Happy birthday disenfranchised daughter, happy birthday to you, where ever you are.

I was thinking that maybe you (the electronic world) could do me a favor.  Now with social media blasting things all over for everyone to see I thought maybe if you know her you would pass along a happy birthday wish from me for my daughter.  You see, I fulfilled my “responsible father” parental duties, as defined by my government, years ago and we have no contact with each other for nigh on 20 years now.  So please, if you are blessed with knowing her do pass along my wishes for a good birthday and a happy year to follow.

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Birthday Party 1989

I suppose I should also here explain and make my apologies for her ending up a disenfranchised daughter to a beat dead, dead broke, disenfranchised dad (often referred to a “deadbeat dad” or “NCP – Non Custodial Parent”).  It certainly wasn’t my plan to be a disenfranchised dad, indeed I was actually a very involved dad and the primary care giving parent as her mother had returned to school and then work full time.   I didn’t plan my life this way, but life is the thing that happens to you while you are busy making plans.

You see, in the 1980’s we (me and her mother) believed that men and women should both share in providing for their children emotionally and financially.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me (and most other people out there), the system has defined “responsible fatherhood” as a father who pays his “child support” on time and in full, regardless of his ability to pay the government assessed amount or the needs of the child.  What I had been led to believe about society working “in the child’s best interest” and about fathers should be active and involved, “responsible”, I was soon to learn was not true.  I now believe only half of what I see and nothing that I hear.

In looking back I wonder if I would have been better off not trying to be an active nurturing participating father.  I could have accepted the “Standard NY Order” of every other weekend and Wednesday after school for 4 hour “visitations”.  I expect though that given the circumstances and the system that the disenfranchisement would have occurred just the same.  Indeed, I have come to learn that it is the hands-on active father who fights the hardest to be in their child’s life, and it is he who is often the one disenfranchised the most, an “inverse correlation”.  Of course, hind sight is 20-20 and nobody knew then what they know now.

I find some consolation in that I fought very hard to stay in my children’s life, over 3 years of litigation in multiple courts.  I was penalized financially for fighting “to hard”  and not accepting the “standard order” and made to pay attorneys and fees in addition to “child support”.  I was told to just “shut up and pay and you can visit your kids”.  I likened “visiting” on a regular schedule to being in jail.  I wanted more.  Alas, there was no avenue in which I would be allowed to be an active father in raising them.  The harder I fought, the worse I was penalized.  I had to define fatherhood as I saw it, not as another thought to make me be.  Unfortunately, Life isn’t fair, it was their way or nothing.

I think I did exceptionally well given I was fighting a government system with unlimited resources which was also plundering mine to pay to remove me from my children.  It was only after many years when I was ultimately arrested and suspended from work and lost all income that I capitulated.  I was bankrupt, facing incarceration, and a lifetime court order keeping me from my children or I could take a “deal”, return to work, pay my (extorted) “child support”, and rely on their custodial mothers good graces for any continued access to them.  I chose the latter as the lesser of two evils, she had no use for me.  In life you don’t always get what you want.

I did fault myself at times for “not fighting hard enough” or inversely, for not capitulating and accepting “visitor” status.  But in addition to be a father by my own heritage and definition I had to ask myself, “fatherhood at what cost”?   The entire system was designed to remove my parental right to raise my children, and so it did. I had no choice than to pay the “child support” extortion and it left me at maximum garnishment and I had to live on 35% of my income for 10 years (no bank account, no credit card, no home, no car).  When you add in the cost of “visitation” (denial of access, more false allegations and incarceration, loss of work, more jail for not paying the “support”) the cost of being a father wasn’t there, much less being a “visitor”.  My door is always open, I never denied any family member access the choice to not come to my door was not mine, and that’s cold hard fact.

When I tell people my now grown children haven’t called, emailed, or even been to “visit” me for 20 years they ask why or “who’s fault is it” (obviously I did SOMETHING to cause it).  It’s nobody’s I think, and EVERYBODY’S.  It’s “Parental Alienation” and a government system which encourages and rewards it, a system which most turn a bit of a blind eye to which is why it continues now for over 30 years.  To hide their discomfort most people will give the “maybe they’ll come back some day”, as if 20 years of acting a way will just change overnight.  Pffft is what I say back.  I certainly don’t expect them to crash my threshold, but I will stay true and never turn them away should they do so.

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2017

This is a computer selfie of me in 2017.  I used to look for an unattended camera and snap a “selfie”, this in the days before smart phones and the term “selfie”.  So more than one person has had film developed (and then digitally downloaded) to find a photo of me smiling at them.  Of course I recruited my kids as accomplices when they were old enough.  I thought perhaps they would be interested in how I look now.  Perhaps.  Their choice now.

A lot has been taken away from me by this government system, more so my children.  They took a good active involved father from two children who deserved better.  What they can’t take away is me being a DadSometimes you fight the good fight, and lose.  Such is life.  The sun will come up tomorrow and God willing you get a new day.  So in keeping with still being a Dad I say to my daughter, the doors open if you desire.  I wish you a happy birthday and a good year to follow.  Love, Dad.

 

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Welcome to adulthood Gen Z: advice for boys aging into men.

As reported by Reason.com (Welcome to adulthood Gen Z) Pew research has moved up the millennials (19 to 36 years old in 2017) to welcome the next generation into adulthood under the moniker “Gen Z” (born after 1998).  Now that you’re 18 you’ve probably researched the “important” stuff, night time driving privileges and the age you can legally consume alcohol but there is some stuff that impacts men which you are probably not aware of.  So this paternalistic baby boomer card carrying member of Friends of Protection For Men and the National Coalition For Men, and a Men’s Rights Activist will give you a few pointers. At 18 you are an adult and will be treated like an adult.  Mistakes made now can have life changing and long lasting effects on your future.

MEN – Life isn’t fair, be ready for it.  You’ve probably been fed a regular dose of men are privileged and women downtrodden.  Edgar Allen Poe advised that we should believe only half of what we see and nothing that we hear.   This applies to what you have learned about men and society.  When faced with a “truth” which doesn’t apply to our actions we often accept the “truth” but figure it must be the other guy.  As you begin to navigate in the adult world you’re going to find that many of your assumptions about how things work are wrong.  Part of growing up is learning your own truth’s and what works for you in an ever changing society.  Unfortunately, some things you do have serious consequences if you are wrong.  Knowledge is power, so don’t take any one piece of advice as factual (even mine here), question everything, verify everything.

First up is Selective Service.  As a male you need to sign up for the military draft and if you fail to do so there are multiple penalties at both the state and federal level, including being charged with a felony, fined, and jailed.  The government tells us, “If a draft is ever needed, it must be as fair as possible, and that fairness depends on having as many eligible men as possible registered.”  Missing from their information is HOW IS IT FAIR THAT MEN HAVE TO REGISTER AND NOT WOMEN?  Most people will point to combat roles, indeed, it was the exclusion from combat in the volunteer military which was used to exempt women from the draft in the first place.  This is a ludicrous excuse as it takes 2 to 3 people working to keep one man in combat.  So we’ll draft  men to work in finance, planning, as quartermasters but not require women to do the same?  Now that the military has opened combat roles to women this lame excuse  has no bearing on serving.  Either EVERYBODY needs to register or NOBODY needs to register.  I would direct you to put this question onto your Congressman’s twitter or web page and ask them direct, remind them that at 18 you are now a voting member of society.  More is here at NCFM.

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Second is reproductive rights.  As a man YOU HAVE NONE!  Again, understand that MEN HAVE NO REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS!  The NYS Court of Appeals has even ruled that “a man’s right to reproduction ends at ejaculation”.   This is true even if she pokes holes in your condom or steals your sperm from a used condom in the garbage (and even if not used on her!).   If a woman gets pregnant she can abort the child against your will and has no obligation to notify you of this.  If she decides to have the child she does NOT have to notify you of that.  She can ask, and will receive, child support even for a child you did not want (no male aborting allowed) and if she hid the child from you for years and then seeks you out for child support you will be assessed back to the time of birth!  What sage advice do I have for this?  PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES!  Short of abstinence there is no 100% effective method to protect yourself.   Women CAN, and DO, lie about their reproductive status so WEAR A CONDOM!  I suggest, “How To Avoid “Getting Screwed” When Getting Laid” by RK Hendrick, Esq. for practical suggestions.  Get it, read it, abide by it.

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Third up is False paternity.   Mommy’s baby is Daddy’s maybe.  If you are identified as the father of a child and you you accept paternity it can NOT be rescinded even if DNA testing later in life proves you are not the father.  There are many men paying child support for children that are not theirs (estimates run as high as 10%) and there are even legal instances where you can be named the father and have had no relations with the woman and are forced to pay anyway.  Women CAN, and DO lie about their reproductive status and the number of sexual partners and relations that they have.  Many are known to “Daddy shop”, naming a man who earns the most money as the father to maximize their child support even if they are not sure who the father is. The system is designed so you pay more for one child than for two so it is in a woman’s interest to have TWO baby daddy’s paying for “her” two kids instead of one paying for two.    Again, wear a condom, bring your own, and dispose of the used condom away from females. and ALWAYS get an at birth DNA test before admitting paternity!

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Fourth is Consent for sex – and false allegations of sexual abuse and rape.   Everyone understands that no means no (and this should apply to MEN also) but here are 3 areas where YES MEANS NO; Age of consent, intoxication, and her regret the next day.  It is the biased perception that all sexual abuse is perpetrated by men towards women (all women “need” protection) which has made it so that normal legal protections, the right of due process and innocent until proven guilty,  have been thrown out when men are accused of rape or sexual abuse.   This applies to criminal charges but is even worse in some institutions such as at colleges and universities and at work, especially those needing professional licensing.  Even if adjudicated “not guilty” the allegation and the negative perceptions of you will follow you throughout your life.  And, except in rare circumstances, there are virtually NO repercussions for making false allegation.

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If you get intoxicated with a female the intoxication will be determined to remove her ability to consent to sex but it will NOT remove your responsibility for having sex with her.  If equally drunk or stoned there is a very good chance you will be charged with rape because you are male.  There are even circumstances where a third party reports the “rape” of a female having drunken and/or consensual sex and the male is investigated and charged civilly.  The federal government has pressured colleges, threatening to remove funding, if they do not combat “sexual abuse” by applying “affirmative consent” rules to private sexual relations between consenting adults.   These rules have undermined due process on colleges.  The best way to protect yourself is to NOT have drunken sex.   The issue of colleges, affirmative consent, and the loss of protections for the falsely accused is reported on by Reason Magazine here.

Find out the age of consent in the jurisdiction that you are in!  And understand that there are different rules in each and every state and that also there are federal rules and criminal penalties.  As an 18 years old you will be treated and tried as an adult if you are having sexual relations with a female who is statutorily determined to be a child by age.  Sexting is a big problem as the transmittal of  “child pornography” is a federal crime, and the transmission of a photo of an underage female in her underwear to a male can be construed to be “child pornography” and you can be arrested for a felony, tried and/or coerced into pleading guilty, and have to register as a “sex offender” for the rest of your life.    You can find coverage of an individual case here and Reason Magazine has a good overview of the overreach and over reaction here.  Stop any “underage” sex and NO SEXTING!

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Regret reported as abuse will result in investigation and possibly criminal charges and civil actions.   The Duke Lacrosse case is a good example of the impact of false allegations.  People sometimes do regret the sexual situations they get themselves into, especially females, and especially if it is talked about or sent around on social media.  False allegations of rape and sexual abuse have been used by females to solicit sympathy and/or jealousy.  Allegations of sexual abuse can, and have, been made weeks and months after the incident and even if you are found to have not committed the act you can still suffer the stigma as the “Mattress girl” case shows.  Be careful not to put yourself into situations which could be construed as non consensual sex when looked at AFTER THE FACT!  You can get more information at SAVE-Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.

Fifth is Domestic violence, specifically disorderly incidents and false allegations by females.  IF YOU ARE A MAN YOU WILL BE TREATED AS THE PERPETRATOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EVEN IF IT IS MUTUAL, YOU ARE DEFENDING YOURSELF, OR YOU ARE THE VICTIM!  The fact of the matter is our response to domestic violence is a one sided affair which looks at men as perpetrators and women as victims.  What was designed as a shield to protect abused people is now a sword used regularly through false allegations.  Inversely, if you are a male victim there are almost no services available for you and most likely, if you are to report, you will end up being the one investigated.

Statutory protections and due process.  Every person is protected from assault by the penal code and if you are involved in an altercation with another person you can press charges or, in the case of a mutual disagreement or their being extenuating circumstances, decide to not press charges.  For the district attorney to prosecute they would require you to make a statement and then appear at trial.  If you declined to make a statement or appear then charges would not be pursued.  YOU decide to press charges, to make a statement, and to pursue a trial.  In cases of mutual combat between males (most often) charges would not be filed.  But remember, even in defense, most physical acts towards a female by a male will be viewed negatively and result in charges field against you.  However, the only recourse is through criminal court where you would need to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (high standard of proof).  But that’s not true for domestic “abuse”.

While domestic abuse laws used to apply only to those related by blood or marriage or those who had a child together they have now been expanded to persons in an “intimate relationship” (intimate partner).  Thus the domestic abuse laws now apply to heterosexual and same sex dating couples including teenagers which is YOU.  Worse, there is no definition of “intimate relationship” so if she says she’s in an intimate relationship with you, you will be treated as if she is even if you do not consider her so.

This is important because if you are an “intimate partner” then the domestic violence laws apply to you.  Now both criminal court AND family court have concurrent jurisdiction.  There is Mandatory Arrest for any injury and if there are injuries to both parties (such as a mutual spat) then the police have to determine the Primary Aggressor.  Being a certified police domestic violence trainer I can tell you that “Primary Aggressor” equals “arrest the man”.

You also lose control of what will be done.  Should you both say neither wants to make a statement a regarding a private matter, one will be put on file anyway (Domestic Incident Report-DIR).  Should she say it was mutual and doesn’t want to press charges, but has a mark on her, you will be arrested anyway based upon Primary Aggressor and Mandatory Arrest Laws.  If she tells the district attorney’s office that she will not make a statement and press charges, you will still be arrested, arraigned in front of a judge, and made to either post bail or spend the night in jail.  You will have to hire an attorney and show up for a trial date and submit a motion before the case is dismissed for lack of evidence.

Should a woman be mad at you for any reason she can claim to be an “intimate partner” and file for an order of protection.  As family court has concurrent jurisdiction she need not file any criminal charges as she can go direct to family court and request the order.  Temporary Orders of Protection (TOP) can be obtained based on ex parte testimony (her word alone) and for even slim allegations such as “I’m afraid of him” and “I feel threatened by him”.  Once issued you will be ordered to stay away from her, including if you go to school together, work together, or live in the same neighborhood, thus disrupting your life.  They will even seize any and all firearms that you own.

It will be months before you get into family court for a hearing on the need and validity of the TOP and unlike criminal courts high “reasonable doubt” standard it is the civil court standard of “a preponderance of evidence” (51%).  In a “he said, she said” the judge will believe her and rule favorably.  Should you inadvertently violate the TOP, even if it is found later to be without merit and thrown out, you will be charged with a misdemeanor (up to a year in jail) and a second violation is a felony!

MEN, If you are involved in a disorderly, harassing, or physical altercation of any kind DO NOT STATE YOU ARE IN AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ANYONE, and if asked state it is a casual relationship only with any participants (the other party should do the same).  If it is determined to be a “domestic incident” the police lose all of their authority to use discretion in arresting and/or filling out a report.  You BOTH lose your right to NOT press charges or file a report.  If it was physical in any way state that you were trying to retreat and defending yourself from their attack and you do not (or do as the case may be) wish charges to be pressed against them AND MAKE NO OTHER STATEMENTS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY.  There are severe repercussions for police NOT following domestic violence protocols so they are protecting their own interests and not yours and/or your friends.

I’ll close here with a welcome to the “life isn’t fair man’s world”.  I know this is a lot to consume, and in fact there is even more wrongs you’ll suffer as a man, high suicide rates, high work death rates,  DV victimization yourself, loss of access to your children post separation/divorce and punitive “child support” payments.  You can find more on these issues at the National Coalition For Men web site.   Domestic Violence and false allegations is covered at Stop Abusive and Violent Environments or Stop Abuse For Everyone.
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You can also find more on men’s and boys rights and issues on Facebook at Friends of the Protection For MenPFM/Boys Rights and Issues, PFM/College and University, PFM Men’s Human Rights Movement,  and PFM Men’s and Boy’s Health among others.  PFM was founded by RK Hendrick, the author of “How to Avoid “getting Screwed” When getting Laid” and you can reach him there.  Feel free to join the discussion.

 

I can be reached through Facebook on the PFM sites or at the “Coalition of Fathers and Families NY” Facebook site or at NY MAN.  Information used here is based on New York State and US Laws although much of it has practical applications in all jurisdictions. This is NOT legal advice and we direct you to seek competent counsel for your specific jurisdiction and circumstance.
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The author, Lt. James Hays (Ret.) is a recently retired NYS Law Enforcement Officer of  34 years, 9 as a supervisor.  I am also a 20 year plus men/father rights activist co-founder, past President and current Treasurer of the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc., (501c3 Educational and Advocacy Organization) and Director of the NY Men’s Action Network (Blog link), (a grass roots political action group founded in 1997.  The opinions expressed herein are those of Mr. Hays and are not necessarily the opinion of any organization or individual mentioned herein.