My thoughts on gender equality

I’ve recently started following a public figure who advocates for the rights of true gender equality and she posted a video that was incredibly hard to listen to. It was a man outside an abortion clinic crying and screaming “please don’t kill our baby!” and then shots of him discussing that he took care of her other children and that he wanted to be a dad to this baby. It was incredibly heart breaking. This video and all of her social media really opened my eyes, and of course… I have an opinion! Let’s dive deeper!

Egalitarianism

e·gal·i·tar·i·an
/iˌɡaləˈterēən/
adjective
  1. relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

Chloe Sunderland (Roma) has been advocating for true gender equality since she was a teenager. She is on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok with thousands of followers. She uses all of her social media platforms to discuss gender equality and how it’s turned from oppressing women to oppressing men. She explains that she has been friends with boys and men since a young age allowing her to see the other side of non-equality. She doesn’t just advocate for men, but also for women too, although most of her videos do discuss men’s rights (or lack thereof). Simply put, she advocates for every single human to be treated fairly.

Some of the biggest points she discusses are parental alienation, consent, and that men should be allowed to have a say in abortions.

The father of her child was abusive and she fled from him with their baby for safety. She makes it very clear that it is not parental alienation if you’re keeping your child legitimately safe. When asked how she can still advocate for men after the abuse and trauma she endured her response is simple: “I was abused by one man, not all men.”

My Thoughts and Opinions

So, for starters, I’d like to state that until stumbling upon this woman, I was completely oblivious to some of the issues that men face, because society has us believing that women are still the oppressed gender. We look at the fact there is the Me Too movement and it is to help empower women. There was a Him Too movement briefly that was meant to bring awareness to fake rape allegations. If you google the movement you can see it started in 2018 and most of the first page is all articles, also from 2018. This movement did not gain the same traction. The Me Too movement for women is still going strong.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the main aspects of what Chloe talks about:

Consent/Rape

You are all aware about consent and how it plays the most important role in sexual relations with another human. Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Meaning, you have given someone permission to touch you.

Anyone around my age (30) should remember this image:

Its a mans fault. Of cource. Well since Jake too was drunk he ...

Can you tell me what is wrong with it? Okay, I will give you a small hint – they are BOTH drunk so NEITHER of them consented. Oh, that was actually a pretty big hint. Oops.

Growing up, I saw this used in classrooms and on the internet, but I actually never stopped to think about the message behind it. This photo is stating that men rape women, not that people rape people. It states that the woman being raped is more important than if the man is. Technically, neither have given consent, so they are both equally guilty. They are not both equally innocent, however. The alcohol on both their parts does not cancel out the fact they didn’t consent in the right state of mind.

The other part of consent that I have seen discussed on her page is retroactively rescinding consent. What that means is people who have “buyer’s remorse” for a sexual encounter who then state that they were raped.

Let me break that down for you – if you consent to having sex with someone, and then you do not enjoy it (or any other reason, really), you can absolutely change your mind, and ask them to stop, even halfway through the act. However if you do not ask them to stop, or voice your withdrawal of consent, then no, it is not rape after the fact. I hope I made that as clear as possible.

The other part of this is that a lot of women claim they have been raped when they are not. Men spend years in jail to be told it never happened and they are finally believed. They do not receive any form of justice after that. In my opinion, if anyone claims they were raped, and it is determined it was a lie, they need to be jailed. It is not okay to screw with someone’s life to that extent (well, at all).

Abortions

For as long as I can remember, I have heard the phrase “my body, my choice” and for the longest time, I disagreed with that statement. I disagreed for different reasons than what Chloe preaches in her videos.

I personally believe that the “body” you are choosing to abort is not actually your own, therefor “my body, my choice” doesn’t even make sense to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I am 100% against abortions as a form of birth control. That being said, anyone who knows me also knows that I don’t judge people for it, because it really isn’t my business and at the end of the day, it doesn’t impact my life.

However, it does impact the man who got you pregnant, and that is what Chloe talks about. So many women are quick to yell “my body, my choice” when they get pregnant, and do not take the man’s feelings into consideration. Women are not the oppressed gender in this situation, whatsoever. Most women who do not want the baby, do not care if the man does because “it violates my right to carry a child for 9 months that I do not want” yet no one bats an eye at a man who refuses to be involved with a child that he very clearly stated he didn’t want. In fact, women take these men to court and take away their rights to visitation but continue to make them financially support the child, or they award them visitation and then use it against them to get more money, if they do not show up for the access visits.

Why is it acceptable for a woman to use her rights as a way to abort a baby, but a man cannot use his rights to get to keep it? At what point as a society did we determine that women were superior to men? Didn’t we spend an entire lifetime trying to tell the world that men were not superior? Didn’t we scream “gender equality!” for years? Now all we have done is flipped the power to the opposite gender. How is that gender equality?

Here is how I BELIEVE it should be in regards to abortion:

  • abortions require the signature of both the biological parents – DNA tests required to confirm parentage (there is a non-invasive method for DNA as early as 7 weeks)
  • If one parent does not consent to the abortion, the pregnancy continues, and the child is given to that parent; the parent who did not want the child signs over all rights and is no longer financially or legally responsible. (The child at 18 may choose to contact the other parent, and that is up to the parent what they want to do)
  • abortions allowed if you were raped, however a positive rape kit must be present; for men who were raped, this means that if he wants an abortion, his request trumps the woman’s, and vice versa (this also allows for more rapists to end up behind bars, because a lot of victims do not report)

Remember, these are just my own opinions and while I have others, those are the basics of how I would change the laws, if it were up to me. Please don’t come at me about “what if”, because I can assure you, I have thought of every scenario, and have an idea for what I think about handling it.

Parental Alienation

There is really only one thing to say to this… Alienating the other parent for no proper legal reason (such as safety concerns, alcohol/drug abuse, etc) makes you a shitty person. Chloe is right about that.

Before anyone jumps down my throat, let me tell you two stories, about the father’s of my children.

The father of my oldest child (we will call him Daddy #1) is not someone I hate, dislike, or even disrespect. My daughter is getting old enough now to vocalize the fact she remembers her dad and the confusion she has about him. I will explain the situation to you, the same as I did to her.

Daddy #1 is 10 years older than me. He didn’t work a fancy job, or even work a great many number of hours. He did work, however. He very rarely called in, was promoted to assistant manager after only a year, and he was mostly on time every day (it really depended on who was working before him lol). We met at this work. We split up at the end of summer in 2009 and I got pregnant a month and a half later. The day after my 20th birthday, a guy I knew from school offered to come hang out with me. He brought alcohol but he was clearly already intoxicated. I will spare the details. I did not consent. I screamed “no”. He didn’t stop. Two weeks later, after a night out at the bar, I met up with Bob and we slept together. It was a comfort measure for me; I tried to erase the trauma from two weeks previous. A month later, I was pregnant. I told Daddy #1 exactly what had happened, and left it up to him to decide if he wanted a paternity test. I told him he had no obligation to be involved if he didn’t want to. We argued a couple times about the situation, but I do not fault him. It was confusing for both of us. He decided against the paternity test and stepped up to be her father anyways. Commendable.

When she was born, he lived 5 hours away in another city. I had moved towards the end of my pregnancy back to my home town. He consented to it and we were determined to come up with a plan to make that work. He told me to go ahead and name her, not to worry about him being in the delivery room, to focus on having the baby and being with my mom. He was aware that pregnancy was not predictable and that he might not make it to the delivery room and didn’t want to stress me out. Commendable.

I named her after a mix of his mother, my mother/aunt/myself (we all share a middle name), my grandmother and her godmother. He seemed pleased with the name and never once threw a fit about her taking my last name. Commendable.

After she was born, we made the trips to each other equally for a while – I would say . Anytime my mother was heading that way to visit her friends, we would catch a ride and stay with Daddy #1. Anytime he had the extra money to make the trip down to us, he would stay with us. At one point he moved down to where we were for quite a while, and he saw K quite often – multiple times a week. The only thing I really ever had to discuss with him was the fact he came over smelling strongly of marijuana and it bothered me. After that I moved to where he was for a little bit, before I moved to Cambridge to pursue a relationship and to get out of the small town we originally met. (There were a lot of issues in that town and with that town).

I made it clear in all my relationships that I will not shut down this avenue for my daughter, and if the only thing stopping him from visiting is a place to stay, he could sleep on my couch. After I had K, I dated 3 people before C’s dad. The first was a guy I went to school with and I ended up breaking up with him while visiting K’s dad, because he decided to make a production about me being there, instead of in town for his birthday. K was less than a year old when this happened. Sorry, my kid seeing her dad comes first. I did not and do not feel bad about ending this relationship, even now. The following two relationships were with lesbian women. They were very defensive. Both continuously questioned my sexuality. Both had issues with our family dynamic – because yes, that is what it was. We may not have been together, but we were a family to K. That being said, he also got into a relationship with a woman and she was very insecure with our relationship as parents, as well. It was actually a nightmare, to be honest. We were the type of parents who cared about each other for the sake of our child. We didn’t talk smack about each other. We kept our private issues to ourselves.

He always made sure, from day one, that child support was paid on the 1st of the month. If he was going to be late for any reason (usually because of the way his pay cheque and bills fell during a couple months of the year) he let me know well in advance. He never left me high and dry. EVER. In fact, I could call him anytime and he would transfer extra money (loan) whenever I needed it, or he would grab diapers, wipes, or formula and tell me not to worry about it. He was very good at making sure K was taken care of, and that included making sure I was too. In fact, he was amazing with me on holidays. One mother’s day he gave me a Playstation 3 to watch movies on, and play games. He once gave me a laptop just because mine died. We were taken care of.

We of course had some issues, but at this point, I just refuse to drag him through the dirt over it – especially because he gave in, to most of the demands in the end. (For example, K being baptized – he did not want that)

Around the time I got with C’s Dad, the visits had been few and far between with Daddy #1 and K. Eventually we sat down to discuss his lack of visitation. I wasn’t able to do any of the travel at that point, and it was entirely up to him, so I was quite lax with the whole thing. But it was affecting K quite severely. She was acting out at school and at home. It was time to sit down with him and decide the best course of action. I gave him 2 choices in the end.

  1. Come around more often/be more present in her life
  2. waive is rights and allow C’s dad to adopt her

I was under the impression that adoption was the only way out of the situation because a court would still make him pay child support even if I said I didn’t want it.

After a while of discussions, he decided for K’s best interest, it would be best to walk away. He couldn’t make the trip any more than he was, and I didn’t have the means to make the trip either. We were both struggling at that point, financially. I will always respect his decision to take her best interest into consideration. I took him off child support immediately.

Now that brings us to Daddy #2 – C’s dad. I am not going to get into full details, but it was a whirlwind relationship. We got together at the end of July 2015, I got pregnant in September, we moved in together in November. Very fast. He was extremely abusive, although I didn’t realize all the red flags in the beginning. There were all types of abuse involved in the relationship. He threatened me into naming her exactly what he wanted. I got to spell it how I wanted. That’s it. He once got angry at me and forced me to put her down on the bed at 2 weeks old, spit in my face, and then refused to let me touch her for several hours. The whole relationship was traumatic, and I felt stuck for a very long time. He was charged with 3 sexual crimes against a minor from when he was 15 years old. He was acquitted and you can read the judges thoughts here. (TLDR: he wanted to convict him). I finally fled the city and moved with my kids elsewhere. I told him where, and let him believe he was giving me permission. He knows what city I am in, but nothing else.

Now, we had issues with his inability to care for the kids for a very long time. I demanded his mother supervise him, and she lied and said she would, but didn’t. He is an alcoholic and drug addict, plus the fact of him being charged. I didn’t exactly know or understand my rights to keeping them safe. So I tried to let them have a relationship despite those things, because I thought I had to. After I started realizing what my rights were, I exercised them. So his last time seeing his child was December 24th, 2018 for a total of 3 hours.

At the end of January, 2019, K started having mental breakdowns about Daddy #2. She didn’t understand why he lied to her, didn’t want to hang out with her, didn’t love her, etc. Keep in mind, this is not her biological father, but she chose to see him as a father figure. Also keep in mind, I didn’t talk shit about him to the kiddos. I let them make up their own mind – again, because I thought I had to. These breakdowns were based on her own thoughts and opinions. I had to call a crisis line for her twice. So I told him he wasn’t allowed to see them for a while. C was starting to misbehave worse at home too, because he refused to be on the same page as me, with her. So I halted visitation with both kids for their mental health.

Contact dwindled. He messaged me last March 24 2019, and I moved March 31st. On April 22nd, 2019, my best friend passed away. I called him, out of habit, and he didn’t ask about the kids. In fact, he only talked about himself and how my best friend hated him. I did not hear from him again until January 6 2020. He messaged me on Google Hangouts to demand to see the girls and he threatened me with court if I wasn’t willing to discuss it. I ignored the message. Two weeks later he messaged again, and stated he tried every number he knew and that he was waiting for a response. I did not respond.

I choose to keep my kids safe, and I will not be allowing visitation of any kind. I will be settling it in court. He has not paid child support since the beginning of March. In fact, I don’t even want his money, I just want him to go away. The girls are clearly better off.

So as you can see, I have two very different situations, and in both, I did everything I could (even against my better judgment) to try and allow relationships with my kids and their biological father’s. Neither of which are parental alienation. I never believed Daddy #2 to be capable or responsible enough to be a parent without me, but I wanted her, so I chose to keep her.

If you are in a situation where your children are truly in jeopardy of any kind, and you choose to keep them safe, that is not parental alienation. However if you cancel visits due to missing child support payments, jealousy, or anger.. that is in fact parental alienation, and that is NOT okay.

Conclusion

I truly believe that equal rights needs to mean equal rights for all. It does not mean giving one gender or the other more power, freedom, or rights than the other. Even though it is probably not something I will see in my lifetime, I do hope one day, that men and women will be seen as equal, on all levels.

I need it to be clear here that while I am new to the whole egalitarian scene, I am not against it in any way. I truly believe that women are no longer the oppressed gender, especially now after really taking a look into all of Chloe’s social media, reading the comments, looking at articles, etc. I really suggest you check her out and start looking into it yourself.

I would love to continue to look at this further and continue to discuss it on my blog, as my research progresses. I urge my readers to reach out to me – both genders – and let me know some of the issues you face as a man or woman based solely on your gender.

Published by S.M. Phoenix

I am a Canadian, single mom of two girls, who writes.

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