There are times when things you read make you crazy. At least that is true of me. Today was one of those days. I have a morning routine: pour my first cup of coffee then break open my Bible. After downing that first cup, I get the second one and scan through a few websites with the news of the day. It is mandatory that the first cup of coffee is ingested as well as a bit of God’s Word before I can face current affairs, current thinking, and human struggles. That invaluable second cup gives me the energy to react.
Recently an article in Refinery 29 entitled, “Sugar Daddy Site CEO Offers to Pay for Abortions,” caught my attention. The first question for me was what in the world is the Sugar Daddy Site? Yes, I know what a sugar daddy is, but surely, it’s more than that.
Well, it’s not. Sugar Daddy is a website that offers young women (and young men) the chance to be courted (I use that term very loosely) by a millionaire. And yes, to have all of the luxuries that come with it. In return for those luxuries, the expectation is to provide pleasure and fulfill the desires of the sugar daddy, gratifying their various requests. Whether that comes sexually or by merely being a pretty companion to make the very wealthy person look good, what is requested in return has nothing to do with the well-being of the sugar baby. Nor does it advance the worth of our gender.
The fact that this is such a successful site in the age of strong women confounds me. A woman doesn’t need a man to slather her with things; if she needs a man at all, it should be a man willing to be her life partner.
A strong woman needs a relationship, not a sugar daddy.
A woman wants someone who desires to share all of life with her—the good, bad, happy, sad, the easy times as well as the challenging times. A great relationship is with one who recognizes your strengths as you identify his, a man who believes in you and encourages you, as you do him. Not someone to spend money on you and take you to great places! Now, I’m not saying dinner out and a thoughtful gift isn’t a bonus; it most certainly is. But things don’t last; meaningful and healthy relationships do.
As a gender, we are better than this perception. We are stronger than it portrays. We don’t need a sugar daddy; nor do we need a man to bail us out in tough situations. The content of this article and the attitude of this very successful CEO reflects an assumption that he knows what our desire is when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, no matter the state in which we reside. The entire premise of this man’s business and position is one of misogyny, doing nothing more than providing cover under the supposition that he is supporting women’s rights.
The two positions that men take.
I think there are two positions many men take on the subject of abortion; his reflects the first, yet both are equally wrong. The first position is that abortion is the means to their desired end—sex without responsibility. If birth control fails, abortion is an option. They often encourage this step, thus relieving them of an unwanted child for whom they have no interest in providing for or being their father. Men who hold these views reflect badly on all the good men who meet their responsibilities and encourage others to be less than they should or could be.
The second is a bit more nuanced. In today’s culture, the constant phrase “it’s a woman’s body” brings with it helplessness, forcing acceptance that a man should have no say in the decision of abortion. If they do, they are overstepping their bounds; what is understood is that the woman is the one who will carry this burden for a full nine months, so men have no right to speak. They are simply a bystander there to accommodate whatever choice is made by the woman who is bearing this child.
That is equally incorrect. At the very beginning of this pregnancy is the joining of two people, each contributing half of what becomes the embryo, carrying with it the DNA of the man as well as the woman. Each with equal rights and equal responsibility. The chromosomes that join to create this child are those of both the man and the woman. Even though he is not the one to carry to term, he has a right to an opinion in an honest discussion and a position on the next step a woman takes.
Men standing for abortion doesn’t reflect the strength inside of women.
When a man stands for abortion, he is removing any responsibility he should hold in the process. He is not considering his role nor is he thoughtfully weighing the effect on a woman’s life whether she aborts or carries to term to either raise herself or give up for adoption.
While this may not always be true, the very attitude of this CEO or others like him can reflect an underlying view that women are not strong enough or secure enough to carry a child the entire nine months and choose to raise that child with or without a partner. (To read an inspiring story of a woman who did just that, click here.)
The third option that men can partner with women to support.
There also seems to be an unspoken view that after giving birth, a woman’s only option is to keep the child. Her only choice is to surrender her future, unprepared to be a mother, and relegate herself and the one she is carrying to a life of struggle.
There is the assumption that it’s not only unusual but unlikely that there are couples who would provide a home, give their hearts and everything that is theirs to take this child as their own. What is true is there are lines of families waiting for the privilege of becoming parents, ones who perhaps their only choice is adoption.
It requires incredible strength for a woman to make that decision to take a child from her arms and place into another’s—courage many have thought they didn’t have. But I have seen some of the most courageous and strongest women make this choice. In doing so, they have created a family by their sacrifice and given a future that may have otherwise never happened.
As I down with my third cup of coffee, I want to say this to Mr. CEO of Sugar Daddy and others like him. Do not treat my gender as if we need someone to take care of us, to fix our problems, or to remove our challenges. We are stronger than that. We are better than that. If you want to get involved, then partner with us, care for the child you helped create, and share life with us. If not, feel free to move out of our way.
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