A few days ago, the National Center for Men filed suit in Michigan to establish "a man's right to make reproductive choice." According to the center, "Men are routinely forced to give up control, forced to be financially responsible for choices only women are permitted to make, forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy." The suit, filed on behalf of computer technician Matt Dubay, accuses Michigan of trying "to force Matt to pay child support for a child he never intended to bring into the world. Matt insists that the child's mother repeatedly assured him she could not get pregnant and, also, Matt says that she knew he did not want to have a child with her."
I couldn't agree more. We've spent too much time debating the reproductive rights of women. It's time to clarify the reproductive rights of men. Unfortunately, the National Center for Men offers only a "reproductive rights affidavit" (obtainable by mail in exchange for a donation), which it admits is just a "symbolic protest." What we need is a real, enforceable men's bill of rights. Here's a first draft. Send it around to your friends, and after we work out the revisions, we'll start gathering signatures for ratification.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of mandatory parenthood, or prohibiting the free avoidance thereof; or abridging the freedom of masturbation, or of non-procreative mutual gratification; or the right of the people peaceably to cuddle, and to petition one's partner for a redress of grievances.
A well-regulated libido, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to sleep and merely bare arms shall not be infringed.
No penis shall in time of peace be quartered in any vagina, without the consent of the owner of the penis, nor in time of excitement, but in a manner to be prescribed by the owner.
The right of the people to be secure in their penises and testicles, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no dependents shall issue, but upon ejaculation, possibly accompanied by oath or affirmation, and particularly into a place and a person to be adequately researched.
No man shall be held to answer for a pregnancy, unless on a presentment of evidence of paternity; nor shall he be twice put in jeopardy of owing child support, unless he failed to learn the first time; nor shall he be compelled to bear wetness against himself, without due process of consent; nor shall private parts be taken for his pubic use, without just compensation.
In all paternity proceedings, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public test, by an impartial laboratory technician of the State and district wherein the intercourse shall have been committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the wetness against him; and to have the assistance of men's rights groups for his defense.
In sales of condoms, where the value in controversy shall not exceed twenty dollars, the right of purchase and diligent use by a man shall be preserved, and no failure to exercise that right shall be otherwise re-litigated in any Court of the United States.
Excessive child support shall not be required, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, such as pregnancy, delivery, recovery, breastfeeding, diaper changing, obtaining parental leave, arranging or administering child care, and getting up at night or staying home from work when the child is ill.
The enumeration of these rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by men, such as the right to petition for, finance the development of, purchase, and use male oral contraception.
The powers not delegated to women by nature or the Constitution are reserved to their dates respectively, or to the couple.