Men: Don’t Want to Pay For Your Kids?
In the abortion debate, I often hear men who are upset that women can choose when to become a mother but men can’t always choose when to become a father, and in a sense, that’s true — men cannot choose abortion, at least not legally. If he gets a woman pregnant, she is the only one who can choose whether or not she keeps the pregnancy.
If it were true that only a few men walk away from their children, and if we treated women equally in this society, I honestly wouldn’t even care if a few men here and there didn’t contribute financially to children they lent their DNA to make. For real.
But that’s not the case. In reality — in the US at least — men skip out on their financial support of their kids all the time. It’s rampant, to the tune of billions of dollars, and that becomes a drain on society. Single mothers tend to be far poorer than anyone else, and when Dad doesn’t help financially, those single moms are forced to turn to the government for assistance to feed and house their kids.
That means every “mistake” men make in getting someone pregnant who doesn’t want to be, the rest of us have to pay for. Literally. This is bullshit.
If men in the US want to be able to skip out on fatherhood 100%, well then, men need to vote for universal healthcare, paid maternity leave, better wages for women and more social safety nets, not fewer. You don’t get to screw and go without paying up somehow.
That’s the deal, fellas. Quid pro quo. You do something for us, we’ll do something for you.
But this idea that men should be able to impregnate multiple women and bear no responsibility whatsoever for their actions is just pure misogynistic nonsense. Either men pay up individually or we all do it collectively. I don’t care which, but the fact is many men don’t pay enough, or even anything at all.
Even if you’re paying what you think is “too much” for child support, you’re still not paying even a fraction of what the woman will pay in lost wages, lost sleep, lost free time, lost job opportunities, and lasting physical damage to her body. Paying for the kids you help create is literally the least you can do.
If that still seems like too much, well then, take responsibility for your own fertility. Get snipped. Wear a condom. Abstain.
Those are your choices.
Amber Fraley is the author of the hilarious college coming-of-age tale The Bug Diary, as well as the author of the viral essay Gen X Will Not Go Quietly. Become a Medium member for only $5/month to access TONS of great writing and information!