Many times before I’ve lauded the National Post’s Barbara Kay, and with good reason. Time and again, she’s that sensible, fair, fact-based voice for fathers’ rights in family courts. She’s that refreshingly reasonable writer who sees the obvious – that fathers’ rights are about more than fathers; they’re about children and mothers too. We in the fathers’ rights movement hammer away at those concepts daily, but often without Kay’s clarity. Barbara Kay has consistently seen the wisdom and justice of fathers’ rights and done her part to back us. But with this article, she’s done more than that (National Post, 9/22/10). Put simply, fathers’ rights advocates should copy her piece as many times as necessary and send it to every elected official, everyone in child protective services, every judge, every counsellor, everyone administering child support, every cop, every guardian ad litem. Send it to your friends and neighbors.
Then we should call them up – every single one of them – and ask “did you read it? What are you going to do?” Here in the United States, it’s easy to see the political system, not as a catalyst for, but as an obstacle to, needed change. I suspect the same is true in Canada. From the beginning of our self-government, those who governed mistrusted the masses. Elites believed the people (unlike themselves apparently) to be shortsighted, passionate and irresponsible. Not surprisingly, they saw themselves to be necessary to correct the deficiencies they saw in those who were not them. And so it is today. Is the war in Afghanistan unpopular? Too bad, it must go on. Did the Wall Street bail out enrage popular sentiment? Tough luck; our betters issued their decree and that was that. As Kay suggests, pretty much the same thing is going on in Canada regarding equally shared parenting.
A National Post poll indicated that 91% of its readership supported equal custody as an alternative to sole custody determination, and a recent poll by the federal government has 80% of the public, from every political persuasion, supporting equal parenting.
Not only that, but last month the Canadian Green Party announced its backing for Maurice Vellacott’s equal parenting bill that’s now before Parliament. As Kay writes,
By my reckoning that means every single federal party is on board with the idea that both parents have the right to maintain a strong, loving bond with their children…
Shared parenting is right, it’s good for kids and parents alike, it’s fair and society would benefit in countless ways from its prevalence. There is no cogent argument against it which is why the only one usually raised is the fact-free, threadbare claim that shared parenting would mean more abused children. In fact, the opposite is true because (a) mothers do more abuse and neglect than do fathers as years of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show and (b) single mothers’ boyfriends are far more likely than fathers to injure children. And yet, lawmakers are too timid to do what needs to be done. Apparently in thrall to the gender feminist narrative of history that time and again has proven to be at odds with the facts, they’re like a cow in a ditch – unwilling and unable to budge. It is time to do simple justice; at long last, it is time to turn away from the false, anti-father rhetoric of the past and act for the benefit of all. It is time for the Canadian parliament to enact Maurice Vellacott’s bill C-422. It is time for judges to implement the changes to child custody the bill requires. And when all that happens, we can count on Barbara Kay to cheer. Thanks to Paulette for the heads-up.