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Can't Find a Husband?

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I have bad news for the ladies out there looking for a husband. Today's men are afraid of marriage and having kids. This is most likely because their male friends and relatives have told them what usually happens in the event of a divorce with children. In fact, some men are calling for a marriage strike.

I'm a liberal female father's advocate, activist, writer and blogger. I've been studying the effect our current family law has on families, and why the laws are written the way they are. Unfortunately I have more bad news.

We women have allowed radical feminists to take over the feminist movement, the one that used to stand for equality, and they've been negatively influencing family law. Now it's all about domination; in the case of divorce it's having complete control over the kids, house, money and dad's visitation time.

Many fathers want equal physical custody of their children after a relationship break-up. If women deserve equality, men do too, right? Then why are feminists, who claim to be about equality, opposing us whenever we introduce equal-parenting laws? I've even seen them lying during their testimony to a legislative committee. They're also changing domestic violence laws to make them even more anti-male, though the facts show males and females batter each other equally and mothers abuse children more than fathers.

Our country is in a fatherless crisis, yet men who are natural hands-on daddies are scoffed at. These men who embrace fatherhood are shown their time and influence isn't important. Our government does this by enforcing child support orders while not enforcing visitation orders. Whether the father had due process in court or not, whether blatant errors were made, when the DNA test shows he's not the father, and even when there is no child, our government punishes fathers, including throwing them in jail, for getting behind in child support.

The number one fear of children whose parents are divorcing is losing one parent. Yet millions of fathers, and some mothers are prevented from having natural, fully functioning, dedicated and loving relationships with their children after divorce. Unmarried fathers face the same problem. There are many men across the country, single and divorced, who want equal physical custody of their children, who want to help with home work, meet with teachers, take the kids to the dentist, all the normal things parents do.

Mothers and fathers tell me they don't believe 4 days and 4 evenings a month is adequate time to develop the kind of relationship necessary for the healthy development of their children. In many cases the sole custodial parent even interferes with that limited time, and in some cases cuts the noncustodial parent completely off from their child even if they've done nothing wrong.

A vindictive parent can essentially steal the child by moving the child far away, encouraging negative feelings and thoughts the child has about the noncustodial parent, or filing a false domestic violence report. The way the laws are written today, a divorcing woman can report that her husband was throwing things, say she's in fear, and with just her word she can get a temporary restraining order and emergency child custody order. One study showed half the temporary restraining orders granted were for cases where no physical harm was even claimed. Another showed the abuse claimed could not be verified fifty-nine percent of the time.

The father in a case like this doesn't get a chance to face a judge or jury; he's automatically considered guilty of abuse or potential abuse. This happens without proof of any wrongdoing, and can happen without his knowledge. Once she has the emergency custody order, he has very little, or in most cases no chance of getting equal custody. Every day innocent fathers visit their children in jail-like supervised visitation centers and take anger management classes, sometimes for years. Worse yet, some of these men not only are innocent of domestic violence, they're the victims. Some children of these innocent men never see Daddy again.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has encouraged programs that promote the idea that batterers are male, victims are female, and every child should be in the sole physical custody of it's mother. In other words, our government supports programs that vilify men. The Violence Against Women Act needs to be reformed or eliminated, and I-VAWA, the international version, needs to be rejected.

If we want men to embrace the idea of family life, we need to ensure they have equality in family law. Equal parenting laws, favored by 85% of people polled, need to be passed nationwide and a Federal Family Rights Act needs to be established immediately to protect families dealing with Child Protective Services and parents in divorce and child custody cases. The time has come to restore human and civil rights to all fit parents.

Now, back to looking for your husband. I've been working with fathers in the equal parenting movement for a few years now. These guys are some of the smartest and kindest friends I've had, and some of the most loving and dedicated daddies I've ever met. They've experienced pain and injustice at the hands of women. When they meet women who respect them, who understand that most men make great parents, they return a special kind of respect and appreciation. Come join us; you can make new friends, and have the satisfaction of helping a very honorable cause. And who knows, maybe you'll be at a rally one day and meet your future husband.

teri@sharedparentingworks.org
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Teri Stoddard is a nature loving, 50-something San Francisco Bay Area native, mom of 4 and grandma to two. After a career in foster and child day care, Teri continues her child advocacy by reporting on family rights and issues affecting San (more...)
 

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