|1999 News Archive www.menz.org.nz|
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Chivalry, Courtesy, Provocation, Women's Suffrage,
and the United Nations
by J. Neil Schulman
Twice in the last several weeks I have been a recipient of email, sent out
by a woman, asking for my support for a United-Nations-sponsored project.
The first instance was to ask for my signature on a petition to the U.N.
asking for its intervention against Afghanistan for its human rights record
regarding mistreatment of women. The newer instance is reflected below in a
message I just received asking for me to go to a United-Nations-sponsored
website, which is supposed to trigger a corporate donation to a U.N.
project to feed hungry people.
Both of these requests sound benevolent on the face of them. Who but
Ebenezer Scrooge could turn down a plea to feed the hungry, and who but the
Marquis de Sade favors keeping women in painful bondage?
Yet, to both these women, I have instantly responded in the negative,
couching my negativity in such obscene and profane language as I could
muster. I not only have not tempered my language because I knew the
recipient was a woman, but I have intentionally used obscenity in rejecting
her request because of it.
The use of obscenity is usually thought of as a cause for the instigation
of a quarrel between men, historically one resolved by personal combat. The
code of chivalry embedded in Christendom (euphemistically called "Western
Culture" nowadays) was premised on the idea that men fought men and
protected women. Men did not fight women. (Women did not fight women.) A
man who would strike a woman was a brute and not a gentleman. A man who
would use discourteous language to a woman was a coward, since he would not
be facing an opponent of equal strength in any quarrel that might result
from his provocation, unless she sought a male champion to fight on behalf
of her honour.
At the time this code of chivalry was in force, women in politics was a
rarity. Yes, there was Jeanne d'Arc and Elizabeth Regina and the Borgias;
but those were special cases, notable as exceptions. Women did not normally
serve as combatants in the armies or navies of Christian nations, thus, in
Christendom women did not normally wield political power, which is always
backed up by military force. I am not here going to offer a complete
discussion of the historical role of women in the workplace, when the
workplace was as often as not a peasant-run farm; but it would require a
perverse reading of history to suggest that for the last two millennia
women have shared an equal role with men in business and politics.
The last two centuries have changed this. The origins of modern feminism at
the tail end of the 18th century, resulting at the dawn of the third
millennium A.D. in Women's Suffrage and the commonality of women in both
the workplace and politics, has given men an untenable choice. We can
either continue to observe the rules of chivalry toward women, and thus be
at a disadvantage whereby a woman may use her gender immunities as
political jiu jutsu, or respond to them as we would to another man, and
subject ourselves to the charges that we are brutes and cowards.
This is a con game, and it's time to raid the house.
Let me be John Galt here and state it explicitly. Women engaging in
politics have no more claim to a civil tongue from men than do other men.
And women who use their naivete about issues involving basic principles to
foist off political thuggery by cloaking it as the milk of human kindness
need to be shocked into a wakefulness about the results of their actions. I
don't believe in fighting women qua women, but I would shoot a woman guard
in a Nazi concentration camp or Stalinist Gulag as quickly as I would shoot
a man holding those jobs.
Women can think. I know this from my personal experiences with many women
in many different contexts. I know this from reading Ayn Rand, a seminal
(oval?) influence on me. I know this from discussions with my
eight-year-old daughter. Yet, women apparently do not act on abstract
political principles as regularly as do men. I realize I'm treading
perilously close to the errors of bigotry here. But it would be foolish,
because of fear of overgeneralization, not to recognize that women as a
voting bloc tend to favor a nanny state, and tend as a voting bloc to shy
away from nasty realities such as that gun control is intended to give a
still-armed nanny state a disarmed public which it may infantalize without
limit. Women as a voting bloc tend to look at what carrots government gives
out as rewards without looking at the sticks it needs to use to collect the
carrots in the first place.
In short, as a general observation with exceptions already duly noted:
woman as a voting block tend to vote like irresponsible children, and tend
to want the government to treat men as irresponsible children, too.
These requests to support United Nations projects is symptomatic of this.
The noble purpose is paraded; the principles that need to be violated, and
the villains who must be supported to accomplish these noble goals, are
The United Nations is not yet a world state, but there's no doubt that the
establishment forces today would be happy to make it one, so long as it
remains under their control. The appeal of the United Nations to the Third
World is envy; the appeal of the United Nations to the First and Second
Worlds is power. It appeals to those forces of imperialism and
international robbery in the developed nations; it appeals to tinpot
dictators in the undeveloped nations. Both unite in agreement that a Blue
Beret is an emblem of virtue; and those who oppose it are at best atavists
and at worst partisans of what Gore Vidal called the Hitler of the Month.
I do not oppose the idea of world government in principle, so long as that
principle is that of the American Declaration of Independence. On the day
that the United Nations recognizes the unlimited right of universal
individual secession and of every man, woman, and child on this planet to
be armed to the teeth in defense of his or her life, liberty, property,
family, neighborhood, and nation, I will consider such a world government
But the truth of the matter, today, is that anything seemingly good done
under the name United Nations is about equivalent to Nazis collecting
canned goods for the poor. The United Nations today is an ad hoc invasion
force any time the international aristocracy needs one. They are attempting
worldwide disarmament of anyone who might oppose them, and that means me
and someday my daughter.
If they wish my click for the poor, or my signature on a women's rights
petition, they can do me the courtesy of first removing those insignia
which today mean, to much of the world, that the dreams of world domination
did not die in a bunker but merely changed to designer colors.
Copyright © 1999 J. Neil Schulman. All rights reserved. Permission to
republish on the web and in other computer data bases granted so long as
unedited and full credit is given.
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Divorced Dads Didn't Count
Press release from the NZ Father&Child Society.
The unpaid parenting work of fathers, who do not live with the mother and who do not have custody of their children, has been counted as non-existent in the recently released time-use survey by Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Women's Affairs. Time that divorced non-custodial dads spend with their children has been counted as "caring for or helping non-household members on an informal basis". This design flaw led to the study showing men doing substantially more 'babysitting' than women.
Nearly a third of all fathers are non-custodial and the exclusion of their parenting work from the study means that the unpaid parenting work of two thirds of men has been averaged out to all men. This led to a drastic understatement of men's active role with their children overall.
Other flaws of the survey include counting a parent that is taking an afternoon nap together with junior as "multitasking": taking a rest was counted as "personal care" and at the same time this parent is looking after a child. The parent's partner mowing the lawn for an elderly neighbour while the family is sleeping, on the other hand, would be doing only one job.
The Society, which is undertaking its own analysis of the data, is also unhappy with Associate Women's Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle asserting that single mothers are doing a better job than single fathers. In her media release, Bunkle claimed 'Of course the most extreme example is where a single parent is female the parent will do ten hours more simultaneous activity per day than a single male father.'
"All available labour force data show that single custodial fathers are doing substantially more paid work than single mothers while having the same responsibilities in child rearing", says national coordinator Harald Breiding-Buss. "On top of this, single fathers receive nowhere near the support of single mothers by social and community agencies, and those organisations trying to help are struggling to get funding, because the government's social funding is prioritised at women. Single fathers are working incredibly hard to do the best for their children and at the same time not become a financial burden to the community. They do not deserve a put down like this.
As an opposition party the Alliance has drafted a parental leave bill which
specifically excludes single custodial fathers with young babies. We are very concerned
fathers are being picked on in a completely unjustified way from highest level now, and that this may lead to some of the most vulnerable children in our society missing out, if those opinions translate into policy making. I believe Mrs Bunkle owes fathers, and especially single fathers, an apology, as she has made claims that her data simply do not support and as her party seems to be saying to dads: you do not matter to us."
The Society will make its analysis of the survey data available on its web
site www.fatherandchild.org.nz once it is completed.
For more information contact:
NZ Father&Child Society c/o Father&Child Trust, PO Box 26040, Christchurch
Harald Breiding-Buss (national coordinator): ph (03) 372 9140; [email protected]
Paul Callister (scientific advisor): ph (04) 292 8037
Stuart Birks (scientific advisor): ph (06) 356 2235
The NZ Father&Child Society is an association of community fathers groups in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Palmerston North and Nelson as well as social and economic researchers. President: Phil Chapman, Real Dads (Nelson); Vice-President: Mike Wignall, Father&Child Trust (Wellington); Secretary: Aaron
Williamson, Father&Child Trust (Christchurch); Treasurer: Rene Smit, Father&Child Trust (Dunedin).
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Bunkle Talks Bunk
FAMILIES APART REQUIRE EQUALITY (FARE)
19 Hornsey Road, Melrose, Wellington, Tel +64 4 389 4222 E-mail
16 December 1999
So now we have the initial results from the Ministry of Women's Affairs Time Use Survey which cost taxpayers $2 million. Phillida Bunkle, Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, says 'Now I and other women can show that the real difference between myself and men is not that I don't concentrate but that I do so many things at once.'
She shows that the survey is merely an expensive propaganda exercise. The survey was deliberately done in such as way that it showed women doing more than they honestly are. What might have been useful reasearch has been totally devalued.
Bunkle's claim is based on the survey selectively counting people undertaking several activities at once. This is totally dependent on the definition of activities, which was set by the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The questionnaire instructions say: "If you are doing paid work....... you don't need to write down the things you do at work." So work only counts as one activity.
A sole mother could be washing the dishes while her baby sleeps. This was counted as two activities. A surgeon could be cutting someone open while giving instructions to other theatre staff. This was counted as one activity. Phillida Bunkle believes this to mean that the woman has a more onerous and demanding role. "Now we know the reality of women's lives and exactly why so many women feel so stressed", Bunkle says in an official Alliance Party press release.
It is hardly surprising that marriage is going out of fashion when Government Ministers are actively fomenting discord through spreading misinformation. We are used to this kind of misinformation when it comes to so called 'reasearch' on domestic violence, now propaganda is being extended to new areas. FARE believes one of the motivations is to justify ending the current policy of equal splitting of matrimonial
property and make it generally unequal in favour of women.
That someone with ministerial responsibility should peddle this nonsense is a cause for great concern. There should be no place for such fatuous arguments in the policymaking process.
For further information contact Bruce Tichbon at 025 439 461
Phillida Bunkle, the Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, says the concept of a
"time use" survey met official resistance from the 1980s. (link)
This survey is a landmark in our understanding of the differences between the lives of women and men in New Zealand,' says Phillida Bunkle: (link)
More information about FARE (here)
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Is that a bazooka in your pocket, soldier?
Army dads in the firing line, and the Mana Men's Right's Group see
Christchurch Press 24 November 1999
Ban Bothers Army
WELLINGTON -- Armed forces personnel with domestic protection orders
against them could soon be banned from handling weaponry - an initiative
that may jeopardise some jobs.
Defence Force assistant chief of personnel Air Commodore Bruce Ferguson
said the directive was part of a policy being drawn up at the moment to
ensure that it did not "unwittingly compromise" domestic violence
It is not known how many personnel would be affected by the new policy
because no mechanism has yet been established forcing them to divulge
that personal information.
In cases where people needed to have routine access to weapons as part
of their job, their "continued employment may need to be reviewed" if
they came under a domestic protection order, he said.
"But you have to look at what is a weapon. Does it mean a tank driver
can't drive a tank? These are things that aren't specified in the act
but there has to be some common sense applied."
The Defence Force was seeking further clarification from the Crown Law
Office before implementing its new policy, he said.
The move has alarmed Mana Men's Rights Group chairman Bruce Cheriton who
fears it could result in people's employment being jeopardised by
disgruntled former partners.
"There's no burden of proof in the Family Court to gain a domestic
protection order and that's where I would be worried. You're then left
dealing with a disgruntled ex-partner having power over your future."
The use of domestic protection orders had already spun way out of
control with people using them to gain custody of children rather than
seeking protection, Mr Cheriton said.
But Women's Refuge policy research adviser Tinia Pouwhare welcomed the
Defence Force initiative.
"I think it's an excellent step the Defence Force is making," Ms
Pouwhare said, adding that all government departments and the private
sector should follow suit. Police had already implemented a similar
policy whereby any officers subject to domestic protection orders were
not allowed to carry firearms, she said.
Ms Pouwhare disagreed with Mr Cheriton's comment that no burden of proof
was required to gain a domestic protection order. "The court has to be
convinced by the evidence or it would not grant the order," she said.
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The Labour Party Website
has a search function. Typing the word 'father' gets just two hits.
One is Helen Duncan in her maiden speech saying:
My father was always passionately interested in the world of politics.
The second one leads here:
Helen Clark writes:
Labour has opposed Justice Minister Tony Ryalls Home Invasion Bill. Labour
believes strongly that everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home and
anyone who threatens that safety should face severe penalties. But the Government's Bill creates huge inconsistencies. The thug who attacks a dairy owner is up for a lighter sentence if the attack occurs in the shop, rather than in the living quarters. An attack in your backyard is not considered a home invasion. A father who repeatedly rapes his daughter will face a lesser sentence than an intruder who attacks the child.
One wonders just how many father/rapists Ms Clark is expecting to jail over the next few years. The Australian 'Fitting Fathers into Families' (download here) survey of professionals' and service providers' attitudes showed that over half of the women and a third of the men believe that between 11% and 24% of fathers sexually abuse their children! The actual rate (in NZ) is about 1 in 500. This statement by the Labour Party Leader suggests that similar misinformation may have influenced her attitude. Most accusations of repeated rape by a father are historical recovered memory cases. Labour also intends to re-introduce and increase lump sum compensation, so it will be interesting to watch the COSA graphs if they do.
Labour will, therefore, reintroduce a lump sum compensation provision for
non-pecuniary loss. Serious loss of faculty will be compensated for by lump sum payments
with the size of the payment being related to a scale reflecting the degree of loss. The
maximum levels of payment possible will be initially set at $100,000 and will be adjusted
annually to maintain real value. There will be a 10% threshold. A schedule will be
developed using the AMA Guides. The schedule will incorporate compensation for the pain
and suffering associated with this loss of faculty.
Labour believes that the social contract can only be truly honoured if compensation is available for those who suffer pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Labour will therefore reintroduce lump sums for this category to a maximum of $15,000. They will be available to those who do not qualify for the lump sums for loss of faculty, but who can demonstrate that compensation is warranted.
A search on 'Fathers' hit the following, more positive comments:
Recent years have seen a growing acceptance of the importance of parenting and positive fatherhood. Labour will implement a nation-wide strategy designed to strengthen and support relationships and parenting
Labour supports an efficient and effective means of handling child support payments. However, we believe that not enough emphasis is placed on policies that assist families during times of breakdown.
The child support system should ensure adequate income for the custodial parent. In addition it should be the aim of the system to encourage both parents to remain actively committed to their children. Fathers, who are less likely to be the custodial parent, need to continue to share emotional and practical care.
Conciliation and mediation services for parents facing separation, divorce or disputes over custody and access need to be available to reduce conflict and make it easier for children to remain close to parents.
In Government Labour will look again at the Trapski Review and implement those recommendations which will assist parents and children arrive at the best possible arrangements following the breakdown of a family.
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Green Party on Domestic Violence & Family Law
The Green Party does not seem to have any policies directly relating to fathers.
The only clues to their possible attitude are here:
The Greens will:
provide a funding framework through the civil legal aid programme to enable
community, women's organisations and iwi to work with people seeking to
obtain a protection order;
Oh, oh. No mention of funding for men's organisations
fully resource the Domestic Violence Act 1995;
Could improve the long delays, as long as resources are not used for promoting new
Comprehensively review Family Law and Family Court structures and
systems. We support reviewing and amending Family Court procedures and
regulations to ensure that the interests of the child and both the parents are
develop inter-agency protocols designed to initiate a reduction in the incidence
of domestic violence;
increase educational and training programmes to deal with attitudes and
behaviors that result in violence. These include non-violent conflict resolution
in schools for both boys and girls
sounds ok, especially if genuinely gender-neutural.
and mandatory attendance at (culturally appropriate) behavior modification
courses for men convicted of assault on women.
No need to modify women's behavior then?
Presumably they believe the vast amounts of research done by people who
unfortunately don't publish in peer reviewed journals, which proves that when
women assault men it is always the man's fault.
Therefore men should be sent off to be modified in these cases as well.
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Fathering 'Key issue of the next decade' says Shipley
Otago Daily Times front page, 17th November.
Too often fathers are missing when children get into trouble says Prime
Minister Jenny Shipley.
"this is an issue where leadership is required" she said.
Research showed that too often when young people went off the rails, the
lack of a father in their lives contributed to the problems.
"Often it's not that they don't want to learn, but something else is messed
up in their relationbships within their family."
"A lot of the work we've done has led us to the conclusion that too often
it's the dads who are missing and that's not to criticise dads, but to say
that kids deserve a chance" she said.
"The Government has dared to raise some of these issues and everytime we do,
the opposition parties dump on us and say this is passing social judgement."
"We've all got to work on this togeather and fathering is probably the key
issue of the next decade."
"Unless we allow children, particularly our boys, to feel that they are
included and their lives are relevant, we are going to see more trouble, not
less trouble" she warned.
"We really have to support and encourage dads in NZ to step forward, not in a
critical way, but in a supportive and confirming way, and all share the
responsibility of trying to turn it around," she said.
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Evening Standard, 11th November 1999, page 2:
MP hasn't heard from sad dads
IF there is strong feeling among fathers that their position in the Family Court on custody matters is inferior to that of mothers, Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu wants to know about it.
In Palmerston North yesterday Mrs te Heuheu was asked if she had received many complaints from fathers about their treatment under the Family Court system. She said she had not.
She was told the Evening Standard had received calls from more than one father expressing some understanding of the Family Court-associated stresses that convicted courthouse murderer John La Roche had referred to in his police interview played to a High Court jury in Palmerston North.
"I have no feedback that would cause me significant concern," she said.
"There's been a long-standing belief that (a bias toward the mother of the child in custody cases) is the case, but I don't detect anything coming to my office that says that is now a major concern.
"If it is that there is a perceived pressure on men that's not on women, and
they're not being fairly treated, as the minister I want to know about it,"
Mrs te Heuheu said.
For anyone wanting to educate the readers of the Evening Standard, or the Minister, addresses are as follows:
PO Box 3
email: [email protected]
Georgina te Heuheu MP
email: [email protected]
(Hon Georgina te Heuheu, Minister of Courts, Minister of Women's Affairs)
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Unneccessary father bashing by Roger Sowry
Congratulations to National for recognizing fathering as a key issue (see following
clip). Tragically, Mr Sowry still thinks 'father bashing' is a good way to win votes. He
does not appreciate that thinking is moving forward to fathers being treated as equal
partners in parenting.
During their term in office National has passed the Child Support Act 1991, is planning to introduce unequal splitting of matrimonial property, and passed the Domestic Violence Act 1995, non of which can be regarded as father or family friendly.
NZPA - (Evening Post 3/11/99)
Nats to champion dads
The National Party has identified the role of fathers as the next big social issue and will run a campaign telling bad dads to get off the couch and look after their children.
Social Services Minister Roger Sowry said yesterday targeting fathers who neglected their children was the next step in Nationals strategy to deal with social problems and he would run a campaign championing the role of fathers.
The time is now right to address this. We cant have large numbers of young people growing up without a father role model at home he told reporters in Gisborne, where he and other Ministers, including Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, were campaigning yesterday.
Mr Sowry said too many fathers who didnt live with their children used
that as an excuse to disengage from them.
Not paying child support payments should become as socially unacceptable
as drink driving, he said.
It doesnt take a lot to start to challenge some of their attitudes and to say to people, Get off the couch, turn the TV off and engage with your children. Go on a bike ride. Go on a walk with them. Go down and watch them play netball. Listen to them. Read a book. Theres a whole range of things that we are going to talk about next year.
Mr Sowrys comments came as Mrs Shipley said National had a record of
providing improvements in health and welfare.
Mrs Shipley said Mr Sowrys planned campaign was courageous.
She said the campaign would involve government agencies working with
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Fathers Count Bill passed in USA
from the American Coalition for Fathers & Children.
The Fathers Count Bill passed the House of Representatives with strong bi-partisan support yesterday [10th Nov], 328-93. The debate on the floor reflected a historic shift in political rhetoric about the importance of fathers, from "get tough on deadbeat dads" to "we need to help low-income fathers develop job skills so that they will be able to pay child support."
Many of us remain concerned about government policy that remains so heavily focused on child support, and the deeply entrenched gender bias so evident in the debate on the floor, but we applaud the House for finally acknowledging the importance of fatherhood. We hope that this historic shift of the political rhetoric will lead to the real changes in policy that are needed to end the crisis of families.
This bill also has language that assures that benefits will will also be available to non-custodial mothers, and this shift to gender equality is an improvement over programs like VAWA, under which services can be and often are denied to fathers.
The implicit social prejudice that in divorce and unmarried parentage, the mother should have custody and the father should pay support, remains unquestioned in this bill. To an extent, it can be seen as merely reinforcing all of the "wallet and sperm donor" social prejudices that caused the crisis of families in the first place. The basic philosophy still appears to be, "work will set you free." What we really need is shared parenting, but this bill does little to meet children's need for both parents.
This bill now proceeds to the Senate, and must be signed by the President, who has announced his support. A more detailed analysis will follow, and we should proceed with caution. Nevertheless, we applaud the House for finally acknowledging the importance of fatherhood.
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Now's No-Men Agenda
Tribune Media Services
October 27, 1999
You no longer have to read between the lines to divine the National Organization for Women's agenda. In a way, it seems refreshingly simple: No Men.
That's the only conclusion one can draw upon reviewing NOW's objections to proposed federal legislation popularly known as the "Fathers-count" bill.
The bill isn't exactly a mainstream father's dream. Mostly, the bill creates programs to help unemployed fathers find jobs so they can produce child support for their welfare progeny. In fact, men's-rights activists aren't wild about the bill, saying that it addresses only the financial responsibilities of fathers while ignoring more pressing (child access) concerns of fathers disenfranchised by courts that favor mothers.
Still, on Planet Deadbeat, it's better than nothing.
But NOW really doesn't like the bill because, well, it seems helpful to men. The fact that helping men might result ultimately in helping women and children is irrelevant. Anything that purports to help men is suspect.
In the case of the Fathers-count bill, NOW claims it's unconstitutional.
Martha F. Davis, legal director for NOW's Legal Defense and Education Fund, recently wrote the following to Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.), chair of the subcommittee on Human Resources:
"Because they (the bill's authors) tie the federal benefits available under the Act to gender (i.e. "fatherhood"), these provisions violate the equal protection guarantee of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution."
At NOW's insistence, language has been added to the Fathers-count bill so that mothers, expectant mothers and married mothers are eligible for benefits and services on the same basis as fathers, expectant fathers and married fathers. Even so, NOW is challenging the bill on its gender constitutionality.
One could cast NOW's protest in a favorable light. They just want to advance equality, right? But one would be wrong. When it comes to legislation aimed only at helping women, NOW forgets everything it knows about the equal protection guarantee of the 5th Amendment.
For example, NOW issued no such protest to the grant application kit for victim services under the Violence Against Women Act Fund, which specifically states:
"A VAWA-funded project may not use VAWA funds or matching funds for projects that focus on children or men." Selective constitutionality at its shameless best.
Then, last week--in an astonishing show of its true colors--NOW began protesting Vice President Al Gore's support of the Fathers-count bill, pointing out that the bill would funnel $150 million to "local and national organizations, many of them likely to be fathers'-rights groups and right-wing (as opposed to left-wing) religious organizations."
In an e-mail alert, NOW urged its members to lobby Gore to oppose the bill because, get this, the act would give money to organizations that: "promote marriage; enhance relationship skills; teach how to control aggressive behavior; promote successful parenting; train parents in money management; encourage regular visitation between fathers and children; help fathers and their families avoid or leave welfare; improve fathers' economic status" by providing work services and
Well, hell's bells. Who'd want such a thing as that? Successful marriage, responsible parenting, financial independence? What we clearly need in this country are more bad marriages, more bad parenting, more welfare families.
You have to wonder why anyone would find fault with a government program that promotes the concept of people looking after their own families, trying to get along. You have to wonder, and then you remember what they say: Follow the money.
NOW's livelihood depends on the perception of women as victims. Strengthening families and reinstating fatherhood threatens that status and the organizations that thrive on it.
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