men, masculinities and gender politics

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Fathering

Five Questions on Profeminist Fatherhood

Last year, Australian feminist blogger Blue Milk posted "10 questions on feminist motherhood," which a range of mom bloggers have tackled.

I wondered: Could profeminist fathers adapt these questions for themselves? If yes, would it be productive, for them and for everyone else? And I thought: Why not give it a try and see what happens?

The use of violence by fathers’ rights activists: A compilation of news reports

The following is a compilation of examples of bomb threats, other forms of abuse or harassment, actual bombings, and other criminal behaviour (such as planned kidnapping) committed largely in the UK but also in Australia, by fathers’ right activists. It also includes some cases where fathers’ rights activists have convictions for domestic violence, although it concentrates on the use of bomb threats and other forms of public violence. These news reports demonstrate that fathers’ rights groups have used tactics of intimidation and violence, such incidents are well documented, they are being used now rather than only in the past, and at times they have resulted in injuries or deaths.

Questioning manhood - A review of Steve Biddulph's book Manhood

Australian author Stephen Biddulph has written a best-selling book about men but Gerry Orkin believes that Manhood misses the mark.

Fact Sheet #1: The myth of false accusations of child abuse

March 2005

Myth: Women routinely make false accusations of child abuse or domestic violence to gain advantage in family law proceedings and to arbitrarily deny their ex-partners’ access to the children.

Facts: Allegations of child abuse are rare. False allegations are rare; False allegations are made by fathers and mothers at equal rates; The child abuse often takes place in families where there is also domestic violence; Allegations of child abuse rarely result in the denial of parental contact.

Fact Sheet #3: How the fathers’ rights movement undermines the protections available to victims of violence and protects the perpetrators of violence

August 2005

Fathers’ rights groups have attempted to: Wind back the legal protections available to victims of violence; Wind back the legal sanctions imposed on perpetrators of violence.

While fathers’ rights groups often claim to speak on behalf of male victims of domestic violence, these efforts undermine the policies and services that would protect and gain justice for these same men.

Fathers’ rights advocates also: Make excuses for perpetrators; Act as direct advocates for perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of violence against women; Use abusive strategies themselves; Work to undermine and harass the services and institutions that work with the victims and survivors of violence.

Fathers' Rights and Family Law

The fathers’ rights movement is defined by the claim that fathers are deprived of their ‘rights’ and subjected to systematic discrimination as men and fathers, in a system biased towards women and dominated by feminists. Michael Flood provides a critical assessment of the impact of fathers' rights groups on family law and their claims regarding violence.

Backlash: Angry men's movements

Men have responded in complex and contradictory ways to the profound changes of the last three decades, changes set in motion by the women’s movements, changes in family organisation, economic and social shifts and other forces. Small numbers of men have responded by mobilising in support of feminist goals, changing their own behaviour and working with women to shift gender relations in progressive directions. Yet other men have mobilised in opposition to feminism and the changes in gender with which it is associated, forming “men’s rights” and “fathers’ rights” groups. An organised backlash to feminism is now visible among men in Australia, as in most other Western capitalist countries.

Fatherlessness

This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report provides an assessment and critique of the claims made by fathers’ rights groups and others about ‘fatherlessness’ and ‘male role models’.

Please see below for the attachment, in PDF.

The hand that rocks the cradle

Public attitudes towards fathers have shifted, but has fathers’ behaviour shifted too? Michael Flood describes the obstacles to paternal involvement, and the potential dangers in the new emphasis on fatherhood.

The politics of fathers' rights activists

This paper examines the hate speech and extremism of fathers' rights groups. It scrutinises the behaviour and language of the two major father’s rights activists organisations, the Shared Parenting Council of Australia (SPCA), and the Fatherhood Foundation (FF), particularly in relation to issues of violence against women and children and how these intersect with the emergent contemporary discourse of “fatherlessness” assertion and role models for children.  The paper provides evidence that the internet based collectives affiliated to the two key fathers’ rights activists organisations incite virulent hatred of, and harmful action towards targeted women and their perceived supporters. This paper examines why these two key fathers' rights activist organisations are gaining such open access and encouragement to/from politicians when much of their agenda expresses high levels of hate and vitriol against women and why this is seemingly ignored in public discourse to the detriment of women’s and children’s safety.

Please see below for the attachment, in Word.