Wednesday, December 07, 2005

W is for Wide Open Eyes

I was directed to melaniephillips.com following the London Bombings, and she has helped to give me insight into what is going on in England... But as time passed, I visited less, and to my great loss as I have missed until now this great post on the rediculous inequality posed on men by the family law machine. Great and huge excerpts follow, but you could just read it all:

Someone should put the Child Support Agency out of its misery, and quickly. It has been a calamity ever since it was brought into being by a Tory government twelve years ago.
[...]
From the start, its aims were confused. Its main purpose was to cut public spending through reducing state support for lone mothers by loading such payments onto fathers instead. Ministers claimed that this would restore parental responsibility. But the one did not follow from the other.
The argument was that men were financially responsible for their children whether or not such fathers were part of the family household. This was surely a profound mistake. Men’s responsibility is to be committed parents who look after their children by actually living with them.
But the CSA formula reduced fathers to being merely walking wallets, and helped redefine the family unit as the autonomous mother and child alone, serviced through payments from a distance by absent men.
As a result, Tory expenditure-cutters lined up in an unholy alliance alongside the ultra-feminist left. The feminist case was that lone motherhood was a right, and that although men might be too awful to be husbands they nevertheless had an obligation to pay for the upkeep of their children.
The result was that the CSA helped fuel gross injustice, galloping irresponsibility and the accelerating breakdown of the family.
When their wives or partners walked out taking the children with them, men were not only faced with the destruction of their family but were also — intolerably — forced to pay for it, even if the mother had begun a new relationship which was bringing money into their children’s household.

[...]
Far from restoring the concept of responsibility to family life, this emptied it of meaning.
It also ignored the fact that the catastrophic phenomenon of mass lone motherhood has been largely driven by women.
Of course, there are many cases where mothers have been deserted by faithless husbands, and where it is right to pursue fathers for maintenance just as one would force anyone who breaks a solemn agreement to meet his responsibilities. But in most cases, it is the woman who either breaks the marriage or is content to have a baby without the father being involved.
This is because, consciously or subconsciously, she makes a calculation that she can go it alone financially, either because the state will provide or because, even if she is currently working, she knows that the state is showering benefits on lone mothers with children, including — in theory — child support payments.

If an unmarried woman chooses to give up work when she has a baby, this is presented by feminists as an unarguable case for mandatory payments by the father. But why? There is already a perfectly good social arrangement to give mothers precisely such support. It is called marriage. The problem is that the woman may not want marriage to the man, but she does still want his money. What kind of equality is this?
[...]
In fact, most of these girls assume that having a baby is a passport to an independent life— an assumption underpinned by the expectation of an income supplied or enforced by the state.
[...]
At the heart of this problem is that child support policy is explicitly not intended to repair the family. Politicians are terrified to go down this road, taking refuge instead in the apparent neutrality of financial support for children.
But it is not neutral at all. On the contrary, it is fuelling further family breakdown by failing to acknowledge that the principal motor behind this phenomenon is the behaviour of women.

[...]
It is women above all who should be made to take responsibility for their behaviour. If they choose to tear up a marriage contract or to have children without committing themselves to the father, they should bear the financial burden. Instead of being propped up with benefits or money extorted from rejected men, they should be expected to support themselves through work.
This may sound harsh. But if women were forced to recalibrate where their interests lie once they become mothers, the steam would go out of the lone motherhood industry almost overnight.
Far more harsh, after all, is the plight of fatherless children. In treating women instead as victims, the government ignores the real casualties of the egregious failure of its family policy.


So amazing and refreshing to hear a clear woman's voice, calling it as it is.

-M

Simulposted at MIsForMalevolent

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