An odd title for an essay isn’t it? But bear with me – no-one can be in any doubt that feminism is a toxic ideology founded on hatred, prejudice and vitriol – well apart from feminists that is – but even the most supposedly academic feminists are morons – well, you would have to be some class of moron to believe even a tenth of the unutterable crap that feminists spew out and have spewed out.
But – here’s a thought – what if – feminism is merely a cover for something deeper, something less obvious – something that operates in the shadows – but in parallel with feminism?
What if – feminism is just the public face of something else?
This article appeared in Irish Independant yesterday.
Separated dad wants State to pay for house big enough for visiting children
Tim Healy– Updated 27 May 2014 10:40 PM
I didn’t comment on it or immediately decide to sit down a write a critique because I wanted to wait to see if anyone commented – last time I checked and no – not one single comment.
The issues in this case – and it is the subject of an ongoing High Court case speak to Men’s Rights, men’s Human Rights – but there are deeper issues within which this case is embedded and which inform the underlying causes of why in this instance Men’s Human Rights are believed to be of such irrelevance that ignoring them is government policy to do so, that this government is impelled to implement policies that are blatantly and very obviously an infringement of this man’s Human Rights?
Those issues are cultural, political and economic – what this case is not about is feminism per se, this case is first and foremost about Human Rights – and the human being whose rights are being violated is male – and a parent, and to uphold his Human Rights would cost this government – money – and ultimately lots of money it simply is not willing or able to spend.
It is also about how the concept of family has become skewed – and this is where feminism comes in – this is the point where the influence of feminism intersects with politics and public policy, with societal and cultural attitudes – and most significantly with economic considerations.
Please read the article now and bear these things in mind – the issue is Human Rights – and the broader issue’s are about the cultural and political narrative and language used with regard to how Irish Society views not just men – but men as fathers – as parents. But it is also about economic policy. This is not necessarily simply because of feminism alone, though feminist influence has contributed to this – but also to how men and women see themselves – as parents, and how that paradigm has been always been assiduously cultivated.
Underpinning all this is the “Housing Crash” – and the devastating results of a housing bubble that when it burst here in Ireland almost brought this country to the brink of economic collapse – we are still living with the consequences of this – and will be living with those consequences for many many years to come.
Was this precipitated by feminism? If only. This was precipitated by greed, by political cute hoorism, by the machinations of venal and corrupt bankers, developers, and financiers.
So, let’s take a look at this article.
The first thing to note is the title of this article – in particular the implication that this man’s children “visit” him – that as a “separated dad” his role in his children’s lives is peripheral and that his connection to his children is not that of a parent with all the rights and responsibilities that this entails but of a single person who happens to have fathered some children.
The constant reference to access, to “visits” from his children is to my mind grating – and it gives me no pleasure to say this – but it isn’t just those in “authority” or sneery journalists who view fathers through this prism of fatherhood being viewed as a secondary type of parenting, as subsidiary to “motherhood” but some men do this as well.
Ok – having said that, granted the current legislative framework enshrines this perspective and operates it institutionally through mechanisms like concepts of “custody” of “access/contact/visitation” and of course “maintenance/child support”
My personal belief is that we need to move away from this narrative – which is inspired by and influenced by feminism – reject these concepts and embrace the over-arching concept of default equal parenting.
I am not suggesting that mothers and fathers are interchangeable – not at all – because they are not – but that within the context of parenting – mothers and fathers each bring unique and valuable things to the parenting of children.
This attitude is very clearly illustrated in the very title of this article, the attitude that fathers are secondary parents. The barely concealed contempt in the title of this article towards this man having the nerve to believe the state should pay his rent for a “bigger house” so his children could “visit” is palpable.
Though there would be no default perception that a mother seeking to avail of either Social Housing provision or Rent Supplement is somehow “not entitled” to do so.
In the body of the article reference is made to the amount of €900.00 – as if this amount would enable this man to live in the lap of luxury in a 6 bedroom mansion.
The reality is this.
Average rents in Dublin have been rising, and we are not talking about mansions here – just bog standard 2 or 3 bed houses or apartments
“Rents in Dublin City soared by more than 11% last year and average rents across the country climbed by 7% in the same period, according to a new report.
The average advertised rent nationally is now €865, while in Dublin it is €1,210 — up 11.2% year on year.
The quarterly Daft.ie rental report covering the last three months of 2013 signalled a warning that such increases in rent levels could adversely affect the country’s competitiveness.
Such was the increase in rental rates in Dublin that it is the fastest rate of inflation in the rental sector since the middle of 2007.
Rents are still 15% below the peak of the Celtic Tiger period in mid-2007, while around the country rental rates now are still more than 20% below those of mid-2007.”
The next thing is this.
There are specific limits set on Rent Supplement – if a person is unable to provide housing from their own means – in Ireland there are two choices – make an application to one’s Local Authority for Social Housing – which this man has done and already been “deemed eligible” for.
“While he and his children have been deemed eligible for social housing, he has been told he will be on a waiting list for five years.”
Or try to find privately rented accommodation and apply for Rent Supplement – where, based on ones circumstances a sliding scale operates as to the amount that one can receive as a Rent Supplement.
If the same criteria was applied to his application for Rent Supplement as was applied in order to qualify him as a parent of four children for Social Housing he would be deemed eligible for a maximum amount of Rent Supplement of between €950.00 and €1,000.00 – depending on which area of Dublin he found accommodation in. For himself and his four children.
The last and final thing to note is this – there are NO Social Housing units available for the numbers in actualneed of this safety net, in fact the numbers on the Social Housing waiting lists has almost trebled since 2007.
“The social housing waiting list figures produced recently by the Housing Agency, showing almost 90,000 households in need, represent a 30 per cent increase since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007.
Since 2011, using updated methodology, housing need reduced by 9 per cent. However, if it had not been for vacancies that arose in the private landlord sector diluting the downturn, the demand for social housing might have been much higher, particularly in the capital and other cities and towns.”
That 30% increase represents many different types of persons in need of Social Housing, top of the list would be “families” and family is now a much broader concept than it once was, with the majority of “families” being two parents and children, the next largest group of “families” would be single parents, or those who are parenting separately – as is clear from this man’s qualification of eligible for Social Housing – he is considered a “family” granted he is now on a housing list along with 89,999 other “households”.
So, why isn’t he considered a “family” from the perspective of the Department of the ironically named Social Protection?
The number of separated/divorced persons in Ireland according to the last Census in 2011 was, 203,964 in total – both male and female. I believe we can posit with some degree of accuracy that in quite a significant number of those cases it was the female half who retained possession of the “Family Home” and it was the male half who must find or secure “alternative accommodation” – being unable to do so can be a factor in decisions relating to custody/access, apart from any other factors – this man’s story is illustrative of that – even though it is quite clear from this article that there are NO issues relating to “access” or having “contact” with his children.
The issues in this case are political, economic and structural – though this article does have an underlying bias in its “tone” in particular, by characterising his need for housing because he wants somewhere for his children to “visit” him.
Back to the Census figures.
The total number of divorced/separated men in Ireland in 2011 was 88,918
Of that total – 38,412 are in rented accommodation and 50,497 (including not stated) are not.
The total number of divorced/separated women in Ireland in 2011 was 115,046
Of that total – 46,071 are in rented accommodation and 68, 975 are not.
These figures are for private rented accommodation.
The percentage of men in rented accommodation is just under 43% and the percentage of women in rented accommodation is a little over 40%
In essence almost parity – so one could posit that equal numbers of men and women are in the same boat, except for women there is a lifeboat, for men it is a leaky and capsizing rowboat.
Therein lies the problem – it is the “women and children first” into the lifeboats – and the men can die in the freezing cold waters of the Atlantic paradigm.
In relation to this particular set of circumstances there is an obvious paradox – between how two state bodies view this – on the one hand the Local Housing Authority deems this man is qualified for Social Housing – as a distinct “family” but on the other the Department of Social Protection (even typing that makes me grimace) is adamant that this man is “single” though legally he is not.
Consider this – if both parents were in need of Social Housing and if the “Family Home” is either already rented from a Local Authority or was privately rented whileavailing of Rent Supplement there is now a duplication of housing need – the Local Authority obviously has no problem incorporating this paradigm into its calculations and will now consider that both parents are equally eligible for Social Housing – granted the parent who leaves must now wait his/her turn on the housing list – which in this man’s case has been estimated at approx five years – but is prepared to accept that what was once, one “Family” or “Household” is now two – with the children being equally accepted as being part of each of those “Households”.
To reiterate, there is NO Social Housing available to accommodate the sheer numbers and this is a matter of economics, politics and as I stated above – the factors that went into causing the economic crash in the first place.
This is about money – this is about penny pinching, this is about putting economics before people – and finally this is about finding easy targets to implement these economic policies upon.
Separated fathers are easy targets – because of the default presumptions so clearly outlined and insinuated at in this article – fathers are visitors in their children’s lives – fathers are irrelevant to their children.
The Department of Social Protection rejected this man’s claim on the basis he was only entitled to the rate for a single person – if you look at the article you will see that this man separated in 2011 – even with stretching mathematical probability to its absolute limits – that he separated from his wife on the 1st January 2011 – neither he or his wife are eligible to apply for a divorce till the 2nd January 2015 – there is a 4 year qualifying period here in Ireland before you can apply – so – he is not legally “single” he is still legally “married” though separated.
Granted this is legal semantics and while a pertinent legal point – is not the crux of this matter.
The crux is how fathers are viewed – and in particular how separated fathers are viewed – as secondary parents – as persons who are “visited” by their children – from the Department of Social Protection’s perspective – the bottom line is money – saving money – eliminating as many people as possible from qualifying for any number of state supports or payments – separated fathers are easy targets.
It is that cynical.
Because even with the overlay of the influence of feminism on the perceptions and presumptions relating to parenting – and the role of both parents as being essential to the well-being of children – in a case like one – where there are clearly no issues of two parents being locked in a battle over the ownership of their mutual children – the state is actively and cynically creating a situation for economic reasons that imposes an additional handicap on separated fathers.
The ability to provide not just suitable accommodation for themselves – but for their children as well, and handing a potent weapon to those women who would gleefully and gladly use just such a weapon given half the chance.
This policy will actually reinforce and entrench the already difficult and painful experiences of fathers and will ultimately harm the children caught in the middle.
What or who could be in more need of “Social Protection” than children?
I did an ad hoc calculation on the figures and made a guess out of the numbers of men in rented accommodation that about a quarter of them would be in need of either Social Housing or Rent Supplement. Please bear in mind this is just a guess for illustrative purposes.
So we are looking at a figure of 9,603 separated or divorced men.
I calculated on the basis of these men having two children and that they were in the Dublin area.
Each one would qualify for a Rent Supplement of between €900.00 – €975.00 per month – an average of €937.50.
For a year this works out at €11,250.00 each.
In total for these 9,603 fathers it would cost €108,033,750.00 per year to pay them this Rent Supplement – so it does represent a hefty saving – on the surface.
How about this – at €100,000.00 a pop you could build 1080 houses in this country for that money – reducing the numbers to 8523, and the payout by €12,150,000.00 for the next year to €95,883,750.00
By the next year to €83,733,750.00 and the next to €71,583,750.00 – you get the picture.
Ok – let me just put all this into perspective – this state is paying 111 former ministers a total of €9.6 million a year in pensions.
“As pay levels of top-earning bankers come under intense scrutiny, updated figures show taxpayers are also footing an annual €9.65m pensions bill for 111 former ministers.
Figures supplied by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform reveal that 35 former senior politicians are paid combined ministerial and TD pensions worth over €100,000 gross each year.
They include over a dozen members of Fianna Fáil-led governments during the past decade, governments which sanctioned large increases to politicians’ pay and pensions during their terms in office.
A further 68 former office holders receive pensions worth in excess of €50,000. All former ministers will receive the combined pension for the rest of their lives.”
If those pension were reduced by 50% to €50,000.0 that would be €4.82 million and would fund Rent Supplement for approx 428 of those fathers.
But this will really concentrate your mind on how our political class views Irish people.
“The highest earners are two former taoisigh, Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern, who are largely blamed for overseeing policies which led to the collapse of the economy. They are each entitled to a combined annual pension of €164,526 before tax. After deductions for the pension levy, the two former Fianna Fáil leaders will receive annual payments of €150,163. Both men are paying an effective public service pension levy rate of 9%.”
What about those bankers (spelt with a capital “W”)
Well last year some of those bankers were caught on tape laughing about how not only did they know about the impending crisis but also that they would never have to pay a single penny back – have a read.
We are talking about a sum of €7 Billion by the way.
Which brings me to my final point – remember I said that for the cost of paying out Rent Supplement for a year you could build 1080 houses at €100,000.00 a pop.
I know one way to fund the building of 5000 houses – straight away, at the same cost – for a total of €500,000,000.00 – or rather I know who should be forced to pay for this.
The ones who caused this crisis – every last one of them – like I said – bankers spelt with a capital “W” and politicians who shouldn’t have been allowed to run a stall never mind a country.
I began this essay by saying that money makes this world go round, not ideology – so to conclude – with regard to feminism – the motivating force behind feminism is to extract resources – to facilitate wealth transfers from men to women.
There is a purpose other than the obvious to this – women shop – women buy useless crap – in comparison to men – women literally do “shop till they drop” women are the main drivers behind consumerism.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this – feminism is a handy distraction from the underlying institutional and structural problems that are besetting almost all western states. It is still a toxic vile hate movement? Yes it is. Absolutely.
But if you look at some of the crap that mainstream feminists whine about – such as sexism – sorry, but who really gives a shit – it makes good TV for some idiot to go on a rant bout – will focus people’s attention on what are in essence trivial matters – and create a smokescreen of carefully hyped and manufactured hysteria over……………..nothing.
It is mass hysteria for the masses, for the hard of thinking.
Is it really the burning issue of the day that needs answering, that women are being “disrespected” are having their feelings hurt by not being taken seriously? Really? This is an issue worth addressing – on TV?
This planet is being driven to the brink of self-destruction – almost all western states are literally teetering on the brink of economic collapse – are men being systematically stripped of their Human Rights at the behest of feminists? Yep – they sure are.
The question is why? Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who are the ultimate beneficiaries of this? Women?
The answers are a damn sight more complex than “women’s rights” or “men’s rights” even – right now the west is almost stripped bare of resources – how does one destabilise a culture or a society in order to have a free hand to go in and like a plague of locusts strip that culture or society of its resources?
One destabilises the very foundations upon which all societies and cultures are based – the family, and kinship groups – one pits men and women against one another – creates a toxic social environment that will, to all intents and purposes create carefully controlled social unrest – and yep – even fund “services” exclusively for women – and engineer a neutered male population, and a disenfranchised male population is a docile male population.
Because here is the other thing – women vote – and in greater numbers than men – and women vote for stupid reasons – you flatter the average female enough – appeal to her sense of inherent entitlement and pander to her need to see herself as “special” and that dumb bint would vote for Atilla the Hun.
And if you can also convince enough men that this is actually a good thing – then you are laughing – all the way to the bank.
Feminism’s purpose is and was to implement a programme of male neutering – to implement a programme where men were literally stripped of the right to organise, to co-operate, to form cohesive groups and to embroil them is a positive shitstorm of social exclusion, social and cultural demonization and render them ineffective as a potential threat to the implementation of economic warfare.
This story is about this one man’s battle to have his Human Rights vindicated but it is also a symptom – yes it is a story of men’s rights – of father’s rights – and it must be said of children’s rights – but it also gives us a peek at the dark murky waters that flow beneath – at the underlying structural causes.
The Department of Social Protection in Ireland has a programme of welfare cuts to implement – it has to reduce the Social Welfare bill – this is not one of those “will we or wont we” things – this is one of those “do it or else” things.
The reasons for this austerity programme are well documented and speak to not just economic policy failures but political failures.
But – the bottom line is this – cuts must be made and made they will be – now – who can we pick on? Who does nobody give a shit about? Who are the easy targets?
How did men find themselves in the position of being those easy targets – and more importantly why?
Cui bono? Who benefits?