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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Earlier this year, Amnesty International sponsored a film festival in Göteborg, Sweden. Apparently the festival included submissions of short films by high school students and one such film was entitled "The Right to Be a Father." Here it is (YouTube). It's a good little film. As so many productions like it do, it captures the anguish of Swedish fathers cut out of their children's lives by a family court system that assumes them to be uninterested in and dangerous to their children. Water that seed with plenty of allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse and, irrespective of the truth of the claims, the men grow into at best occasional visitors in their children's lives. The children, too young to have absorbed the anti-father messages the culture so prefers, see their dads, not as threats but as, well, dads. So when the courts step between the children and their fathers, the kids are traumatized as are their fathers. It's the old familiar system, the same old story. Fathers want their kids; kids want their fathers; kids do better on all counts with actively-involved fathers, but the courts say "No." The film is eight minutes long and does a good job of conveying the heartbreak of the fathers and the callousness of the family law system. It was scheduled to be screened at the festival and the young people who made it were invited to see their creation shown to the public. But they never did. Amnesty International pulled the plug on the film at the last minute and removed it from its website. Exactly why it did so seems debatable at this point, but a domestic violence organization in Uppsala, Sweden claimed responsibility for AI's removal of the film. For its part, AI has denied that pressure from the group played a role in its not being screened. I emailed AI to find out what it claims to be the actual reason; so far I've received no response. Whatever the case, the claim by the DV organization is at least credible. For some years now, Amnesty International has swallowed, hook line and sinker, the claims of the DV industry about female victimization and male perpetration of DV. I searched its website in vain for any reference to male victimization in DV incidents. The site does express such blatant falsehoods as "Violence against women is...rarely punished," and "Women and girls suffer disproportionately from violence - both in peace and in war..." This article by Stephen Baskerville about the film and AI paints with too broad a brush for my taste, but he does make a point that's worth remembering. Amnesty International has, over many years, done much good work in attempting to confront the deprivation of basic individual rights by governments all over the world. It has been and should be applauded for that. But part of AI has been colonized by gender feminists whose expressly-stated objective has been the destruction of the family. Disinformation about men and fathers has been part and parcel of that effort and disinformation about domestic violence has come to be the right tool for the job. Therefore, whenever and wherever the subject of fathers' rights to children and children's rights to fathers arises, the response of the anti-dad crowd is "domestic violence." The fact that women commit DV as often as do men has been established by hundreds of studies spanning 35 years, and is one that gender feminists are at pains to hide. So is the fact that mothers do far more abuse and neglect of children than do fathers. Their anti-father brief is unsupported and unsupportable, so they just keep repeating the same untruths in the hope that no one will notice that the empress is naked. So far AI has obliged, keeping its eyes wide shut. But, as we see daily, the DV industry continually lobbies for greater and greater state power to be used against men and fathers. They've been amazingly successful at it, ramrodding laws that entirely bypass constitutional "guarantees" of due process to jail and remove from their homes and children innocent men who have become targets of DV allegations. What Baskerville notices is that, by backing these astonishing expansions of state power at the expense of individuals, AI has become its own evil twin. When it comes to DV, the organization that won its spurs by standing up to despots now sides with them against that most humble of figures - the man who wants only to be a father to his child. The use of disinformation about DV to expand state power is nothing new. What is new is its embrace by an organization that supposedly champions individuals. On a more positive note, just consider what an education the high school kids who made the film "The Right to Be a Father" have gotten. AI's pulling their film not only from the festival but from its website together with the nutcase opposition by the Uppsala DV organization has surely taught them more about the reality of fathers and fathers' rights than they ever would have learned just from making their film. For them, now it's personal, and that means they'll never forget it. Thanks to John for the heads-up.

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