Stop Talking About Fathers Rights – Start Talking About Children’s Rights.

 

I’ve been keeping an eye on a “Fathers Rights” facebook page (Fathers Rights Ireland) for about six months now, and reading some of the posts of the person who appears to be “in charge” of this page I have come to the conclusion that this person is not only ill-informed, but is definitely NOT someone to whom a father in the distressing situation of being alienated from his child(ren) should be listening to, taking “advice” from or supporting. At all. This person if I may use the vernacular is a lunatic – an ill-informed, hysterical, ranting lunatic.

Having said that – he (I presume the person of charge of this facebook page is a he) does post links to relevant newspaper articles etc. – his problem is simple though – he reacts emotionally and subjectively to practically every item and lacks the ability or the will to analyse OBJECTIVELY and calmly the CONTENTS of these “links” with a view to furthering, in any meaningful way, the recognition and APPLICATION of the CURRENT law in any case, or use any “judgement” as supportive of an application in ANOTHER case – i.e. YOUR case.

Therein lies the problem with these kinds of groups – they are so blinded by their rage and self-referential “hurt” that they have a tendency to just fling accusations of “conspiracy” and “fraud” and malfeasance against…..well everybody and anybody – most especially judges, solicitors, state agencies – in particular – TUSLA. (What I am saying here is that these are unproven, unsubstantiated allegations and that they are counter-productive and irrelevant and will not HELP you in any meaningful way when YOU are the one standing in Court in front of a judge pleading YOUR case, unless you have actual EVIDENCE to support these allegations specific to YOUR case)

I might add, if you do go into Court ranting and raving about “conspiracies” or “fraud” in a random and unhinged manner (and yes, I have seen this) you will come across as unhinged. Let me be blunt – if the object in “going to Court” is to do with access/custody of your children – first familiarise yourself with the law regarding children, second INVOKE your Children’s Rights – third – make a rational, intelligent, INFORMED argument – supported by case law – and make it all about YOUR CHILDREN. What actually pisses me off about a lot of these so-called Fathers Rights Groups is this – there is always a “leader” a loud-mouthed arrogant egotistical arsehole who is so enraged at what he perceives as how hard done by he is that EVERYTHING is about his ego-driven agenda – and yes I know – I’ve heard all the bullshit that “it’s all about the kids” – it isn’t – that he then manages to gather a group around him and they follow like sheep – sometimes, genuinely distressed fathers – genuine fathers who are floundering as to what to do about the awful situation they find themselves in, and end up listening to and reading the utter tripe these idiots spout out.

Guys – just because YOU don’t know what to do, just because you’ve found this loud mouthed arsehole pontificating about “Fathers Rights” just because, in a million years you never thought you’d find yourself in this position – it doesn’t mean that first loud-mouthed arsehole you come across, on the internet or at a “Fathers Rights” meeting has all the answers or ANY of the answers.

The clue is this – if you have to go to Court to try and get access/custody of your children – then what you need to inform and arm yourself with IS THE BLOODY LAW. From the source – not from some idiot on the internet, or some loudmouth running “Fathers Rights” meetings.

If you actually believe that some loud-mouthed arsehole on the internet ranting and raving about “conspiracies” or “fraud” to a bunch of sheep-like “followers” on a facebook page is going to have ANY impact at all when YOU are the one standing in front of a Judge in a Court then you are sadly mis-informed.

To put it bluntly – you don’t get to choose the battleground (The Court) you don’t get to dictate how the Court operates – its been operating for several hundred years – what YOU get to do is choose which weapons you bring onto the battleground – those weapons are THE LAW – both legislation and case law – both of which you are free to use in your presentation – and present the Court with an interpretation of either or both (preferably both) that supports YOUR APPLICATION.  You have an array of legislation, of Human Rights Instruments and CASE LAW to choose from – it is up to you to ARGUE your case and persuade the Court that your argument is SOUND.

Now – before I go any further with this – let me make my position clear.

I am absolutely totally and adamantly NOT a feminist – I loathe feminism, in all its putrid, toxic manifestations with a passion – I absolutely endorse without equivocation the presumption IN LAW that parents are jointly endowed with EQUAL responsibilities to their child (ren)

I absolutely and unequivocally endorse the presumption IN LAW that children are entitled to maintain without interference, conditionality or “ranking” a parent/child relationship (with all that this entails) with BOTH parents.

I absolutely and unequivocally endorse that it is CHILDREN who are endowed with RIGHTS and parents who are endowed with RESPONSIBILITIES – to the children.*

*I will post the skeleton argument that “Joint Legal Custody” of Children is already presumed in Law – in a day or two – with supporting case law.

The legal nuance here is this – the parental “Rights” that are being violated are the “Rights” of parents to be allowed to fulfill THEIR obligations and duties AS A PARENT to their child.

Ergo – to speak of “Fathers Rights” or for that matter “Mothers Rights” is to ignore a fundamental basic fact – you CANNOT “be” a parent unless you have a child – your “Rights” as a “parent” are absolutely and solely dependent on the existence OF A LIVING CHILD.

Ergo your “Rights” are secondary and subservient to the innate and inherent “Rights” of the child as a vulnerable person entitled to the full and absolute protection of THEIR human rights – one of which is to have the protection, guidance and benefit of A PARENT taking full responsibility for the health, welfare, safety and well-being of that child.

Your “Rights” as “a parent” or “Legal Guardian” are that YOU be allowed to fulfil and exercise YOUR obligations and duties in ensuring the health, welfare, safety and well-being of THAT CHILD.

If – you are prevented from fulfilling your obligations and duties to your child – it is NOT “Your Rights” as an individual human being that are being violated – IT IS YOUR CHILDS HUMAN RIGHTS THAT ARE BEING VIOLATED.

So please – shut up about “your rights” shut up about “Fathers Rights” SHUT UP about how hard done by you are, SHUT UP ranting and raving about “conspiracies” and “fraud” and whatever other ridiculous nonsensical and IRRELEVANT matter that appears to ignite and trigger innumerable badly written, ill-informed and hysterical “posts” on various different facebook page and blogs.

It might sound obvious, though I sincerely doubt it – but the area of LAW all you so-called “Fathers Rights” groups and coalitions are enmeshed in is FAMILY LAW, and while for these purposes The Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996 primarily addresses the LEGAL issue of dissolving a lawfully constituted MARRIAGE in Ireland – one can be married without having children. The Judicial Separation and Family Law (Reform) Act, 1989 addresses issues when two legally married people wish to dissolve and divest themselves of any legal obligations to the other spouse.

The canon of “Family Law” that addresses issues with regard to CHILDREN only, are primarily contained in other legislation, (Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964) in effect the only substantive legal issue directly impacting upon ADULTS in the context of “Family Law” is simple – dissolving a marriage/ending a marriage BETWEEN ADULTS. And yes, children and issues around children are contained in these two pieces of legislation – the point I am making here is this – draw a distinct line between issues that ONLY effect ADULTS and issues that affect CHILDREN.

No longer being married to the other parent of a child should only impact ON THE ADULTS – not the children – no longer living with the other parent of a child should only impact on the ADULTS – not the children – in other words – your “living arrangements” should absolutely NOT impact on the parental relationship between a child and BOTH his/her parents – at all. Ever. Any person who uses a change in their living arrangements with the other parent as an excuse to interfere with the child’s relationship with that other parent is violating THE CHILDS RIGHTS.

And no – I’m not getting into a discussion about spousal support, division of assets, etc. – again – WITHOUT children IN the mix – those are legal issues BETWEEN ADULTS, and yes involve a separate but connected area of the toxic culture engendered by an endorsement of the “feminist” perspective on how “strong and independent” and “you go girl” wimmin are. Sigh.

Though I have often thought that “wimmin” of a certain type (which is most of them) should really be treated as having the same lack of mental/legal capacity as children – and dealt with accordingly – a discussion for another time.

Moving on.

What triggered this response? First, though I rarely respond or comment on other people’s blogs, or posts on facebook (never) in particular blogs or posts by Fathers Rights activists I have, to be blunt, a low opinion of most of the content – in particular content that bangs on and on about “the law” or erroneous “judgements” yet do not link or reference the law or judgement they are – banging on about with one notable exception – ExInjuria https://exinjuria.wordpress.com/about/ Nick Langford writes and analyses with clarity and precision any issue of law he addresses. I highly recommend a visit to his site.

So, the first “post” that irritated me was posted on the 25th December 2018 and contained a link to this article Abducted by a parent: Heartbreaking cases of the Hague Convention Mon, Dec 24, 2018, 02:00

Colm Keena

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/abducted-by-a-parent-heartbreaking-cases-of-the-hague-convention-1.3740959?fbclid=IwAR3FgzFr6u-IL07kQSG-aSnp2W1x3_05uCaPaZfnR6uFKj0MI6BfrQbAozw

Before I get into dissecting this article – this is what irritates me – if you are purporting to “advise” people about a specific topic, or equally are purporting to be “helping” other people – in particular with regard to a legal issue, and ever more particularly with regard to a family law issue – and you actually want to help the people you are purporting to help – here’s a bit of useful ADVICE.

Reference the goddam Law – post a link to the bloody JUDGEMENT(S) – so that people can read for themselves – so that people can download the judgement or the piece of legislation and DO THEIR OWN BLOODY ANALYSES.

But to pontificate and spew out ill-informed rubbish about what you think it means or even worse simply regurgitate what another ill-informed idiot on the internet has concluded this or that ruling/judgement/determination means is beyond arrogant, beyond vanity, beyond egotistical bullshit – it is venal and self-aggrandizing in the extreme.

So, lets take this article and see is there anything in it that could possibly be useful for a person in that situation to know?  Is there anything there that could direct or guide a person in that situation in the preparation of their case?

Several things.

First the name of the Judge tasked with dealing with “Hague Convention” cases is Ms. Justice Ni Raifeartaigh – at this juncture I would point out that at various times different judges are assigned different areas of law. In this instance – to repeat – Ms. Justice Ni Raifeartaigh was assigned “Hague Convention” cases – abduction cases – that is children abducted FROM this jurisdiction to another jurisdiction by one parent.

The next thing I would point out is this – the vast majority of Family Law hearings are in camera – i.e. the public is excluded from the court with a few exceptions – which we will get into another time.

But – the JUDGEMENTS- in particular those that may have a public interest element – are PUBLISHED with all identifying information anonymized. On the court’s website – www.courts.ie

So, this constant bleating about “secret courts” is nonsense – it is the IDENTITY of the parties that is “hidden” NOT either the nature and facts of a particular case or the issues of LAW being determined.

Are all judgements published? Nope – not all – but most.

Try this – google www.courts.ie

On the right-hand side underneath “online” the third option down is “Judgements and Determinations” click on it.

Across the top on the first menu line you will find three options:

1. Judgements by Year, 2. Judgements by Court and 3. Judgements by Judge.

Underneath you will find three more menu options – the first is “Determinations” these are rulings of the Supreme Court – the next two are “Judgements Help” and “Disclaimer and Copyright”

Click on “Judgements by Judge” and scroll down and search for Ni Raifeartaigh J.

What you should notice is that EVERY judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court is listed – all you have to do is click on the little blue triangle beside each judge’s name and a FULL list of their published judgements comes up.

Try it – click on any judge’s name – and then scroll through the list of judgements – on the right-hand side of this list you will see WHICH Court any particular judgement was given in – High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court – what you should also notice is that ALL judgements to do with ANY aspect of Family Law or to do with children is listed with INITIALS ONLY.

E.g.:  if you right click on the DATE 11/21/2018 R.B. -v- D.K OF THIS LISTING and click “open in a new tab”. (the reason for doing this is to keep the list OPEN.

What comes up is this: the judgement is the case of R.B – v – D.K neutral citation [2018] IEHC 728:

The “Title” with ALL identifiers anonymized is:

“THE HIGH COURT

IN THE MATTER OF THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL

ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION

AND

IN THE MATTER OF COUNCIL REGULATION 2201/2003

AND

IN THE MATTER OF N. B., A CHILD

BETWEEN:

R.B.

Applicant

-AND-

D.K.

Respondent

Judgment of Ms. Justice Ní Raifeartaigh delivered on the 21st day of November 2018

Nature of case

  1. This is a case in which the applicant (the father of a child) seeks the return of the child to England and Wales pursuant to the provisions of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter “the Hague Convention”) and EU Council Regulation 2201/2003. The child, N, who is three years old, is currently living in Ireland with his mother, the respondent in these proceedings. The date upon which they came to live in Ireland is the core matter in dispute in the case. Counsel on both sides of the case agreed that there was a single net issue in the case, namely as to where the child had its habitual residence at the relevant time, and that the Court was required to resolve a conflict of fact in this regard.”

What follows is the judgement – in full – in detail. Study it.

I will confine myself to just posting the Conclusion here paras 34 – 36

“34.     In conclusion, for the reasons set out above, I am satisfied that the child N has been the subject of a wrongful retention in Ireland because the applicant has satisfied me on the balance of probabilities that the child’s habitual residence had not changed as of the end of April/beginning of May 2018 when his mother refused to return him to England. For completeness, I also find that, insofar as the respondent relies upon the defence of consent, she has failed to establish on the balance of probabilities that the father gave his consent either to a permanent removal or retention of the child in Ireland. I will therefore make an order for the return of the child to the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

  1. In order to allow for an appeal, I will place a stay upon the execution of this order pending the expiry of the time limit for an appeal, with time of course running from the date of the perfection of the relevant order for the child’s return.

 

  1. I would like to refer this judgment to the Irish immigration authorities for further investigation, having regard to some of the evidence in the case. However, as this is an in camera matter, such a move needs to be approached with caution and I will not take any step in that direction without alerting the parties in the first instance and giving them an opportunity to address me on any relevant law. This should not prevent the perfection of the order and the progress of any appeal with regard to the Hague Convention issues.”

(emphasis added)

As you can see Her Honour Judge Ni Raifeartaigh ordered the child abducted from the UK by his mother, who re-located in Ireland RETURNED to the UK.

I strongly suggest to study this judgement and some of Ni Raifeartaighs other judgements in detail to get a clear grasp of the legal principles that are applied in these kinds of cases.

Moving on. If you look up to the top of the page – the one with the judgement on it – you will see another menu bar: above the dark blue line that says Judgements and Determinations: Homepage – just above that you will see a button that says “Printable Version

So, whatever judgement you have decided to look at – you then think to yourself – “I’d like to have a printed copy of that”

Ok so – click on “Printable Version” and voila – a small print box opens and all you have to do is decide, for example, how many copies of this judgement do I want? Do I want it in black or white or in colour – then click print.

One thing to watch out for – if you click on “Printable Version” and the print preview just shows blank pages – this means the judgement hasn’t downloaded properly – close the print box and click the “Printable Version” button again until you see the message “loading preview” what happens – as far as I know – I have a tendency to leave all the little “print boxes” open and the thing seems to get stuck – as soon as I close those open boxes it seems to “unstick it”

I would suggest that you take your time and explore the courts service website – EVERYTHING you need to know about how the courts function in this jurisdiction is literally there at your fingertips – Rules of the Court – Court Forms – Practice Directions* – EVERYTHING.

*HC051 – This is Practice Direction 051 – the HC stands for High Court – click on the blue link on this page and a word version of this Practice Direction – FOR FAMILY LAW IN THE HIGH COURT – will download for you.

http://www.courts.ie/courts.ie/library3.nsf/16c93c36d3635d5180256e3f003a4580/bec9deb0b6dae2a980258121003f3720?OpenDocument

If you click on “Home” on the left-hand side of the Courts website, you will see a list – the list is headed in bold “For Court Users” click on the links and they bring you to different areas. Court Rules, Court Forms, etc. THAT’S where you can find everything you need to know about how the Courts works, what the rules are, and what “Forms” you need to use for different kinds of Applications/Motions – not from some twat on the internet or on facebook.

You really don’t need some idiot on the internet pontificating and blustering and talking shoite about “how the courts work” or giving you his “version” of how to go about doing something in court – it’s all there – and yes I appreciate that for a lay litigant it can be very difficult to get your head around some of the “Rules” or figure out how to use the various “Templates” for different kinds of applications – but – if you just take your time – any reasonably intelligent person can – with a little hard work figure it out, least anyone opines that I am just another idiot pontificating – you might note that I am directing you to independent OFFICIAL sources where you can find out for yourself what the law is, what the Rules of the Court are and where they can be found, and where to find judgements.

For EVERYTHING to do with “going to Court” there is a Law or a provision of Law, there is a “Rule” and there is a Form, on top of all that, there are ways of doing something, and that is contained in the Practice Directions – they all function together.

Let me give you some unsolicited “advice” advice I was given in law school – every judgement has some discussion about how this or that rule or law works or is applied – EVERY judgement – it is in effect a practical demonstration of how the law operates or in some instances doesn’t operate – read them – read them thoroughly and LEARN how the inert words of the written law come to life in a practical way by studying how those “words” are brought to life and applied in real life situations.

READ the judgements – and read them again – until – hopefully a light bulb goes off in your head and you have a “eureka” moment.

Whatever you do – do not base your case on the ill-informed rantings of some idiot on the internet or most definitely not on the idiots “interpretation” of a “judgment” or commentary on an article about a “judgement” find and read the judgement YOURSELF – make up your own mind – apply the facts of the case (in the judgement you are reading) to your situation and see if there is something in there that is applicable IN YOUR CASE. And no, the facts in the case do not have to be exactly the same as in your case – you are looking for areas of general commonality – not an exact replica – similar NOT the same.

THAT’S how you ‘Do law”

Because here a fundamental basic fact.

If you are embroiled in a Family Law case in this jurisdiction – Ireland – you will end up in an IRISH Court – and you can bitch and moan and rant and rave all you like but – it is the Law as it stands NOW – it will be the Rules of the Court as they stand NOW that will be applied – NOT what some idiot on the internet “thinks” the law should be, or believes it to be or claims is ought to be – it is the law as contained in Acts of the Oireachtas, Statutory Instruments, ALL available to you at www.irishstatutebook.ie at the click of a mouse.

Your “argument” or your “pleadings” should be grounded on how the current law is being applied – and if it is being applied or “enforced” arbitrarily, prejudicially or unfairly then MAKE THAT ARGUMENT.

Finally – if you want to “talk about rights” then I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself thoroughly with the text of these documents – and again, not on some idiot on the internet rantings about “rights”

European Convention on Human Rights*

https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

*Transposed into Irish Domestic Law with; The European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003 – found at www.irishstatutebook.ie

Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the European Union

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf

UN Convention on The Rights of The Child

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf

To start with.

Then do some study on these:

Guardianship of Infants Act, 1964, Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015, Family Law Act, 1995, Family Law (Divorce) Act, 1996, Judicial Separation and Family Law (Reform) Act, 1989.

I’m not giving you a link to these – you can easily find them and ALL amendments to any provision of these Acts at www.irishstatutebook.ie it will be good practice – if you are serious about addressing YOUR legal ISSUES in a clear, INFORMED and intelligent way.

If you do decide to “look up the law” then read the whole Act – yes – all of it – no piece of legislation exists in a vacuum – you might read in section 6 (a) (i) something that applies directly to your case – BUT – if you see the phrase “subject to the provisions of section 14, then there is a proviso – i.e. this section ONLY applies if the provisions of the other section are fulfilled AS WELL.

Having said all that – I am perfectly aware that in provincial circuits – in particular the Midland Circuit – which is the one I am most familiar with – the law is NOT applied either with fairness or without prejudice – to fathers in particular.

I am also perfectly aware that most if not all Family Law proceedings begin in either the District Court or the Circuit Court – and the Orders made in some instances are…………………. staggeringly bad law.

Again, I strongly suggest you familiarise yourselves with The Rules of The Court with regard to two distinct legal process’s – An Appeal from the Circuit Court to the High Court (bearing in mind if the Order in dispute was originally granted in the District Court you will have to Appeal to the Circuit first) and the Rules governing Judicial Review.

Please note: There are THREE sets of Rules of the Court – Rules of The Superior Court and Rules of The Circuit Court and Rules of The District Court

See here: http://www.courts.ie/rules.nsf/webpages/bb9a582b582f736880256d2b003f6633?OpenDocument&l=en&p=042

Before “moving” on any matter – in other words before making an application/motion etc. or launching an “Appeal” from the Circuit Court to the High Court – READ THIS.

ORDER 61

Rules of the Superior Courts Order: 61; Appeals from the Circuit Court

http://www.courts.ie/rules.nsf/8652fb610b0b37a980256db700399507/d5629e64d4c7cae680256d2b0046b3ae?OpenDocument

Pay particular attention to the emboldened parts:

  1. In this Order:

“the Act” means the Courts of Justice Act, 1936:

“County Registrar” includes any deputy County Registrar and any person appointed to act as such Registrar or deputy and also where the context permits, any person appointed to act as Registrar to the High Court on Circuit.

  1. Every appeal under Part IV of the Act shall be by notice of appeal which shall be served on every party directly affected by the appeal within ten days from the date on which the judgement or order appealed from was pronounced in open court. The notice shall state whether the whole or part only of such judgement or order is appealed from and in the latter case shall specify such part. The notice shall, in the case of appeals to the High Court sitting in Dublin, be for the first opportunity after the expiration of ten days from the date of service, and, in the case of appeals to the High Court on Circuit, be for the next sitting of the High Court on Circuit after the expiration of the said ten days. Such notice of appeal shall be either in the Form No. 1 or the Form No. 2 (as the case may be) in Appendix I.

 

  1. The appellant shall, within the said period of ten days from the date on which the judgement or order appealed from was pronounced,

(a)        in the case of appeals to the High Court sitting in Dublin lodge two copies of the notice of appeal,”

NOW – Print out (printable version – look up) and study Order 61 – including the links above the body of this Order – they contain amendments made to the Order.

Click on EVERY link in the body of the text of this Order and study ALL of it. The above is ONLY an EXTRACT from Order 61 – of – The Rules of The Superior Courts.

The second procedure I strongly suggest you familiarise yourselves with is Judicial Review.

Order 84 – Judicial review and orders affecting personal liberty

http://www.courts.ie/rules.nsf/8652fb610b0b37a980256db700399507/a53b0f76ffc6c5b780256d2b0046b3dc?OpenDocument

Last but not least – if you are claiming that the “other side” has failed to adhere to a provision of any Rule of The Court – this is how you might state it:

Example of how to phrase and cite a provision of an “Order of The Court – in this instance Order 61, Rule 2.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Order 61, Rule 2, The (Applicant/Respondent] delete whichever one is not applicable – i.e. if you’re “The Applicant” delete the brackets, the forward slash and the word “Applicant” ) Respondent failed to serve a Notice of Appeal within ten days of the pronouncement of the Order granted on the………day of……….20…..granting Joint Legal Custody of the two minor children [……] and […..] to me, their Father and Legal Guardian. Her attempt to now Appeal said Order is out of time, being 18 months since the Order of the……. day of……….20….. was granted.”

(This an example of how you could cite a Rule of the Court – do it your own way – as long as you correctly cite whichever “Rule” of whichever “Order” you are invoking/relying on)

Before you all go mad and rush out to lodge Appeals or Applications for Judicial Review of a lower courts decision that affects you – READ THE RULES FIRST then READ THE BLOODY CASE LAW.

You are NOT automatically “entitled” to succeed on an Appeal or an Application for Leave to file a Judicial Review just because you are aggrieved by a decision of a lower Court – YOU MUST HAVE STATEABLE GROUNDS.

You must have an “arguable case” and that “argument” MUST be grounded in law – supported by previous CASE LAW – so again – read the bloody case law – read the law – familiarise yourselves with The Rules of The Court.

The second time this group/person really pissed me off and irritated me, triggering this response was a post on the 26th January 2019 linking to this article.

Mum loses custody of three children after coaching them to badmouth her ex husband; Nic Brunetti; Thursday 24 Jan 2019 1:54 pm

https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/24/mum-loses-custody-of-three-children-after-coaching-them-to-badmouth-her-ex-husband-8385971/?fbclid=IwAR2xxTV-1L70EtThWW61CZQsVAVbnb2x5qJMQKML2gBLqasGzQqUvW5KkZc

The “comments” to this posting of this “article” are inane in the extreme – what surprised was no-one asked for a link to the judgement itself! Nor I might add this the “leader” of this group Fathers Rights Ireland supply a link to the judgement!

Perhaps this idiot thought he or his sheep-like followers could just stroll into Court with a copy of the Metro article clutched in their hot sweaty hands and they could just wave it around in front of the judge and he/she would be overcome with the brilliance of their “presentations” hmmmmm.

At that point I knew this guy was a pure gobshoite, a self-serving egotistical arsehole with zero real interest in “helping fathers” a ridiculous fool ranting and raving from behind his keyboard to massage his own inflated ego.

Here is the link to the judgement https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2018/B83.html&query=(ZE17C00740)

Here is the printable PDF version  https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2018/B83.pdf

It is Case No: ZE17C00740 in the Family Court at Croydon on Wednesday the 22nd August 2018.

It is an extraordinary judgement for its clarity, for the depth of analysis of the substantive issues by His Honour Judge Charles Atkins and for his grasp of the fundamental damage done to children by “Parental Alienation”

What this judgement also is – is something YOU can use in an Irish Court to lend weight and AUTHORITY to YOUR case.

Download this judgement – study it – and study it again. Now you have something of substance to get your teeth into – and stop listening to or reading bullshit from gobshoites.

With regard to ‘Hague Convention” cases – download this judgement – study it – and study it again.

G.T and K.A.O and The Attorney General [2007] IEHC 326

http://www.courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/768d83be24938e1180256ef30048ca51/e77d90ebb1cd0ca88025739900341ef8?OpenDocument

When I get a bit more time, I will post a list of cases that address different issues in “Family Law” cases both Irish, UK and other common law jurisdictions.

DISCLAIMER: Just in case some petulant arsehole gets the hump and decides that I am “unlawfully” giving “legal advice” here’s my disclaimer.

  1. Bite me
  2. I am NOT purporting to give anyone legal advice – I am pointing you to legitimate and accredited SOURCES of information that if you chose to access, will assist you greatly in applying the law to whatever “Case” or legal difficulty you might have.
  3. You are perfectly free to chose to click on any link I have posted here – what you do with it after that is entirely up to you – if you then go ahead and use any of the information I have linked to here and it goes pear-shaped for you – your problem, not mine.

Now – if the person or persons I have “had a go at” decides to get all “internetty” and post shit about me or engages in the usual…what do feminists call it……. whatever it is that feminists are always whining about……amounts to saying mean things about them on the internet.

My response? Bite me.

But – if you do step over the bounds of normal rational or acceptable behavior and it impacts me personally and out here in the real world – I will come after you – I will drag your sorry arse into Court – and I WILL personally rip you a new one – in Court.

Just so you know – as far as I am concerned – you do NOT represent the vast majority of fathers who are being put through the ringer in Family Courts in this jurisdiction, you are NOT a spokesman for any of them – you are NOT evolved enough, competent enough, informed enough, intelligent enough or decent enough to speak for anyone – especially NOT fathers.

You are an ignorant ill-informed arsehole who just wants a platform who spew out his self-serving bullshit, bullshit and mis-information that will actively sabotage, de-rail and damage the case of a DECENT father struggling with the toxic effects of being alienated from his children. So.  SHUT UP you idiot.

Slainte

Schooldays – Best Days of Your Life: Unless Your Parents are Separated and School is just another Battleground.

 

There are 365 days in a year.

Duh! I hear you say – so what?

Well, for most children in Ireland they are required to spend a minimum of 183 days attending school if in primary school (approx. 5/6 years old to approx. 11/12 years old) and 167 days attending school if in secondary or post-primary. (11/12 years old to 17/18 years old)

“Although children are not obliged to attend school until the age of six, almost all children begin school in the September following their fourth birthday. Nearly 40% of four-year-old’s and almost all five-year-old’s are enrolled in infant classes in primary schools (sometimes called national schools). Primary education consists of an eight year cycle: junior infants, senior infants, and first to sixth classes. Pupils normally transfer to post-primary education at the age of twelve.” [1]

Summer Holidays

Schools are required to be open for a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level and 183 days at primary level. School summer holidays are not standardised and schools may use discretionary days to determine the precise start and end of the school year.”

Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.  [2]

(emphasis added)

“Schools will normally re-open during the week in which 1st September falls. However, the school year may start in the week prior to that in which 1st September falls if this is necessary in order to meet the overall requirement of a minimum of 167 days at post-primary level or 183 days at primary level.

You should check the exact dates with your school.

Easter, Christmas and Mid-term Breaks

The standard breaks at Christmas, Easter and Mid-term in the first and second terms for the 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 school years are available under Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20,”

In other words, children from the age of about 5 years old to 12 years old spend about 50 % of the year in school – generally from about 8.45 am – 3.00 pm.

From about 12 years old to about 17 years old they spend a little less time in school – about 48%

What is the point here?

Well one of the issues facing fathers separated from their children is when they seek to obtain information about their children from their children’s schools – when they seek to exercise their rights as parents and as Legal Guardians of their children. In some cases, difficulties finding out which school their children have been enrolled in. As many fathers will know, its an old trick to yank your children out of their schools and enroll them, without your knowledge or CONSENT in another school to frustrate, disrupt, impede and prevent you, as a father, having a meaningful parental relationship with your child or children.

List of schools in Ireland [3]

A two-fold problem contributes to what can only be described as the intransigence and obstructiveness of the schools (teachers and principals) and a discriminatory attitude to these fathers, with this negative attitude being initially initiated by the mother and then endorsed by the school. This whole toxic attitude towards fathers being fed by a societal and cultural attitude that fathers don’t matter, fathers are NOT “real” parents, and fathers are to all extents and purposes “nuisances” Fathers don’t have rights, even when their own National Organisation INTO tells them otherwise. [4]

“Q. In a situation where parents are separated/divorced are both parents entitled to receive school reports and attend parent teacher meetings?

A. Each parent has a right to be informed of and to attend parent teacher meetings and to receive school reports unless there is a Court Order in place preventing them from doing so. Teachers should attempt to facilitate separate meetings if both parents cannot attend together, and should generally act in a fair and even-handed way in respect of both parents.”

The fact that the question is even asked indicates the mind-set – does it not?

The second overlapping problem is simple – too many schools do NOT believe that they are obliged to recognize the LAWFUL status of fathers as parents and Joint Legal Guardians of their children. Well one father decided enough was enough and took a case to the Equality Tribunal – and won. [5] and [6]

“The complainant had referred a complaint to the Equality Tribunal as outlined above in respect of the enrollment of his daughter in the school and this case was subsequently withdrawn following mediation. The complainant submits that he was victimised following the referral. I note that the Principal informed Ms. A of this complaint and showed her the documentation. It is my view that the Principals actions served no useful purpose other than to cause friction between the parents and to portray the complainant in a negative way. I am satisfied that this treatment together with the treatment in relation to the sports day and the subsequent request for the Court Orders constituted victimisation within the meaning of the above cited section. I am satisfied that the complainant has established a prima facie case of victimisation.”

(emphasis added)

I strongly suggest you read the judgement, what emerges is evidence of a toxic school environment created, engineered, sustained and fed by the collusion of teachers (mostly female) with alienating mothers.

Another problem identified with regard to boys and schools is that the vast majority of teachers are female – see [7] and [8]

In Ireland, we have the same skewed demographic in our schools. From:

Press Release Women and Men in Ireland 2013: Irish women are more highly qualified and work fewer hours. [9]

Economic sectors: Over a third of women at work in Ireland in 2012 were working in the health and education sectors. Women accounted for four out of five employees in the health sector and three-quarters of those at work in education. The sectors with the highest proportions of men in 2012 were construction, agriculture and transport. In primary education 85% of teachers are female while 68% are female at second-level. However women are not well represented at senior levels: 44% of primary school managers, 41% of second-level school managers and 37% of medical and dental consultants are women. (Tables 2.7, 4.7, 4.8 and 5.14).”

As you can clearly see, in both primary and secondary school’s female teachers outnumber male teachers to the extent that the percentage of male teachers isn’t even worth calculating.

Naturally enough a sideways swipe at gender equality “issues” is included – almost by default. Sigh.

“…….However women are not well represented at senior levels: 44% of primary school managers, 41% of second-level school managers……”

Ye Gods – don’t know about you but am sick to death of this shoite – boo hoo wimmin don’t get the big jobs – sniffle, whine and sob – “I’m not the boss because………………….men are mean”

First, and using the bloody CSO’s own figures – 44% of women are school managers! Eh hello – while not exactly being a math’s genius, even I can see that 44% is only 6% LESS than 50%. In effect, almost PARITY. Almost HALF.

Second – 41%! Pluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuze – again – if it was a meagerly 12% or even say 23% there might – and I mean MIGHT be some cause for a few questions – but 41% – grow up!

What is almost ironic is that contained in the same press release is the REASON for this miniscule disparity

“Irish women are more likely to have a third-level qualification than men. More than half of women aged between 25 and 35 have a third-level qualification compared with just over four out of ten men, according to the report Women and Men in Ireland 2013, published by the CSO today. Men work longer hours than women in paid employment.

Irish women, along with women from France, have the joint highest fertility rate in the EU. Boys are more likely to leave school early. Men have a higher rate of employment but also a higher rate of unemployment. Men are more likely to be in the labour force and those looking after home/family are overwhelmingly female. Most workers in the Health and Education sectors are women while most workers in Agriculture, Construction and Transport are men. Most murder victims are male and the vast majority of the prison population is male. Ireland is the ninth highest among EU27 countries for gender equality.

Employment: The employment rate for men in Ireland stood at about 76% in recent years but in 2009 it dropped sharply to 66.8% and continued to decrease over the next three years to reach 62.4% by 2012. However in 2013 there was an increase in the male employment rate to 64.6% followed by another rise in 2014 to 65.7%. The female employment rate reached 60.6% in 2007 before dropping to 57.6% in 2009 and it continued to decrease over the next three years to stand at 55.2% by 2012. The last 2 years have seen a small rise in the female employment rate to 55.9% in 2014.

Men worked an average of 39.2 hours a week in paid employment in 2013 compared to 31.2 hours for women and married men worked longer hours than married women, with close to half of married men (44.1%) working for 40 hours a week or more compared to just 16.8% of married women. (Tables 2.1, 2.8 and 2.9).

Unemployment: The unemployment rate for men in Ireland was about 5% in recent years but in 2009 it increased dramatically to 15.3%, followed by further rises over the following three years to reach 18.1% by 2012. There was a drop in the male unemployment rate in 2013 to 15.9% and another decrease in 2014 to 13.8%. The female unemployment rate, which stood at about 4% in recent years, also increased strongly to 8.3% in 2009 and continued to rise over the next four years to reach 11.4% in 2013. However the female rate of unemployment decreased in 2014 to 9.9%. The younger age groups have been most affected by unemployment, with approximately three out of ten men and two out of ten women aged 20-24 unemployed in 2013. (Tables 2.11 and 2.12).”

(emphasis added)

My general default response to whiny females complaining about not being the top dog in whatever area of employment is this – STFU – if you want to be in charge, for example, the Taoiseach, The President, whatever – here’s how you do it:

MORE PEOPLE HAVE TO VOTE FOR YOU THAN THE OTHER CANDIDATES!

If they DON’T vote for you then the reason is simple – THEY DON’T WANT TO! GOT IT? GOOD – now STFU.

Anyhoo – moving on.

So, what to do if the school your child(ren) is enrolled in is run by a gate-keeping dragon?

First, while it is reprehensible that a parent, simply because that parent is male has to prove to these witches that he IS a parent, do it.

Step 1. Get your child(rens) birth certificates. If you are or were legally married to the mother of your child(ren) get your marriage certificate as well. Having these is incontrovertible PROOF that you are, Constitutionally and Statutorily your child(ren) Joint Legal Guardian. [10]

Step 2. If you were not married to the mother of your child(ren) the situation is more complex unless you have an Order of the Court grating you Guardianship. [11]

Step 3. Print off a copy of Schools and family law: In Touch January/ February 2004. [4]

Formally write to the school, enclosing copies of the above (do not send them the original of the certs) and request that you be directly supplied with all reports etc with regard to your children. Give them the standard 14 days to comply.

Step 4. I strongly suggest, that you only include a copy of A Father v. A School (represented by Hugh J. Campbell & Co.) File Reference: ES/2013/092. [5] if the school digs its heels in and starts being obstructive.  There should be absolutely no need for you as a parent to be expected to junp through hoops to “prove” anything – nor should you as a parent be put in a position where you have to grovel  or repeatedly ask for information to which you are lawfully entitled to with regard to your own children.

For those you are now up in arms about fathers “threatening schools with legal action” I suggest you read the judgement, and take on board this:

How do think most fathers get to be excised out their children’s lives? Because the mothers of these children TAKE LEGAL ACTION to ensure that this is what happens.

If the same amount of time, money and energy was expended on reaching a Shared Parenting Agreement as is spent on this toxic exercise then these statistics would not be the norm:

The solution is SHARED PARENTING. [12]

“Shared Parenting

Is there a country with a working and effective model of Shared Parenting? Yes – Shared Parenting works so amazingly well in Sweden:

Here are some details from a presentation by Malin Bergström from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Malin’s powerful presentation showed how Sweden has, in the space of just 20 years, transformed the landscape for shared parenting. She reported that:

approximately 40% of separated parents share care 50:50, higher amongst younger children

the majority have shared care arrangements where each parent has at least 30% of parenting time

shared parenting arrangements continue to grow strongly year-in-year-out

14% of family disputes are resolved  through mediation and above all…

just 2% were resolved through courts!

Her presentation also demonstrated the considerable health benefits to children of Joint Parental Care arrangements.

Her comment on the day was “If one of my friends did not share parenting equally after separation, I would find that weird.”

How quickly can we or rather the more ponderous UK government get there? We live in hope, but the writing may be on the wall.”

Does shared parenting positively affect children? Yes.

There is a wealth of expert literature which repeatedly demonstrates that shared parenting benefits children in a huge variety of ways:

  • ‘…children in joint custody are better adjusted, across multiple types of measures [including emotionally and behaviourally], than children in sole (primarily maternal) custody.’ (Bauserman, 2002)
  • Joint legal custody is not a requirement to achieve better adjustment, but children need to spend a ‘substantial’ amount of time with their non-resident parent. (Bauserman, 2002)
  • Children with non-resident fathers highly involved in their lives have lower levels of delinquent behaviour as adolescents. (Coley & Medieros, 2007)
  • “Children in separated families fare best when they have close contact with each of their parents and all the important adults in their lives, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends. And co-parenting by both mother and father should be the norm, except when issues of safety are involved.” (Layard & Dunn, 2009)
  • “On average, children are less likely to fail at school or suffer depression the more they see their separated father.” (Layard & Dunn, 2009)
  • Children who spend nights at their father’s and mother’s houses have ‘few social problems’ and ‘fewer attention… and thought problems.’ (Pruett et al, 2004)

Bauserman, R. (2002). Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review.  Journal of Family Psychology. 16(1): 91-102.

Coley, R. & Medieros, B. (2007). Reciprocal Longitudinal Relations Between Nonresident Father Involvement and Adolescent Delinquency. Child Development. 78(1): 132-147.

Layard, R. & Dunn, J. (2009). A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age. London: Penguin Books.

Pruett, K., Ebling, R. & Insabella, G. (2004).  Critical Aspects of Parenting Plans for Young Children. Family Court Review, 42(1): 39–59.

Are fathers just as important as mothers in a child’s life? Yes.

“Fathers are no less important than mothers in a child’s life. The closeness of fathers to their children influences the children’s later psychological well-being, even after allowing for the mother’s influence. If fathers are more closely involved with their children, other things being equal, children develop better friendships, more empathy, high self-esteem, better life satisfaction, and higher educational achievement, and they are less likely to  become involved with crime or substance abuse.”

Layard, R. & Dunn, J. (2009). A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age. London: Penguin Books.

From the Families Need Fathers website at https://fnf.org.uk/

NB I edited the text slightly without changing the content.

See this by Richard Warshak [13]

“To assess where science stands on the issue of shared parenting and overnights for young children, I spent two years reviewing the relevant scientific literature and vetting my analyses with an international group of experts. This work, published in an American Psychological Association journal, was endorsed by 110 leading researchers and practitioners.

Here are the two main conclusions: First, shared parenting should be the norm not just for children whose parents live together, and not just for older children, but also for children of all ages whose parents live apart from each other. Children need a father, not an uncle-daddy. Second, if we want to give children the best chance for normal relationships with their fathers, limiting fathering time to daytime hours until children enter kindergarten is not the way to do that.

To be sure, shared parenting is not for all families after divorce. But there’s a general consensus that it is good for many of them.

If we value dad soothing his fretful baby at 3 a.m. or reading “Goodnight Moon” to his toddler while the parents are living together, why deprive the child of these expressions of fatherly love just because the parents no longer live together, or just because the sun has set?

Richard A. Warshak, PhD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the author of “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report” and “Divorce Poison: How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing.”

(emphasis added)

One of the objections to enforcing Shared Parenting as the default presumption is logistical – the “moving children back and forth” argument.

Actually, ALL of the current, legitimate and properly conducted research absolutely endorses Shared Parenting in situations where the parents don’t live together – in effect – a Shared Parenting arrangement IS – In the best interests of the child, which is the mandatorily required consideration to be applied in custody cases:

See Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015 Part V “Best Interests of the Child [14]

63. The Act of 1964 is amended by the insertion of the following after Part IV:

“Part V: Best interests of the Child: Determination by court of best interests of child.

Section 31 (j)

“(j) the willingness and ability of each of the child’s parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent, and to maintain and foster relationships between the child and his or her relatives;”

(emphasis added)

I have emboldened the most important words – bearing in mind this – these words are not aspirational, not subject to whether or not the obstructive parent is “in the mood” to co-parent. These words form part of a LEGAL requirement to be WILLING – and by your behavior and actions to FACILITATE and ENCOURAGE.

So, manufacturing conflict, creating “access” (I hate that word) difficulties, being intransigent, unco-operative, attempting to sabotage, damage or disrupt the other parents “close and continuing relationship” with his child (ren) is something the Court is OBLIGED under the statute take into consideration.

All this broo ha ha about “moving children back and forth” is a smokescreen, a cynical exercise in parental obstruction.  Any reasonable parent, who recognizes that children need both parents as parents can cut the crap, stop creating unnecessary difficulties and make it work – FOR THE CHILDREN.  It’s the attitude of these gate-keeping toxic mothers that is the problem, nothing else.

Let’s go back to the school calendar at the beginning:

Print out a calendar – make out the weeks when the children are in school, mark out the holiday periods and any other special days and sit down like two grown-ups and work out how to share the time as equally as possible between you.

If she’s being a total bitch – do it yourself and present the Shared Parenting Schedule to the Court.

What tends to work the best is one week with one parent, one week with another – if the parents live in reasonable close proximity to one another.

This shoite about kids missing out on friends etc. – this is the 21st century – kids make friends in school – then make arrangements for “playdates” in one another houses. Usually one parent picks the little rug-rats up, brings them home, they go mental for a few hours then their respective parents come pick them up.  Then the host parent has a small nervous break-down.

Or kids go to various activities – usually after school – where they have another group of friends – after this activity the kid is picked up by the parent and home we go.

What the hell is the big deal? What bloody difference does it make if one or the other parent brings the kids to dancing, to football, to whatever it is the child is involved in.

Because here’s the thing – when two parents are together, what happens is this – they each take turns bringing the kids to their activities i.e. you bring them to the swimming pool on Wednesday and I’ll bring them to the football match on Saturday.

Or, little Michael and Michelle need to go to the dentist on Friday after school, I have to go do something so you pick them up and bring them.

NOT A BIG DEAL – is it?

It only becomes a big deal when one parent is determined to excise another parent from his child’s life – then all these normal everyday parent/child things becomes a HUGE deal.

The ONLY reason for creating a big hoo hah over this (bearing in mind the child gets to go to his/her activity and gets to go on playdates with his/her schoolfriends) is the ridiculous need of one parent to “be in charge” of EVERYTHING including removing any possibility of a father having a normal boring day to day parent child relationship – dentist, swimming, football, homework, pizza in front of the TV (only on Fridays 😉) brush your teeth, do your homework, pick up your toys, stop picking on your younger brother, what do mean you need an octopus costume for school TOMORROW – usually announced at bed-time. Normal. Parent. Stuff.

So, working out the “logistics” is bloody straightforward – if you click on the Standardisation of the School Year in respect of Primary & Post-Primary Schools for the years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 link up above, you’ll note that the school calendar is more or less set till 2020!

You know when the all holidays are for the NEXT THREE YEARS! You know when your kids are in school for the NEXT THREE YEARS.

Summer – 8 weeks – 4 weeks each – options are multiple. 4 straight weeks each. 2 weeks with one parent, 2 weeks with the other parent in any bloody combination that suits both the parents and the children’s summer activities. WORK IT OUT.

Easter – two weeks – simples – one week each.

Mid- term breaks – share them.

Christmas – kids get about 2 weeks holiday – the significant days are, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephens Day. (Boxing Day in the UK)

Simples –

Year 1 Christmas Eve from 5pm to Christmas day at 3pm.  Parent 1

Christmas Day from 3pm to St Stephens Day at 3pm. Parent 2

Year 2 just bloody swap it around – work out the rest of the holiday REASONABLY.

Shared Parenting is not only workable it is essential – FOR CHILDREN.

MAKE IT WORK.

 

Personal message to women creating conflict and difficulties.

Get over yourselves – stop being a selfish self-centered bitch and put your children FIRST!

To the friends, besties, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and anyone who knows one of these bitches – shame on you if you are standing by and letting this wretch destroy the lives of these children.

Do something, say something.

 

If any fathers out there would like to share (or publish) their stories, feel free to contact me – I moderate all comments, so just post a comment with a valid email address and we’ll take it from there. If you don’t want your comment published, just say so and I will respect your wishes.

I’m particularly interested in hearing about father’s negative experiences with solicitors practicing in Family Law – one of the things that I would like to highlight is the lack of familiarity certain Family Law Practitioners seem to have with the provisions of the Code of Conduct in Family Law Matters [15]

Or the requirements of Order 59 of the Circuit Court Rules. [16]

 

 

Slainte.

 

 

References

 

[1]  https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Primary/

[2] https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0009_2017.pdf

[3] List of Schools in Ireland

https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Statistics/Data-on-Individual-Schools/Data-on-Individual-Schools.html

[4] Schools and family law: In Touch January/ February 2004

http://www.into.ie/ROI/InfoforTeachers/ParentTeacherRelations/ParentalSeparation/FamilyLawArticle.pdf

[5] DEC-S2014-018:Equal Status Acts 2000-2012

A Father v. A School (represented by Hugh J. Campbell & Co.) File Reference: ES/2013/092

https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/Cases/2014/October/DEC-S2014-018.html

[6] http://www.thejournal.ie/equality-tribunal-school-discrimination-separated-father-2396939-Oct2015/

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8DDbE4I8Ig

[8] https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/eliminating-feminist-teacher-bias-erases-boys-falling-grades-study-finds

[9]http://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/pressreleases/2014pressreleases/pressreleasewomenandmeninireland2013/

[10] https://www.birthsdeathsmarriages.ie/certificates/birth-certificate/

[11]http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/birth_family_relationships/married_couples/guardianship_status_of_fathers.html

[12] https://fnf.org.uk/publications/shared-parenting-research

[13] https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/26/divorce-shared-parenting-children-health/

[14] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/act/9/section/63/enacted/en/html

[15] Code of Conduct: Family Law in Ireland.   https://www.lawsociety.ie/globalassets/documents/committees/family/family-law-handbook-2017.pdf

[16]Order 59 Rules of the Circuit Court http://www.courts.ie/rules.nsf/6cc6644045a5c09a80256db700399505/1cca506f57cc910480256d940064796c?OpenDocument

 

 

The First Step Towards Parental Equality? Perhaps

From today’s Irish Times

 

Court says children should be factor in father’s rent allowance

Fiona Gartland

Last Updated: Friday, October 31, 2014, 00:48

A High Court ruling that the Department of Social Protection must reconsider a decision to grant only single person’s rent allowance to a separated father of four could have significant implications for parents in similar situations. (emphasis added)

In a ruling delivered yesterday, Ms Justice Marie Baker found the department’s decision-making process when assessing the man’s application was flawed.

Its deciding officer applied the wrong legal test by assessing only the father’s accommodation needs without having any regard to the complexity of his family relationships,“the accommodation needs of the children when they are visiting their father” and the “intrinsic interconnectedness” of those needs with those of their father.”

(emphasis added)

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/court-says-children-should-be-factor-in-father-s-rent-allowance-1.1982594

 

Let me back track a little here, before we get into talking about the implications of this decision for Irish fathers. I wrote about this case back in May 2014. The short version is this. This man and his wife are separated, he has four children. He left the family home to relocate to Dublin in search of work. While he was unemployed he made his application for Rent Supplement, a state subsidy that allows people to pay for accommodation when they unable to do so out of their own resources. He also applied to his local housing authority, and was subsequently assessed and put on what is called the housing list.

Bear with me.

We now have two separate state bodies involved, the local authority deemed this man eligible for housing and assessed his housing need as being that of a parent with four children, which is what he is.

The Department of Social Protection on the other hand refused to acknowledge this and declared him to be a single person and therefore deemed him to be only eligible for a very much reduced rate of Rent Supplement – the rate of Rent Supplement for a single person in Dublin will allow you to rent a shed in somebody’s back garden, if you’re lucky.

While the local housing authority had deemed this man eligible for housing suitable for a parent with four children, the fact is that there is no local authority housing either available or being built, therefore he has no other option but to apply for Rent Supplement in order to provide suitable accommodation for himself and his four children.

The article I wrote back in May was based on this article in the Irish Independant by Tim Healy.

Mr. Heeley’s article echoes with almost unconscious contempt at the notion that this man should be accommodated on the State’s dime and referred to his children “visiting him” and this is reflected in the original decision by the Department of Social Protection’s dismissal of this man as a parent, and hinges on one factor and one factor only.

He was and is a father, and as such is deemed to be of less worth – as a parent.

Granted this is also a money saving exercise, after all, we are in the middle of a recession and who cares anyway if fathers who are unable to afford accommodation from their own resources are denied this State subsidy?

Fathers aren’t real parents – are they?

How do I know that Mr. Healy can barely disguise his contempt for this man? Look at the title of the article he wrote – look at how he characterises this man’s relationship to his children. His children “visit him”

In effect he is echoing the same disregard and dismissal for this man’s status as a parent that the Department of Social Protection did when they dismissed his application for Rent Supplement as a parent of four children, and insisted on him being categorised as “single”

“Single” is a particular way of describing someone – as in – not married – yet – the vast majority of “single” parents availing themselves of the One Parent Allowance are female and unmarried – Single – but are without question accepted as parents, and eligible for any and all State supports.

The default narrative of parenting that has been assiduously manufactured and nurtured by feminism, has been embraced by huge numbers of women, and has embedded itself into the cultural consciousness of most western states is that, fathers are irrelevant if not downright suspect, unnecessary to a child’s wellbeing and can be easily brushed aside and dismissed in favour of the real parents – mothers.

Ms Justice Marie Baker has now just thrown a spanner into the works; she has acknowledged the importance of fathers, as parents, to their children:

 

“Its deciding officer applied the wrong legal test by assessing only the father’s accommodation needs without having any regard to the complexity of his family relationships,“the accommodation needs of the children when they are visiting their father” and the “intrinsic interconnectedness” of those needs with those of their father.” (emphasis added)

 

But more tellingly she has punctured a concept that has bedevilled and exerted a punitive and malign influence on fathers who have found themselves caught up in family courts – that concept? The “primary carer’ one – where, to put it crudely, possession is nine tenths of the law, and the value of parenting is measured in first, the sex of the parent, and secondly in the hours/days/months that a child is in the “custody” of or if you prefer possession of that “primary carer”:

 

“She found given the joint custody arrangements the children could not be viewed as living primarily with one parent, or having one “primary” carer, as the department’s deciding officer had found. The needs of the children were more complex, had been assessed by their parents as involving joint custody, and could not be met in one location only, she said.” (emphasis added)

 

The judgement itself is not available yet, but before fathers rights activists get carried away, one point should be made. This judgement speaks to this man’s legal status, in effect it acknowledges his status as a parent but does not direct the Department of Social Protection to award this man Rent Supplement in any particular amount. The decision is much more subtle. What this decision does is reject the underlying assumptions about who is or isn’t a parent, and what criteria  are used to make that decision.

Those criteria are informed by even more underlying cultural artefacts, the most significant one being that fathers are only relevant in a subsidiary and secondary category, and cease to become parents officially unless there is a no “primary carer’ (a mother). What is significant also is that in applying the “best interests of the child” criteria in this way involves an acknowledgement that having their father in their lives is in the best interests of these children.

Rejecting the “primary carer” concept is a significant legal point. It is something to build on, a starting point, if you will, to reframe the parameters through which decisions are reached in custody disputes. Once you reject this notion that there is a primary or superior parent and a secondary or subsidiary parent, and embrace the concept that both parents are equally necessary and equally important in the lives of their children, then the emphasis shifts (hopefully) onto accommodating those children’s needs, rather than being swayed by an emphasis on the needs of one parent over another. Let us hope so.

Perhaps one of the most important aspect of this particular decision, not just for this father, but hopefully for all fathers in a wider context is that:

He is a parent in his own right. Legally. That is what this decision directs a state body to acknowledge, officially.

His solicitor Moya de Paor made these comments:

“This has been very distressing for him and for his children, who have also been denied their right to the care and support of their father,” she said.

“The judgment raises significant issues in relation to fathers’ rights as custodians of their children and, in particular, children’s rights to the care and support of their father.”

 

So, what could the wider implications be?

Well, try this on for size, the justification used for the payment of “maintenance” or child support from one parent (usually the father) to the other parent (usually the mother) is invariably the concept of the parent receiving that payment as the “primary carer”

If, one is lucky enough to be within a joint custody arrangement, then this judgement quite clearly rejects that concept and levels the playing field, so to speak, ergo – what justification is there now for awarding excessive unvouched payments, not related to specific child care/raising costs, when both parents have been deemed to be of equal status? Parentally speaking, that is.

 

Just a thought. 🙂

I will post the text of the judgement, if and when it becomes available.

 

Having said that because this case involves the Department of Social Protection and how it applies its criteria for payments two other issues arise.

In order to qualify for One Parent Family Payment one must:

have the main care and charge of at least one child who is residing with them

for person applying for One-Parent Family Payment after 1 January 2009, the person applying for One-Parent Family Payment must be a ‘qualified parent’. A ‘qualified parent’ means a widow, a widower, surviving civil partner, a separated spouse, a separated civil partner, an unmarried person, or a person whose spouse/civil partner has been committed in custody to a prison or place of detention for not less than 6 months, who is a parent, step-parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian of at least 1 qualified child, who normally resides with that person. (Section 13 of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 refers.”

 

http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/One-Parent-Family-Payment.aspx

This is the “primary carer” condition that Ms Justice Marie Baker just shot out of the water by rejecting this concept.

The second issue is this:

Separated/Divorced

For a person to qualify as a separated or divorced person or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved s/he must:

have been living apart from his/her spouse/civil partner for at least 3 months

have made and continue to make appropriate efforts to get maintenance from his/her spouse/civil partner where civil partner is the parent of the child/ren

(See Appendix 1 for what constitutes “efforts”)

See ” Liability to Maintain Family” guideline for more general information.

 

Unmarried

A person who is unmarried will be required to make efforts to seek maintenance in respect of the child/ren from the other parent of the child/ren. These efforts need not be made at the initial claim stage but continued entitlement to One-Parent Family Payment is conditional on efforts being made to seek maintenance from the other parent of the child/ren. This requirement is applicable to new claims received in the Department on or after 1 May 1997.

(See Appendix 2 for what constitutes “efforts”)

Maintenance

A person who claims One-Parent Family Payment is required to seek maintenance from her/his spouse /civil partner where civil partner is the parent of the child/ren or the other parent of the child. Maintenance payments are assessed as means. Vouched housing costs of up to €95.23 per week (rent or mortgage) may be offset against maintenance payments with half the balance of maintenance being assessed as means in establishing the rate of One-Parent Family Payment due.

 

This could become a huge problem, and it all hinges around this issue of being the “primary carer” particularly if the parents have been or are still legally married to one another. This judgement has in effect nullified the concept that one parent is the primary parent and ergo is entitled to be paid by the other parent for “taking care of” their children. Put rather simplistically, if both parents are deemed to have equal legal standing – then who claims maintenance from whom?

If you cannot claim maintenance, then you cannot qualify for OPFP, if you, like this man can prove that you are equally parenting your child/ren then you cannot fulfil the “primary carer” condition, and again under the current rules, cannot qualify for OPFP.

 

Complicated – isn’t it? Yet at the same time incredible simple.

 

What this judgement has the potential to do is rip to useless shreds the notion that women own their children by default automatically, and men pay.

Having said that, this particular case has no custody issues attaching to it, by all accounts, both the parents here are supportive of one another, but what it has done is expose a weakness in how parenting is seen officially, having relied on that “primary carer” concept to marginalise fathers and make them merely those who pay, or are pursued through the courts for payments to be made to the “primary carer”

 

Ms Justice Baker has rejected the concept of “primary carer” in a non family law case, concentrating solely on the legal status of this man as an equal parent, and more importantly directed this judgement at a State body – the Department of Social Protection – which insists on one parent pursuing the other parent for “maintenance” and insists on an archaic and discriminatory concept “primary carer” in order that a person can qualify for a particular State payment.But, it also impacts on how other State payments are administered, in particular OPFP.

 

This is going to be interesting – and already I can hear feminists and “womens rights” advocates gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair out while they try to untangle this and come up with a counter argument that maintains the status quo.

 

Happy Fathers’ Day “Da”

 

Yesterday was Fathers’ Day here in Ireland, as it was in many other countries – I didn’t know that, my own father died when I 16 years, I am now 52 years old.

I don’t actually recall ever “celebrating” Fathers Day, but I do remember my father, I remember how he taught me to play chess, how he taught me to think, to question, to challenge ideas and assumptions.

I remember he was always there, I remember his love of books and reading and I remember many other things. Were there conflicts? Oh yes – if there was one thing I definitely inherited from my father it was a determination to “stand my ground” to fight for what I believed in, to refuse to be swayed by “popular” opinion.

THATS what I inherited from father – and for that I will always be grateful, always honour his memory and always remember that I am who I am because of my parents, both my mother and my father.

I know who I am because I knew and had my parents in my life, both of them, my father for such a short time. To this very day I know without a shadow of a doubt that my father would be 100% standing beside me in this path I have taken, I know he would be enraged and incensed at the injustices and the calumnies visited upon many many fathers today.

I am one of the lucky ones, I had my father in my life, and at a time when the vile ideology of feminism was struggling to take root here in Ireland.

This also I know – he had no time for “women’s libbers” as they were called way back when, nor did my mother for that matter. That would have been the general consensus of opinion when I was growing up, these women we saw on the news, ranting and raving and talking shoite were middle class, privileged fools with nothing better to do with their time than make fools of themselves, talking out their arses.

I did ask him once “what does women’s lib mean”? I was about 11 or 12 years old.

His answer – “you don’t need to be liberated, you are already free”

In fact, at the time I grew up, in the 1960’s and 1970’s all those men like my father, my uncles, my friends fathers would have been according to feminist ideology part of “the patriarchy” that vast global conspiracy of all men oppressing all women – everywhere.

These men, all these men worked, some like my father worked themselves to death FOR their families, morning, noon and night, for shit wages, in shit conditions, barely surviving from one week to another. They worked because they had no choice, they worked because they had responsibilities, they worked because THAT was what you did. If you were a man in Ireland, in the 1960’s and 1970’s. You worked or you starved, and your family starved, your children starved.

My father also did something else, he became involved in politics, he started to fight back against the real oppression, the real issues, the real injustices – and he didn’t do it because he wanted power – he did it because he couldn’t do anything else, because all around him he saw that injustice, he saw that oppression and it was visited upon everybody.

So, when I hear ignorant, ill-informed and snivelling feminists whine about “the patriarchy” about “oppression” and all the other shoite that spews out of the mouths and keyboards of these morons – I know – you are all talking out of your arses – that’s my father you’re talking about, my uncles, my friends fathers, and you are full of shit.

So, it was that I came to read this article, “Lack of justice for fathers one of biggest scandals of our time” by Lorraine Courtney Published 16/06/2014 [1]

I was pointed to it by Joe Egan of:

Fathers Rights Ireland [2]

Platform for European Fathers (PEF) [3]

See also facebook. [4]

While I welcome the main thrust of the article, several things made me grit my teeth in frustration, and I was almost tempted to decline Joe’s request to reblog or repost it. But then I realised – baby, bathwater.

Ms. Courtney makes some valid points, most notably in her opening paragraph.

“Friday Fathers’ Rights Ireland held a public stunt outside the Four Courts where they used a medieval pillory to symbolise the legal torture dads can be put through when relationships with their children’s mother turn sour. Here in Ireland, a father needs to be married in order to get automatic guardianship of his children. When a couple isn’t married, the mother remains the sole legal guardian until the father looks for guardianship.”

Torture is a good word to use, because that is what happens, legalised torture – of men – of fathers – what she fails to mention here is the toxic influence of feminism that has deliberately and purposely created both the circumstances and the attitudes that allow this torture to prevail. I object completely to the use of the word “stunt” a legitimate protest is NOT a “stunt”

“However, if the mother objects to this, the father must apply to his local district court to be made a guardian.It’s an all too common scenario now since 33pc of all children born in Ireland are to unmarried parents.Married men are entitled to guardianship of their kids but this can all change horribly when marriages fall apart.A father might believe he has rights but then can find that he’s expendable and faced with a horrendous and expensive legal battle on separation. A father has to fight bitterly to get what is automatically awarded to mothers.”

Her next paragraph touches on something pertinent – she says “A father might believe he has rights but then can find that he’s expendable and faced with a horrendous and expensive legal battle on separation

Actually a father does have rights – a married father that is – that is not the issue – the issue is that those rights are almost casually ignored, brushed aside, swept away – what is happening is that men and fathers rights have now been relegated to barely second place – if even that – this is not a case of not having rights, this is a system that has evolved, that functions to deny to violate and to abuse those rights. If you are a father and you do not happen to have been married to the mother of your child or children then yes – rights – are not something you can invoke.

Because this is a system that has been infected by a poisonous doctrine, an ideology based in hatred of men, founded on hatred of men, fed by hatred of men, and in particular by men who are fathers.

“And if he doesn’t have the cash, he doesn’t get to see his children. But even fathers who can afford it are stripped of their assets by costly legal battles and then might be told that they can’t have their child to stay overnight because their humble bedsit isn’t suitable.

In more unpleasant separations, a man might be falsely accused of all kinds of physical or sexual violence so that the court case drags on unnecessarily while this is investigated.Just take a look at the many fathers’ rights websites and you’ll soon see that men today tend to be victims of an unjust system that benefits the mum as opposed to the dad when it comes to children.

In fact, judging by messages left on the websites, false allegations are rampant and our court system separates too many innocent fathers from children”

She now touches on something here that is not only rampant, but is actively encouraged – Parental Alienation – even when the mothers – and it is mostly women who perpetrate this vile behaviour are not feminists – just nasty toxic individuals – it is feminism that has allowed these kinds of disgusting behaviour to proliferate – who have actively and deliberately engineered ancillary services to foster the breeding grounds that feed this toxic behaviour, in particular the infestation of feminists into social work.

In fact the American organisation NOW (National Organisation of Women) [5] the largest and loudest feminist organisation in the world and one of the first established after the so called second wave of feminism got going in the late 1960’s early 1970’s recently issued a statement [6] calling for Parental Alienation Disorder (as it is called here) to not be recognised.

In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, SEE.

[7] The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children; Every child has a fundamental need for love and protection. Published on April 25, 2013 by Edward Kruk, Ph.D. in Co-Parenting After Divorce

[8] Parental Alienation: Southern England Psychological Services

[9] Karen Woodall

[10] Parental Alienation page.

Feminists would rather allow children to suffer than to admit that women are just as capable, and in some cases more so of being total and utter arseholes just as some men are – to do so would undermine every single tenet of feminism, every single one, including the very basis upon which all feminist “theory” rests – men bad – women good.

“Family law researcher Roisin O’Shea observed 493 judicial separation and divorce cases in 2010 which are ordinarily held in private.She didn’t find a single case where the wife was ordered to pay maintenance for children or a spouse and had only seen the courts order joint custody in two cases.

Tina Rayburn, co-author of ‘I Want to See My Kids! A Guide for Dads Who Want Contact with Their Children After Separation’, writes: “Until people acknowledge the current system is flawed and has an overriding female bias, it will be difficult to see anything changing.

There are two core problems. I don’t think the courts recognise a child can live happily in two homes and they are loath to take a child away from its mother. There is still a perception that these guys have done something wrong and they don’t deserve to see their children.

“It seems that both women and men are more comfortable aligning themselves with campaigns to help the sisterhood, whereas nobody wants to be seen siding with the brotherhood”

The two bolded parts are the pertinent points – the system is flawed and the cause is ignorance, misinformation and a blind allegiance to myths peddled by toxic ideologues. The second point is about attitudes – social and cultural attitudes – again fostered and promulgated by toxic ideologues – and it must be said embraced with alacrity by some women, who while they themselves may not identify as feminists – this toxic paradigm gives them permission to manifest without any consequences the vilest, most reprehensible behaviour imaginable.

“Over the past few decades we have quite rightly been tackling issues like making sure that women have an adequate income after separation and patriarchal abuses like domestic violence. But doesn’t it seem like the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction?”

And this is where I gritted my teeth – the second point first – DV is NOT, has never been a manifestation of “patriarchal abuses” bearing in mind that DV is almost equally perpetrated by women and men – and up to 50% if not more is mutual. In fact in instances where DV or IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) is unidirectional (perpetrated by one person upon another) it is MORE likely that the abuser is female.

See the PASK (Partner Abuse State of Knowledge) [11] and see [12] for an analysis.

“To be clear, what PASK reveals is that the claims of the domestic violence establishment are wrong and have been from the start. That establishment that receives such largess from governments and private sources has been revealed once and for all to be intellectually bankrupt.”

“Section Two: Rates of Male and Female Perpetration. The authors studying data in this area analyzed 111 separate data sets comprising about 250,000 subjects. They found that about 25% of those subjects reported perpetrating physical violence against a current partner or one in their last relationship. That represented 28.3% of women and 21.6% of men who perpetrated violence against an intimate partner. Subjects came from across the industrialized, English-speaking world.”

“Section Three: Rates of Bi-Directional and Uni-Directional IPV. In this area, 50 separate studies that recorded rates of bi-directional versus uni-directional violence were analyzed. Researchers found that, in the largest samples studied, among couples reporting domestic violence, 57.9% reported reciprocal or bi-directional violence with the remainder, 42.1% reporting uni-directional violence. In the uni-directional group, women were over twice as likely (28.3%) to perpetrate violence as were men (13.8%).”

“Smaller samples revealed similar rates of bi-directional violence but community surveys showed 22.9% of women versus 17.5% of men perpetrating uni-directional violence. Among subjects in high school and college, 31.9% of women perpetrated uni-directional violence versus 16.2% of men.”

“Only in the sample of U.S. military personnel and “at-risk” males did men’s (43.4%) uni-directional violence rates outstrip those of women (17.3%).” [12]

Similiar results were found by Kieron McKeown and Phillipa Kidd in 2002 in Ireland – [13]

Men and Domestic Violence: What Research Tells Us by Kieran McKeown & Philippa Kidd

Kieran McKeown Limited, Social & Economic Research Consultants, Report to the Department of Health & Children March 2002

“With the exception of sexual violence which is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women, the results of these studies are fairly consistent in showing that, in approximately half of all intimate relationships where domestic violence occurred in the last year, both partners were mutually violent, with the remainder divided fairly equally between male -only violence and female-only violence.

As a result, the self-reported prevalence of domestic violence among men and women, both as victims and as perpetrators, is broadly similar for physical and psychological violence, both minor and severe. In addition, both men and women are about equally likely to initiate domestic violence and seem to give broadly similar reasons for doing so.” [13]

NB – A caveat regarding the McKeown/Kidd Report – while I agree in substance with the overall results of this report I do not agree with all the conclusions and interpretations that are contained within this report – in particular with the opening sentence of this paragraph and with this concluding section of the same paragraph.

“However it needs to be emphasised that the outcomes of domestic violence in terms of physical and psychological injuries tend to be considerably more negative for women victims than for men victims.”

This is simply wrong – and is once more a manifestation of the “men don’t really suffer” paradigm – this is wrong – it de-humanises men, it fails to recognise that men are human beings and human beings, whatever sex they are – suffer.

“These findings indicate that the existing consensus on this issue does not fully reflect the reality of violence between men and women in intimate relationships. The converse of these findings also needs to be emphasised: the vast majority of men and women are not violent to each other in intimate relationships. A key implication of these findings is that domestic violence is not a women’s issue or a men’s issue but a relationships issue.”

What is also worth emphasising is that domestic violence and abuse has sod all to do with a mythical patriarchy.

The first point is so beyond ridiculous that I sincerely doubt that Ms. Courtney even realises what she just wrote – and I am only conceding that point because in the main her article is a pretty good one.

Here’s the problem – why pray tell is it only important that “women have an adequate income after separation”? let me guess – men have no need for shelter, for food, for clothing, for medical care, men have no need for heat, for transport, for any of the necessities of life?

Would that be because they can call upon this vast global patriarchal conspiracy? Except there is NO patriarchy – there is NO conspiracy – it is a lie.

It is a lie told by feminists – because men are deemed NOT human beings – NOT even worth considering where they will l.ive, how they will live or even that they deserve to live – after all – men are not human beings – are they? Ms Courtney continues.

“Meanwhile, the father’s rights movement continues to be politically marginalised. But women aren’t the only “natural” caregivers and men can and should play an equal role in raising their children. The horrible injustices suffered by many dads and their children go by without as much as a whisper.The lack of justice for fathers is one of the biggest social scandals of our time.We have a legal system that is utterly out of touch with the way we live now in a world where dads change nappies, push buggies and spend hours cuddling their children in exactly the same way that good mothers do

She is right and wrong here – the fathers rights movement and the men’s rights movement may be as she says “politically marginalisednow – but that is changing – and will change – because after 40 + years of this shit – many many men have had enough – had enough of listening to feminists and women whining, shrieking and demanding more and more resources, more and more on the sole basis that they are female.

Alongside those men are other women – like me – who are not willing to stand by and allow these wretches, these toxic vile creatures to claim they speak for or on behalf of ALL women.

Wrong because she has made the rather lame point that this is somehow to do with changing nappies (diapers), pushing buggies (strollers) and “spending hours cuddling their children in exactly the same way that good mothers do

This is about the Human Rights of both fathers AND children – my father didn’t change nappies, and I doubt he ever (though I could be wrong) pushed a buggy – but he showed his love in the only way he could have – he showed his children every day how much he cared – he worked, he worked himself to death.

When I was about ten – I decided I wanted to be a writer and I was going to write plays – I told my “Da” know what he did?

He built me a tiny little “theatre” in the back garden – with a stage – and my mother made the curtains – took him two weekends, after working all week, he even made the benches for the “audience”(God help them) to sit on, and he sat on those benches cheering and clapping when my first “play” was performed.

I couldn’t tell you what this “play” was about – probably pirates – I had a big dream of being a pirate – but what I do remember is handing him nails, bits of scrap wood, of him explaining why this bit of wood went here and that bit went there – and I remember he did it – his child had made a wish – and he made it come true.

THAT’S what a father does.

 

 

References

 

[1] Lack of justice for fathers one of biggest scandals of our time http://www.independent.ie/opinion/lack-of-justice-for-fathers-one-of-biggest-scandals-of-our-time-30356806.html

[2] Fathers Rights Ireland http://www.slideshare.net/joseph-a-egan

[3] Platform for European Fathers (PEF) http://europeanfathers.wordpress.com/

[4] https://www.facebook.com/JosephAEganAthlone

[5] NOW http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Organization_for_Women

[6] http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/family/pad.html

[7] The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children; Every child has a fundamental need for love and protection. Published on April 25, 2013 by Edward Kruk, Ph.D. in Co-Parenting After Divorce

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201304/the-impact-parental-alienation-children

[8] Parental Alienation: Southern England Psychological Services – http://www.parental-alienation.info/

[9] Karen Woodall – http://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/

[10] Parental Alienation page. – http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/pe02000.htm

[11] PASK http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org/

[12] https://nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/20971-partner-abuse-state-of-knowledge-project-the-gold-standard-of-domestic-violence-information

[13] Men and Domestic Violence: What Research Tells Us by Kieran McKeown & Philippa Kid – Kieran McKeown Limited, Social & Economic Research Consultants, Report to the Department of Health & Children March 2002 – http://www.amen.ie/Downloads/mdv2.pdf

 

Money Makes the World Go Round………Not Ideology….Feminism is Just Along for the Ride

 

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

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/separated-dad-wants-state-to-pay-for-house-big-enough-for-visiting-children-30309135.html

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.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/rents-continue-to-rise-especially-in-dublin-258278.html

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 €1,210up 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.

http://www.welfare.ie/en/pressoffice/pdf/Revised%20rent%20limits%20June%202013.pdf

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.”

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/social-housing-waiting-lists-indicate-that-new-phase-of-construction-is-now-needed-1.1648604

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?

MONEY!

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.

 http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

 

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.

 http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/saveselections.asp

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.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/965m-annual-pensions-bill-for-former-ministers-213448.html

“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.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlwhelan/2013/06/28/the-anglo-tapes-the-guarantee-and-irelands-economic-crisis/

 http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/29/bank-j29.html

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?

 

Who Owns Ya?

 

It’s a particularly Irish expression – and it relates to children. Usually said if a child has been caught “up to no good” and sure what child hasn’t been?

But, when an adult did, or in some case still does, catch one of these little rascals  in the act – the first thing they want to know is “who owns ya” generally followed by “ya lttle skelp”” because parents are ultimately responsible for what their children get up too.

Now, the concept of “ownership” in relation to children in this instance isn’t the same as ownership of inanimate property, or wasn’t, but as I said above, a concept whereby parents were responsible for what their children got up too, when out and about, or out of sight of their parents beady eyes.

All that has changed – because of feminism – in the 21st century women OWN their children – exclusively, with men in some instances being reduced to being merely unwitting sperm donors.  Though of course, the cost of maintaining this “property” rests solely on the shoulders of these unfortunate, and as I said, possibly deceived men – on the shoulders exclusively of Fathers. And The State.

Because now, the word Father, rather being something that evokes honourable men, working to support, parent and care for their children out of love for them – has, through the machinations of feminists become a dirty word, a word spoken with contempt and derision, a word that evokes only one thought – “how much can I make him pay?

Through the malign influence of feminism, women whether feminists or not, have manufactured the most ridiculous myths and fables, created and spewed the most exaggerated and hyperbolic rhetoric about “the miracle of childbirth” and the “Myth of Motherhood

Have made an normal and natural biological event that almost every single mammal on this planet does, into some kind of iconic action invested with magical properties, has made being the female parent of a human child, some kind of mystical and cosmically significant activity, all the while reducing the male parent of a human child to an insignificant donor of some “genetic material”

All so that women could do the exact opposite of what they usually claim are their motives for their sometimes vicious campaigns of Parental Alienation against the Father (s) of these children.

“I’m doing it for the children” or “it’s for their own good” or “he doesn’t deserve MY children”

See, here, here, here and here  and go here.

Really? Is that so? Actually to all you women who use any of the above, or any variation of the above, BULLSHIT – you’re doing what you are doing because you are a 24 carat, Grade A Bitch, a malicious, nasty, disgusting and miserable example of a human being.

You are being a total and utter C**T!

Anyone who reads this and knows some female like this, or who is doing this, you are enabling, endorsing and giving your approval to a total and utter C**T – and no – I don’t care if she’s your sister, your friend, your aunt or any female that you include in your family or social circle.

She is a C**T and you are collaborating with this C**T

Further, if you know the father of these children and in your opinion he’s a bit of arsehole – SO WHAT? What does YOUR opinion matter? NOT ONE LITTLE BIT – because I’ll tell whose opinion matters here.

HIS CHILDREN’S – not yours, not hers, not your families, not your friends – nobodies but those children’s.

And no, not what SHE says the children “really feel” – because she has manipulated, intimidated, pressured and emotionally blackmailed those children into rejecting their Father’s – because she is a C**T.

End of.

You know what this is about? Not about mothers rights or to some extent Fathers Rights – but a child’s RIGHT – as an autonomous little human being to the care, companionship and love of BOTH his/her PARENTS – not as a concession granted by one reluctant parent to another, NOT access, NOT contact, NOT as a battle to be fought in a Family Court infested and infected with the slimy and fraudulent evil whisperings and lies of feminists.

Any woman who deprives the child or children she created WITH the man, or in some cases men, of that child or children’s RIGHT to be parented by BOTH his/her parents EQUALLY

IS A C**T

May you rot in hell you evil, nasty, vicious bitches, may you not know a single day of real happiness or contentment, and may those children you abused – yes abused – learn of what you did – and hate your guts – leave you to fester in malignant old age, alone and muttering to yourself:

“I did it for the children”

For those who KNOW this is going on – who KNOW one of these C**T’s and again I repeat, so what if she is your sister, your friend – whatever – YOU are collaborating with a C**T  who is abusing those children.

Endorsing, giving approval to, giving the nod to, turning a blind to, and pretending you don’t see – children being abused!

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

SPEAK UP!

To all those women smugly making the lives of the father (s) a living hell on earth – no matter how young that child or children is or are, they will remember, they are recording and storing in their memories, everything you did, every lie you told, every vicious act you perpetrated, they might not be able to process it yet, they might not even understand what is going on – but they WILL – one day – and they WILL judge you – and there is no harsher judge of a parent than a child who learns the truth about that parent.

Even if they don’t, even if you manage to totally brainwash them, you are and always will be nothing but a total and utter C**T.

Till the day you die.

 

© Anja Eriud 2014

“The Pursuit of Happyness”

 

No, it isn’t a typo or a misspelling – it is the title of a book, and a film based on the book, The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner.  But yes, it also a concept, and one that is enshrined in the Constitution of The United States of America.

Pursuing, and having the Right to pursue happiness.

With an apology to my American readers, I have always found this a bit problematic, making the pursuit of something that defies definition a Right – because as we all know – what makes someone happy is a particularly unique and individual thing.

“One’s man’s feast is another’s man’s famine.”

An example, when it is not raining or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, I like to sit on my back door step, and watch the sun go down, I live in the country, and I am surrounded by fields and trees, this particular spot gives me a view of nothing but trees with the setting sun shimmering through the leaves. It is a great place to sit and think.  For me this is sheer contentment, peace and stillness – it is happiness.

For others, it would be incomprehensible, just sitting there, doing nothing, looking at trees! Boooooooooooring!  

From my perspective, I’m not doing nothing, I am doing something, thinking, being still, watching the sun go down on another day.  In fact, if I have spent the day “doing something” or a whole lot of “something’s” – sitting on that step and “doing nothing” is what I look forward to doing. In essence my pursuit of happiness leads to a doorstep.

The story of Chris Gardner is the story of a man, his son, and how he overcame what where significant challenges, troubles and a lot of pain to get to a place where he could be happy. On one level it is the story of pursuing happiness, but it is also the story of a man whose pursuit of happiness caused him pain, was difficult, challenged him and plunged him into the depths of despair. It is also the story of a father and his son.

For Chris, happiness was having a job, having a home for himself and his son, feeling safe, being safe, keeping his son safe. It is a remarkable story, a story of a man who set his goal, then worked to reach that goal. Will Smith who portrays Chris in the film, and with his own son Jaden playing the part of Chris’s son,  called Christopher (an adorable and engaging little boy – the type of child what we here in Ireland would say about – “I could just run away with that child”) does an incredible job of acting.

The iconic scene is when after working as an intern in Dean, Witter, Reynolds in San Francisco, for no salary for six months he is called into the boardroom and told, in an especially charming way that out of 20 potential candidates for just the one job on offer, he has got it.

He is told to “wear a shirt tomorrow” as rather than this being his last day, tomorrow will be his first day.

If you do watch the film, pay attention to how Will Smith portrays receiving the news, on the surface he says all the right things, he thanks them, he acts with incredible dignity, but in his eyes, on his face, one see’s the emotion, the gratitude, the joy and happiness and relief of a man who has struggled, who has persevered, who has suffered pain. Did I get a lump in my throat?  Of course I did.

Oddly, even though I knew that Chris Gardner reached his goal, watching his struggles, I found myself wishing, hoping and praying – please let him get the job – please let him get the job – daft, I know.

By the way, I do realise that the film presents this story in a particular way, that poetic licence is taken with some aspects of the actual events that transpired.  Having said that, the story is grounded IN actual events, in one man’s reality – as a story or as a film presentation of a story it is a remarkable and inspiring one.

Which brings us to this – theHappiness Survey.

To summarise, women in general are miserable, unhappy, discontented – which is odd when you consider that women in general (and yes I know I’m generalising) have very few “things” that they have to struggle to achieve, to get, to obtain – they are given preferential treatment in school, in applying to college and in gaining  employment.

In one scene of the film, Chris tries to get a place to sleep for himself and his son in a shelter, but is told that they only “take women” ironically he is told they will “take his son in” but not him. So, even when women, in general, find themselves in dire straits – and being homeless with a child is probably the direst of all dire straits – they (women) find refuge, are offered help and assistance – a place to sleep.

Still, women all over the western world are unhappy, and are apparently pissed off about it, because “being happy” has been embedded in the consciousness of women as a Right – they are entitled to be happy – not being happy is an infringement of their “Rights

Chris makes a point about this – this Right to be happy – but rather than taking it a Right to BE happy – he gets the nuance – it is the Right to PURSUE happiness – to be free to achieve happiness by your own efforts. What he defines as “happyness” what will allow him to reach a place of being happy – is centred around being able to provide for himself and his son – a roof over their heads, being safe, being together.

What he never does, is whine, is demand, is expect any of this to be handed to him on a plate – he expects to have to work for it, he knows that it will be down to his efforts, his determination to not give up, his struggle, and he does have to struggle.

The film does not sugar coat this remarkable journey, nor does it shrink from showing that Chris is human, he despairs, he rails against the situation he finds himself in, he loses his temper, with his son, but then almost immediately apologises to the child, and says something to the boy that resonates.

“don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can’t do, not even me!”

Contained in this message, this lesson to his son is another message, another lesson – that what you want to do requires that YOU do it – you work for it – YOU decide how to achieve it. Considering that every step of the way of Chris Snr’s journey, Christopher Jr is alongside, this boy, this child had seen, and was seeing, firsthand how his father struggled, how his father overcame and worked his way to where he wanted to go – it was not just words, it was a message, a lesson that they were living, that this little boy was learning alongside his father.

Almost all writings by women on how women can and should be happy take it from this position – what do women want? What do women need to be happy? What needs to change for women to be happy?

I have never seen a single piece of writing, nor have I ever heard a woman articulate this.  But am willing to be corrected on this – but bear in mind – I read – I read A LOT.

What do I need to DO, what steps to I need to take, how can I WORK towards, by my own efforts a state of happiness?

Happiness is deemed to be something that is bestowed upon one – as a Right – it is an entitlement – it is something that emanates from outside oneself – it is an external “thing” that is given to one. But most of all, it is something that you own, you should own, and it is something that should benefit ONLY you.

Back to the Doorstep.

When I sit on that doorstep, I am content, at peace – not all the time – it is a feeling of stillness, of being alone with my thoughts and of watching the sun go down. Of putting myself into context with the wider world – I am one lone human being in a world of human beings living on a planet – watching the sun go down reminds me that I am not the world, never mind the universe. What I do when I’m not sitting on that doorstep dictates whether or not the next time I sit there and watch the sun go down I will or won’t be in a state of happiness, or contentment or a bit stressed, tired, irritated, sad, angry – whatever.

Only what I do or don’t do will determine whether my “Pursuit of Happyness” ends in reaching that goal or not – so, for all those women bewailing not “being happy” what are you DOING to achieve that state of happiness you want, but more importantly what are YOU doing that has you stuck in that state of unhappiness?

To conclude, Chris Gardner achieved what can only be called the very heights of success, material success, it would be understandable if he “rested on his laurels” and enjoyed the easy and privileged life he had managed by his own efforts to obtain – so what happened next?

“As a single parent for 25 years, Gardner has demonstrated his concern for the well-being of children through his work with and on behalf of organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Education Association Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. Gardner is still very committed to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco; where he and his son received assistance in the early 1980’s”

 

© Anja Eriud 2014

 

Note: I was a bit concerned about The Fatherhood Initiative programme that Chris Gardner was cited as a board member of, so I tried to access its webpage, to no avail. Wikipedia was the path I had to take, from here, I was led to here and finally to here.

Was it disappointing? Yes, it was, the emphasis appears to be on re-engaging “absent fathers” with their children, but does not address the core issues that lead to fathers being absent, or rather being forced to be absent from their children’s lives. Does it change my admiration for the remarkable achievement of Chris Gardner? Not at all, but it has confirmed that even though organisations like this one Fatherhood.org  might believe they are doing something positive and worthwhile for and on behalf of fathers, they have only half the story, they are operating on the basis of false information. It is incumbent upon all of us who consider ourselves to be Men’s Human Rights Activists to correct those errors, in knowledge, in attitude, in belief.

To that end, I will go through every resource listed on this site, and when done I will write to them and lay out those errors. I invite anyone who believes that this is an important and necessary task to do likewise.

Will it make a difference? Maybe, maybe not. But we must try, we must at least offer them and other such organisations an alternative perspective.

Anja.

 

 

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