I have taken a keen interest in family law and men’s issues. I worked with Judy to draft and get the DNA bill on the order paper, where it now languishes because United fell 0.3% short of getting Judy Turner back into Parliament.
I feel for those who cannot challenge their paternity and consequently are paying child support they shouldnt or are enstranged from their own children.
I feel for those who lose their right to be parents to their kids because the family court has a default position to give it day to day care to the mother. so i drafted a members bill for shared parenting that would ahve been int he ballot next parliament if Judy had returned. Now it will not be there. Criticism of the bill that it was not tough enough is, to be honest, coming from the ignorant who have no understanding of politics and how to achieve things in parliament. Newman’s bill got defeated. You need more than 50% of votes in the House to pass 1st reading and get a bill to the select committee – this is the hardest task. The bill says that ’shared parenting’ should be the default position. It did not define ’shared’ as this would give political parties and excuse to vote the bill down before it got to select committee. So it was left out – especially as even if i had added a definition it would have been changed to whatever the select committee wanted anyway, if it was to be passed further.
I felt for those who are accused of assaulting their partners when the violence is initiated by the women more often than the male. And protection orders and vexatious allegations that play out in custody hearings. Judy spoke on all these issues challenging the orthodoxy – plus on boys education, men’s health and CYF (where she got a complaints process and panel achieved).
As someone who has no personal gripe or history with any of these areas, i can look relatively objectively i believe. I saw systematic injustice occurring and tried to do what little was in my power to change.
I can pretty honestly say that the men’s and father’s movement’s worst enemy are themselves.
The biggest barrier, politically speaking, to getting change and movement on issues is the dis-jointed, at times aggressive, conspiratorial nature which the vocal members seem to adopt.
Work with others – not against them. Stop seeing compromise as a dirty word that only “feminazis”, “wimps” and those with “manginas” would consider.
Bitterness at a system that has let you down is inevitable and expected – but leave it at the door when you visit those who do not understand where you are coming from or share your view.
If you see white, and others see black, don’t demand white or nothing from them. Suggest a grey and work to the lightest shade you can, but take what you can and then next time around, the status quo is closer to where you want to go than it was.
I am no expert and if i am coming across in a condescending manner i apologise. I just want to say what i think for once in the hope it will help you change the areas of importance to you.
I will not be posting again and infact i am personally leaving the country in a few days (not because fo the government but personal reasons). As i said i have no personal experience about being shafted by policies or the family court or child support. My interest was simply because i saw it unfair, but the negative tone, pettiness and readiness to attack anyone and anything means i have no interest in becoming involved in discussions.
If i could give one piece of advice, it would be for those who are moderate to form a lobby group for fathers, taht could also deal with mens rights.
Leave the word ‘feminazi’ out of any correspondence.
Put out regular press releases on issues of the day that affect men and fathers. Keep the tone forceful but respectful so that you soon get recognised by media sources as someone they are not scared to call or refer to in stories. Build a reputation. The reputation of mens advocates at the moment is that of aggressive nutters, ready to yell or snap anytime….
get a mild group that journos can talk to on topics such as the DNA bill. Put out releases referring to the aussie article above, and ask is anyone going further this bill in NZ? challenge National.
Get this group to visit MPs and make sure youa re realistic in what you are hoping to achieve. be single minded in your goals – one or two at a time and leave the wider debate for another time. Be pragmatic.
Once you have a lobby group that is mildy respected, then you can start to champion things and pressure government better. You could work with other like minded groups on certain issues. Shared parenting is something Family First may help you champion.
STOP GETTING PERSONAL. It makes you look petty and you lsoe credibility, even if your criticisms are justified.
Keep the extremists out of the area of communications.
Basically, im jsut saying be smarter and use the system. the womens groups did. And realise that the key to change is public support. Your gripes are valid. You are treated unfairly. Point this out and you will get sympathy. Come across as conspirators and aggressors and you will lose the public (and journos who are the link).
For example, people genuinely dont know that men and women are violent in the home in roughly equal numbers – they just are not aware. Get active writing moderate, concise press releases toÂ all major papres and other groups, as well as newroom and scoop.Â PutÂ your views across, in a moderate tone.Â Â Keep those who are well meaning but in the end damaging individuals away from the microphone.
Work with others and don’t be afraid to compromise. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
All the best.