December 2008 archive

Voluntary Single Fathers?

Last night I came across this article on CNN about men who are using surrogate mothers to become fathers.  Granted most men that employ this method of fatherhood are gay men, mostly in committed relationships, who want to become fathers.  I thought it was interesting that CNN chose a Black gay man as the example of gay men, for obvious reasons.

picture from cnn.com

picture from cnn.com

Jeff Walker, pictured above, wanted to be a father.  He had his first daughter with his partner and a surrogate.  Jeff and his parnter broke up but Jeff wanted more children so he use the same surrogate, diferent egg donor and had a second daughter.

The second example, Steven Harris, is a straight man that opted for surragacy when he became tired of waiting for the right woman to marry.

“I thought getting married was the only way to go, because I did want a family. But having Ben, I feel complete now,” Harris says.

You know how I feel about single parenthood, especially planned single parenthood, but I must say I’m happy to see men who genuinely want to be fathers and are willing to spend a lot of money to become fathers.  CNN reported surrogacy can cost $100,000 (wowza).

All in all, very interesting.  I had never thought about the men who can’t find the right women and go on with their family plans.  It makes sense, I’ve met a lot of women who have said if they can’t find the right man at a certain point in their life, they would adopt or impregnate themselves through invitro fertilization.  I need to read more on this phenomenon.

What do you guys think of these mens creating families through surrogates?

i’m not trying to save the world

Tonight my mother and I got ino a little tiff because I wanted to give my brother $200 in hopes that he would finally enroll in a GED course.  My mother went off.  She said he wasn’t going to go to the class and that he’s had all these opportunities to go to different schools and he hasn’t taken them and this would be a waste of my money.  Now let’s be for real, I know the liklihood of my brother taking $200 and spending it on a GED class he has been avoiding for at least 8 months is slim.  I thought that by showing him that I believed that he would do the right and take some steps to get his life back together, it would motivate and empower him.  Call it my Christmas wish.  He’s only 17.  In my humble opinion, that’s just too young to throw your life away.

Well, you would think the argument would stop there, but my mother kept going.  I don’t really understand why, but my faith in the men in my life – namely my father and brothers – really pisses her off.  She always tells me you can’t change people.  I know that.  After spending years trying to change boyfriends, my father and now my brother I know that.  But I also know that people can change themselves when they want to.  I don’t see the harm in encouraging my brother to get a GED and explaining the numerous benefits of having any education in this economy.  The one thing my brothers know about me is that I never give up on them.  Yes, I get frustrated, a lot, but I’ve never given up on them.  So this Christmas, I’m going to tell my brother that whenever he’s ready for this GED course, I will help him financially.

My mother left the room muttering, “You can’t save the world Eva.”  I’m not trying to save the world, Mom.  I’m trying to save my brother.

peace,
e.

The Demise of Dating?

The other day my friend sent me a link to Charles M. Blow’s  op-ed column in the New York Times entitled, “The Demise of Dating.”  The gist is that dating is essentially dead and hooking up is here to stay.  Ugh.

While the article focus’s on a study conducted on high school students, I can say, in my experience, that hooking up is here to stay for young adults as well.  To gain more insight on hooking up vs. dating, Blow consulted La Salle University professor, Kathleen Bogle.  Bogle broke it down and said hooking up takes the pressure off as it promotes groups of friends going out and it takes the stigma off the one person who can’t get a date.  Fine, that sounds good in principle.  But the consL

The cons center on the issues of gender inequity. Girls get tired of hooking up because they want it to lead to a relationship (the guys don’t), and, as they get older, they start to realize that it’s not a good way to find a spouse.

Enter double edged sword stage left.  And this is what I see happening to my peers.  Women hook up to get a boyfriend, while men hook up to avoid having a girlfriend.  You see, everyone enjoys consistent sex but the ways men and women view the future of such relationships are very different.  Women view consistent sex as a first step in a committed relationship.  Men view consistent sex as the end result – that’s all they wanted, the sex without the commitment (read: drama and work).

In talking about this with some friends a while back, some women decided that they were not going to have sex unless they were in a committed relationship.  That is, they would withold sex from the man they wanted more from, but would still hookup with guys they knew had no relationship potential. This way, they would avoid the “I don’t date girls who are easy” tactic.  However, this plan backfired as the guys who were relationship material resented the fact that they had to wait for sex with a woman when she was having sex with other guys easily.

They, like myself, could not find a way to win.

That’s not good. So why is there an increase in hooking up? According to Professor Bogle, it’s: the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum.

Aw man – we have to work against the collapse of advanced planning (I personally do not think she’s talking about women’s advanced planning), lopsided gender ratios on college campuses (that’s not going to be easy (or quick) to solve), delaying marriage (I could write a million posts about this) and sheer momentum (I get it, why would these men give up all this non-committal sex and freedom if they don’t have to?)

So it looks like hooking up is here to stay, and I for one am not happy about it.

e.