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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Contraception and consent.

6 replies

allthegoodnamesweretaken · 04/10/2012 21:32

I hope I am posting in the right place, it seems a bit empty...

I am just writing to get some imput from more knowledgeable feminists than I. At uni today, we were discussing the third sector of welfare provision etc, and it led onto talking about men paying maintenance for their children, and someone said something along the lines of how it wasn't fair that women could 'trick' men into conceiving a child, and was it right that a man should be forced to aknowledge and pay for a child he never wanted.
As far as I am concerned, if a man feels so strongly about not having children with a woman that he would abandon her and refuse to aknowledge or pay for the child then he should take responsibility for himself and use a condom, whether or not the woman tells him she is using some other form of contraception.
Someone in the group then said that this was essentially the same as if a man told a woman he would use a condom, but then didn't. I was a bit taken aback at this, and said surely the two are different, because if two people consent to sex with the condition being that the man wears a condom and then he doesn't, the woman no longer gives her consent, so this is rape. But the other person said how is it different? The man could consent to sex with the condition that the woman takes the pill, but she does not take the pill, then it's the same situation and it's sexist to say otherwise.
ANYWAY, basically I am asking for people's opinions on whether this is the same or not, and why. I'm sure it's not the same but I'm not quite able to put inot words why I feel this way.

Please go easy on me, I'm just trying to educate myself and get a better grasp of feminism!

OP posts:
greenhill · 05/10/2012 10:50

Speaking hypothetically for myself: I would carry the condoms and part of my consent would be handing over the condom, having already discussed the fact that penetrative sex would not happen without the condom. And I would either put the condom on the partner or watch it being put on. Safe sex is just as important as preventing pregnancy and the pill could be a back up.

This would be my belt and braces approach. However I'd have hoped to have enough judgement to not be taken in by an irresponsible /possibly criminal seed sower. I also wouldn't expect someone I had just met to be responsible for my sexual health.

In your examples though, the issue of trust / consent is blurred. The man or woman would both be liars, first and foremost, but I think that the pretence of using a condom would also make him a rapist (I take it that you are using Julian Assange as your example for the man) and for the woman (the defence offered by most famous footballers/ celebrities when taken to court over paternity issues).

In both instances though, there has to be an element of foresight (the pill would not be effective unless it had already been taken for a complete cycle beforehand and a condom can only be used if it is already to hand). Most of the cases that appear in the media seem to be about people who are unable to control their own sexual desires or see sex as being a way of exerting control / power over others.

I'm not sure my answer would be particularly feminist though, it is just about taking personal responsibility for my own hypothetical actions.

AliceHurled · 05/10/2012 11:00

It's not the same thing as the woman can get pregnant, whereas the man can't. Having a baby is not the same as paying some money. People like to use the old 'reverse sexism' trope as a way of shutting down feminist analysis. Which is what this guy is doing.

As for the both being rape nonsense, rape is penetration with a penis. So no the woman wouldn't be raping the man.

If a man doesn't want to be 'tricked' into getting a woman pregnant then he simply needs to keep his penis out of her. The fact that this simple solution alludes people is part of our PIV culture. If men neeeeeed PIV sex, then of course how can they be expected to keep their p's out of those v's, but then the poor lambs get 'tricked'. It only makes sense within that culture.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch · 12/10/2012 21:34

The pill is not equivalent to a condom - I would use condoms in casual sex, even though I'm on the pill, to protect my sexual health. Condoms are the visible contraceptive option available to both men and women and if you are having sex with someone whose sexual health or baby-making intentions you don't know, use a condom. Or as Alice says, don't have penetrative sex.

As greenhill says, take personal responsibility. There was a really objectionable articles linked here months ago about women having sex with rich businessmen hoping to get pregnant and wasn't it awful? All I could think was, if these men are that smart and object that much to paying maintenance for any resultant children, what the fuck are they doing not using condoms/leaving out the PIV?

MrsLel · 12/04/2014 03:22

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ubersquiz · 17/10/2014 21:03

The responsibility lies with both parties not just one.

Contraception fails sometimes. This is a risk we all take. If you aren't prepared to take on the responsibility then keep it in your pants. Its as simple as that really.

1DAD2KIDS · 30/01/2016 10:28

From my point of view being tricked it is massively unfair for the man. But like a lot of things in life there are lots of unfair things out there and we all have to be careful and try to mitigate those risks. At the end of the day once a child is born it needs supporting regardless of nature of the conception. I think in an ideal (very hypothetical world) a man who is deliberately tricked should be able to sue the tricker after the child has grown up. The moral of the story is to watch your back and don't trust anyone.

In terms of an accidental pregnancy both parties share the risk so should share the responsibility.

I don't buy into the idea that its not the same both ways. I think it's a bit naughty to say well technically rape is penetration so a woman can't rape a man. But to me although technically true its a massive breach on consent. To me the breach of consent is the important thing to me, not the issues of who penetrates who. Therefore I would argue that a woman tricking a man is just as evil as a man tricking a woman.

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