I post this letter because it is the quintessential example of everything that is wrong with Feminists today.
It argues regarding the exclusive poverty effect children have on single-mothers, neatly avoiding the fact that men paying child support and alimony are sometimes so poor they are forced to move back with their parents, get their possessions seized, or go to jail. It persistently erases the line between a mother's rights and the 'children's best interests', effectively saying that all that matters to the child is that the woman be supplied with everything she needs to avoid hardships. It keeps mentioning equality but then applies that term only to women (e.g. "NAWL believes that your Department has a constitutional obligation to develop family law legislation that respects and promotes the constitutional equality rights of women and children, in the family and in society. Such a policy would truly be in the children's best interest."). What about a law that respects equality rights of women, children and men?
It then plays the distorted domestic violence and child abuse card, shifting from unfair joint-custody situations to abusive men, thereby insinuating that many men beat their wives and abuse their children whereas women are always saintly caregiving mothers, and men should therefore pay child-support and piss off.
It even argues that women should receive legal aid in this battle to treat fathers as violent wallets and near-useless pariahs.
But one argument in particular caught my eye: "We already see result of badly mediated or court imposed shared custody arrangements: very often, the father gradually loses interest in the children and the mother ends up caring for the children on a full-time basis. In this typical scenario, the father often promises to come for the kids, but cancels at the last minute, or pops up unexpected at his ex-partner's home and disrupts her plans."
For one thing, this is a blatant sexist statement that states that most fathers are bad fathers. Even if this were true, instead of proposing solutions for better mediation and stricter parenting responsibilities, they are arguing to keep fathers out. In other words, we don't wait for fathers to prove themselves to be bad fathers; We must shut them out immediately. The only thing fathers must do is pay and piss off.
The letter also argues that "imposing shared parenting on recalcitrant parents would be a recipe for disaster" but neglects to mention what happens when bad mothers are given children to care for.
Of course fathers are only bad parents after a divorce when the woman wants her child-support, never before.
But the subtler and deeper harm that emerges from this statement is the assumption that parenting is only about baby-sitting and money. In the beginning of the paragraph, the letter claims a "lack of interest on the part of the father to exercise his parental responsibilities altogether" but then says that in a typical scenario of a bad father, they are bad baby-sitters and don't pay child-support. Whatever happened to guidance, role models, discipline, love, advice, friendship? If the letter claimed that in a typical scenario men are bad role models or only hinder their children's progress, then I would understand the logic of the argument.
It then argues that mostly women get custody of children because women are the 'primary caregivers'.
Dozens of studies have proven that most delinquents and teenage gang-members and criminals came from single-parent homes. Fatherly "interest", according to this letter, is defined as baby-sitting the child during the designated times so as not to disrupt the mother's schedule. Perhaps what matters is not that they 'pop-up' unexpectedly, thereby perhaps ruining some of mother's plans for the day, but that they 'popped-up' to father their children? If women are the primary caregivers, then why do children with both parents grow up with a better moral compass? Perhaps fatherhood is being measured by a female ruler?
In other words, fatherhood is defined as male motherhood at best, or by what the mothers see as convenient for them. All men are then bunched together and obviously fail this test, therefore they should pay and piss off.
And if there is any doubt that fatherhood is seen as a purely financial responsibility as opposed to a guidance responsibility, consider that by US law, there is no age of consent for child support. I.e. a boy of 13 can be a victim of statutory rape but still has to provide child support at age 16 for a child that legally he could not have consented to or ethically be capable of raising. If you don't believe me, read the case of Shane Seyer.
Of course, Shane could not be expected to be a good father at age 16 regardless of the consent issue, but he can be sued for money and that's what counts. So he should pay and piss off.