your clitoris in latex and then had sex? Didn’t think so.

        • I apologize, my last comment was a littlr harsh.

        • Michael says:

          “nobody on earth gets to have consequence-free sex, regardless of gender or laws.”

          There are consequences and there are consequences. Having sex and then having to have an abortion pales in comparison to having sex and having the entire course of your life changed, the options open to you for the better part of your adult life. Calling each a ‘consequence’ is a cop-out. Women DO get consequence free sex because they have a choice over their entire future. If you are going to insist that your womb is yours then YOU are 100% responsible for what goes into it and out of it. One of the other; accept that society/men are involved and responsible too and they get to share in decisions. Or accept that it is your decision alone and your resposnbiiity alone.

      • Try the new Skin’s/skyns condoms, tough and thinwalled, they may help with sensitivity.

  17. This is a great list. Add mandatory paternity testing to #5 and we’re golden.

  18. I don’t understand why anyone would be against paternity testing. When a baby is born, they should test the named father (even if they’re married) before he is put on the certificate. If she doesn’t know the father, they can put unknown. These tests aren’t very expensive are they?

    There is nothing worse than a man raising a baby that’s not his. But it’s also horrible when a man denies children that are his because he’s pissed at the mother. Paternity testing fixes this. But I guess the state doesn’t want to pay for fatherless babies, but don’t they already?

    • “There is nothing worse than a man raising a baby that’s not his. ”

      I’m gonna be honest with you, I’m totally shocked that you said that. I have only heard one other woman in my life realize what a terrible crime that is to do to a man.

      “I don’t understand why anyone would be against paternity testing.”

      Odd as it may sound, from what I have read feminist lobbyist groups are against paternity testing. They say it isn’t in the best interests of the child. This is really fucked up because data collected just from blood samples show that about 10% of children aren’t related to their stated biological father. And in many states if a man doesn’t contest that within one year of birth, then he is required to pay child support for a kid that isn’t even his.

      I don’t understand why feminist lobbyist groups would oppose this.

      • Transhuman says:

        If it is acceptable for a man to raise a child that isn’t theirs then it is equally acceptable for a woman’s infant to be swapped at the hospital without her knowledge.

        Men are not ATMs for any single mother to plunder because they now have some additional financial burdens. Your body your choice, my wallet, my choice.

      • Songthe says:

        Anybody with $200 can get a paternity test, without even having to explain why they want it, so get them already! Nobody is stopping you. Exactly which “feminist lobbying groups” have stated that they wish to outlaw paternity testing? I’m afraid I don’t know of any, and googling turns up nothing but anti-feminist websites saying this without any proof that it’s true. Maybe a few whacky women are against them, or a few trashy articles appeared by women taking this position, but they’re a long way from feminism my friend, and these MRM lies about imaginary battles aren’t helping because these issues aren’t due to feminism either. Feminist issues in America do not include making paternity testing illegal. It’s not on the agenda. Men’s right’s need to focus on fighting their real battles and quit making up stories about feminism. It’s as a scapegoat for the MRM’s lack of real productive activism, and it sucks for the non-hateful men whom are actually trying to achieve their goals.

        • @ Songthe …. Nobody is stopping them? How about the women. Yeah, $200 isn’t any big deal especially compared to the costs for the next 18+ years. But mom has to agree to it which in most cases means court orders and costs. That $200 is now $???

      • There is nothing worse than a man raising a baby that’s not his.

        If a man raises a baby, it’s his. If he did so based on a lie that the mother told about where the DNA came from to make the baby, that’s a terrible lie and horrendous betrayal, but it’s an insult to adoptive fathers, fathers of donor sperm children, and fathers who willingly bond with and raise children who aren’t genetically theirs to rank the lack of a genetic link to a child as the worst thing that can happen to a man.

        Paternity testing determines whether half the DNA came from a specific man. It does not determine who the “real” father is, unless you define “real” only by the genetic link, and not at all by loving, nurturing, and supporting.

        • Thank you, Marcus, for saying this.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Well said.

        • Thanks, Heather & Peter. I should also have pointed out that depending on the circumstances, the worst victim of lies about paternity is the child, especially if they’re unlucky enough to have a father who buys into the necessity of a genetic link, and bails upon finding out who the “real” father is. This is what infuriates me about the premise of those “Who’s the real father?” episodes on trash TV, with some woman who either lied or genuinely doesn’t know which of two men conceived a child with her, and a pair of men standing by poised to either love their child forever or start throwing chairs and abandon it, depending on DNA. I’m not saying such a discovery is inconsequential or emotionally easy, but there’s usually some baby or toddler there in the studio who knows nothing of genetics and only knows who Daddy has or hasn’t been. I would love for people to stop using “real” as a synonym for “genetic”, but I’m not holding my breath.

          • ….the worst victim of lies about paternity is the child, especially if they’re unlucky enough to have a father who buys into the necessity of a genetic link, and bails upon finding out who the “real” father is.
            Honestly I think if that father is bailing over the genetics then the child is better off. And frankly I don’t fault the man that left one bit, especially if there is deception on the part of the mother. If DNA doesn’t matter then why is it that when a man does bail after finding out the genetic truth people trip over themselves to all him all sorts of names and act like the mother had nothing to do with it?

            I’ve seen a lot of people that seem to think that upon the truth coming out the father has some sort of obligation to somehow be allowed to hold it against the mother for as long as he wishes but that grudge NEVER spilling over onto the child. I agree that anger should never spill over onto the child but I think its unfair to say that he can be as angry as the mother as he wants but he must stay for the sake of the child because the DNA supposedly doesn’t matter.

            And speaking of, if the DNA doesn’t matter then why lie about it in the first place?

            One more thing. When it comes to child support people say that its all about holding men responsible for the children they help create. If that’s the case then why don’t they push for measures to track down and hold actual biological fathers responsible instead of cutting bait and saying “its about supporting the child” even in situations where its know that the man paying the support is not the genetic father but is being court ordered to do so anyway?

            • I’m not saying the man must forgive the lie or be obligated to stay with the mother. I’m saying that if he loved and nurtured a kid long enough to bond before discovering the lie, the kid’s idea of who his Daddy is has nothing to do with DNA and legal paternity. The man’s feelings may have a lot to do with both, but if he suddenly cuts off all affection and responsibility for the kid, that makes the kid the biggest victim of the lie, in my opinion.

              There’s a lot of harm to go around in such a situation, so I’m not saying guys are supposed to just suck it up and accept the betrayal. I’m saying that “real” fatherhood is more than just the DNA, so for everyone involved, a paternity test doesn’t magically transform a dad into a non-dad, or vice versa.

            • The man’s feelings may have a lot to do with both, but if he suddenly cuts off all affection and responsibility for the kid, that makes the kid the biggest victim of the lie, in my opinion.
              I can agree that the child is the victim in that situation. It’s just that I’ve gotten real tired of people using the harm to the child as front to put all the blame for the father leaving all on him, as if the mother is totally innocent. If people have such a problem with the child’s life being broken then where is the outrage as the mother that played a part in it as well?

              I’m saying that “real” fatherhood is more than just the DNA, so for everyone involved, a paternity test doesn’t magically transform a dad into a non-dad, or vice versa.
              On a personal level I agree with you. It just bothers me that what you say here is somehow some sort of standard in which a man that doesn’t stay around he’s judged an asshole, especially when the same folks that would call him an asshole will either not mention the mother or try to make her out to be victim number 2 behind the child.

              If we were talking about a guy that got a woman pregnant and tried to run out on her people would call for him money and his blood, why do people then turn around and call for the blood of a man that would leave after such a deception and then not bother saying something about finding the genetic father and holding him responsible?

              Its like we can tell men they should have kept it in their pants but its wrong to tell women they should have paid attention to which ones were in their paints.

            • I think part of the reason for the disconnect is this – physically the woman’s stuck with the kid. When a woman finds out she’s pregnant (unwanted, mind), she is forced into making a decision about abortion, adoption or raising the kid. Just from a purely practical standpoint…she can’t not make a decision, or put the decision off for any length of time, because doing so is in effect making a decision itself. And until fairly recently, adoption and abortion weren’t really viable options either. When a woman had an unwanted pregnancy, she was stuck with the kid.

              I think it’s also part of why there is such social stigma and potential financial consequences for bio-fathers who leave. There was no physical, practical thing to force them to care for the kid…so there had to be a financial one. Now, that in itself isn’t suggesting that men are bad people. It’s, theoretically, admitting that women are only keeping the child because they feel forced to (by society, the law, and for purely physical reasons), and so we created a way to force men to keep the kid too.

              Alright so fast forward to day, and abortion and adoption are viable options. There is still social stigma against both of those (particularly abortion) in many parts of the world…but legally (in the west) both are available. So for reasons of bodily autonomy abortion is in a woman’s hands. For the sake of unwanted children, we created safe drop-off spaces. Better that a crap mother knows she can drop her kid off no-questions-asked so that the child can end up in a good home (hopefully), than her abandoning the kid in a dumpster because she thinks she has no other choice.

              So then, why not financial opting-out? Well, because we still haven’t created a strong enough support system for single parents. We are a capitalist economy, mostly, and cash = survivability. So if the woman is unwilling/unable to give the kid up for adoption or get an abortion, then that kid deserves as good a life as is possible. If the father is unwilling to pay, then we’ll make him…because the mom’s going to be stuck caring for the kid and probably won’t be able to work. What we need, really, is both a financial opt-out and better support for single parents.

              Now what does all of that have to do with DNA testing and what-not? (Sorry, this is long). Well let’s pretend that I accidentally became pregnant (lol). If I was unsure of who the bio-father was, would I risk the abandonment of all the potential bio-fathers by informing them that I don’t know? Possibly not…because, again, raising a kid as a single parent is absolute crap in our society. I think it’s also about complicated relationships. If I was in a relationship with someone, and I had an affair and became pregnant, I’d be more interested in making sure I was with the ‘right’ person than making sure I was with the bio-father. Because wouldn’t it be better for the kid to grow up in a house with two loving parents than necessarily growing up in a house with two bio-parents who might not be a good match?

              Mixed in with all of this, I think, is huge pressure for life-long, monogamous, nuclear families. And that is largely where all these problems stem from, I think.

            • Michael says:

              ” What we need, really, is both a financial opt-out and better support for single parents.”

              Right. Someone has to pay for the woman’s decision. What we need is readily available a) contraception and b) free abortions. This way a woman who decides to be sexually active and a) take responsibility for the womb that she makes the very correct point is HER body so therefore is responsible for who goes inside her vagina and how readily that penis has access to her womb and b) can make the decision to abort without financial constraints.

              THEN we can add in financial optt-out and without ‘better support for single parents (women)”. Society doesn’t have to bear the responsbility for a womans choice to be sexually active and to have complete choice about whether that child is born or not. If the man opts-out and the woman can abort, she should unless she and she alone can care for that child.

              The arguement about the child deserving the ‘best possible life’ is a little disingenuous since somehow it is ok for the woman to decide to deprive the child of life itself at all but if men/society don’t then make sure it has a GREAT life the rights of the child are suddenly paramount.

            • It just bothers me that what you say here is somehow some sort of standard in which a man that doesn’t stay around he’s judged an asshole

              That’s not what I’m saying, or at least, not what I’m trying to say. It is a profound betrayal to a man, no argument there. What I’m saying is that if a dad leaves his child after discovering the lie, then from the child’s point of view, he’s a dad who left, not “oh well, he wasn’t my real father anyway”. I’m not saying the guy should tolerate the lie or forgive the mother or anything like that, I’m saying that whatever decision he makes, it will be as the person who has in every important respect, been that child’s father up until the point the lie was discovered. If a man were to discover this lie and bail *before* the child was born, none of this would be the case, but I was taking issue with the statement that “there is nothing worse than a man raising a child that’s not his”, which reduces fatherhood to nothing more than genetics, which I think does a disservice to both fathers and children.

              I probably wouldn’t have had an issue if the phrasing was something like, “There is no bigger betrayal a man can feel than finding out the child who knows him as Daddy was conceived through cheating.” Framed that way, all those betrayal feelings *still* make perfect sense, without negating that he *has* been a father (which is part of why the betrayal is so huge), and without implying that non-biological fathers are somehow lesser fathers.

            • Adpotive dads are just that … knowledge of the child not being his is no consern. No one said that dads who later find out that their biological child is not his, are truning away from the child they love. It’s a blow and a big one. I don’t know why anyone is minimizing how a man would feel. If I were to find out that either of my kids were not biologically mine, yeah … it would cause some real hurt. Would it change how I feel about them? Hell no. And what about the kids, how do ya think they’d feel? And what it comes down to is momma slept with someone else.

            • Michael says:

              ” it would cause some real hurt. ”

              Some real hurt? I get that you by now have/would have developed a bond by emotionally and financially cared for another human being from birth. And of course you can’t turn that off but the levels of pain would be immense; the fact that the chid is not yours biologically is only one of them (putting aside for amount the devestation to the child and the rift in your relationship); the knowledge your wife cheated on you and kept a lie, i.e the fact that YOUR life was a lie, from you would also just be part of it. How about the fact that you might have made a 1000 different decusions with your life, love, time and money? Maybe you would not have married her. Maybe you would have had your own kids with that other girl you liked. Maybe you would have stayed in your rock band, maybe you would have chased your dream to start your own company instead of taking the job offered since you had to support ‘your’ family (the lying cheating wife and the baby who wasnt even yours). It is fraud on the grandest scale, one that steals not just money but a man’s life; his money, his emotions, his choices and the simple knowleedge that his life is not a lie.

              Felony.

            • @Michael … Thank you for taking this beyond my simple “real hurt” because what you said is true. Appears to be a total lack of empathy in many of the responses.

            • Michael says:

              Thanks Tom. What really bothers me about the way women seem to trivialize this issue is that here we have millions of men ‘stepping up to the plate’ and ‘being good men’ by supporting the children and women they believe they have a responsibility to. That should be a good thing at least in the intent. But then when it turns out that good intent was based on fraudulent intentions that totally dismiss his rights and claims to his own life those same women are not up in arms. If someone expect you to act morally and does so only to justify or enable themselves to act immorally it is worse then immoral; it is criminal. I’d say we as men should push for this to be classified as a felony offense and one that is perpetrated on three victims; the biological father, the duped father and the child.

              On the one hand we are supposed to take responsbility for ‘our’ kids and then we find out that in no case (except when it comes down to money) do women actually consider children to be ours. Heather would like us to simply renounce the whole claim of biology when our babies are kept from us or we are lied to about them but naturally not when our babies are destroyed or we are expected to spend 18 years supporting them.

            • The crime is partly that he is denied the CHOICE, and becomes a father based on a lie. As soon as he is told he is the father, he’s pretty much forced to be responsible for that child at least financially (unless he can get a dna test but if he doesn’t have reason to not trust her then….goodbye choice).

              Personally if a woman did that to me, I’d never respect her AGAIN. It’d be complete n utter betrayal, made worse by the fact that I’d probably have a child I have bonded with so the relationship I had with the mother is most likely destroyed and we can’t be a typical family. It becomes more complex after that, sharing custody etc, dealing with resentment n anger, then having to deal with the real father possibly.

              A child costs what, about 200k? Major change to your lifestyle, your freedom is reduced as you are now responsible for a child that isn’t yours but one day you find out? What happens then? Can you sue for the money back? You’ve been robbed of your choice, how would women like to be forced to care for a child that is not their own? Ignoring pregnancy, imagine being told it’s your child so you have to man up/woman up/step up to the plate and help raise the child, or at least be financially responsible in part for it. Maybe you wanted to work heavy hours on your business but can no longer afford the financial or time cost, goodbye one life choice. Maybe you wanted to see the world, or even just have weekends to yourself, maybe you have very little cash already and a child would stretch you to the limit. But too bad, you’ve been tricked into believing this is your child and it seems many men step up to the plate and probably won’t find out.

              Trust in your partner disappears, it’s the kind of stuff that can really leave a bitter taste in men’s eyes regarding women and having major trust issues after. Be prepared to see that guy say to his new partner when she says she’s pregnant that he wants a DNA test. I sure as hell will, and quite frankly I think I will do a dna test regardless of who my partner is if I can just for peace of mind.

              Many men would consider marrying just to have the family, or staying together just for the kids. Hell it’s probably cheaper to live together vs paying your own rent, child support etc. So there goes another option.

              Hell yes there should be some level of punishment to mothers who willfully lie about custody, infact I’m in favour of mandatory DNA testing if it’s truly 10% or higher. 1 in 10 is nothing to joke about, in my own country that’s up to 1-2million couples. But the problem with punishment is the courts will rule in favour of the CHILD’s best interest which may feel it’s not good to send mum away to prison, not sure if they can dodge paying back child support as well but you can’t put a price on the loss of CHOICE. If it’s really 10% of babies are shown to not be the offspring of the “informed-father” then that really says something quite terrible for quite a lot of women and the ability to trust them. Hell maybe there needs to be a register, so when the father is informed of a potential child by a mother who’s pulled the stunt before then he will also be informed of her history + dna test? Call it paranoia if you want but 10% is stupidly high for such an act.

            • Alright so obviously I’ve said my piece already…I’m not going to start in again. I will ask where the 10% comes from? If it’s a complete unknown, how the heck do you create a statistic for it?

            • Someone suggested from random blood samples, I’m hoping they’ll post a link.
              http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/magazine/22Paternity-t.html?pagewanted=all
              Seems on this link 30% of those who SEEK a paternity test are not the biological father, but that wouldn’t be all fathers.
              ht tp://www.menshealth.com/best-life/fathers-and-kids-parenting-fraud
              3.7% here for all fathers, still a significant amount of the population. “According to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau report, there are 27,940,000 fathers nationwide with a child under 18. That means over a million guys out there are taking care of some other man’s kid.”

              ht tp://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/fathers-question-paternity/story-e6frf7kx-1111113384635
              This says 3% as well.

              “Parentage Testing Program Unit – 1999 study by the American Association of Blood Banks that found that in 30 percent of 280,000 blood tests performed to determine paternity, the man tested was not the biological father.”

              ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paternity_fraud#Occurrence
              “A 2005 scientific review of international published studies of paternal discrepancy found a range in incidence from 0.8% to 30% (median 3.7%, with half of the academic studies on the subject, i.e. eight, yielding rates from  2.0% to 9.6%), suggesting that the widely quoted and unsubstantiated figure of 10% of non-paternal events is an overestimate. However, in situations where disputed parentage was the reason for the paternity testing (which “inevitably overestimates population level”) there were higher levels; an incidence of 17% to 33% (median of 26.9%). Most at risk were those born to younger parents, to unmarried couples and those of lower socio-economic status, or from certain cultural groups.[2]“

            • So given that I think lying about parenting is wrong (just want that out there first thing), it appears that the human primate is just as prone to fooling around as any other primate. The only difference is, the rest of the primates don’t seem to have the cognition to track whose baby chimp is whose. Though it has been shown that some warring chimp tribes will kill infants. Other mammals do this too, to force the females into estrus. Really nice stuff, nature.

              Women cheat on men. Men cheat on women. The women cheating that get pregnant are cheating WITH MEN. The men cheating are cheating with WOMEN. And I assume that there is ample cheating going on in the LGBT communities as well, only babies are not usually an outcome.

              In the prehistoric days when know one knew how babies were made, this probably wasn’t so much of an issue. Now the last several thousand years, men have wanted to keep track of their offspring for various reasons and that was probably one reason that father’s guarded virgins so closely and husbands would prefer a virgin and there were strictures up against women to keep them safely at home.

              But we all sleep around.

              Do I have a solution? No. Do I think lying is a good thing? No I don’t. Nor cheating actually.

              I say, wear a condom, and flush it when you are done and at least you’ll keep some of those ladies from getting pregnant. And ladies, don’t lie about babies. It’s unethical and wrong for everyone.

          • Michael says:

            “especially if they’re unlucky enough to have a father who buys into the necessity of a genetic link, and bails upon finding out who the “real” father i”

            Buys into the genetic link? Unlucky enough? Bails upon finding out who the real father is? Way to totaly miscast the situatiuon:

            THe child is unlucky enough to have a mother who slept around with multiple men, lied to one about his being a parent who then stepped up to the plate and invested emotiojnal and financial support he could have spent elsewhere as he most certainly would not have done for the child of the other guys he was screwing, and lied to another man who might well of stepped up and in any case been forced to by the government. Do you get that the man who has been lied to is just as innocent as the child? Put the onus where it belongs; the cheating lying woman in this case.

        • Michael says:

          “If a man raises a baby, it’s his. If he did so based on a lie that the mother told about where the DNA came from to make the baby, that’s a terrible lie and horrendous betrayal, but it’s an insult to adoptive fathers, fathers of donor sperm children, and fathers who willingly bond with and raise children who aren’t genetically theirs to rank the lack of a genetic link to a child as the worst thing that can happen to a man.”

          Astounding. How do men who CHOSE to adopt and WILLINGLY bond with and raise children’s get insulted by men who have been DEFRAUDED into doing so and object to it?

          Try this analogy on for size; Maddow lying and scamming billions of dollars from innocent investors is a horribble lie, but is is an insult to every person who chose to invest in real companies and opportunities to say that being defrauded into an investment is the worst thing that can happen to a person.

          It s fraud. Good for you for choosing to adopt. My being outraged and and rejecting the thought of having my life and options and choice taken away from me doesn’t make your choice less valid it in fact makes it MORE valid. We also seem to leave out one important person over and over and over; the REAL father who had his child stolen. Would you steal a child and adopt it and talk about your choice to bond with that child in such glowing terms? Because in fact a woman has jsut done that; STOLEN a child from it’s father and then TRICKED you into adopting it by preying in your morality and paternal instincts. It is a heinous heinous heinous crime and should be a felony accompanied by serioius jail time. How ANYONE can aruge with that is beyond me, but it can onl y be an argument worthy of a Maddoff.

  19. The main reason why women can get an abortion is not just because the woman does not want a child, but because an unwanted pregnancy violates her rights to her body. The reason child support exists is because it is extremely difficult to raise a child as a single parent without financial assistance. It’s essentially two jobs in one: being a breadwinner and taking care of the kid(s). It would be great if men could get a ‘financial abortion,’ but in a society like ours with no strong support system for single parents, this would have a negative impact on the kid. On the positive side, male hormonal birth control is getting closer to being available. Clinical trials are in progress in the US.

    • Michael says:

      ” would be great if men could get a ‘financial abortion,’ but in a society like ours with no strong support system for single parents, this would have a negative impact on the kid. ”

      What kind of impact does it have on the kid when it is aborted? Why is a woman’s life more important then a child’s but a man’s life is less important?

      • Michael says:

        ” The reason child support exists is because it is extremely difficult to raise a child as a single parent without financial assistance.”

        Then a woman shouldn’t have a child if there is not a man who wishes to raise it with her. If a woman can have sex for sex’s sake and choose to abort i.e. destroy a growing life because she is not ready emotionally of financially and/or not in love with the father then that right should be accorded to the man as well via ‘financial abortion’. If 9 months of labor is considered ‘indentured servitude’, if it is not ok to force a woman to do that then why is it to force a man into 18 YEARS of labor? The argument ‘should have kept his zipper up” is no less offensive then ‘shouldn’t have spread her legs’.

        If a woman is not financially ready to support a child she shouldn’t be having unprotected sex period. Somehow the argument that it is ‘her womb’ is thrown out the door; if it is her womb then she is the only person responsible for what goes in her body and what precautions she takes. Otherwise, if he and we are responsible then she necessarly gives up some rights, either to her choice of what to do with what is in her womb or what comes out of it.

    • Transhuman says:

      “…but in a society like ours with no strong support system for single parents, this would have a negative impact on the kid.”

      The mother can abort the child, that is a permanent negative impact on the child but is justified because forcing her to carry the child to term is servitude. If the mother chooses to keep the child, any man identified as the father can be consigned to servitude for 18 years to support a child he has no choice concerning whether it is brought to term or not.

      This leads to a situation where servitude of men is acceptable but not of women. Men should have the same control over their bodies, in this case their working life, as women do over their pregnancies.

  20. HeatherN:
    I think it’s also part of why there is such social stigma and potential financial consequences for bio-fathers who leave. There was no physical, practical thing to force them to care for the kid…so there had to be a financial one. Now, that in itself isn’t suggesting that men are bad people. It’s, theoretically, admitting that women are only keeping the child because they feel forced to (by society, the law, etc), and so we created a way to force men to keep the kid too.
    That’s about what I gather as well. I wonder if this were any situation in which a way to force women to do something was created (by society, law, etc…) becaue of a biological imbalance would the same people that are okay with this being done to men would be okay with doing it to women.

    Alright so fast forward to day, and abortion and adoption are viable options. There is still social stigma against both of those (particularly abortion) in many parts of the world…but legally (in the west) both are available. So for reasons of bodily autonomy abortion is in a woman’s hands. For the sake of unwanted children, we created safe drop-off spaces. Better that a crap mother knows she can drop her kid off no-questions-asked so that the child can end up in a good home (hopefully), than her abandoning the kid in a dumpster because she thinks she has no other choice.
    I can understand that. However due to the way forced creation of attachment for men you mention not being subject to whether or not a given man is a bad man or not its been given a pass and thus we have a problem in which even when women have ways to get out of their attachments men are not offered the same.

    So then, why not financial opting-out? Well, because we still haven’t created a strong enough support system for single parents. We are a capitalist economy, mostly, and cash = survivability. So if the woman is unwilling/unable to give the kid up for adoption or get an abortion, then that kid deserves as good a life as is possible. If the father is unwilling to pay, then we’ll make him…because the mom’s going to be stuck caring for the kid and probably won’t be able to work. What we need, really, is both a financial opt-out and better support for single parents.
    Agreed. But I have a problem with the way things go now. When talking about holding people responsible for child support there are plenty of cases now in which a man who has proven to not be the biological father is not only not freed of payment obligation but will be ordered to continue that obligation. What I wonder is if people are so outraged over men not taking responsibility then why aren’t they calling for holding the actual biological fathers responsible rather than just letting courts run rugshod over men who are quite literally paying for someone else’s reponsibility?
    When it comes to parenting people seem to have no problem with relegating men to places in that child’s life that are in everyone’s interests but men’s. They claim its “in the best interests of the child” but in reality it in “the best interests of the mother, the courts, and the child”. Men be damned. And this happens at the same time that people will scream the bloodiest of murder over anything that looks like an infringment upon women’s rights when it comes to parenting.

    Now what does all of that have to do with DNA testing and what-not? (Sorry, this is long). Well let’s pretend that I accidentally became pregnant (lol). If I was unsure of who the bio-father was, would I risk the abandonment of all the potential bio-fathers by informing them that I don’t know? Possibly not…because, again, raising a kid as a single parent is absolute crap in our society. I think it’s also about complicated relationships.
    Sure being a single parent is a tough lot no doubt.

    If I was in a relationship with someone, and I had an affair and became pregnant, I’d be more interested in making sure I was with the ‘right’ person than making sure I was with the bio-father. Because wouldn’t it be better for the kid to grow up in a house with two loving parents than necessarily growing up in a house with two bio-parents who might not be a good match?
    But in making sure you were with the right person rather than the biological father would you be willing to deceive either of them? Would you hide the truth from either man? Would you tell one but not the other? Once you walk that path I have a hard time trying to put any of the blame or responsiblity on the ‘right man’ (but I do agree that the biological father does need to be held responsible, but again I agree quite grudgingly due to being lied or having the truth kept from him).
    In the end if you are sitting there making the choice between ‘the right man’ or the biological father aren’t you basically shopping for the best father? And also. Let’s say you choose ‘the right man’ over the biological father. How can it be anywhere near fair to tell him he should have kept it in his pants for trying to leave (if the truth of a deception comes to light) while at the same time you have the choice of whether or not you want him in that child’s life in the first place? In effect you as the mother are taking it upon yourself to choose the father of the baby and leaving the men themselves out of the process. But when the skeletons come out of the closet you are allowed to hide behind the “I was acting in the best interests of the child” argument while the men involved stand to suffer the penalty for your deceptions.
    I don’t think I need to ask how people would react to the idea of trying to take women out of the process of deciding their role in their children’s lives.
    I think I’m getting a bit frustrated here. There seems to be this double standard where “that’s just the way it is” is being used to justify unfairness to men while fighting tooth and nail against it when its used to justify unfairness to women.
    In short the way it stands women by virtue of carry the child for nine months are being granted special permissions to make choices about the future of that child’s life including who is going to be man to raise them and how much involvement that man will have and even her own role in that child’s life. And as things have changed I’ve noticed that even so called progressives have no problem with protecting those permissions for women. So its oppressive to try to take away a woman’s abortion rights but its okay if she gets to hand pick the child’s father…

    Mixed in with all of this, I think, is huge pressure for life-long, monogamous, nuclear families. And that is largely where all these problems stem from, I think.
    I think that even with that being true another problem is that some folks seem to only want to free certain people from those pressures. Its got to be everyone or no one.

    • Michael says:

      “So then, why not financial opting-out? Well, because we still haven’t created a strong enough support system for single parent”

      This is such gobbledygook double-talk. You are saying that a woman who has 100% choice on a) whether to have sex b) whether to use birth control c) whether to abort or not i.e can opt out or in at any point and would raise bloody hell if anyone interfered at any point with ‘her’ decision and ‘her’ body can now use the argument that she can’t support the child she chose to risk and have must be supported by the father (who she insists has no choice or control of her body) because society who she also insists can’t tell her when/who to have sex with, legislate the use of birth control for her, or have a say one way or another in the conception or birht of her child doesn’t pony up enough to suppor it?

      One can only come to these conclusions by doing a fandango dance on opposing principles as it suits them. The right to control one’s body and choices. If I can’t tell women they shouldn’t have pre-marriage sex then certainly they can’t tell me I have to pay for her choices be it aborting or having the baby whether I am the man or society in general. You can’t scream ‘it is my body no one else’s’ and then suddenly say society needs to be responsible. It is your womb? Of course. BUT. YOU chose for your own pleasure to enter into an act that could very possible create LIFE that the person you CHOSE to enter into that act with and whose very life is affected in the exact same ways Roe V Wade describes for you and that impacts the rest of society. There are and were reasons womens; sexuality was controlled in prior centuries; the fact we have removed those is a fantastic step forward for mankind; it is ridiculous to think our laws don’t take the sexual freedom women have into account and add responsiblities to the rights that have been granted.

    • Right well, first, the importance of whether a kid is biologically related (or not) is sort of lost on me. I mean, I understand the arguments people have; I comprehend it. But at the same time I don’t really agree with them or feel it…mostly because I will never be a biological father and I will never be a biological mother. To my mind, biology is over-rated. Well, in this case anyway…as a field of study I’m sure it’s awesome. :)

      So as for the ‘shopping for the best father’ thing. Well…that’s no more true than considering dating as ‘shopping for the best partner.’ Contrary to the many rom-coms out there, it’s not making a laundry list of traits you like and finding someone who matches them. (lol). Not to mention, the idea of ‘shopping around’ implies that she actually knows who the bio-father is and isn’t telling anyone. Which, chances are the mother had no idea who the bio-father is. And I really don’t think most mothers are using the ‘acting in the best interest of the child’ as an excuse. I really think that most of them do what they do precisely for the best interests of their kid.

      So with regards to financial responsibility being about holding people responsible for their actions (while at the same time providing for the kid)…well all of the potential bio-fathers are in the same boat, there. If they hadn’t had (presumably) unprotected sex with the bio-mother, then they’d be in the clear. Which man’s sperm actually inseminated the egg seems a bit unimportant in light of that. Not to mention, my understanding is that multiple sperm have to hammer away at the egg before the one that fertilizes it actually gets through. In an orgy, would we hold everyone responsible because one man’s sperm might have made it possible for another man’s sperm to fertilize the egg? (Right that is wicked sarcastic, obviously). Do you see what I’m saying, though? Everyone (bio-mother included) engaged in behaviour that had potential consequences…and once those consequences happened, then everyone starts worrying about the biology of the kid. That, to me, suggests that they’re trying to get out of responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

      Now, please keep in mine that I would feel similarly if we were talking about women. The thing is, most of the time, the bio-mother is pretty dang obvious. In the case of switched babies in hospitals or fertility clinics…well then my issue with it is that it’s institutional fraud. Then we’re talking about institutions and companies, and to my mind those should be much more heavily regulated than individuals. That’s where my outrage comes from. However, in those instances, the mother (no longer bio-mother) is still held legally and financially responsible for that child. She’s still (legally) considered the mother. And there is still huge social pressure on the no-longer-bio-mother to keep that kid and raise it as if she were a bio-mother.

      Okay for the cases you bring up (about non-bio fathers still being asked to pay support), I’d ask whether there are any other details that might make this more logical? Is he not the bio-father, but did he raise the child with the bio-mother and only after a divorce/separation or whatever try to give up responsibility? Well then, he is the dad. He’s taken responsibility for the kid for however long he was with the bio-mother…just because they separated and because the biology of the kid is different than he though, doesn’t make that responsibility go away.

      Or, could the biological father not be found? Is he unknown? Well then, we’re again debating whether the best interests of the kid should be prioritized….is it better that the non-bio father pay support than that the kid has a crappier life? Now in that case it’s certainly not fair, so I hope you don’t think I’m saying it is.

      I’d also like to point out I’m not trying to suggest any of this is emotionally easy.

      So as for this: “I think that even with that being true another problem is that some folks seem to only want to free certain people from those pressures.”

      I think that it’s more that it just took awhile longer for feminists to understand that traditional gender roles had the potential to trap men as well. And so, it’s now about actually working to change the systems and the gender norms that do this. And changing any system is a slow process and really difficult, because you’ll always come up against people who want things to stay the same.

      • Michael says:

        “If they hadn’t had (presumably) unprotected sex with the bio-mother, then they’d be in the clear. Which man’s sperm actually inseminated the egg seems a bit unimportant in light of that. ”

        In the clear? If a woman has sex with 20 men and one of them gets another woman pregnant, then we can by the same logic hold her financially accountable too? I mean she isn’t ‘in the clear’ after all, she did have sex with him too right? The fact that you can so casually dismiss a man’s sperm as being unimporant is astounding; if it IS my baby but she wants to raise it with someone else, well that is ok because I am no ‘in the clear’ (presumably it is some sort of crime); if she lies to me about it being mine and I have to commit emotional/fnancial resources to her/it instead of any other choice I could make with MY life that is ok too simply because I had sex with her? You simply cannot be serious about this point Heather. If you are it says more about the state of men in this country then any single comment I have ever read on this site and there have been doozies.

      • Heather:
        So as for the ‘shopping for the best father’ thing. Well…that’s no more true than considering dating as ‘shopping for the best partner.’ Contrary to the many rom-coms out there, it’s not making a laundry list of traits you like and finding someone who matches them. (lol). Not to mention, the idea of ‘shopping around’ implies that she actually knows who the bio-father is and isn’t telling anyone. Which, chances are the mother had no idea who the bio-father is. And I really don’t think most mothers are using the ‘acting in the best interest of the child’ as an excuse. I really think that most of them do what they do precisely for the best interests of their kid.
        A big differece between “Shopping for the best father” and “Shopping for the best partner” (presuming there is no current child or child on the way) is that when looking for a parter that is only between the person looking and person being looked at versus there being a child in the picture (or on the way). Not much room for decption when its just between two people versus two adults and a child.

        And actually the idea of shopping around doesn’t imply that she knows and is not telling. It could also be that it doesn’t matter to her (as in “I don’t know but I don’t care”) who the biological father is and is just going to choose one. Not to mention that this involves her deciding for any men in the picture that it doesn’t matter to them who the biological father is.

        If the biology doesn’t matter then why go through steps to keep it truth of it from them?

        So with regards to financial responsibility being about holding people responsible for their actions (while at the same time providing for the kid)…well all of the potential bio-fathers are in the same boat, there. If they hadn’t had (presumably) unprotected sex with the bio-mother, then they’d be in the clear. Which man’s sperm actually inseminated the egg seems a bit unimportant in light of that. Not to mention, my understanding is that multiple sperm have to hammer away at the egg before the one that fertilizes it actually gets through. In an orgy, would we hold everyone responsible because one man’s sperm might have made it possible for another man’s sperm to fertilize the egg? (Right that is wicked sarcastic, obviously). Do you see what I’m saying, though? Everyone (bio-mother included) engaged in behaviour that had potential consequences…and once those consequences happened, then everyone starts worrying about the biology of the kid. That, to me, suggests that they’re trying to get out of responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
        Perhaps they are trying to get out of responsibility but at the same time “worrying about the biology” serves the purpose of holding the right person responsible. So which is it, holding the right man responsible or just holding someone, anyone, responsible so that the kid is taken care of?

        Now, please keep in mine that I would feel similarly if we were talking about women. The thing is, most of the time, the bio-mother is pretty dang obvious. In the case of switched babies in hospitals or fertility clinics…well then my issue with it is that it’s institutional fraud. Then we’re talking about institutions and companies, and to my mind those should be much more heavily regulated than individuals. That’s where my outrage comes from. However, in those instances, the mother (no longer bio-mother) is still held legally and financially responsible for that child. She’s still (legally) considered the mother. And there is still huge social pressure on the no-longer-bio-mother to keep that kid and raise it as if she were a bio-mother.
        And while there is such pressure there is still a matter of when some sort of institutional fraud happens the frauded party, even though she is still held legally and financially responsible, has actual legal recourse. When its a matter of individuals does that mean that the frauded party deserves to be frauded and therefore should have no legal recourse?

        A couple raises a child as their own and a few years down the road they learn sample got swapped at the clinic or the babies were swapped in the hospital nursery. They often have the legal option of suing for heavy amounts. But, using that same couple as an example, the husband finds out that he is not the genetic father of that child and the mother knew all along (or let’s say she didn’t know for sure but at least knew there was uncertainty about paternity), not only does he usually have no legal options for compensation but he runs a small but real risk of being court ordered to continue supporting that child until adulthood.

        It seems the difference is that the guy’s fate is sealed based on the mother’s actions. If she was deceived along with him he’s okay but if she was in on it he’s screwed.

        Now the question of “where would the money come from?” arises. Well the courts don’t seem to have a problem with running men into the poor house when holding them responsible but when he isn’t all of a sudden people wonder about the money (and use it as a reason to hold him responsible anyway). So why the big deal about compensating a deceived man? I’m all for holding the right man responsible but, unlike most people, I’m also all for helping a man that was deceived.

        Okay for the cases you bring up (about non-bio fathers still being asked to pay support), I’d ask whether there are any other details that might make this more logical? Is he not the bio-father, but did he raise the child with the bio-mother and only after a divorce/separation or whatever try to give up responsibility? Well then, he is the dad. He’s taken responsibility for the kid for however long he was with the bio-mother…just because they separated and because the biology of the kid is different than he though, doesn’t make that responsibility go away.

        Or, could the biological father not be found? Is he unknown? Well then, we’re again debating whether the best interests of the kid should be prioritized….is it better that the non-bio father pay support than that the kid has a crappier life? Now in that case it’s certainly not fair, so I hope you don’t think I’m saying it is.
        The exact details could change the situation I’ll agree. For another example let’s saying he was not the biological father but did not find out UNTIL divorce/separation? What then? Does that mean that it was okay to keep the truth from him because he was there based on that lie but as soon as he was not going to be around any more the truth suddenly comes out (and possibly used as a double edged sword of “he was there all this time so he should continue paying but since he is not the biological father he should get no custody”)?

        Or maybe finding out the truth CAUSED the separation/divorce. I’m not totally sure its right to say that he should be held responsible for her choice to base a father/child relationship on a lie.

        Again it seems like the mother is free to make whatever choices she wants but as soon as the father tries to do the same then all of a sudden the child’s interests matter. Its like the mother is being grated faith that she is acting in the interests of the child but the father is not granted that same faith. And if faith in him is that shaky then maybe they she should have been more careful about keeping it out of her pants just as he should have been more careful about keeping it in his pants.

        I’d also like to point out I’m not trying to suggest any of this is emotionally easy.
        Agreed.

        I think that it’s more that it just took awhile longer for feminists to understand that traditional gender roles had the potential to trap men as well.
        Frankly for most of them that’s their own fault. They chose to decide that in the realm of gender women had/have some sort of intuition that granted them omnipotent understanding of both the lives of men and women to the point that they had already decided that they already knew all there was to men and therefore didn’t need to hear from men themselves (unless those men started off agree with them and never questioned feminists and women).

        But now that men are starting to speak up they want to tell us they are our greatest allies, want to have leading influence in men’s movements (while still declaring the men should not have leading influence in women’s movements), and STILL want to shape any and all harms that men face as collateral damage or side effects of harms that effect women?

        HeatherN there is a reason that I hang around here. Because feminists like you, those who actually try to understand where men are coming from rather than telling us where we are coming from and having shaming language at the ready if we disagree, are a rare occurrence.

        Sure I’ll believe that there are feminists out there that took a while to understand where men are coming from. But there are still a lot of them out that either actively refuse to understand where men are coming from or have already decided where we are coming from for us.

        And so, it’s now about actually working to change the systems and the gender norms that do this. And changing any system is a slow process and really difficult, because you’ll always come up against people who want things to stay the same.
        Agree. I’m just getting very very sick of coming up against such people and then being told that they don’t exist.

        • “If the biology doesn’t matter then why go through steps to keep it truth of it from them?”

          Because there’s a disconnect…this time between what really should be and what society has created. I think our society has placed such a huge importance on the biology of the kid. We have a test now that can determine whether a kid is biologically related to you or not…and we’ve got remnants of a patrilineal society. So why hide it? Because telling the truth could screw up the relationships that are necessary in our society to raise the kid.

          Now, ideally, it wouldn’t matter. Ideally we could test the kid’s paternity and regardless of the answer, the woman’s partner would still raise the kid with her, or whatever. Or maybe (even more ideally) all three people would raise the kid together. And in the realm of the impossibly ideal people would discuss what they’re going to do if the woman becomes pregnant before they even have sex.

          I think there’s this really weird problem of thinking about kids like they’re your property. There are comments about whether the kid “really is mine,” as if it belongs to someone. A kid is a human being; s/he doesn’t belong to anyone. “It’s my sperm; it’s my child,” and “It’s my egg; it’s my child,” are two sentiments that I think really screw up the conversation.

          “Again it seems like the mother is free to make whatever choices she wants but as soon as the father tries to do the same then all of a sudden the child’s interests matter.”

          Except (ignoring adoption and abortion for just a moment), her choices will always be limited by the physical presence of the kid. There is no escape from it…regardless of whether she gets a paternity test or not, regardless of whether she purposefully deceives anyone or not, regardless of whether she’s a totally horrible person or a really lovely person in a tough spot…she is physically stuck with that kid. All of her choices will end up affecting that kid in some way.

          • Because there’s a disconnect…this time between what really should be and what society has created. I think our society has placed such a huge importance on the biology of the kid. We have a test now that can determine whether a kid is biologically related to you or not…and we’ve got remnants of a patrilineal society. So why hide it? Because telling the truth could screw up the relationships that are necessary in our society to raise the kid.
            So in other words the DNA matters more than most people are willing to admit? Or better yet the DNA matters to people when it suits them.

            Now, ideally, it wouldn’t matter. Ideally we could test the kid’s paternity and regardless of the answer, the woman’s partner would still raise the kid with her, or whatever. Or maybe (even more ideally) all three people would raise the kid together. And in the realm of the impossibly ideal people would discuss what they’re going to do if the woman becomes pregnant before they even have sex.
            Agreed.

            I think there’s this really weird problem of thinking about kids like they’re your property. There are comments about whether the kid “really is mine,” as if it belongs to someone. A kid is a human being; s/he doesn’t belong to anyone. “It’s my sperm; it’s my child,” and “It’s my egg; it’s my child,” are two sentiments that I think really screw up the conversation.
            Agreed.

            Except (ignoring adoption and abortion for just a moment), her choices will always be limited by the physical presence of the kid. There is no escape from it…regardless of whether she gets a paternity test or not, regardless of whether she purposefully deceives anyone or not, regardless of whether she’s a totally horrible person or a really lovely person in a tough spot…she is physically stuck with that kid. All of her choices will end up affecting that kid in some way.
            No her choices won’t always be limited by the physical presence of the kid. She will be limited for the duration of pregnancy I’ll agree. But as we see “her body, her choice” doesn’t end once she gives birth. No its extended to deciding what role will have in that child’s life and even deciding what role the father (be he biological or not) will have in that child’s life.

            Let me say for the record that for the duration of pregnancy I’m all for her making the choices because as you say she is limited by the presence of the kid. But once the child is born that physical link is gone.

            • “So in other words the DNA matters more than most people are willing to admit?”

              Naw, I mean people think it matters more than it does. People get so tied up in biology, when really, practically, it doesn’t make much difference. That’s what I mean.

              And when I say physically tied to the kid…I mean without the social systems in place to provide for adoption and safe drop-off points…she is tied to the kid. Right like, she gives birth and there’s a tiny person there. She can’t just leave it (unless she’s got the familial support to do so…or the support of the father to do so).

            • …I mean without the social systems in place to provide for adoption and safe drop-off points…
              Meanwhile fathers that try to take part in their children’s lives are having their connections cut. I’m not even a father and I find it very aggravating to hear on the same people on a regular basis complain that men need to step up and be fathers but then go dead silent when fathers are fighting to be in their kid’s lives.

              Fair enough. I appreciate the exchange. It just seems that despite all the biology, social pressures, support systems etc… it still feels like there is an attempt at maintaining any imbalances that leave men hanging. You have good ideas on how things should really be but simply put too many people don’t want men to have a fair shake when it comes to parenting.

              Today is Mother’s Day and other than one piece mentioned at Fathers and Families I’ve yet to hear a negative article/post/piece about mothers today. If the past is any indication I assure you that will not be the case come June 17.

            • “Today is Mother’s Day and other than one piece mentioned at Fathers and Families I’ve yet to hear a negative article/post/piece about mothers today.”

              If you’re talking about on GMP, well then I’ve no idea cuz I’ve never spent a Father’s Day as part of GMP. :) If you’re talking about in general…oh I can assure you that somewhere on the internet there’s some article about how horrible mothers are. It’s the internet, you can find anything you’re looking for. :)

              Anyway…let me come at this discussion (which I’ve enjoyed) from a different angle and ask a couple questions. Why does the biology of a kid mean so much? I mean, is it just the intentional deception that is the point of contention? Would you feel the same way if we were talking about financial deception, or if she lied about where she came from, etc?

            • Michael says:

              “Why does the biology of a kid mean so much? I mean, is it just the intentional deception that is the point of contention? Would you feel the same way if we were talking about financial deception, or if she lied about where she came from, etc?”

              Let me ask you the same question as a woman who’se just had a baby and had it taken from the maternity ward by the father to raise with the woman he has decided would make a better mother since he deems you, the bio-mother-, as an inferior choice. Does biology matter then?

              Let me ask you as a mother of a child whose father decides not to be involved financially. Does biology matter now? You’ll tell me in this case it does but ONLY because we/society don’t have infrastructures in place to ‘support’ single parents and by that you mean women who decide to have babies despite the fathers choice. And I’ll tell you that a) we do and b) when society is responsible for the birth chocies made by women, society has a say in the sex, contraception and birth choices of women.

              I am not clear if your desire to downplay biology which NATURE herself has made such a prime directive is because a) the fact you are a lesbian means you either need to adopt a baby from biological parents the sperm from a biological father (and I’d understand your point that the bond you develop with that child can be just as deep or b) you really just don’t get that men have a right and connection to their children.

              You can’t equate lying about where she came from or her financial status with such an asbolute lie as to his paternity; it takes every other choice in his life away from him by counting on both his moral and legal obligations (you know the whole ‘Good Man’ think you like to push), it makes his very life a lie, it denies the child it’s right to know it’s real father, it denies the real father the right to know his child. How can you possibly reduce and or equate it to the other lies?

              I’m sure you can relate to women who are married who find out their husband fatherred a child with another woman; Schwarzenegger was reamed from coast to coast for this; yet the MILLIONS of men who are raising children that their wives had from their own affairs you just explain away as ‘biology’ not being important. If that is the case, what did Arnold do wrong except having sex with another woman? The child shouldn’t matter right?

            • I’ll reply to this more once I’m at my computer. I’m on my phone At the moment. Basically though, most of the gender reversing you’re doing there I’d also say “biology doesn’t matter so much.” particularly at the last example you give with a cheating spouse. The cheating would be a betrayal, but whether a kid comes from that betrayal doesn’t somehow make the betrayal worse. Anyway, I’ll write more later.

            • Alright, first to the suggestion that I’m downplaying the role of Dads or that I am assuming men don’t bond with their kids or something…that’s exactly the opposite of what I’m saying, actually. My point is that a father is so much more than sperm. In the face of everything that a Dad is, exactly which male provided the sperm is pretty freaking trivial. (And similarly, a mother is so much more than a womb or an egg, that exactly whose womb or egg created the kid is pretty freaking trivial).

              As to the question of whether my position is in part due to the fact that I’m a lesbian…yeah I already admitted as much. But it’s more than that. I know kids who were adopted, or who come from divorced homes (where a step-parent was more involved in their lives than a bio-parent). And I can tell you, biology only matters as much as people let it matter. And I think about my own parents, and if I found out I wasn’t biologically related to them. It’d be a shock, no doubt…but they wouldn’t suddenly stop being my parents. My father is my father because all the things he did, not because he provided sperm.

              As to taking a kid out of the maternity ward is the same thing…well the difference there, mate, is that she already knows she has a kid. Taking a kid away from someone who knows it’s their kid, that’s just cruel (whether it’s away from a man or a woman). If, theoretically, there was a way in which a woman got pregnant and gave birth (and was somehow totally unaware of it), then yeah it’d be the same thing. But then it’s still not about biology…it’s still about taking a child away from his/her parents.

              And there are plenty of people out there who will only marry someone from a certain type of background. Or who are unwilling to marry someone who’s rich, or poor, or whatever. So lying about something like that could completely effect the rest of someone’s life. I’d also like to point out I’m not saying that lying about anything important in a relationship is a good thing. We’re talking about the rare occasion that paternity is in question…and I’d also like to point out that a lot of the time the woman doesn’t necessarily know who the bio-father is, anyway.

              And I don’t know how often these cases are won in the man’s favour, but you can sue for paternity testing. And you can sue a woman for fraud if she lies to you about paternity. In the U.S. you can, anyway. Criminal and civil law are very different…and often civil law has a lot more leeway.

            • Transhuman says:

              “As to taking a kid out of the maternity ward is the same thing…well the difference there, mate, is that she already knows she has a kid. Taking a kid away from someone who knows it’s their kid, that’s just cruel (whether it’s away from a man or a woman).”

              The woman still has a child, just not hers. After all, it doesn’t matter which child she has, as you said “whose womb or egg created the kid is pretty freaking trivial” The woman went through labour, a child was delivered; at that point it doesn’t matter which child she takes home as long as she gets a child.

              Except, mothers do seem to care that the child they take home is the same one that came from their womb, yet men are supposed to just accept anyone’s child as been a viable substitute. Men are even supposed to accept a child when they don’t have one, because it is the result of another man’s sperm but falsely attributed to them.

              You don’t address the inequity in the situation:
              Women
              * can abort
              * can give child up for adoption
              * keep and raise child

              Men
              * be subject to what the mother decides

              Sure, the man can participate in the decision (if the mother permits him to) but in the final analysis it is the woman’s choice *every* time.

              Why is there such an opposition for men being able to choose not be involved in a child’s life other than the mother wants his money and the state doesn’t want to support a single mother?

            • f you’re talking about on GMP, well then I’ve no idea cuz I’ve never spent a Father’s Day as part of GMP. :) If you’re talking about in general…oh I can assure you that somewhere on the internet there’s some article about how horrible mothers are. It’s the internet, you can find anything you’re looking for. :)
              No I’m talking about in general. And yes while I’m sure you could find some negativity about mothers “somewhere” its not quite the mainstream media coverage that negativity about father has been known to spew.

              Anyway…let me come at this discussion (which I’ve enjoyed) from a different angle and ask a couple questions. Why does the biology of a kid mean so much? I mean, is it just the intentional deception that is the point of contention? Would you feel the same way if we were talking about financial deception, or if she lied about where she came from, etc?
              Why does it mean so much? I would say that that is something that started in the past. In the past a ruler was expected to have children in order to continue the family line of rule. For as much as people talk about how queens of the past were treated in regards to their “job” being to produce an heir what they don’t like to mention is that the pressure wasn’t just on the queen. A king with no heir was seen as a vulnerable king. If there was no continuation of the family line then that meant the throne could be up for grabs.

              Now by “financial deception I take it you mean something outside of a child right? If so then probably not considering that that deception is just between the two of us. Same with her background (where she came from, etc…). In fact if you compare deception over paternity over deception of say, her claiming she was from somewhere other than her true origin I don’t think most people would be too upset with a guy what would leave a woman over lying about her own background quite so much.

            • Well here’s the thing…I’m not saying that he’s obliged to stay with her, necessarily. I’m not saying that the betrayal (of having sex with someone outside of a presumably monogamous relationship) is trivial. What I’m saying is that there’s still a kid there that he’d been raising…from the kid’s perspective, he’s that kid’s father. That child still needs to be cared for.

              And your explanation of why it matters so much is sort of my point. It’s really rather socially constructed…it’s all about the patrilineal society we’ve inherited.

              As for the father’s day/mother’s day good article/bad articles thing. I’ve never seen anything in the mainstream media that’s slagging off fathers on Father’s Day. Quite the opposite…on Father’s Day the mainstream media either ignores it or is all ‘Dads are great.’ Same with mothers on Mother’s Day. I did find a rather horrible article about mother’s published on Mother’s Day at A Voice for Men, though.

          • Transhuman says:

            Couples go through a lot of effort and money to conceive through IVF when they could adopt. Women, as well as men, want to have “their” child, it isn’t because of patrilineal baggage, if this was the case women would not care if the child was swapped without her knowledge.

            Adoption is different, the couple have foreknowledge of what they are doing.

      • Transhuman says:

        “In the case of switched babies in hospitals or fertility clinics…well then my issue with it is that it’s institutional fraud.”

        If one woman commits fraud, by falsely representing who the father of her child is, then that is just as bad (to the defrauded father) as an institution doing it I use the hospital example to demonstrate that women appear to mind very much whether the child they take home is indeed “their” child. Why is it aberrant for men to care as much about knowing their child is indeed “theirs” as well?

        The issue of men and paternity for me also comes in because the courts use the tenuous belief the named man is the biological father as being the justification for saddling him with a financial burden for 18 years. In some jurisdictions, the mother can legally prevent the named father from obtaining a paternity test. That is a neat entrapment technique if I ever saw one. If a woman can decide to have a biological abortion, why can a man not have a financial abortion? The answer lies in the woman, and the state, wants someone else to pay for her choice to keep her fatherless child.

        I do not suggest *every* man should do this, I believe it should be a man’s option in the same way a woman has an option for a biological abortion. It is the best compromise I can come up with because I do not support requiring a woman to carry a child to term or to have a mandated biological abortion.

        • That is a neat entrapment technique if I ever saw one. If a woman can decide to have a biological abortion, why can a man not have a financial abortion?
          I wouldn’t even say its a matter of biological abortion versus financial abortion. I’d say its a matter of once the baby is born the mother seems to still have several options for giving up all rights and responsibilities while men don’t.

          If men have to put up with being told we should have kept it in our pants because we have no say in the mother’s role in the child’s life then why is it so wrong for women to have to put with being told they should have kept it out of their pants because they have no say in the father’s role in the child’s life.

          But its not like that its a double standard. If the father doesn’t like the mother’s choice he’s screwed but if the mother doesn’t like the father’s choice then she can go to court and get his choice adjusted to something more her liking.

      • “Right well, first, the importance of whether a kid is biologically related (or not) is sort of lost on me. I mean, I understand the arguments people have; I comprehend it. But at the same time I don’t really agree with them or feel it…mostly because I will never be a biological father and I will never be a biological mother. To my mind, biology is over-rated. Well, in this case anyway…as a field of study I’m sure it’s awesome. :)”

        Well imagine instead of pregnancy we had stalks deliver babies. Now a baby gets delivered, guy says it’s your child, and now you are financially responsible even though it’s actually another woman’s child. Thing is, you don’t know this and unless you have reason to suspect a problem you probably won’t get a dna test to prove it being your offspring, you’ve now just lost out on choice to be a parent, it was made for you by a lie. You can get a dna test to get out of the responsibility but if you are in a relationship and trust the man you probably won’t think of it, and I’d say many times people step up and accept the responsibility.

        Now I see quite a lot of talk about being forced to do something regardless of someones will, but women currently have the power to trick men into believing they are the father and there is a high chance it will succeed (especially since contraceptives aren’t 100%). It basically removes choice and makes these men slaves with responsibility to a child that isn’t theirs, and by the time these men probably find out about it they’ve already bonded with the child or the judge rules that they’re now the father regardless of biology. To me that is criminal, and if we had kids the stalk way I’d expect women to be hella pissed at any man trying to force a child onto them especially through deception.

  21. Michael says:

    “Now what does all of that have to do with DNA testing and what-not? (Sorry, this is long). Well let’s pretend that I accidentally became pregnant (lol). If I was unsure of who the bio-father was, would I risk the abandonment of all the potential bio-fathers by informing them that I don’t know? Possibly not…because, again, raising a kid as a single parent is absolute crap in our society. I think it’s also about complicated relationships. If I was in a relationship with someone, and I had an affair and became pregnant, I’d be more interested in making sure I was with the ‘right’ person than making sure I was with the bio-father. Because wouldn’t it be better for the kid to grow up in a house with two loving parents than necessarily growing up in a house with two bio-parents who might not be a good match?”

    Such horrid horrid dismissal of men’r rights and an abrogation of your own responsibility it is almost impossible to grasp. “Bio-father”??? How about just father? If you were “unsure of who the bio-father was,” you would HAVE to ” risk the abandonment of all the potential bio-fathers by informing them that” you don;t know. You CHOSE to sleep with all those men. No one forced you. It was YOUR decision. Now there is a man out there who is LEGALLY responsible for your choice and in any event has fathered a child and has the RIIGHT to know.

    ” I had an affair and became pregnant, I’d be more interested in making sure I was with the ‘right’ person than making sure I was with the bio-father. Because wouldn’t it be better for the kid to grow up in a house with two loving parents than necessarily growing up in a house with two bio-parents who might not be a good match?””

    Practically spitting blood here. The right person is the man who fathered the baby, unless of course you thnk it is ok for the bio-father to come to the maternity ward and take the child and go raise it with the woman HE thinks is the better mother. The ‘two loving parents’ you mention included ONE parent who has been LIED to and DEFRAUDED by YOU, who is tricked into raising a child you know not to be his but have decided that the child and your ‘rights’ to a loving home trump his rights to live with a woman who doesn’t lie and cheat and force him to live a life that is a lie and to invest his emotions and finances into a lie (when he could be a with an honest woman and his real child or say just spending his time and money on things he wants NOT the ones you want).

    How DARE you even suggest it is ok to lie to TWO men AND a baby; the man who you have deprived of the right to know his own child (you know, the one who would go to JAIL if he didn’t pay up), the man you deprived of the right to live his real life (you know, the one where he gets to spend his time, emotions and money on his real child and life) and the child you deprive of the right to know his real father. Not to mention when they all find out and are emotionally devastated; the man who finds out his child is 10 years old and he was deprived of being it’s father, the man who finds out his life is a LIE, the child who finds out the man he loves his not his father, his real father is out there somewhere and his mother is a LIAR.

    Opting-out is probably going to be a big legal battle but one that will be won eventually. How the above is not classified as a felony i.e. a woman intentionally depriving the father of his child and defrauding both a man and her own child is beyond me. Throw the women in jail. Certainly if men can be thrown in jail for not paying support for a child they didn’t want but had no choice about, a woman can be thrown in jail for this purposeful and heinous crime that affects multiple people and has ripple effects down generations.

  22. HeatherN:
    My point is that a father is so much more than sperm. In the face of everything that a Dad is, exactly which male provided the sperm is pretty freaking trivial. (And similarly, a mother is so much more than a womb or an egg, that exactly whose womb or egg created the kid is pretty freaking trivial).
    But bear in mind that while you say that a dad is more than the man that provided the sperm its a matter of everything that dad is being based on a deception.

    Earlier you mentioned a woman lying about where she was from. Well let’s say she lies about where she is from and they get together and a few years later he finds out she lied. Compared to finding out that a man is not the genetic father of the child yes lying about where she came from seems trivial because lying about where she came from doesn’t involve an innocent third person.

    I know kids who were adopted, or who come from divorced homes (where a step-parent was more involved in their lives than a bio-parent). And I can tell you, biology only matters as much as people let it matter.
    How man of those kids were adopted and were lied to about it?

    And I think about my own parents, and if I found out I wasn’t biologically related to them. It’d be a shock, no doubt…but they wouldn’t suddenly stop being my parents. My father is my father because all the things he did, not because he provided sperm.
    Question, what would your father think? Yes chances are he would not care if it was deception. But if he did care what I want to know is why are people so hell bent on trying to say that it doesn’t matter and judging him as a jerk for not staying around.

    Honestly I think one reason why the DNA matters to men so much is because its such a deep betrayal. If she lied to him about something so simple that supposedly doesn’t matter then can he really trust her. And honesty I’m kinda in the camp of wondering why should he be expected to support a child when that support was started and maintained through deception.

    I’m having a very hard time seeing anyone defend the idea that a mother should have to support a baby if she were deceived into supporting it in the first place. Actually let me be more specific. I’m having a very hard time seeing anyone that would come down on a man for wanting to drop support for a child when that support was stared by deception also come down on a woman for wanting to do the same.

    • Michael says:

      Earlier you mentioned a woman lying about where she was from. Well let’s say she lies about where she is from and they get together and a few years later he finds out she lied. Compared to finding out that a man is not the genetic father of the child yes lying about where she came from seems trivial because lying about where she came from doesn’t involve an innocent third person

      Wait Danny certainly you can’t be buying into her argument. The triviality doesn’t stem from the ‘innocent third person’ because all we have done in this thread is put the argument in light of women’s choices/rights and children’s choices/rights. The point is the innocent MAN who has been duped into providing emotional/financial support for a child that is not his forced to live a lie that goes to the core of his life.

      Heather pretends to not understand the distinction because her point is the child develops a bond whether or not the ‘DNA’ is present. And my point is who cares about the damn kid? The woman chose to have sex and to bear the child and IT IS NOT MINE. AND SHE KNOWS IT. And she will now fool me into developing a bond with it in order that I provide for it in the way she decides it needs.

      Do you know that wasp that injects it’s eggs into other insects which keeps the host in larvae stage so the growing wasp eggs can feed until they are ready at which point the explode through the host and eat it? This is precsiely what this situation is. Heather just keeps pretending men don’t really exist as living breathing creatures with souls and hopes and wishes and dreams and lives that matter. Only women and children. She is misandry writ large.

  23. HeatherN:
    And I don’t know how often these cases are won in the man’s favour, but you can sue for paternity testing. And you can sue a woman for fraud if she lies to you about paternity. In the U.S. you can, anyway. Criminal and civil law are very different…and often civil law has a lot more leeway.
    From what I understand not very often. Usually its a matter of telling the dad “too bad so sad”. But again a mom has her child swapped with another at birth for a few days and she can get millions.

  24. Marcus Williams:
    That’s not what I’m saying, or at least, not what I’m trying to say. It is a profound betrayal to a man, no argument there.
    I wasn’t trying to attribute that to you. Sorry for not clarifying.

    If a man were to discover this lie and bail *before* the child was born, none of this would be the case…..
    But yet and still such a man is still demonized as a deadbeat dad that needs to “step up”. So either he is a deadbeat or an asshole, who either way shirked his responsibility.

    …..but I was taking issue with the statement that “there is nothing worse than a man raising a child that’s not his”, which reduces fatherhood to nothing more than genetics, which I think does a disservice to both fathers and children.
    I get your point but I think that remark was not so much reducing him to genetics so much as saying that for such a bond to be built on a lie is the worse thing possible. As you say the father/child bond is important. Something so important being based on a lie is a terrible (maybe not the most terrible but pretty damn bad) thing. indeed.

    I probably wouldn’t have had an issue if the phrasing was something like, “There is no bigger betrayal a man can feel than finding out the child who knows him as Daddy was conceived through cheating.” Framed that way, all those betrayal feelings *still* make perfect sense, without negating that he *has* been a father (which is part of why the betrayal is so huge), and without implying that non-biological fathers are somehow lesser fathers.
    I can dig that.

  25. HeatherN:
    Well here’s the thing…I’m not saying that he’s obliged to stay with her, necessarily. I’m not saying that the betrayal (of having sex with someone outside of a presumably monogamous relationship) is trivial. What I’m saying is that there’s still a kid there that he’d been raising…from the kid’s perspective, he’s that kid’s father. That child still needs to be cared for.
    And I’m saying that maybe, just maybe, if that betrayal hurt him that badly then perhaps the best thing is for all ties to be cut. And while yes that child needs to be cared for I wonder why is everyone jumping down the throat of the man that left rather than giving a good long look at the woman that caused the whole mess in the first place.

    Its about like that thread from a few weeks ago where we noticed that a woman could falsely accuse a man of rape, get him sent to prison, and then turn around and use his freedom as a bargaining chip to get herself out of being punished for the crime she committed. Its like this deceptive woman lies about paternity then turns around and gets to use the child as a bargaining chip to get out of taking responsibility for her own actions.

    And speaking of men being reduced to their DNA. Looks like people don’t have a problem reducing men to their wallets (not that you do this though).

    As for the father’s day/mother’s day good article/bad articles thing. I’ve never seen anything in the mainstream media that’s slagging off fathers on Father’s Day. Quite the opposite…on Father’s Day the mainstream media either ignores it or is all ‘Dads are great.’ Same with mothers on Mother’s Day. I did find a rather horrible article about mother’s published on Mother’s Day at A Voice for Men, though.
    Back when Obama was running for office in 2008 he decided that out of all the days of the year Father’s Day was the perfect day to hold give a speech at a church talking about how men need to “step up” and be the fathers that they need to be. He also turned around and did this again in 2009. And while not really media coverage there is that school in Scotland a few years ago that banned children from making Father’s Day cards at school.

    Simply put you can openly insult dads on even this one day and get by with it but people no better than to insult mothers on their day.

  26. I have to jump in here. I have been reading the replies and what I don’t understand are the responses the “men” are getting from others. Men are responding with how they see things and it confuses me that there are attempts to show men that they’re wrong, that their views are off in some way. These responses ARE how men see things.

    We’ve shown the inequities but as long as society continues to stack the deck against men, men are going to continue be behind the 8-ball. Nothing is going to change any time soon. How can we expect women to change their views when it’s women who often times say that women are not emotionally affected after having an abortion? Why would we expect things to change for men when many women struggle with regulating / overseeing the medical standards of abortion clinics?

    Still, there is a total lack of empathy as to how men (dads) feel about the abortions of their kids. There are no resources for men to deal with their emotions. It’s as though some feel that men don’t think of anything during the pregnancy. Maybe GMP can do something where it reflects how men felt when they first found out that they were gonna be a dad? Where were they when they found out? How did they find out? What fears did they have? What plans did they have?

    Fact is, abortion affects men in many ways.

  27. Michael:
    Wait Danny certainly you can’t be buying into her argument. The triviality doesn’t stem from the ‘innocent third person’ because all we have done in this thread is put the argument in light of women’s choices/rights and children’s choices/rights. The point is the innocent MAN who has been duped into providing emotional/financial support for a child that is not his forced to live a lie that goes to the core of his life.
    While that is not where the trivilality stems from that “innocent third person” is the the bind that people keep using to say that he should not be able to walk away from such a situation while at the same time advocating that women should have the freedom to basically do as they please. Most arguments against allowing men to walk away will boil down to “but there’s a child to take care of”.

    Heather pretends to not understand the distinction because her point is the child develops a bond whether or not the ‘DNA’ is present. And my point is who cares about the damn kid? The woman chose to have sex and to bear the child and IT IS NOT MINE. AND SHE KNOWS IT. And she will now fool me into developing a bond with it in order that I provide for it in the way she decides it needs.
    I don’t think she is pretending but honestly I’ve put up with so many hypocrites when it comes to this topic I can’t blame you for thinking so.

    One thing that people argue is that the DNA doesn’t matter but its the parenting that matters. Funny enough none of those people seem to be able to answer the question of, “Well if the DNA is not important then why did the mother lie about it?”

    Now unlike most folks who seem to don’t care about fathers until its time to pay money Heather does seem willing to try to understand exactly why men feel so betrayed. And even among those she doesn’t appear to be trying to understand it for the sake of trying to prove that men’s feeling of betrayal is nonsense
    and therefore should have to just deal with it. Heather here seems to be trying to understand where men are coming from in hopes of actually helping men, rather than the lip service that most feminists pay on this (you know, the ones that are fine with women having all the options possible everyone else be damned and are okay with men having all the options possible…..as long as they don’t interfer with women).

    Do you know that wasp that injects it’s eggs into other insects which keeps the host in larvae stage so the growing wasp eggs can feed until they are ready at which point the explode through the host and eat it? This is precsiely what this situation is. Heather just keeps pretending men don’t really exist as living breathing creatures with souls and hopes and wishes and dreams and lives that matter. Only women and children. She is misandry writ large.
    Oh I’ll agree there are people who do this but I don’t think Heather is one of them. In fact she has said in this thread already that she thinks men are more than just wallets and sperm. But again I can understand you thinking that considering that feminists that think like Heather are in the minority.

    • She is most certainly not misandry writ large. And that’s close to a moderation violation.

      • That’s to Michael, not you Danny.

      • Michael says:

        Misandry was definitely out of line and I apologize to Heather for the slur. However I will say ‘sexist’ applies. I am sure both you and Heather understand that men can be both sexist and misogynist without having any real hatred for women but simply by adopting societal prejudices and attitudes that they eventually assume as being axioms. And this is where I would classify Heather’s comments as I’ve experienced them in this thread.

        This is presumably a forum for and about men’s rights so how a discussion about men being lied to about their paternity is only discussed in the context of biology not mattering as long as it works for the child, the mother, or society can only be interpreted as a sexist position. Dismissing the lie as being on par with being lied to about someone’s age or income likewise. It is a complete lack of understanding of the issue as it effects men, a complete lack of ability to understand how profoundly that lie affects both the man who was duped into assuming fatherhood and the man who never got to know his own child. The fact that the lied to father might have developed a bond with the child and vice-versa regardless of biology is irrelevant. It is like defending a man who has sex with his 13-year old student because she marries him 5 years later.

        There should be no defense and no mitigation of women lying to men about their paternity or lack of the same. It shouldn’t be laid at the feet of men ultimately as so many other rights violations of men by women are, it shouldn’t be mitigated on the pretext it is better for the baby or society. It should be condemned as the women who perpetrate it are, the devastating effect on the man whether he finds out or not should not be trivialized.

        There should be no tap-dancing around the fact that stealing a child from a maternity ward is the same as denying a man the right to know and raise his own child. To pretend that it is crueler because the woman already knows who her child is is willfull ignorance of the fact that the only reason the man does not is because the woman consciously (and unconscionably legally) chose to not inform him of this fact.

        I’ll also say this on the topic of biology vs parenting; many children who are adopted, i.e. who have one or more non-biological parents and two biological parents who voluntarily gave up those rights, eventually seek out their birth parents. Despite their love and connection to their birth parents the biological imperative is that great.

        • Alright I sort of addressed most of this in my other reply, but as to the whole adoption thing, I’ll tell you about my really good friend who was adopted.

          She’s in her 50s, so her adoption was all under the table and whatnot. Her parents were told not to ever tell her she was adopted. She figured it out (in no small part because she looks very different to her parents). Was it upsetting? Of course. Did she wonder why her bio-parents abandoned her? Yup. Did she seek them out? Sort of. She wanted to find out who these people were, and so she did. Did she meet her birth parents? Nope. She did meet some half-siblings, but only because she has no other family except her father (her mother’s died). So she wanted family…she didn’t want to find her birth-family…she just wanted more family. So her bio-parents were Mexican…her father’s Armenian and her mother’s Irish. Even after finding out her biology, which groups do you think she identifies with? Irish and Armenian, of course. She’s got tattoos for her family…nothing Mexican there, just Irish and Armenian stuff. What’s the one place she hasn’t travelled but she really wants to? Jerusalem…mostly to see the Armenian quarter. When she talks about herself, if she’s referring to ethnicity and culture…she’ll reference the Irish and the Armenians. I hope you’re getting the point. As something as seemingly obviously about biology (ethnicity), and she identifies with her parents’ ethnicities (not her bio-parents).

          My mom’s Dad was adopted (this is even way further back). No one knows who his bio-parents are…but his parents were Irish. So when I was a kid and I had to do some random ‘where does your family come from’ thing for school, I asked my mom where her Dad’s family came from…her answer was Ireland. He identified with his parents, not his bio-parents.

          • Fair enough.

            Now let me ask. Let’s saying your friend, upon finding/figuring it out, decided to cut all ties with her adoptive family. Could you imagine people coming out of the woodwork to call her names and insult her? And if you did could you imagine no one coming to her defense, as is implying, that she is indeed wrong for leaving after feeling betrayed? How about if your grandad have left his adoptive family on a search for his bio-parents? Would he suddenly have become a jerk or something?

            Its fine that your friend and your grandad were adopted and took it the way they did.

            What I want to know is, is taking such news that way the only “proper” response? Does feeling betrayed for even leaving automatically make you a bad person?

            • “Does feeling betrayed for even leaving automatically make you a bad person?”

              I’m not trying to prescribe how someone should feel in such a situation. For goodness sake…I’m talking about people’s action. To completely abandon a family because you find out your not biologically related is really messed up. Lying to someone about their biology is also really messed up.

              Also, we’re not talking about the vast majority of healthy relationships here…we’re talking about the really crappy outliers. It’s crappy all around.

            • That was a typo.

              That should have been “Does feeling betrayed or even leaving automatically make you a bad person?” That’s why I asked “what if…” your friend or your grandad left would they be jerks.

              AKA people’s actions.

              But even then it may not be an exact analog considering you are talking about the child’s actions/reactions versus the actions/reactions of a decieved parent.

              To completely abandon a family because you find out your not biologically related is really messed up. Lying to someone about their biology is also really messed up.
              Fair enough that you actually hold both parties to that. The problem is most people will focus on the former as if pretending that the latter did not happen.

            • Michael says:

              To completely abandon a family because you find out your not biologically related is really messed up. Lying to someone about their biology is also really messed up.

              First of all most men do not abandon their children when they find out they were lied to because as you pointed out they have developed an emotional bond to them. It does however cause a vast conflict knowing their life has been a lie, their wife has lied to them, that their options were taken away and that they do have these feelings that exist but have been a result of a deception.

              Would you suggest that Madoff’s victims not only be told they have no case but that they need to keep supporting the investments they were scammed into simply because they did’n’t do their due diligence.

              I find it disturbing that you keep making moral equivalences to try to mitigate the real crime; lying to man about his paternity is not equivalent to abandoning the family/child you were lied to about in the first place. Somehow you keep looking for a way to balance the books here. There is none: her actions were fraudulent and deceptive and impacted the father, the man she lied to and the child. His, IF he decides to abandon the child (which he cannot since it is now a CRIME for him to) are not fraudulent but a natural reaction to the fraud that was perpetrated on him and you suggest he be kept captive morally and legally BECAUSE of the relationship that he was tricked into.

              “Also, we’re not talking about the vast majority of healthy relationships here…we’re talking about the really crappy outliers. It’s crappy all around.”

              We aren’t talking about outliers. We are talking about anywhere between 10% and 25% of all children born in this country. And it isn’t ‘crappy all around'; it is crappy for the father who never gets to know his kid, the man who never gets to live a real life and whose emotions/time/money/options are stolen and the child who never gets to meet his real father OR has to deal with the devastation of the knowledge of the deception. How is it crappy for the woman? She gets to choose the exact man she wants in her life that will fulfull her emotional and financial needs despite potentially destorying three people in the process. Stop making the woman a victim here. She is a VICTIMIZER.

              No amount of dancing around will change those fact Heather.

    • For me the issues lying, flat out. Lying to hide cheating, lying to gain resources, lying to manipulate. Not good. If I was to try to get pregnant through IVF and I found out years later that the child I had wasn’t actually mine? Yeah, I’d be really wigged out. Not at the child though, at the situation where either a mistake was made or someone f’d up. If it was a sperm donation issue (cause the f’ up could be the wrong egg, the wrong sperm or both), I think both of us would be entirely freaked out.

      Whose bio child is it? Will they try to take the child away? What happened to our embryo?
      The child in question isn’t the issue of not loving them, but the rest of the legal nightmare that would come.

      And any woman lying to a man about her fetus, in order to cover up something she did or to obtain resources is acting in a way that is extraordinarily unethical.

      I would feel horrible for the child and the father in that situation because they’d have done nothing to deserve the falsehood.

      That being said, there is a big difference in being a parent and an egg/sperm donor. Then again again, we humans have very strange primal reactions to our genes and such.

      • Michael says:

        “And any woman lying to a man about her fetus, in order to cover up something she did or to obtain resources is acting in a way that is extraordinarily unethical.”

        Thank you for simply stating that. It has been next to impossible to get that simple acknowledgement without some qualification.

        “I would feel horrible for the child and the father in that situation because they’d have done nothing to deserve the falsehood.”

        Thank you again for that simple understanding.

        “That being said, there is a big difference in being a parent and an egg/sperm donor. Then again again, we humans have very strange primal reactions to our genes and such.”

        And I agree on this totally. Parenting is different then conceiving. Which should never take away from the right to ones biological children, man or woman, unless that birth parent clearly demonstrates their inability to parent. So when the logic somehow jumps from ‘one doesn’t need to be a biological parent to be a good parent or develop a parent-child bond with a child and vice-versa” to “therefore it doesn’t matter if the bio-father is ever informed or a man who isn’t the bio-father is lyed to” simply because the child may end up with a great father or a man ends up with a great father-child bond I can’t and won’t take that leap. It is using one correct premise to justify criminal behavior and disregards the rights of the biological father involved.

        Just because biology doesn’t necessarily predict parenting doesn’t mean that biology doesn’t confer a right and responsibility. If men’s rights are so clear in terms of biology then their rights should not be so casually dismissed nor the very real crimes of women who do so.

    • Michael says:

      “Oh I’ll agree there are people who do this but I don’t think Heather is one of them. In fact she has said in this thread already that she thinks men are more than just wallets and sperm.”

      No. She has said that fatthers are not just sperm when she justifies lying to man whose sperm did not cause a baby and lying to man whose sperm did cause the baby.

      • Right well I’ll jump in and try to explain, again, that nowhere in any of this am I trying to say that lying to a partner/spouse/whatever about paternity is a good thing. I’m with Julie here, the lying is where the betrayal is centered. That’s why I asked about other types of betrayal…because I understand that being lied to is detrimental to a relationship…and yes, totally unethical. But in the vast majority of cases, I’m willing to bet most women who find themselves in a situation with multiple potential-bio-fathers don’t know who the bio-father is. And so you might suggest mandatory paternity tests for everyone. And I’d say that’s not out of the realm of a reasonable request….except that it sort of reduces fatherhood to sperm. It just reinforces the patrilineal baggage we’ve got as a culture. I’m more for trying to work out of that baggage, rather than find ways to hammer it home.

        Also, to Danny’s question – “If DNA isn’t important why did the mother lie about it?” – I already tried to answer that question. Well first, it’s assuming that the mother did actually lie; that she actually knows who the bio-father is. But secondly, I’d say it’s because our society makes it more important than it is. Why lie? Because telling the truth could leave you with a kid and no financial support…short answer. (And here’s another thing…just because I’m trying to explain why people might behave in certain ways doesn’t mean I’m justifying it. For goodness sake, that’s why I mentioned civil law suits. I have no problem with the idea that a man would file a civil suit regarding paternity).

        Now as to the suggestion I’m placing a child’s rights over a father’s…well yes I am. Actually, I place a child’s rights over anyone else’s (including the mother’s), particularly in this sort of situation. The child should bear no responsibility for the actions of two people s/he had no control over. It just had the misfortune of being born into a less-than-ideal family. I think society should do whatever the heck it can to mitigate these circumstances. Heck that’s why I’m all for taking children away from abusive mothers…because that kid deserves parents that love him/her. That is why I’m for more social support for single parents (mothers andfathers)…because the kid shouldn’t be screwed over based on the decisions of the bio-parents. Interestingly, that is also part of why I’m pro-choice. A child shouldn’t be subjected to growing up with parents who don’t want him/her. I’ve seen that happen too many times and it’s not pretty. (Also, I don’t think personhood starts at conception, so there’s that too).

        Anyway, I think, Michael, that you’re waiting to jump down my throat and assume the worst of what I’m saying. Perhaps it’s because you haven’t had a lot of conversations with me before. Perhaps it’s because you’ve run into people who are blind to the roles fathers take in a child’s life. I dunno…but please refrain from calling me names. If you want to discuss which of my positions you think is sexist in nature, then by all means we can have that discussion. But let’s make it a discussion, not an accusation. Thanks.

        • Michael says:

          And so you might suggest mandatory paternity tests for everyone. And I’d say that’s not out of the realm of a reasonable request….except that it sort of reduces fatherhood to sperm. It just reinforces the patrilineal baggage we’ve got as a culture. I’m more for trying to work out of that baggage, rather than find ways to hammer it home.

          The only way you can possibly be consistent on that opinion is if you agree that it is unreasonable to ever request paternity tests and that you should never reduce fatherhood to sperm. Which would eliminate the concept of paternal child support completely. I am guessing you do NOT mean this at all, only when the woman doesn’t want to requeat it for her own agenda. I mean how hard is it? Even if she slept with 100 men well… she slept with 100 men. And if she was pretty sure it was the guy she wanted she be pretty sure to make sure he got tested and we’d be pretty sure ot make sure he paid up. So please clarify; do you mean that bioloigical fathers don’t have to pay for their kids? And if you are back to ‘well lthey do because we don’t have support systems for single parents’ then you also need to be back to ‘then bioioglical fathers need to be told’. Sorry: if a woman can make the choice to have sex with multiple men at the same time she can take resposnbility fior each of their rights.

          ” that she actually knows who the bio-father is.”

          Is she having amnesiatic sex? Is she having multiple orgies? If she is having sex with men who have a legal obligation to her baby which she will damn well find out if she needs to she is repsonsible for each of them. If I as a man have sex with 100 women in one month, the fact I forgot half oif them doesnt relieve me of my resposnbiity to the chlld any of them has.

          ” have no problem with the idea that a man would file a civil suit regarding paternity”

          He cannot. He can only go to jail if he doens’t pay up for a child he was duped into paying for an there is no civil penalty or criminal penalty against her he can bring.

          ” Actually, I place a child’s rights over anyone else’s (including the mother’s), particularly in this sort of situation. The child should bear no responsibility for the actions of two people s/he had no control over. It just had the misfortune of being born into a less-than-ideal family. ”

          Except of course when the mother is pregnant, then she can kill the child. What about the child’s rights then? And you are confusing post-rights in any event. You are NOT saying that the innocent child has the right to be supported by both it’s parents and should not suffer their choices or lack of responsibility. You are saying that the child has a right to be supported by a man who did not create it and who has been duped into believing it by a lying woman. That child does NOT have more rights then that man. Period.

        • HeatherN:
          Also, to Danny’s question – “If DNA isn’t important why did the mother lie about it?” – I already tried to answer that question. Well first, it’s assuming that the mother did actually lie; that she actually knows who the bio-father is.
          Then let me add on to it. “If DNA isn’t important then why was the mother not truthful about it?” In other words even if it was a matter of her not being sure there is still the question of why did she hide the doubt? If she sleep with multiple men and gets pregnant then why not be truthful about the uncertainty of the child’s paternity? At this point someone may say something about slut shaming. Slut shaming, while real, doesn’t justify not being honest about doubt of paternity. If she was “strong and independent and sexually liberated” enough to have sex with multiple partners then she can be “strong and independent and sexually liberated” enough to fess up about the uncertainty.

          But secondly, I’d say it’s because our society makes it more important than it is. Why lie? Because telling the truth could leave you with a kid and no financial support…short answer. (And here’s another thing…just because I’m trying to explain why people might behave in certain ways doesn’t mean I’m justifying it. For goodness sake, that’s why I mentioned civil law suits. I have no problem with the idea that a man would file a civil suit regarding paternity).
          Oh I know you aren’t trying to justify it. But again she was “strong and independent and sexually liberated” enough to have the sex that resulted in the child so why be scared about not being able to support the child?

          And while that may sound cold towards the child bear this in mind. There are dads out there that are pushed out of their children’s lives that still want to be a dad, even if it meant being single. But at the same time those guys are being denied we constatnly hear about how tough single mothers have it under the presumption that the reason they are single is because the father ran out on them.

          I think this is where a lot of frustration comes from. The rules don’t seem to change based on what is best for the child, but rather what is best for the mother and/or what is worst for the father.

        • Michael says:

          Hi Heather, I did and do apologize for that over/mis-characterization in prior post.

          I did and do still think that you are confusing fathers rights with fathers. When it comes down to a choice between the rights fo a child born by a woman and supported by a man who is not the father but has been lied to about it I am firmly of the opinion that the man’s rights can and must trump that of the child. There is not even a contest. In this case the child’s rights, the father’s rights AND the unsuspecting man’s right’s have been trampled on by one party; the woman.

          Do I get and agree that a man who isn’t the biological father can be a great father and develop jsut as strong a bond, that the child can as well? Absolutely. And that is whether or not the man was duped or not. BUT. When he was duped it is still a crime against the child, the man and the real father. I doubt there is single man in that situation who isnt torn by his love and attachment and the devastation of the lie on multiple levels and the same for the child. It is the very bond you are talking about that makes this such a heinous crime.

          In any event, my apologies about calling you a misandirst it was uncalled for.

        • Michael says:

          “Now as to the suggestion I’m placing a child’s rights over a father’s…well yes I am. Actually, I place a child’s rights over anyone else’s (including the mother’s), particularly in this sort of situation. ”

          It isn’t a matter of putting the child’s rights above the fathers. It is a matter of putting the child’s rights above the rights of a an who is NOT the father. No way. No how.

          Try this on for a size; a man has a fiance, he is also sleeping with bunch of other women. His fiance gets pregnant. She dies in childbirth. Now he forces one of the women he was sleeping with to raise the child. It isn’t hers. She in fact has a boyfriend. He leaves her because she was sleeping with another man and believes now she had his child. She has a business she is trying to build or educaiotn she is trying to finish. But she can’t. Because she now how to emotionally and financially suppor the child. She has to put her career/education on hold for the sake of the child. She can’t have a child with her ex or even another man because she can’t emotionally/financially afford another one. Her entire life, all her choices for her future are taken from her. Why? Because she had sex with a guy whom she didn’t get pregnant with. Would you support such a law? Allowing a man to force a woman he had sex with support his child that isn’t hers regardless of her wishes? Becaue the laws you are talking about allow, support and encourage just that. The only difference; a woman can lie and make it a reality and pay no consequences for it. Because just like you the law says the child’s rights are more important then the man who isn’t even the father’s. Plain wrong and it should be a felony offense.

        • A mandatory paternity test in that situation does not “reduce a father to sperm.” There can be family court (think paternity, custody, visitation, child support, etc.) consequences for not getting one in time.

  28. Okay let me see if I can lay it out.

    1. A screw up (or deception) at a IVF clinic.
    2. A an accidental swap (or an attempted kidnapping) at a maternity ward.
    3. Mother withholds the truth about a child’s paternity.

    In the first two situations most people would call for blood. In the third there is a division over whether or not the guy be right to leave.

    What I think bugs a lot of people is this. In the first two situations while the father is outraged, so is the mother. In the third the father is outraged at the actions of the mother. But its in that third situation where the outrage suddenly subsides. This creates what I think is a totally understandable feeling that the dad doesn’t really matter and the only reason people support him in those first two situation is because the mother is in the same boat. However if its him versus the mother then it looks like people are siding with the mother.

    Now I’m sure someone is thinking, “They aren’t siding with the mother they are siding with the child.”. If that is the case then why is it that cours have no problem helping mothers keep children away from their dads in other cases. Surely a system that is so worried about children being taken care of would recognize that a fit, willing, and able dad that wants to care for his child would make more sense than some adoption agency. Yet time and again we see that that is not the case. If it was all about making sure the child is taken care of then why are adoption agencies working with adoptive parents and moms to take a child away from its dad? Wouldn’t that caring and loving adoptive home be put to more good use for a child that truly does not have a caring and loving home to go to?

    (With the say the coverage at Fathers and Families reads I get the feeling that there are no foster children or orphans in the entire state of Utah. That would explain why mothers from as far away as Virginia go there in order take advantage of adoption laws to pass a child up for adoption under the father’s nose. You know, those ready, willing, and able male parents that people keep saying need to “step up” all the time.)

    • Michael says:

      3. Mother withholds the truth about a child’s paternity.
      In the first two situations most people would call for blood. In the third there is a division over whether or not the guy be right to leave.

      You are missing someone here. There is the father who never got to know his child. It means a woman not only steals a man’s child, she steals another man’s life. ‘We’ keep excusing that with ‘what is good for the child’ as if the child’s rights trump the man’s rights. Trying to figure out when the mother is pregnant her rights trump the childs (i.e. she can destroy it) but when born the child’s life trumps both the biological fathers rights and some poor sap who she lies to to gain his financial support?

      • True. Just as the mother may not always know the truth about paternity the biological dad may not always know the truth about paternity either.

        ‘We’ keep excusing that with ‘what is good for the child’ as if the child’s rights trump the man’s rights.
        Or even (possibly) deeper than than that how do we know that the man that’s being left out wouldn’t be the better parent? At most all we have to go with on that is the mother’s word if the biological father’s unfitness isn’t something obvious like him being abusive.

        Trying to figure out when the mother is pregnant her rights trump the childs (i.e. she can destroy it) but when born the child’s life trumps both the biological fathers rights and some poor sap who she lies to to gain his financial support?
        Actually when talking about her rights trumping the child I can get along with that. However when the mother has the options of leaving the child, putting the child up for adoption, etc….after the baby is born while at the same time the father has no such options? That’s pretty damn unfair.

        • Michael says:

          Or even (possibly) deeper than than that how do we know that the man that’s being left out wouldn’t be the better parent?
          Or even possibly deeper yet again; even if we know the man being left out would be a worse parent doesn’t change the fact for a second he is the father and has the right to raise his own child. Period. Unless of course people here want to start fitness tests for mothers (say for instance one who slept with so many men in one month she can’t figure out who could possibly be the dad or sa one who would lie to another person in order to gain control over their life, emotions and finances or say one who would lie to her own child about it’s father or say one who would let the real father spend his life oblivious the fact he is a father).

  29. Alright, so there’s something I still don’t understand about the MRM…or at least about a lot of the MRAs I’ve come into contact with. Most of their issues, including most of the issues on this article stem from traditional norms about men. (Only #2: Feminism doesn’t necessarily, and arguably where it’s harmed men is when it’s failed to recognize and challenge traditional gender norms, but that’s another issue).

    But like, okay some examples of what I mean: the idea that men are aggressive? Traditional gender norm. The idea that men are less emotional? Traditional gender norm. Men as less capable parents? Traditional gender norm. Men as protectors? Traditional….well you get the idea. :)

    Basically, it’s an opposition to a whole bunch of socially conservative ideals. So what I don’t understand is when I see MRAs complaining about feminists for being opposed to socially conservative ideals. Like, when I see complaints that feminists are destroying traditional marriage etc….well…as an MRA opposed to all of these traditional gender roles, wouldn’t you also be opposed to traditional marriage? Part of ‘traditional marriage’ relied on strict traditional gender norms…so if you want to change them, then what marriage looks like will change too.

    But really, it’s more than that…I see MRAs supporting all sorts of socially conservative politicians and policies, and I’m sort of left wondering why. (I am not talking about specific political parties at the moment…just social conservatives). It seems like a disconnect, to me. On the one hand – let’s redefine what it means to be a man and let’s get rid of a lot of these traditional gender norms. Then on the other hand – totally reinforcing and supporting a lot of those gender norms that MRAs say they want to get rid of.

    So maybe someone can explain it to me?

    • Transhuman says:

      HeatherN – “Most of their [MRA] issues, including most of the issues on this article stem from traditional norms about men.”

      Some MRAs are what I would call conservative – they believe in the gender norms, some believe in some of the gender norms but not others. The bulk of the MRA’s I spend time with are opposed to the adverse impacts legislation and law enforcement policies that harm men, these MRA’s are also often opposed to gender norms such as traditional marriage.

      In the same way you say not all feminists are the same, equally not all MRA’s are the same. The MRM is a continuum of beliefs with extremism, equalism and conservatism and any other ‘ism’ you can think of. The common thread of the MRM (and MRA are the more active members of the MRM) is that (1) feminism does not equal all women, (2) they support boys and men and (3) stand opposed to feminist policies that harm boys and men and (4) provide a forum for men to air their grievances in an environment that won’t condemn them.

      Other than that common thread, each MRA has varying attitudes, some are religious, some are atheist, some have horrendous experiences with ex-wives, some are unmarried, some don’t ever want to be married, some are still considering it, some welcome women into the MRM some would rather not, some are pro-life, some are pro-choice and so-on. MRM is a broad generalisation in the same way you have said feminism is a broad generalisation.

      • Well first, I wasn’t lumping all MRAs together. I just want to point out that I mentioned, “a lot of the MRAs I’ve come into contact with.” Just want to clear that up.

        But so, okay, if those four points are sort of what it all has in common…then really that seems to me to be mostly about being anti-feminism (or at least against a certain kind of feminism).

        • Transhuman says:

          The four points intersect with certain specific types of feminism under certain circumstances. For example:

          Point 1 – is about being egalitarian and not anti-women, it is more a definition than specifically anti-feminist. Taken as a whole, some feminists claim feminism is for equality but many results demonstrate otherwise. This point would lead to anti-feminism if a specific feminism type claimed to speak for all women and/or all men.

          Point 2 – is for boys and men, so would only be anti-feminism if a specific type of feminism was anti-boys and anti-men. There are some of those types – for example RadFemHub, Jezebel, Feministing.

          Point 3 is most definitely against specific types of feminism – for example VAWA in the US and The Plan in Australia.

          Point 4 is for men to provide them a forum, it would only be anti-feminist if the specific type of feminism was against men being able to express themselves. The complaints of men often relate to the gynocentricity of the Family Law Courts, false rape accusations, paternity fraud, relationship double standards and the imbalance of modern marriage in the west. Some of the men also lay the blame at the feet of feminism in general, when really it should be attributed to specific types of feminism.

          So really, the MRM is only anti-specific types of feminism, not every type of feminism and not all feminism all of the time. There are even feminists of various types in the MRM. The Mens Rights Movement is reactionary at the moment, responding to how legislation, the main stream media (MSM) and some types of feminism portray men and address men’s concerns. Parts of the MRM only intersect with a specific type of feminism, and as you’ve said HeatherN there are many types of feminism, when a given type of feminism acts or campaigns in ways that harm boys and men.

          In the world of generalisations though, the MRM often views *all* feminists as the enemy until proven otherwise and various MRAs have accumulated impressive data to demonstrate why they can justify their position. It is going to take a lot of work to even recognise there might be some common ground. The few women who work with the MRM provide me with a small amount of hope.

    • Easy, you’re making the mistake of taking what some MRA’s are worried about and mixing it with others. SOME worry about traditional marriage, others don’t care about traditional marriage. Some are worried about gender roles, others are ok with it. You’re using MRA/MRM in a generalized sense here but they don’t all follow the same belief just as feminists don’t all follow the same belief. There is no one path to the MRM, just a common goal of addressing men’s rights and some also see it as egalitarianism.

      • Right I’ll again point out I wasn’t lumping them altogether. I was literally talking about specific things I’ve heard from specific people who identify as MRAs. I didn’t mean to imply that I thought all MRAs thought exactly the same things. But I have seen the same people who argue that men are just as capable of being parents also argue that preserving traditional marriage is important for our society, for example.

        Also, I don’t mean this as a challenge or something. I am literally hoping someone could explain it. Again, not as a generalization…but that I see a lot of people advocating for conservative norms on the one hand, and then against them on the other.

        • Michael says:

          “But I have seen the same people who argue that men are just as capable of being parents also argue that preserving traditional marriage is important for our society, for example.”

          I am not sure about your baby-bathwater approach. Why can’t men be as capable parents and still be in a marriage or traditional marriage? Men aren’t the same kind of parents, men and women aren’t interchangeable parents. Men and women aren’t interchangeable. The sooner every ‘equality’ group accepts that the more successful they will be in achieving their respective and hopefully convergent goals.

          • Right I’m not going to discus whether men and women are inherently as different as you are saying, because that’s not really the point of my question. But if someone believes that the differences between men and women are mostly biological in nature and also believes in traditional marriage…well then part of the explanation for why women are assumed to be better parents is to do with presumed biological differences between men and women. Women give birth, so the argument goes, and their hormones shift, etc, when a baby is born therefore they are more connected to it, etc. (Not saying I agree with that at all, I’m saying that’s the argument). And in traditional marriage women take care of the kids and men go to work.

            So what I’m seeing as the disconnect is saying, yes for traditional marriage, yes for biological differences between men and women…….but no, men shouldn’t be viewed as the breadwinners or as secondary parents, etc. It seems a lot like nitpicking which parts of traditional gender roles you’re for, and which ones you don’t like.

            • Michael says:

              Well the nitpicking about which you like and which you don’t would actually be at the core of most men’s complaints about feminism. And the point of whether men and women are inherently different IS at the core of the entire question.

              I don’t believe women are ‘better’ parents I think they are different ones and have a different role imposed not by society but by biology. They give birth and nurse. Men don’t. Men do provide emotional, financial and physical support and protection.

              Feminism argues that women should have the right to reject that role and/or to participate as breadwinners and be either primary or secondary parents. This is possible because of the advances we have made in civilization but doesn’t change the inherent biological differences.

              So for many men the argument goes like this; you can’t use the argument you are the parent children need to be with when it comes down to custody but reject the argument when it comes down to whose career is more important. You can’t argue for equal pay but consider men to be breadwinners when it suits your needs.

              The disconnect isn’t that I/men want it both ways. It is that is is forced on us both ways. And the argument is if you indeed insist on the right to the roles you want when you want them you need to accept the responsibilities that come with that and the privileges you give up and the privileges men inherit. I’m not too keen on competing equally with a woman for a job and then when I lose out to her I not only lose the promotion but lose access to her as a mate because she stil views men as the primary breadwinner. I’m not too keen on a woman arguing that her career is just as important and she shouldn’t have to give it up just because she is the mother and then argue in court to take my baby away because it needs it’s mother.

              And I am not sure how anyone could argue that the differences between men and women AREN’T biological in nature. That’s like saying the difference between red and blue is just about which color they are.

              And I also believe that the feminism/MRA/equality movement is in fact being ‘hijacked’ by people who have a vested role in telling us that biology/gender/sexuality are social constructs. They are not and that reality shouldn’t change the right of any individual to choose which role/gender/sexuality they choose or feel compelled by their nature to live.

              It shouldn’t be taboo to point out the differences between men and woman and I see for a lot of people, men and women, that a lot of the issues are in how to maintain the privileges and recognition of those differences while not being deprived of their human rights.

        • Easy answer, some people are hypocrits:P I’ve seen some of them myself on both sides of the fence, wanting traditional marriage or certain types of traditional behaviour whilst changing other stuff. I’ve never really understood the whole appeal of traditional families n marriage, I’m a fan of people constantly evolving for the better. And usually traditional marriage is used to insult homosexuals which pisses me off, can’t stand people who try to take ownership of what marriage is supposed to be and control other peoples lives.

          • Michael says:

            But how is that controlling other people’s lives? Same-sex marriage is in fact a redefinition of marriage and the conversation about that being a new and accepted definition in our society was simply trampled upon. You were either some homophobic religious nut or a ‘gay’ looking to destroy the institution of marriage. Just because many many many people believe that marriage was always meant to be man/woman and there is great justification for believing that doesn’t mean it was an ‘insult’ to homosexuals. The insult was telling reasonable people who said ‘woah wait a second that isn’t my understanding or definition of marriage’ that they were bigots like the people trying to prevent blacks from getting married in the 50s. And the truth was yes once you *redefine* marriage since clearly that is the only way to look at it, it does open up other interpretations including polygamy and even extending to non-romantic non-sexual unions. I for one am not saying ANY of that is bad/wrong I am simply saying ‘no it was never about man/woman/ when CLEARLY that is what it was intended for (and if we’ve outgrown that that is valid too) but then say but it WAS meant for two people only. You can’t make the argument that if it was just about procreation then what about people who never have kids and then argue that it IS about love/romance/sex when there are historically a huge proportion of marriages devoid of all of those aspects.

            Unfortunately radical elements on both sides hijacked what was an important societal discussion; it might have been easier for supporters of it to acknowledge that yes maybe we are discussing unions that involve the consensual choice of the people involved regardless of gender, #, or presence/absence of something as basic as sex.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      “MRA” describes a wide range of political groups, many of whom are highly socially conservative and traditional. It’s just a matter of definition. There’s plenty of women who argue in favour of preserving traditional marriage too, they just don’t get lumped in with feminists.

      It’s important to compare like with like: Feminists are roughly equivalent to masculists. The terms hasn’t really been all that well defined (although neither has feminism) but it’s proponents, such as Warren Farrell, tend to argue against the gender norms you mentioned. Masculists would typically be MRAs, but not all MRAs are masculists. Just as not everyone who campaigns for women’s rights issues is actually opposed to gender norms.

      • Oooooookay now this is starting to make a bit more sense to me. I just don’t see a lot of people identifying as masculists, perhaps in part because it is such a new term.

        So here’s a question, considering masculists are generally arguing against gender norms…as are feminists. Do they generally use a similar interpretive framework and set of ideas? (I’m not talking politics at the moment…just talking about ideas). So, would a masculist also draw the conclusion that, say, industrialization really hammered home the strict women in home, men outside of home dynamic? Do masculists generally discuss things like social privilege and generally agree with what are academic feminist narratives?

        Or have masculists created completely different narratives that discuss the history of gender norms in the west and how and why they came about?

        Also, just to reiterate, I’m not trying to challenge anyone. Also, with that above paragraph, I’m not trying to say “well then why aren’t they just feminists?” That’s now what I mean. I’m literally just wanting to understand the term better.

        • Transhuman says:

          From what I’ve seen of masculism, they are perceived as a faction of the MRM and are developing their own theories based upon their own research (for example paleomasculinity). Feminist principles and research rigor are seen as deeply flawed and, in a lot of cases, based on deliberately skewed data. This is particularly true when the MRM discusses DV stats, general violence stats, sentencing of women criminals, child support and police department policies to name some that come to mind immediately.

          The MRM has internal debates over just how inclusive they are, masculinism, MGTOW, PUA, MRA and more are still debating their common ground; it is an evolving community. Some MRM people are inclusive of all some want to exclude one or more types of MRM, there are debates on how politics can be utilised (Left-Centre-Right) for maximum benefit of men. So far there are many answers, in most cases people of the MRM are willing to work together for boys and men, that principle seems to enable them to overlook, or set aside the aspects they cannot agree on.

          • Transhuman says: “The MRM has internal debates over just how inclusive they are, masculinism, MGTOW, PUA, MRA and more are still debating their common ground; it is an evolving community.”

            PUA is “pickup artist”, isn’t it?

            • Transhuman says:

              Yes, PUA = Pickup Artist, also called the Game community (as differentiated from gamers who play computer and associated entertainment forms).

            • Transhuman, I don’t understand how a community whose purpose is to teach men how to seduce women has much in common with the ones that advocate for men’s rights.

            • Transhuman, I don’t understand how a community whose purpose is to teach men how to seduce women has much in common with the ones who advocate for men’s rights.

            • Transhuman says:

              Nor do some people in the MRM. I included PUA in my comment because it is currently an ongoing discussion – some PUA’s consider themselves a part of the MRM and have made cases for why they are for boys and men, ergo MRM. Other people of the MRM argue against PUA’s being included based on a number of objections. Added to the mix is different philosophies of PUA.

              In summary, the arguments I’ve seen boil down to – men enjoy sex with women; men are expected (a gender norm) to pursue women yet are often ill-trained to do so. PUA’s fill the need of training thus help men get sex with women thus help men.

              I see PUA “training” as the men’s equivalent of the many women’s magazines (I’m not sure if I can name brands and still get by the mods so I’ll leave it to your imagination) that have sex tips, dating tips, pick up tips, breakup tips, makeup tips, marriage compatibility tests, sex quizzes and so-on.

            • Transhuman says:

              I left out the counter to PUA’s being a part of the MRM – the argument I’ve seen against PUA’s from other members of the MRM boils down to they are seeking sex using false or inaccurate pretenses.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          The only major writer I’m aware of in the are is Warren Farrell, but I’ve seen a heck of alot of smaller scale writing online, NSWATM, for instance, identifies as a masculist blog.

          Anything I’ve seen from a person identifying as a masculist has been ideologically similar to feminism, except that male oppression, female privilege and misandry are acknowleged as an opposite side to the problem.

          Some go further and argue that men are oppressed as a class in the same way that poor people are, but I don’t think that’s born out by the facts.

          It’s a young school of thought, I’d say give it time to mature a little.

        • Well I am an egalitarian, but that includes masculist and feminist ideals. I believe in some feminist theory I guess but there’s also some stuff I’m on the fence about. I comment on this site and it’s a good mix of masculist and feminist, some stuff I agree on, other stuff I probably don’t. I believe privilege exists for both men and women, and in recent years the gap between men and women in the western world I think has diminished a huge amount. I believe there are some areas women are worse off, and other areas men are worse off, I believe both genders can and do get oppressed in various ways but neither is more important than the other.

          That clear up much?

    • I posted this early this morning. Did it get eaten?

      • Basically, it’s an opposition to a whole bunch of socially conservative ideals. So what I don’t understand is when I see MRAs complaining about feminists for being opposed to socially conservative ideals. Like, when I see complaints that feminists are destroying traditional marriage etc….well…as an MRA opposed to all of these traditional gender roles, wouldn’t you also be opposed to traditional marriage? Part of ‘traditional marriage’ relied on strict traditional gender norms…so if you want to change them, then what marriage looks like will change too.
        But really, it’s more than that…I see MRAs supporting all sorts of socially conservative politicians and policies, and I’m sort of left wondering why. (I am not talking about specific political parties at the moment…just social conservatives).
        So maybe someone can explain it to me?

        I think you’re talking about a few different variations of MRA there.
        1. MRAs that complain about feminists that are opposed to socially conservative ideas may do so on the grounds that said feminists are only opposing socially conservative ideas (cultural constructs, old ways, etc….) that harm women.

        Take abuse for example. Obviously feminists are not a monolith but at the same time there is no shortage of them that will in one breath say that something must be done about domestic violence and then in the next deny the experiences of male abuse victims. Now if it were just “feminists oppose socially conservative ideas” then at the worst you would have feminists that mainly focus on abused women and simply don’t talk about abused men. But low and behold there exists feminists that focus on abused women and actively deny abused men.

        2. MRAs that complain about feminists for the sake of complaining about feminists. They need a target and feminists have the bullseye. These are the folks that if you were to take the words of Futrelle and Marcotte at face value, make up nearly all of the MRM. Yes they can get pretty terrible and are actually engaging in the contradiction you speak of (when it comes to feminists that actually do want to help all people like they say in their advertisements, not the gynocentric ones).

        3. MRAs that support socially conservative ideas. These folks are the ones that want to bring back “the good old days” as some say and if you listen to Futrelle and Marcotte make up the small portion of MRAs that aren’t from the second I listed above.

        (Yes despite the fact that they do speak up according to some feminists that first type I listed simply do no exist.)

        It seems like a disconnect, to me. On the one hand – let’s redefine what it means to be a man and let’s get rid of a lot of these traditional gender norms. Then on the other hand – totally reinforcing and supporting a lot of those gender norms that MRAs say they want to get rid of.

        Getting rid of the traditional gender norms means actually getting rid of them, not repackaging them. In the discourse about rape we often see the message “Men can stop rape”. That message comes along with a presumption that simply being male means that not only are you a potential rapist (based literally on nothing more than being male) but as a male you are actually personally responsible for stopping rape. That’s an appeal to chivalry if I ever heard one. If I am in a situation where I can prevent a rape and fail to do so, then hold me personally responsible. The fact that I am a male is not enough to hold me responsible for stopping rape. As men we are apparently not supposed to help women just because we are men and they are women…except for when women want us to?

        • Michael says:

          “The fact that I am a male is not enough to hold me responsible for stopping rape. As men we are apparently not supposed to help women just because we are men and they are women…except for when women want us to?”

          To me this goes to the crux of the issue of not just feminism but female sexism. Men are held to be responsible for the *bad* things other men do; if you ask any women why men should put their health/lives on the line not just walking home and protecting the women they like/love but even ones they don’t know out in public (try not protecting a woman being bullied/beaten by another man) it is because ‘well because men are the ones who are causing the violence’. So all men owe all women physical protection and almost an innate apology on the behalf of other violent men and rapists and for centuries of war, pillage, plundering and rape.

          Men on the other hand are not to take credit for all the amazing things men did to to give us the civilization we have; that is either explicitly because of women (their civilizing nature, inventions were stolen from them) or implicitly because of them (they were our mothers and wives).

          This point keeps getting ballyhooed here but I think it goes to the crux of the assumptions that underly many of the inequities in courts and in the social arena; I summarized it somewhat glibly in another post because of an old SNL skit that I thought summarized the premise best ‘Women great, men suck”. Certainly ‘Men can stop rape” falls under that rubric.

  30. Other then gay marriage and abortion (which is debatable in MRM), give some examples please?

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