The Collegian
Friday, February 23, 2024

Why am I not offended?

Westhampton College '10

Becky Kauffman suggested last week that I check the facts. ... Well, I suggest she check a dictionary (to look up something besides patriarchy) before making arguments based on subjective terms. (I live in this "patriarchal" society, and I am not "oppressed" by it.) To be a "strong advocate of women's rights" is subjective. I am an advocate of a woman's right to be a homemaker, to have a job or her right to vote. That may or may not make me a "feminist." If I am not one, it does not mean that I don't support women's rights overall. It just means I have a different view of what they are or should be. Because Sarah Palin or I have a different view of what those rights are does not make us wrong, or misogynistic.

I agree abortions are expensive, as well as a risk to health. If a woman chooses to undergo the abortion, the risk and consequences are (unfortunately) something she has to take responsibility for. No, men don't have to endure abortions. Men can't get pregnant. Are we now blaming them for that? (Shakes finger at men) "How dare you not endure the pain of childbirth, or the risk of an abortion, you selfish jerks!"

Kauffman admits "conception" is a "mutual endeavor," but shouldn't the termination of the result of such an "endeavor" also be mutual? If you work on a project with a partner and then claim sole credit, is that fair? It is not a woman's responsibility to "control her fertility;" however, I do think it is a woman's responsibility to take precautions if she chooses to have sex. In addition, we are not asking men to "take these pills" because if, as you argue, the child is a part of a woman's body, then it is in a woman's interest to prevent her body from producing a child. (Specifically in instances of consensual sex ... and I think men should provide the condoms). But, when, at any other time, does another "part of a woman's body" have a life of its own? I should think that the fetus' ability to develop into an adult should signify its difference from a hand, foot or earlobe.

Furthermore, to argue that single mothers are the "most disadvantaged group of people in our country" is a subjective view. Are they emotionally disadvantaged? Financially? Physically? I am not suggesting that to be a single mother is easy; I do not doubt that it is a hard life. In addition, I readily admit that fathers should have to pay child support (because he also engaged willingly in an act that could result in pregnancy), and deadbeat dads are a problem. But I think there should be attention paid to the other side of the story.

So, about the fathers again ... thanks, Ms. Kauffman, for suggesting I do research. I did my research, and according to The Center for Children's Justice, "Ninety percent of divorced fathers have less than full custody of their children" and "70 percent of fathers felt they had too little time with their children."

In addition, the Department of Justice estimates "55 percent of child murders are by their own mothers, and 6 percent are by their biological fathers, making mothers 9 times more likely to murder their children."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports "children in mother-only households are four times more likely to be fatally abused than children in father-only households. Children in mother-only households are 40 percent more likely to be sexually abused than children in father-only households. Women are 78 percent of the perpetrators of fatal child abuse, 81 percent of natural parents who seriously abuse their children, 72 percent of natural parents who moderately abuse their children, and 65 percent of natural parents who are inferred to have abused their children. Natural mothers are the perpetrators of 93 percent of physical neglect, 86 percent of educational neglect, 78 percent of emotional neglect, 60 percent of physical abuse and 55 percent of emotional abuse."

In Kauffman's article, she brings up the statistics for victims of rape. As she states, the FBI estimates 61 percent of rapes go unreported. I genuinely sympathize with the victims who do not report that crime and if they cannot afford kits. I still do not think taxpayers should have to pay for it. We are paying for far too many services in my opinion. But here are some more statistics I found interesting, relating to crime and sexual assault with men as the victims. The National Center for Victims of Crime has a wonderful Web site:

About three percent of American men - a total of 2.78 million - have experienced a rape. 71 percent of these victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6 percent were 18 to 24 years old, and 12.3 percent were 25 or older (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006). Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though it is estimated they make up 10 percent of all victims (RAINN, 2006).

I am bothered by these numbers, and their lack of exposure. I think we should worry about men's equality and rights. Sarah Palin and I believe in women's rights; we just view them differently than Kauffman does. I don't appreciate being told Sarah Palin (whose views are similar to mine) doesn't believe in women's rights. Supporting "feminism" (which is a subjective term) does not mean you can set the rules for female thought. It also does not mean you can tell men what their rights are. Fun fact: If you type the word "Misandry" (the hatred of men) into Microsoft, it comes up as misspelled. However, Misogyny, (the hatred of women), is there, correctly spelled.

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