Victimizing victims with child support

An Arizona man, Nick Olivas, was sexually violated by a 20 year old woman when he was only 15 years old, by the nature of the fact that no child under 16 can legally consent to sex of any kind under Arizona law. No charges were pressed at the time. Olivas said he was uncomfortable with the situation at the time. However, he was unaware that he could go to the police and that the sexual act was a crime.

The rape produced a child. Now that the statute of limitations has run out and she can no longer be charged with the crime of rape (despite the fact that we all know that it was a rape that occurred) she sought child support from her victim. She was successful. Not only was she awarded child support in the future, he was assessed charges  for past child support that he “should have” paid plus a 10% penalty for those past due child support payments that he knew nothing about. Apparently it is the responsibility of rape victims to know when their rapists give birth and to support the children that they did not legally consent to creating.

I have no problem with the idea that the simple act of a male consenting to sexual relations with a woman causes him to be financially responsible for any child that results. But this is not what we are talking about here. This is rape. This person could not consent to the sex that was had and it is a travesty of justice to seek monetary payments against him. Defense of the law will typically come in the form of “it is not the fault of the child” that the child was born. Not only does this miss the point, since we can find other ways to support kids born from these situation, these arguments sound horribly similar to the arguments made against abortion rights in the case of rape.

Men’s rights advocates, who are usually wrong on many issues, will come out against these support laws as being wrong. They are right to oppose them but they do so for the wrong reasons. They will likely blame feminism for their existence. In fact one twitter user, who may or may not be an MRA (but sounds like one) states that this was the result of feminism.

I disagree. In reality laws like this are caused by the patriarchy and if feminism is successful in dismantling the patriarchy these laws will go away. Here are my reasons why the patriarchy is to blame for such laws.

The Patriarchy supports the idea that women are caretakers and men are the bread winners. Many of the flaws in our system that MRA will blame feminism for are because of archaic social views that a child should be raised by a woman and should be financially supported by men. Eliminating the gender pay gap, breaking up archaic gender roles, and embracing that both parents have equal roles in raising a child will go a long way in fixing the perception that women should be the ones who get custody and support payments. Once this happens, the laws can be changed to reflect our new social norms.

The Patriarchy supports the idea that men are pursuers and women are to be pursued. You have heard the arguments before. That teen boys who get to “score” with “older babes” are “lucky”. Regardless of what age of consent laws say, male victims who are incapable of consenting to sex under the law are scoffed at when people suggest that they have been victimized. These male victims must have wanted it, according to the tropes, and that must make it ok (or at least “better” than when an older male sleeps with a female who is legally incapable of consenting to sex). By keeping the idea that men pursue and women are pursued we not only retain the idea that women are possessions, but we also deny men the ability to say that they are victims. It contributes to why Olivas never initially contacted the police.

Eliminate the patriarchy and you help solve the problems that exist in this case. Eliminate feminism, and these problems continue as nobody is left to fight the actual root causes of those problems. 

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