Talk-show host and syndicated columnist Glenn Sacks writes concerning our ongoing Mailbag male-bashing debate, where I’ve been tough on dads who don’t pay child support. (See the Mailbag for April 22 to catch up.) Sacks, who has hosted such IWF board members, staffers, and friends as The Other Charlotte, Carrie Lukas, Christina Hoff Sommers, and Daphne Patai on his show reminds us that fathers’-rights advocacy isn’t about child support so much as fathers’ access to the children after a divorce. In fact, Glenn’s well-documented columns make it clear that many family-court judges and administrators are actively prejudiced against fathers, perhaps because they’ve bought into all the anti-patriarchal hoo-hah fed them by the rad-fems. It’s all to easy for them to cut off visitation rights based on trumped-up charges of abuse, says Glenn, and all too difficult for a father to get a restraining order when a divorce mom decides to move out of town with the kids.
“Fathers with horror stories are not hard to find. Like Daniel Lee, the founder of the Tennessee shared parenting group Child’s Best Interest, who has flown nearly half a million miles over the last five years so that he can see his son, who was taken to live 2,000 miles away. Or Edgar P., a Los Angeles father who risked a one year jail sentence for a domestic violence charge because he knew that pleading guilty in a plea bargain would destroy his chances of obtaining visitation rights with his young daughter. He was acquitted of the charge last year but is still only allowed to see his child a few hours a week.
“Some distraught fathers find the situation so painful that they destroy themselves. Following an adverse family court decision last year, 20-year Navy veteran Derrick Miller walked up to court personnel at the entrance to a San Diego courthouse, waved his court documents, said ‘You did this to me,’ and shot himself in the head. Nationwide divorced fathers are ten times as likely to commit suicide as divorced mothers, and more than twice as likely to commit suicide as married fathers.
“Other fathers simply give up and drop out of their children’s lives.”
Read more of Glenn’s take here and here. Divorce is a tragic situation when children are involved, and it’s obvious that many mothers aren’t exactly mature when it comes to using the kids to hurt their exes.
On a lighter topic, we’ve got an ally: Blogstress “Marisa,” who happens to agree with us wholeheartedly that Susan Yuzna, unemployed poet/college professor wannabe, ought to quit blaming the Bush administration for her woes (as she did last Sunday in the Washington Post) and start looking for work in a serious way. (See Bush Administration Victims: Jobless Poets, April 19.)
Here’s Marisa’s blog, The League of David:
“And she thinks that waitressing would be humiliating?
I’ve known plenty of people who work in food service when that career-based dream job didn?t come through. There is nothing humiliating about that kind of work. But to a Philistine, it must be a step above prostitution. I’m sorry, sex workers.
“Wait a second, don?t academics believe that there’s nothing wrong with prostitution these days? That it’s some sort of cultural construct of the neo-fascist, bourgeoisie? Whatever.
“She goes on to tell us how hard it is for people who don’t have jobs and health insurance to get good health care.
“The difference between the professor and many of those ‘chronically unemployed’ she pities at least as much as herself is that they are for the most part citizens and illegal aliens with no real skills. They are people who are mentally disturbed or just troubled. Some have dropped out of the race all together. Many of them couldn?t find jobs in the late 90s. They’re not going to find them now.
“The idea that people just can’t find work is silly. There is always work to do, you just have to set your ego aside. That’s what becoming an independent consultant is all about.
“I’ve done it. Working in food services sucks. Shelving books in a library sucks. Tutoring over-privileged, lazy foreigners sucks. Selling crappy clothes at a store in a miserable little strip mall in a bad neighborhood really sucks. But you do it.
“I’ve called my bouts of unemployment ‘tactical retreats.’ And I’ve always bounced back.”
Right on, Marisa. Susan, I hope you’re reading this.