Came across this exchange this evening.
Here’s TheSkepticalHeretic’s video titled “Bodily Autonomy and Bad Decisions”:
I didn’t look into who he was originally debating, but Justicar made a response video:
This is a topic I’ve been thinking about quite a lot since coming across arguments on YT last year. Some of my earlier video attempts captured my reaction to arguments I listened to back then, a notable one coming from johntheother. And still my thoughts revolve around children’s interest and how economics isn’t the only factor deserving grave attention. However, it’s continued gnawing on me, this notion of basically being enslaved by the system and forced to work so as to provide financial support for another being that one took reasonable precautions to avoid creating. Yes, that’s a very serious dilemma, and I appreciate how Justicar laid out his rebuttals there.
In a perfect world I’d say, hey, go your own way then if you’re notified of an unintended pregnancy and choose to opt out of further responsibility. But my contention remains that there is one major fundamental difference between a woman’s choice to abort and any opting-out strategies a man might ever employ, and that is in one case the newly created life is terminated, whereas in the other it very well may still be brought into existence. I’m seriously not trying to stubbornly remain adhered to my previously (poorly) expressed viewpoint on the matter, but the fact remains that SOMEONE is going to have to support this new living being. If the father won’t, the responsibility falls to the mother, and if the mother won’t then responsibility for the child is transferred over to the State with the possibility of being adopted if he or she is lucky enough (plenty of unadopted kids grow up in our fucked up foster care system in the U.S., and they tend to face much harsher realities as a direct result).
Much more than money goes into rearing kids who won’t wind up being a detriment to society, as we all know. And frankly I cannot stomach the idea of the government becoming any more involved in the lives of kids — what’s next, State-ran boarding schools that people can just relinquish their kids to? It’s this weird trend of having the government increasingly dominating our lives from cradle to grave, pushing its (frequently propagandist) educational curricula, having us pay it money when we decide to marry or divorce, agents of the State mediating our heated conflicts and stepping in to investigate wherever it can. Then there’s men (and relatively fewer women) being ordered in each state to pay child support or risk imprisonment, which sets up the fearsome debtors’ prison dilemma (same treatment for “tax evasion,” I might add).
Looks like the State has everybody by the balls.
My own personal position on this is to not grant the State that power. Why offer the System more children to indoctrinate and to use as tools to manipulate their parents? Also allows parents to manipulate one another, and that’s never good for the kids to be involved in either.
I’m fierce in my defense of my right to do with my own body as I see fit. That’s just concrete, no getting around it for me. If ever I get pregnant, I will opt to abort. And I actively take precautions to avoid that outcome. There are numerous reasons that factor in, but this is something I will not compromise on with anyone for any reason.
SO…I have to then flip that over to examine a male’s perspective who might feel exactly as I do there. Let’s say he did undergo a vasectomy, yet he wound up being one in the tiny minority whose vas deferens mysteriously managed to fuse back together — must he still be forced into parenthood against his will? Wouldn’t a situation where such extreme measures were taken allow for some sort of out in the event of an unwanted pregnancy? I’d say so. That’s like signing a contract in a way — you’ve explicitly demonstrated intention to avoid creating new humans. What more can a man do other than completely abstain from hetero intercourse and take precautions to reduce the chances of a woman somehow violating his will? Get a vasectomy and practice abstinence? That’s just being silly.
And yet, legally-speaking, a man indeed has no protections from parenthood in the event of accidental conception occurring. I get it. But I’m not sure what to do about it. If we simply say a man, once notified of a pregnancy, has the option to financially and legally opt out, the mother will likely receive some sort of benefits from the State, which is to say from all of us. It just winds up distributing the burden to everybody else instead of the biological parent(s). Much as I hate that so much talk revolves solely around the economic concerns, these are real and unavoidable problems. Do we want to create even more “welfare queens”? Is there a way around that?
Seems we’d have to severely limit government-funded social programs if the goal was to deter women from going that route. Already living in a society with enough people relying on State aid in some form or fashion, plenty as lifelong recipients by claiming disabilities (even when self-induced through years of drug abuse). We see this and we know.
Ugh. It’s such a frustrating conundrum. Do we say “oh well, all new kids brought in are your responsibility, lady!”? And what about those women who turn their kids over to the State through safe haven drop-offs? Those children exist and require care, so somebody’s gotta tend to them. And I’m willing to bet if government aid was cut tomorrow and people faced a limit on how much longer they’d receive housing assistance and foodstamps/WIC and whatever else, a bunch of parents in financial dire straits would probably abandon their kids, starting with ghetto hoodrats. Because the cold, hard truth is that unfortunately having children can provide a meal ticket and keep a roof over mothers’ heads. Not saying that to be hatin’, but it’s undeniably true. We all know this, even as no one is willing to admit that this describes them — it’s horribly taboo to divulge such unwholesome ambitions.
But it’s true. That’s humans for you — opportunists. How many look at it this way? Hard to say. But we all calculate what appears to be within our own best interest. That so many seem to think it’s perfectly fine to lean on the State is what really worries me, because that just helps perpetuate the bullshit and feeds it more and more power. The last thing the State needs right about now is more power to dictate and control and interfere and fine and imprison. Got quite enough of that going on already. Way more than enough.
So then what? Men deserve more rights here, yes. But children and future generations deserve more care and forethought given to them as well. Can’t just breed and then let the child bear most of the consequences because his or her parents are selfish jerks who care more about themselves than anything else. Putting children in the middle of nasty back-talking and competitive feuding or subjecting them to abusive homes is messing people’s minds up, and that matters.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — most people have no business breeding. BUT, I can’t accept some eugenics program handed down from on-high. No, it’s a decision we need to be making our own selves so far as we’re able. But the laws do need to change somehow to accommodate this shift and also to reduce the incentive for women to birth babies knowing that the State will provide for them. That’s the situation in a nutshell, and it’s not an easy one to crack. First things first, we take power into our own hands to the best of our ability. It must start there because that’s where we each possess the most power. But when it comes to laws, how do we approach this in a way that doesn’t expand the welfare system that’s been tearing our families and communities apart for decades now?
That appears to be where I’m stuck currently on this topic.
[Lightly edited 10/16/2014 for typos and greater clarity.]