I’ve read lists of reasons why being a man is better than being a woman (i.e. wedding plans form themselves, they don’t have to worry about make up, they get paid more, etc). But if a woman sat down to write a list of reasons why being a woman is better than being a man, the number one reason on that list would be that women control reproduction. And men can have a say, but ultimately don’t make the final decision. If you decide that you absolutely do not want to have a baby in that time of your life, you better keep everything in your pants or find a girl who also doesn’t want to reproduce at that time.
Once a woman is pregnant, the decision about whether she gives birth or aborts is hers and hers alone. If she decides that she wants to have the baby, no matter how unprepared you are, or how much you don’t want to be a father, your ass is going to be forking over child support for the next 18 years. Is it fair? No, not really. But this is the reality of biology. The woman has to carry the child and give birth to it and traditionally, provide the majority of the care. So, no matter what your wishes are, it’s the woman you impregnated that has the final say in the matter.
I recently read a post on Facebook trying to defend deadbeat dads with the idea that they didn’t want the kid in the first place, so why should they have to pay for something that they didn’t want? In this day and age, everyone knows that sex can lead to pregnancy. Everyone knows that birth control is not 100% effective. Teenagers who write emo love stories are so certain of both of these facts that their characters frequently become pregnant the first time after they have sex. However, in an emo love story, both the teenage mother and father are overjoyed that they will soon be parents and they happily prepare for their ill-named spawn. In real life, this is almost never the case.
So, if you’re a guy that doesn’t want to pay child support and have a small person with half of their genetic material running around, you had better discuss what would happen if your sex partner became pregnant. If she says that she would give birth and raise the child, no matter your level of involvement, you had better not have sex with her. Because if something should happen and she does fall pregnant, you’re on the baby train to fatherhood, whether you like it or not.
While this sounds supremely unfair to a man who just wants to have sex without being saddled with the responsibility of fatherhood, the fact is that the alternative is a huge human rights violation. No man should have the ability to force a woman to have an abortion she doesn’t want, no matter if he’s not ready or willing or able to take care of a child. The baby is still in her body and she has the right to decide what happens to her body.
For anyone who thinks that a man should be able to get a girl pregnant, walk away and expect her to raise the child alone, just think about this. Men who are ordered to pay child support don’t always end up paying it. Some men get thrown in jail. Others pay just enough to keep themselves out of jail, but never enough to fully support the child. Simply put, if a man was no longer required to pay child support for a child that he fathered, there would be far more women and children living in poverty. The ones who would suffer would be the children.
So before you have sex with someone, have a very unsexy conversation. It will be awkward and weird, but it’s necessary. Because if you don’t, just remember that parenthood is forever.