By Rod Van Mechelen
Many wives couldn't afford to throw their breadwinners out if the displaced breadwinners didn't pay them to do so. - Daniel Amneus, The Garbage Generation
Making Men Pay
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Most divorced fathers are not "deadbeat dads." In 1987, the courts awarded child support to 59 percent of the women demanding it. Of these, 76 percent of their ex-husbands paid as best they could, and more than two thirds paid the full amount. (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1991, p 374, table 616)
While this indicates most men are not deadbeats, when it comes to men, pop feminists see a half-empty glass every time: "60 percent of divorced fathers contribute nothing at all to the financial support of their children." (A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women's Liberation in America, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, p 62) In the state of Washington, at least half of this is because 30 percent of divorced fathers have custody of their children (while only 3 percent of non-custodial mothers pay child support!). But in their enthusiasm to portray all men as the evil oppressors of helpless female victims, pop feminists gloss over all mitigating factors, incriminating all men because fewer than fifteen out of 100 divorced fathers refuse to pay.
Debtors' Prison: Men Only
Some men are deadbeats. But many others have good reason to default on child support. After losing custody in a biased judicial system that would rather grant custody to abusive mothers than responsible and gainfully employed fathers, some simply give up. Still others balk when their ex-wives make it virtually impossible for them to enjoy such visitation rights as the prejudiced and often male-feminist judges allow them. To fault fathers for this is to blame the victim:
"Men get thrown in jail for failing to meet the financial obligations resulting from divorce," he wrote. "But judges will not even consider jailing a woman who does not keep up her end of the settlement, such as assuring the husband of his right to visit the children." -- Manhood Redux- Standing up to Feminism, C.H. Freedman, p 171
Should a man support a family his ex-wife has stolen from him? Most men play by rules of fairness, and being required to pay for something without benefit is grossly unfair. And so while some men go on strike, refusing to pay child support altogether, an increasing number of men are learning to stop listening to the propaganda and start examining the facts.
We need to support children. Their welfare must take high priority. This is a fact. But relying on the myth that mothers make the best parents, pop feminists use children as weapons against men. (The Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege, Herb Goldberg, Ph.D., p 169)
Men nurture children, too. In many ways, they care for them more than women do. A mother may bear children, nurse and rear them, feed and clothe them. But the homes, the food, the clothing and most of what makes life after birth possible usually come from their fathers.
Most men want the best for their children, and it is to this masculine will to nurture that pop feminists appeal when they use the issues of child support and child custody against men. They know most men are decent enough to let themselves be victimized for the sake of their children, and they rely on this masculine good will at every opportunity to obtain from men what Ayn Rand called "the sanction of the victim."
Sanction of the Victims
The sanction of the victim is the only weapon the morally weak have against the strong because it depends on the cooperation of the strong in their own destruction: "A father who sends his ex-wife child support money is subsidizing the destruction of his own family." (The Garbage Generation, Daniel Amneus, p 204)
They cannot use facts against most men because all the facts taken together do not support them. Nor can they use direct force, because that would expose the fundamentally violent nature of their hate-male agenda. So they rely on propaganda - the "big lie" - to loudly drown out what does not support them.
Most child abusers, for example, are women. (Handbook of Family Violence, Suzanne K. Steinmetz and Joseph S. Lucca, p 241)
Newspapers and television make it seem otherwise by sensationalizing abusive men, and the courts ignore it by awarding custody of children primarily to women. Pop feminists know this, and fear the truth will get out because, when the courts ignore the gender of the parents, they usually find men make better custodial parents. (Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law, Catherine A. MacKinnon, p 35)
Most men are not deadbeat dads. In fact, as non-custodial mothers are far less likely to pay child-support than non-custodial fathers, it would be far more reasonable to castigate women for being miserly moms. What's more, were they so inclined, men could make a good argument against awarding child custody to women. Rather than fighting one another, however, we should encourage joint custody. Because children need both parents.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.