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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: On Pregnancy in Japan
I've always been somewhat dismayed at the power a pregnant woman holds over a man in Western society.  The moment a woman gets knocked up, the balance of power is no longer balanced at all.  The woman calls all the shots: it's her body, her decision, and the man gets to enjoy an interminable limbo while the woman makes up her mind about keeping it, then gets a decade or two of poverty while a child he may not have wanted sucks up a large chunk of his wages.

I suppose it's better than letting the man make all the calls - we all know you can't count on men for jack shit, right? 

Well, there's a third way, Japan's way.

In Japan, still a very male-dominated society, having a father is everything for a child, not just for the touchy feely family stuff, but for having a name, a lineage, and actual make-your-life-easier-at-city-hall stuff.

And here's where it gets interesting:

If a woman wants to keep the child, she's free to do so, but the man does not have to claim it as his own if he doesn't want to.  The woman gets her child and cannot trap the man into marriage or years of providing for a child he didn't want.  If she'd rather keep the man, or if she does the math and realizes she can't afford the child on her own, she has other options.

It maintains the balance.  Two people got into the mess in the first place, two people have a choice to make after conception.  It never made sense to me, to give the woman all the power after she becomes pregnant.  I very much approve of the idea that a woman can make her own decision, without being handed the authority to make one for the man.
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