Earlier this week, I was asked on a radio program what I as a pro-life activist had to say about Father’s Day. My answer was simple: Where are all the fathers?
In today’s hookup culture, the dynamics of so-called “choice” (and, for that matter, so-called “family”) are becoming increasingly messy and complex. Women and men alike—and more often, teenagers—have separated sex and pregnancy to the extent that they seem to have forgotten how it is, exactly, that humans reproduce. As the result of this, the logical extension of the twisted “pro-choice” ideology is starting to gain recognition: As political philosopher Elizabeth Brake put it in the New York Timesearlier this week, “if women’s partial responsibility for pregnancy does not obligate them to support a fetus, then men’s partial responsibility for pregnancy does not obligate them to support a resulting child.” For the boy-men who like to use their equipment without reading the manual, it turns out that three is often a crowd.
The Times article, pathetically titled, “Is Forced Fatherhood Fair?” details how fatherhood is being sprung on unsuspecting men who apparently failed Grade 8 science. The article asks what a man’s choices are “If a man accidentally conceives a child with a woman.” Accidentally? Did he trip and fall or something? Sorry, bro—the popular lingo might call it “recreational sex,” but unfortunately you’ve got reproductive organs, not “recreational organs.” Less rap music, more basic biology: If you’ve engaged in the act that reproduces humans, you don’t have the right to be surprised if you end up creating a human being.
Abortion, of course, is the generally proposed solution to the inconvenient presence of a developing human being that showed up to spoil all the fun. Since Frat Boy Tom really didn’t want to have a baby with Sally From The Bar, Tom can gently—or, more often, loudly—suggest that Sally go to a clinic and have their brand new, blissfully unaware offspring shredded by a suction aspirator and tossed in the trash. Problem solved—Tommy’s conquest now has an actual body count, but at least he dodged having to explain to his now-deceased child how he met Mommy or mitigating his travel plans with child support payments. But—horrors—what if Sally doesn’t want to allow the local fetus exterminator to force his way into her uterus and forcibly evict the baby that could well have her laugh and Tom’s eyes? What is poor Tom (who hasn’t even found himself yet!) to do?
Beyond the obvious—perhaps Tommy should have “found himself” before he found himself in bed with Sally—legal scholars and academics have now come to the rescue of hapless men like him. “Feminists have long held,” says the Times, “that women should not be penalized [read: have a baby] for being sexually active by taking away their options [read: killing said baby] when an accidental pregnancy occurs. Do our policies now aim to punish and shame men for their sexual promiscuity?” Surely, there is nothing shameful about wanting to sleep around and killing off any “accidental” children that should arise from such an encounter. “Many of my male students…” continues Times writer Laurie Shrage sagely, “who come from low-income immigrant communities, believe that our punitive paternity policies are aimed at controlling their sexual behavior.”
“Punitive paternity policies,” of course, being the government recognizing that little boys and little girls bear the DNA of their fathers and that this corresponds directly to paternal responsibility. The poor male students who have so much sex they can’t afford all the babies are angry because they cannot be careless, and cannot sleep with women whom they do not like enough to have children with. After all, how can they be expected to conform to the novel idea that our actions and behavior have consequences, and that we should act accordingly?
Has our society reached such heights of petulant narcissism that we can actually get angry at how human reproduction works, because it interferes with our right to be mind-bogglingly irresponsible? Are we so intentionally stupid that biological realities are now being perceived as legal constructs simply because that way, we can continue to chuckle that “boys will be boys” and that if those boys are lucky, “girls will have abortions”?
This is the ongoing legacy of “choice”—we champion a bright, bold future where women can abandon their offspring in abortion clinic dumpsters and, some opine solemnly, men should be able to abandon their children anywhere.
Happy Father’s Day, North America.