Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I get a little sick and tired of this....

Some idjit commits suicide-by-cop in the Seattle Federal Courthouse, and has some people feeling sorry for him:

Manley, to be sure, espoused views many would consider extreme. He believed the pro-choice movement was unconstitutional because it gave women rights that men do not have. A woman, for example, may decide whether to abort, adopt or keep her child, while men, he felt, are simply fathers, required to step up if she so demands.

Look, fellas, if you don't want to be responsible for children, don't father any!

If the court denies you custody, you still have children that you are responsible for. I am under the impression that joint custody is the norm in Washington State, and the court has to have some reason to grant custody to one parent over the other. If dads behave irresponsibly (or criminally for that matter), then they can lose custody, and then their responsibility to their children defaults to contributing part of their paycheck to help raise them. They may only get to see the kids supervised, on holidays. I don't know why Manley lost custody, but I am inclined to think maybe his ex had reason to sue for sole custody. Apparently Manley thought this was unfair.

I have a poor view, generally, of the "fathers' rights" crowd. My observation is that the courts try to keep joint custody arrangements in place even when it is not in the best interest of the child - for example, when the father has remarried, has little connection to his "old family," and the child doesn't want any contact with the dad. The kid doesn't get a say one way or the other until they are considered old enough for such input by the court (12 or 14), even if they come home from a weekend at dad's angry and acting out.

Women have been forced to deal with the long-term ramifications of having children as a matter of course, including losing contact with them (or just losing them, period). It's about time men did the same.

Really, this all about sex, and control of women's lives and bodies. Sometimes women don't consult men when they decide whether or not to bear a child. But the father is always present when a baby is being "made." That is the point at which men need to acknowledge their agency in the process. Don't give me sob stories about not being consulted about whether to have the child or not - men are capable of putting on a condom or of simply keeping it in their pants if there is going to be an issue if an embryo gets implanted. I'm sick and tired of men taking no responsibility for sex, but then assuming they have the right to determine the outcome.


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