By PETER LLOYD | 24 May 2013
Yesterday, journalist Melissa Kite became the latest woman to publicly trash men in a sexist, undeserving rant – this time, by saying those exercising a human right not to become fathers were ‘selfish’.
Just days after champagne socialist Diane Abbott claimed that modern masculinity is Viagra-chomping, whiskey-swigging homophobia – even for the millions of men who are gay, Kite jumped on the bandwagon with her own sweeping statements.
In a finger-pointing, foot-stamping article for MailOnline she said men ‘do not always play fair in matters of fertility’, adding that they ‘increasingly behave with terrible selfishness when it comes to giving up their bachelor lifestyles’.
She then added that men who date women without immediately signing up for parenthood are committing some sort of ‘fraud’.
The outrageous comments follow the launch of the Get Britain Fertile campaign, which actively discourages women from delaying pregnancy for health reasons.
But, instead of making a balanced, rational point, Kite’s comments simply revealed a sad, out-dated philosophy in contemporary gender relations. Namely, that a woman’s desire to have a child is greater than a man’s desire not to.
In her article, she makes several references to former boyfriends who made the responsible decision not to become fathers half-heartedly – then scolds them for being ‘cowardly’. Here’s a woman who assumes that a man’s sperm – his lineage, his DNA, his family – is somehow hers for the taking.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, I sympathise that her many life choices never produced children, it’s not men who are to blame. For years feminism has declared that women don’t need us – that we are redundant. OK, fine. But guess what – we don’t need women either. And it’s trending.
In Asia there’s a new tendency for men to go their own way – with thousands shunning marriage and kids for a life of independence and control, which no family court can destroy. The same thing is happening across America and Canada.
In fact, author Helen Smith PHD recently published a book entitled Men on Strike, where she notes that: ‘America has become anti-male. Men are sensing the backlash and are consciously and unconsciously going on strike. They are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates.’
Now, it’s happening here in Britain.
This isn’t because men are ‘selfish’ or commitment-phobic pigs (as women frequently like to suggest). Rather, it’s because they’re tired of being ousted from families, of being shafted by sexist divorce rulings and being denied the most basic paternal rights.
These guys know that any child they have with a woman would be her baby, not their baby. In 2013, a so-called era of equality, three million UK fathers are still denied access to their children – simply because their bitter ex partners can manipulate the law.
So where’s the incentive? Quite frankly, men’s reticence to enter fatherhood is justified. And long may it continue.
But Kite, and many women like her, still can’t see these broader issues. Hilariously, she says: ‘to suggest that somehow the age at which women conceive is within their control is naive and misleading.’
Are we living on the same planet? By and large women have complete and utter control in the reproduction process – unlike men, who have none. Women have the full spectrum of contraceptive control, while men only have the condom – which isn’t always practical – and a vasectomy.
Women have the option to terminate or adopt a pregnancy, relinquishing responsibilities for whatever reason (and so they should), but men can’t (yet they should).
And if women don’t manage to find an ideal ‘babydaddy’ they can use a sperm donor and go it alone. Anytime. So I find it pretty offensive that she’s blaming men for a path she consciously chose.
Quite frankly, she’s a big girl who made her own decisions.
Besides, men are not – and never should be – on stand-by for when a broody woman calls. Becoming a parent is a meeting of minds. It is a mutual, life-changing decision. The maxim ‘my body, my choice’ applies to both genders, no matter how much it may inconvenience certain women.
But that’s equality – it cuts right down the middle. It is inflexible.
It’s also a basic human right to make your own decisions on parenthood. If we switched the genders in Kite’s story and had a man saying ‘Women are selfish because they won’t give me the child I deserve’ there’d be uproar. But, once again, we have stiletto sexism telling us that female-on-male chauvinism is acceptable.
Yet, while her sense of entitlement astounds me, I do respect Kite for not trapping men – something she comes perilously close to recommending.
‘Recently, a girlfriend in her 20s told me she was feeling broody but felt it was too early to ask her new husband to have kids,’ she writes. ‘I wanted to yell: ‘Then don’t ask him!’… I felt a shameful urge to tell her to secretly stop taking the Pill.’
‘By and large women have complete and utter control in the reproduction process – unlike men, who have none.’
But this is raping a man’s choice and must never be accepted. In fact, it should be enforced by law. Particularly as it happens all the time – which is precisely why the culture of having children needs to be less about women and more about both parents. While Harriet Harman is worrying about old women on TV, families in fathers are the much bigger priority.
A women who secretly stops taking the Pill is raping a man’s choice and this must never be accepted. In fact, it should be enforced by law.
Fortunately, Kite retains control of her maternal destiny. She could still adopt, foster or conceive and be a wonderful mother. But I’d still worry if she ever had a son.
Not because I doubt her potential for raising another human being, but – if she’s happy to trash men for making their own decisions – what else would she encourage her son to compromise?
As a man, I’m sick and tired of such things. Fortunately, I’m not the only one. Only last week I bumped into actor Jude Law and we chatted about Diane Abbott’s recent criticisms of male identity.
Right there, being the wonderful father he is, he summed up the reality in an instant by saying: ‘Peter, men are no more in crisis than women.’
Judging by the opinions of women like Melissa Kite, he’s spot-on.
“What prevents dads from being involved,” by Warren Farrell