A BBC series is exploring the reasons why fathers lose touch with their children
The series starts Wednesday 31st of March and thanks to the online men’s network, I will be able to post links for your viewing pleasure. But for now, a preview will suffice…………..
Sara Feilden, the producer for Films of Record, who made the BBC series says she is glad to have found the brief window of opportunity in which to tell father’s stories since the UK allowed journalists to report on the family courts. Unfortunately, there is a Bill going through Parliament that would make it impossible, once again, to film people who have been involved in family legal disputes. “It’s unlikely that we would ever again be able to make a programme about this important issue,” she says.
Journalist Cassandra Jardine of the UK Telegraph says watching the review of the BBC series made her feel ashamed to be a woman and that…. the men on the programme appeared to be loving, attentive fathers who only wanted to play their part in the upbringing of their children while it seemed, vengeful, short-sighted women were selfishly trying to thwart them.
Sadly, she has the impression fathers who protest in hero costumes are extremists instead of being father’s in the same situations she describes, who haven’t anyway of allowing society to know what is going on for fathers because as Sara says, it’s a small window of opportunity the BBC has, and yet how much more equipped is the media to individual fathers? In my opinion, she needs to watch women in NZ protesting police over a policeman found guilty of rape. In expectation women wanted to assault every policeman in reach, a frontline and backline was formed where female police officers were the frontline strengthened from the weight of women wanting to attack men by locking their arms together.
UK’s nasty women don’t seem to be any different to NZ’s nasty women.
These mothers cancelled contact arrangements, scuppered telephone calls, made false allegations of abuse, and prevented the men taking their children on holiday.
Cassandra also writes about individual cases from her review of the series that will air on the BBC, which sound exactly the same stories or similar to what men in NZ are reporting.
“Honestly, I feel like throwing in the towel,” said one tearful father, who sat in his car outside his ex’s front door, waiting in vain for the children to come out. Only an emergency court order won him the day.
She adds that the women not only want total control of the children — believing their love was enough — they also expected their exes to keep them in the style to which they had become accustomed through alimony payments and child support, while the men lived in cramped bedsits.
When one man finally manages to remortgage his own home to keep a working mother in hers, her response is: “OK, so I can book a holiday.”
What’s wrong is that men get hounded as deadbeat dads from politicians to church ministers and yet this is far from the truth.
“Henry” (not his real name), who is seen in the second programme, tells me he blames a court system that is biased against fathers, as well as being expensive, slow and ineffectual. When his daughter was born, Henry wanted to be involved, even though he had subsequently married. In return for maintenance, he saw his daughter alternate weekends and took her on holiday. “She was a massive part of my life,” he says. “Then her mother decided to live abroad.”
He fought the move but, as in 99 per cent of cases, the mother won in court. “All a woman has to say is that refusal will psychologically damage her. There’s a view that whatever is in the mother’s interests is also in the child’s interests, even though nine out of 10 non-resident parents then lose touch.”
Henry did not wish to be one of them, but despite a “mirror order” giving him visiting rights and regular contact, he has had to fight for every glimpse and chat, at a cost of Â£70,000, putting considerable strain on his marriage. “When we meet it’s wonderful, but it’s hard to slot into a role if you haven’t seen a child regularly.”
During the whole court process he felt “like the puppet in the hands of a puppeteer”. He says: “I can understand why mothers use whatever power is at their disposal, but there was an imbalance.” Many fathers feel the same. “In order to be considered equal, you have to be twice as good,” says Simon Ramet, who has fought for half his child’s time.
This seems like a must see series with the BBC delving deeper and including the effects on children and society at large; which is explained well in the article Cassandra wrote. I’ve only touched on her words and recommend you read the rest yourself.