Insult To Injury To More Insult

A few years back, in response to the “epidemic” of “deadbeat dads”, a slew of government agencies embarked on a raft of programs to teach fathers “how to be responsible” as parents. The goal? Well, no, it wasn’t some warm ‘n fuzzy desire to make sure every kid grew up with warm memories of Dad.

No, it was to make sure that guys – even though they were and are discriminated against in custody trials, and subject to being “guilty until proven innocent” by the domestic abuse industry, even though it’s a known fact that as many as 50% of domestic abuse allegations brought during divorce proceedings are false – were both able and motivated (or just shamed) into keeping up their child support payments. Especially those owed to various county government bodies from whom their childrens’ mothers were receiving welfare payments, naturally.

Prejudicial? Sure. Degrading to most men, especially men who are non-custodial parents, the vast majority of whom work their asses off to do what they can (and what their childrens’ mothers will allow, in the worst cases) for their kids? Absolutely.

But there’s money involved. So the pants-wetting class among the professional feminist movement is getting involved, wanting women to get a piece of the action.

It’s called the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, and the Bush administration doles out up to $50 million annually to fund its programs to build job skills and help fathers connect better with their children. But the National Organization for Women says the effort is illegal because it’s only about men.

NOW and Legal Momentum, another advocacy group, filed complaints yesterday with the Department of Health and Human Services alleging sex discrimination in the initiative that is funding about 100 programs this year.

Cute.

Are NOW and “Legal Momentum” moving to reduce some of the abject discrimination against men in family court? Trying, perhaps, to remove the punitive aspects of child support enforcement? Maybe even moving to enact Presumption of Joint Physical Custody legislation nationwide, so that parenting rather than finances drive family court settlements?

Har di har har.

The complaints cite 34 programs, including one run by the District and two others in the Washington area, that, they say, do not offer the services to women. That, the groups say, violates Title IX, the law that prevents sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and is best known for forcing universities to offer comparable sports programs for men and women.

“What we’re asking them to do is to make sure that the grantees provide equal services to women and men,” said Kathy Rodgers, president of Legal Momentum. “It should be a parenthood initiative.”

Yeah, I’m sure a lot of women – who win 90% of custody cases in “winner takes all” states, and who are the recipients of the vast preponderance of “child support” payments, will be lining up to get into programs that scold and cajole men parents to step up to their obligations.

Oh, wait – maybe they just want the money!

Another group under fire is the Latin American Youth Center in the District, which got a $250,000 annual grant to provide 30 young fathers a year with job training, language classes and parenting skills. But women can enroll, too, said Lori Kaplan, the executive director.

“It doesn’t mean that anywhere along the line our moms are getting excluded,” she said.

The big difference, of course, is that welfare pretty much does exclude able-bodied men who have children who don’t live with them. Much of welfare, today, is indeed targeted at single mothers – women who become single parents either because the system:

  • subsidizes illegitimate parenthood
  • forces men out of the family before the family can get welfare
  • grants, almost exclusively, full custody to women who are frequently unable to support families on their own – and then subsidizes their lifestyle (and administers the fathers’ child support payments).

I didn’t see NOW complaining about that.

Let me know if I missed something.

4 thoughts on “Insult To Injury To More Insult

  1. Thank you for making these excellent points and particularly the one about men being forced out of the home BEFORE families can collect welfare. Thats true of alot of “help” organizations for families and children. In particular, if the man has other child support obligations and his takehome pay is seriously reduced, his gross income is still counted in figuring household income which knocks out restructured families from receiving any assistance because it puts them over the top of a ridiculously low monthy income cap.

    For all of the people who would snark about 20/20 hindsight, I would remind them that when you are in a bad situation, weighing the potential child support issue is not always a choice – in other words, those poor helpless women have quite a lot to do with the decision. Including “visitation”. All a woman has to do is tell someone in government that a guy has behaved badly and visitation becomes a major hurdle. Not to mention that she probably won’t say anything about the million times she was puking from partying too hard the night before to get the kids off to school in the morning.
    The reality is of course, that you can’t lump women into a catagory like that. Unfortunately, it IS the situation for men.
    And what of the men who pay child support but what they earn doesn’t meet the monthly amount figured by grandiose ideas of what a man “could” earn by the county? Their credit is ruined and now that employers look at credit reports in the process of considering a candidate for a job, it makes it tough to find those good jobs where they could make better money.
    When we were kids, we were taught that all policemen were good etc., and we saw eventually that some weren’t. But that was happening “somewhere else” and to “someone else”. When you are treated badly by a cop, it can be traumatic. It’s called an “inconvenient fact”. Society resists what they already know about how men are treated by the law and ignores logic and “inconvenient facts” because – and this is for you snarkers – until it happens to you, you will always tell someone how it “should have” been. How everyone “should have” handled a situation.
    It’s not reality AND the attitudes are hurting the ones who its supposed to benefit the most – the KIDS.
    I say, go ahead and let them go through with this program. And for that matter, let women sign up if they want to and participate. BUT, they had better also adjust the law so that when these fathers DO “learn” something, they actually get to BE fathers and actively participate in their kids lives.
    Money is always a factor…yeah, mediation….right…HAAAAAAAAA We need the laws adjusted. Period.

  2. Okay…let me see if I’ve got this right: WOMEN from NOW and Legal Momentum are going to teach men how to be fathers…and better fathers.
    Got it.

  3. Oh, and another point: I moved a year ago and needed to get a new divers license. I was asked for SS#. I asked why? They needed to trace deadbeat dads. I’m not married. Never have been. No children. So, to appease a whiny constituency I have my SS# attached to my DL#. And these are the two Golden Numbers any ID thief, terrorist or the like covets to posses a new identity.
    And as Jason asked last night, where is the state interest in deadbeat parents? The answer: there is none.
    So, I’m vulnerable to ID theft to make some hairy legged lobbying group happy that at least “they tried to do something”. No thought to consequences, just the morally arrogant attempt to do something.

  4. Amendment X –
    There IS a state interest in deadbeat parents. Money. It’s not well known but they do get a cut and it comes through the Feds. If you are really interested I’ll get more details. It’s not something that they really make known but the information is there for anyone to see.

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