Thursday, November 11, 2004

Fatherhood groups protest

There must be millions of dads who are as angry with the family court system as I am, and I've wondered why they don't get more publicity. Here are a couple of groups in the news today.

This AP story says:
Fatherhood Activists Protest TV Ad
Tuesday, November 09, 2004

NEW YORK — A TV ad showing a computer-illiterate father getting chided for trying to help his Internet-savvy daughter with her homework has roused the anger of fatherhood activists, who are calling on Verizon to take it off the air.

"Leave her alone," says the wife/mother in the Verizon DSL ad, ordering her befuddled husband to go wash the dog as the daughter, doing research on the computer, conveys a look of exasperation with her father.

"It's really outrageous," said Joe Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters.

"It's reflective of some deeply entrenched cultural attitudes — that fathers are second-class parents, that they're not really necessary," Kelly said. "To operate from the assumption that dad is a dolt is harmful to fathers, harmful to children, and harmful to mothers."

John Bonomo, a Verizon spokesman, said Tuesday the ad has been running for several months. But only a few days ago did it come to the attention of Glenn Sacks, a commentator who hosts a weekly radio show aired in Los Angeles and Seattle that is sympathetic to the fathers' rights movement.

After watching the ad, Sacks began urging listeners of "His Side" to protest to Verizon — contending that the company would not have commissioned a comparable ad with the parents' genders reversed. He said more than 1,100 protest e-mails had been sent through his show's Web site to Verizon within the first two days of the campaign.
This NY Times story says:
The first real flicker of fame for Fathers 4 Justice came in May, after two legislators hurled condoms bulging with purple flour at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons, setting off major security jitters at Westminster.

Then, in July, came the raid on the gothic York Minster cathedral. Disgruntled fathers, cloaked in cardinal red robes and vicars' smocks, burst in, commandeered the pulpit and unfurled a banner on the roof that read, "In The Name Of The Father."

But it was Batman, feet carefully planted on a Buckingham Palace ledge until well after the start of the 6 o'clock news on Sept. 13, who catapulted the group's renown and international appeal. ...

Using these stunts of civil disobedience, the divorced and separated fathers who belong to Fathers 4 Justice say they hope to accomplish one thing: ensuring they get a fair shake at equal custody of their children in court. ...

There are great hopes for the movement in the United States, where fathers have filed identical class-action suits in 41 states this year pushing for equal custody. Some 27 states in the United States have already changed their laws to make it easier for fathers to win shared custody of their children, and Florida in particular is considered a model.
If I just have to dress up as Batman to help the cause, where do I sign up? Obviously these are desperate men trying to cope with a system run by loonies.

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