Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Aside from a civil action for the costs of pregnancy, I've got another idea:

A law that separates the biology of pregnancy from sexual activity. Perhaps a law based on biology would avoid the criminalization of sexual activity (hard to prove; a problem with legal standing & civil rights), but would recognize the harm done by impregnating a minor girl?

Something like "The reckless distribution of sperm to a minor child."

It seems like something parents would, in general, support.

Now I need to figure out what to cook for dinner.


This is an interesting post with lots of interesting ideas. Upfront disclosure ... I am not smart enough to (wise enough) to contribute a reasonable solution to what I believe is one of the more complex issues of the day. I think that a woman should have the final choice of what action to take with her body .... with the caveat that she seek and listen to the thoughts of those she maintains close relationships with ..... beyond that I think it really difficult from a practical and political perspective to resolve the limits because:

First - Our political leadership has difficulty passing legislation on simple things like cell phone use while driving. It would be way too complex a task to sort this out in chambers ... lawyers would get a pretty good boost in income, though

Second - I would be real interesed to see the text and add-ons to any law that is developed(oh, you mean we can't add the bridge to nowhere to this bill? Damn!)

Third - The extremists from the right and the left would get tied up forever working this out ... swiftsperm vets and would abound.

I think that the suggestion about culture shift could work in calmer times, but we live in such a devisive environment right now that I think it will end up as a "Power Solution". Them what's got the votes gets the prize seems to be the order of the day


For an opposite take see:

Male activists want 'say' in unplanned pregnancy

I don't really agree with the above, but I think it's interesting.

Beyond the existing laws wherein women can get child support, I think we should eschew a legal approach. Rather, I favor cultural change. Ideally, we would have quality character education in our schools -- so that our children could develop the virtues needed to thrive in a democratic society as well as to be full human beings.

In this particular case, we just need loving, responsible, and upright boys with some self-discipline.

Ideally, we would have our children read, comment, and reflect on great philosophical and religious classics: plato's dialogues, the bhagavad gita, etc. We could produce simplified excerpts for younger children. Beyond this, I think universities should include a solid moral education in their mission statement -- again fostered by reflection on great texts rather than a doctrinal top-down approach.

We have problems with morality in this country because we have hardly any emphasis on moral education.

Problem is that the conservatives would insist on "biblical" values (and oppose texts from "heathen" religions)-- and liberals would rightly oppose that and anything which could lead to that. So we have a state of gridlock.

So it's up to the nomads to provide an alternative -- and hopefully prod people to just let go of the old ways -- so we can move forward.


And this is the bookend mate for amba's comment on the link. In sync.


Interestingly enough, in reading over this and the previous thread, it seems like all of the "seduction" is presumed to be on the part of the male, and hence all of the blame for the potential pregnancy is laid at his feet (or midsection).

Believe it or not (though as a gay man it's a tad off-topic for me) there ARE women out there who like sex, who are the initiators of sex, and even some who get pregnant either deliberately for whatever reason, or due to negligence or ignorance.

So somehow assigning all the blame to a man for a pregnancy, though accurate in some cases, in others may be a gross misapplication of justice. In most cases it is likely shared responsibility, though in varying degrees, and this is impossible to determine legislatively, especially since in most cases there is no evidence to back up either side's case.

I have a difficult time with the idea of, say, a one night stand with a woman met at a bar who claimed she was on birth control but wasn't, which results in a pregnancy, tying a man into 18 years of financial obligations. Of course the religious reaction to this is to label it a "just reward for sin," but I vehemently disagree that religion's opinion of what is right and wrong should determine society's.

On the other hand, I also believe (and this is an even more controversial position) that birth control should be mandatory for everyone worldwide from puberty on, and that they should have to deliberately request to have it reversed when they are ready to have a child. Ideally, they would also have to show some minimum level of capability to take care of a child, which would help prevent the (overexaggerated by the Right) problem of the welfare mother baby machine.

This would solve MANY of the problems of our society - teen pregnancies, unwanted babies, crack babies, fetal alcohol syndrome, and overpopulation, among many others.

Of course birth control is not 100% safe or 100% effective, and it puts more of the burden on the woman than the man (no effective internal male contraceptives exist, to my knowledge), but sufficient research in this largely underfunded field could significantly improve matters.


Sleip -- I don't think the idea is to place all the blame on the man -- I think it's to share the responsibility. Two people have sex -- two people enjoy it (or not) -- one walks away, the other's life is changed forever. The man bears a share of the responsibility even if he was seduced. (I hear it's possible to rape a man, but I'm dubious.)



Oh yes - I agree that the laws, as written, are very problematic.

Criminal seduction laws as they were written actually read: "the seduction of a formerly chaste unmarried woman." So the double standard came into play, along with the assumption that women could not consent to intercourse.

But - the laws do awknowledge what Amba has been pointing out - that a woman's life is changed forever; that pregnancy itself has a cost; that pregnancy and the growth of a child are a big deal.

While I undertand the upset about a woman who lies about birth control - child support is something the state mandates to take care of the child. It's in the state's interest to get the father to pay - so the child isn't paid for by the state. But child support is not compensation for the physical or emotional reprucussions of pregnancy itself.

I agree that the control of reproduction with birth control would really help this situation. Lois McMaster Bujold, in her science fiction books, talks about articifical wombs and mandated birth control in one of her made-up-societies.

One of her characters points out that if a society can sucessfully separate sex from reproduction, then the state looses interest in actually controlling the behavior of women themselves. But if a society cannot separate sex and reproduction, then the state (and society) has a interest in exerting control over women.

The abortion laws exert control over women's behavior.

It's not fair that a woman should not have the option of a health exception for pregnancy, but the man who caused the pregnancy should get to continue his life with no restrictions on his personal life.

Why should a woman have to risk diabetes or kidney failure, but the man (or boy) is only responsible for a percentage of child support? That's ridiculous and unfair. He has no health threat, no personal burden to grow a child inside of him.

The state is mandating that a woman risk her health for the production of life that the state has an interest in; yet the man (or boy) doesn't have to do any of that work or even acknowledge to the state that he has caused the woman to labor for 9 months.

Without his sperm - there would have been no pregnancy. Condoms are sold at every drug store. If men would do a better job at keeping their sperm out of women's bodies - we could cut down a lot on unwanted pregnancies.


Geoduck -- a related point is that any man who has any doubt that the woman is being truthful (or careful) about her use of birth control can always use a condom.



Oh yes, I completely agree.

Really everyone should be using condoms all the time (straight and gay) unless they absolutely trust (and know quite well) their sexual partner.

I've never understood why men see the pill as a reason not to use a condom. (Unless the couple is married or in a long-term loving relationship.)

To be fully effective, women are supposed to take the pill at the same time every day. That's hard to do. And antibiotics make it ineffective, which women are often not warned about by their doctors.


Hmmm - maybe a law: all unmarried people must use a condom! :)


Hmm is right, geoduck. And I've never understood, in an age of HIV and widespread infidelity, how some women can insist a man NOT wear a condom. An overpowering force, it seems, Lust can be.

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