Friday, November 21, 2014
Feminism and the Law
" 'Rape is an expression of...male supremacy... the age-old economic, political and cultural exploitation of women by men." Does this sound like a modern radical feminist? Guess again. It is from a 1948 American Communist Party pamphlet entitled " "Woman Against Myth" by Mary Inman.' " 1. There is horribly unfair and discriminatory law in the U.S.A. and Canada against men, unbalanced favoritism of the legal system in favor of women against men through horribly unfair legislation. "This book has identified one fundamental feature of the laws, American and Canadian, that now govern relations between men and women: systematic discrimination against men. By 'systematic discrimination.' we refer to several things. First, legal discrimination against men is part of a pattern with deep roots in culturally transmitted beliefs, nor merely and isolated phenomenon. Anyone who looks can see this pattern in laws governing affirmative action, pay equity, maternal custody, child support, pornography, prostitution, sexual harassment, and violence against women. In all cases, directly or indirectly, men are identified exclusively as the villains (even though that sometimes amounts, as in the case of affirmative action, to the villainy of their ancestors). Second, legal discrimination against men is pervasive, not merely a collection of anomalies. The same arguments are used over and over again, differing justly slightly from one context to another. The most obvious example is provided by those who believe that rape is only one extreme point along a continuum, which begins with the mildest expression of heterosexual interest and ends with murder. Third, legal discrimination against men is the result of both conscious and subconscious motivations. This is more complicated than it sounds Ideological feminists are certainly prejudiced against men, and they are certainly aware that men are paying the price for legal changes that benefit women." 2. "The result is a mentality that accepts systematic discrimination against men. Almost anything can be said about men or done to men, in short, without the expectation of a public outcry. Only now is that mentality being questioned and even challenged. The premise that underlies systemic discrimination against men is that women need to be protected from the power of men in every aspect of daily life. And underlying that premise are the various characteristic features of feminist ideology." 3. American feminist Jurisprudence provides the framework for this unbalanced favoritism of the legal system in favor of women against men through horribly unfair legislation "American feminist jurisprudence is the study of the construction and workings of the law from perspectives which foreground the implications of the law for women and women's lives.This study includes law as a theoretical enterprise as well as its practical and concrete effects in women's lives. Further, it includes law as an academic discipline and thus incorporates concerns regarding pedagogy and the influence of teachers. On all these levels, feminist scholars, lawyers, and activists raise questions about the meaning and the impact of law on women's lives. Feminist jurisprudence seeks to analyze and redress more traditional legal theory and practice. It focuses on the ways in which law has been structures that deny the experiences and needs of women. Feminist jurisprudence claims that patriarchy ( the system of interconnected relations and institutions that oppress women) infuses the legal system and all its working and that this results in an unacceptable state of affairs." 4. "Feminist legal theorists, despite differences in schools of thought, are united in their basic belief that society is patriarchal--shaped by and dominated by men. Feminists jurisprudence, then, provides an analysis and critique of women's position in patriarchal society and examines the nature and extent of of women's subordination. It explores the role of law in maintaining and perpetuating patriarchy. It also examines methods of eliminating patriarchy. Feminist legal theory essentially has two major components. The first is an exploration and critique of theoretical issues about the interaction between law and gender. The second is the application of feminist analysis and perspective to concrete areas of law: for example, family,work, criminal law, reproductive freedom, pornography, sexual harassment with an eye toward effectuating law reform." 5. "Catharine A. MacKinnon is widely regarded as the foremother of feminist legal theory. Her first book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination, was published in 1979. While studying at Yale Law School, MacKinnon developed the theory of sexual harassment with a collective of lawyers and activists. The conceptualization of sexual harassment as a legal theory to address the situation that so many women encountered in the workplace and in school is a clear example of the power of feminist legal theory to transform women's lives. Today, women enter the workforce with a new set of entitlements and opportunities." 6. "Consequently, feminist jurisprudence is not politically neutral but a normative approach as expressed by philosopher Patricia Smith :" Feminist jurisprudence challenges basic legal categories and concepts rather than analyzing them as given. Feminist jurisprudence asks what is implied in traditional categories, distinctions, or concepts and rejects them if they imply the subordination of women. In this sense, feminist jurisprudence is normative and claims that traditional jurisprudence and law are implicitly normative as well. Feminist jurisprudence sees the workings of law as thoroughly permeated by political and moral judgments about the worth of women and how women should be treated." 7. Given the foregoing feminist philosophical and legal constructs, the determinants of the same are premised upon destroying traditional Western legal concepts of the individual application of the law in an unbiased manner and replacing the same with differentiating the formulation of the law and the application of the law based upon gender (and other class determinants) and how the formulation and application of the law promulgates the goals of women (and, through implication, other groups) against the oppressive "Patriarchy" as represented by men individually and collectively. "Although feminist jurisprudence revolves around a number of questions and features a diversity of focus and approach, two characteristics are central to it. First, because the Anglo-American legal tradition is built on liberalism and its tenets, feminist jurisprudence tends to respond to liberalism in some way. The second characteristic is the goal of bringing the law and its practitioners to recognize the law as currently constructed does not acknowledge or respond to the needs of women and must be changed." 8. Again, the essential concept of civil society, " the social contract", as the basis for law itself and Western philosophical and legal thought is considered inadequate and hostile towards women (and other groups) such that they must be made subordinate to the goals of women and other groups who have been traditionally exploited by the Patriarchical ( Western Civilization) concepts of law, equity, and politics. Inherent in the same, of course, is the subordination of men (especially Western men) and Western civilization and it's replacement by authoritarian concepts which can only be reasonably be defined as tyrannical, sexist, and racist. "As a critical theory, feminist jurisprudence responds to the current dominant understanding of legal thought which is usually identified with the liberal Anglo-American tradition. (This tradition is represented by such authors as Hart 1961 and Dworkin 1977, 1986.) Two major branches of this tradition have been legal positivism, on the one hand, and natural law theory, on the other. Feminist jurisprudence responds to both these branches of the American legal tradition by raising questions regarding their assumptions about the law, including: 1.That law is properly objective and thus must have recourse to objective rules or understandings at some level. 2.That law is properly impartial especially in that it is not to be tainted by the personal experience of any of its practitioners particularly judges. 3.That equality must function as a formal notion rather than as a substantive one such that, in the eyes of the law, difference must be shown to be "relevant" in order to be admissible/visible. 4. That law, when working properly, should be certain; and, that the goal of lawmaking and legal decision-making is to gain certainty. 5.. That justice can be understood as a matter of procedures such that a proper following of procedures can be understood as sufficient to rendering justice. Each of these assumption, although contested and debated, has remained a significant feature of the liberal tradition of legal understanding. Feminist jurisprudence usually frames its responses to traditional legal thought in terms of whether or not the critic is maintaining some commitment to the tradition or some particular feature of it. This split in responses has been formulated in a number of different ways according to the particular concerns they emphasize. The two formulations found most frequently in American feminist jurisprudence characterize the split either as a reformist/radical debate or as the sameness/difference debate. Within the reformist/radical debate, reformist feminists argue that the liberal tradition offers much that can be shaped to fit feminist hands and should be retained for all that it offers. These feminists approach jurisprudence with an eye to what needs to be changed within the system that already exists. Their work, then, is to gain entry into that system and use its own tools to construct a legal system which prevents the inequities of patriarchy from affecting justice. Those who see the traditional system as either bankrupt or so problematic that it cannot be reshaped are often referred to as transformist or radical feminists. According to this approach, the corruption of the legal tradition by the patriarchy is thought to be too deeply embedded to allow for any significant adjustments to the problems that women face. Feminists using this approach tend to argue that the legal system, either parts or as a whole, must be abandoned. They argue that liberal legal concepts, categories, and processes must be rejected and new ones put in place which can be free from the biases of the current system. Their work, then, is to craft the transformations that are necessary in legal theory and practice and to create a new legal system that can provide a more equitable justice." 9. Feminist legislation has resulted in the explosion of men incarcerated in the U.S.A. through the criminalization of conduct that women consider to be inimical to their political, economic, and social interests. "Claiming to be the freest country on Earth, the United States incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than Iran or Syria. Over two million people,or nearly one in 50 adults, excluding the elderly, are incarcerated, the highest proportion in the world. Some seven million Americans, or 3.2 percent, are under penal supervision.-------- But traditionalists upholding law and order were not an innovation of the 1970s. A newer and more militant force helped create the "carceral state." In The Prison and the Gallows (2006), feminist scholar Marie Gottschalk points out that traditional conservatives were not the prime instigators, and blames "interest groups and social movements not usually associated with penal conservatism." Yet, she names only one: "the women's movement." 10. In the United States, there are discriminatory sentencing disparities against men. "In both the United Kingdom and the United States there is concern about the extent to which there may be false accusations of rape. Lenient sentences for false accusations and lack of anonymity for the accused are also concerns. Sentencing for those convicted of making false accusations of rape in the United Kingdom is often perceived as being too lenient in comparison to the severe penalties imposed upon rapists." 11. "Men accused of rape today enjoy few safeguards. 'People can be charged with virtually no evidence,' says Boston former sex-crimes prosecutor Rikki Klieman. 'If a female comes in and says she was sexually assaulted, then on her word alone, with nothing else-- and I mean nothing else, no investigation-- the police will go out and arrest someone.'------ ' A defendant who can absolutely prove his innocence--- can none the less still be convicted, based solely on the word of the accuser,' write Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson in Until Proven Innocent. In North Carolina, simply "naming the person accused" along with the time and place " will support a verdict of guilty. Crime laboratories are notorious for falsifying results to obtain convictions. The feminist dogma that "women never lie" goes largely unchallenged. 'Any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes, ' says Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecutions. Purdue University sociologist, Eugene Kanin, found that "41% of the total disposed rape cases were officially declared false" during a nine-year period, " that is by the complainant's admission that no rape had occurred." Kanin discovered three functions of false accusations: ' providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention.' The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) adds that ' false rape accusations also have been filed to extort money from celebrities, to gain sole custody of children in divorce cases, and even to escape military deployments to war zones.' In the infamous Duke University lacrosse case, prosecutor Michael Nifong suppressed exculpating evidence and prosecuted men he knew to be innocent, according to Taylor and Johnson. Nifong, himself, was eventually disbarred, but he had the willing accomplices among assistant prosecutors, police, crime lab technicians, judges, the bar and the media. "Innocent men are arrested and even imprisoned as a result of bogus claims, "writes Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex-crimes unit for the Manhattan District Attorney, who estimates that half of all reports are unfounded. Innocence projects are almost wholly occupied with rape cases ( though they try to disguise this fact). Yet no systematic investigation has been undertaken by the media or civil libertarians into why so many innocent citizens are so easily incarcerated on fabricated allegations. The exoneration of the Duke Lacrosse team students on obviously trumped-up charges triggered few investigations-and no official ones- to determine how widespread such rigged justice is against those unable to garner media attention." 12. "In many jurisdictions, alleged victims of rape are given anonymity while this is not extended to the accused. The British government announced plans to grant anonymity to the accused but withdrew plans after criticism from campaign groups such as "Women Against Rape. In most states in the United States, it is possible to get a conviction for rape without corroborating evidence. Thus, the issue of false accusations of rape is very serious." 13. "In the current state of the law, men can and will, with just an allegation,lose all of their money, their kids, their house, their job, their self-respect, their friends, their standing in the community, their families,;and, above all, their souls if a woman decides, one day, in one minute, to snap and cast him into the abyss of hell by calling 911 and lying. No Police Officer called to the scene will ever take the chance of not arresting someone in a domestic dispute, and unfortunately, the statistics point out that it is overwhelmingly the man in the relationship who is arrested, and not the woman." 14. "It happens thousands of times a day in the USA. With regards to any type of allegation of Domestic Violence (what these types of cases are called), any Police Officer, Prosecutor, or Lawyer will tell you that a woman's word is 100 times stronger than a man's, even in the absence of any evidence to substantiate this. And, the police officer will blindly arrest and the prosecutor will doggedly pursue that man." 15. "Other incarcerations are also attributable to feminism. The vast preponderance of actual violent crime and substance abuse proceeds from single-parent homes and fatherless children more than any other factor far surpassing race and poverty. The explosion of single parenthood is usually and resignedly blamed on paternal abandonment with the only remedy being ever-more draconian but ineffective child support "crackdowns." Yet no evidence indicates that the proliferation of single-parent homes results from absconding fathers. If we accept that single motherhood is precisely what feminists say it is-the deliberate choice of their sexual revolution-it is then apparent that sexual liberation lies behind not only these newfangled sexual crimes,but also the larger trend of actual crime and incarceration. Feminism is driving both the criminalization of the innocent and the criminality of the guilty. We will continue to fight a losing battle against crime, incarceration, and expansive government power until we confront the sexual ideology that is driving not only family breakdown and the ensuing social anomie but the criminalization of the male population. Ever-more-repressive measures will only further erode freedom. Under a leftist regime, conservatives must rethink their approach to crime and punishment and their unwitting collusion with America's homegrown Stalinists." 16. "Men are sentenced 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder [Bureau Justice Statistics--men at 17 years vs women at 6 years]. Women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times than of men [ Bureau Justice Statistics--1.4% of men vs 12.9% of women] 17. MEDIA COMPLICITY "The world of rape accusations displays features similar to other feminist gender crimes; media invective against the accused, government-paid "victim advocates" to secure convictions, and intimidation of anyone who defends the accused. Nobody dependent on the mainstream media for information about rape would have any idea how frequent false claims are, write Taylor and Johnson. Most journalists simply ignore evidence contradicting the feminist line. What they observe of rape characterizes feminist justice generally: calling a rape complainant 'the victim'-- with no 'alleged'.' Unnamed complainants are labeled 'victims' even before legal proceedings determine that a crime has been committed,' according to CMR. Rape hysteria, false accusations, and distorted scholarship are rampant on university campuses,which ostensibly exist to pursue the truth. ' If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape,' opines one "women's studies" graduate, 'she may have had reason to. Maybe she wasn't raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.' This mentality pervades feminist jurisprudence, precluding innocence by obliterating the distinction between crime and hurt feelings. A Vassar College assistant dean believe false accusations foster men's education:' I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration....'If I didn't violate her, could I have?' Conservative critics of the Duke fiasco avoided feminism's role but instead emphasized race--a minor feature of the case but a safer one to criticize. Little evidence indicates that white people are being systematically incarcerated on fabricated accusations of non-existent crimes against blacks. This is precisely what is happening to men, both white and black, accused of rape and other "gender" crimes that feminists have turned into a political agenda." 18. "Boyce (1994) analyzed Canadian media coverage on victimization and found that, despite the fact that men and women suffered roughly equal rates of violence, of those newspaper articles that referenced gender, 98.1 per cent emphasized women and 1.9 per cent emphasized men. Men, it would appear, are not even worthy of being victims." 19. FEMINIST DISSENT TO FEMINIST EXTREMISM "Ellen Frankel Paul, deputy director of the Social Philosophy ad Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, warns of the danger inherent in using the courts as a way of policing behavior. ' Do we really want legislatures and judges delving into our most intimate, private lives,' she asks, ' deciding when a look is a leer and when a leer is a civil rights offense? Should people have a legally enforceable right not to be offended by others? At some point, the price for this protection is the loss of both liberty and privacy rights.' To which we would add another price: the rejection of personal and collective maturity as a goal worth seeking." 20. "We have not yet heard from Camille Paglia. As usual, she has a lot to say about feminism (or at least ideological feminism, in our parlance) and its effect on society. For her, the hostile-environment policy is 'grotesquely totalitarian. It offends free-speech rights and is predicated on a reactionary female archetype: the prudish Victorian lady who faints at a sexual innuendo. This isn't feminism; it's Puritanism. The Anita Hill case, far from expanding women's rights, was a disaster for civil liberties. That Hill, an articulate graduate of the Yale Law School, could find no job-preserving way to communicate to her employer her discomfort with mild off-color banter strained credulity. That Thomas could be publicly grilled about trivial lunch time conversations that occurred 10 years early was an outrage worthy of Stalinist Russia... Feminist excesses have paralyzed and neutered white, upper-middle-class young me as should be obvious to any visitor to the campuses of elite schools... While men must behave honorably ( governors and presidents should not be dropping their pants in front of female employees or secretly preying on buxom young interns), women must also watch how they dress and behave. For every gross male harasser, there are 10 female sycophants who shamelessly use their sexual attractions to get ahead. We don't want a society of surveillance by old maids and snitches. The proper vision of feminism is to encourage women to take personal responsibility without running to authority figures for help.' " Ellen Frankel Paul, deputy director of the Social Philosophy ad Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, warns of the danger inherent in using the courts as a way of policing behavior. ' Do we really want legislatures and judges delving into our most intimate, private lives,' she asks, ' deciding when a look is a leer and when a leer is a civil rights offense? Should people have a legally enforceable right not to be offended by others? At some point, the price for this protection is the loss of both liberty and privacy rights.' To which we would add another price: the rejection of personal and collective maturity as a goal worth seeking." 21. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE "Roberts notes that a recent scholarly article locates severe partner violence with the female partner at a rate more than twice that with the male partner (4.6% to 2.1%). Of course, this flies in the face of the feminist hack that goes: 'Though women also engage in physical violence, severe violence is the sole domain of the much stronger and much more evil male partner!' Insert heavy breathing soundtrack here..... And while " domestic violence" is painted in the media (and in the X-rated masochistic dreams of feminists) as the exclusive domain of the male, the fact is that when men are involved in anything that appears to be actual "violence," they are generally responding to an attack by a women. When only ONE party was involved in an act of violence, Roberts states (referring to the research of one Murray Straus), female-only violence is TWICE as common as male-only violence. And this statistic holds true for 32 nations around the world. Insert wide-eyed look of surprise icon here... So the entire "domestic violence" hysteria, no matter from which angle it is viewed, simply points to a departure from reality that is so severe that, if it is an unwilling departure, is indicative of severe psychosis. But if "domestic violence" hysteria is a willing departure from reality, it points to a dishonesty and manipulation of the ignorant masses so extreme as to place feminism as a movement in the same propaganda stream as that indwelt by Goebbels himself." 22. "Like rape, domestic "violence" is defined so loosely that it need not be violent. The U.S. Justice Department definition includes "extreme jealousy and possessiveness" and "name calling and constant criticizing." For such "crimes" men are jailed with no trial. In fact, the very category of "domestic" violence was developed largely to circumvent due process requirements of conventional assault statutes. A study published in Criminology and Public Policy found that no one accused of domestic violence could be found innocent, since every arrestee received punishment. Here, too false accusations are rewarded.' Women lie every day,'attests Ottawa Judge Diane Nicholas.'Every day women in court say,'I made it up. I'm lying. It didn't happen'---and they're not charged.' Amazingly, bar associations sponsor seminars instructing women how to fabricate accusations. Thomas Kiernan, writing in the New Jersey Law Journal, expressed his astonishment at 'the number of women attending the seminars who smugly--indeed boastfully--announced that they had already sworn out false or grossly exaggerated domestic violence complaints against their hapless husbands, and that the device worked!' He added,'The lawyer lecturers invariably congratulated the self-confessed miscreants.' " Domestic violence has become a 'backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,' write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in Aggression and Violent Behavior. ' No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice . ' " 23. " After laying charges, police are significantly more likely to take a man into custody than a woman, even when factors such as the level of injury inflicted and prior criminal record are taken into account. Nor do prosecutors tend to mitigate this disparately harsh treatment of men. On the contrary, prosecutors appear to pursue cases involving male suspects more vigorously than those involving female suspects. Thus men are more likely to be found guilty and are less likely to benefit from withdrawn charges, even though they are suspects in proportionately more of the non-injury cases. Men are also less likely to benefit from favorable plea bargains, despite the fact that they have committed, on average, less grievous offences. And men are significantly more likely to receive harsher sentences than women, even when all other relevant factors are taken into account. Indeed, gender is often the most significant factor in predicting how the law-enforcement system responds to incidents of partner violence. " 24. " One result of these misconceptions about domestic violence, is a difference in the way that men and women are treated by the courts 'As a result of the invisibility of the female methods of killing, women who do kill benefit from the stereotype of women as innocent and are treated very differently by the law: thirteen percent of spousal murder cases with women defendants result in an acquittal vs. 1 percent of murder cases with men defendants. Similarly, the average prison sentence for spousal murder (excluding life sentences and the death penalty) is almost three times longer for men than for women- 17.5 years vs. 6.2 years. And, thus far, a woman has never been executed for killing only a man. When we can only see women as innocent, the law becomes equally blind.' " 25. Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary Stephen Baskerville , in his essay, "Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary" stated: "Feminists, despite Gottschalk's muted admission of guilt, did lead the charge toward wholesale incarceration. Feminist ideology has radicalized criminal justice and eroded centuries-old constitutional protections:New crimes have been created; old crimes have been redefined politically; the distinction between crime and private behavior has been erased; the presumption of innocence has been eliminated; false accusations go unpunished; patently innocent people are jailed without trial." "The new feminist jurisprudence hammers away at some of the most basic foundations of our criminal law system, " Michael Weiss and Cathy Young write in a Cato institute paper. "Chief among them is the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty." 26. FALSE CLAIMS A STRATEGY "Scholars and practitioners have repeatedly documented how "allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage" in custody cases and "become a part of the gamesmanship of divorce." Domestic abuse has become "an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice, " according to the Rutgers Law Review. Restraining orders removing men from their homes and children are summarily issued without any evidence..Due process protections are so routinely ignored that, the New Jersey Law Journal reports one judge told his colleagues, " Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man you're violating." Attorney David Heleniak calls New Jersey's statute "a due process fiasco" in the Rutgers Law Review. New Jersey court literature openly acknowledges that due process is ignored because it " perpetuates the cycle of power and control whereby the [alleged?] perpetrator remains th one with the power and the [alleged/] victim remains powerless." Omitting "alleged" is standard even in statutes, where, the Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly reports, " the mere allegation of domestic abuse...may shift the burden of proof to the defendant." Special " integrated domestic violence courts " presume guilt and then, says New York's openly feminist chief judge, " makes batterers and abusers take responsibility for their actions. " They can seize property, including homes, without the accused being convicted or even formally charged or present to defend himself. Lawyer Walter Fox describes these courts as "pre-fascist": " Domestic violence courts ...are designed to get around the protections of the criminal code. The burden of proof is reduced or removed, and there's no presumption of innocence. " Forced confessions are widespread. Pennsylvania men are incarcerated unless they sign forms stating, " I have physically and emotionally battered my partner." The man must then describe the violence, even if he insists he committed none. " I am responsible for the violence I used, " the forms declare. " My behavior was not provoked." 27. ABORTION, PATERNAL RIGHTS "In all but 15 countries, husbands are not required to authorize or be notified of an induced abortion. Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Japan, The Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malawi, Morocco, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates all legally require that an abortion must be authorized by the woman's husband. However, in some countries, this authorization law can be overridden if there is genuine concern for maternal health. In China, the law states that a woman has no overriding priority over her spouse in deciding whether to have a child. In the USA in 2006, the court case Dubay v. Wells concerned whether men should have an opportunity to decline all paternity rights and responsibilities in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Supporters said that this would allow the woman time to make an informed decision and give men the same reproductive rights as women. In it's dismissal of the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals (Sixth Circuit) stated that " the Fourteenth Amendment does not deny to [the] State the power to treat different classes of persons in different ways." 28. ADOPTION "Fathers' rights activists seek a gender-neutral approach in which unwed men and women would have equal rights in adoption issues. In Oregon, a U.S. state, an adoption may be granted without the consent of a married woman's husband if it has been determined that her husband at such time was not the father of the child. In this case, consent of the husband (or father) is not required." 29. CHILD CUSTODY "Many men feel that they are discriminated against and that they do not have the same contact rights or equitable shared parenting rights as their ex-spouse. The United Kingdom and the United States were cited, with several other unnamed countries, as affected regions where child custody issues have become complicated by higher divorce rates, less father-child time, while there has been greater expectations for fatherly involvement in their children's lives. Authors of Unfamiliar territory write: "The current struggles of the fathers' rights movement can be understood as part of this complex and painful renegotiation of intimate relations against a backdrop of changing lifestyles and expectations." Men seek to change the legal climate for men through changes in family law. In the United States, fathers were awarded custody in 17.4 percent of cases in 2007, a percentage that has statistically not changed since 1994." 30. From the Chapter on The Marital Relationship:" Contrary to government propaganda (and Common Law tradition), child support today has little to do with fathers abandoning their children, deserting their marriages, or even agreeing to a divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those involuntarily divorced without grounds ("no fault"). It is an entitlement for all divorcing mothers, regardless of their actions, and coerced from fathers, regardless of their fidelity. The "deadbeat dad" is far less likely to be a man who abandoned the offspring he callously sired than to be a loving father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom , "forced to finance the filching of his own children." 31. PARENTAL ABDUCTION "Men's rights activists" state that children of men on Indian descent have been abducted from their homes in Canada, the United States and Europe and moved to India where the national courts do not recognize foreign child custody orders. The country is not subjected to the Hague Convention and men accused of dowry harassment may be arrested at Indian airports." 32. PARENTAL LEAVE "There is a wide variance in parental leave provisions across 24 western countries which are primarily European countries, Australia and the United States. The most liberal allows the couple to chose how to split the family leave time between mother and father. In the countries where parental leave is available and defined, it is, generally, for 2 to 12 days. Where maternal leave is available and defined, all but the United States and Australia, the period of time is, generally, 14-20 weeks. However, four countries have extended leave periods." 33. PARENTAL FRAUD "Parental fraud occurs when a mother intentionally identifies a man as a biological father who she knows is not the father. Estimates in the United States have ranged that there might be as many as 800,000 incorrect paternity judgments in California alone (because of defaults). Once so judged, it is extremely difficult or even impossible to get liability for child support removed. In some cases, a husband is responsible for his wife's children no matter what. Even if the child is not his own." 34. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS-PATERNAL OBLIGATION "The woman's right to choose to have a baby or not determines the father's obligation to pay child support for the child's life." 35. Affirmative Action "According to the University of Pittsburgh, affirmative action is "predicted to lower the performance requirement for women and result in reverse discrimination towards men." 36. Social Security and Retirement "Previously, in some countries that award some form of social security or pension women qualified for benefits earlier in life than men. However, this is currently being phased out. In Australia and the United Kingdom these provisions were no longer offered to women after 1955. Widow Allowance in Australia is awarded to a woman born before 1 June 1955, with no recent workforce experience and with low income if she becomes widowed, divorced, or separated from a spouse or de facto partner (of either sex). The provision was available to women only and not to men in identical circumstances, In the United Kingdom, women's earlier qualification for State Pension has ended for anyone born after 1955." 37.
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