First, let me say that I am prepared for the backlash that I will receive from certain groups of people regarding my views on this topic. That’s ok, because it has to be said. Whether people want to think openly about it or not doesn’t make it less true. As a society we do a great job of taking one group of people’s bad situation, slapping legislation behind it to make it better, while simultaneously leaving out the rights of other groups. Some people I have talked to would answer that with “Well, they had all the rights for this long, so now they can see how we felt.” Balancing the rights of all INDIVIDUALS is what we are supposed to be doing. We put people into categories and then get mad when they put us into categories. Although law enforcement does use the concept of “profiling.” This is to give them a jumping board of where to start brainstorming when investigating something. We see all too often how “profiling” or “categorizing” people is not an exact science. With my job experience I have witnessed many times where there were blatant and even purposeful false assumptions based on stereotypes or biases. The viewpoints that I express below are not about ALL WOMEN or ALL MEN. I do not condone grouping any people into a category with blanket assumptions. This is my viewpoint on how SOME WOMEN think/act and SOME MEN experience the consequences of an imbalance that has become far too leaning to the rights of others and leaving theirs out.
What About Men’s Rights?
Women have long had the upper hand when it comes to Family Court. There, I said it. Why has this happened? There has been a long standing view of society that women are the better nurturers/caregivers. It has also been a view that it was even the “woman’s job to raise the children”, even in instances where she either clearly wasn’t in a position to care for the children due to lack of housing, education, job, or drug abuse or other situations. Often times if the woman is in these types of situations, the court and Child Protective Services is still willing and forceful in making sure that the woman obtain government assistance in regards to funding so that they can get an apartment and food so that they and the child(ren) can remain together. All the while, while she is getting the assistance to get it together, the father, already having it together, gets told that the mother is the necessary “nurturer” in the co parenting relationship. To me, the entire thing is very ridiculous and backwards when you think about it. Feminists push that they be seen as an individual and equal to men as far as their rights are concerned with pay, obtaining a job, reproductive rights and more. However, in family court they don’t want to be seen as equal. They -and the family court buys into this- want to be seen as the better parent because they are the “nurturer” and you know, men can’t be nurturing or caregivers. /sarcasm. If women can have jobs, work on cars, become anything that a man can, why can’t a man evolve from the provider into carrying a dual role of provider and nurturer? To say that no man has this capability is a lie and an assumption based on biases or sexist profiling.
Some women have even gone as far as to not only want the father to not have full custody, but also not to have joint custody of the child(ren). This stems from their hurt over what they experienced in the relationship with the father of the kids. The woman has a right to feel the feelings that she has over whatever occurred in the relationship, but she doesn’t have the right to portray those feelings in trying to grab control over the shared children that they both were a part in making and even raising together for a period of time. Also, some women become very jealous or bitter when the father moves onto a new relationship and they aren’t able to wrap their head around their feelings. They don’t want to see him coming by with another women to pick up or drop off the children for visitations. They don’t want to hear the children, as children will do, start to like the person that they are spending time around; this may cause the mother to have feelings of “what does she have that I don’t” and always having to hear the children reminding her how she just wasn’t good enough. Learning to accept the end of a relationship is something that has to be a process for some people. Some women have even gone to the extent of fabricating abuse of herself or her children in order to pull law enforcement or Child Protective Services into the situation so that all it takes is some convincing and sales techniques and the system is on her side.
Some women have 50/50 custody of the child(ren) where the father has the kids half of the week and she has them the other half of the week. Some co-parents are lucky enough to live in the same school district where they can both experience having the children in the home with them, even if only for part of the week. Often times, if the woman was a stay at home mother or didn’t go to college, or simply works a lesser paying job that the man, the man still has to pay child support to the woman even though he has the child (ren) for half of the week. Logic would tell most people that both parents are responsible for the children’s well being 100% of the time. However, let’s think about this completely objective here. If a man has the children in his home half of the week, paying for their rent, utilities, food, clothing, etc when the children are with them, how come they would have to give money to the woman to pay for their rent, utilities, food, clothing, etc when the child (ren) are with the mother? Aren’t women equal? I can understand if the parents were married, she agreed to be a stay at home mother while he worked, and he suddenly left her. That is the idea of alimony to help bridge that gap. But an equal woman, who can do what a man can do, should still be able to stand on her own two feet. If she is not disabled in the physical or mental sense, she should be able to obtain a job, an apartment, and feed and clothe the children. It may not be the same exact situation that they have at the father’s house if he is making 100k a year and she is making 30k a year, but how do we feel that it is our right to punish a man for succeeding in life? What if the woman cheated on him or left HIM? This makes for a disgusting situation when you see a man who has worked his butt off to provide for his family and the woman cheats, leaves and is still a stay at home mom getting enough financial support from him that she doesn’t even have to work. It has been a long standing thought of mine that the woman should have to have some kind of job in order to allow the court to even consider allowing her to receive child support. Think if this was the other way around. The woman made a bunch of money, and the man was a stay at home dad or he lost his job. If the man was receiving money from the woman and wasn’t even attempting to support himself, he would be called a bum, mooch, lazy, loser. What we are doing to these men is completely unfair.
We also need to consider men’s rights when speaking about abortion. Men are not able to “opt out” if a woman becomes pregnant and decides to keep the child. In many states even if a father were to voluntarily give up his parental rights, he still has the obligation to pay through child support. For fathers that do want to have a connection with their child (ren), family court has become very difficult for many of them. There are biases against fathers. In divorces, it has been said that up to 83% of women receive custody of their children in divorces. Why does this happen? This happens because of gender roles. We need to do better as a society when encouraging father’s to nuture, encouraging women to have careers. Both sexes should be able to provide emotionally and financially to their children. Some families may choose to have the mother be a full time caregiver, and that is just fine! Whatever works for them. However, the mother will still need help with caregiving.
Women cannot ask for equal rights when men don’t have equal rights. We have to consider both sides.