My father came to visit a few weeks ago. I really have had nothing to do with my father or most any of my family for many years now. If my father ever comes around it is only because my husband needs help with some construction project he is working on. Usually if he ever does come around I cry for many days afterwards or am left with a bitterness and sickness for the things he has done to me and my mother and the things he says.
My dad could be considered your typical MRA (whether he actually identifies as such or not). He’s never really been a victim or anything in his life yet somehow he still has a victim mentality and complains over and over about how “victimized” men are today. The last time he was over he ran his mouth so much my husband had to ask him to leave. He kept talking of “if I had a son” how he would tell him to watch out for! and be careful! of all these women having multiple pregnancies just for the child support and welfare money and on and on. I finally had enough and challenged him head on and told him flat out that men have gained all these rights in the last 40 years to illegitimate children yet they just don’t like the price they are now paying for it. They like getting the goods of feminism but they don’t like it when they have to actually pay the price for it. They implement policies requiring the mother to identify the father (for welfare) then turn around and complain when she does it! They want to be able to have their pleasure at the woman’s expense and then be allowed to walk completely free of the consequences of the sex act.
The truth of the matter is that it takes two to tango. It takes both a mother and a father to make a baby and it is entirely nonsensical to lay the entire blame of illegitimacy and single motherhood solely upon welfare mothers. Single motherhood is bad. Single mothers depending on welfare without a father in the home is bad. This is not even something worth arguing about because all around it is a bad thing and most everyone sees it as a bad thing to a certain extent. It is conservatives and men’s groups that implemented polices forcing unwed mothers to have to identify the father and make him pay child support in order to be eligible for welfare. Yet at the same time they turn around and complain about unwed mothers collecting child support and welfare! I’ve read plenty of conservative and anti-feminist books that talk about the explosion of illegitimacy happening at the same time unwed mothers were first allowed to collect welfare. Yet none of them ever seem to mention that unwed fathers gained unconditional rights equal to the mother’s and married father’s at the exact same time. Is it really to be believed that the entire blame for illegitimacy rests on the shoulders of the welfare mother and unwed fathers having legal custodial rights has nothing at all to do with it?
“As the laws now stand, a man who has any casual sexual encounters with a woman (even a one-night stand) that results in a pregnancy, he might not even know her last name or care, yet he is now given the exact same legal rights to a child as the mother from the moment of birth. Even though he has basically contributed, invested, risked NOTHING during the entire process, other then a recreational sperm deposit. Meanwhile a woman who has carried, nurtured, and invested herself for 9 months in producing another human being, not to mention a bloody and painful delivery at the end of the period, has her status downgraded to mirror that of a recreational sperm donor. Both have suddenly become equal in the eyes of the law.”(1)
I most certainly have known quite a few women having babies with multiple fathers. It ends bad for these mothers and for the fathers as well because legitimacy is subsidized and not marriage. A “committed relationship” is not good enough. Marriage (monogamous, heterosexual marriage) must be the only acceptable way for respectable sex or raising children. I have a distant cousin who has had three different babies out of wedlock and collects welfare and child support (two of them actually have the same father, but she didn’t even know that until the time to find him for child support). She lives in the projects and a couple of her kids even have developmental problems. Nobody has probably ever even told her that she needs to make her children legitimate and find a husband to provide for her. All she knows is that she’s entitled to welfare and child support money from the father (if she can find him). (She’s tried to get sterilized but the doctors won’t perform sterilization on her despite the fact that she’s a welfare mother with three illegitimate children. I guess we can’t complain about what we enable can we?)
I don’t really think women are out having babies just for the child support money like MRAs seem to think. I’ve never seen a woman out living high on the hog on child support money. First, she has no guarantee of even collecting even half of what she’s due and second it wouldn’t be enough money to cover the basic expenses anyways so there would be no benefit. And if the father is rich enough for it to be worth it then he would be able to wield enough influence to get out of it or get whatever he wanted in court, including taking the child away from her. Mostly I think women are taught that it’s OK to have sex with or live with a boyfriend then they end up pregnant and are stuck in bad situations. Nobody forces the issue of marriage. Also I think some women are just promiscuous and pregnancy happens as an accident so they collect welfare and support as they are “entitled” to- as they have been taught to. Whatever the case, changes need to happen.
I believe the entire system needs to be redone. The real problem with unwed mothers being allowed child support is that it creates family instability and makes men more irresponsible. It also makes it near impossible for a man to be able to financially provide for a family within the context of marriage if he has to pay for a child he had with a woman who he is not married to. This makes it harder for good women who just want to be wives and mother to find men to be providers for families. These men might have wanted to be married and provide for a wife and children at one point but it becomes a near impossibility if they have to keep shelling out money to a woman who is constantly whoring around and with whom he doesn’t even have a relationship with.
Policies need to be implemented that subsidize marriage and mothers in the home and that help unwed mothers to find husbands to provide for them and get married. Also we need strong policies that reach out to men and help them become providers and give them more opportunities to move up in their careers. Simply identifying the father of a child is not good. Giving child support to unwed mothers who are living in poverty might seem like a good and compassionate thing that is helping them but in reality it actually harms them and makes it to where even more children are born illegitimate and into poverty and makes the problem worse. It brings the father into the child’s life outside of the context of marriage and sets mother and child upon a path to be hurt and abused in many cases. It sets mother and child up for endless hassle and endless misery and heartache. Men should not have to support illegitimate children nor should they be allowed to lay any claim on them (at least not the same as the mother or married father can). Conservatives will come and say single mothers need to work for welfare, which also contributes to more children in daycare and more broken families and eliminates male responsibility-true male responsibility- from the picture. Child support is not male responsibility, it is a flight from it.
The main problem with single motherhood is that men don’t have to marry anymore to have respectable sex or paternal rights. Sex is really the only bargaining power women have. Men have bargaining power in terms of their money-making power and social status. In intimate relationships and in more primitive societies they also have the bargaining power of physical strength and most men can render a woman helpless very quickly and easily if they really wanted to. Men could control women by pure force if it came down to it or they really wanted to (and many have throughout time and still do today). But sexual bargaining power is what women have, and feminism and the sexual revolution has stripped all that bargaining power away from women. In order to counteract the problem of out of wedlock births women need to be allowed to use their sexual bargaining power to get men into marriage. Women should also refuse to put the father on the birth certificate until he marries her. Society needs to grant to single mothers the means to get married and stay home to nurture their children and care for their families. So long as women are sexually free and illegitimacy is subsidized women cannot use their sexual bargaining power. The girl who holds out for sex until she finds a man who will marry and provide for her could be waiting a long time as feminism has made masculine men willing to be providers for families nearly go extinct.
“Men’s fixation on casual sex with many women, which was enabled by feminism, places many women today at an extreme disadvantage. As women appear to be still using the age-old strategy of sex as a way to build a relationship, with a pregnancy expected to close the deal via a marriage proposal. Unfortunately it’s not working that way anymore and the result is millions of women being left high and dry with a pregnancy that does not result in a marriage. Thus either an abortion or single motherhood follows.”(2)
Men may complain about affirmative action, welfare and socialism but in the end everyone benefits from it in some way or another. We no longer care for our own and men no longer wish to support families (not without the mother “pulling her own weight” anyways) so the only other option is for women and children to be supported by the welfare system in which all citizens are collectively responsible. Men don’t want women to have any advantage via affirmative action to support themselves but they don’t want to support women so what other choice is there?
I think there are several things that can be done to rectify the current situation, none of which most feminists and MRAs will be too happy about because it entails both male authority (which feminists hate) and male responsibility (which MRAs hate).
First, unwed mothers and divorced women should not be allowed welfare. I would say there should be some exceptions in the case of women who are victims of rape or abuse though. Policies should be implemented to help and encourage unwed mothers to find a husband (instead of simply identifying/finding the father). No adult males should be allowed support or assistance to raise children. Men should be the ones providing support, not receiving it (this is how it always was before the 1960s and 1970s until feminists gender neutralized welfare and child support).
Fatherhood should not be legally recognized outside of marriage (or adoption). The marriage license should be the woman’s consent to have sex with the man she is to marry and the man’s consent to support her and be a father to her children. The marriage is a public declaration that this man, her husband, will be the one to father her children. A woman’s husband should always be the legal father of her children (except in adultery cases where the father should be given a strict time period after the child is born to divorce her for adultery, with penalties laid upon him for false accusations of adultery against his wife, or forever hold his peace on the matter). If a man has sex with a woman and/or impregnates her then he should be required to marry her. Even if there is a possibility that the child might not biologically be his it shouldn’t matter. His marriage to her should be his consent to be the father to the child, with all the rights and responsibilities it entails. The biological father should not be allowed to interfere in any way. If a woman does have an affair and commit adultery yet her husband decides to stay with her and legitimate the child anyways he should not be allowed to back out years later and abandon the child.
It is absolutely insane how bad things have gotten and I believe women and children have been hurt the worst of all. Women are not solely to blame for the prevalence of illegitimacy in our society. Men’s denial of responsibility for women, marriage, and the provider role, I believe, is at the very heart of the problem. The only answer is marriage and the de-legitimizing of illegitimacy.