May 24, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Here’s an interesting perspective and one that I agree with, at least to an extent (Heat Street, 4/7/17). Martin Daubney writes in Heat Street that “There’s a Hysterical, Paranoid War on Fatherhood – and It Hurts All of Us.” He goes on to remind us of several disgraceful episodes in the recent past in which fathers were presumed to be child molesters or worse based on no more evidence than their sex.
Who doesn’t remember the dad who attempted to check into a hotel for a holiday with his daughter, only to be presumed a pedophile, grilled by management, confronted by the police and required to prove that he was the girl’s father?
Darwell, 46, who was treating Millie to a trip to Thorpe Park, discovered police were already on their way after a Travelodge manager confronted him and demanded he prove he was her father
“He said it was company policy and I had to go onto Facebook to show messages I’ve sent to her,” says Darwell, from Leeds.“It was bizarre and really offensive. It took them about two seconds to realise he had got the wrong end of the stick, but it ruined the weekend for me”.
Daubney’s right to be concerned. And he’s right about the cause.
In the bad old days, a toxic strain of feminism told us “all men were rapists”. Now, it appears, we’ve doubled down, and upped the stakes to “all men are potential paedophiles”…
Furthermore, many of today’s policy-makers and media talking heads were schooled in universities steeped in social sciences that lambast the traditional family unit and conjure cod-theories such as “toxic masculinity”.
Liberal academics laughably paint a Britain of female subjugation on the same campuses where men are now a minority, perform worse academically and go on to earn less in their early careers.
Now this miasma of fear and mistrust permeates every single corner of the man-child interface. Who’d be a Scout leader or a children’s entertainer these days?
But the most crushing manifestation is in our primary schools, where men now make up just 20% of teachers (at nursery level the figure is 1%).
There’s little with which to disagree there. The attack on everything male, including fatherhood, is never far from the front pages and is peddled like cotton candy in the halls of academe and among radical feminists.
And yet Daubney misses one important cause of the anti-dad attitude abroad in the land. I refer of course to me. I also refer to the countless other advocates across the country and around the world who’ve worked for decades to make sense of family law and family courts. Slowly – sometimes imperceptibly – we’re winning. The science on the value of fathers to children, coupled with people’s concern for children’s welfare and the tireless advocacy for fathers and children have combined to push the rock of family court reform up the hill of public policy.
That of course is a good thing. It hasn’t happened fast enough and that rock is nowhere near the top of the hill. But when I compare the state of the movement for family court reform, say, 15 years ago, with that of today, the difference is astonishing. Then there was little information to back up claims that courts needed reforming and few organizations to make the case. The mainstream news media had little to say on the subject and what it did say it usually got wrong.
Today, throughout the English-speaking world and far beyond, the movement boasts countless organizations, writers, speakers, journalists and the like. In the U.S. alone, every year, some two dozen state legislatures face bills seeking family court reform, not a few of which pass and become law. And from few media outlets do we see the claims of not so long ago, that fathers are dangerous to kids who don’t need them anyway.
In other words, the case is being made and it’s becoming harder and harder for policy-makers and commentators to resist. Does Daubney notice that the very fact that proved Darwell’s bona fides was his fatherhood?
That’s the good news, or at least a bit of it. The bad news is that the spectacle of fathers pushing back against pro-mother laws and practices, of fathers demanding equality in the home looks threatening to many. It seems it’s one thing for us to embrace the idea of women’s equality in the workforce, but another entirely to accept men playing the traditional female role. For reasons too complex for me to go into in this post, we’re not nearly as comfortable with men doing “women’s” work as with women doing “men’s” work.
I’ll expand on that in my next piece, but suffice it to say that that wariness about men as fathers, perhaps even shoving women out of their traditional role as mother, is one of the root causes of what Daubney points out. There’s a deep strain of resistance and even fear about this aspect of the demise of traditional sex roles, so it’s no surprise to see men who take on and even flaunt the role of parent being demonized as dangerous to children.
Part of our culture wants men where they’ve been since the industrial revolution – out of the house and working for pay. So the ones who don’t conform are tagged as pedophiles, the better to keep men generally in “their place.”
So yes, as an advocate for fathers and children, I’m partly responsible for that, but don’t expect any ‘mea culpas.’
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