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When will male reproductive rights be respected?


Here's one males experience. Maybe it's true, perhaps only anecdotal you might say,...
...but there is a powerful point being made. 

Why is it still socially acceptable to put anyone in such a position?
      identifiers removed by request:
 
"I wouldn't worry too much about causing offense - it's not your fault. I've been having similar conversations for a while. I must say though, that this time, it was one of the most polite conversations ever!
You would be surprised how quickly it can escalate to serious verbal abuse, sometimes aggression (if I don't appear apologetic enough). 
I notice that you have recognised the linguistic problem associated with it, because we don't have a grammar for it (hence the inverted commas you used), which tells us a lot about society's tendency and opinion, don't you think?

Ironically, it's something I've been talking about for along time, when I used to talk with fathers groups and men (divorced, single, etc) and think upon the subject in a detached way.

After a long time arguing with people (in the abstract sense) about the issue, I finally decided in the mid 00s that I must be mistaken - fathers were telling me I had no right to talk, couldn't understand, because I didn't have children (in the sense of relationship or otherwise), other men were telling me I was a misogynist, and women were telling me that no woman would ever decide, against someones wishes, to get pregnant (ie. the men were lying).
So, finally, when I began to think that, perhaps, I was wrong, you can imagine how stupid I felt when I took a woman's word about her intentions. I even drove her to a chemists for the morning after pill, even though "it was impossible for her to get pregnant anyway" and that ended up with a mild disagreement, which I decided to keep friendly because she knew my friends/business circle and intimated that they "would find out what kind of guy I am" (whatever that means). I remember feeling embarrassed and slightly awkward at the perceived insult. Was I implying that she was the type of woman who would .....(which, of course, didn't exist)?
This, while ignoring any issues about my physical integrity and consent regarding the event itself - I can disregard that. 

To be honest, though, it's not the first time I was interfered with while incapacitated, but on the previous occasion I firmly refused the unprotected option, despite the tears, and somehow I got home (drunk auto-pilot, I suppose) - only to get it in-the-ear for months  afterwards about what a ******* I am (from pretty much everyone) - for causing upset, and for refusing to apologise.
Have I said this before, or maybe I just thought it ? I know what you're thinking, I wouldn't believe a word of what I'm saying either.

Anyway, at the heel of the hunt, according to two specialists I spoke to (regarding dates and things), it's likely she was already pregnant, or was on fertility treatment - but then again, strange things do happen too. 
A lengthy, expensive legal procedure could have forced a paternity test, but nothing would change - I could declare myself a criminal for non-payment or, I could pay-up and seek compensation, through a direct civil-court procedure with the actual biological parent (if positively identified and pursued through another court procedure to force another paternity test). 

But, to what end? There is no chance of custody. The best that could be achieved was less than acceptable.

To be honest with you, I still don't sleep well, and when I think back to those men who told me I couldn't understand, I feel very humble and contrite. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to, not just be disabused in such a way and kept away from biological family, but to have a relationship severed as well.
But, this doesn't get away from the central issue (I think). Why refuse to go along with it?
Well, since about 2008/9, I couldn't afford it anyway, but even if I could, I would not.
The way I see it, I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't. By "do", I'm sacrificing the child's best interest, by "don't" I'm socially and professionally ostracised
Whenever this happens, I usually prefer to be damned if I don't (in line with Marcus Aurelius or Tomas Aquinas or someone). But what do I mean by child's best interests?
That's where I separate from most people. 
There is a phenomenon, offensively referred to as "plastic dads". These are men who go along with the imposed system, by paying the required amount and visiting once a week/month/whatever. They are external to the child and have very little influence on any important decisions (any insistence on influence may result in visitation/access being revoked, so it's not really a choice) about upbringing or finances are off the table (including how their payments are spent, except maybe in cases of embezzlement or fraud). 
 
In return, they are complimented for "doing the right thing", get pats on the back and cinema/television/media reinforces this to include a storyline where the "relationship" has "meaning". 

I don't see this as a relationship at all. It is simply acting as a two-dimensional puppet, and presenting a shadow of fatherhood which the child will accept, absorb and internalise. To put it another way - it's better to say nothing than to tell a lie. 
On the other hand, all of the struggles, compromises and difficulties associated with a life-partner/spouse are things which the child witnesses and learns from, and at any point there will be potentially two opinions/voices/perspectives/authorities from which the child will be able to seek help/advice/counseling; the counseling/influence of a parent is not the same as the counseling of an external, particularly in a young child.
Seeing the world effectively through only one parent is a bit like only having one eye (it's difficult to judge distance and perspective, and there's a huge, potentially dangerous blind-spot). Obviously, the world isn't perfect, and everyone struggles as best they can, often with less-than-perfect results. But, I feel that, at least, one should aim for the best result. 
   Of course, it's common for a friend/uncle/other to assume that role as "parent", where circumstances dictate, but, between these adults, it's not real discussion, it's not real agreement, there is no real decision. 

   It's only make-believe, which both the child and guardian parent know and I would imagine the responsibility is quite a burden for the parent, too.
These guys, the "plastic dads", get really, really defensive about what I'm saying, and I think it's because deep-down, they know it's true, but can't face the pain of separation, and the social ostracism and the verbal abuse and the criminal proceedings which would invariably follow.
Perhaps one or two, but not all together and honestly, I don't blame them. 
Maybe, someday, it will be something which can be talked about in an open, objective and detached manner, but not yet, not yet.

Apart from the above, in my case, her stated intention was that there is to be no male influence on the child's life (she IS the family), and that, with unconditional payments, there would be only pre-scheduled (by her) supervised visits (never alone), and when talking begins, anything concerning religion, education, philosophy, morality, ethics, politics could not be discussed. 

What gets me is that this was not an accident of nature, this child is willfully and consciously deprived of a father, with foreknowledge and forethought and a complete lack of concern for the impact that will have.
 
This is something I strongly disagree with, and anything I can do to force her to accept a two parent influence on the child, I will do (and if the only tool I have is financial inconvenience, then so be it - although she is upper middle class, so money is secondary, more symbolic than essential). It may not have the desired effect, I know, but at least I am not supporting her behaviour.

If, at any point in the future, a young person turns up on the email or something, it is highly likely that we will not like each-other, very likely that we will have very, very different outlooks on life, likely that his only interest in me will be curios or financial (because that is what he has been taught), and probable that it will never happen.

Of these, the best option is probably that it doesn't happen, which means that they're ok, that they don't have a hole in their life and that they're financially secure. 
How likely is that? ... 50/50 I would say (if they have my temperament, and willfulness).
How can I ask anyone (well,that's a lie, I have and the answer is no) to seriously consider taking on the social strain of "this" popping up at the dinner table, again and again, of her associating with a man who refuses to "do the right thing". 
How can I ask anyone (again, I have) to take a 50/50 chance that all of our savings (about £60,000+interest) will be taken and a criminal sentence imposed, just when the family needs it the most. Even upon death, an inheritance would not be secure, and the family might inherit that debt.
Alternatively, I could look to the future while paying off the past (but why should I pay and be punished when I have done nothing wrong?) and arrange to work harder to pay it off over time.

A financial strain, yes, but possible, however, that would mean I would never be at home, and kind-of defeats the purpose of having a family (for me, at least).
Such a disadvantage would need something extraordinary to balance it out. But, I'm not very wealthy, and I'm not george clooney, just an ordinary guy, and even if all things were equal, I'm too old to start a family now, in my opinion. As I said before, what gets me is the idea that this was done, it didn't just happen. 

  And d'you know what? I think I'd be an ok dad. Not brilliant, but definitely ok, ...not bad anyway.

Even if I wasn't too old, I'm not sure I would have a family, having seen the effects of divorce, and this behaviour (which I would have never believed until I saw it myself).
So, earning money, to live comfortably just so that distractions/entertainments can be purchased which justifies the work which is required to earn the money ... seems kind-of pointless, don't you think?
It's a major contributing factor to why I stepped out of society and live alone. 
 
Whenever I pop my head out and "return to civilisation" for any social occasion, the topic always comes up, without fail, and I have to respond to another persons judgement. Friends do ask sometimes, with the best intentions, hoping that perhaps some miracle has happened and it always embarrasses me to disappoint them.

Oops, that's a bum way to finish!
Funny - this stuff is not something I talk about, but when I get started, it just seems to vomit up. 

Please, don't feel like you did anything wrong - that makes me feel terrible.
I'm sincerely sorry if I made you feel awkward in the bar, but I understand - on the one hand, it is difficult to publicly condone or support my decision, and on the other hand, you don't want to condemn me either (thanks).
I know people who have a child, and it is said that I have a child (because someone says so), but they are not the same thing. Similarly, there is a child I know who has a dad, and there is a child I don't know, who also has a dad, but they are not the same thing.
Perhaps when new language and new words come into use, it won't be so difficult.

This is the longest I have ever spoken about this ... better stop.

Good luck with what you're trying to do.


 

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