Ok, so Richard Cooper from Entrepreneurs in Cars released a video about paternity fraud the other day. And during his video, he made a comment about some countries banning paternity tests.
Now, before we go on, I honestly really appreciate most of the content that Richard puts out. I think his intention to help men make themselves better is very honourable and I think his drive to help guys avoid the pitfalls of today's dating environment is well-intentioned.
However, there are times that I have found nuance lacking from his arguments.
Whether intentional or not, some of the information in his videos comes across as blanket statements and mass generalisations, which can then be cut down, cross-examined and successfully counter argued by his opponents all too easily, which just lowers the legitimacy of his overarching message.
And his message is an important one: men AND women need to work on being better, and I think more people need to hear this.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. So, with regards to Richards comment, what's ACTUALLY going on with some countries banning paternity testing. What’s the truth?
Well, the countries in question are France and Germany. Basically the two largest countries in the European Union. And that will be important to remember later on.
So, in France DNA paternity testing is solely performed on the decision of a judge in the case of a judiciary procedure in order to either establish or contest paternity or to obtain or deny child support.
Private DNA paternity testing is illegal, including through laboratories in other countries, and is punishable by up to a year in prison and a €15,000 fine. The French Council of State has described the law's purpose as upholding the "French regime of filiation" and preserving "the peace of families."
Germany’s stance is slightly less harsh. Any paternity testing must be conducted by a licensed physician or by an expert with a university degree in science and special education in parentage testing, and genetic testing must be carried out by an accredited laboratory.
Full informed consent of both parents is required, and prenatal paternity testing is prohibited, with the exception of sexual abuse and rape cases. Any genetic testing done without the other parent's consent is punishable with a €5,000 fine.
So, let’s focus on France because France is clearly the one with the harder line here. Why are they doing this?
Well, their argument is that the family unit is a social construction, not a biological one. Meaning the family consists of the children and those who raise them, regardless of whether they are biologically related or not.
The aim of the law is to protect and preserve the family unit at all costs. As, in the eyes of the French Govt at least, the welfare of the children is paramount.
Yes, it stops men from discovering paternity fraud, but conversely, also stops a situation where a man, who has a family of his own, gets a knock on his door one day from a child he unwittingly fathered from a one night stand 10 or 20 years ago, and his life is suddenly turned upside down.
Suffice to say, in France’s view, the child is an innocent party and many families would implode if such tests were made available, something that is considered to be not in the child's best interest.
The law is specifically designed to stop men walking out on the family.
So, anyway, what’s my personal view on this?
Well, I’m not here to tell you how to think. I don’t tell people how to think in my coaching practice. You need to form your own opinion based on your own set of internal morals and as much factual information as you can gather.
I think it’s very easy to say that this is all some grand conspiracy against men, as Richard Cooper suggests, and yes, there is certainly an argument (albeit a very cynical one ) for it.
But if you were to press me for my personal opinion, well, I understand the French governments desire to keep families together, almost at all costs. There are countless studies that illustrate the detrimental effects fatherless homes have on children and the costs on the economy that single parenthood has.
I think you’ve also got to consider that the European Union, which France and Germany are a considerable part of, is currently in a terrible state financially, so if you can do something simple like banning paternity tests to perhaps discourage men from leaving their family, the actions of which costs economies billions of dollars, well, if I was running France it seems like a no brainer if I wanted to save a few bucks. Yes, it encourages ignorance, but hey, what’s new with governments.
You could also consider it from the other side, that France is acknowledging how important it is for a father figure, biological or not, to be in children's lives. That’s something that you don’t often hear from our mainstream media.
However, yes, I agree that, in a roundabout way at least, it does encourage women to behave poorly. But there are two things to consider here.
1. More often than not, poorly behaving women come from broken families and have daddy issues. That is, for whatever reason, their dads weren’t around to look after them. This law is trying to stop women from having daddy issues, a problem which seems to be in plague proportions these days.
2. The problem isn’t women sleeping around. It’s guys shacking up with women who sleep around. Yes, I agree this French law gives women carte blanche to act as poorly as their little hearts desire if that’s what they want to do. But I would encourage men, as a response to this law, to do more of what you should be doing anyway. Which is vetting the hell out of women and testing thoroughly for red flags before even considering shacking up with them.
Yes, this law increases the risk for men and doesn’t seem terribly fair for men. This law is in direct opposition and violation to the male primary mating strategy and encourages the female mating strategy to nest at what seems to be at the complete detriment of a mans right to pass on his genes through the children he has invested time and resources raising. It’s an affront to all men.
So, to the men in these countries. What advice would I give to them? Don’t get married. There’s even less point now. But if you still want to get married, then I would suggest thoroughly, and I mean REALLY thoroughly vet your woman over a loooooong period of time. Perhaps even 8 to 10 years if necessary. It’s the only way to give yourself the best chance of passing on your genes. That’s what this has all come down to.
But back to Richard Cooper…
I personally believe if you have a large audience, such as Richard does, that you have the moral and fiduciary responsibility to do your absolute best to cultivate a balanced and informed opinion before releasing it to the masses. You’re obviously allowed to have opinions on things, but you need to have demonstrated that you’ve taken the time to create an informed opinion.
Guys like Richard are held up by their audience as guru’s, and rarely is their opinion challenged by anyone from within their circle.
All too often the only ones doing the challenging and questioning are identified as coming from the opposite camp, so their opinions, viable or not, are instantly invalidated and not even given consideration because, as far as everyone from within the circle is concerned, it’s just propaganda from the enemy.
Therefore, as Spiderman says “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Doing anything less means you’re no better than the mainstream media these days, who are just peddlers of propaganda.
So, as I said before, I personally want as many people as possible to hear Richards core message. But, in order to get it out into the mainstream, it has to be demonstrated irrefutably that we have the high moral ground.
Unfortunately, at this point in time men are under attack, and we’re on the back foot. Therefore it’s never been more important, in order to continue to move things forward, to think through our positions clearly before delivering them to the masses.
We want to enlist as many people as possible and get as many people on our side as possible, and every time a questionably worded comment is made by anyone with any influence, like Richard, the core message of the manosphere loses some of its power and validity.