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.
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.
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.
This excerpt from Michael Flood’s report describes five steps to involved fatherhood.
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.
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.
As men become increasingly aware of their experience as men, they are acknowledging the ways in which men are limited by the dominant construction of masculinity. But some men take this much further, claiming the status of victim and alleging that men's power is a myth. Warren Farrell is one such man.
This 3-page handout provides an overview of key statistics on violence against women in Australia. Please see below for the attachment, in Word.