Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bob Geldof and the rapists' apologists

Complain as much as you like about his flaws, but Bob Geldof is that rarest of things: a true world celebratory who has not sold out. Not one jot. He has achieved more in his life than many so-called saints, and so earns an almost sarcastic "Saint Bob" epithet in many newspaper columns. That said, I note that the tone is becoming less sarcastic recently. "Sir Bob Geldof" is also rolling off the tongue more easily in the "polite" society more inclined to sneer at it, ragged-looking bog-boy that he is.

So why do I sing the praises of the bloke who doesn't like Mondays? It's taken ten days for this to come up on my radar, but it seems that he's given an interview (with Daphne Barak) discussing the heartbreak of being kept from his kids and the custody laws which caused it. He's talking about British laws, but it could be just about anywhere in the western world. That world being the way it is, Google finds the interview reported in only four places (1, 2, 3 & 4 - I found it second-hand through Glenn Sacks). Perhaps we'll do better when the interview is broadcast - none of those sources say where, and when is hidden behind "the day before the G8 summit". To save you the effort, that would be 5 June. Anyone know where it'll be broadcast?

Geldof is particularly good at describing the pain and humiliation that are attendant with the ejection of a man from his children's home:
"I went to the door, and I was too humiliated to knock on my own front door. That's my house, my home, my children. I could hear them laughing in there. I was too scared of (knocking) and one of my kids opening the door and saying 'Hi Dad' and not being allowed to let me in. I didn't want to impose that on them. I didn't want it to happen to me. I didn't want her to come to the door and say, 'What are you doing here? You're not allowed to come here.'

"So, I went back out, and I sat in the car and I just cried. I just stayed and watched their bedroom lights go off, and I went home. That shouldn't happen to anyone. If you put impediments in the way of men seeing their children - making them jump through all sorts of humiliating hoops - the kids become a weapon, a sword and a shield simultaneously. You're suffering so much. Eventually, no person can take that and the kids lose a father. It is hurtful."

It was Geldof who, on being warned that he should not tell the judge that he loves his children, because that will be taken as weird, who purloined the phrase "the love that dare not speak its name" for the cause of fathers' rights. Is it not strange, even perverted, that a phrase that was used to express the oppression of homosexuals in Victorian England is now used to described a fathers' love for their children? Which idea provokes your outrage more?

The Daily Mail includes a number of reader comments after it's reportage. They are instructive. Follow the link and you'll find that the first is from a French woman, of all people, who feels the need to attack him through his children, isn't that a novelty? " Great job Bob," she says, "Underage drinking, dating men old enough to be their fathers, accusations of shop lifting, need I go on?".

No, Sarah, you need not go on. First, these points are not relevant to the issue at hand, and may well be a result, at least in part, of the circumstances which he protests and which were completely out of his control. The same goes for you Alison of Perth, Western Australia. If taking the children from a good parent is a form of emotional rape (and it is, oh yes it is), then you are the rapists' apologists, concerned more with the clothes the victim is wearing than with the crime committed against them. Shame on you. Shut your callous, poisonous traps.

Smileyrose of the UK, on the other hand, protests that her ex husband stole her family. That may be so, but she makes the mistake of assuming that the specific problem is that the law is prejudiced against fathers. It is, to be sure, but it would be more precise, in this context, to say that it is prejudiced against noncustodial parents. As long as the law reifies one parent over another, then the outrage and tragedy expressed by Smileyrose and all the several other Daily Mail commenters, and many, many others, will continue.

We're with you Bob, keep on soldiering.



Unknown said...

Check this out:

I thought you, of all people, would get a kick out of it.

John Doe said...

Oh, yes, NYMOM. Trish Wilson's crony and general all-round psycho. I don't even bother to read her rot any more and think that she's more of a help to us than a hindrance thanks to her transparently irrational drivel. (I note that Trish Wilson has stopped attacking fathers' rights activists. Perhaps she's realized how untenable was her position given that she's let slip that it's one of practicing alienator.)

Anonymous said...

In think Bob Geldof says it well. I hadn't realised what it would have been like for my ex husband when he came around (to his own home) and knocked on the door. He took it really well but then he probably didn't.