Men's rights groups thrive on anger
Jan 07, 2009 04:30 AM
Not until I started writing this column and hitting on topics such as domestic violence and reproductive choices.
Until then, I always believed that, almost without exception, men run religions, command the armies, make the laws, preside over the courts, run the corporations and control the media.
But to hear so-called men's rights groups wah-wah-wah about how "feminazis" and "feminihilists" are responsible for everything from the breakdown of the family to violent crime to child abuse to Islamofascism makes me wonder whether I've been remiss in my observation that men are still in the driver's seat.
Lately, I have become the target of some of these "masculinists" who accuse me of promoting unequal rights for women, misandry and much worse. Because my blog Broadsides has software that allows me to track incoming hits, I can see that I have an increasing number of visitors from such forums as AmericanWomenSuck.com and StandYourGround.com.
Sites such as these and believe me, they are legion are dedicated to "feminist horror stories" around the "divorce industry" which deprives fathers of their children and paycheques. Their other issues include the lack of resources for men who are battered by their wives, false accusations of partner abuse and rape, and last, but far from least, how men have no choice regarding what a woman they've impregnated does. They can't stop her from ending the pregnancy nor can they walk away from 18 years of support payments if she chooses to go to term.
Now understand that all of these are legitimate concerns, with which I fully sympathize.
While it's true, for example, that, according to the most recent Statistics Canada reports, a minority of divorce decisions give sole custody to the mother, thanks to a huge leap in joint custody awards, that doesn't mean that fathers get "shared custody," which means the kids live equally with both parents. In most cases, mothers still control access.
But many men's rights groups take that concern to frightening lengths, blaming no-fault divorce laws for allowing women dump their husbands while thrusting their hands firmly in the men's pockets, if you get my double meaning.
All of which ignores that most single mother-headed families live in poverty. As StatsCan reported in 2007, "Financial difficulties often follow marital dissolution, particularly for women. In fact, 43 per cent of women who went through a break-up had a substantial drop in their household income, compared with 15 per cent of men."
These groups also beef that a majority of divorces are initiated by women, and demand that marriage become an "enforceable contract" whatever that means.
Interesting, considering how a 2002 study out of the University of Western Ontario and Queen's University demonstrated that "abuse is the primary factor in the decision to divorce" What's more, according to the 1993 Canadian Violence Against Women Survey, 50 per cent of divorced women have been victims of abuse.
Indeed, in 1996, the American Psychological Association reported that men who beat their wives are twice as likely to go for sole custody and to harass and intimidate their exes by using the legal system.
So it's easy to conclude that, in many cases, the most vehement of these men's rights types are angry over losing control over their women.
Which might explain why, as much research shows, post-divorce men suffer disproportionately from mental health issues such as depression.
That they need counselling and similar services is evident. That's what they should be lobbying for.
But, judging from my email, instead, they turn to anger and abuse.
Feminists are the enemy.
Even in a man's world.
Antonia Zerbisias is a Living section columnist. firstname.lastname@example.org. She blogs at thestar.blogs.com.
Non published Commentary by the Ottawa Men's Centre
The Toronto Star has increasingly "censored" "comments" and in particular now refuses to post almost any post that is not "politically correct",.
The commentary above
The Toronto Star takes it upon itself to "delete" phrases , sentences and paragraphs of "comments" which can "water down" a comment from being obviously critical to "an observation". The feminist movement have apparently been threatening legal action and lodging increasing amounts of complaints.
The article above by Antonia Zerbisias is typical of the angry male haters in our society. Take the word "vaginocrats" or "global gynarchia", Just check Google and you will see that these words are not really common place, apparently they are very recent. Antonia Zerbisias article quotes stats that are quite obviously, pure fiction, the sort of fiction that feminists regularly quote for causes that result in influencing the judiciary in applying a "Feminist Sharia Law" or quite simply a "war against me" carried out primarily in Family and Criminal Court by "Dead Beat Judges" at the request of "dead beat feminist lawyers" to create a "dead beat dad".
Congrats to Kris Titus and George Piskor for getting this comment below past the censors, they were extremely lucky to get this much posted. Note, their comment is posted below and comments censored by the Toronto Star is highlighted in Yellow!
Below is the comment posted by Kris Titus and George Piskor on January 7, 2009
RE: Men's rights groups thrive on anger by A. Zerbisias (January 7, 2009)
If the Star is intent on having a serious discussion on divorce, I propose it first raise its editorial standards beyond superficial and dismissive caricatures reflected in this article.
To be sure, there are angry men, just as there are angry traumatized women who are likewise dispossessed of their children in divorce, albeit in smaller numbers. While claiming to sympathize with the plight of divorced fathers, Antonia Zerbisias actually paints them as well deserving victims of their situation as they are supposedly predominantly wife beaters that drive women to divorce. She uses old data from Statistics Canada since discredited by its own subsequent studies as a springboard to venture off into non-sequiturs such as the plight of the poverty of single mothers which she mistakenly equates with single parents.
The lack of reporting accuracy extends to the classic gender war caricature of men being anti-feminist whereas a simple member count by gender of feminist organizations reveals otherwise. Most men, just like most women, subscribe to the equality feminist school of thought; most men, just like most women, oppose the gender feminist school of thought based on Marxist principles of endemic gender warfare requiring societal destruction of both the opposing gender and the family unit.
The Star has a large segment of the extended divorced community among its readership. By now, every family in Canada has been touched by unilateral divorce laws enacted in 1985. Surely its time for a more responsible and balanced treatment of this subject.
George Piskor & Kris Titus
Canadian Equal Parenting Council