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.
Men's & fathers' rights
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.
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.
This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report discusses the problems with a rebuttable presumption of joint custody, and describes the broader context for these debates.See below for the attachment, in PDF.
While separated fathers often feel profound distress because of separation and loss of contact with children, the fathers' rights movement does little to help them heal. In fact, fathers' rights groups harm fathers' ongoing relationships with their children and fail to tackle the real obstacles to involved parenting.
A short US account of common myths about domestic violence and custody and how to counter them.
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. Fathers’ rights groups overlap with men’s rights groups and both represent an organised backlash to feminism. Fathers’ rights and men’s rights groups can be seen as the anti-feminist wing of the men’s movement, the network of men’s groups and organisations mobilised on gender issues.
Please see below for the attachment, in Word.
Men's rights groups represent a hostile backlash to feminism, but their efforts in fact are unhelpful and even harmful for men themselves. Michael Flood describes how we can respond.
Men's rights groups use flawed methodology to make false claims about the impact of fatherlessness. In Fatherhood and Fatherlessness (Australia Institute, Discussion Paper No. 59, November, pp. 21-23) Michael Flood reveals the junk science behind the National Fatherhood Forum's claim that "boys from a fatherless home are 14 times more likely to commit rape".
In September of 2007, I began writing on the Internet about the injustices committed in Australian family courts. The response from men on the boards was revealing. One responder said that Australian men have “figured out long ago that women are bitches, and breed them out of that attitude.” Two justified wife-killing, one saying that a man who kills his wife “does not murder her, he corrects her existence” and another saying that some wives deserve to be killed. One respondent kept claiming that I was a Lesbian from Women’s Electoral Lobby while claiming my identity as someone I don’t know and undoubtedly violating that person’s privacy rights in the process. A representative of Fathers4Equality began posting injunctions for people to “have strength in numbers” and vote in the upcoming election for their candidates.