Saturday, June 24, 2006

Are we not men?

Two articles catch my eye today, both of them at

First in North Carolina, an appeals court finds that Pernell Ingram should lose his parental rights because he did not establish himself as a caregiver to a child he believed to have been miscarried. Although he was no longer seeing the mother, when she became pregnant he helped where he could and prepared for life as a father. She then told him she'd lost the child and when she did actually give birth, gave the child up for adoption. He tried to verify the miscarriage but only found out the truth of the matter when the adoption agency sought to terminate his parental rights. He took it to court and the district court sided with him. Now, after two years of God knows what prevarication and obstruction, the state appeals court says "no" on the basis that he did not gain parental rights by i) marrying the mother he was no longer seeing, ii) providing financial support or consistent care to mother and child, or iii) immediately filing a petition in the relevant places. Talk about your Catch-22.

Judges John Martin and Eric Levinson (note, both men) said that the father had not assumed the burdens of parenthood. Judge Barbara Jackson (a woman!) dissented, saying he couldn't have given the mother's lies. What I've got to wonder is why does he have to "gain" rights of parenthood in the first place and who fought against him for two years?

In Canada, National Post columnist Barbara Kay (another Barbara) comes out in defense of men and fathers in her editorial, and plans to continue next week. It's worth a read, but I pull out a couple of quotes she includes:

Former justice minister Martin Cauchon: "Men have no rights, only responsibilities"

Feminist psychologist Peter Jaffe, a social-context educator of family court judges: "[J]oint custody is an attempt of males to continue dominance over females"
She also cites from a transcript of a child assessment interview:

Question: "What's the best thing and the worst thing about your father no longer living [at home]?" (She points out this is a very leading question)

Answer: Worst thing: "I don't have a father." Best thing: "Nothing."

Good for that kid.

I wanted to point out that these two articles have something in common, besides illustrating egregious examples of patriphobia. It is that in both cases, the father's worst enemy is his own gender and the support is coming from women. Why does this happen? It doesn't follow the pattern we'd expect. Is it because, as I alluded yesterday, it is in men's competitive interest to bring each other down and it's always more efficient to kick a man when he's already down? And the women, why are they so much more capable of defending us than we are?  Are we not men? Is it not manly to defend your right to be a father to your children?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Blog Archive