This site is no longer moderated. Newer posts are at nymensactionnetwork.org and these posts have been moved there also.
When married, or co-parenting and child focused, parents try to spread the emotional equity around, that time the children get with you and extended family. Often it is Christmas Eve with one side of your immediate family, Christmas Day with the other, the “traditional” gathering spot for the occasion. But Christmas morning was the kids at home time, with tree and presents, up at 5am, kids with parents in tow, close up emotional equity for parents and child. Then the divorce (or separation) and the question is, “how do we divide the emotional equity?”.
Now “visitation” (parenting time) is reduced to a court order and a time frame, “the children will be with the father from 9am to 5 pm Christmas Day and the mother from 4pm to 12 pm on Christmas Eve in even years and inversely on odd years”. Punch a clock, move out kids, the court says so. For those that suffer the “custodial” parents move away the time together is even more limited by distance, perhaps every other year is your time. For the Alienated Parent the holidays heighten the sense of loss you feel each and every day of the year, no contact at all. Regardless of the parent-child status all separated parents will feel the absence and loss of the children to some degree, and so too the children.
For those fathers (or mothers) who are suffering with an alienating ex spouse you can expect them to use the emotional aspects of the holiday and their control of the children to cause turmoil. Baby Mama Drama, withholding access, bringing them late to disrupt your events, excessive gift giving, laying abandonment guilt on the kids, and the ever present bad mouthing are to be expected. The courts are closed and the police will do nothing to enforce an order for your time with your children. Many a disenfranchised dad has found himself standing alone, waiting, to no avail. If it has been occurring through the year, expect it at the holidays and prepare yourself.
It’s important to acknowledge the emotional difficulties the holidays bring on the separated family and to us individually as Fathers in them. For the sake of our children we need to stay child focused (regardless if the ex does or not) and try to make the holiday a normal father-child-family event. Don’t get dragged into the drama and turmoil. Focus on your time together and not on the time that you do not have. But when you are apart you need to focus on YOURSELF, including your emotional needs. The feelings of loss and grief to absent children are normal responses to your quickly changing circumstance, and like all of us fathers, you are having a normal response to the child absence and changing family life.
The APA has tips for handling holiday blues as does the Mayo Clinic who’s tips I find most relevant to the child absent parent. You can also do a search for advice which best helps your particular situation. Social media provides an outlet, the issues discussion page Friends of Protection For Men will be monitored by many and is a good place for us to discuss our issues that day. The stress of being a beat dead, dead broke, and disenfranchised dad weighs heavily on all of us going through this, know you are not alone. We discuss suicide prevention at the PFM Suicide Prevention site and if you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide you can reach out to the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or you can Text a counselor at 741741 (USA). Or search for a provider in your state or country.
From my perspective the best course of action is to stay connected and look to help another person in need. It is now the 20th anniversary for me since I last had my children on the holiday, and yes, I do still miss them. But I have worked to stay connected to those friends and family who care about me and I also look to find those beat dead, dead broke, disenfranchised dads who need a kind word of encouragement and a friend at a trying time in their life.
Indeed, this post is part of that outreach for I’ll put it on social media and check it on Christmas Eve and Day in case someone reaches out. I’m a retired police officer (US Army veteran also) and was part of our critical incident response team in addition to providing peer support and counseling to parents and families in crisis due to divorce and separation for over 20 years now and I can be reached at my e-mail if you wish to talk (note it will not be continually monitored and if in severe crisis use a manned hotline).
The important thing is to not suffer alone and in silence when the kids are gone. Volunteer your time with a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or veterans organization. Go to church, reach out to others, connect, rebuild family and family traditions anew. Do something with somebody. Remember, you are not alone and there are many of us in your circumstance, reach out if need be.
At a recent American Psychological Association (APA) convention the topic of loneliness, and how it impact health was discussed. Dr. Keith Ablow writes about it on Fox news lamenting “we still don’t have a plan to reduce it”. In the article he points to social media as increasing loneliness in America. Emma Sepala, Ph.D. tells us it is the American Protestant work ethic and drive to get ahead. But both the work ethic and media (newspapers, books, long travel times) have been with us in the U.S. for 300 years. And what explains the rest of the world?
Here I think they miss the point entirely. We have throughout time always had distractions from close physical social interactions with others and a Protestant work ethic in America but what is different now is misandry and the removal of fathers from families. The demonization of men has impacted how men interact to form families and interact within families, specifically the nuclear family of husband (father), wife (mother) and children and how these families interact with other families and the extended family is the change which has occurred in industrial societies and worldwide these past 40 years.
The government regulated family based upon the misandric common portrayal of men as deadbeats at best, and the demonization of men as dangerous at worst is resulting in policies which are destroying parental rights, individual rights, and tearing families apart, and harming men, women, and children in the process. These government family regulatory policies have resulted in a 50% divorce rate, 1/3 out of wedlock birth rate, and 40% of children living apart from their father. And now a generation of this has fostered young people averse to getting married or having children and if they do so are doing it later in life, often with children born outside of marriage.
In 1970, and for 300 years before that, it was recognized that the nuclear family was the building block of a strong society and beneficial to men, women, and children. A 6% rate of children living in a home absent their father and a divorce rate of 5-8% in 1970 was considered high and cause for worry. It was societies expectation that both husband and wife would get, and stay together, to have children (and siblings to have the same biological parents) and to raise them. Marriage was a contract between 2 people not to be broken without cause. Parental rights were fundamental rights which would not be interfered with absent applying the legal standard of strict scrutiny. Parents, both parents, knew best how to raise their children. No school, court, or state welfare agency would think to tell parents how to parent nor to designate one a “non parent” without a showing of harm to the children.
The 1970’s saw first the “war on poverty” which was the beginning of government subsidized single mother homes. As government subsidized them they grew in number and to fill the federal coffers for expenditures to “single mothers” the government built a federal child excise tax system on “non custodial” fathers giving it the government double speak name of “child support”. These systems followed historical sex based parenting patterns of the mothers having custody of children and receiving subsidies based upon the number of children she had and the father being charged a percentage of income based upon the number of children assessed to him, an excise tax. Worse, the financial contributions were separated from child access for “non custodial” fathers. These systems, originally designed for out of wedlock families with children were over time, 1970’s-80’s, applied to ALL families.
With out of wedlock, divorced, and separated single mother homes being subsidized we saw a increase in both out of wedlock births and divorced families with children. Who needs a husband if the government will provide. Add to this a system which based itself on women having custody of children and men paying the government for the children we end up with a government system which defined men’s value only as what they could pay for a family which they were not allowed to be a part of. Historically a fathers responsibility to provide for his family financially was balanced by his right to parent and raise his children in the same home as wife and child. Government collects the “child support” a father paid, but does nothing to preserve his parental rights. A father taxation without parental representation.
As divorces increased the difficulty in obtaining one was seen as a “problem”. Pushed by Bar Associations, enter “no fault” divorce. Previously we needed cause to break the marital contract (such as adultery or abandonment) but now we were going to allow divorce based upon one party desiring to terminate the contract. Called “no fault” they were actually a unilateral divorce against the wishes of one of the parties. In the 1990’s studies showed that it was women who filed the majority of divorces (about 80%) and the number one reason given for the divorce was “we grew apart”, in other words a divorce of convenience by women to the detriment of men and children became the norm.
During this time special interest feminist groups were looking for funding sources. Using the unproven and unchallenged feminist theory of a “patriarchal” system pushed on college campuses in “women’s studies” programs, they seized upon battered and abused women at the hands of men as an issue and the domestic violence industry was born. What was originally designed as a shield against physical violence against women in families was turned into a sword to be used by unscrupulous women to gain power and control over men and curry standing in the increasing divorce, child “support” and custody battles. “Temporary” Orders of Protection (TOP) based upon unsubstantiated ex parte statements to a judge, with no regard to perjury, became the norm.
In law enforcement, prosecutor, and judicial systems, biased enforcement of allegations and reports, with the view of men as perpetrators and women as victims, became the norm even in casual dating relationships. A woman’s allegations are always believed and a man’s dismissed. Mandatory arrest took away law enforcement’s discretion to arrest or not. Mandatory prosecution took away a district attorney’s discretion, and legal mandate, to NOT prosecute a case which can not be proven. Mutual aggression was dismissed as being the man’s fault under “primary aggressor” statutes. In cases of blatant assaults on men by women “abuse excuse” and “female impunity” is applied and actions by women which would result in arrest of a man were dismissed with a warning.
Police, prosecutors, and judges are not trained by legal experts in the tradition of Blackstone, but by “domestic violence experts”, often a minimally trained worker in a “battered women’s shelter” who spouts dogma as fact. Act of abuse, even minor ones, are lumped together with “violence” and protections for the innocent are thrown out under the guise of “protecting women”. Innocent until proven guilty is now guilty until you prove your innocence. Men are charged with felonies and high misdemeanors which carry sentences of years in prison, and then offered minor fines and TOP’s if they admit their guilt, thus undermining the system for innocent men.
Feminist rhetoric of “men are bad” is forced on boys in our public education system. Systems are designed to reward girls and how they learn and boys are lined up and medicated for “A.D.D.” when they act like boys do. Boys are falling behind at all levels within our education system yet we have no “White House Council” to address the issues like we do for girls. The boy crisis in education has gotten so bad that 65% of all college graduates are female and many colleges are looking to try to lure men to attend as girls complain of the lack of available boys. “Girls go to college to get more knowledge, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider” and we turn a blind eye to this sexist biased bullying of boys.
Predatory act of abuse by female pedophiles (often by a teacher or trusted woman in a position of authority) are dismissed with the “lucky stud” myth that “boys want it”. Abuse excuse is applied to the actions of the female (she was abused herself, she’s lonely, etc.) and when she is charged with a crime she is given female impunity in sentencing, often given time served or probation and not having to plea to a sex offense nor be listed on sexual offender registries. By definition we don’t consider force able compulsion of sex by a female on a male as rape. There are no counseling centers for female on male rape and sexual abuse victims. Sexual abuse of institutionalized delinquent boys at the hands of female counselors and guards occurs on a regular basis and there is no hue and cry to address it.
We consider a drunk woman as incapacitated and unable to consent to sex with no similar protection for men and don’t allow a man to claim drunkenness as a defense of sexual assault. Drunk women get protection, drunk men get prosecuted. We readily believe allegations of rape by a female and dismiss a defense of consensual, even when it is a “he said-she said” case and the allegations of abuse occur days, weeks, or months later. Again, defenses for the innocent do not exist when allegations are against men.
Woman can, and do, lie about their reproductive status. Even though perpetrating a fraud we hold men financially accountable for children they did not want. Even when a woman steals his sperm a man is held accountable for the child, in NYS the high court ruling that a “man’s right to reproduction ends at ejaculation”. Once on the hook and named the father of a child we hold the man financially responsible even if DNA results show the man to not be the father. Another instance of a fraud perpetrated on men by women with no accountability for the actions.
The social interactions between men and women and social institutions have gotten so hostile to men that they are avoiding them wholesale. At first it was risk aversion, now it is a conscious decision to NOT enter into a situation where you will be judged and risk life, limb, and property. A generation of men watched their grand fathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and friends get cleaned out financially, removed from their homes, their family and their children, arrested and persecuted, abandoned. Young men learned from their example. Indeed it is now so hostile that many men espouse “M.G.T.O.W. – Men going Their Own Way, no committing to spouse and children due to the risk involved.
The Myth of the “deadbeat dad” was debunked in the 1990’s with federal studies (see Sanford Bravers “Divorced dads: Shattering the Myth’s). Studies over time have shown that women are as violent as men and the hidden problem within families is those with mutual violence or male victims, which are ignored. The problem of female pedohiles is flat out ignored due to the “Lucky Stud” myth and female impunity in criminal prosecutions and in sentencing. Drunken and stoned consensual sex and tawdry behavior which is later regretted results in him being arrested and her treated the victim. In all these instances we blame men, arrest men, prosecute men, vilify men, ostracize men, and incarcerate men.
When men avoid the dangerous minefield of relationships we look to men as the problem. We have “responsible fatherhood” programs which purport to teach men how to responsibly pay for children they are not allowed to raise. We look to see what is wrong with men who don’t want to get married. We wonder what is wrong with young men without families who seem happy to sit in mom’s basement and play video games all day. We wonder what is wrong with young men who look to crime, gangs, and drugs and make our communities unsafe and try to get “mentoring” programs. We look to find “father figures” for the boys who are growing up missing “male role models”.
Men are good. Men are not the problem. Men are not a problem. Recognize this and we can then begin to address the misandric anti-male policies of the past 40 years. If we address the hostile environments that men have to face we need do no more than remove the barriers and men will do the rest. (link to men’s/boy’s issues here)
If Ablow, Sepala and others in the APA want to address the underlying causes of loneliness, in addition to a myriad of other problems in America, perhaps they would look to debunk the myth of the patriarchy and abusive bad men and the anti family government policies (listed above) which have been developed based upon these myths. And debunk the myth that men and women are the same and their differences “socialized into a gender” and recognize it it the differences and strength’s of men and women which fosters a strong family for the benefit of all. And they need to recognize it is these policies which are hostile to men which are the problem, and stop blaming men for the hostile environment they now have to navigate in.
In the Hank Williams, Sr. classic, “I’m so lonesome I could cry” we get to the end of the ballad before we learn he is lonesome as he pines for another, lamenting, he “wonders where you are”. “You” isn’t stated clearly but it is apparent that the loneliness will go when they are together again. It’s not hard to imagine that he is apart due to work to provide for his family and it is his family which will solve his loneliness. And it is not hard to imagine that without their husband/father they are also lonely. Is anyone lonely when they have a family to come home to?
The movie Megan Leavey opens in theaters June 9 but as former military and an AT&T subscriber I was invited to an early screening of the movie on May 30 for free to mark National Military Appreciation Month. In addition to being a U.S. Army Veteran (76-79) I was also an Army Brat to a career (43-70) US Army E.O.D. (Explosives Ordinance for non military) and am a dog lover also, so a movie about a bomb sniffing dog caught my attention as I was watching the trailers, announcements, and snippets of the plot line leading up to release.
I’m looking forward to it until I get a preview trailer which contains an interview with a male in the film where he says how wonderful it was to work on a film “with so many women” with “wonderful energy” (a women overcoming bias film, I’m sure). The Director goes on to say there are many war films depicting male marines and few with women. And this is where I go I go DUH. Since the first Gulf War 97% of combat deaths and casualties have been men and they compose over 90% of US Veterans. And previously men fought all wars with very few female combatants. Ironically I posted a piece about female specific services and the lack of MALE specific services in my memorial Day piece, “Do we support our troops”. Now I’m thinking I’m headed to a PC “women overcoming adversity and hostile men” piece of work.
I was pleasantly surprised as I found the movie to be a nice piece of linear story telling which wasn’t in any form preachy or judgemental. The movie opens to a young person (who just happens to be a female), from divorced parents, who is coming of age and wondering what to do with her life. Deciding to enlist in the Marines she carries her bad habits with her until she finds the canine program, and this is where we meet the dog, “Rex”. Here she encounters the reality of life, to achieve (anything) requires setting goals and objectives and a commitment to succeed.
We follow her to her deployment in a war zone, having to face the unknown. She has the “what did I get myself into” and “I’m not ready for this” thoughts that I’m sure every young person has when they first start to make their own decisions for themselves, then have to either suffer the consequences or reap the rewards of their decisions. Here again the movie isn’t preachy but sticks to the story line presenting issues as the normal course of life.
The story line continues to post deployment where Leavey tries to arrange to have Rex evaluated to allow her to adopt him when he is no longer being used by the military. Again there is no preaching and the story line shows all perspectives in why things are being done the way they are. There is no glossing over the challenges she has to face, nor is there a demonization of the people who make decisions counter to her wishes.
I found the story line believable. The interactions of her and her family showed the stresses divorce play upon children and the and the actions and dialogue of parents believable. The training and conduct of the military personnel was also believable, as were the war scenes, which showed the dangers of military deployment without being overly graphic. The dangers, and rewards, of military service were portrayed factually.
If you are looking for a movie which speaks to the issue of women in the draft, women in combat, or the downtrodden female overcoming patriarchal adversity, this isn’t it so if you’re looking for a PC movie – stay home. Also, it isn’t a “blockbuster” nor is it set to be a classic cleaning up the Oscars. It is a nice little film with a good story line which you can take your teenagers to, enjoy together, and maybe open up some discussion about life itself and their decisions for their future. If you are looking for a good coming of age war story with a dog as the co-star, this is it. And if nothing else, you have to like the dog.
Megan Leavey Opens in theaters today, June 9, 2017. More on “Rotten Tomato” here.
And at the end of the movie I say … and 4 of 5 stars.
A common phrase which I hear a lot these days is “I support our troops”. Good. Regardless of personal political opinions we should recognize the sacrifice of the individual in the military who defends our freedoms here at home. I expect “Troops” conjures up images in our mind such as the one below and others which can be found on the Department of Defense Web site of our Troops working towards goals and objectives to keep us safe. Who wouldn’t support these fine young people sacrificing for our benefit. Thank you for your service.
While it is important that we support our troops while on active duty our responsibility to support them doesn’t end there, it continues after they return home. Unfortunately my experience as a father and family rights activist, Army Brat and Veteran, and member of the Critical Incident Management Team with a NYS law enforcement agency tell me that what we say is far different than what we do when we talk of supporting our veterans, more specifically our MALE Veterans.
A big part of the problem as I see it is men are treated at best as disposable members of society and at worst as perpetrators of violence and abuse who we need to protect society from. This bias against men works to foster the public perception that men don’t need any assistance with issues related to their service or due to their being males and in addition it is working to hinder men seeking the assistance they need by not providing male specific outreach and services. We see this in the lack of programs and services directed towards the specific issues that men face, ignoring their problems.
First the stats: Since the first Gulf War 97% of combat deaths and casualties have been men and they compose over 90% of US Veterans. 90% of homeless people are men and a large portion of that are veterans. 80% of suicides are men, and a large portion of them are also veterans. In 2016 males accounted for 86% of active duty enlisted personnel and 84.7% of officers. If we look at longevity as a measure of overall health we find men have a life expectancy (76.2 years) 4.9 years younger than females (81.2 years). White females life expectancy (81.4 years) eclipses black females (78.4 years), white males (76.7 years), and white females life expectancy is a whopping 14.1 years over black men (72.3 years). It’s clear that there are many issues related to men which result in negative outcomes evidenced by life expectancy.
I go to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs website under “Health” and “Conditions and Treatment” I find a link to “WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES” which brings me to the “Office of Women’s Health Services” which links to a study to determine female veterans barriers to receiving care. Even though men account for 85% of veterans there is no male (men) specific link to resources designed towards the needs of men. A search of “America’s Male Veterans” returns hits to “Women’s health Issues”! There is lacking any link to male specific health issues (showing the value the VA places on men), and there is no reference to male specific health issues available (showing the health field’s lack of attention to men)! The links to “women’s healthcare” include “comprehensive primary care”, “reproductive health”, “child care”, “domestic violence”, “culture change”, and “Special Groups” which is “homeless female veterans”. Which leads me to ask, DON’T MEN HAVE MALE SPECIFIC ISSUES IN THESE SAME CATEGORIES?
The VA classifies sexual assault and sexual harassment under the heading “Military Sexual Trauma” (MST) and when I look at the issue as portrayed by the VA I see “1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men REPORT a history to the VA during screenings”. For those of us who deal with male victims of domestic abuse, harassment, and sexual assault we understand the number one problem with male victims is their reluctance to report! It is only when I dig through the materials do I find that almost HALF the victims in the program for MST are MALE! One can only wonder, given the lack of male specific referrals and information, how many men are suffering in silence?
Usually when I author one of these truthful perspectives about the lack of male specific services I receive a ton of responses about being “anti-female”, to the point that I now include the (obvious) disclaimer that I am NOT promoting a reduction in services for females and/or female Veterans. Indeed, to treat female Veterans like we now treat male Veterans woulds still be mistreating A VETERAN. The VA (and US) should treat all Veterans equally based upon their individual needs understanding that their sex, race, religion, and national origin may require different outreaches and programs to achieve an equal outcome. Veterans are not widgets, all the same, they are real people who have sacrificed for all of us and they deserve individual attention to their needs.
Men account for the vast majority of the homeless and the bulk of those men are MALE VETERAN’S. Men account for the bulk of suicides and many of those are MALE VETERAN’S. You can’t treat men as disposable members of society who don’t have male specific issues which require services and programs and then say “I support our Veteran’s” as the bulk of Veteran’s are MEN. Disregarding the health issues of men is to disregard the health issues of Veteran’s.
If you would like to advocate for Veterans (feel free to cut and paste or send the link to this article) you can reach the VA here https://www.va.gov/landing2_contact.htm, and the White House is here https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact, The US Secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs can be found here https://www.defense.gov/Resources/Contact-DoD/
They stood up for us, we should stand up for them.
When we memorialize those who gave all, in perspective http://prospect.org/article/american-war-dead-numbers the vast majority are men, and it is an issue for our younger generation that men still have to register for the draft (under penalty) and women don’t https://nymensactionnetwork.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/welcome-to-adulthood-gen-z-advice-for-boys-aging-into-men/.
Equal rights, equal responsibilities, equal access to services.
May 4, 2017
Secretary Betsy DeVos
U.S. Dept. of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington DC 20209
By email: email@example.com
I am writing to encourage you to rescind the Dear Colleague letter of 2011 which unnecessarily interfered with local control of Colleges and Universities and additionally has resulted in a biased system of one sided enforcement of a class of individuals (men) without regard for due process. Worse, the systems in place due to the letter have begun to persecute victims of sexual assault.
The recent case of a male Amherst student who was himself the victim of a sexual assault serves as an example of a victim being punished (http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/11/amherst-student-was-expelled-for-rape-bu). Even those who have done nothing but engage in consensual sex have been caught up in the hysteria (http://reason.com/blog/2017/02/27/interview-student-expelled-for-rape-even). I believe there are hundreds of lawsuits against Colleges and Universities by men denied due process, and the number is increasing daily. It is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system that you are innocent until proven guilty in a competent court and given due process. Shamefully this has been thrown out at our Colleges and Universities at the insistence of your Agency and under threat of financial penalty for non compliance.
Worse, the policies have done nothing to make the campus safer for women, or men, who are victimized by rape or sexual abuse. Indeed, removing the investigations of these incidents from the police and district attorneys who have the knowledge and resources to investigate and prosecute the incident into a college administration which has no resources to this end will certainly result in felonious acts being treated along the lines of violations of campus rules. As a recently retired 34 year police officer, 2 1/2 years of which were as a NYS University Police Officer, I can tell you that in no instance I am aware has a complaint not been fully investigated within the bounds of criminal law and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The “1 in 5” study which drove the “affirmative consent” provisions has been widely debunked (http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/ten-myths/) and the knee jerk reaction to “the sky is falling”, affirmative consent, has also been widely criticized (http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/affirmative-consent/). The illegal and unnecessary federalization of campus rape investigations is being pushed even further into the unconstitutional realm by such ludicrous legislation such as the “Campus Accountability and Safety Act” (http://reason.com/blog/2017/04/24/campus-accountability-and-safety-act). It is time to get the federal government out of business which is reserved to the states.
These policies, fostered by your Agency, have removed the presumption of innocence for men and denies them due process. It infantilizes women as being incapable while portraying all men as licentious lechers. It elevates minor sexual activity and later regret to the level of Rape. It is simple to see that if we treat a man and a woman engaged in the same actions as different we are denying them the Constitutionally protected right as an individual to be equally protected by law. It is simply wrong to treat people this way.
We should not condone rape or sexual assault regardless of the sex of the victim. And certainly there are incidents where where an offending party escapes criminal prosecution. But Blackstone’s formulation (and Genesis 18:23) tells us it is better that 10 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer. This tenet of American Common Law has been thrown out by this policy, as has the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Worse, as the innocent are persecuted there is not on iota of evidence that these policies have done anything towards reducing the incidence of sexual assault on our campuses (which I believe stands at about an unacceptable 1 in 100, not 1 in 5). Might I suggest we put this energy into teaching our young men and women not to get in situations where they may be victimized in the first place?
I look forward to working with your Agency and this Administration on returning the rights and privileges reserved to the states and to individuals back to them. I thank you in advance for your time and considerations in this matter.
On Facebook at Friends of Protection for Men
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.
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.
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 Dad. Sometimes 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
You can also find more on men’s and boys rights and issues on Facebook at Friends of the Protection For Men, PFM/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.
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.
When I fill out paper forms I cross out “gender” and write “sex” next to it. The PC police get mad at this, “it’s gender” they tell me and some even cross out “sex” and re-write in “gender”. I can only wonder how it was over time a persons sex turned into gender in classifying the sexes. Sex, defined, is the 2 main categories of humans based upon their reproductive functions (Sex organs). Gender, defined, is the state of being male or female based upon social and cultural differences and not by biology.
The argument of nature versus nurture as impacting human behavior has been going on the my entire social science career of 40 years. Except in rare circumstances people are born with either male or female reproductive functions and so throughout time we have identified people as either male or female. For example, you might be a heterosexual male or gay male but you were still identified by reproductive ability, male. Your sexuality and sexual preferences were separate from your sex.
Enter Gender Feminist Theory which holds that the sexes are actually “genders” and the state of being male or female is based upon social and cultural differences entirely and not on biology in any amount. The theory holds that your sex (defined by nature) has no bearing on how you act as a male or female, but that you are socially constructed to act a certain way. Boys will be boys because they are taught to be boys by society, so the theory goes, ditto for girls.
I guess missed the “it’s settled science” memo and reports in peer reviewed scientific journals explaining that nurture won out totally. I have seen no paper or report discussing that the issue of nature (reproductive function) over nurture (socially constructed) was settled science or that one had more weight than the other. From what I had read and reviewed, forced gender identification opposite to your sex actually caused developmental problems. A good example of biological sex holding over socialization is the case of David Reimer (Bruce at birth).
One of twin boys, Bruce, born in 1966 he had a botched circumcision which seriously damaged his penis. His parents brought him to a psychologist who advocated for the theory of gender neutrality, socially constructed boys and girls, and convinced his parents he would be better off raised as a female, so Bruce had sex reassignment surgery (testes removed) and was to be socialized as a female, Brenda, and given estrogen in adolescents for breast development. But the socialization didn’t work and “Brenda” did not identify as a girl. From 9 years old on “she” wasn’t acting the part and knew he was a boy.
At 14 years old “Brenda” had surgery (including a double mastectomy, testosterone injections and his penis reconstructed) and he changed his name to “David”. The failure of the gender socialization was reported in medical circles by noted sexologist Dr. Milton Diamond debunking the blank slate social construct gender theory and to prevent this from occurring in the future. The story was told in 1997 in the book “As nature made him: the boy who was raised as a girl”.
Even though the theory of a socially constructed “gender” was debunked prior to the turn of the century we still write “gender” on our forms and there are those who still see men and women as “socialized” beings, ignoring their biological sex. Certainly nurture plays a role in how we develop, and there is great overlap in how male and female humans behave naturally. But it is easy to see that it is the forced roles placed upon children which are bad, this whether you are forcing a boy into a traditional male role or are trying to force a boy into being a female.
We are beginning to see some people calling out the “gender” feminists for putting forth a socially constructed sex theory which is scientifically unproven and wrong and contrary to biology. Dr. Barry Kuhle, an evolutionary psychologist speaks to this denial of science in his piece in Psychology Today entitled “Giving feminism a bad name”. He points to the gender feminists radical response and denial of any science which contradicts their theories and beliefs.
Christina Hoff Sommers has also pointed to “gender” feminists theories undermining science most recently in a Dartmouth Review interview where she not only takes to task those who would distort the truth for their ideology, she points to how those who put the social construct theory into practice with their own toddlers soon learn of its fallacy. A recent article in Intellectual Takeout, “Neuroscientist: Gender-neutral Parenting is Futile” quotes neuroscientist Debra Soh who cautions against treating children as blank slates with no biologically determined sex characteristics. The articles author, Annie Holmquist asks the valid question, “Are we actually degrading both male and female by encouraging them to ignore scientific fact and abandon the natural differences between the two sexes?”
I would answer her, yes we are. In my mind gender feminists are the sexists as they would define the behaviors of both male and female by their definition of acceptable behavior based upon unproven theory all the while ignoring science based avenues of study with proven outcomes. Theirs is not a social science, it is a dogma to be followed with religious fervor. And treating children as blank slates and forcing them into unnatural gender roles can be damaging to their development.
Boys will be boys, girls will be girls, with a little bit of nurture piled on top of that. And it is our responsibility to ensure that each one, individually, is allowed many varied experiences and many opportunities so that they can decide what they enjoy and how to be for themselves. The argument of the weight of nature versus nurture will go on unsettled as individuals don’t fit into any one category. By definition nurture is to care for and encourage growth and development and I see in neither nature or nurture where it is beneficial to force upon or remove sex based roles upon a person.
Why did Hillary Clinton lose the election? And let’s be clear, it was her election to be had and she lost it. If you are a die hard pro-Clinton democrat you are sticking to the rhetoric that it is “racists and misogynists” who voted Trump into office. And pre election the pollsters told us that Trump had only the support of “non college educated” (read “uneducated, not smart or informed”) white males, thus the racist and misogynist classification was reserved for men.
The Democratic Party used to stand for the blue collar working family, men and women, within the middle class, workers and labor unions. This is not so today. The Democratic Party of today is the party of the “victim”, victimized minorities, victimized immigrants, victimized women including white women like Hillary. But more so than playing the victim card to define who they are, the Democratic Party has blamed men as the perpetrator of these injustices.
And I’m sure that if you hold a “progressive” political position you wonder why men “just don’t get it”. How can these men, who perpetrate the injustices of the world against the rest of the “minorities”, not see these injustices? Perhaps it is because the injustices don’t exist. Perhaps the party of the ‘victim” needs to define itself as a victim with a defined perpetrator as a common enemy to bring the diverse minorities together against a common enemy, in this case men. So the answer to how Hillary lost the election is she and the Democrats have turned into the party of the victim and in the process abandoned men, ALL men. Worse, they have vilified them to the point they are driven out of the Democratic Party.
We need only look at Hillary’s concession speech to see proof of this anti-male perspective. She said; “And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” and she went on, “And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Men and boys need not apply.
Perhaps the greatest propaganda coup of the Democratic Party is the victimization of women in America being perpetrated by men. In the face of the victimized and held back woman the reality is that American women have more opportunities and greater positive outcomes than any other class of individual on this planet throughout time. They have more choices, less responsibilities, and more social safety nets across the board as opposed to everyone, even American men.
American Women have a life expectancy greater than men for all races of women. While men and women each has an equal vote towards representation in this Republic it is men who have the burden of protecting that right for both men and women as they are required to sign up for selective service as opposed to women being allowed to choose whether to serve or not, and in what capacity. Even in the all volunteer military it is men who are disproportionately the casualties of war. This contrary to Hillary’s exhortations that women are the primary victims of war as they have to “watch their fathers, husbands, and sons die”.
As the Democrats push for “equal pay for equal work” we are faced with unequal pay for equal work as college educated females earn 104% of college educated males for the same work. And in access to educational opportunity, women are now 65% of college graduates. Worse, our colleges now operate under the myth of a “rape crisis” in which due process has been thrown out the window and where young men must attend mandatory classes to teach them to “not be abusers”, assumed guilty until indoctrinated.
While this Democratic administration touts an unemployment rate of under 5%, the reality is that if you add in the under employed and those that have just stopped trying to find work it is over 10%, of which the majority are men, young non college educated men. Even for those employed the real middle class income has remained stagnant for the past 15 years and in real buying power the middle class is losing it. This is the blue collar working man who the Democrats have abandoned. And should a man be one of the lucky ones to have full employment, he will suffer over 90% of work place injuries and fatalities as compared to women.
In the area of family and reproductive rights women hold the choices and men hold the responsibilities. Women have the right to birth control of their choice as opposed to minimal choices for men. Indeed, men can not even get a vasectomy without written permission from their wife. A woman can choose to have an abortion as opposed to a man who is forced to work to provide for a child even if he doesn’t want it. Should he desire to have a child it can be aborted against his will. Her body her choice is his body his responsibility to sacrifice it and we see in the previous paragraph, the outcomes aren’t good for him economically.
The American dream of a family is dead for many men. There is now a 50% divorce rate in America. Over 80% are filed by women unilaterally with the number one reason being “we grew apart”. Yet even though they are often the reason for the divorce, women receive custody of the children over 80% of the time. With this the man is handed the financial responsibility and ordered to pay child support at levels which often leave him in poverty to care for children he is allowed to visit 6 days a month. And should he be among the few who gets custody chances are the child support to him will be minimal, if any at all.
We spend a billion dollars a year to fund the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The myth of male perpetrator and female victim as being the norm was shown through research to be untrue, and we know men account for 40% of domestic violence victims. Yet given this we have no programs or safe houses designed to meet the needs of abused men.
In the area of incarceration we see by and far the vast majority are men. We define the actions of men as criminal behavior while correspondingly forgiving the same behavior on the part of women. Should a man not pay child support, the number one reason for not paying being shown to be poverty, we incarcerate him in debtors prison. The mother who does not financially support her children correspondingly gets a myriad of social services. And while we incarcerate adult men for pedophilia when we see the same actions on the part of a woman the media and society employs the “lucky stud coming of age” myth to excuse the abuse. Indeed, even when in a position of authority, such as the female teachers we see weekly in the news abusing young boys, the headlines explain it away as a “sexual relationship”.
Donald Trump winning this election shows that the men’s vote is real and capable of swinging elections. While it can be said that over these past 20 years the Republicans haven’t addressed men’s issues the Democrats have grown increasingly hostile to men’s issue driving them there. So when Donald Trump came along the forsaken men willingly pulled the lever for him. We aren’t racist misogynists, we are people with issues like everybody else. If the Democrats want those votes in the future, and indeed, if the Republicans want to keep them, they will need to address the issues that men face on a daily basis and not dismiss us.
James Hays, Amsterdam, NY
The writer is a parental civil rights activist and co-founder, past President and current Treasurer of the Coalition of Fathers and Families NY, Inc. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Fathers4Kids/) and is an Administrator with Friends for the Protection For Men (https://www.facebook.com/groups/protectionformen/)