December 9, 2015
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Part of the battle for shared parenting is educating the public and policy-makers that men generally aren’t dangerous to children or their mothers. Reams of social science demonstrate the fact, of course, but public policy and popular culture beg to differ. As a result, fathers face an uphill fight to gain even minimal access to their children post-divorce. That’s bad for kids, bad for dads, bad for moms and bad for society generally. Amazingly, it’s also public policy.
Jennifer Fink isn’t having it. This article describes her horror at learning that three of her four sons were forced by their school to, along with every other boy in the assembly, stand and promise to never, ever, under any circumstance, hit or harm a woman or a child. They did this while all the girls remained seated. Of course, NPO is against anyone hitting women or girls; but we are dismayed at the discriminatory treatment of boys in this setting, and the shaming.
One of her sons learned this lesson from his experience:
“Men are just monsters that society needs to put in little cages.”
If that’s what we’re teaching our boys and girls in secondary school, truly, what chance is there for sensible parenting laws or parenting time orders by judges? As long as our message is that men are violent toward women and children, why would anyone entrust a child to its father? As it is, lawyers across the country have long reported that false allegations of intimate partner violence or child abuse make up standard tactics in family court litigation.
So how are we supposed to promote healthy, dual-parent orders in family courts with that sort of cultural baggage weighing so heavily on the scales of justice? We need to fight for sanity, reality and an honest public discourse, and Jennifer Fink is one of our most prized advocates.
“It’s true males commit more violent acts than females: think school shootings, homicides and terrorist acts. But focusing on male violence against women ignores much of what is known about violence in general—while unfairly stigmatizing half of the population and poisoning the relationship between the sexes.“
“The truth is that males are often victims of violence.”
“Male-on-male violence is extremely common; and contrary to the “facts” my boys learned at school, females hurt males too.”
“According to recent surveys by the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control, some 40 percent of those reporting intimate partner violence in the last year are men. Nearly 30 percent of intimate homicide victims are men...”
“Most males do not hurt females or other males, or even dogs and cats. Yet they’re all treated as potential perpetrators, and our boys feel the weight of this prejudice...”
“It’s a skewed, inaccurate message—and it’s one we need to erase from our public rhetoric, schools, laws and ideology.”
“It is not okay to slander half of the population in an attempt to protect the other half.”
“I won’t stand for it anymore, and neither will my son.”
It’s no coincidence that Fink is also one of our most passionate voices for shared parenting, something she and her ex practice with their four sons.
Well done as usual, Jennifer!