Paternity Rights: Losing Fatherhood

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can’t believe how angry I am over this. Just finished an article in the NY Times magazine about cuckolded men raising children who are not their own. The article, Who Knew I Was Not the Father?, written by an adjunct professor at Columbia, is almost completely unsympathetic to the plight of men who have raised children to whom that have no genetic tie.

I am incensed. Livid. Apoplectic. The article cites several men who have sought to stop child support upon finding out only to be shot down by the courts in the interest of the child.

In the main case, the biological father is married (years later) to the mother and has no legal support obligations for his child. The cuckolded man does. It’s a bloody outrage.

Not once, in the entire article, does this hack take issue with the duplicity of the mother, the person solely responsible for the fraud, and the person (w/ the biological father) who should be entirely responsible for the financial support of the child. Where is that article? What kind of person does this to a man and, more importantly, to a child? Does this reflect upon her qualifications to be a parent? Shouldn’t these women be stripped of their children?

The answer, it seems, is no. Because it will upset the child. The author cites a lobbyist (now fighting against these women), who abandoned his child and won the right to have no financial obligations. She makes him sound like a monster. She quotes his young adult “daughter” as confused and damaged and mentions the suffering she endured because her “father” abandoned her.


She’s not even mentioned. And, one presumes, the daughter doesn’t blame her.

Some advocates now suggest that there be mandatory paternity tests for all fathers at birth to avoid this problem. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. The entire tone of the article suggests a kind of mystification as to why these men would be so upset about this.


I mean, really?

P.S. On a related note, as I have written before, men should have the right to opt out of financial support for a child during the same time period that a woman can choose to abort the fetus. Figure out for yourself why this is fair and just.


Older Men, Reproduction, and Resentment

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It’s a beautiful day in New York so I’m not going to write a long (or, many will argue, well thought-out) post for this issue, but I will just say I am consistently amazed at the resentment among privileged, educated women at men generally, and, I’m guessing, at their husbands specifically.

Reading the New York Times Magazine and a piece within by Lisa Belkin, essentially calling for men to be riven by the same age and time pressure as women when in comes to reproduction. She cites several studies that promote the idea that older men have children with more problems – lower IQs, autism, etc. Assuming that the studies rigorously controlled for other factors (which is always a legitimate concern in studies of this kind) like environment and mothers’ age, correlation doesn’t imply causation.

It seems more likely to me that older dads are simply too tired to supply the extra stimulation to boost their childrens’ IQs by two or three points.

In any case, Belkin goes off on an embittered riff about men having “sell by” dates and hoping that women will now begin to judge them in the same way women are judged.

Good luck, sister.

And while you’re at it, quit complaining. The choices of the modern woman are what women have been fighting for for decades, right? Furthermore, she isn’t really at war with men or the culture, she’s at war with biology, but doesn’t seem to realize it.

Reproduction is the purpose of life. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t have them. But if you do, quit complaining. The world has had enough of these latter-day feminists whining about the burdens of motherhood. She writes of the stereotype of “women eager to settle down and men as reluctant” as though their were no truth in it; as though women are not the primary drivers of our reproductive dyad. It’s just silly.

Lisa, women – you want babies and are anatomically constructed to grow and nurture them. Get used to it already. In fact, revel in it. It’s the point of your existence – not, and this is true of men as well, whatever pathetic career you pursue until you die and everyone forgets you ever existed.

Even if it turns out to be true that sperm loses some potency as men age, it does not change the sexual dynamic. Men can reproduce well beyond the age when women can. Fecundity is sexually attractive. Ipso facto, men are attractive to the opposite sex for longer than women are. That’s why women go for the “silver-haired sex symbols,” and why old ladies can’t get a date.

What can you do? Life sucks.

One can only imagine what its like to live with a woman like this. Carefully charting up chores and duties to make sure they’re split 50/50 and resenting it the whole way; seething about breastfeeding and having the primary role as the caregiver because she is “mommy.”

Eeesh. I pity her poor husband.

Sarah Palin and the Politics of Mommy

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

So just how important is the mother?

That’s the latest question to result from the Sarah Palin disaster. Putting aside the mental gymnastics (or gross hypocrisy) necessary for the evangelical right to embrace her thoroughly modern take on parenting, and the question of whether or not a man would be asked the same thing, what does it mean to have the woman who is potentially running the country facing an extremely difficult period in her family life?

As Sally Quinn of the Washington Post put it:

Not only do we have a woman with five children, including an infant with special needs, but a woman whose 17-year-old child will need her even more in the coming months. Not to mention the grandchild. This would inevitably be an enormous distraction for a new vice president (or president) in a time of global turmoil. Not only in terms of her job, but from a media standpoint as well.

Assuming that Sarah Palin adopts, as is her prerogative, a traditionally male role in embracing her new job – sixteen hours days, lots of time away from the kids, a severely reduced family life – will America accept it?

I am guessing no. The reasons for this are manifold, but at root, we still believe that mothers have an irreplaceable role as the parent of their children, particularly newborns. Is this fair? I don’t know. There are millions of years of biological reinforcement at work here. Mothers give birth, feed, and nurture their children. Nowadays, they are only seemingly necessary for the first part of that equation, but the sense lingers that perhaps necessity dictates more.

I can only say, in my experience, the mother is irreplaceable. And that the ties that bind the mother to the child are stronger than any calling. But Sarah Palin might experience motherhood differently, and we should give her that benefit of the doubt. However she plans to raise her children – provided they are not abused – is none of our business.

The only question we may ask is, will it effect her performance. If she says no, that’s good enough for me.

But I’ll close this post with this excerpt from a story by Jodi Kantor and Rachel L. Swarns in the New York Times:

“You can juggle a BlackBerry and a breast pump in a lot of jobs, but not in the vice presidency,” said Christina Henry de Tessan, a mother of two in Portland, Ore., who supports Mr. Obama.

Her thoughts were echoed by some Republicans, including Anne Faircloth, daughter of former Senator Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina. Being a governor is one thing, Ms. Faircloth said, and Ms. Palin’s husband, Todd, seems like a supportive spouse. “But running for the second-highest office in the land is a very different kettle of fish,” she said.

Many women expressed incredulity — some of it polite, some angry — that Ms. Palin would pursue the vice presidency given her younger son’s age and condition. Infants with Down syndrome often need special care in the first years of life: extra tests, physical therapy, even surgery.

Sarah Robertson, a mother of four from Kennebunk, Me., who was one of the few evangelical Christians interviewed to criticize Ms. Palin, said: “A mother of a 4-month-old infant with Down syndrome taking up full-time campaigning? Not my value set.”

This issue is not going to disappear.

Save the Males

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here is an excerpt from Kathleen Parker’s new book, Save the Males, from the Times Online (UK). The book is a plea to recognize that feminism has, in a sense, neutered men in an effort to redress past grievances. Part of this excerpt deals with the availability of pornography and how that has changed the sexual culture, particularly among the young.

From the book:

The casual sex culture prevalent on university campuses – and even in schools – has produced fresh vocabulary to accommodate new ways of relating: “friends with benefits” and “booty call”.

FWB I get, but “booty call”? I had to ask a young friend, who explained: “Oh, that’s when a guy calls you up and just needs you to come over and have sex with him and then go home.”

Why, I asked, would a girl do such a thing? Why would she service a man for nothing – no relationship, no affection, no emotional intimacy?

She pointed out that, well, they are friends. With benefits! But no obligations! Cool. When I persisted in demanding an answer to “why”, she finally shrugged and said: “I have no idea. It’s dumb.”

Guys also have no idea why a girl would do that, but they’re not complaining…

I am an almost free speech absolutist, but one area that I do think Congress should restrict is the online availability of pornography. As a teenager (my teenage years were in the 80s), I got my hands, by luck, and sometimes guile, on a few dirty magazines and porn videotapes. These were treasured possessions that, however misleading, provided a reference point for human sexuality. They did no harm, mainly, I think, because coming into possession of such artifacts was rare. With Internet pornography, the hardest of the hardcore is available at the click of a mouse, at length, and in abundance. If you understand male sexuality – and any average man does – then you know that this is not a good thing. Boys internalize what they see, become obsessed with sex, and seek fantastic and ever more unrealistic modes of sexual expression with girls, who, though they may be exposed, are not prepared.

My point? This stuff is for grown-ups (who have their own problems with it). It is not for the warping of 14 year-old minds. We used to have some standards of decency in this country. If Americans will not voluntarily embrace them, then Congress must act. Doing so will benefit boys and girls, men and women.

Political Correctness and The Campus Rape Myth

Monday, June 23, 2008

Heather MacDonald of City Journal wrote a compelling piece that shoots a hole in the accepted wisdom that one quarter (25%) of all college girls will be raped or be the targets of attempted rape by the end of their college years. She writes:

If the one-in-four statistic is correct—it is sometimes modified to “one-in-five to one-in-four”—campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience. Such a crime wave would require nothing less than a state of emergency—Take Back the Night rallies and 24-hour hotlines would hardly be adequate to counter this tsunami of sexual violence. Admissions policies letting in tens of thousands of vicious criminals would require a complete revision, perhaps banning boys entirely. The nation’s nearly 10 million female undergrads would need to take the most stringent safety precautions. Certainly, they would have to alter their sexual behavior radically to avoid falling prey to the rape epidemic.

The reality, she explains, is that this statistic is a myth promulgated by a campus rape industry that offers these bogus statistics and a serious dose of feminist victimology to cowed administrators in order to continue to garner funding for their projects. The studies suffer from seriously flawed methodology, and an inherent political bias against men.

I have heard this statistic going back to when I was in college and I remember thinking then that it was impossible. It would mean, likely, that one in every four men (assuming it wasn’t just a few bad apples) that I knew was a rapist. Maybe me. Maybe my best friend. Maybe the guy down the hall, or his best friend. Then, as now, I attributed the statistic, as MacDonald does, to the workings of political correctness gone insanely awry.

Political correctness increasingly dominates college campuses and curriculums in such a way that it stifles open and truthful discourse. Each substratum of cultural definition fragments the campus into ever-smaller factions that cannot be offended. Furthermore, the ambiguity of a lot of these new fields of study (porn studies, anyone?) allows for weak standards of scholarship to gain acceptance. It is a frightening state of affairs, and it seems to be getting worse.

Funnily enough, MacDonald’s article also covers the sex-positive movement on campuses and contrasts the two sharply to expose the hypocrisy and hollowness of the modern university education.

With such nonsense filling the heads of our brightest youth, is it any wonder that America is on the decline?

Obama’s Father’s Day Message

Monday, June 16, 2008

Barack Obama delivered an important Father’s Day message at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago on Sunday. His call? Fathers need to step up and take responsibility for their children.

From his remarks:

“But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

This is a vitally important message for Americans to hear. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) website:

  • 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
  • Nearly 20 million children (27 percent) live in single-parent homes.
  • Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.
  • Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
  • In particular, this is a crisis among blacks. According to a 2003 House Ways and Mean Committee report, a stunning 68% of black children were born to unwed mothers. 7 in 10! Just read the facts above and calculate the damage this is doing to the black community.

    There are a lot of people who will find some reason to be offended by Obama’s speech. He’s attacking the victims, they’ll say, or, rather more likely, they’ll dispute the statistics (or the slant) in an effort to advance a political agenda. The bottom line is that this is an important message for all Americans. A lot of intelligent people might loathe parts of the “family values” lobby, but this is one area where that crowd is right. Fathers are important. Intact families are important.

    And this was an important message; one that he should continue to espouse to all Americans until men begin to accept responsibility for fatherhood. I urge you to read his speech and pass it on. From Obama:

    “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.”

    Men Will Be Boys

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    This piece from Kay Hymowitz in City Journal is about the extended adolescence of young men in our time. It’s heavy on pop cultural references and more than a little anecdotal, but it makes its point. Men are failing at becoming adults.

    I’ve got my own theories about why this is happening, related to the visual impact and diffuse distribution of mass media along with the changed sexual mores of the last few decades. In any case, the piece is worth reading. The answer to the question, why don’t boys grow up, might just be because they don’t have to.