Cause Celebre

I realized recently that a lot of the causes that I care the most about don’t affect me at all and shouldn’t matter to me as much as they do. For instance, I am huge supporter of teaching evolution and only evolution in public school classrooms…though I live in a state where this is not at risk. I am a proponent of gay marriage (or I guess I’m for civil unions for everyone and against state recognized marriage for anyone…if that makes sense), though I’m not gay. I’m for legalized abortions though I could never have one. The cause that catches me today is one that I’m also not a player in…yet. Mainly, it’s the “Men’s rights” movement. I know that some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and think this is a crock of shit and well that’s part of the problem. I’m not going to whine and I’m not going to say that men haven’t had it pretty good over the past couple thousand years in relation to their female counterparts but something is definitely wrong here. The cause revolves around a couple of  key issues, the first (and less important to me) is the one of domestic violence that essentially takes the rights of men away at even the accusation of domestic violence by a woman. In this state, a man has no right to defend himself in court and can be struck with a restraining order without so much as a second look by a judge. This was made even worse by the “Violence against women act” which while having a poor title (shouldn’t it be the “prevention of violence against women act?”), is even worse in practice. Then we have the whole divorce settlement debacles with (at least in Massachusetts) almost automatic custody given to the mother which then necessitates alimony payments, child support, and potential emotional trauma of children being taken from one parent and placed into the custody of someone who has not been shown to be the more stable environment. This is really the thing I take issue with most, the mistreatment of fathers and the denial of their rights to family. The courts should be concerned first and foremost with the physical safety of the children but in the absence of any “EVIDENCE” of abuse or mistreatment they should then be concerned with the emotional well being of the children which almost certainly would not be aided by sole custody of one parent. In Massachusetts, until 2005, non-custodial parents (almost always fathers) were considered by the state to be guilty of battery until proven otherwise. What??? Yea, you read that right…Massachusetts was willing to throw out that whole innocent until proven guilty side of things if it meant the restriction on fathers rights. Luckily a concerned group of citizens fought to overturn this law but it should never have passed in the first place. This is just common sense and the courts that believe they are protecting the rights of the meek are in fact creating a plague of fatherlessness that is quite despicable. Of course the war on masculinity goes further than this…the number of people killed by breast cancer and prostate cancer each year is approximately the same. But the number of diagnosed cases of prostate cancer is lower meaning that in general it is a more lethal form of cancer. Now, given that wouldn’t you expect that we should have equal concern for these two cancers? Funding for breast cancer research is almost four times that of prostate cancer research. Apparently, those years of female oppression means that men deserve some prolonged pain and suffering and that our diseases are less important…quite the punishment, pretty sadistic stuff here. I think just as this country needs more honest and open discussions of the “issue of race” in this country so do we need a frank discussion on the place of gender in this country. If equality is what we all want (most people say they do) then we need to start there and not with punitive laws and policies aimed at the emasculation of men. Patrick OUT!!!


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