May 29, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
I find I’m not quite done with Melissa Kite. If you want to read her article in the Daily Mail, go to my previous post and click on the link. Kite’s the one who, a matter of only a few days after Barbara Ellen did the same in the pages of The Guardian, penned a screed blaming the men in her life for their refusals to father children with her.
Now, I dealt with Kite’s extreme narcissism and her utter refusal/inability to examine her own behavior and motives regarding her childless state in my last post, so I won’t go into those now. But what I will do is point out a last thing or two.
For decades, we’ve been treated to feminism’s mantra “my body, my choice.” Stated another way, women have the right to make decisions about reproductive matters for themselves, without intervention by the state and, if necessary, without the input of their partners. And of course that happens every day, many times a day. Women decide to have or not to have abortions, to use or not to use contraception, to tell or not tell a man about his child. Some of that is appropriate and some isn’t, but as I say, it happens.
But if Kite were to have her way, men would not have the same choice. And if they do exercise the choice to opt out of fatherhood, they’re cowards and frauds. Of course Kite could have argued that her partners were uniquely perfidious, that the problem of men not wanting children was hers and hers alone. But that wouldn’t have made for much of an article. What’s a good whine for if not to tar as many men as possible with the same brush? From her article’s headline (“The real reason women like me leave it too late to have babies? Selfish men.”) to her closing impulse to counsel paternity fraud to other women, Kite betrays not the least clue that men generally should have the same reproductive choices women do.
No, men with brains, money and good bone structure are, according to her way of thinking, bound by something (moral law?) to produce children when women like Kite want them. Not earlier, not later. Do they have other things to do? Do they simply prefer not to become fathers? Too bad. Their decisions aren’t their own. Their time, their energy, their money all of a sudden became not their own, but their female partner’s to spend. When or why this happened, Kite is understandably silent about. But in her world, a woman who conceives a child without consulting her partner or refuses to do so despite his pleading, is just exercising her rightful choice about how to live her life.
But somehow, when a man does the same thing, he’s a cad and a bounder.
Imagine an article written by a man excoriating his two previous female partners for failing to provide him a child. Imagine his calling them selfish, cowardly and frauds for refusing to do so. Would such an article ever see the light of day? Would any major publication like The Guardian or the Mail touch it with a ten-foot pole? Hardly, and to my mind, it shouldn’t. I’m one of those strange people who think that to have a child or not is each person’s legitimate choice to be exercised autonomously. Only if they both say ‘yes’ to the question should a child come into the world.
Kite is different. Her view is that only women should have the right to decide matters of procreation for themselves. Once they do so, it’s the man’s job to agree. And in her upside-down feminist world, if he does anything else, he’s being selfish.
Sadly, Kite’s take on her predicament is all of a piece with too many other feminist rants to ignore the trend of which it’s a part – that of hypoagency. According to Kite, her childless state is all the fault of her partners. Never once does she acknowledge the fact, obvious to all, that she could have had a child if she wanted one.
First, as I mentioned in my previous piece, all she had to do was to put a time limit on her partners’ indecision. She could have told them they had three months, six months, whatever, to opt into her plan to have a child. If they said ‘no’ or were still undecided at the end of that time, she could have moved on and found one of the countless well-qualified British gents who’d have been happy to be a dad.
But she didn’t. Not only that, but nowhere in her article does she indicate that she knows she could have. Her partners kept saying “maybe next year,” and she kept accepting that as the only possible outcome. Why didn’t she do what any woman who was really devoted to having a child would have – dumped them and moved on? It’s the active thing to have done, the sure way to take care of her own needs. It’s the thing she didn’t do and doesn’t seem to understand that she could have done.
Failing that, why didn’t she recruit a sperm donor or go to an IVF clinic? Why didn‘t she adopt? Again, women do that every day. Now, let me make it clear that I don’t approve of the decision to have a child without two parents there to care for it. As I’ve said more times than I care to remember, children need both parents and no one should simply decide to deprive a child of one.
But my point is that Kite had options of which she didn’t avail herself. Why not? Why publicly whine, whimper and snarl about selfish men when she could have had what she claims to have wanted virtually at any time?
I suppose the answer is obvious; Kite prefers to demean her partners and men generally to acting like an adult and getting what she wants by her own legitimate means (i.e. not via paternity fraud).
And it’s that that’s so much part and parcel of feminist discourse. Feminists are all too happy to proclaim women’s power, but at the same time play the victim when their only problems are of their own making. Feminists do women a grave disservice when they represent them as helpless victims of men. It’s rarely the case and certainly not where Kite is involved. As long as feminists seek to exempt women from responsibility for their own actions and failures, they’re doing them no favors.
After all, who respects a person who continually avoids admission of responsibility? We understand it when the caught-red-handed four year old cries “it wasn’t me!” When the miscreant is 41, she loses our respect.
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