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A Tribe of Troglodytes

R. Jones

"Ms. Jones is a columnist and mother of two. Her main focus is on political commentary that 'bucks the trend of touchy-feely emotionalism' and blinkered liberal thinking."

by R. Jones
July 19th, 2002

Men are capable of being such troglodytes. If you find yourself in full agreement with that sentiment, then stop reading right here. I guarantee you are not going to like the rest of this column.

Women can be troglodytes, too. When they are, it's worse, because the current political atmosphere supports this. Quite frankly, I'm sick of the intolerance and bigotry that masquerades as "women's rights".

As an example, consider a portion of an Internet forum discussion on abortion between two women, whom I'll call "Betty" and "Veronica". Both consider themselves to be feminists, both are married, both mothers, and both work outside the home.

Veronica: How do we go about discouraging women from choosing abortion?

Unnamed Participant: The mother's human rights rule. No abortion should be discouraged. You should be ashamed of yourself to propose such old fashioned [...] "women as breeding machines" rubbish.

Veronica: Men and women breed. Shame on you for continually leaving men and their necessary role in this out of the picture.

Betty: Not quite. Men impregnate, women breed. Men have no place in abortion, none. It isn't in their body, hence no say, no place, no involvement. Tough for men, but there it is.

Veronica: A woman cannot become a "breeder" without the interaction of a male in some aspect. Since the resulting offspring is roughly one-half his genetic material, he has a certain amount of say in what becomes of it.

Betty: Nope, he only has some say as to where [his sperm] goes and when. After that point, tough noogies for him. Yes, it (a fetus, should it exist) has 1/2 his genetic material, but he gave it up when he gave it up. He is no longer involved.

You get the picture. Betty eventually went on to accuse Veronica of being "an anti-choicer, pro-male/anti-female, pro 'he has rights to what is in her body' kinda person", spewed some other insults, then ended her part of the conversation.

In May of 2000, an Australian man ended his life, depriving his children of their father. What makes this particular suicide stand out is that his inability to participate fully in his childrens' lives coupled with the enormous amount of child support he was required to pay on top of his taxes (totaling over 67% of his income) contributed to his decision to "opt out" of life.

The article that gives some details on this is found on the Australian "Men's Rights Agency" site. One of the more interesting bits of information include:

The mother of two of Mr Gilbert's [three] children had told her she had not been concerned about obtaining child support until social security had told her she would lose her welfare benefits if she did not get Mr Gilbert to pay maintenance.

This is commensurate with how social benefits programs work in the United States. A man whom we'll call "Bob", is even now serving time in prison because he owes $20,000 in back child-support payments. His ex-wife, in order to qualify for welfare support, was required to name the father of her child. They had been divorced for many years but she had not previously sued for child-support. Ethically, Bob should have offered child-support payments -- that is an argument for another day. Bob has been unemployed for most of the 18 years of their child's life and has primarily lived on the streets. Bob's ex-wife is capable of working and is living rent-free on her mother's property. The ex spends most of her income from her part-time job with the county library on alcohol, cigarettes, and, yes, drugs. The ex used food stamps and welfare payments, along with handouts from relatives and charities to provide food and clothing for her and her daughter.

Without bothering to investigate the equity of the situation, the state charged the father of the child for every penny the mother obtained from the state. The default was to lay financial responsibility solely on the father, and absolve the mother.

There are cases where that is right and meet. There are times, as with Mr. Gilbert of Canberra and Bob, where it does not. Yet with our nation's focus on righting wrongs with respect to women, we've lost sight of maintaining the rights of men.

It's time to put an end to it. It's time to recognize that equal rights mean equal rights for all. It's time to put an end to bigotry.

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"...Quite frankly, I'm sick of the intolerance and bigotry that masquerades as "women's rights"..."

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