As someone who believes, philosophically, in total equality — I understand that men and women are different and need different considerations, for example women need access to medical services men do not and vice-versa — I have a problem with double standards.
It’s not a double-standard from a legal perspective, though.
The law applies just as much to women as it does to men.
Imagine the scenario that my brother-in-law found himself in thirteen years ago:
His then-girlfriend gets pregnant when he and she are both only 19 years old. Neither of them planned it — they may have both wanted kids someday, but neither of them wanted kids at such a young age.
But at the same time, neither of them believed in abortion. So they jointly agreed to go through with the pregnancy, with the understanding that they would raise the child together. My brother-in-law would have perhaps made a different decision if he had reason to think he’d be raising the child alone.
Yet that’s what ended up happening. Two months after the baby was born, the mother walked off and had no contact with either her child or my brother-in-law for five years.
In that case, it was she who was on the hook for child support.
The law entitling a single parent to compensation to help raise the child protects men as much as it does women. The law is not sexist in any way.
It is the situation — not the law — that is responsible for there being more men required to pay child support than women. But if a man finds himself in a single parent situation, the law protects him.
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The only double standard I see is in your own position.
Your position on child support would be logically valid — I wouldn’t agree with it, but it would be logically valid — only if you held to a pro-choice position.
But you’re a pro-lifer, and that means there is a contradiction.
Imagine this scenario:
You hook-up with a girl you barely know. Six weeks later, she comes to you and says she’s pregnant. She’s undecided about what to do with the child, and she is considering abortion.
You have no desire to raise the child, or be a part of its life. But being a strong believer in the sanctity of life, you are morally compelled to encourage her not to have an abortion, and you do so.
She takes your advice, and has the baby.
Why should the mother then be on the hook for paying for the child, when it was you who encouraged her to give birth to it?
“ Each parent actively chooses either to be a parent, or not be a parent, based on their free-will.”
As I said before, in a perfect world where the single parent (be they mother or father) can easily earn an income capable of supporting their own self and the child, I would fully support that.
But that’s not the situation we live in, and I don’t see why taxpayers should be on the hook for paying for the child when the taxpayers played no role in the child’s conception.
So, placing the taxpayers on the hook for her decision is no different than placing the taxpayer on the hook for any other social reason. Be it injury or a decision to follow a company to another city, before it goes bust, or any other reason people go on welfare.
No, it is very different.
Generally, the way the welfare system works is that if there is another party available to pick up the slack, then you are no longer entitled to welfare benefits.
I have a family member who has not married her long-term boyfriend solely because she is disabled, and getting married would put a stop to or greatly reduce the disability benefits she receives.
Or another example:
College students who apply for tuition assistance are required to provide information on their parents’ income. If the parents make enough money to help the child pay for college, the student is not eligible for assistance. The government’s perspective is that the parents should step in and pay.
Now, I will grant you a few concessions:
I do think the child support system is very flawed in a lot of ways.
If the mother does earn enough to support the child on her own, the father should not necessarily be on the hook for child support.
And child support should be a fixed rate, not a percentage.
There’s a video of actor/comedian Dave Foley talking about how, when he was on a hit television show and making millions of dollars a year, he was being required to pay out tens of thousands of dollars a month in child support.
But when that show ended and his income dropped, his child support payments stayed the same, and would have essentially bankrupted him over time. That’s fucked up.