Counterstrike: Using The Free Market To Hold Men’s Sperm Accountable

In response to the patriarchal treatment of our bodies as property, criminal defense attorney Ms. Karen Suzanne Wilkes has drafted sample legislation based upon licensing & property laws, demanding that men pay for “licensing, use and maintenance of our bodies & the offspring we create.”

Ms. Wilkes’ sample legislation reads:

It shall be unlawful (a felony, punishable by 10 years imprisonment) for any man to impregnate a woman without first obtaining and filing with the clerk of court a sworn affidavit signed by said woman, and signed by 2 witnesses, giving her express consent to be impregnated by that man. In addition, at the time of filing said affidavit, the man shall post a cash bond with the court in an amount equal to 20% of the man’s gross income for the next 18 years, thereby covering the cost of child support in the event a child is born as a result of the man’s act in impregnating the woman. The cash bond will also include an additional amount to cover the cost of all prenatal care & the cost of delivering the baby.

This legislation fairly shares both the burden of pregnancy and the burden of birth control and would put a swift stop to criminalizing abortion and miscarriage, as well as ceasing efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and make birth control harder to get and more expensive.

The Constitution protects property, and aren’t our bodies our property? I posited this thought to Ms. Wilkes, and she agreed, “Property is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution and cannot be taken or infringed by the State without due process of law. I think it’s fair to say that the government is infringing on a woman’s property (her body) without due process of law by forcing her to undergo (AND PAY FOR) unwanted medical procedures … not mention forcing her to carry a child & give birth against her will.”

Does it seem outrageous? Ms. Wilkes notes, “As a criminal defense lawyer and defender of freedom, liberty, the Constitution and human rights, I’m no fan of criminalizing personal activities…. However, I sure would like to counter these oppressive anti-women laws with one that puts the onus on men, just as the article suggests.”

Ms. Wilkes is referencing an article written this morning by fellow PoliticusUSA writer Hrafnkell Haraldsson. He wrote, “It is not a big step from suddenly having to treat your dog like an equal to surreal the comments of Republican State Rep. Alan Dick that women should be required to have a permission slip from the sperm’s owner before they can abort the results of its implantation. Speaking of a piece of Alaska legislation Rep. Dick (what an appropriate name) said, ‘If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it.'”

How is this proposed legislation any more outrageous than punishing a woman for not wanting to get pregnant, getting pregnant via rape or incest, or for getting pregnant when she wasn’t ready to have a baby? It’s not. The only reason it may appear outrageous is because it inserts the government over a man’s sperm; it regulates the sperm just as they are regulating the uterus.

They are also inserting the government up our vaginal canals – literally, with state mandated transvaginal ultrasounds. They have hence already lost any government intrusion argument they might make in defense of their right over their own sperm and actions of their penis.

And I particularly like the bit about the 20% of wages for child support, because it demonstrates how smart people can use the war on women to turn the argument around and address an issue that has long needed addressing.

What can you do? Well, for starters, you can submit this suggested legislation to your state representatives. And remember, the Right is waging its war on women on the state level even more than the federal level, after discovering that it’s much harder to get their way on the federal level. You can use this knowledge to fight back on a state level.

You can send this to your state representatives and write letters to the editor in favor of it.

This is how you reframe the debate around the Constitutionality of using government to infringe upon our bodies/property. And hey, if they go for it, millions of children will finally be financially provided for by the owner of the sperm that created them and men will be forced to take responsibility for birth control.

Never just fight back against a bad argument; always reframe it by asking for something more — something that puts the burden on the other party to defend the legal premise of their own argument with something at stake for them.

It’s really the free market at work if you think about it. If we are property to be regulated and used because we can make a baby, then so is sperm. Make them pay equally for their belief and see how well that goes over.

Image: copyright 2012 @AzureGhost

9 Replies to “Counterstrike: Using The Free Market To Hold Men’s Sperm Accountable”

  1. Actually, in the Nineteenth Century, a man who begot a child out of wedlock could be charged with, convicted, and jailed for the crime of “bastardy”, and the records from New York City show a good many such cases. Proof in those days was a lot more difficult; today, with DNA analysis, it’s a snap. So there is precedence.

  2. Can’t stress it enough, less government, yeah right!
    This is the ultimate government invasion of our own bodies. Don’t let these guys keep their jobs any longer!

  3. They are using women’s tax dollars to persecute them.
    Though I’m not sure they believe women actually pay taxes.
    In any case, we should remind them loudly and repeatedly that women are tax payers, too.
    They are the hired help. Not us.

  4. Women were not put on this earth to just bare his child. The take all the burdens put on her by this man, to be blamed for everything even abuses against her and child. Then left holding all the responsibility and accountability only to be blamed by those that do nothing. It was not God’s plan for a man to rape a women, to be forced into an unwanted pregnancy, then to have that child to raise without a father or a father that leaves his family and does not provide for the wife, women or child. It was his plan that they be bound by that child. He also did not plan for the women to carry all the burdens of home, career, motherhood, care takers for losers. He expected the man to take responsibility and treat his women with respect… She is the mother as God respected his mother…. Women do not take any of this narcissist controlling lightly… We believe God judges us not man. And, we are strong enough to make decisions for our lives and for what is best when faced with our choices.. No man has that right. He gets legally bound. He cannot not hide income or work under the table. We must commit him in the beginning and his parents when he is of age to make a baby. We have an extremist party in this country that would enforce regulations on human rights and deny help for unfortunate families but refuse regulations on their ability to profit even if those regulations protected our society and health. Just vote go away to these people.. That blame and infuse hatred. They have the most to lose and the most to gain. They are investing in a take over of our country and giving us a taste of what is to come. Like we are not already feeling the pain from their deregulation from our financial systems, real estate to Wall Street… People in their sixties out of work and they don’t believe they have responsibility. Yes, they gave tax cuts, subsidies that should have created jobs and did not. They gave trillions of our money to waste for the wealthy tax evaders.. Then they cut our programs, disrespect our working people, our hard fought rights and for themselves. What greed we have in this country. And, what stupidity we have that has access to the Internet to find facts and history but believes a Rush Limbaugh type or Hannity, Beck or Palin… Does not see through enterprising people at our expense. Put laws on these boys and men as our daughters have carried this for to long. We will not go back into darkness we go forward into the light at the end of this tragic turn in our society over 30 years.

  5. it is so funny that this has been done because this is what my friends & I continually talk about. Make the men agree ahead of time to the number of children & his intent to support them. Should any additional children be born, the man should be able to be charged w/sexual assault. Any children over the agreed upon limit is obviously the man’s fault as he is in charge of everything.

  6. I LOVE this new-old idea. “Bastardy,” indeed! We men have been getting away with all kinds of irresponsibilities for far too long, and it’s time to “man up” and stop undervaluing the consequences of depositing our sperm willy-nilly. I have shared it on Twitter and on FB….

    Serious about a woman you know? Never mind the roses and the expensive dinner: demonstrate your commitment to her by posting a bond and signing a child-support agreement IN ADVANCE of going to bed for the first time? If she really DOES like you this legislation offers a great way to PROVE IT. (Are YOU “man enough” to show your love?)

    One question comes to mind, though: would this legislation be considered “unequal” if gays and lesbians did (or did not) have to post a similar bond before bedding down with each other?

  7. Umm, this is basically already the law. Currently the choice of whether or not to have an abortion lies solely with the women. The father has absolutely no say whatsoever in this decision. Therefore, if a woman decides to keep the baby against the wishes of the father, he is still required to pay child support. Where was the father’s choice in this decision?
    If this is really about equal rights and choice, the father should have the right to opt out of paying child support if the women chooses to keep the baby over his objections.

    If you think it is outrageous that “Republican State Rep. Alan Dick that women should be required to have a permission slip from the sperm’s owner before they can abort the results of its implantation”, then you should find it equally outrageous that men should be required to pay child support for a baby they would have chosen to abort.

    In reality, both the mother and father made their decision when they decided to have sex. This is why men should be required to pay child support and abortion should be illegal. Also, even though based on the current legality of abortion, men should have the choice whether to pay child support or not, Republicans would not advocate this because it would only increase the number of abortions. You see, conservatives have principles, liberals do not.

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