Team players or tools of the patriarchy?

By Cathy Young

By Salon Staff
July 12, 2000 11:02PM (UTC)
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Cathy Young's article is right on target! As the former executive director of Women For Fatherhood and the current media relations specialist for the Second Wives Club, I am thrilled to see such articles.

Fathers are ripped out of their children's lives every day, yet they are still paying exorbitant amounts to support children they have no contact with. Further, they have no funds to fight for their right to parent. The courts have lost sight of the fact the child support is far more than financial. Love IS support! Contact IS support! Going to a child's sporting event/concert/recital/school open house IS support.

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Keep publishing articles such as Young's! Maybe that will help our lawmakers wake up and smell the coffee, rather than the money the current system generates.

-- Becky Kiely

Kudos to Cathy Young. For too long now men HAVE been seen solely as a source of funds for their children. The best example of this is the fact that there are laws on the books in some states which require a man to support any child his wife bears regardless of whether or not he fathered it. If the sexes were equal, would not the law also require a woman to support the child her husband fathered by another woman?

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-- Alan Weaver

While I agree that fathers are not represented fairly in custody hearings, I was concerned that Cathy Young's article did not seem to touch upon WHY there was such a bias toward the mother.

It is only in the past few years that the majority of men have really participated in their children's upbringing. I realize that there are wonderful fathers dating back from the Ice Age, but men didn't take care of babies in the '70s! In fact, I remember when the movie "Mr. Mom" came out in the mid-'80s it was considered revolutionary.

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Our society is still not quite ready to accept that Mr. Mom is better than the actual mom for a young child.

-- Rachel MacLeod

Whenever I read one of Cathy Young's articles in Mothers Who Think, I keep thinking, to paraphrase the old Wendy's commercial, "Where's the facts?" Has a reliable organization without an agenda to push on this topic conducted a study? What were the results? I hear from one side that dads are getting the shaft, and then I read how men's incomes go up after divorce while women's and children's go down. I am frankly tired of this he said/she said style of reporting on these issues. Looking at my own circle of friends, and that of my parents, who have been down this road, their experiences tends to bear out NOW's side of the story, but I am also smart enough to realize that this is hardly a scientific study. If Young really wants a cease-fire, she had better start digging up facts and stop relying on emotional stories to make her point. I will also say the same thing to NOW. Until a reliable researcher can answer the question "On a national basis, how many men actually fight for custody and how many actually win?", neither side truly has a case!

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-- Robyn Anderson


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