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Of selfish men and greedy women

19/05/2013

I’m getting pretty tired of the Guardian/Observer feministas.

When they’re not telling us blokes about our own sexuality and what we really think about rape and domestic violence, dissing sex workers or promoting naked (or at least topless) Islamophobia they’re blaming men in general for the fact that Western women can’t get everything they want as soon as they want it.

Today we have Barbara Ellen telling us that men who decline to impregnate their partners are being selfish and failing to get with the Get Britain Fertile program. (Get Britain Fertile is a promotional campaign funded by a pregnancy testing company aimed at increasing the population of that crowded island without having to let foreigners in.)

According to Ellen, the notion that many women put off pregnancy until too late because they are partying, concentrating on their careers or holding out for ‘Mr Right’ (Leonardo DiCaprio apparently) is a ‘figment of the collective imagination’.

Women are not sleeping through the alarm on their biological clock at all, reveals Ellen. Some are denied motherhood due to loss of earnings, workplace inflexibility, childcare costs or lack of housing. But more than a third are not having children because they have not found the right partner, she says.

Their partners aren’t wrong because they’re not Leonardo DiCaprio. They’re wrong because they are reproductive criminals.

You see, these men are spending years with their women, but not having children with them.
And what’s more, they’re hiding their non-breeding aspirations from their partner until its too late for the woman to have babies.
Then, after sabotaging the fertility of fine British women, they’re running off to have kids with someone younger.
Crucifixion is clearly too good for such ‘fertility-drifters’, as Ellen calls them.

Is Ellen right?
Are there vast numbers of men wasting women’s time in non-reproductive relationships until their capacity for motherhood has shriveled away?
Or worse, forcing women who want children to take on older lovers who don’t look like Leonardo DiCaprio at all?

Well I don’t know.
I’ve only got my own experience to go on.

I decided in my early teens that I would never have children. My reasons were manifold, but the main one was, and remains, the conviction that there are already more than enough human beings on this planet without me contributing to the problem. I guess I’m one of those selfish men Barbara Ellen rails against.

I have always made my position clear to my partners early in the relationship and some of my girlfriends have made it equally clear to me that they want to have children.
To me that established that the relationship was temporary and most of my family minded partners seemed to see it the same way.
But there was an exception.

I met ‘C’ when I was 22 and she was 25.
A few months later, much to my surprise, she had left her husband of four years and moved in with me.
She was committed to becoming a mother but, I  believed, respected my determination to avoid becoming a father.

About 12 months into our  relationship one of her friends confided to me that she planned to stop using contraception without telling me.
A few weeks later another mutual friend told me the same thing.
I couldn’t confront her with confidential allegations, and insisting on condoms – unprecedented in our relationship – would have revealed that her friends had tipped me off.
So I had a vasectomy. I’d wanted one for years, as ‘C’ knew.

I stayed with ‘C’ for another two years and if our eventual breakup was partially due to our incompatible aspirations it was never stated openly. Her subsequent boyfriend did not want children either, but nonetheless within a year ‘C’ and he were parents. Although initially accepting of his fatherhood role, things did not turn out well for him, ‘C’ or their son. But that is not my story to tell.

Nearly twenty years later, ‘C’ got back in touch after seeing me interviewed on TV. She was alone and depressed and wanted to talk over old times and recontact former friends and acquaintances. She was surprisingly frank about our shared past, admitting that an important reason she wanted to have a baby was to increase her status among other women. But when I asked if she would ever have tricked me into getting her pregnant she declined to answer.

I don’t personally know of any men who have tricked a woman out of her opportunity for motherhood.
But I have known two women who have probably tricked men into fatherhood.

I have no idea if my experience is typical, but Barbara Ellen’s blanket allegation against a large proportion of British men does not ring true to me.

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From → gender, rant

3 Comments
  1. I think some women are very passionate about having kids once they get that baby brooding mind going myself I’ve never been keen on the idea of becoming a mother and I have no kids to this day because I have never like yourself thought it was a total necessity in a world where the population is outgrowing all that supports it. Yes…some women are that desperate to get pregnant they can try these things and I’ve known some women who have had kids for all the wrong reasons. It’s not good and I think men are as ‘at risk’ of being forced into fatherhood as women into unwanted pregnancy. It’s like the inverse of your standard notion of women getting raped. If a a woman is prepared to trick a man into a fatherhood role he has blatantly informed her he does not want. Now don’t get me wrong I’m all for women’s rights but men surely have some too and I don’t believe they should be discounted. If people in good relationships mutually want to have kids then surely they will. If you can’t afford kids or work very demanding hours and value your work lifestyle then you’ve a) either got to find a way to be able to afford to raise a child or b) rethink your entire life/style. I may sound harsh to some readers here. I have every right to be angry at sex crimes against anyone just like anyone, but I do think men just as much as women deserve their say and point of view. The trouble is often who get’s listened to the most seriously in such a scenario as you’ve described. Men do sometimes get a very raw deal in these matters, some deserve it-some don’t. You can’t blanket accuse an entire gender. Or over protect the other. It’s that old chestnut isn’t it: Equal rights?!

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  2. Bob permalink

    Most of the women of today are very Greedy And Selfish since they will only want the Best of all and will Never settle for Less which they’re very likely to Grow Old all alone with their Cats.

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    • I guess we’re all stuck in a consumerist dystopia that constantly tells us that we should reward ourselves with useless junk because ‘we deserve it’. But yeah, I think women get both barrels, with equal-opportunism feminism telling them that if they don’t demand everything they’re not only betraying themselves but also The Sisterhood.

      But I doubt too many young women today will be growing old in such an unsustainable middle class bubble. Within a few decades consumer capitalism will have not only strangled our ecosystems and societies but also itself. The reason it’s now possible to put women like Hillary at the helm is because the ship is sinking. And if you’re going to point the finger at a gender rather than emergent socioeconomic structures such as multinational corporations and elitist technocracies then most of the blame lies squarely with men.

      But maybe I’m wrong. And maybe cats are nicer than men anyway.

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