May 27, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
I think we’re seeing the leading edge of an epidemic in the United Kingdom. Its symptoms have so far appeared only in feminist women. They include high fever, childlessness, a pronounced tendency to blame men for the absence of children and a propensity for just making stuff up. The only known treatment requires the victim to write lengthy screeds damning men for her problems. Therefore, if any feminist in your life is exhibiting these symptoms, please direct her to The Guardian, The Daily Mail or any other major daily paper.
It was just a few days ago that I posted a piece on an article in The Guardian by Barbara Ellen. Now we’re treated to this by Melissa Kite who seems to be in the advanced stages of the disease (Daily Mail, 5/22/13). Plainly, she needs help.
Kite is now 41. She doesn’t have a child, a situation she tells us is OK with her. But she once wanted one and the fact that she’s without just isn’t her fault. It’s the fault of not one but two men with whom she had relationships in her late 20s to her late 30s. She was scheduled to marry the first one, but broke it off at the last minute in order to be with the second one.
I called off a wedding in my early 30s amid serious doubts about the direction in which my fiancé and I were heading - doubts made worse when he kept saying 'maybe next year' to the prospect of a baby.
So she took up with the other man, a broker, and they apparently had sex without using any sort of contraception, taking the “if it happens, it happens” approach. No go. Kite didn’t conceive, so the pair went to an assisted reproduction clinic. The man at first agreed to go through with the regimen, but backed out at the last minute. Kite was 38 and her window of opportunity was fast closing.
Well, doubtless the man’s ultimate refusal to follow through with the assisted reproduction try was traumatic for her, but her assumption that, if he had, the process would have been successful, is ill-considered. The fact is, she hadn’t conceived despite the absence of contraception, so there’s a pretty good chance that either her eggs or his sperm were unequal to the reproductive task. Typically, Kite never considers the possibility. She’s too busy calling the broker a coward and a fraud to examine her own behavior and assumptions.
So I guess I’ll have to. Here’s one key quotation:
There are still some stubborn taboos about conception, and one of them involves the myth that deciding to have children is something women and men do together in an open and honest manner.
For some lucky couples it may be like that. But that is not my experience, nor the experience of many of my girlfriends.
It’s a pretty remarkable claim that men and women talking honestly about having or not having a child is a “myth.” In the finest feminist tradition, Kite cites no science for her proposition, when in fact there’s a fair amount that suggests that men and women do discuss and decide these things. Many don’t of course, but many do.
Then there’s Kite’s casual assumption that she and “many of my girlfriends” constitute the entire world of women or, failing that, represent it. In fact, they don’t. As but one example, a study out of Germany finds that a whopping 41% of women in Kite’s demographic of university-educated women “remain childless with a high proportion doing so intentionally.”
Kite of course doesn’t do science, preferring to project her own feelings onto the world.
Behind the smile of every stoical so-called 'freemale' who says she doesn't mind being childless is probably a woman like me, with a story about a difficult man.
Nope, it’s just not true, but Kite is content to pretend to herself and us that whatever’s true of her is true of women generally. What nonsense.
But of course it gets worse — much worse. Kite is so intent on avoiding responsibility for her own childlessness that she never once acknowledges what is surely apparent to her readers — that she behaved passively and therefore ambivalently on the subject of children.
Go back to her claim that men and women don’t discuss “in an open and honest manner” whether to have children. Well Ms. Kite, speak for yourself, because that’s exactly what you didn’t do. Never once did you sit down with any of your boyfriends and say some version of “I really want a child, and I’d love for you to be the father. So I’d like you to tell me if you want to do that or not. If you do, let’s get started. If you don’t, I’ll understand and I hope you’ll understand that I’ll have to move on with my life. If you want some time to make up your mind, that’s OK, but it can’t be indefinite. I’ll give you six months.”
See? That’s all it takes to discuss the matter openly and honestly. It’s simple and straightforward, but Kite never did it. The failure to discuss the matter in adult terms and to put a time limit on the decision clearly reveals ambivalence on her part. If she were sure, she’d have done so as countless women do every day. Instead, she describes this scene.
A few weeks in, he had whisked me away to his godfather's country estate for a weekend with relatives who had brought their young families. As the children played on the lawn, he put his arms around me and said: 'Wonderful, aren't they?' 'Yes,' I said, feeling pangs. 'Although you wonder how people with so many children manage.' 'Oh, you'll manage,' he said.
To Kite, that constituted not only a promise to have children with her, but one that was forever binding. From then on, according to her, he couldn’t change his mind. Her ambivalence is plain for all to see, but he’s not entitled to any. Did she ask him what he meant by his statement? No. It’s clearly open to interpretation, but for Kite, it can only mean what she wants it to mean.
Having refused to behave like an adult, it comes as no surprise that Kite also refuses to examine herself, but we can. According to her description of her two relationships, they both went the same way. At first, the guy looked like a good prospect both as a mate and a father, but as time went on, he became less and less enthusiastic about performing the latter role. I wonder why. Kite never scrutinizes herself, but don’t we have to ask whether the two men found that prolonged exposure to Kite, er, chilled their ardor?
After all, here’s a woman who’s all too ready to blame all her own shortcomings and failures on her partners. She’s a woman who’s perfectly willing to call those men cowards and frauds. She wanted a child, but never once had a “put up or shut up” discussion with them. In short, she comes across as not very nice, not at all responsible, passive-aggressive and immature. What’s not to like?
With such a woman, no one will be surprised to learn that she makes no effort at empathy. For Kite, the men in her life are to function as tools of her desires. They’re there to do for her, not to have lives of their own, wills of their own, wants, needs, etc. She never considers the possibility that they have perfectly good reasons to reject the idea of fathering her children. Just think about what a skirmish or two in family court might look like to a father when Kite is on the other side.
And if we’re to treat those men like human beings instead of automatons, if we’re to try to stand a minute in their shoes, we can see a multitude of reasons — perfectly sound reasons — for their hesitancy at fathering children. Obvious enough is that from here Kite looks like one of the worst possible partners. But beyond that, what every man with a pulse knows is that fathering a child is fraught with peril.
Any father worth his salt will love the child and devote himself to it. He’ll bond with it, work to support it, change himself from free spirit to pram-pusher and on and on. But then one day, for any reason or no reason, his partner can take all that away. She can raid his wallet while she denies him any contact with his child. Meanwhile, she’ll have made sure to slander him in court making him out to be an abuser of her, his child and anything else that comes to mind. If he manages to stay out of prison, the child still grows daily more distant from him and, if it suits his ex’s preference, may be taught to hate and fear him. All the while he’s paying alimony and child support.
Again I ask, what’s not to like?
Would Kite have done those things if she’d managed to convince one of her partners to produce a child? From her description of herself, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. It’s always been all about her, so why would that have changed?
But whatever might or might not have happened, how’s a man to know? Agreeing to father a child is like diving into a lake at midnight. Who knows what’s on the bottom or how close the bottom is?
All of that is beyond Melissa Kite’s grasp. Her narcissistic worldview has room for only one thing — blaming others for her many problems. If she and Barbara Ellen are any indication, it’s a disease, and it’s catching.
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