Imagine that your 14-year-old daughter engaged in sex with the 20-year-old man down the street. Anger would hardly begin to describe your feelings, but then imagine how you and your daughter would feel if she became pregnant and the man who abused her got custody of the child and your daughter had to pay him child support for the next 18 years.Now that is a lovely rhetorical start designed to punch right through the female imperative before the reader realizes it, then adeptly making the twist to appeal to the legal equality that feminists supposedly stand for.
This would not only be unthinkable in our society but most people would say that it bordered on abuse or worse. Yet, as reported in a recent Arizona Republic news story, this is what happened to Nick Olivas, who happened to be 14 at the time he had sex with a 20-year-old woman. The difference, of course, is he's not a girl.
At the age of 21, Olivas found out he had a child and that he owed over $15,000 in back child support plus interest. He was rightfully upset, stating: "It was a shock. I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It's unexplainable. It freaked me out."
When a state government finds out a 14-year-old girl is a statutory rape victim of a 20-year-old man, the common reaction would be to file criminal charges to put the predator in jail. But for male victims, child support laws turn state governments into the allies of abusers instead of advocates for the victims.
Why the double standard when the victim is male?
She's right, of course. The law holding male statutory rape victims responsible for their children is absurd. That being said, female rape victims who bear their rapist's children do assume responsibility for them, so the correct thing to do would be to give a male victim the right to claim paternal responsibility and/or custody without either being imposed upon him.