Jamaican Men’s Movement
I think it is appalling when men who study men’s issues under ‘gender studies’ at university condemn father’s and men’s groups who stand up for fathers and men to have equal rights. Women have come a long way changing society for females while men are still stuck in the past. Up until 2004, when a father took Germany to court in the European Court of Human Rights over discrimination, an unmarried man with a child was not accepted as a father. Still today this discrimination exists in the United Kingdom where an unmarried man can’t even sign for his child’s health, even though he is on the birth certificate and living with the mother. Decades ago unmarried women were sent to church facilities, had their child taken away and adopted out while they were sent back home childless.
Unfortunately, misandry (hatred of men) runs rampant in ‘gender studies’ (because it follows feminist ideology of man = perpetrator = bad and woman = victim = good). It takes a strong man to stand up to do what’s right instead of what’s easy and popular. And it just so happens there are men out there strong enough, who are insisting men have their own studies away from misandry (hatred of men) but that’s the American Men’s movement and for another article.
I am also appalled and think it is very sad and extremely bad that we don’t have New Zealand men representing New Zealand men but instead use (selectively chosen for their radical feminist outlook), men from overseas. Men as close as Australia with Michael Flood whose says his higher education made him want to be a feminist supporter. In other words, he is caught up in the man=bad, woman=good ideology. ……. to far away America with Lundy Bancroft who thinks every man who doesn’t follow feminism needs to be in prison for reprogramming that he insists takes as long as it takes (a life time for some).
Unlike New Zealand shutting up it’s own men’s voices while promoting radical feminist men from overseas, Jamaica is progressing with their men working within women’s affairs and they are allowed to speak openly and truthfully from a man’s perspective on what’s holding men back.
Jamaican MALE desk representative and senior policy analyst at the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Dave Noel Williams, says some women are stumbling blocks standing in the way of their children’s fathers, and see them only as cash cows and not equal parents in the relationships.
He added that the practice stifles children’s development and gave an example of one of the cases he dealt with.
I dealt with a case where a man went to see his child, the boy was playing in the yard and shouted to his mother that ‘daddy is at the gate’ and the mother shouted back and told him, ‘if him don’t have the money him can go back’.”
Here in New Zealand men’s rights activists and advocates have been saying this for years. In fact, men still need the equal right around paternity. Any woman can name any man as the father of her child and claim minimum 19% of his wages in child support. Under feminist laws, men are guilty until proven innocent (this is opposite to the old laws – innocent until proven guilty) yet men can’t prove their innocence when men can’t get a paternity test without the women’s permission. If she doesn’t give it, he’s stuck paying child support for 19 years or until the child is 16 and gives their own permission.
According to Williams, the scenario is most often played out when a woman is granted custody of the children on the orders of a magistrate in the Family Court.
“It is the age-old belief that women are better nurturers. I have seen down there some harsh cases that you know, up front, that the woman is not doing anything and the man is doing everything for his child and the court awarded custody to the mother who could not [manage] in any way,” Williams said.
Sadly, feminist ideology (man=bad, woman=good) trumps ‘the best interest of the child’.
Older men who were judges, were believed to be holding back progress because they were raised that men where providers/protectors of women and children while women were nurturing and best for children. As we replaced older male judges with women and younger men we expected to see different outcomes in court cases.
Over the past 40-50 years parents were encouraged to raise their sons to do domestic work while girls were encouraged to compete with boys and become more aggressive. By doing this we prepared men and women for equality changes.
Sadly, feminist ideology (man=bad, woman=good) trumps ‘progress’.
Another Jamaican gender expert deputy head of Fathers Inc, Solomon McCalla, says that cases where fathers are granted custody, especially of daughters, are extremely rare as the Family Court system is skewed against males.”I can tell you of only two cases that I know of. It is indeed rare,” he said.
According to one father, after the children’s mother had moved out and taken the children to live in less than favourable conditions, he was forced to go to court and file for custody.
“The first thing the judge said to me was if the mother is even a prostitute she stands a better chance of winning custody. She then went on to ask the woman how much money she wanted to take care of the children and when she got an answer, she just moved on to the next case,” the father said.
“I never budget on my children, so when they set a price I paid willingly, even though it was about 75 per cent of my salary. In addition I carried groceries, clothes and toys for them. Still she tried to keep me out of their lives and I had to use police to get a chance to see them on weekends,” he said.
The proud father said the case lasted 11 months and he only prevailed when the court had exhausted all angles and could not prove the mother fit to raise the children.
He said the judge, a female, was very insulting when he asked her if his only duty as a father was to provide money. The judge, he said, told him “yes” in no uncertain terms.
Best to scrap the idea that female judges would be less discriminative to fathers.
McCalla also sought to beat back a prevailing perception that the majority of Jamaican fathers were sperm donors and were not involved in raising their offspring.
“It is not a reality as most Jamaican fathers care for and are willing to take care of their children and our studies have shown that in the past,” McCalla said.
What a mess……
These same two gender experts are also tackling domestic violence where men are the victim and women are the perpetrator. Link here.
Jamaican men aren’t any different than New Zealand men when it comes to domestic violence. They are surrounded by messages everywhere that it’s OK for women to harm men. Not only do they need to overcome the shame for reaching out and saying it’s not OK, they also need to stop blaming themselves and justifying women’s bad actions.
“What they will tell you is that the women beat up on them, but then they come back now to justify and say, ‘a me do it first’, or ‘a me say something that she never like’, or ‘a me tell her that she couldn’t go somewhere’,” said Williams, while pointing out that most men do this because they want to give the impression that they are still in control.
He pointed out that most men prefer that their story remains a secret, because for the most part being abused by a woman is considered a “shame” or a “sin” in Jamaica.
“It is taboo, so men will not go forward and say that they are being abused,” he stressed. “If it should be written any at all in the paper or even be on the news that a man has been abused and he comes forward for help, then he is going to be seen as a wimp, to put it nicely, and that’s very, very nicely.”
Williams also adds another reluctance of men to come forward, one we all know well. There’s no-one to take them seriously.
“I have had clients who have said to me that they have gone to the police station, and I went with one of them too to report violence against them, and the female corporal just said to the man that him must go home, because him a man,” Williams shared.
He believes that it is this callous disregard by persons within the society and police officers that has forced men to go into hiding instead of admitting that they need help.
“I would say a lot of men are suffering, but they are suffering underneath because they can’t come out and talk about it,” he said.
This is the same thing I have noticed in New Zealand. There was a time when the police told women to go home if they came forward about domestic violence and didn’t show any major injuries while men didn’t dare to even go to the police. But now that domestic violence is taken seriously, you’d think the police would care for all. But no, it doesn’t work that way when the police themselves are trained in feminist ideology being men=bad, women=good … especially when women are the bosses.
Waitakere police has a female officer in charge of family violence, which includes domestic violence. She won’t accept men to come forward and says they have the pub to go to.
Williams lamented the fact that issues affecting men are not given prominence, but said that this was something the male desk at the Bureau of Women’s Affairs — which was launched in April last year — was trying to address.
“We need more data, empirical evidence on men and men’s issues, we are not having it,” he said. “Because gender (and) the whole thing about masculinity and men’s issue — it’s not something that was being looked at a lot, it was just about women.”
Great stuff Jamaica. Well done to the men and women for standing for equality together.