Lifetime Campaign Side 3

“How gratifying can it be for children watching television to see fathers humiliated in front of the world? Not much is an easy guess.

“For that reason, among others, fathers” advocates are justifiably outraged at this new exploration of human prurience. Chief among [fathers’ advocates’] objections is the potential harm of this image to children, who already have suffered broken homes — and especially to the few who might actually see their fathers publicly characterized as someone who doesn”t love them…

“[Deadbeat Dads] reinforces a stereotype that is neither accurate nor fair…The more accurate picture of a deadbeat dad is an unemployed or underemployed bloke who sees more jail cells than golf courses. A common sequence of events for the poorest deadbeat dads goes something like this: Fall behind in child support, get arrested and put in jail, lose your job, fall further behind in child support…

“People who work in the child-support loop know that the biggest barrier to child-support payment is unemployment, yet this message seldom seems to penetrate the zeitgeist…

“Noncustodial mothers are 20 percent more likely to default on child support than noncustodial fathers, according to U.S. Census data. But we don”t see a reality show aimed at humiliating moms…civilized people would strenuously object to the public ridicule of moms whose children may be watching?…The question is why we feel no such decency toward men and the children who love them.”

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