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  Fatherhood myths and the people who perpetuate them
From: Lee 

  To: PoliticallyActiveDads@yahoogroups.ca 

  Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 6:49 AM

  Subject: [PoliticallyActiveDads] Sent today: Fatherhood myths and the people who perpetuate them

  Dear Mr. Cohen,

     After reading the article you wrote about F4J and  fathers I had to write you. 

     I have been involved in fathers and non-custodia  parents rights for over 20 years in the US and the UK,

  a funny thing to do when you're a mother who's never  lost custody or contact with her children. The one

  thing I have noticed over all these years is the

  strength and consistency of desire of these men to be


 with their children and to be good parents.

  These men are not fighting about child support,

  they're not interested in control or in causing grief

  to their ex partners- they simply want to father their

  children. They want the rights that they are due as

  human beings.

     Why is it assumed that just because a woman has a

  uterus she's better equipped to parent? Let me ask you

  a simple question: how many times have you been out

  and heard or seen a mother shouting at and hitting or

  dragging her child around a supermarket? How many

  times have you ever seen a man with a child do the

  same? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, it does. I'm

  just asking you to make the simple observation as to

  who, as a parent, remains calm and in control. If, as

  a man, you were denied a job based on your gender

  you'd fight like Hell. Why shouldn't a man, denied the

  right to parent his child do the same? 

     I could simply

 quote statistics to you all day

  long, I'm sure you've gotten enough of that since

  writing the piece, but I'm asking you to look at the

  situation as a human being. Are you less capable of

  caring for your children than your partner? If so,

  why? Is it because society and your partner have told

  you all your life that you're incapable? Are you

  afraid of being criticized because a female stands

  beside you deriding everything you do from nappy

  adjustment to hair styling? Or have you simply

  accepted the societal mores and stepped back as soon

  as you found out you were going to be a parent? 

     You, Sir, are no less capable or qualified to be a

  parent than any female in the office around you. Look

  around- do any of them have special parenting skills?

  Have any of them studied child development? Do they

  have special child need sensors in their brains? Nope.

  So, why do they deny the fathers of their children


  right to be a parent? Why is it they will fight tooth

  and nail, in spite of all the evidence telling them

  the importance of a father's presence in their child's

  life, to keep him from having any association with

  their child other than as a tax free income? Speaking

  of which, how much child support do you think really

  goes to the improvement of the child's welfare? How

  much of it goes on nights out, alcohol, and

  cigarettes, which, by the way, are bad for children.

  If these same mothers who claim to have the best

  interests of their child at heart can smoke and drink

  around the child and even while pregnant are to decide

  how, when, and how much a father is to see his child,

  isn't it time we started to question their motives and

  their judgment?

    The officials and politicians who decide the rules

  say you can't divide a child like a CD collection,

  but, every time a court orders contact they are


  just that. Why 20% of the time? That's a division. Why

  not a straight 50% divide of the child's time between

  the parents? That's easy. It's because the tax credits

  and benefits systems are set up to reward a parent who

  withholds contact from the other parent. If a

  non-custodial parent has access to their child for more

  than 104 days a year, child support is reduced. The

  more contact, the lower the child support. There's

  also the confusion that an already ridiculously inept

  system would suffer. Who gets the child benefit? Who

  gets the tax credit? These official organizations

  simply have no concept of 50%. Half and half. Fair

  shares. Equality. It's all just too confusing to them.

     Joint physical custody would also render the

  already useless child support agency even less viable,

  which I personally think would be a good thing

  considering just how badly organized and run they are


 always have been. Think of all those poor

  bureaucrats out of work.

     For your sake, Mr. Cohen, I sincerely hope you

  never find yourself caught up in the Hell of trying to

  see your child. A great relationship and a great

  marriage does not make a great divorce. 

  Kindest regards,

  Lee Dempsey