Since the 1960’s, discussions around gender equality have predominantly centred from the perspectives of feminism. This trend is rightfully so, as both historically and in the modern era, across a broad range of areas, women tend to be more discriminated against than their male counterparts. I do not have any problem or issue with feminism, and I recognize its rightful place in the 21st century.
Nonetheless, as a male, I believe to have a duty in offering contasting and differing perspectives, on the issue of gender equality. It may be hard for people to fathom, and at times take seriously, but men are discriminated against in the contemporary era, with little societal concern for the injustice occurring.
In my opinion, men are significantly discriminated against, in the following situation.
Irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the event, a man and a woman have sexual intercourse, leading to the woman falling pregnant. For the sake of argument, the pregnancy in this situation is accidental. In such a situation, both the man and the woman is at fault, for the unplanned pregnancy. This mistake, and lack of proper judgement, is unquestionable.
However, following the woman falling pregnant, she has the opportunity, to decide to abort the baby, (generally only in the first trimester, but this depends on the country and subsequent laws). But a man, despite being equally culpable in creating the pregnancy, has no say, or opinion in a potential abortion, or any say on whether or not to keep the life of this child. In this circumstance, I understand the woman exclusively holds the right to abortion, as pregnancy is a process that takes place within the female body.
Nevertheless, it is my firm and unwavering belief, that similar to the way in which a woman can abort a pregnancy, and decide that they want no role in raising a child, a man should have the capacity to make a similar decision.
A father of an unborn child, at the 2 month mark of a pregnancy, should legally be able to opt out of involvement in raising a child’s life. Through some passage of legislation, I believe that immediately after 2 months of a woman’s pregnancy, a man should be able to convey his disinterest in being involved in his child’s life, as a right comparable to abortion for women. If a man was to sign legal papers, that he desires no involvement or part in this child, he should have the power to opt out, and bear no legal obligation to the upbringing and financial responsibility. If such a process were to occur after 2 months of a woman’s pregnancy, this would give the woman a month, adequate time to decide whether or not she desires to raise a child without support from a partner, and so there would be no major surprises when the baby was to be born. In any case, a woman would be reimbursed the necessary financial assistance by the state, to aid the upbringing of the child.
In my proposal, it is not my goal to encourage abortion and/or a generation of cowardly men to abandon their responsibilities. I do believe that in virtually all circumstance, preserving the life of a child should be a more desired option than abortion.
On the other hand, the modern era sees untold numbers of abortions, with women granted enormous power in deciding whether or not to preserve the life of a child they are responsible for creating. Put simply, abortion in current times is an inevitability.
Thus, if the environment in which we find ourselves, is very pro-choice, I believe that men should also have a choice; to decide whether or not they wish to be involved with their child, as women have through abortion.
This is a fundamental inequality, that should be addressed if gender equality is to to be truly achieved. It takes both a man and a woman to create a baby, so why should the balance of power over children be entirely with women?