Dads on the Air | http://www.dadsontheair.net
Local Sydney Time: 10.30am to 12 midday Tuesday 4th August 2009
USA Eastern time: 8.30pm to 10pm Monday 3rd August 2009
USA Pacific time: 5.30pm to 7pm Monday 3rd August 2009
UK GMT time: 1.30am to 3am Monday night (Tuesday morning) 4th August 2009
THE MANDARINS AND THE MASSES
With special guests:
- Karen Selick
- Roger Gallaway MP and
- Jeffrey Asher.
This week we look at the struggle for family law reform in Canada, the home of some of the world’s most extreme anti-male anti-father legislation. Recently Dads On The Air interviewed Canadian MP Maurice Vellacot, who has introduced shared parenting legislation into the Canadian parliament. This week we follow on from that interview by talking with the highly experienced family lawyer Karen Selick, who has been an outspoken proponent for reform of the system; Roger Gallaway MP, who co-chaired an inquiry into shared parenting in Canada and Jeffrey Asher, a lecturer on men’s studies who taught the last men’s studies course in the country.
With Australia’s left wing government heading in exactly the opposite direction to the rest of the western world and winding back the modest reforms of the previous government promoting cooperative care of children after divorce, now is the perfect time to look at the situation around the world. Canadian society and many tens of thousands of fathers and their children have paid a very high price for the country’s previous embrace of extreme anti-male ideology; and numerous voices are now united in a call for sanity to prevail.
Our first guest, Karen Selick, is a lawyer who spent approximately 22 years practising family law in Belleville, Ontario. During that time, she became an outspoken critic of Canada’s divorce laws, including the law on marital property division, spousal support, child support and child custody. She has also publicly criticized the biases she observed in the courtroom. Selick was a columnist for Canadian Lawyer magazine for approximately 17 years, and currently contributes irregularly to the op-ed pages of the National Post, one of the few newspapers in the world which has over the past decade consistently run articles exposing the destructive practices of the family law industry and its bias against men. Her collected columns appear on her website at http://www.karenselick.com.
Frequently, she wrote on matters related to family law. She has also appeared many times on television and radio to discuss family law issues. In 1998, she gave testimony to a Senate committee, opposing the then recently introduced Child Support Guidelines. In July, 2009 Selick left her practice to join the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), a public-interest law firm that promotes freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of contract and private property rights. Among other things, the CCF initiates or participates in courtroom challenges of laws repugnant to the freedom and natural-law rights of Canadians. Here is an extract from her article: Is Family Law Really Better than Sharia?
“Having practiced family law in Ontario since 1985, I watched with some amusement the recent uproar over whether or not Ontarians should be allowed to arbitrate their matrimonial disputes using Sharia law.
“In their haste to condemn what they view as an unjust and undesirable body of law, opponents of Sharia arbitration overlook the corollary implicit in their position: namely, that ordinary Ontario family law—as specified primarily in the Family Law Act and the Divorce Act—is a just and desirable code for resolving matrimonial disputes.
“To me, this proposition is laughable. Blinded by their fear of radical Islamists, Sharia opponents have played right into the hands of a different set of radicals: radical feminists.
“Although gender-neutral in its language, today’s family law legislation was enacted over the past two decades primarily with the intention of benefiting women at the expense of men. My own view is that these laws have also institutionalized injustice at the expense of justice.
“The Divorce Act, for instance, provides that a spouse’s “conduct in relation to the marriage” is irrelevant in determining her entitlement to spousal support. Although superficially gender-neutral, this provision actually protects women (who comprise the overwhelming proportion of support recipients) from the consequences of their own blatant marital misconduct—acts such as adultery, desertion and violence. Countless Canadian men pay support to their estranged wives and former wives despite the fact that these women deceived them, cuckolded them, then departed to live openly with new lovers or new husbands. Other men are paying support to women who viciously assaulted them.
“When I first began practicing family law, such behaviour would have ‘disentitled’ a wife to support. Nowadays, instead of punishing women for breaching their contracts, the law rewards them.
“Is this the legal system we hold out as an exemplar of justice”?
“Then there are the child custody and support laws. The vast preponderance of custodial parents and child support recipients are mothers. Men who seek custody generally face an uphill battle. I have heard several judges openly admit to being biased in favour of granting custody to mothers.
“Nevertheless, the law requires fathers to pay support in prescribed amounts even if the mothers poison their children’s minds to the point where the kids refuse to speak to their fathers. Fathers have to pay even if the mothers uproot their children and drag them off to another province so that the fathers rarely or never get to see them. Fathers have to pay even if the mothers are wealthier than they are and don’t need the money. Several Canadian men are known to have committed suicide as a result of these laws. Others have fled the country.
“Is this the legal system we consider superior to religious arbitration?”
Our next guest is the popular ex member of the Canadian Member of Parliament Roger Gallaway.
In his former motion to amend the Divorce Act he stated that legal battles over child custody often lead lawyers to encourage their clients to complain of psychological abuse, and women in particular to complain about violence and abuse in order to gain the upper hand in disputes. He is a personal friend and frequent political ally of Liberal-turned-Conservative-turned Independent Senator Anne Cools, and has worked with her to reform Canada’s divorce laws in recent years.
Both Cools and Gallaway have sought to ensure greater custody rights for fathers. In furtherance of these concerns, Gallaway served as co-chair of the Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access, which recommended shared parenting as the norm in its report, For The Sake of The Children, issued in 1998. The report called for shared custody, repeal of the tender year’s doctrine and strict rules of proof when abuse was alleged.
More than 10 years after the report has been ignored by successive Justice Ministers and governments. However there are now new moves afoot to finally reform Canada’s troubled family law arena. As proponent of change MP Maurice Vellacott argued on Dads On The Air recently, with so many people having witnessed the damage done to their friends and relatives through the extreme anti-father bias of contemporary family law, 80% of the Canadian population now support shared parenting.
Surveys in Australia have showed similar levels of support in the community, making even more outrageous the Australian governments moves to turn back the clock. Of the three government inquiries now in train in Australia, not one is asking the opinions of fathers or the general public. The mandarins have the debate by the throat. They could not care less what the public thought.
Roger Gallaway lives on the Canada-US border directly opposite the American State of Michigan. From 1991 until 2006 he was an elected representative first for the town of Pt Edward as Mayor and then for 13 years he served in Ottawa as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Sarnia-Lambton. A former lawyer he is a graduate of the University of Windsor Law School and is a Queens’ Privy Councillor.
Our final guest is Jeffrey Asher a retired teacher, who taught “Men’s Lives,” the only Canadian college level course on men’s issues. Two thirds of his students were open-minded young women. This course was the very last ‘Men’s Studies’ course ever taught in Canadian Universities and Colleges. He has written on male epidemiology and sex differences in intellectual ability. He knows his gender disparity backwards and continues to advocate on behalf of the natural family, equal opportunities and equal justice before the law. He says experience as a father was the most demanding and rewarding experience of his life.
Jeffrey Asher says over 40% of marriages end in divorce, and amongst university graduate women over 50%. Less than 6% of fathers are granted residential custody by the courts. “I was one of those rare fathers,” he says. “The remaining 94% of fathers are reduced to wallets and weekend visitors with their children whom they love above all else. I am concerned about prevention of such grief, imposed on children and fathers. My young men students frequently asked how they might avoid divorce horrors”.
“These are painful questions, but necessary in our age of feminist jurisprudence. Should men marry? Or should men maintain relationships with women only as long as both are satisfied? Should men conceive children? Those beloved children will be likely torn from them and possibly alienated”.
“Repeated studies show that from 10% to 30% of children were conceived by a man who is NOT their wife’s legal partner. If a man’s partner or wife delivers a child, should he routinely request a DNA fatherhood test? What, if any, are the conditions which might permit a man to marry and raise children in a stable and lifelong marriage? Is that currently possible?
In last month’s article “Why most men tolerate feminist misandry” Jeffrey Asher wrote:
“Over twelve years of teaching Men’s Lives, I also wondered why majority-male legislatures, judiciaries and mainstream media editors, capitulated to and enforced feminist politics and jurisprudence.
“Above all, men are powerfully driven by sexual attraction to women. Men easily rationalize their sexual need for women as based in intellectual and moral equality.
“Male protection of women and children – at the risk of men’s safety and lives – over millennia of social evolution, allowed our species to survive. I suspect that imperative is as integral to male brains and hormones, as the need for and care of children is integral to women.
“Men in power did not accede to feminists because of sexual opportunism alone – women remain second to one in that category. When feminists – confused as representing women – called out to men for ‘equality,’ men entrenched quotas and feminist jurisprudence. A man shamed by a woman promptly takes corrective action, to ‘act like a Man’.
“Most men did not expect feminists, to lie. Nor did men account for female emotional volatility. Men did not expect feminists to sabotage the family. Men did not realize that the driving force behind feminism was activist female self-loathing and lesbian misandry, deliberately alienating girls and women from heterosexuality and the family.
“Donna Laframboise in “The Princess at the Window,” observed that in the feminist movement, the lunatic fringe had taken over the mainstream. Feminists terrorized women against men with abuse, assault and rape agitprop. And yes, too many men remain self-loathing feminists.
I suspect the above partially explains the reluctance of most men in power to oppose feminist opportunism, even after their own marriages are destroyed and their children torn asunder…
“At the end of the day, most men hope to return home, to their wife and children, whom they love. That is a powerful restraint against male denunciation of feminist family destruction.”
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