I will be completely honest that, until about 10 days ago, I had not heard of the National Organization for Women or NOW. My introduction to this organization was not a very welcoming one to say the least.
Apparently, a couple of their members were offended by the Fathers Matter March sponsored by my website and felt the need to attack me personally, call nasty names and belittle me for being a man. I was confused as the event has nothing to do with stepping on women’s rights, mother’s rights or that fathers are superior. I did not respond directly to these women or their hateful comments.
As someone that believes in equal rights for everyone, including women, it bothered me so I quickly wrote an article titled “Father’s Rights And Women’s Rights Need Each Other” See here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1248080 The point of the article was people that support equal rights should work together to accomplish this goal. *I had written a couple articles prior that talked about the negative view society has of fathers. If interested see the previous articles here: http://wp.me/p5jtEl-aC & http://wp.me/p5jtEl-b4 I came up with the title because I planned to share with NOW, as I thought that the unsolicited attacks I received were somehow because they thought I was a woman hater or against their equality.
I guess my logic was completely wrong as I very quickly received a few responses that attacked me yet again, personally, belittled me and treated me as though I should be ashamed to be a father or think they should have rights. Maybe the term “father’s rights” upset them? I honestly did not know much about feminism until I moved to California. I have caught some backlash from a few feminist in the past but after having a conversation, we have become friends. I was confused by how an organization that wants equal rights for themselves would act this way and act as though father’s rights, or anyone else’s rights, are unimportant.
I did some research because I am always trying to learn and noticed that they have a section on their website titled “Crisis In Family Courts” so I clicked it. I noticed they have a link titled Family Law Newsletter that I clicked on which took me to a list where I opened the Spring 2015 letter. In this there is a lengthy definition by the National Organization for Women about Domestic Violence (DV). I found it ironic that if I were in a relationship with NOW, they would be guilty of Domestic Violence in every way towards me. I think any organization or movement should take there own advice and if they would not want to be treated “inferior” or talked down to then maybe treat others the way you would want to be treated?
I understand all movements or groups have a few bad apples. I was disturbed by not only the way I was talked to but also by what I read on their site. Father’s Rights groups were referred to as “abuser’s rights groups.” Again, I am sure there are a few bad apples in any movement but I think many modern fathers just want to be equal parents in their children’s lives since it took both parents to create the children. I could not help but notice that NOW says that fathers have spread the false psychological syndrome or disorder-parental alienation-used in court against protective parents, usually mothers, to take custody away. I can assure you that Parental Alienation or PA is very real and I have four children that will tell you!
I read an interesting article written by Andrea Doucet, Ph. D., a feminist, about fathering and feminism. In the article she talks about how even though parenting roles have changed dramatically, with many modern fathers taking more care giving responsibilities and stay-at-home fathers rising, society views have not caught up. Men are still viewed as primary breadwinners and women are still viewed as primary caregivers (even in households where roles are reversed).
- Women are judged when they care too little. Men are judged when they care too much.
- There is suspicion when men show too much interest in other’s people children. The opposite is true with women.
- Men still feel some discrimination in playgroups. Women do in boardrooms.
The list goes on.
As a stay-at-home father, I can tell you we are very much discriminated against as caregivers. Plenty of mommy and me classes but very few daddy and me. Finding a changing table in a Men’s room can be harder than finding Waldo! Women and mothers are always trying to give unsolicited parenting advice because, as a father and man, I couldn’t possibly know how to care for my children. I love when mothers walk up to tell me how my daughter’s mother did great on her hair or outfit then looked surprised when I tell them I did a nice job 🙂 Society has a lot of very negative stereotypical images of fathers that causes gender bias in every aspect of life.
Before the National Organization for Women attacks me for comparing father’s (or men’s) issues with mother’s and women’s issues that are way worse…all violations of any person’s rights, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, nationality, age, religion are equally bad for the group whose rights are violated.
Any rights group that becomes too extreme begins to violate other people’s rights. The way I understand, the women’s rights were started to get equal rights but somehow this organization is more concerned with minimizing other group’s rights, lashing out in anger and being close minded which is counterproductive.
Adults set the example for our children with the way we act. When rights groups with personal agendas mix with greed, monetary incentives and politics, this leads to corruption and bad decision making. Just look at the family courts…they are not doing what is in the children’s best interest! That alone proves “Father’s Rights And Women’s Rights Need Each Other”
Everyone should be able to get behind our children’s rights 🙂