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War of the Genders

A confrontational soapbox for rants and politically incorrect manifestos regarding feminism, chauvinism, dating and gender issues.

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Location: Jerusalem, Israel

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wallethood

This letter from 'The National Association of Women and the Law' to the Justice system in Ontario argues many points to undermine the influence of the "loud clamour of the fathers rights lobby" on 'women's rights', and expresses concerns regarding changes in the legal system that may harm women.

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.

26 Comments:

Anonymous lanan said...

France and Belgium implemented the bilocation principle, i.e. shared parenting as a legal norm. Belgium did so a year ago, I never read anything bad about it, quite the opposite. Funny enough the letter does'nt cite or state any studies it says have proven the negative impact on the child.

Ok, it's not mentioning the child at all, but only its "best interests". Though i know of France shared parenting is actually practised in only 10% of the cases in terms of an equally shared amount of time.

Nevertheless shared parenting reduces the risk of a pay and piss off strategy being played on fathers, having rather strict law enforment on women who try to exclude fathers from their kids. Imprisonment up to six month is not only threatened but actually executed on these women.

Eventually both countries reduce the amount of money given to an expartner by looking also on the theoretical chances a female has, to earn her own money. Given tax financed public child care, these chances are high. Another country is Sweden which knows no post marital alimentaion of a former partner at all.

Unsuprisingly these countries are ones with the highest rate of employed women, which also applies to top positions.

So putting more legal or economical pressure on women instead of increasing support for them is what finally improves their situation, the situation of their partners or expartners and certainly their children. There are ways to undermine playing the pay and piss off card.

Though that does'nt explain when and why the idea of fathers as mere baby sitters came up. Which would be at least of a mild theoretical interest.

November 16, 2005 5:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tough topic… It makes sense that the default should be to give joint custody and only in special cases to give one parent custody. However, I’m guessing, joint custody may have many practical drawbacks- most divorced couples don’t tend to agree with each other and everything little decision can become a war. In that sense giving one parent custody is probably more practical. The problem is that this can really shut one parent out and send the message ‘ pay and piss off’. Children do need both parents, they need love, guidance and everything you mentioned Baron. And some things they get from their mother and some from their father. But the law can’t enforce a parent to love, to be a role model, to care.
It can enforce them to pay. The strategy isn’t ‘pay and piss off’ it’s ‘be there as much as you can for your kid, but since you aren’t the one who is going to be taking care of these kids 24/7 the least you can do is pay’. It is far far from ideal, but the truth is, if the parents hate each other and are at war, I can’t think of any good solution here.

t-bear

November 17, 2005 1:07 am  
Blogger Baron said...

The way lanan puts it, I am reminded of one of the reasons Communism failed. People simply didn't have any incentive to work hard. Even in the semi-Socialist United Kingdom and USA of the 70s, the economy stagnated because many companies held monopolies with the government's help and were given subsidies. As soon as the free market was introduced and government subsidies canceled, the companies suddenly had to improve their service, competition was introduced, people worked harder, and the economy soared.

Why work harder when you can sue for sexual harrassment, alimony and child-support? Some people even call child-support "backdoor alimony" and after reading this letter, it's easy to see why.

Regarding fatherhood seen as baby-sitting and money: The way I see it, it's like a polarizing filter. These self-centered women only see parenthood as what mothers contribute to this dynamic. When faced with the alien and sometimes seemingly unhelpful method of parenting called fatherhood, they filter out everything except these common denominators. When men guide their children instead of nurturing them in a motherly way, the only visible motherly trait is baby-sitting, and financial aid actually goes to the mother, not the child, which is why Feminists equate child-support with 'women's rights'.

Fatherhood needs to be well-defined and separated from the concept of motherhood in order for father's rights movements to succeed.

Or perhaps it's even worse: Some fathers, like many modern men, have been stripped of their assertive male character, and are really no longer useful as fathers, only as baby-sitters.

Of course one can always argue that things are as that letter says and most fathers are simply bad fathers. Or perhaps one can argue like t-bear that the problem is between the parents and that it would be a disaster to force joint-custody. But there are several problems and contradictions with these arguments:

1. What about bad mothers? Why can even murdering and alcoholic women get joint-custody but healthy fathers have to fight for years just to see their children?

2. How can you disqualify every father automatically? That would be like arguing that since most women aren't as good as men in software engineering, we should not let women in this field at all.

3. Even if the parents don't get along and this causes serious diffculties then why not award half of child-custody cases to fathers and half to mothers as long as both seem healthy? Why this extreme bias towards mothers?

4. If most fathers are bad fathers then what about the studies that show most problematic children came from single-parent homes?

5. What is this argument that most fathers are bad based on? I argued above that this is unfounded sexist bias. Also, let's say for argument's sake that men aren't home with their children as much as women are. But what about the unique contribution fathers give to their children that has nothing to do with making sure they eat properly? Why is motherly care more important than fatherhood? Or, for example, what's wrong with busy fathers hiring nannies to take care of the children's health and devoting their time exclusively to fathering their children?

If a parent is obviously bad for the child then the only thing the courts can do is force her to pay money. However, the attack here is not on bad fathers, but on fatherhood in general.

November 17, 2005 8:15 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

@anonymous:

It's not true that "most divorced couples don’t tend to agree with each other and everything little decision can become a war".

Comparing figures of serveral european countries you have an average value between 20-30 % in which divorce actually becomes war, especially about the kids. The question is how you deal with it?

In Germany women have all the chances to expel their former husbands and finally being awarded by exclusive custody despite court rulings, which theoretically grant fathers their right to see their children.

In Belgium or France they don't get along with it, courts even ruling that friction between parents, though not amusing, is something that serves the development of a child. Women who argue along the bad babysitter line, are told being childish and presented with the legal terms.

This might be seen as crucial or wrong but just consider the results of the pisa study. If you don't see just nations, mostly education is not managed nationwide but varies between states or counties within a nation. The best results of the last study were achieved in flanders. Just a little hint, that they might be right.

Another example from germany. Pensions are normally based on social security fees and those are subtracted from gross wages, i.e. no work, no social security. So men are compelled to share their social security with their former wifes for the time the were married. Divorced women are legally adviced to get a spare time job after the youngest child is aged 8, a full time job after the youngest child is 15. Quite clearly chances to get a job after 15 years of absence is very low, so these women are left off with no or just a minimal pension. Now guess, who is held in custody, when it comes to pay for the "retired mothers"? Their children!

Anyone agreeing with me, that this a kind of "caregiving" that is really in the ultimate best interest of the child?

Well I call it antisocial ...

All that does'nt explain when and why the diminishing of fatherhood started. There are explanations I would expect to fit for europe but not for the USA.

Or we're just missing the point. Having about 20-30% values where divorce becomes war and an average divorce rate of approximately 50%. We're talking about 10-15% of men who might suffer from pay and piss off. So maybe it's not a social problem, but a problem with so called woman 's right activists, who do not represent women, or even a great minority af women at all.

Despite their power to use media and create a public image that you described baron, it's still a problem to be solved.

November 17, 2005 2:12 pm  
Anonymous OneAngryDad said...

Today, my son's (3) mother was kind enough to explain why she had arbitarily reduced my parenting by a day a week. "It disrupts his routine" she said, I replied "you mean your routine", quick as a flash she said "I don't have a routine". "thank you" I thought.

I had an independant witness she was unaware of, a very discrete and sensitive tape recorder. Which is admissable in our oz courts.

November 17, 2005 3:32 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

To lanan:

What does "20-30% in which divorce actually becomes war" mean? Is it a percentage of the population or of divorce cases? What does 'war' mean?

I also believe t-bear was arguing that divorced parents argue and fight personally even out of court and without lawsuits. For this reason, joint-parenting even without legal wars could expose children to bad situations and atmospheres.

In any case, even if only 20-30% (i.e. 15% of people) of divorce cases could lead to bad joint-custody situations, this still means that out of every million couples with an average of 2 children, 300,000 children will suffer. So what does this argument prove?

I can also argue that the 20-30% of cases are only the ones where the father decided to declare a legal war but in reality, many more divorce cases award custody to the mother and involve an angry or dissenting father.

That said, your argument about differing opinions being good for children is a good one. The benefit of having two parents is that the male viewpoint counterbalances the female one and not all arguments are bad for the child as long as the child isn't exposed to nastiness. Quite the opposite.

It also just occured to me that the argument by feminists that most single-mothers live in poverty and have weak careers should theoretically be an argument against giving them custody. If what they say is true that fathers are well off and mothers are poor, then how can mothers be expected to give the proper care to their children?

But of course since feminists and society see all mothers as 'caregivers' and men as useless career-oriented wallets, these arguments become ineffectual. What the courts do is state that ONLY women are capable of parenting therefore we must ignore any problems the woman may have because a bad woman is better than nothing (i.e. fathers) and any practical disadvantages they have (like money) must be remedied by men because that's all they're good for.

November 17, 2005 5:49 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

What does "20-30% in which divorce actually becomes war" mean? Is it a percentage of the population or of divorce cases? What does 'war' mean?

Talking about divorces I thought it would be clear it was about divorce cases, not the overall population. When speaking about war I just picked up t-bears term.

I reject following t-bears argumentation, since it leads to a situation in which mothers could legally blackmail their divorced husbands. That was one point of the official statement made by the belgian government when introducing shared parenting.

In any case, even if only 20-30% (i.e. 15% of people) of divorce cases could lead to bad joint-custody situations, this still means that out of every million couples with an average of 2 children, 300,000 children will suffer. So what does this argument prove?

I can also argue that the 20-30% of cases are only the ones where the father decided to declare a legal war but in reality, many more divorce cases award custody to the mother and involve an angry or dissenting father.


Well these figures are official statistics, so in the first place they don't prove anything. They might be a hint, that parenting is less a contoversy than it seems to be. Of course you're right in saying, that looking only on those cases that appear in front of court, is missing the point.

There is something else interesting on these figures. They show that despite different legal terms to deal with the topic of post divorce parenting, the overall figures in which it becomes a controversy are the same. This also is true for divorce rates in general.

That said, there is no legal way to protect children and parents from bad situations or atmosphere. There is a way to share happiness and burden, and that's called shared parenting. But beware of the vast differences shared parenting is legally implemented. There is joint custody as a formal legal term in Germany but no law enforcement to actually practise shared parenting, as it is in France or Belgium.

Having high rates of employed women, also in top positions, having high birth rates, even among those highly skilled women, France and Sweden are to be seen as typical good examples when it comes to the role of women in society within the EU. The way it was achieved actually differs quite a lot. What feminist victimology is trying to persuade us is that you only have to combine the benefits given to females in both countries and everything will be fine. They have'nt got the point yet.

Still, all this does'nt answer the reasons for the cultural shift in abandoning fatherhood.

November 18, 2005 9:17 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

How do you like this one?

November 18, 2005 10:32 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

It also just occured to me that the argument by feminists that most single-mothers live in poverty and have weak careers should theoretically be an argument against giving them custody. If what they say is true that fathers are well off and mothers are poor, then how can mothers be expected to give the proper care to their children?

I just heared of a danish study about children aged between 3-5 growing up with their dads.

It states quite clearly that children growing up with single dads are showing less problematic symptoms than those you are raised by single moms. The reason given was the better financial situation of fathers compared to that of mothers.

It also states that relationships to the other parent is much better in cases of male parenting than vice versa.

Unfortunately I did'nt found any english transation, but could offer danish, icelandic, spanish or german instead ;-)

It's called: Nygaard Christoffersen, M. (1998): Growing up with dad: a comparison of children aged 3-5 years old.

November 22, 2005 8:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Baron and Lanan: I just have one question for you guys:
Say you have a baby, or a 2 year old, or a 5 year old child and for some reason you have to leave the country, say for a month, and you can't take your child with you.
Who do you choose to leave you child with? How many males would you actually consider for this job? (and yes, you love that child and prefer him alive:)


t-bear

November 22, 2005 8:51 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

@ t-bear

Are we talking about the same topic?

This thread was about reducing fatherhood to wallethood and babysitting. Though this might be true while being married, at least if you believe mainstream media when complaining bad babysitter qualities of males, it becomes a brutal fact after being divorced, since custody is mostly granted to women.

The questions are:

Is fatherhood male motherhood? The anser is no! Though I don't see a problem in changing diapers or feeding a kid.

Does fatherhood add to the well being of a child in a way motherhood could not? The answer is yes!

Are there ways to maintain the well being and positive development of a child after the parents got divorced? The answer is yes, shared parenting.

I could easily supply you with loads of information about PAS i.e. children suffering from being alienated of one of their parents (feel free to read fathers). I could easily supply you with loads of information that child abuse is more common to single mothers than to single fathers. I could give you loads of information were either single mothers or their new partners killed the children.

All I say is, stop that cult about mothers, they are'nt gods.

And to finally answer your question. In the case you described, I certainly wanted to stay the child with their mother, what else!

The funny thing about your question is my case, that I have to travel a lot being a freelance IT consultant, which could easily be abroad, but I consider to leave my country not for getting work, but a family. Thanks to that huge lab called EU it's possible to change conditions and laws just by settling some hundred kilometres away.

November 22, 2005 11:27 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

To t-bear:

I'd say that it depends on the men and women I know but I would prefer leaving the child with a couple or with people that had their own child. If I had to choose between singles, there would probably be more suitable females, but I can think of many females that party, take drugs or go wild even more than men in which case I would choose a mature man over those women any day.

But like lanan said, the point here is that fatherhood is being cancelled, not just de-prioritized.

November 23, 2005 12:14 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

@t-bear

Did you mean a situation in which I was a single father, the mother not being available, I had to consider where to leave my kid when I had to leave the country for some month?

In a situation the mother is not available, either being dead, or just acting so unresponsible that she even would'nt be granted shared parenting, which is rare, having no other trustworthy persons, like for instance parents, then there would simply be no other solution than getting a job in which you don't need to travel.

November 23, 2005 1:12 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

to t-bear: I just have one question for you guy:
How do you discuss with a guy, that does'nt answer?

November 23, 2005 2:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to be long – sorry but both of you were asking for it:

Lanan - I think the thread did deal with custody issues and that is why I brought up the question. Baron mentioned that it didn’t seem fair to automatically grant mothers custody, arguing that fatherhood is just as important and if custody were to be given to one parent it should be 50% of the time awarded to fathers.
So, I pictured in my mind a judge that has to make this decision. Knowing nothing about the parents, and having to choose in which hands he is going to put these children’s lives in. You can argue all you want how fathers contribute to a child’s well being and so on. But the judge knows as well as you do that most chances are that the one who actually took care of these children (you know everything from preparing their meals to knowing who their best friends are) was the mother. There is no replacement for a mother nurturing her kids (and no Baron- outsourcing this job to a nanny is not just as good). So, although I hate admitting this, because it kind of crushes my utopian idea of a father who is a full partner in what you call “motherly caregiving”, I guess I don’t believe most men want or are even capable of it. If you think a father can be a good single parent, or at least as good as a single mother, I guess you are a bigger feminist then I am (I say feminist in the since of equality). You can fight for equality only when there is a basis for it – as long as women and judges will trust mothers to bring up children but won’t trust fathers – shouting equality will only sound like hypocrisy.

By the way- when I asked my question I meant that leaving the kids with the mother was not an option (well you see, I’m so rapped up in the oxyom of mothers taking care of the children I thought it was obvious that if the fathers were the caregivers the mother was pretty much out of the picture and not an option). The idea was to make you admit you would probably choose a female to take care of the child.

Lanan wrote: “This thread was about reducing fatherhood to wallethood and babysitting. Though this might be true while being married…”

Well if this is true while being married why should anyone believe this will be different after divorce???

If men are almost universally perceived as only good for their wallets, if courts (filled with men and women judges) don’t trust you, if they are willing to trust poor, abusing, murdering mothers more then they trust you- something must be very very wrong.
Feminists didn’t cancel fatherhood, men did.
Either because they choose too or can’t fathers hardly spend any time with their children. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their children, they are just not around enough. And then when they are left with their children- they are clueless. Waking them up in the morning, getting them ready for school, preparing their lunches, asking them about their day, knowing who their friends are, knowing when they are sick just by the color of their face, taking them to the doctor, washing their cloths and god I can go on here. So you think you can give your son some advice when he is 17 about girls and even remotely try to measure up to motherhood? Give me a break!
You men want respect for fatherhood? Go out and earn it! It will make all of us happier.

Baron: you say you would first look for a couple that already has experience in the field- no doubt the best choice for your child. The women would probably be the one mostly taking care of the child but the extra support form her husband would probably produce better conditions for the child – perhaps allowing her to work less and spend more time at home to take care of the brat and so on). If a couple is not an option, you said you would probably find more suitable females for the job. That is exactly the logic of courts. If a couple is not an option they give the child to the mother and try to reproduce comfortable conditions for raising him.

By the way, Lanan mentioned that in France although there is shared parenting by law, it is only practiced 10% of the time. Interesting. So when given the choice men piss off only 90% of the time. Now that calls for respect.

(mean)t-bear

November 23, 2005 2:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Lanan:
Sorry...You are 2 fast for me...
t-bear

November 23, 2005 2:54 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

to t-bear:

I really would like to know more about you, though I don't want to be impolite. Knowing your background, the place you live, your job, your age, your sex would help me to understand the way you think.

I don't know if fatherhood is really about to be cancelled, that was the reason, why I gave several examples of european countries dealing quite different with the topic.

The example of France is really interesting, because I think your interpretation is blatantly wrong. Your blaming french men for something they are just granted since a couple of years, i.e. someone who got divorced five years ago, had'nt a chance of shared parenting, There was always joint custody in France or Belgium, which is'nt the same as shared parenting. That said, women who tried to kick the fathers out of their children's life were sentenced to prison up to half a year. So granting fathers rights were in the first place, which by changing the 'role model' was only increased by shared parenting.

But let's rest on the figures, there are official EU statistics showing how good men are serving as male mothers. The worst results are achieving french fathers, though french women does'nt seem to bother, given France to be the european country with the highest birth rate. Funny enough the best results were achieved by belgian fathers. Well there is something really funny about it, they have the same 'code civil'.

So to put it simple, being kicked out of my own children's life is violating one of my upmost basic rights, I simply don't want to be discussed. Besides, it's certainly not just a right but a dedication.

I could give you examples of my own experience I made with caregiving to a child though it was'nt my child, maybe I do when I know more about you ...

November 23, 2005 4:15 am  
Anonymous lanan with a little addendum said...

to t-bear:

You wrote: "Lanan wrote: “This thread was about reducing fatherhood to wallethood and babysitting. Though this might be true while being married…”

Well if this is true while being married why should anyone believe this will be different after divorce???"


What I said was: "Though this might be true while being married, at least if you believe mainstream media when complaining bad babysitter qualities of males, it becomes a brutal fact after being divorced, since custody is mostly granted to women."

That is to say not real life women are mostly blaming their husbands for being bad male mothers, as long as they are married. But media evoke the picture of fatherhood being nothing else than male motherhood and men in general are judged not being capable of holding that standard. Certainly some amount of women do complain about the incapability of their former husbands, when getting divorced, and so do judges.

Yesterday I had an interesting experience looking at a young family, that seemed to be modern, left winged, and feminist (the way you use the word). The father was walking hands on with his little son, while carrying its teddy bear, the mother was carrying a fully loaded suitcase.

I mention this because a year ago, in the same place I saw a turkish family, obviously conservative the way they were dressed, the woman wearing a head scarf. The father was carrying the daughter on his shoulders, making fun with her, the mother carrying heavy bags. ;-)

So probably you're even right to say that men cancelled fatherhood, not feminists. There are hints that might prove it. Though feminism isn't feminism comparing equity feminism of the 70's to today's gender feminism.

But looking on the picture above, there are similarities between a culture that is described being unfavourable to women, Islam, and the situation modern women voluntarily choose to live in when being treated equal. Baron wrote about it in counterpoint. So shouting equality was meant to be, if you want us to be caregiving instead of caring fathers, carry the suitcase.

Speaking of hypocrisy. Don't you think that judging today's willing and capable men to be mere walking wallets and sperm donators, simply by putting the blame on them for lacks of their ancestors, would be an act of hypocrisy?

If a man is a caring father, not capable of caregiving, grant him joint custody to see his children on a regularly basis at least. If a man is also a caregiving father grant him shared parenting at an amount of time that is suitable to all parts.

An uncle of mine fought his way to real 50:50 shared parenting back in the 80's, he was capable of raising his daughter. I'm sick of discussing my basic rights, as I'm sick of being held irresponsible or told to be uncapable of something I would be dedicated to.

November 23, 2005 7:50 am  
Blogger Baron said...

To t-bear:

When I said that a judge should distribute the custody awards evenly between healthy parents, I was arguing against your specific point that said that single-parent custody is awarded to women because divorced parents fight. In other words, if the reason is only due to fighting, then why do women get exclusivity?

But now you're arguing that women are really the primary caregivers so let's talk about that:

1. I know several women that would or do make bad mothers. In these cases, why isn't the father preferable?

2. A nanny is a perfectly good solution for taking care of the child's physical needs, as long as the father devotes time to the relationship and helping the child with everything else. This, men are perfectly capable of and you have not explained what is wrong with this scenario.

3. I know men who can take care of the more motherly aspects of parenting just fine. Granted it usually gets better as the child grows up and usually women are much better at being mothers, but given the fact that some men can manage being mothers either through their own efforts or by hiring a nanny, then who's to say that a man's contribution to parenting isn't just as important if not more?

4. Most importantly: The main argument here that Fathers' Rights movements also support is that we want JOINT-custody, not single-custody. Therefore all of the above difficulties concerning motherly care of the child are irrelevant.

So ideally what we are suggesting is the following:

1. By default, grant joint-custody so that the child can benefit from the unique advantages of both motherhood and fatherhood.

2. If this is not possible because one of the parents is not fit, then it must be carefully decided which parent is not fit. Women should be judged regarding their fitness to be mothers with equal criticism that is applied to fathers.

t-bear said that the judge knows nothing about the parents. But he does, that's the whole point of having a court hearing. He can know what's necessary to make a decision given both the wife's and husband's arguments. If he knows nothing about the parents then how can he know the mother is a good mother?

3. There should be no such thing as defaulting towards the mother just because the mother is better at mothering. Some fathers can cover the mothering aspects of fatherhood, and if they can't they can find an alternative practical solution such as nannies.

You argue that fathers are seen as useless because they don't do the mother thing well. That's exactly the problem.

How would you like it if we always granted custody to fathers because women are inferior to men when it comes to fatherhood?

And this thing about fathers not being close and caring to their child is a very unfair stereotype. I know plenty of fathers who have great, deep relationships with their children.

Perhaps the reality is that many fathers aren't interested enough to be good fathers. But what about the ones that want to be fathers? There are hundreds of thousands of angry fathers all over the world who have been blocked access to their child. Obviously they are very interested in having a relationship with their children and everything I said here proves that not only is there is no reason not to give them joint-custody, there is even strong reason to prefer this arrangement.

So forget about percentages, what do we do about these huge numbers of sad, oppressed, angry fathers who only want to fulfill their unique responsibility and maintain a relationship with their children?

November 23, 2005 7:55 am  
Blogger Baron said...

P.S. I don't think society has killed fatherhood, I think only the courts and Feminism did.

Think about the words 'father-figure' and fathering and all associations that come with it. Compare this to 'mothering'. Both bring up important but very different relationships.

Think about all the times you heard people say 'my father taught me that...' and things like 'my mother took good care of me'. Think of how many times you heard these statements being reversed.

I know so many people even well into adulthood and old-age that keep talking about the life-altering lessons they learned from their fathers and what kind of special relationships they had together. I know many people who became much better humans because of their fathers. How can you argue that hiring a nanny just so that children can get some fathering in their lives isn't worth it? How can Feminists argue that women should be the default and ONLY parents?

Women are not the primary caregivers, they are the primary mothers. Men are the primary fathers.

November 23, 2005 8:40 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

Baron said: "P.S. I don't think society has killed fatherhood, I think only the courts and Feminism did."

I'd accept that statement partly for USA, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland. Maybe in lesser quantity even for UK. I don't see it fit for Europe.

Since you don't see fatherhood in plainly summarizing fatherly attitudes, the way you do. But in its contemporary derogative meaning, i.e. using the ideological term patriarchy, then it's started to derode some 150 years ago. Any social revolutionary ideology of the 19'th or early 20'th century was meant to be "liberating" from some form of "oppressive authority", which was wrongly called patriarchy.

Though not called feminism, womens liberation was clearly on the agenda. To put it shortly, all so called progressive thinking throughout Europe the last 150 years had a scapegoat called patriarchy.

It did'nt affect gender affairs, simply because both of them had still to be "liberated". After fascism and communism failed, the scapegoat was still there, be it either capitalism, colonism, catholic church and so on. After these symbols of "patriarchy" were exhausted and no longer available it simply shifted to real men. That's the reason why men are measured by female standards, and lot's of men do that as well.

So the US, UK and the white parts of commonwealth not being disrupted by all sorts of european ideologic idioty, it struck them in the sixties, which looks like feminism did it. They had helping male hands.

Looking on countries in which equity feminism was swift and successful, i.e. France and Sweden, laws are favourable to men.

November 24, 2005 12:25 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

to t-bear:

"By the way, Lanan mentioned that in France although there is shared parenting by law, it is only practiced 10% of the time. Interesting. So when given the choice men piss off only 90% of the time. Now that calls for respect".

Just looked it up again. The figures mentioned were published in 2001. At that time shared parenting (garde alternée) was'nt introduced as a legal norm in France, as opposed to joint custody.

I don't know todays figures, but it does'nt matter as long, as there are states that don't even grant joint custody.

November 25, 2005 1:21 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

A question to baron:

Have you ever heard of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ?

All you are trying to explain about the importance of fathers for the well being and quality of upbringing of children, is already explained there.

So it might be more helpful, to argue that strengthening fathers rights is indeed strengthening the rights of the child according to international law.

When introducing shared parenting the french and belgian government explicitly recurred to the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

I just mention it, because there no use in begging, explaining and complaining when talking about 'fathers rights'. Anything else than joint custody at least simply does'nt match international legal standards.

November 25, 2005 3:53 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

Perhaps I missed something but I don't see any specific arguments describing fatherhood as crucial to the child on that site. It's one thing to argue for the child's best interests, but fatherhood must be adequately defined first in order for people to see how critical it is for children.

November 26, 2005 5:31 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

Certainly the convention is not a hymn on fatherhood, since it's about childs rights. But the opening letter you posted states, that mothers should be prefered in custody being the primary caregivers, so acting in the childs best interest The letter was meant to be a legal statement. In this it contradicts international law, i.e. the convention on the rights of the child, which quite clearly gives no preference to one gender but describes equal importance to both of them.

Those states that see the importance of fatherhood and grant fathers equal rights, refer to the convention. As the Europen Supreme Court for Human Rights does.

If you want the mother cult to be stopped and kick feminazi asses, that's your tool.

November 26, 2005 6:46 pm  
Anonymous Bhanu Prasad said...

--Unsuprisingly these countries are ones with the highest rate of employed women, which also applies to top positions---

I guess you are speaking of the positions on top of hierarchy. They are still dominated overwhelmingly by men. Even in Sweden/Norway boards of MNC's have around 4% women.

October 31, 2008 11:10 pm  

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