I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Is feminism about equality ~ Not in the 21st century it isn't

A debate is going on over at Antonia Zerbiasis' (AZ) blog at the Toronto "Red" Star http://thestar.blogs.com/broadsides/2008/12/group-gripe.html?cid=143137750#comments I've commented three times shown below. Perspectives on the feminist cause certainly differ and are not likely to change anytime soon. This all got started from a quote attributed to AZ as follows "Feminism is about equality for everyone. There is no such thing as one group getting "more" equality or equal rights than others. It is impossible." That's like waving a red flag in front of those of us sidelined and marginalized by the feminist agenda. First Post:

Antonia:

You are using misleading feminist propaganda when you state things like women make 71% of men. You do yourself a disservice and frankly I liked you up until I read that.

Women who are doing the same job as men make exactly the same amount and will go to the top of their pay scale as do men depending on their length of service. A cop, a teacher, a public servant, an assembly line worker, a reporter - dare I say - or are you accusing your employer of discrimination and sexism, et al.

The difference in overall average pay arises due to factors such as men work longer hours at more demanding and hazardous jobs. How many women tunnelers, miners, explosive experts, riggers, derrick workers are there? How many feminists do you think were in the World Trade Towers rescuing people, how many feminists are on the front lines in Afghanistan. None. Zero. Nada.

Men are more likely to travel, relocate or have long commutes for their jobs.

Men are more likely to have more consecutive years experience, because women are more likely to work part time or take years off of work to care for their children. Many women stay-at-home and are not earning income.

Given these factors, it would be very hard for men to not earn considerably more than women. It is not discrimination. Do you consider facebook posters reliable sources of information?

Mechanisms exist to deal with the other factors you raise such as similar pay for work of equal value. If women still have concerns they are ghettoized compared to parking lot attendants they have legal and personal choices. One of them is to change careers. I have a question. Are feminists by nature also self described victims. It is odd that the verbiage seems to indicate you are a permanent underclass of victims.

Second Post: This post was in response to a feminist who calls those of us who differ with them "Woman Haters" or the favourite which means the same thing Misogynist. This is the most common form of rebuttal on feminist blogs when someones logic seems to be defeating a certain argument thread. I call it the nuclear bomb of the feminist - normal people discourse. It is designed to be the final solution for someone who is losing an argument in order to indicate "my minds made up and facts won't change my view one bit."

Haha Edson. Finally it comes out, as it does when some people discussing feminism have a difference of opinion the nuclear bomb of those who differ is dropped in that we are misogynists AKA "woman-hating." Oh dear now the rhetoric has been ratcheted upward and you wonder why we disagree with feminists who live back in the dark ages.

Feminism is not about equality - its about domination and if you truly believe it is about equality then you aren't reaching out very far to see the real world. Edson is part of that real world with her/his over the top rhetoric. There is an organization called "Real woman of Canada". They know they are equal and don't whine. They "Do."

Did you know that in family court having a difference of opinion with your female ex can be construed as abuse. That is a feminist construct. For those of us who disagree with you its not about hate its about fairness.

When the Irish settled this country and in the USA we were treated like lepers but we persevered and won equality through hard work, determination, and credible job performance to overcome the myths we we were lazy drunks. We are clearly not lazy :)

That is now ancient history and we don't need a union or a society of Irish to sell anyone on the idea of equality. We are equal and that is that. The female who is making less in a different job should do what a man does - move jobs sideways or apply for the job that pays more and stop whining. I started my first job at 35.00 a week - the lowest of the low - but I didn't whine about it. I kept applying for better jobs. Guess what I eventually persevered again and again. Guess what - if females start moving out of the low paying jobs to others then perhaps supply/demand will indicate to the employer that turnover is too high and look at the pay rate.

Feminism is not about male female...it is about getting more entitlements through whining than anything else. It is a negative word in many quarters - including "real women". You need to examine the movement in the context of the 21st century not keep seeking more money for perceived value. Earn it on merit not in handouts.

And finally Number 3: Some of the posters still actually seem to believe Feminism is about equality. Yes in the 60's and maybe even the 70's but it went way past equality a very long time ago. Now it is about billions of dollars in entitlements. In Ontario alone the budget for women only issues is $208,000,000.00, and not one red cent is allocated for men and no man can access any one of the 577 DV shelters across Canada - yet. That will change as it is truly anti-gender and discriminatory. It was recently declared unconstitutional in California and we all know what happens when a trend starts there. A certain number of feminists will always argue that men dominate in many areas including lawmakers. Then how come men can't get shared and equal custody of their children, why is it that men always seem to have to pay the most emotionally and financially when it comes to marriage breakdown even though divorce is initiated in over 85% of the cases by females. Let me elucidate a little for you. Marketers know that most of the shopping is done by females. The man hands over his share of the money and the female manages it. This is a dumb move by men. Marketing, therefore, to females is more important to all major companies save those whose products are dominated by men, like pick-up trucks and hunting stuff. Now if you are producing a sit-com where the man is a buffoon and the wife sensible you are very likely going to attract the kind of person you want to purchase your product. Can you think of any sitcoms where 2 parents are involved the man isn't a buffoon? After all it reinforces the notion females, therefore feminists, have it all together and then some. By the way there are a lot of females involved in media production but the suits that run the big studios and networks are mostly men. Go figure what a man will do for his shareholders aay. Gee, he will pander to feminists and real women who are the buyers of many of the products advertised. The government law makers in legislatures do have men as a majority but Quebec's cabinet is 50-50. Why, if men so dominate, can feminists command such influence for the billions spent on women alone across this country? Because male lawmakers have been convinced by feminist organizations, largely funded by taxpayers, that their agenda should be followed because women as victims buys votes. Its like motherhood and apple pie and sells well even to many men including those in the judiciary. My reply is turning into a dissertation and I should cut it off soon. Those of us who are victims of the feminist agenda know full well equality does not exist in many areas especially family law. If you tell a divorced or separated man all you want is equality expect to get a difference of opinion. He doesn't hate you but he will be, in all likelihood, passionate in his response. I adore women - I dislike demagoguery and ideologically driven people, some of whom are feminists, who pull cherry picked statistics out of a hat to caterwaul to the world how hard done by they are. It does a disservice because I'm sure some women are put at a disadvantage on occasion because, for some jobs, they may not be physically strong enough. That also applies to some men. I am an amputee and I could not entertain being a cop, firefighter, soldier, or any other job such as brain surgeon requiring greater dexterity than I can muster. Well I don't whine about it. I sucked it up a long time ago and focused on what I could do well. It worked in my working life - not in marriage where my choice was a disaster - and I'm paying for it now. If you truly want to be equal and show men you think they are above buffoonery and can actually parent then join a shared parenting association or write your MP to get it enacted in the next session of parliament. Then you will get a different reaction from scribblers like me. Antonia - you are in a position of influence as both a feminist and writer. Use your position to influence your sisters and politicians to change the law to equal and shared parenting, barring abuse, as a presumption upon divorce or separation. Posted by: Mike Murphy | December 21, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Holidays hard on parents who lose custody disputes

Holidays hard on parents who lose custody disputes

Published December 18, 2008

By Isaac Olson • TLN

Though the holiday season can be a joyous time for many Canadian families, it can also be a time of sadness for those whose children are in the legal custody of the other parent.

Officials with Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) say the country has done little to encourage co-parenting and, as divorce and separation becomes a fact of life in modern times, the government's inaction is creating a detrimental situation that could and should be avoided for the betterment of children, parents and society as a whole.

The spirit of giving

F4J Canada has recently launched "Project Save Christmas" to help impoverished families celebrate the season while reviving the spirit of giving in those who are barred from spending the holidays with their children.

According to a F4J Canada press release, 40 per cent of children in poverty are in single-parent homes. F4J officials are encouraging members who are not allowed to give gifts to their own children to instead give to children in need. Officials are also encouraging members to write or e-mail Santa Claus to let him know that "all we want for Christmas is our children and equal parenting."

"Children are the spirit of Christmas for every parent," stated Kris Titus, the National Coordinator of F4J Canada. "When a parent loses a child, Christmas becomes a nightmare, not a joy. Most feel helpless and politicians aren't listening, so this year we will appeal to Santa himself."

The fight for co-parenting

"Co-parenting can be successful as long as long as both parents' goals are to do what is right for the child," said Titus. "The reason of divorce is to separate from that person, but not to separate children from that person. There are now more than one million children in Canada that were raised by only one parent."

Citing an approximate 125,000 Quebec fathers unable to see their 300,000 children, Daniel Laforest, president of F4J Quebec, agreed with Titus. In a society where divorce has evolved into an everyday occurrence, the custody laws have failed to catch up to skyrocketing separation rates, he said.

"With more women in the work force and divorce so much easier than it was 50 years ago, we have moved to another family concept that is not stabilized right now," said Laforest. "The justice system and laws are not synchronized or adapted to the new society. We are in a transitional period and, for now, the fathers are the biggest losers. The children, unable to live with their fathers and mothers, lose as well. It has dramatic consequences on our society." Currently under court proceedings for a highflying protest in Toronto involving superhero-clad activists unfurling a banner from a crane, Titus, a mother of four boys, said she takes the fight for equal parenting very seriously.

Over the years, F4J has developed a reputation of civil disobedience as organizers work to inform the public of their message. This passion is derived from a desire to see their children as well as an urgent need to change current laws — laws they say have yet to improve. "I certainly wouldn't be getting myself arrested and potentially going to jail if I had seen any improvements," said Titus.

Societal impact

Laforest and Titus both linked the increase in children raised by one parent to the recent spikes in gangs, juvenile delinquency, high school dropouts, depression and other social issues. Children raised solely by one parent are more prone to trouble for a variety of reasons that range from poverty to a lack of proper guidance, explained Titus.

While children watch one parent get stonewalled and the other working long hours to fill the economic hole left by the separation, they often become confused, angry and, at times, delinquent, said Titus. When parents combat each other in court battles that sometimes take years, she said, children are exposed to negative life lessons that often damage social skills.

Laforest, who made an unsuccessful bid for Montreal's Laurier-Sainte-Marie riding in last October's federal election, said he has faith the laws will, with time, change to include more shared custody but, until that happens, it is vital to society that people fight for equal parenting. As it stands, his organization has over 2,000 supporters working to educate the public and change the legal system, he said.

"The best solution is to not have divorce," said Laforest. "But when divorce happens, the best solution is to give both the mother and father access to the children."

For the Sake of the Children

This year represents another milestone in family law. Dec. 9 marked the 10th Anniversary of the "For the Sake of the Children" report that recommended shared parenting as well as 47 other recommendations to improve family law in Canada. These recommendations, however, have yet to been implemented, states the F4J website.

"We never had a conclusion in respect to these recommendations over the last 10 years," said Laforest. "This has created a dramatic situation across Quebec, the country and the world. As a human a problem, it is probably the worst because of the effect on the children. We can't build a society where the fathers fight against the mothers and the mothers fight against the fathers for the children."

National Child Day

Canada's National Child Day, held on Nov. 20, was enacted in 1993 to pay tribute to the country's children while recognizing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which Canada is party to, spells out the basic human rights to which the world's children are entitled.

"I don't think Canada respects the principle of National Child Day nor the resolution," said Laforest.

The day should be used to recognize children, said Titus, but Canada has yet to do anything that officially acknowledges the country's youth. For now, her organization has dubbed it "National Childless Day."

"If Canada is truly committed to helping kids, the country needs to take a hard look at the parenting structure," said Titus, who noted that, besides their hope of 50/50 co-parenting across Canada, her organization would like, at the very least, to see a federal law that stipulates a higher court, not the family court, declare whether a parent is fit for the job.

Statistics

According to Statistics Canada, custody is granted through court proceedings in three out of every 10 divorces. In the remaining divorces, couples arrived at custody arrangements outside the divorce proceedings or they did not have kids.

In 2002, Canada saw, for the first time, less than 50 per cent of mothers getting total custody. Of the 35,000 dependents for whom custody was determined through divorce proceedings in 2002, the custody of 49.5 per cent was awarded to the wife. The proportion of dependents awarded to mothers has declined steadily since 1988, when women were awarded custody 75.8 per cent of the time. In contrast, 41.8 per cent of 2002 cases resulted in joint custody.

Under a joint custody arrangement, children do not necessarily spend equal amounts of time with each parent, argues Titus. Often one parent, most commonly the father, is squeezed out of the picture by being allotted, for example, only one night a week with his kid(s), she said.

These statistics fail to cover unwed parents, which, Titus observed, is a whole other problem. When unmarried parents separate, she said, fathers are not protected under federal laws. While each province has its own laws in place, separated unwed fathers can potentially face an uphill legal battle when it comes to parenting. Often times they aren't even recognized on the birth certificate, said Titus, and therefore they have no rights to the child.

"We are going in the wrong direction," said Laforest. "We are destroying the image of fathers and creating a situation where there is no place for them in our culture. We have only one way to think in our Quebec society: women are victims and men are guilty people. We need to change that."

http://www.lavalnews.ca/articles/TLN1624/cover162404.html