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Ectogenesis: Will Artificial Wombs Help Men Fight the Child Custody War?

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. It so pains me to quote myself as follows (LOL, yeah, right, you guys believe *that*...):

'For a woman, having children without including their father in the equation post-conception has several routes. Artificial insemination is one, but the less expensive routes can still be pursued: have sex with a man/men "casually" and tell them they needn't use condoms because she's using birth control and STDs aren't a concern based on her last visit to the doctor. A less astute man may believe her and become a father without ever knowing it. For financing, she can file for "public assistance", or pursue a child support order, assuming she is ready to tell the father that he is one.

Men have no such options. If a woman with a child is married to the father, there's always no-fault divorce and the high likelihood she'll get custody (with child support) and possibly alimony, either indefinitely or at least for some time. Wilful paternity fraud is possible, especially in places where men have no right to a paternity test or if actual paternity becomes irrelevant after some time period. Several options for her, but not for him.

So unsurprisingly, ectogenesis appeals to men seeking a safer path to parenthood. But before concluding this, consider a few things.

An artificial uterus is a device, not a right. As long as women can still do to men what has been described above and men's recourse is either limited or non-existent, men's rights in this area remain unchanged. Ectogenesis does not provide men the right to a "paper abortion", a legal right to renounce parental rights (such as they are) and obligations (a lot of those) within a given time after a man is named the father by the mother or the state, as does women's option to abort. Not much changes for men, rights-wise, with ectogenesis.'

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“Why Great Husbands Are Being Abandoned”

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. Excerpt:

'I am currently dealing with several of these great husbands. They are, across the board, respectful, quality, caring, devoted, cherishing, authentic, and supportive guys whose wives have left them for a different kind of man. These once-beloved men make a living, love their kids, help with chores, support aging parents, and support their mate's desires and interests. They believe they've done everything right. They are devastated, confused, disoriented, and heartsick. In a tragic way, they startlingly resemble the disheartened women of the past who were left behind by men who "just wanted something new."

You may think that these women are ruthless and inconsiderate. Those I know are far from that. More often, they still love their husbands as much as they ever did, but in a different way. They tell me how wonderful their men are and how much they respect them. They just don't want to be married to them anymore. Perhaps it would be even more honest to say that they don't want to be yoked to anyone any more. At least in the traditional ways they once embraced as ideal. They feel compassion for their prior mates, but liberated in their new-found right to create a different way of feeling in relationships. In short, they want to live their lives with the privileges men once had.
...
The women I have treated who have left their husbands for more "masculine" men believed that their new relationships would be able to both excite and nurture them. Sadly, that has not always happened. The veritable saint with balls is as elusive as ever. When things haven't worked out as they thought they would, several of the women I am now working with are re-thinking their decisions, wondering if they left too soon, or for the wrong reasons. They want to reconcile with the men they have left behind. Their husbands are torn between the understandable desire to reject them and still wanting them back. Ironically, because these have nurtured the feminine side of their natures, they are also able to forgive in a way few men have been able to do in the past. But because they have no interest in returning to the "bad boy" mentality their competitors brandished, they are faced with a challenge most men have never had to confront. How do they hold on to their vulnerability and capacity to nurture, and blend it with the strength and power required of a self-respecting leader of men? None of my reuniting couples ever want to lose each other again. They've left the old ways behind and know that going back to what was will not work anymore. They intensely want to create a new kind of connection that blends the beauty of traditional roles with the freedom to move between them, and to blend the best of the past with an as-yet-unwritten future. It must be a parallel path. Both men and women must separately find their own balance between their need for independence and their desire for ongoing commitment. As integrated individuals in their own right, they would then have the capacity to create a relationship that is more than the exchange or sum of the parts. Committed partners who are willing to fight for that innovative solution will find the way.'

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Are Child Custody Laws That Treat Parental Gatekeeping Like Child Abuse Long Overdue?

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. Excerpt:

'When you first read or hear the words "parental gatekeeping", what do you think about? You may have an image of a parent standing in front of a locked gate, arms crossed with a child on the other side and the other parent trying to get through.

Hold that image.

Parental gatekeeping is not an everyday word intact or separated families use but it has a very real impact and import on child custody cases.

Gatekeeping is simply the act of facilitating or restricting the relationship with a parent and a child. I have found the "facilitative" aspect of it (and the concept of facilitative gatekeeping) a bit of an oxymoron. After all, to facilitate generally means reasonable communication, open access gates and no real need to be a "keeper."

Restrictive parental gatekeeping is just as it sounds. Placing limitations, often through actions, to restrict communication or access to a child. Restrictive gatekeeping can be for the child's protection (often in physical abuse, serious neglect or substance abuse cases) or unreasonable, in an attempt to harm the parent-child relationship. The latter often festers into parental alienation.

Now we come to the question and it's not an easy one. Should a restrictive gatekeeper who is not gatekeeping due to abuse, serious neglect, or real concerns about alcohol or drug abuse but rather to intentionally harm the parent-child relationship be treated just like a parent who has been found to have committed serious, physical child abuse and have custody taken away from him or her? Along with that, is a state like California and others that don't have specific family codes punishing this type of gatekeeping behind on this necessary legislation?'

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Robin Williams’ $30M alimony to ex-wives contributed to his death

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. Excerpt:

'Did alimony kill Robin Williams?

At least in part it sure did. Paying out over $30 million to ex-wives who were allowed to attach themselves to Williams’ bank account like comatose patients on feeding tubes would be enough to make Gandhi angry and depressed.

While states are finally, gradually catching up to the modern age in terms of alimony (now they call it “maintenance” — as in “high maintenance”) the practice of men paying women because they once were married is not just primitive but, yes, sexist.

Yeah, go ahead, call me anti-feminist, call me whatever you want, but the truth is alimony (which is different from child support and fair distribution of assets acquired during the marriage) doesn’t mean the non-working spouse is entitled to live as high as the Kardashians. It’s that concept that is fundamentally anti-feminist.'

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Divorced from Reality on Child Support

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. Excerpt:

'Article originally appeared in the Newark Star-Ledger - September 6, 2002.
...
In highly publicized raids, federal agents have hauled in 69 "deadbeat dads" from 29 states over the past few weeks, and are still hunting for 33 more. The Bush administration boasts that it is sending a message to deadbeats. However, the high-living deadbeat dad who stiffs his kids is largely a mythical creature.

Arizona State University researcher Sanford Braver, who over an eight year period conducted the largest federally funded study of divorced dads ever done, found that unemployment was the largest factor behind nonpayment of child support, and noted that his findings were "consistent with virtually all past studies on the topic."

According to a US Government Accounting Office survey of custodial mothers who were not receiving the support they were owed, two-thirds of the mothers themselves admitted that their children’s fathers do not pay their child support because they are financially unable to do so.

Most "deadbeat dads" are actually "dead broke," either because they have low-wage jobs, are unemployed, or are deep in arrears on unrealistic and crushing child support obligations. According to Bruce Walker, the Oklahoma District Attorney who ran the state’s child-support enforcement program for three years and jailed hundreds of fathers for nonpayment, these men are "seldom the mythical monsters described by politicians."

"Many times I prosecuted impoverished men," he notes. "I prosecuted one deadbeat dad who had been hospitalized for malnutrition and another who lived in the bed of a pickup truck."

Other "deadbeat dads" are victims of child support enforcement agency errors, which studies have shown account for as much as a third of all alleged arrearages in some states and counties. These errors occur in part because the federal government funds the states’ enforcement efforts based on how much money in child support they collect, thus strongly encouraging states to grab and hold every dollar they can, even if it is collected in error.'

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Race, class, and gender as factors in the Ferguson killing

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

I had a MANN reader inquire via email how MANN felt about current events in Ferguson, Missouri here in the US. He asked about the shooting of unarmed men v. that of unarmed women by police and how police killing unarmed men was much more likely than police killing unarmed women. MANN, being a web site and one with no official editorial positions, cannot collectively render a traditional op-ed on the topic. But yours truly can. :) So with a few supporting additional comments added to the reply I sent the reader a couple days ago, here's my response:

Thanks for asking your question.  Details may vary for different reasons around the world, but it's true police of both sexes are a lot more likely to fire on unarmed men than unarmed women.

It's a function of the perceived value of men's lives and the degree the shooter thinks he/she will be held accountable.  The second factor is what is likely to tip the scale more one way vs. another when taking social factors into account.  For example, unarmed men of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be shot under the same circumstances as men of higher such status (assuming the shooter is drawing this conclusion based on the victim's appearance, clothing, or other info or assumptions), since such men are less likely to have relatives capable of hiring lawyers who can press the issue with the authorities.

In different places in the world, the actual or perceived ethnicity of the victim can and does play a factor (as many believe is the case in Ferguson, though what the shooter was thinking or what he thinks of black people generally/prejudicially hasn't been discussed in the media, since the officer probably won't speak to the press).   In India and elsewhere, unarmed ethnic Dalit men (so-called "Untouchables" - ugh, what a terrible way to stigmatize your fellow humans!) are much more likely to be shot by police than "higher caste" men.  In some European countries, Roma (a.k.a. "Gypsy" - a word I despise, but is used non-diminutively by most people unfamiliar with the politics around it), the same goes if the Roma man is identified as such by his language, clothing style, etc.

But the one consistent factor the world over is the victim's sex: almost always male.  So yes, you're right to make the point you do.

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SAVE: NY Times Flops in Attempt to Rig the Campus Sexual Assault Debate

August 19th, 2014
By Matt
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Press release here. Excerpt:

'Tuesday the New York Times’ Room for Debate section featured editorials designed to address the question, “Doing Enough to Prevent Rape on Campus?”: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/12/doing-enough-to-prevent-rape-on-campus

If we define “debate” as an intellectually honest attempt to represent all the major perspectives on the issue, the NYT Room for Debate fell short.

Of the six columnists, five represented the points of view of the Professional Victim Advocates who want to embellish on the current approach of campus disciplinary committees passing judgment on messy ‘he-said, she-said’ allegations of sexual assault.

The “opposing” view came from a lone editorial by Samantha Harris from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education who insisted, Law Enforcement Must Take the Lead: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/12/doing-enough-to-prevent-rape-on-campus/law-enforcement-must-take-the-lead-in-campus-sexual-assault-cases

On Wednesday, the bias was highlighted by KC Johnson, who deplored the “Times’ almost wholly one-sided coverage” of the campus sexual assault issue: http://www.mindingthecampus.com/2014/08/the-times-one-sided-debate-on-sex-hearings/#more-11938

The NYT readers weren’t fooled, either.'

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UK: Sheilas’ Wheels unveils PinkZones concept – roads for women only

August 18th, 2014
By mens_issues
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

The insurer Sheilas' Wheels in the UK wants women-only roads, called "PinkZones". Apparently male drivers in the UK are creating an unsafe environment for female drivers. I question their statistics as to who is creating the unsafe environment in the UK overall. It says nothing of the extra number of miles (or kilometers) that men drive, who causes the accidents, or how men may be more likely to be convicted of an offense in a biased court system.

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UK: 500,000 troubled families cost taxpayers £30bn/yr

August 17th, 2014
By fathers4fairness
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Article here. Excerpt:

"Cameron set to announce extension to scheme to help them study unveiled scale of the problem.

Half a million problem families currently costing taxpayers £30billion a year 120,000 families each on average responsible for one police call out a month Prime Minister David Cameron to announce assistance scheme extension

Half a million problem families are costing taxpayers more than £30billion a year, according to a major study which reveals for the first time the true extent of the rise of Britain’s underclass.

Hundreds of thousands of households are causing a serious drain on public resources with ‘off the barometer’ dysfunctional behaviour, according to a Government initiative set up in the wake of the 2011 riots.
...
‘The reality is that in the past the family just hasn’t been central to the way government thinks,’ he will say in a speech.

‘So you get a whole load of policy decisions which take no account of the family and sometimes make these things worse – whether it’s the benefits system incentivising couples to live apart or penalising those who go out to work, or excessive bureaucracy preventing loving couples from adopting children.

‘Put simply it means every single domestic policy that government comes up with will be examined for its impact on the family.’"

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UK: Woman with 17 prior assault convictions remains unjailed after 18th

August 17th, 2014
By fathers4fairness
Article Source
Posted in MensActivism.org

Story here. Excerpt:

'With blood spattered over his injured face, this is Ronnie Lee on his way to hospital minutes after being glassed in an unprovoked attack by a woman.

Lucky not to lose an eye, the 24-year-old telesales company director needed four stitches following the assault.

But despite his injuries, his assailant, estate agent Yasmin Thomas, 21, walked free from court this week with a suspended sentence – despite notching up her 18th conviction for assault.
...
Yesterday Mr Lee said he was disgusted at the leniency of the sentence, which includes an anger management course.

He said: ‘If it was the other way around and I did that to her, I would be going straight to jail.

‘What happens next time if she does something and it’s life threatening? She could end up killing someone.

‘She’s got 18 convictions already. She’s a danger to herself and others around her.
...
‘Yasmin picked it up and tapped me on the shoulder and gave it to me. I was surprised and handed it back to Richard.

‘She then said ‘‘Aren’t you gonna say thank you then?’’ I was confused and didn’t say anything. She threw a drink on my face first and then smashed the glass on my left eye socket.’

Mr Lee suffered a deep cut close to the eye and other smaller cuts to his face.'

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