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Recent history: The New Dads — Quotes from a 1997 speech by Judy Anderson, plus a few observations about the NSPA conference in Toronto
The quotes in the following are from a transcript of a portion of a speech given by Judy Anderson, President of REAL Women of Canada,* at the NSPA (National Shared Parenting Association) conference at Metro Hall in Toronto, May 26, 1997. (* Obviously, detractors of REAL Women of Canada have managed to get their website a rating of “Dangerous”. My virus checker tells me so, but I asked the producers of the antivirus software to review that rating.)
The conference in support of shared parenting was a politically correct one, acceding that either parent of a child may happen to be expunged from his or her child’s or children’s life. Nevertheless, the conference also exhibited a pro-male bias. That is not surprising, as the parents that are being expunged from their families happen to be men in about nine out of ten cases. Still, that pro-male bias did not extent so far that feminists were prevented from attending. At least one female feminist was invited to speak at the conference. (Mind you, it was also quite obvious that a good number of men who spoke at the conference were feminists, although they did not necessarily view themselves as such and were merely content to be “new men” that fit the modern, politically correct, feminist pattern for what “real” men should be like.)
Yes, Judy Anderson is a feminist. Her organization, REAL Women of Canada, is a feminist organization, so feminist, in fact, that it will not (at least it did not in 1997) permit men to become active members, although, as Judy Anderson made clear, men are welcome to join REAL Women of Canada as silent, paying members. Nevertheless, REAL Women of Canada has been doing very important work over the years in support of fathers and families, especially by promoting fathers within and not without families.
REAL Women of Canada vehemently opposes the ruling faction of feminism in Canada, radical feminism (a.k.a. Marxist- or socialist feminism), as that sort of feminism is heavily engaged in bringing about the systematic deconstruction of the institution of the traditional nuclear family, through the simple expedient of breaking the weakest link in the family and removing it, the father.
REAL Women of Canada oppose all feminist organizations affiliated with or supported by Status of Women, Canada, and are bitter enemies with opposing, totally incompatible objectives. Here is Judy Anderson:
…..As I said earlier, fatherhood socializes men by obligating them to their children. This is cultural versus biological. George Gilder writes about it, Margaret Meade writes about it, David Blankenhorn writes about it. Now some of you might disagree. You might want to bring this up later. From my own experience, I look around, woman are biologically tied to their children in a way that men are not. We bear them in our bodies for nine months.
Becoming a dad biologically is like, split second, it can happen in two minutes, maybe thirty seconds, and it happens really fast. We bear in our bodies and nurse at our breast these babies….
You are not being helped by public policy and public perception to be fathers. And when we throw that story out we find — guess what — we have a lot of men who are not good fathers. Now who tells us the story about fathers [unintelligible]. Blankenhorn says that the experts and the elite who set the agenda for public policy, so what is the story that they tell of fatherhood? Well, that it is, too, obsolete, unnecessary, undesirable. Why can’t fathers be more like mothers? Isn’t that what they are always asking? Look at books and television. There are deliberate attempts to downplay fatherhood as a serious and necessary business….
But, what was so wrong with the old father? And you know what? My dad is an old father. He’s actually getting older by the minute, he’s seventy but, okay, I was born in 1949, my dad changed diapers. I have a twin sister, identical twin, and she, by the way, totally agrees with me. If she were here, you know, we’d totally agree. My dad changed diapers, he fed us bottles, he took us boat-watching — we lived near the Welland Canal — he told us stories, he did all kinds of things with us. What about these horrible old dads? They were all doing what? Reading the newspaper, beating their wives, drinking beer. I think my dad drank some beer, but yeah, so it happens, he’s a couch-potato. No way! Like what Doug [Doug Steen, who gave instructions on how to play with children, demonstrating by using toys –WHS] was talking about earlier, my dad was doing in the early fifties.
Nobody had to tell him to do it. He just did it, you know, daughters, but, I don’t know about the demonizing of the old fathers. Yet we are told that fathers are sordid and arbitrary and dangerous. Now that’s the new script. My father was not sordid and was not arbitrary and not dangerous! But I’m sorry to say that because of his love for his children he might say “No!” to protect them, and, by the way, his kids might respond, because they love that man and they know how important he is to them. But that dad, the old dad, is demonized in today’s society.
Now the true picture, I’ll tell you, don’t talk about male authority, etc., etc., we are trying to downplay that and make the boys play with dolls and the girls play with trucks. That’s the picture of our society, I mean because, you know, it doesn’t work too well….
Judy Anderson concluded her speech with reading an excerpt from “Angela’s Ashes,” a Pulitzer-Price-winning best seller by Frank McCourt, an excerpt that she introduced with these words:
It is the story about his poverty-stricken youth in Limerick, Ireland. It just won the Pulitzer Price. [It is ?] a wonderful book, by Frank McCourt, “Angela’s Ashes”. His dad was a loser, he drank all the dole-money. They lived in abject poverty, but you know what? He loved his father. I’m gonna read you a little, tiny excerpt about what he said about his dad. This is the old dad that we are all supposed to hate:…(Full Story)
Certainly, there are fathers who are bad, perhaps often or perhaps even continuously, but there are very few – almost none – who are like that. Virtually without exception all fathers are warm, caring and loving people. It’s too bad that there are so many children now, even in America and in all developed nations, who can’t experience the warmth, care and love of their fathers. Too bad that there are now so many children (42 percent of the those growing up right now in the USA) who can’t tell their fathers that they love them and who’ll never know what it is like to be hugged by their fathers. Even though by far most fathers pay the child support that is to make up for their absence, money is a very terribly poor substitute for real love and a real presence the fathers in the lives of their children.
Ostensibly, women have been liberated through the efforts of the feminists, but in the process our children acquired a terrible loss.
Notes: The 1997 NSPA conference was used by Danny Guspie to attempt to usurp control of what was then the budding men’s- and fathers-rights movement in Canada, which, at the time, had just acquired a national awareness. Danny Guspie had wanted to use the name of NSPA to establish a franchise system for providing legal help to parents who were being deprived of reasonable access to their children. His attempt did not succeed, but it brought about the collapse of a budding, national cooperation of organizations. The Canadian sector of the movement has not yet recovered from that.
Still, there were at least two good outcomes of that development.
- It helped to raise international awareness on fathers rights issues, namely that the systematic and deliberate vilification of men and fathers was not just a national concern anywhere but an aspect of an international agenda for the planned destruction of the traditional nuclear family.
- It helped, nationally, in Canada, to keep the fathers rights movement together long enough to lobby and pressure for the completion of the incomplete report by The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Family Law Committee (set up in June 1990, with a mandate to study the development of child support guidelines for use in Canada), which report covered the monetary aspects of the issues involving children of divorce and separation but not the other two-thirds of the committee’s mandate, namely child-custody and -access. (For a history of the issues involved, see “What Were They Thinking? The Development of Child Support Guidelines in Canada,” by Paul Millar and Anne H. Gauthier; University of Calgary)
The lobbying and applying of pressure resulted in the establishing of a joint Senate/House Committee that produced the recommendations that Anne McLellan (then the federal justice minister) refused to implement and that were then obfuscated by Mr. Cauchon, the subsequent justice minister, but became established as a direct result of the massive writing, publicity and lobbying campaign by Canadian parenting-rights organizations and activists in support of the efforts by Senators Jessiman (PC) and Cools (Liberal). Their efforts eventually resulted in concessions, such as that a review of all legal aspects of parenting after divorce and separation should be made by a to-be-established Joint Senate/House Committee for that review, and such as that at least some parenting-time spent by non-custodial parents in the care of their children would be taken into account in the calculation of child support amounts to be paid. The threshold for that was set at 40 percent of the life of children that was spent by children with their non-custodial parents. (See a Summary of the history of the fight for justice for families in Canada)
The product of that joint Senate/House committee was their December 1998 report:
For the Sake of the Children,
- Summary of Recommendations: http://www.canlaw.com/reform/recommend.htm
- Full Report: http://www.parl.gc.ca/InfoComDoc/36/1/SJCA/Studies/Reports/sjcarp02-e.htm
Of the 48 recommendations contained in the report, only one got implemented, and that one was adopted only partially. The remainder of the recommendations has been obfuscated, obscured and forgotten.
Obviously, Canadian “family” legislation is not at all for the sake of the children. It is entirely about something else, something dark and threatening to our children and all of society. It has been so for a long time, since 1990 and much earlier, intensifying all that time, and it will not soon change to the better.
- Fatherhood is dying out
- For some, Fathers Day is a sad and bitter occasion
- Deadbeat dad or child abduction
- Daughter fails math test, dad goes to jail, she was with mom
- Female innocence is what media and courts say it is
- Fighting for child custody
- Divorce causes escalating suicide rates
- Divorce hurts Children, a million more in the U.S. a year