MENZ Issues

Choosing your preferred gender

Something seems wrong about this proposed law change that will enable people to change their birth certificates to categorize them as whatever gender they ‘identify with’. No medical or Court involvement necessary. In addition there might be a change allowing parents to describe themselves according to their preference on their child’s birth certificate as either mother, father or parent.

We didn’t realize that this provision to choose your gender already exists for licences and passports.

Although something seems wrong about this we can’t really identify exactly what, or the implications for men and the men’s movement. Any thoughts?

We would have thought it more important first to repeal Section 17 of the Care of Children Act. An amended excerpt from our submission to the Human Rights Commission in 2015 explains:

17 Child’s father and mother usually joint guardians
(1) The father and the mother of a child are guardians jointly of the child unless the child’s mother is the sole guardian of the child because of subsection (2) or subsection (3).
(2) If a child is conceived on or after the commencement of this Act, the child’s mother is the sole guardian of the child if the mother was neither—
(a) married to, or in a civil union with, the father of the child at any time during the period beginning with the conception of the child and ending with the birth of the child; nor
(b) living with the father of the child as a de facto partner at any time during that period.
(3) If a child is conceived before the commencement of this Act, the child’s mother is the sole guardian of the child if the mother was neither—
(a) married to, or in a civil union with, the father of the child at any time during the period beginning with the conception of the child and ending with the birth of the child; nor
(b) living with the father of the child as a de facto partner at the time the child was born….

This law removes a male parent’s right to be a guardian, i.e. to be legally acknowledged and to have any rights as a parent, on the basis of the status of that male’s relationship with the mother. Whether a father will be accorded guardianship rights can thereby be controlled entirely by the mother. If she refuses to marry or enter a civil union and to live with the father, he loses his rights as a father. However, his financial obligations to pay so-called ‘child support’ are not lost! The legislation is written in gender specific terms and provides huge special parental privilege and power for women over men, and discriminates against men on the basis of their gender.