3 March 2016

Welcome to step two

The video below showed up in my facebook feed.  A teacher friend was sent it by another teacher friend and they both thought it was excellent and perfect and just what the doctor ordered, but unfortunately the schoolboard would never let them show it to their class.  Have a look, but there is a language warning and disturbing images.

As I said, they thought it marvelous.  I thought that, while it was well intentioned, it is deeply, deeply mistaken for many reasons. It would take several posts to explain just why, though.  This video is a product coming after decades of social engineering which brought about the very problems we see here, and social engineering is, sadly, a two step dance.  Step one is: What could it hurt? Step two is: How was I supposed to know?  This video and its cry from the heart comes squarely and firmly from step two, though it knows it not, and that is where it goes so very, very wrong.

A word on what follows: This is not exhaustive, nor is it the only way to look at this thing.  I am only going to outline a few pieces of the elephant that I have seen and that I see here.  I do not deny that others have seen different pieces.   I also want to add that I am terrified for my daughters in this world as it is.  I agree with the sentiment that the world needs to be changed for our daughters but also for our sons as well.  I think, however, that this video does not go deep enough, nor does it fully comprehend what it is doing. From where I stand, this video sits at the nexus of several threads, and it is my purpose to tease out a few.

Perhaps the first thing I noticed about this video is that the narrator speaks with what seems to me as an English accent.  Let us start with that thread. Fathers in Britain, as in many other places around the world, have been subjected to decades of social engineering through the laws and the courts.  The Children's Act of 1989 declared:   ‘The rule of law that a father is the natural guardian of his legitimate child is abolished.’    A year after that the Institute of Public Policy research stated: ‘It cannot be assumed men are bound to be an asset to family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion.’  In 2014, Britain's Children's and Family Act apparently did not mention fathers even once. 

None of these changes happened in a vacuum. All were in response to the ills of their times as legislators sought to fix the problems they saw.  And I will not pretend that the way things were before were perfect.  There are horror stories of terrible fathers, and that should not be denied.  But there were also stories of innocent men getting caught up in a legal system that was tilted against them, and that should not be denied either.  Back in the seventies and eighties here, the absolute best a man could hope for as regards to access to his children in a divorce was visitation rights every second weekend, with two weeks in the summer.  It did not matter how good a father he was, or how bad a mother she was, that was the best he could hope for. Worse, if a father refused to pay his support, he would be threatened with garnished wages and possibly jail for contempt of court, If the wife interfered with his visitation- and I know many who did- and denied the father even the minimal time allotted to him by the courts, it was highly unlikely that she would be punished or suffer any consequences.   I know of no mother of that time who was charged or even threatened with being charged.  One father I knew was told by a judge "What do you want me to do, throw her in jail?" when the father complained about his wife somehow always taking the children out of town on his days and weekends.  This came just moments after the judge threatened to throw the father in jail when the father threatened to withhold support payments if the wife did not stop interfering with his visitation.

It was not seen as  a problem by anyone other than the men themselves.  Women were being told that they could raise the children themselves, and that men were not necessary.  Studies that indicated that children were better off with two parents were shouted down.  I knew two feminists who worked on a study to prove that single mothers were just as good if not better than a two parent family when it came to raising children.   When the numbers did not support their desired conclusion, the study was simply terminated and never mentioned again.

So the role of fathers has been downgraded to nearly irrelevant in the life of his children.  It is common today for children to be reared without a father, and without even knowing who their father is. Many men, after decades of being told they were irrelevant and unnecessary, have taken women at their word.  To return to Britain, the number of marriages are dropping rapidly every year.  Many men have no interest in getting married, in a large part because the laws of the country have rendered marriage an institution that holds nothing for them but liabilities.

That is perhaps the first and saddest thing about this ad: The woman's plea is to someone who in many ways simply does not exist.

To be continued.

People are calling this the most important video of 2015. Have you seen it yet?She Warns Dad About The Boys At School, But Watch When He Drives Away. I'm Speechless. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, usually from a male partner. In a video that’s quickly going viral online — hailed as one of the most powerful videos of the entire year, and a must-see for every single person — Care Norway is calling out to fathers everywhere.#DearDaddy is a five-minute-long film that takes viewers on a woman’s journey through her life’s relationships with men, beginning from life in the womb. The woman is speaking to her father, warning him about the violence she will inevitably face — and how he may have, unknowingly, helped to perpetuate the never-ending cycle of and abuse and excuses.“I will be born a girl which means by the time I am 14, the boys in my class would have called me a w***e, a b***h, a c**t, and many other things. It’s just for fun of course, something boys do. So you won’t worry and I understand that. Perhaps you did the same when you were young, I’m sure you didn’t mean anything by it. Still, some of the other people won’t get the joke.”By the end, the woman is grown-up and has endured an abusive relationship. She reveals her final plea to her own father. When I heard it, I got chills.Note: This video contains graphic language and may not be suitable for all viewers.
Posted by Being Woman on Tuesday, 15 December 2015

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