Family Law WEB Guide - Feature Story
Sir Bob Geldof speaks up for the rights of single fathers
June 6, 2007 - 9:43AM
Whatever cause he happens to be fighting for, he is the world's most effective troublemaker.
Geldof's most recent high-profile crusade is to highlight the anti-father prejudice of the family courts. When he and Paula Yates originally split he lost custody of the children, and even though he fought successfully (at great expense) to get them back, his shock and disgust with the system rages on. Geldof has written about his experiences and views extensively in a 30-page report entitled: 'The Real Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name'
. A Sometimes Coherent Rant, recently abridged for a national newspaper. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, no one could deny that Geldof is good at getting results. Whatever cause he happens to be fighting for, he is the world's most effective troublemaker.
The implication of any order determining the fatherís allotted time with his children is that he was always of secondary importance. Reasonable contact is an oxymoron. The fact that as a father you are forbidden from seeing your children except at state-appointed moments is by definition unreasonable. The fact that you must visit your family as opposed to live with them is unreasonable. "Contact" with your children should not be infrequent and odd. In public parks on Sundays you can watch the single men with children drag themselves through the false hours in a frantic panic of activity, every second measured and weighed in a moment of state-sanctioned time.
"The contention that women are inherently better nurturers is wrong. Custody rulings appear to be based on the "sugar and spice and all things nice" school of biological determination rather than on anything more significant. If a woman "mothers" a child, a warm universe of nurturing is conjured. If a man "fathers" a child it simply implies nothing more than the swift biological function involved in the procreative act.
If the later 20th century saw the transformation of womenís lives, then the 21st century is seeing the transformation of menís lives, and by definition the lives of their children. Nearly half the workforce is female and men now hold a different view of parenting. There are no studies which suggest that a child brought up by a man (as I was) displays any psychological or emotional characteristics different to one raised by a woman.
My complaints are not the moans of the unsuccessful litigant at the hands of family law. I, in fact, was "successful". This is someone dismayed by the inappropriateness of the law to the everyday. Nor is this the complaint of the proto-misogynist ó indeed the law is so inept that it produces misandrists in equal measure ó but rather the irritation and anger of someone who sees exact parallels with womenís struggle against bias and prejudice.
Whatís sauce for the goose, as they say, is sauce for the gander ó except, of course, in the eyes of family law, where the man ceases to be an equal partner in anything but name. A husband had better hang on to his marriage or risk losing everything he has had and be forced under pain of pursuit, prosecution and imprisonment to be a wage slave for life. There is grave injustice here."
You can watch Bob's message in the following video's:
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