Archive for the ‘Men’s Rights’ Category

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New Definition Acknowledges Males Raped

6 January 2012

One of the more inexplicable federal policies: the FBI has not acknowledged the possibility of a man being raped. Their definition has limited the rape category to a crime committed solely against women. The FBI would not, for instance, have considered the unspeakably horrifying act in that scene from the movie Deliverance to be rape. Assault? Yes. Forcible sodomy? Sure. But not rape.

Until today. The FBI finally revised its 80 year-old definition to include the forced sex upon either women or men. While this move won’t immediately lead to a whole host of new prosecutions, it will change the FBI’s statistics – and, I hope, encourage the public to begin speaking about such atrocities committed against men.

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The Ultimate Men’s Summit, June 10-19

6 June 2011

Later this month we’ll witness the most ambitious attempt so far to recapture the glory years of the mythopoetic men’s movement.  The Ultimate Men’s Summit, happening online from the 10th to the 19th, will showcase over 75 presenters and field questions via telecom.  The line-up is a veritable who’s who in men’s work: Sam Keen, Warren Farrell, Bert Hoff, Bill Kauth, Herb Goldberg and (“Leader of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement”) Robert Bly.   I encourage you to sign up for the conference HERE.  Registration is free.

I’m looking forward to the event, though the limitations are quite apparent in my mind.  The cast is dominated by psychologists and self-help gurus.  While a couple of men’s rights people should shake things up, the therapeutic feel of the conference won’t invite too many critical questions.  The conference is being pulled together by Shift Network, an organization devoted to an “evolution of consciousness” that includes “open exchange,” “restorative cycles,” and “global spiritual pluralism.”  Therefore I can all but assure attendees that the New Age ethic of the organizers will make room for a wide array of perspectives, sexualities and social groups, though they will leave prowling on the perimeter the usual suspects: liberal feminists, conservative pundits and orthodox Christians.

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Toronto Father Regains Custody in “Alienation” Suit

24 January 2009

In a rare and perhaps significant case in Toronto this month, a father was awarded full custody of his three daughters on the basis of “alienation” techniques used by the mother.  Justice Kaye McWatt of the Superior Court of Justice decided that the mother, a foot doctor, had “consistently and overwhelmingly” thwarted her ex-husband’s attempts to maintain a relationship with his daughters over the course of several years.  She had, for instance, hung up the phone on him when he called to say goodnight, or slammed the door in his face when he tried to pick the girls up for court-permitted visitation.  On the basis of professional testimony about “parental alienation syndrome” Judge McWatt made the unusual move of inverting the custody rights.

I doubt this will set a definitive precedent for other courts to follow.  While this case seemed more clear-cut, how is one supposed to distinguish between common (and ubiquitous) alienating language which ex’s use in front of their children and an actual “syndrome”?  And aren’t there plenty of cases in which mothers are protecting from parental irregularities and abuses from the father?

That being said, I’m happy that fathers are beginning to see some hope in the court system.  Men’s rights groups have been crying foul on this very point for decades, that fathers are systematically discriminated against in custody cases and that mothers are able to get away with court violations with almost no repercussions.  If one admits that there is a de facto hole in women’s economic and political rights, then one must grant the same about men when it comes to de jure rights in the home.  The domestic sphere still belongs to the woman in the public mind, and this results in greater clout for mothers in court battles.  There are exceptions, as this case shows.  Though isn’t it telling that the father, a vascular surgeon, managed to win the case only after a lengthy and expensive court battle?

Maybe attitudes are changing, even as the alienation is passed around liberally.  The Greeks had Chronos and Rhea.  We have Kevin Federline and Britney Spears.  Anyone else feel a little queasy?