We’re the “Independent,” not the doctrinaire Women’s Forum, so we don’t do male-bashing on this website, preferring to honor the positive role that good men play in creating families and making the lives of women easier. Nonetheless, one of our male readers, M.C., wrote to say that we’re still too hard on men here. (See Mailbag: Is the IWF Nice Enough to Guys?, April 2). I expressed my distress that much of the “men’s rights” movement seems to focus on gettng out of paying child support. But I invited other readers to e-mail their comments. Here are a couple, also from men. I’ll begin with R.P.:

“I agree with M.C. I am extremely tired of the kind of man-bashing which has gone on for far too long in this country and which is frankly a major turn-off for me. Some background: During my divorce, I was accused of child abuse and refused visitation to my child. In answer to the only question that any woman really cares about, I have over 800 canceled checks for child support in a separate bank lockbox. They come in handy whenever my ex decides to file for back child support, which she has done in the past. My daughter is now 26. She has never dated, is mentally ill, cannot hold down a job and is completely co-dependent on her mother. I have been told not to attempt contacting her as she is terrified of me. It is now unlikely that she will ever recover from all of the abuse she took from her mother, which was supported and condoned by the courts and by other women. I am sick of the man-hating and self-serving hypocrisy that seems to be the major stock in trade of every female in this country.”

And, now, J.P.:

“You wrote that your sympathy for men tends to wane when they complain about child support. You might try to further develop your heart and your mind. For a start, I suggest this article. IWF might encourage women to think about this issue, if for no reason other than because it affects women. At least some women would like to get married and raise children with a man. Do women ever wonder what affects men’s interest in getting married and having children? The revolting, grossly unjust state of family law lessens the appeal of marriage and children.”
Are R.P. and J.P. right? Do men really get the short end of the stick in divorce court? Or are these guys just whining? More comments, please, readers.