Imagine the scenario: a mother giving birth in hospital while the father of their child speeds across town on his motorbike to see their first child enter the world. But in his excitement he loses control of his bike and is fatally wounded. The midwives are informed and draw straws on who will tell mum the good news – that her baby is healthy – the bad news that the baby’s father is dead – and the even worse news that:


Can you imagine this happening to a parent in the UK in 2012? You can’t? Well it does.

It happened in the past month to a parent in Wales whose partner died shortly after the birth of their child. The grieving parent was treated like a stranger to the baby, not allowed to take their baby home and the child protection system was invoked.

The reason the parent was considered a threat to their new born baby and not allowed to take the baby was simple – HE IS A MAN!

The hospital did nothing wrong – and by all accounts handled the issue with great professionalism and speed – ensuring the case was brought to court and a temporary order granted allowing him to take the baby home.

They were simply acting in line with UK law which considers unmarried fathers to be a potential threat to their children until vetted – as opposed to mothers who are assumed to be fit parents unless there is evidence to the contrary.

This is the kind of thing that makes men angry that "feminists" do not represent more. This is a serious case of gender inequality. My question is, why do "feminists" not seem to be caring?

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Openly opposed men as an entire gender, and not as the traditional status quo?

You're now using extremes to make a hyperbolic point. By that argument, women have never been suppressed. No one objected to them as a gender, they just did not regard them as highly. The same way there are plenty of modern feminists who do not regard men as highly, and the way that if you watch advertising, you see the whole "men = stupid , women = sensible" cliche played out dozens of times.

Has pursued a political or legal action with the intention of causing harm to men, as a group of people - not an isolated incident or individual? Or, perhaps, a case that was pursued despite immediate and long term devastation to present and future men?

Any feminist organization that has campaigned against Fathers4Justice, so that would be Mumsnet, Germaine Greer etc.

The concept of "manhood" pressures men to behave recklessly, to never back down, to always fight, to prove yourself, to take what you want, to never take "no" for an answer, to never have to reflect or regret, to bend others to your will, to attack anyone who hesitates, shows remorse, or deviates from what is understood to be "manly". That to be a "good person" means being "less of a man." I cannot think of another value that hurts men as badly as it ensures them dominance over women. It leads to men in hospitals, prisons or graves. It leads to women being beaten, raped and/or murdered. It is, equally, a concern for men and women that feminist take up.
Tell me that's lip service?

That's an incredibly limited and poorly understood concept of "manhood". It is the concept used by feminists to highlight the "problems" with men. I would argue that the Biblical concept of masculinity was nothing like that one.

The blog posts you cite, though interesting and insiteful, do not deal with the main issue I have with feminism. The issue being that they take a spectrum of issues where women currently have problems and then claim "these are THE issues, the only ones" thereby not allowing men into the sphere. When men claim "what about X issue that is hurting us" the feminist response is "but that's nothing! We've been oppressed for THOUSANDS of years and there are still THE issues to solve." This is what makes me angry. Feminism has not done enough to solve the issues where women are dominant.

There are actually feminists who support men's rights, and visa versa, you know.  it's just hard given the deep seeded mistrust on both sides. Imagine showing up to a rally of people you think will hate you.

Then why, by and large, are they silent on these issues. Where were they during the issue of fathers 4 justice (they don't have to support the organisation, just the aims). Where are they now, with this issue. It just seems to me like they pay lip service to men's rights, without actually doing anything.

That is exactly what feminists try to achieve. I am a boy but also a feminist the reason why is because throughout my life i have seen many gender discrimination. Boys automatically thinking they were better than girls at everything physical. Girls were treated like crap for so long that they decided to stand up for themselves. And with whats happening in the UK, feminists have to deal with that soon.

Perhaps not, but has anyone asked high profile feminists about it? If they don't mention it on their sites, it's probably because the blogs focus on women's rights. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they wouldn't support equal rights for men, too. It's harsh to judge someone about something they haven't been asked to address and shouldn't automatically mean that they're for or against something. They may not have even heard about the issue, particularly if they're not based in the UK.

As for Fathers for Justice...I think that is a stickier issue. The problem is that the Men's Rights Movement falls into two categories- one is full of entirely legitimate concerns that should be addressed. The other part is a scarier entity that has co-opted the term 'men's rights' in order to rebrand otherwise deplorable acts. Of course, it's not like the Feminist movement is without its scary elements either. There are women who will scream at you for holding a door open for you. But on the other hand, women still only make 75 cents to the dollar when compared to men, and that is a very real issue.  Basically, the vocal, radical parts of both movements like to fling stones at each other and the sane portion is afraid to reach out to the other side because all they see are those stones headed their way.

All this, despite the fact that both sides would be better off if they worked together, as the issues for both men and women are very much tied together and the outcome of one will affect the other. (case in point, this example-

All I'm saying is that instead of brandishing a saber against feminists for not speaking out against this, maybe you should instead brandish an invitation to do so. It's a hell of a lot more constructive.

As for Fathers for Justice...I think that is a stickier issue.

I fail to see why? They haven't done anything wrong, and they want some kind of justice.

But on the other hand, women still only make 75 cents to the dollar when compared to men, and that is a very real issue.

MYTH MYTH MYTH. Women are legally required to be paid the same thing as men if doing the same job (at least in the UK). The stat that you are referring to there is skewed because there are more men in the workplace, hence it looks as if men are, overall, earning more.

Because of what I said after that, if you read further. I should clarify, though- it's not because of what Fathers for Justice has done, but because of the whole stance of the Mens Rights Movement and the Feminist movement, and how the two take pot shots at each other. That is what makes it sticky. Fathers for Justice is just caught up in the context of the situation. I've seen quite a few anti-feminist posts on the Fathers for Justice website, just as I see anti-Men's Movement posts on feminist ones.

But when we make gross generalizations about 'the other side', we do a great disservice- we deny any legitimate issues the other side might have and in doing so allow radical elements within our own 'side' to flourish. For example, I've seen feminism called a hate group, despite the fact that feminism is actually for gender equality, not superiority, and there are a fair number of feminist men. but there are some activists who are absolutely nuts, and the whole movement is being judged based on them. it would be much better if we decried the extreme elements of both groups and supported the sane, reasonable elements of both.

Stripped down, I Feminism and the Men's Rights Movement should not conflict because both sides believe that justice should not be based on gender.

Stripped down, I Feminism and the Men's Rights Movement should not conflict because both sides believe that justice should not be based on gender.

Yes, fine. Now why arn't feminists (the most powerful and predominant of those two groups) doing more for men's issues?

Let me flip that question and ask why men's rights supporters aren't doing more to support women's issues? Probably for exactly the same reasons, which is unfortunate.

But, as I said earlier, there are a number of men and women who have crossed the aisle, so to speak. I don't think it's fair to make sweeping generalizations about either side since both movements contain a number of different opinions and viewpoints. However, I will say that it's often hard for a person to go out on a limb and support the 'other side' if they think they won't be welcome there. Again, this goes for both groups.

Let me flip that question and ask why men's rights supporters aren't doing more to support women's issues? Probably for exactly the same reasons, which is unfortunate.

Because women's issues already have huge support from massive and powerful feminist lobbies. The same isnt true of men's groups. Feminism has been around since the 1960s and has become an entrenched part of the landscape. The same is not true of mens rights, and it is only becoming an issue now.

Asta, go back and read the opening post again, and then tell me that there doesn't need to be a mens lobby. Or would you be quite happy for women to have their children forcably taken by the state? Since that's what equality would mean in this situation.

This is here in the US, where it is certainly not a myth. I can't speak to the UK as I haven't seen the studies on the pay difference based there. But here in the US, it is still true. This isn't a number that ignores position or job- this is comparing people who hold the same job. Technically pay discrimination is legal, just as firing someone for their age is illegal. But proving that that was why a person was getting paid less/was fired is incredibly difficult.


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