Saturday, October 28, 2006

I don't understand NOW, feminists or "reproductive rights."

I am re-posting this as after just re-reading it I realize that I am even more convinced that what NOW has become may be the single most insidious force in modern society actively working against American families. Originally posted in Feb 2006.

I have to admit - as much disgust as I feel at a legal system that appears to systemically award custody based on gender instead of equally or on merit- I am not one to completely discount "maternal instinct."

I do feel as though often parents offer different supports to their children. A lot of the times these differences lie in stereotypical traits - mothers are more empathetic and nurturing while fathers are more pragmatic, physical and better equipped to teach boundaries. NOT ALWAYS - but a lot of the time. This is not to say that either contribution is more important but that often parents help teach their kids differently.

I'll bite when a woman claims the bond between mother and child at childbirth is stronger. I understand that the intimacy of breastfeeding is not easily duplicated by a father. I believe that more often the mother stays home with the child(ren) and is therefore more demonstrably involved in the day to day activities. I'll even temporarily agree that a stay at home mom (or stay at home dad for that matter) should enjoy spousal support along with child support until that party is able find a position with which they can adequately support themselves - not just the first cashier position in the want ads. (Now this forces the question of what is adequate and just how long but I'm not writing legislation here so lets just use the term reasonable. I know this a cop out but I will never be convinced that every case can be handled with some "joint custody, no support" position. There are stay at home Parents and often this arrangement resulted as a joint decision based on the children's best interests - the parent at home should have a reasonable expectation of temporary support in this realignment of the family structure).

I don't understand, however, why women keep beating the "pay discrimination" horse when it is so clear that more women take time off work (and plan to take time off work) to care for children. Not just maternity leave time but often for the first few years of the child's life. Time off for maternity leave should not result in pay disparities but certainly a woman coming back to the workforce after SEVERAL YEARS can not honestly expect to make a salary comparable with the man who worked through her entire period off. Would that not be discriminatory?

NOW lists their "top priority issues" as: Abortion Rights/Reproductive Rights, Violence Against Women, Constitutional Equality, Promoting Diversity/Ending Racism, Lesbian Rights and Economic Justice.

On the NOW site they list the median salary for male registered nurses as $36,868 and female registered nurses as $35,360. So the woman makes 96% of the males salary... This is certainly not the .74¢ for every dollar they were talking about the paragraph earlier. Nor is a male teacher at $33,800 with a female at $32,292. Could these small disparities have anything to do with more women taking time off to care for children? I can't prove it but it seems a hell of a lot more reasonable than as a result of pervasive wage discrimination.

They do get to the .74¢ with their salary numbers for computer operators- but the final example of cashiers have women making 83.3% of the males salary. I can't begin to consider all of the variables that would have to be accounted for in order to fully compare salaries by gender but I can say that it seems irresponsible to continue to cry about .74¢ on the dollar and then only produce one example of such a disparity while completely ignoring the fiscal impact on mothers who ELECT to stay home either temporarily or permanently after their children are born.

I don't understand feminists who assert that they need an "Equal Rights Amendment" while simultaneously fighting against all legislative efforts to equalize parenting post divorce. I'm not talking about the cases in which the father/mother is a demonstrated abuser of any ilk - but the run of the mill divorce with two involved and caring parents.

I would think women would prefer such a system as if one begins to think logically about who should be preferred in a custody case (as though any parent should be instantly preferred without considering the case and facts) it would have to be men. At least from the speculative point of who is less likely to abuse their children (if we want to use the issue of who *may* be abusive) it seems women are more frequently the perpetrators of abuse or neglect of children.

It appears children in mother headed households are also more likely to be under the poverty line when compared with father headed households. The CRC has a wonderful chart but you can see the census info here. Now, one might say that this is a result of men not paying child support effectively forcing these women into poverty. I mean, come on, you have seen those "deadbeat dad" commercials. Except that actual "deadbeat dads" account for somewhere around 10% of those who have accrued arrearages in child support. In reality, far more non custodial mothers default on their support orders than fathers.

I can't imagine why men would be at all hesitant to pay - it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that some researchers are now claiming as many as 30% of "fathers" may not be biologically related to their children.

So NOW stands for equal rights - but not equal rights for men or children. Their rights come after our wonderful feminist population has been sufficiently (*equally*) served.

They also list "lesbian rights" as a top issue - listing Equal Marriage Now as a related issue. Not being particularly religious, I won't go into what a conflict this position could be for a religious woman - but honestly, how can you claim to desire "equal" marriage rights for gay women while publicly bashing the fatherhood movement?

In this link there is a heading titled "Relocation Laws Keep Women in Their Place." That is asinine - relocation laws keep children in their communities. Women can go wherever they want - they may just have to do so by voluntarily leaving their children. To in any way assert that women should be able to move at will with children (moving them away from their fathers and community) just because they are women may be the pinnacle of an outright discriminatory and inherently UNEQUAL position. This is a quote from the link above: "Feminists vow to educate legislators and judges that ex-husbands are sometimes more interested in exerting control over and making life difficult for their former wives than in maintaining beneficial relationships with their children and that the needs of the children and custodial parent must be given priority."

Absolutely no commentary on how children do better with meaningful contact from both parents. No mention of the hypocrisy of this position. No substantive mention of the welfare of the children - just a warning about "abusive or controlling ex-spouses and sexist judges" with no evidence to back up the claim that either of these alleged groups are conspiring to keep women in their geographical place.

And finally, "reproductive rights." I'm sorry but considering it takes both genders to "reproduce" should not reproductive rights be offered to both parents? Not in the cases where the mother is in danger but in truly elective abortion should not both parents have the opportunity to offer to raise the child? Is it fair to the child or to the father to let a woman unilaterally decide to abort a child just because it is "her body?"

I'm not anti-abortion per se but I certainly think that provided a father willing to raise the child it is just insane to allow the woman to abort just because she wants to. How did women make unregulated fetus killing a primary position? Again, this also seems a very difficult position for a woman of a religious background. Apparently you cannot be religious and "dedicated to making legal, political, social and economic change in our society in order to achieve our goal, which is to eliminate sexism and end all oppression." (That is what NOW says it stands for anyway - can't say I'm convinced).

I find that I am not resolutely anything one way or another. There are tenets of all political parties that I agree with, there are self described feminists that can make a lot of sense as are there proponents of the fathers movement that are reasonable and dedicated to what I consider worthy and laudable goals.

But I'm sorry - most of what I see on the NOW site looks like crap. I simply cannot begin to comprehend an organization who purports to seek equality but uses the most unequal of methods.

And really, the thought that goes through my head every time I read feminist nonsense of this ilk - all of these efforts have and will visit themselves on the boys of this country. I'm quite sad for my 8 year old stepson - he has a long road ahead.

I found this quote today ~ apparently Ms. Lewis was an actress.

You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Labels: , , , , , ,

Are single mothers the 'New American Family'?

Latest Glenn Sacks

Are single mothers the 'New American Family'?


Last fall Stanford University Gender Scholar Peggy Drexler penned the highly-publicized book "Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men." This month Oxford Press released Wellesley College Women's Studies professor Rosanna Hertz's "Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family."

Drexler portrays father-absent homes – particularly "single mother by choice" and lesbian homes – as being the best environments for raising boys. Hertz interviewed 65 single mothers and concluded that "intimacy between husbands and wives [is] obsolete as the critical familial bond." Whereas a family was once defined as two parents and their children, Hertz asserts that today the "core of family life is the mother and her children." Fathers aren't necessary – "only the availability of both sets of gametes [egg and sperm] is essential." In fact, Hertz explains, "what men offer today is obsolete."

Our children would beg to differ. Studies of children of divorce confirm their powerful desire to retain strong connections to their fathers. For example, an Arizona State University study of college-age children of divorce found that the overwhelming majority believed that after a divorce "living equal amounts of time with each parent is the best arrangement for children."

Men are often stereotyped as fearing commitment, and it is they who are usually blamed for the divorce revolution. However, it is mothers, not fathers, who initiate most divorces involving children. In some cases, these mothers have ample justification. In others, however, they simply don't want to make the compromises and do the hard work required in any relationship, and can't or won't recognize that their children need their fathers. In fact, according to research conducted by Joan Berlin Kelly, author of "Surviving the Break-up," 50 percent of divorced mothers claim to "see no value in the father's continued contact with his children after a divorce."

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, October 27, 2006 works to Oust Judge Pelton is encouraging residents of District 7 in Iowa (Cedar, Clinton , Jackson , Muscatine , and Scott Counties) to vote no to Judge Pelton on November 7th.

An article about their efforts can be seen here: Group works to oust judge

This is all verbatim from email:

The Quad Cities Times article did not report that Judge Pelton is asking voters of District 7 to give him a six (6) year, guaranteed salary of $875,000 without stating where he stands on the issue of joint physical care. The article failed to mention that Judge Pelton refused to respond to a survey requesting information from him about joint physical care and child custody arrangements. The article failed to state that Judge Pelton received the lowest ratings in his district and ranked second lowest in the state by the Iowa Bar Association in their 2006 Plebiscite. Many other issues were not touched in the article.

When Judge Pelton restricts access of children to good loving qualified parents, without meeting any compelling state interest, he is acting as an activist judge, trampling on constitutional rights, and no longer are citizens of Iowa going to tolerate such judicial activism.

On November 7, 2006, please encourage all friends and family members residing in Cedar, Clinton , Jackson , Muscatine , and Scott Counties to Vote NO for Judge Charles Pelton.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

SD Shared Parenting meeting

SD Shared Parenting meeting

The South Dakota Coalition for Shared Parenting will be meeting at the Sioux Falls Downtown library November 1, 2006 from 7PM till 9PM.

The library is located at 201 North Main in Sioux Falls. If you have questions about locating the library please call them at 367-8720.

We will be working out plans for getting information to the Taskforce on divorce, custody, and education.

Please pass the word to anyone who would like to be at the meeting and bring a friend.

Labels: , , , , ,

New Website - North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative

Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory Blog Directory