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Study finds natal support services focus on women

Filed under: General,Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 11:51 am Thu 14th December 2006

Stuff: Men marginalised as parents

A Nelson research project on fathering has revealed natal support services focus on women, marginalising men and their role as parents in their own right.

Men interviewed said they lacked preparation and information, and the process stressed their relationship.

While this is not exactly earth-shattering news, it’s great to see the Nelson-Marlborough District Health Board funding this kind of study. Men in other parts of New Zealand might find it interesting to check what kind of similar initiatives their health boards are involved with.

Co-author and NMIT lecturer and researcher David Mitchell said the project highlighted the continuing difficulties midwives and support agencies, such as Plunket, had in engaging with and understanding the roles of fathers as a parent in their own right.

I know a lot of young men feel dis-empowered around childcare issues when confronted by assertive women, especially en mass which is the likely experience in female dominated organisations.

Co-author Philip Chapman, a Public Health Service fathering promoter, said the research showed men wanted to be better informed about fatherhood.

If there ever is any genuine commitment on the part of the government to encouraging males to be more involved with fathering, I think programmes targeting young men are likely to be extremely effective – provided they are delivered by experienced fathers!


  1. In 1999 I was employed for a while by Auckland Healthcare at Greenlane hospital as an Educator for first- time-fathers-to-be.
    Their wives/girlfriends got 13 and a half weeks of education (26 hours) on what to expect in going through birth and becoming a mother. This was delivered with videos, seminars, broachures, books and even lifesized manequins with electronic bits and pieces. All delivered by female staff.
    The dads-to-be got a 40 minute section in the program, no hand out materials, no video. Just me and up to 12 guys in a room doing an ask and answer session.
    It was the epitome of marginalisation for the men.
    What amazed and perplexed me further was that some of the staff and moms-to-be would crack jokes implying there wasn’t even any need for the shamefully miniscule attention the blokes got!!

    Comment by Stephen — Thu 14th December 2006 @ 2:28 pm

  2. Stephen,

    You MUST talk to my girlfriend, yourself. I tell her what you teach me but YOU would be much better. She works at Greenlane Hospital and her area and roles are not here to be discussed but she is one of the biggest and one step away from Parliament. She is an awesome person, please believe me yet she is being persuaded to follow the feminist way. She is a very big player now after 20 years of work. If only you could talk just the way you do now I know you could save her and us.

    Just say and I will e-mail you details. And I have others. You really don’t need me for you can do this yourself. It really would be better coming from a sincere educated male.

    Comment by julie — Thu 14th December 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  3. Hi Julie,
    You say –

    She is an awesome person, please believe me yet she is being persuaded to follow the feminist way.

    I don’t regard any feminists as awesome.
    It’s beyond me what any feminist would want me talking to them for.
    I don’t recall or currently see any feminist really wanting to listen deeply and openly to their chosen enemy – men, despite their best efforts at trying to appear empathic and deny that they treat men poorly. I reckon it’s just simply beyond them because their whole world-view is built upon the male-shaming premise that we live in some supposed ‘patriarchy’. They are damaged souls living in cloud cuckoo land who individually and collectively could do with therapeutic re-education.
    My experience for almost thirty years now has been that they’re as that great comedian and racaunteur Billy Connolly would say – ‘Stuck on transmission – with no reciever’.
    Everything you say to them is filtered through the poison prism of their warped worldview that western societies are patriarchal. There are none so blind as those who cannot see.
    Medusa is truly amongst us.

    Now if a feminist came to me with humility and said ‘I’m questioning my feminist beliefs about men’s place in society’ and asked for my help to get a clearer picture of men’s lot that would be a different deal entirely.

    That hasn’t happened yet and I’m not holding my breath that it will anytime soon either.
    I’m just getting on with life despite their prescence.

    The bottom line is I’ve absolutely no interest in chasing after powerfems firmly embedded in nz’s burgeoning sistahood-bureaucracy and trying to engage them some form of polemic against their entrenched ideology.

    You say –

    If only you could talk just the way you do now I know you could save her and us.

    I’m not Sir Gallahad (Chivalry is soooooooooooo old hat now)

    Save yourself, Talk to her yourself, and invite her to read here and at other men’s sites.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 15th December 2006 @ 12:37 am

  4. I don’t recall or currently see any feminist really wanting to listen deeply and openly to their chosen enemy – men

    Me, Stephen, I asked and I listened.

    Save yourself

    Yes, that’s what alot of people tell me. Just care for your own home that’s all you can do.

    I guess I am not a very good listener so since I know what I want and have some ideas of how to get it, I will do my best.

    You have done the fine fight and now you challenge others and teach through this site. Well done! is all I can say.

    People are trying to change things at all different levels but I guess it is just a normal part of life for many people to become skeptical and uninterested in fighting or finding the good in people.

    There are many here like that too and they may all be right. It may be that all my efforts are worthless. I don’t have your experience or that of anyone else here and I am not going to fight over whether their way or my way is better. That’s just bringing me down. We may all be right and we may all be wrong. A chance we must take.

    But this is my journey. And I am off to follow it. And from now on I am only going to be around people that feed me positive. I cannnot be successful around negative.

    Keep up the fine work, Stephen and take care. But always know that if men do get into power, I will be holding you guys acountable just the same.

    Comment by julie — Fri 15th December 2006 @ 8:00 am

  5. Julie,
    You did ask. You SOMETIMES listened, and not having met you in person and despite your fine words to the contrary I’m still not sure how much feminism you carry around.
    For as Intrepid has pointed out you seem to flip and flop between calling yourself a feminist and then denouncing feminism when it suits you – playing with language in a very typically effeminate way it seems.
    When that happens I loose faith and stop trusting.
    You’ll have to make up your mind what you are and what you stand for, then stick by it to gain trust.
    And I’m way beyond trusting anyone who calls themselves feminist these days. I simply am not going to erradicate 30 odd years of seeing myself and my brothers globally being shafted by feminists of all persuasion and feel trusting towards anyone who calls themselves feminist.
    Hence my response about your feminist buddy at greenlane hospital too.

    And no need for vague threats about holding me in account of my actions either.
    I’m a man remember.
    I EXPECT to be accountable.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 15th December 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  6. Stephen,

    Looking back I have noticed that I have spent 11 months coresponding with you on this site. Wow, it went fast. You have given me alot and if I gave something back, great.

    Unfortunately, I never learn’t the CAN’T word. Should I apologise?

    But I have to move on. If that is not OK then, tough, it is your fault for teaching me well. As for Intrepid, well he will live.

    I am not on your side nor I am on the feminist side. You are right you don’t know me but everyone who does will tell you that I too, am hard, yet fair and sensitive. If you ever wanted to know what the female side of you would be. Then I am it.

    Now, I have taken this personally and I am determined. There is enough negative people in this world, men and women for me to put myself out there to be ridiculed. I cannot feed off negative.

    I am smart enough to know how to succeed. Money is one way and numbers of people is the other. Also cornering people is a tool, through threats and blackmail but I happen to like to achieve fair. When you come back to NZ, you should get in touch. But don’t make survellance (spelt wrong I know) obvious because my boys and my friends will freak out.

    Comment by julie — Fri 15th December 2006 @ 5:06 pm

  7. Julie said –

    If you ever wanted to know what the female side of you would be. Then I am it.

    I don’t have a female side. I was born male, am still 100% male, and intend to stay so!

    Great to see you saying you’ll succeed instead of please rescue us.
    Now it’s down to working out how to live up to those words I suppose.

    When you come back to NZ, you should get in touch

    I don’t think so. No need.

    I’d like to know when nz get’s around to providing paternity services somewhere approaching equitable to maternity services though.
    Please do keep us posted online on any progress in that direction you make with your femmie


    at Greenlane hospital.

    Comment by Stephen — Sat 16th December 2006 @ 12:39 am

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