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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Feminist Rant from McGill University ~ OFF THE BOARD: The fight for men's rights

My response to a Feminist rant in the McGill University Newspaper is below the article.MJM

Carolyn Gregoire | Published: 12/1/09

Discrimination against men has, understandably perhaps, never occupied a prominent position on the feminist agenda. Recently, however, the rise of the men's rights movement has led men's rights groups and feminists alike to call issues specific to male identity into question. A recent article on Slate's women-oriented webzine DoubleX entitled "Men's Rights Groups are Becoming Frighteningly Effective" has spurred contentious debate extending beyond the feminist blogosphere as to whether feminism should encompass issues of men's rights. The article was triggered by the actions of men's activist group RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) who gathered in Washington this October to lobby against issues such as false allegations of rape and domestic violence, unrecognized domestic violence against men, and child custody rights for divorced fathers. Many women, and not only those who identify as feminists, are outraged by the measures these groups have taken. Rather than addressing the negative impact that patriarchy and gender stereotypes have on men and calling for change, RADAR chooses instead to undermine the prevalence of rape and domestic violence against women. Relying on hyperbolic claims and sensationalism - suggesting, for instance, that domestic violence laws represent "the largest regression in civil rights since the Jim Crow era" - RADAR succeeded in blocking the passage of several domestic violence bills, such as the Violence Against Women act. It is also worth noting that many of the movement's leaders are themselves accused batterers. Though issues of men's rights and injustice towards men deserve attention, the anti-feminist approach employed by RADAR and many other men's rights groups in battling these issues is counterproductive and alarmingly reactionary. RADAR's attempt to take funding away from "discriminatory" women's-only shelters, rather than fighting for resources for male victims of domestic violence and sexual harassment, epitomizes this ineffectual methodology. While it's true that all human rights are men's rights and that history is essentially a men's rights movement, discrimination against men should be a feminist concern because male and female rights are inextricably intertwined. Though a patriarchal society operates for male benefit, societal standards of masculinity are also harmful to men in real ways which deserve to be acknowledged. Rigid definitions of masculinity which narrowly cast men into aggressive, machismo, bread-winning roles are damaging to men, and further, they are damaging to men in ways that are also damaging to women. Following this line of reasoning, many feminists fight for fathers' rights as a means of countering the socially sanctioned notion that nurturer or caregiver must be a female-occupied role. A central objective of the feminist movement is debunking gender stereotypes, even when they apply only to men. Male victims of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape deserve to be recognized and taken seriously, mothers should not be unjustly favoured over fathers in child custody proceedings, and individuals of both genders do not deserve to be systemically limited and harmed by rigid social definitions of masculinity. Feminist concerns and men's rights are not mutually exclusive, and should meet on the common ground of seeking gender equality - the irony of it all is that we're both fighting the same battle. As feminist Gloria Anzaldua suggests, "Men, even more than women, are fettered to gender roles … We need a new masculinity and the new man needs a movement. While it's true that all human rights are men's rights and that history is essentially a men's rights movement, discrimination against men should be a feminist concern because male and female rights are inextricably intertwined. Though a patriarchal society operates for male benefit, societal standards of masculinity are also harmful to men in real ways which deserve to be acknowledged. Rigid definitions of masculinity which narrowly cast men into aggressive, machismo, bread-winning roles are damaging to men, and further, they are damaging to men in ways that are also damaging to women. Following this line of reasoning, many feminists fight for fathers' rights as a means of countering the socially sanctioned notion that nurturer or caregiver must be a female-occupied role. A central objective of the feminist movement is debunking gender stereotypes, even when they apply only to men. Male victims of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape deserve to be recognized and taken seriously, mothers should not be unjustly favoured over fathers in child custody proceedings, and individuals of both genders do not deserve to be systemically limited and harmed by rigid social definitions of masculinity. Feminist concerns and men's rights are not mutually exclusive, and should meet on the common ground of seeking gender equality - the irony of it all is that we're both fighting the same battle. As feminist Gloria Anzaldua suggests, "Men, even more than women, are fettered to gender roles … We need a new masculinity and the new man needs a movement." http://www.mcgilltribune.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&ustory_id=6ae2c632-12be-4a4c-9c7c-842b184b7297 ….feminism should encompass issues of men's rights. Several flavours of feminism have been identified over the years and the movement seems somewhat splintered and indeed incoherent. The current flavour encompassing Victimization is the loudest and most pervasive. This version is narcissistic, propagandist, mendacious, and not entirely adult in its approach. After all if the premise women are always victims at the hands of the patriarchy strikes me that you are mere children in adult bodies requiring the nanny state to be your new “patriarch”. You have simply requested a new protector of a collective sort which is in keeping with the Marxist roots of feminism. In short your narcissistic notion that any flavour of feminism could encompass men’s rights issues is “dreaming” out loud. Here are a few samples of today’s flavours of Feminism: Victim Feminism: – the 3rd wave relying on the psycho babble of the Duluth Wheel that all men (patriarchy) are oppressors and all women victims. Maternalist: A virulent strain of feminist supremacy specializing in custody by moms only and in some cases as a lunatic fringe of moms who lost custody and cannot get over it. These tend to be the ones who will quickly slime anyone, male or female, who disagree with their premise and will spend inordinate amounts of time, using taxpayer resources, to research their foe and create hate websites vilifying these enemies. If you visit their blogs you will understand better why they lost custody. Lifeboat Feminist: If on a boat and it starts sinking they will rationalize they are more than equal to or greater than men. The men will give up their lives as they always have but the LBF rationalizes someone has to raise the children and they are more qualified. Equality isn't really their goal it is supremacy. They cannot walk the walk but can spin a good yarn to try and talk the talk about equality. This term has its roots from a brave Irish Independence newspaper columnist named Kevin Myers. Gender Feminist: This appears to be the author’s category. It is clear there are no gender roles with exceptions of course, one of which is related to custody of children, where women are supreme and men incompetent. They are full of contradictions, one of which was just described, and a most confusing breed of female. Equalist Feminist: The original flavour which few will disagree with. The rest are Real Women: The vast majority who need no ideology to know they are equal and go through life unfettered by any ideology and some even decide to be stay-at-home parents . In other words until you get your act together in the feminist movement platitudinous statements about encompassing men’s rights are blather. “… RADAR succeeded in blocking the passage of several domestic violence bills, such as the Violence Against Women act.” Last time I checked this regressive and blatantly discriminatory act still exists. Your lack of research is typical, however, of feminist rants which are much adieu about nothing. It is one of the most regressive acts in the modern history of a western democracy. It is built on feminist mendacity some of which is evident in this article based on nothing but supposition such as: “It is also worth noting that many of the movement's leaders are themselves accused batterers. .” Your credibility sits at Zero but then what else is new when we see feminism doing its “dirty work.” “…the anti-feminist approach employed by RADAR and many other men's rights groups in battling these issues is counterproductive and alarmingly reactionary." Here is a quote from one of your predecessors and please absorb its meaning in the context of this silly and naive remark of yours. "Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the women's movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage." Sheila Cronin, prominent member of NOW What was that you were saying about hyperbole? “RADAR's attempt to take funding away from "discriminatory" women's-only shelters, rather than fighting for resources for male victims” So the way forward is to hoard your resources even if you recognize a need for someone else needing help. A very feminist approach but not very “motherly” don’t you think. As a movement you need to get your act together and lobby with the men. More resources would likely flow without taking from the other. “While it's true that all human rights are men's rights and that history is essentially a men's rights movement, discrimination against men should be a feminist concern because male and female rights are inextricably intertwined.” Next time try not to get overly intellectual and you might actually be understandable. The last 7 words are the only thing that makes sense. “…patriarchal society operates for male benefit, societal standards of masculinity are also harmful to men in real ways which deserve to be acknowledged” Oh please! Is this mythical patriarchy that rules all our lives similar to SPECTRE that James Bond used to fight? What in heaven’s name is “societal standards of masculinity” other than inane and effete attempts at pseudo-intellectual babbling. “Rigid definitions of masculinity which narrowly cast men into aggressive, machismo, bread-winning roles are damaging to men in ways that are also damaging to women.” You have seen far too many Hollywood movies or been hanging out in too many bars listening to too many narcissistic pick up lines by hormonally induced and imbibing males. Since when is bread winning machismo? What does that make all those women who are earning a living? “…We need a new masculinity and the new man needs a movement." Please get over yourself. Masculinity is one of the finest forms of human kind on the face of the earth. It’s the men who run into burning buildings to save lives and give theirs up in the bargain. How quickly we overlook the firefighters and police officers, pretty much exclusively male, who went into the world trade Towers knowing they might not ever get out alive. If you are a victim trapped in a place imperiling your life you may feel better knowing that out there is a burly man who is rushing to find you and if he does he will lift you up over his shoulder and carry you to safety or die trying. I’m paraphrasing a well known Canadian female journalist who witnessed the aftermath of 9/1/1. It’s the gender who has invented almost everything useful, explored the earth, risked and lost life and limb fighting oppressors (was that the patriarchy) in major wars and men like me who spent 10 years as a stay-at-home father raising two girls from infancy who can put their nurturing capabilities up against any woman in the world. We need no lessons in masculinity from feminists nor do we necessarily think highly of men whose only apparent way to show their notion of equality is give up their masculinity to declare they are feminists. Feminism is derived from female and I am no female, therefore I am no feminist. Having said that I don’t know any man of sound mind who would disagree with the notion both genders are equal and different.

1 comment:

Christopher R. Jones said...

Well said. Thank-you for the useful glossary and dissecting this woman's inannity's