Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sa(va)ge Advice

So I was reading this week's installment of Savage Love. This crazy letter made the cut:

I'm a 24-year-old female and I've been with my boyfriend for five years. We're transitioning to a long-distance relationship in January when he moves a hojillion miles away to go to law school. He's 28, an angel, and I want to have a baby. He doesn't want to have a baby, and he's made it clear that if I give him an ultimatum, he'll dump my ass. I'm longing to spawn, so I've decided to get pregnant and not tell him. He has nothing to do with birth control, never has, so my plan will succeed. I'm going to do this: That's not in question.

The question is, do I tell him? I'm not going to dun him for child support, but I'd let him be as involved as he wants to be—pictures, visits, moving in together. I'm never going to tell him that I got knocked up on purpose. I could also pretend that the brat is someone else's, but that would require some fudging of dates. So what, if anything, do I tell him, and when?

E.

In his response, in which Dan Savage rightfully calls the writer 'batshit crazy', he also extends this wisdom:

Not only is what you're planning to do unfair to your boyfriend—who, just like a woman, has a right to decide when, whether, and with whom he would like to reproduce (and who, like most men, needs to be more proactive about birth control to protect his right to make that decision)—it's hugely unfair to any "brat" unlucky enough to drop from your twat.


I think he's right; it is unfair to her boyfriend and her potential child, not to mention a disgusting revelation of an individual's level of manipulation. I'm not even sure why the writer is so concerned about telling her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend about the pregnancy considering the ways in which she's going about getting pregnant. For fuck's sake, you wanna baby, go to a sperm bank, where the donors are okay with the whole she-bang (pun sort of intended).

What I'd like to tack on to his response though, is that if in general men really want to be given the same so-called considerations as women, then we better give women that consideration in the first place. That means, for one thing, that Savage's bracket about the boyfriend taking a more proactive role in birth control options should be far more prominently featured in his response. That's right boys, it actually DOES take two to tangle, or as I prefer to do, FUCK. And consequently, reproduce. Or to prevent that reproduction. It's really not that hard to upkeep. I use the nuvoring on my end, and the boy whips out the condoms on his. I also keep a stash, and he helps out with my BC payments, as they ring up quite a bit more than the plastic stuff.

Oh.

And it also means this whole global bullshit about banning abortion has got to go. If we're gonna sit here and talk about being considerate about a man's right to have to be a father, we better forget about taking away women's access to their own bodies when it comes to unwanted pregnancies. Some of those bills in the rumble that I've read about in the some parts of the U.S where they are trying to make women get permission notes from the fathers for abortions? That's total bullshit, by the way. Not cool. Not cool, indeed.

I'm also gonna give a shout-out to all you dead-beat dads out there, too, to step up the plate already. The whole leaving-the-mother-to-do-it-by-herself-thing, that's hardly what I call "equal consideration." And while you're here, you may as well act like an adult already and equally participate at home. Do the wash and the dishes, you shouldn't need a medal or some applause for it. Also, there is no such thing as babysitting your own children. They are your own children. And babysitters get paid for their care. Usually a lot more than that 100 bucks a month that the Harper government is peddling out to families.

I wanna to offer equal consideration, I really do, but I think I need to see it actually happen first. I'm glad Dan Savage shit on this woman for going about her pregnancy in this way, when she has other possible options, like spermbanks or another father's consent, or fuck, since she's only 24 years old, time, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to point out that in reality, this so-called consideration isn't really happening for women yet either.

I know my above criticisms are not true of all men, least of all someone like Dan Savage and certainly my own dad, but I don't think that right now the opposite is true enough of significant numbers of men.

Of course, this whole letter could have just been a fake...