I have been having a very good conversation with JollyBlog This has been a very interesting and enlightening conversation for both of us.  In a comment to TanishedSophia Jollyblog wrote this.

I feel your pain…but…
Women may not be taught to become providers but many of them become the soul provider when a spouse, who has created a family, refuses to support that family. More often than not, women are the ones left to provide financial support for their families by themselves. We may not like the reality but, the reality is there are more women left to take care of kids alone than there are men. Now, you can argue that statistic is due to the fact that women more often get custody of the kids but that doesn’t change the current reality. If men want to go there own way or refuse to be the provider they shouldn’t bring children into the world. And I know you’ll say that is out of their hands because women control reproduction but there is this little thing called a condom…Have I stirred up any thoughts? I hope I haven’t offended because I do learn a lot talking to you.

I’ve seen similarly phrased questions from feminist before.  I considered them not worth my time to respond to.  When questions like this get posted by the dogmatically intentionally ignorant, trying to respond in a reasonable was is pointless and fruitless.  JollyBlog seems very open and honest.  While I see a great deal of ignorance in this comment, it is the correctable just haven’t learned yet kind of ignorance.  Addressing this comment will take many more words and some visuals so it was not appropriate for comments section.

Women may not be taught to become providers but many of them become the soul provider when a spouse, who has created a family, refuses to support that family.

This is very true.  Women are by and large not taught to become providers.  Women are taught to be nurturers.  Many of these women do become soul provider or at least primary provider.  Where we come to disagreement is how and why that happens.  There are many issues with both the concept and the wording she uses.  So first, the husband did not create a family.  A man alone is incapable of making children.  The husband and wife as equal partners created the family together.  Then with the availability of “The Pill”, IUDs, The Morning after Pill and abortion the woman actually has MUCH greater authority and therefore accountability when it comes to creating a family.  Then 80% of divorces are filed by the wife.  It is much more likely that she forced him out rather than him just leaving.  Trying to frame single motherhood as something men do to women is just simply wrong.  While there are a few cases of Fathers intentionally abandoning their families, the vast majority of single mothers are single mothers because they made the Adult Choice to be single mothers.

More often than not, women are the ones left to provide financial support for their families by themselves. We may not like the reality but, the reality is there are more women left to take care of kids alone than there are men. Now, you can argue that statistic is due to the fact that women more often get custody of the kids but that doesn’t change the current reality.

So women are getting the burden of providing for children but we are not teaching girls how to be good providers?  How is sexism in family court not a real issue that needs to be addressed?  How is not properly preparing our young ladies to deal with the real world not an issue that needs to be addressed?  The current reality is the current reality, but the point of activism is to change things.  How we can fix this problem isn’t “blame men” but fix the sexism against men in family courts and do a better job of teaching young women how to be primary providers.

If men want to go there own way or refuse to be the provider they shouldn’t bring children into the world. And I know you’ll say that is out of their hands because women control reproduction but there is this little thing called a condom

This is where gender equality really comes into play.  Women do control reproduction.  This is a major issue.  We have established with Court Case after Court Case that the choice to have sex is not the choice to have a child.  Prior to sex both men and women can choose to not have sex.  The choice to have sex is a consensual choice between two people.  Then the consenting partners have a choice to use a condom or not.  It is perfectly reasonable for a woman to refuse sex without a condom.  This is not the man’s choice but one of mutual consent.  Women can also choose to get an IUD or take the pill.  While a unilateral decision on the part of a woman, given then higher biological cost of pregnancy on women I consider this a point of equality.  It functions as such because like all of the choices available to men, it only works as a precaution before sex.  After the consensual activity of sex Women and only Women still have many choices available to them.  They can take the morning after pill, abortion, abandon the child at a safe haven or put it up for adoption.  These are all unilateral women only choices.  If a child is born it is because the Mother chose to bring a child into this world.  If a child is born it is much less clear if the Father had any say in the choice to bring the child into this world.  Trying to frame bringing children into this world something that men do to women is painfully backwards.

I am of the firm opinion that no one should be forced into parenting or providing for a child they did not choose.  If you did not choose to be a parent, you are not a parent.  Given the dramatic lack of choices for men, it is questionable how many men have actually made the choice to be fathers and how many are just simply held hostage to the choices of a woman.  This needs to be corrected.  We need forms of Legal Paternal Surrender.  A man refusing the obligations of a child he did not choose is an avenue that best preserves the rights for most people.  If a man chooses Paternal Surrender, this does not force anything upon the woman.  It is still her body, her child, her choice.  The man has no authority at all over her body and her choices about her body.  It does provide him with the means to meaningfully control his reproductive obligations.

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