Some of MRAs asked what was in it for them, what changes to the legal system we sought. Well, first, we seek to END “NO-FAULT” DIVORCE. That is the first thing that has to change. Second, yes it should be the obligation of HUSBANDS to support their wives financially and fathers to support their legitimate children. Yes, this is the man’s burden and the man’s alone. You see, men used to have all kinds of obligations of the sort yet they weren’t so bitter all the time and we didn’t have so much chaos or broken families. Yes, the husband should be the legal head of household. A woman has the choice who she wishes to marry. She should know when she says “I do” that she will become one with him. He has to pay the bills, therefore if he wants to move the family she should be under the obligation to live with him and take care of the home. Feminists were very bitter about this. In New York, a pamphlet supporting ratification of the ERA read:
“DO YOU KNOW THAT RAPE IS LEGAL IN MARRIAGE?
According to law, sex is the purpose of marriage. You have to have sexual intercourse in order to have a valid marriage
DO YOU KNOW THAT LOVE AND AFFECTION ARE NOT REQUIRED IN MARRIAGE?
If you don’t have sex with your husband, he can get a divorce or annulment. If he doesn’t love you, that’s not grounds for a divorce
DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE YOUR HUSBAND’S PRISONER?
You have to live with him wherever he pleases. If he decides to move someplace else, either you go with him or he can charge you with desertion, get a divorce and, according to the law, you deserve nothing because you’re the guilty party. And that’s if he were the one who moved!”
Well, sex is kind of the point of marriage dear feminists. Males and females are going to come together and offspring will result in the normal course of events. This is nature’s way. Therefore, marriage is the institution that serves the purpose of creating stability in society for children to be raised.
Now, should I have to take my husband’s last name or obtain his consent to get a credit card or something like telephone service? Yes. TWRAs cannot ask for our husbands to have the legal obligation to support us and pay our debts if we can go and run up a 100,000 dollar credit card bill- that he has to pay- without his permission.
There is no other way. Return to traditional marriage and divorce laws or else men and women will both face the possibility of the other spouse leaving without justification and taking off with the house, kids, etc… And since most married women work and contribute to the family support women are at risk too at losing their assets and homemakers are at risk of being left without a way to survive (rarely will a woman be entitled to alimony unless for a brief period of time).
Now, we don’t really talk a whole lot about abortion. My view is that men should not be granted the same legal status of rights and responsibilities to illegitimate children as to legitimate children. So, I would absolutely not consider that an unwed father should get a say in abortion. That draws too far on the natural law and could cause severe consequences (rapists are already obtaining custody imagine what could happen if the unmarried man had a say over the woman’s womb). Now, for a married man I would certainly consider that he should get a say if he had the SOLE OBLIGATION of supporting his wife and children. As for if abortion should be legal, I’m not going to go into that because there are way too many issues- both medical and ethical- to consider here.
Men today do not have near the obligations their male ancestors did. There is no current draft, no front-lines (and as far as the draft, no women should not have to register, previous wars could not have been won if it was not for women at home taking care of families and working in factories while the men were gone, and every feminist organization around took up the case of drafting women and considered it a major setback to “women’s rights” when they lost). A man is not stuck with lifetime support of his wife until she marries another man at least (only a handful of states even have anything resembling lifetime alimony today).
Either MRAs can continue to face grievances today, or accept traditional responsibilities for women and children. I read a comment on an article a while back which I thought was pretty good:
“… I went to a seminar on “the role of the man in the family” about 12 years ago that talked of this issue. One of the interesting examples/questions he used was: Gentlemen, if your wife is driving down the road and the oil light comes on and she keeps driving, who’s responsibility is it when the engine freezes up? Answer: It’s your responsibility. Is that a good deal for the woman? You bet. Is it a good deal for you? It just is. But since you’re responsible, maybe you will always make sure there is oil in the car so the problem won’t occur.
When men understand and TAKE their responsibility which, btw, also implies AUTHORITY, they are empowered to control their own destiny and the destiny of their family. REAL women want exactly that in a man.”
So yes, authority means responsibility. Do MRAs want to be victims or do they want to take the authority and responsibility that comes along with tradition? As I said, a few changes in the legal code such as ending no-fault divorces completely and distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate birth and there would be a lot of security for both men and women.
1. Mansbridge, J.J., “Why We Lost the ERA,” p. 102-103. The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
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