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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » are we equal? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: are we equal?
lgray
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I think every couple of months I write pretty much the same post, and get pretty much the same replies. I'm hoping someone, someday will say something to put me at ease, but I don't know. So here it goes.
I don't feel like men and women are equal. I see it exemplified in so many things everyday. From something as simple as the fact that a son my have the responsibility of taking out the trash, while the daughter sets the table every night instead. Or the fact that Anna Kornicoble (spelled way off, but you know the tennis star) who is the highest paid women's tennis player not b/c of her success rate, but more for her appearance. Can you imagine this same situation in a man's sport ever happening? Do you think Micheal Jordan would have been so successful if he was just a mediocre player? No way! Or the way it's still accepted that it's natural for men to have many sexual partners. But when women do, they are "sluts". And the ever present stereotype of sexy women=dumb as a rock. Why is that sexy? The fact we've never had a woman president. You know what I wanted to be when I was little? President! But everyone who I told, kinda chuckled until my sister told me that it would never happen just b/c I was a girl
This is only problems that face me. Think of the prostitue slave women and girls of Mexico, Thailand, etc. etc. Think of the Female Genital Mutilation. Think of the women who are not allowed to vote, and not even allowed to step out of their house w/out being covered head to toe, showing nothing but their eyes. How easily we Americans can ignore these injustices. Anyone got any answers?

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'rin
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short cynical answer: no, we're not equal, because life isn't fair. i wish we were tho. i'm generally an optimist, but it's hard to be optimistic on this issue for me. changing people's outward behavoir, through laws and social pressure, may well be possible. chaning how people think is much harder, especially on a cultural level. in order to make men and women truely equal, we would have to change how people *think*, not just stamp out discrimination. at heart i'm an egalatarian, i dont' think men or women are intrinsically better than each other. i believe that men and women are somewhat differnt, that there are some things that women are, on average, better at than men and vice versa. (not that there aren't exceptions or cultural explaiations, but generally there are some differences) this doesn't make either gender/sex better, but it does make life more intersting. i think it is terrible that anyone is oppressed the way women are in some countries, and for me that thought has nothing to do with the fact that i am also a woman. if men were being oppressed it would anger me just as much. i'm not sure what can be done to change this imbalance on a large scale, but on a personal level i think everyone can help make their corner of the universe a little more just. you can treat your sons the same as your daughters, teach you students accordig to learnig style instead of gender, mention it to people when they are being out of line, write your government officials and try to change the laws. but i don't think any large scale change can be accomplished overnight.
'rin

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Gaffer
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I think equallity is subjective and it probably means something different to everyone, so no, true gender equality will never be reached because it probably couldn't exist. Equality doesn't seem that kind of universal to me.

But for whether society can get with it on the general equality scale--yes, I think that can happen. I don't see it happening right now, but I think it will eventually happen. I just get the feeling that is the direction our society is heading in right now. Yes, there are the minor (and occasionally major) issues now, but when you go back three hundred years issues of today seem less drastic.

Society seems cyclical (ooh, I got out of the spelling bee in sixth grade on that word and haven't forgotten it since, sorry about the side-tracking) and when you look even further back, say a mere three thousand years, there was a pretty equal world. In order to survive humanity had to put roughly equal workloads, duties, and consequently down time, that is, fun, on people. I can see that coming back soon.

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sapphirecat
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We're definitely not equal. We'll probably never be equal in terms of capabilities, because men and women are built differently, not to mention that people within a sex are not equal. But as far as equal rights go, we're doing a lot better than we were before the 19th amendment or World War II.

The biggest thing I see about inequality that can be fixed is stereotyping. The handiest one that comes to mind right now is female nurses. But it's going to take a lot of effort to overcome, because it's so deeply rooted in culture.

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BruinDan
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Are we equal? No. Will we ever be? Who knows...Gaffer put it very well when he said that the concept of equality is subjective, and I think that is a very valid point.

I think that there are plenty of cases when both men and women get painted into corners and stereotyped. I don't think there is a problem with a woman being President of the United States, and I am fairly certain that I will see at least one female president during my lifetime.

The concept of sexy women being dumb as a rock is yet another stereotype that is basically meaningless. Nobody I know prefers dumb women, and there are a great many intelligent female role models out there for girls to grow up watching these days.

And as for the Anna Kournikova example, there are many cases of men being treated in the same manner. Kournikova has never won a major tennis tournament but it still one of the game's top 15 players. She has also graced the covers of dozens of magazines becuase some people evidently find her attractive. The same holds true for Derek Jeter who is a baseball player for the New York Yankees. He is not one of the game's foremost players, has never won a batting title or stolen many bases or been in the running for a home run title either. He is a fairly good player, but what makes him most appealing for the millions of dollars he makes annually as part of a series of endorsement contracts, is the fact that he is very handsome. Same holds true for Chipper Jones of baseball's Atlanta Braves. He has never been one of the game's best players, but still makes millions annually by way of his good looks. So let's be sure to remember that it isn't just women who are paid more for their appearances than anything else...men are subjected to the same treatment.

I like to think we're on the same path, these days. My college has a constituency that is overwhelmingly female, and it is not unusual for me to be one of four or five men in a classroom of 70-80; and one of about 20 men in a class of 300. More women are graduating from college now than men, and women are now enrolling in Master's and Doctoral programs with at a pace that far exceeds the amount of male enrollments. UCLA's Anderson School of Management predicts that by 2008 women will outnumber men in all graduate programs, including the Engineering fields that were almost completely male-dominated only five or six years ago.

Watch for this to also help to close the wage gap between men and women. It is still narrowing every year, and as more women begin to round out the fields of upper-level management and CEO/CFO positions in businesses, the Anderson School predicts that this gap will narrow itself out of existence.

Obviously, those things are still a ways off, but I tend to see things as getting better all the time. The best thing we can do, not as men and women, but as people; is to just be vigilant about spotting stereotypes and acting against them. Little things like that can help us all out, and will help to smooth things out a bit in the long run.

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Lady Moonlight
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Are the sexes treated equivalently? Certainly not. Will we ever be? I hope so. Are things getting better? Yes.

I think equality is definitely not the same thing as "sameness." In some situations, I don't want to be treated the same as a man; I'm just not physically up to it. But in others, the same standards can and should apply. In other words, my biceps may not equal his, but I've got just as many brain cells. So when it comes to carrying boxes, I'll happily admit to being less able. That doesn't make me inferior, it's just a fact. When it comes to hunting down internet resources or managing a library (my chosen profession), however, I figure I stand a fair chance to being equal to any man and superior to some.

I also think that, at least in the U.S., sexual equality is finally an issue. Several male friends have told me that not only are they not bothered by women with sexual experience, they prefer them. (Then again, I'm well past my teens and so are the males I interviewed, so these guys might have some difficulty finding women of equal age without any sexual experience.) Also, like Dan, these men prefer intelligent women. They don't want eye-candy, they want wmen who can be partners and friends as well as lovers.

While injustice of all sorts frustrates me, I find that for me personally it just wastes energy to get mad and/or worry about it. Instead, I concentrate on eliminating stereotyping from my own thought and speech patterns and actions, and by trying to be the best influence I can on all the little kids who pass through my library. I may not be able to fix the whole world, but I can darn well work on my little corner of it.


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John Doe
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I agree with those who say that the road to equality has to come first and foremost through our hearts, judging people as individuals rather than as members of groups. There does however still exist a subsatnial amout of de jure discrimination in this society. However, it is men who are on the short end of the stick. We must end the legal discrimination. AND we must end the discrimination in out hearts.
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BruinDan
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You know John, I would have completely agreed with your post if it weren't for one line. And I think you know what line I'm talking about.

The fact of the matter is that we're all on the short end of the stick when it comes to discrimination. The mere fact that discrimination based upon gender happens at all is sickening enough, why try to compare who has it worse? All the energy that is expended on doing that could just as easily be expended doing something about it. Why not take that route instead?

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John Doe
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Dan,
The difference is that the discrimination that exists against women is de facto discrimination, discrimination which eminates from peoples hearts and minds. Men face some of this as well. However, de jure discrimination, discrimination which is written into the law, only exists against men.
Racism still exists in america, but it is de facto discrimination. Prior to the civil rights act of 1963, there was still de jure discrimination against blacks. there is a big difference between the state of affairs today, and before 1963 in race relations. In terms of gender, the laws are still on the books, and there are very real and powerful lobbying forces in washington which are intent on writting new and stregthened gender Jim Crow laws.

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BruinDan
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I am well aware of the differences between de facto and de jure discrimination, but I think a little bit of clarification is warranted here. Primarily, I think you are mistaken in your belief that men are the only people who suffer from state-sponsored discrimination.

I'm reasonably certain you would find the Violence Against Women Act to be part of the de jure discrimination you despise, since the name implies that it contains laws specifically geared towards one gender which does not offer any protection for the other. In fact though, the entire VAWA contains numerous enhancements in penalties such as assault, rape, and domestic violence; all crimes which can occur against both men and women. The enhancements are not gender-specific, and I have actually used VAWA provisions in several arrests I made for domestic violence cases where the man of the house was the victim. In one case, this included finding a suitable shelter for the man to live in while he made arrangements to move. The shelter we ended up housing him in was created in 1999 with funds that sprang forth from the VAWA, and there was another man with his two children already at that shelter who were in the process of leaving an abusive home as well. It works both ways.

And as for men being the only victims of de jure discrimination, I would look towards your friendly neighborhood Affirmative Action program for evidence that other groups are discriminated against quite legally too. While I am all in favor of programs that bring some sort of equality to groups who have been "underprivileged", I believe using race as a tool to hand out opportunities and deny some to others is a misguided approach. Not all whites are affluent, not all blacks are poor. Yet laws exist in all 50 states (although some have taken steps to curtail some of them in recent years after California passed the still-unimplemented Proposition 209 in 1998) and on the Federal level as well that deny scholarships, aid, college entrances, and employment to members of certain ethnic or racial groups; and dole them out to members of other racial or ethnic groups instead. These programs are seen by some to be the last of the Jim Crow-style "Race Laws", and they effect women as well as men.

Its very easy for all of us, women and men, minority or majority, to become so focused and aware of the slights we perceive against us, that we fail to recognize or realize that there are injustices occurring everywhere against everyone at some point. Discrimination of any sort is not limited to either gender, and there is certainly more than enough ignorance and stereotyping to go around. Life holds more promise when we each take a look outside of the troubles we see within our particular group, and look to see where other people are struggling or what other groups are suffering from. Maybe by giving that a shot, John, it would help you realize that you are not alone at all.

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'rin
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ok, deep breaths all around, ok? deep, calming breaths. john, i think we all know that due to your custody situation you are especially sensitive to gender bias in laws dealing with family issues. i have my own issues with some of people's reactions to these laws - my father raised my brother and i and he had NO trouble getting custody, and we lived out in the stix - but i'm not even going to get started here. what i do have to say is this - women need laws specifically making it illeagal to beat them because until very very very recently historically it was not only allowed, it was expected that men beat their wives on a regular basis. in oder to drive home to men raised watching their mothers being beaten that this behavior is no longer considered acceptable, we need tough laws on this right now. ok? when my stepmother's ex husband pushed her through a drywall wall she called her inlaws crying. her mother in law told her that that's just what men do to their wives. there's a huge cultural memory here that we're fighting against, and until it's faded out some more there needs to be tought laws about it. period. i'm sorry if this seems a bit combative, i don't mean it to be, i just feel rather strongly on this issue due to my own life experience.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires
"dun bun can't be undone"
-steven king, insomnia


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Yes, I would include the VAWA as one of the cases of de jure discrimination, and I am glad that it is occasionally used to help men, but what percentage goes to men. You mention 2 men at that shelter, how many women were there? There are thousands of shelters for abused women, almost none for abused men. But the VAWA is not the only one. We have discussed the draft before (unfortuanely that is much less of a theoretical issue now than it was a mnth ago). I don't want to dwell on the family court system here. But I think we can agree that the family is a very important part of peoples lives. There is the WIC program. There is the billions spent on enforcement of child support vs. the zippo spent on enforcement of visitation. there is the huge imbalance in spending on sex spicific medical research. The fact that there is a federal office of womens health, but no office of mens health. The criminal defenses which are availible only to women (battered womens, learned helplesness, post partum depression). or the fact that women convicted of killing their husbands spend on average less than half as much time in jail as men convicted of killing their wives. The racial impact of Capital punishment is often raised, but the gender bais in capital punishment is FAR more pronounced than any racial difference. All these things are in the relm of de jure discrimination.

I admire your willingness, Dan, to enforce the domestic violence in a fair and gender nuetral way, however, I think you are in a disitinct minority. The police act within a societal framework that sees domestic violence to be something that is almost always done by men to women, and thus when they go to the scene the do so with that framework in mind. Is that de jure or de facto discrimination, or something sort of in the middle, somewhat akin to people who are arrested for "Driving while Black". Deplorable, but it does happen.

In the relm of de facto discrimination there is plenty of fault to go around on both sides, although the stuff that goes against women is far more widely pointed out and discussed.

For example, hollywood is often critisized for being anti woman, ie not enough good roles for women. But its almost always men who are killed in the movies, and when they die it is with out any tenderness or feeling, just bang their dead, move on to the next scene. And these are movies we have no problem showing at prime viewing hours for kids. A movie where a woman is at serious risk of being killed, will usually get an R rating, and it will probably go for the whole movie with the one woman in danger (and about a dozen men getting killed along the way) before she is eventually saved.
In sit com land, men are almost universally viewed as dolts while the women are shown to be competent.

There are plenty of others here who point out discrimination against women. i seem to be the only one who presents the other side of the coin. For example Igray started off this thread by pointing out FGM. that is indeed deplorable, but it happens in remote tribal cultures (I know I am being a little US centric here, but its not something that happens in the US, or Europe, or Japan, or Austrailia etc). On the other hand MGM is the most common surgical proceedure in the US, and is done without anthestisia, and with out the consent of the one it is done to. In many of the cultures that practice FGM, they also practice MGM at around puberty (ie the Maasi of Kenya and Tanzinia)

There are many feminists here, but I seem to be alone in presenting the masculinist case. These perspectives are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they synonous. As long as only one side is heard, we will never achive much in the way of equality.


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'rin
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the only thing that truely offends me about the previous post is the bit about post partum depression. when men can suffer from it then they will be able to use it as a defence. the fact that women can use this chemical imbalance as a defence is not discriminatory against men. if men could have this imbalance than they would be able to have this legal defence. when science perfects procedures allowing men to give birth, i'm sure this will become available to men as a legal defence. one more thing, visitation is enforced, by the way. my custodial parent was slapped with a decent sized fine when i refued to visit my non custodial parent when i was about 13 years old. i know b/c it got taken out of my allowance, a buck a week, for the next 2 years. (i was told that if my refusal to go meant any financial penalties that i would be responsible for them and i still decided not to go.)
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires
"dun bun can't be undone"
-steven king, insomnia


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John Doe
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Men can suffer the baby blues just as women can. For a man, it means the increased pressure of now providing for three when before he was only providing for one, provided his wife was working before the baby was born. That means working harder and taking on extra hours, just at the time when he wants to get to know his new child. It means being shunted to the sidelines when the mother in law comes in and starts taking over everything, and making the assumption that he is incompetent to deal with the child (that assumption is rarely made about the mother). there is often a distinct decline in sexual intimacy after the birth of the baby. Men can suffer from post partum depression, but they could never use it as a legal defense. The other female only defenses still stand.
How much is spent on visitation enforcement in this country compared to what is spent on child support (or more aptly put mother subsidy) enforcement? Do mothers get there drivers licesnces taken away if they interfere with dad seeing the kids? Do they get thrown in jail?
What about judges who hand out TRO's like candy which are used as leverage in divorce proceedings. Do you have any idea whay it feels like to not be able to go with in 500 feet of your own house, one that you are still paying the mortgage on? Any woman can get a TRO just by saying she feels afraid. There does not have to be any proof that the husband has actually done anything. Find me one case where a woman has been prosecuted for perjury for falsely filing for a TRO? The judge knows that if he doesn't grant it, and something does happen he will be crucified in the press, so the easy way to go is to grant it, the rights of the man and due process and equal protection under the law be dammed. After all what is distroying a mans life compared to facing the wrath of NOW?

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lgray
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Hey well, I'm really glad that my first post promted all these discussions... usually I get a whole bunch or responses that tell me I'm wrong women are equal, and have it fine. And everyone (including John) has at least brought up some really good points. And I completley agree w/ a lot of the statements (especially about the vauge meaning of equality, but I used for convience sake) Anyhow, I feel so proud my little post sparked such intelligent discussion thanks everybody... oh continue!
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John Doe
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I always enjoy spirited conversation, just as long as the aim is to shead light rather than heat.
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Heather
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For the sake of clarity, let's understand that postpartum depression is a specific condition which arises from physical, chemical and hormonal changes due to physical childbirth. That given, men cannot suffer from postpartum depression because they do noit physically give birth to an infant.

However, sans the language, as John described, men certainly can suffer depression and anxiety related to the changes and pressures a family or a new baby creates.

But I think when you see litigation which surrounds postpartum depression specifically, it needs to be understood that while that may seem like an inequity, it isn't simply because that condtion is specific to women, in the same way that we would not make an allowance legally for a woman with erectile dysfunction or prostate cancer because she cannot have those conditions, even though if her partner had these things, she may have her own anxieties surrounding those issues.

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[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 09-25-2001).]


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Lee
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Just because the sexes are not treated equally does not mean that they are not in fact equal. To say that two things are equal is not the same as saying that they are identical, or even similar. What equal means is that they are equivalent, or that they ammount to the same thing in spite of differences. I personally believe that women are better than men, or at least some women are better than most men. Some women are emotionally unstable, annoying, useless, dizzy, "I need a man to make me complete" types. At the same time however some men are stupid, abusive, emotionally stunted, "I own my woman and she belongs in the kitchen" types. There is so much fault to be found with both that it is difficult for either side to point any fingers.

As for the mistreatment of women I firmly that we only truly have the rights and freedoms we are willing to fight and die for. Rights are not a set of indulgences on the part of the government or society. Rights define the point at which society ends and the individual begins. Where that point is depends on where you want it to be and how hard you fight to get it there. No one should be abused or treated as a lesser being because of their sex. But the plain and brutal truth is that unless someone fights for fair treatment they aren't going to get it. When they do fight for fair treatment they may be ridiculed, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered. Or if enough people join them in the fight they may in fact win. That is the price of freedom. Pay up or shut up.

Lee


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John Doe
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There is a lot of truth to what you say Lee. However, what it requires is that a an individual I get treated less fairly so that members of group that I am associated with will get treeated more fairly in the future. (isn't that what you mean by fighting or even dying for a cause).
Just how would you suggest that I go about fighting for say fathers rights, and at the same time not undermine the limited contact that I now have with my children. I want the sexes to be treated fairly in the future when it comes to custody, enforcement of visitation rights with the same ferocity that the state now uses for enforcemnt of child support. What are your practical suggestions for fighting for gender equality.

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Lee
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Sounds like a case of taxation without representation to me. Most people my age don't have kids, at least not ones with any sense, so I'm no expert on how to handle nutcase ex-wives/girlfriends who are willing to use their children as weapons in a war of emotional attrition.

Groups like the ACLU and NRA work to protect the first and second amendments. Perhaps a dedicated group working to promote and protect the rights of fathers as parents would be the way to go. I'm sure that groups like this already exist although I wouldn't know what their names would be. Other than that perhaps a little civil disobedience would be in order. If you're paying child support but aren't being allowed to spend time with your child or children, perhaps refusing to pay would be the way to go to draw attention to your cause. I don't mean just stop paying and wait for the gestapo to come beat down your door, I mean shout it out loud and clear to all concerned that unless and until you are allowed time with your child that all of your child support payments would be going into an account set aside for them. That you are willing to pay child support, but that being a father means more than sending a check every month. Obviously you should have a lawyer. Send all this in writing to any shyster she might have on the payroll as well as to the court. The fact that you are the one paying child support gives you a certain ammount of leverage I would think. Your ex wants your money, perhaps to help support your child and perhaps not. Either way the fact that you are ultimately the one who controls whether she gets it or not means that you should be able to set a few reasonable conditions and ensure that they are met. You may end up in trouble with the courts in the short run, but then the question becomes what price are you willing to pay?

Of course I'm just a wet behind the ears little punk who thinks he's smarter than eveyrone else. Feel free to ignore me.

Lee


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Bobolink
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I'm afraid witholding child support is an absolute no-no. Many states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada will allow family courts to directly garnishee the wages of a person witholding child support. In many juridictions, witholding support is considered a felony. When it comes to access rights, divorced fathers have almost no leverage. I even had a former employee hauled up before family court after his ex-wife falsly accused him of witholding support. He was able to incontrovertably prove that he had made all his payments and on-time. It's interesting that his former wife wasn't charged with perjury or public mischief.

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[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 10-19-2001).]


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Lee
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She doesn't have to be charged with anything for your friend to sue her himself. What kind of white trash bimbo would even pull such a stunt? It shouldn't be too difficult to dig up enough dirt on someone like that to file for custody on the grounds that she is an unfit mother. You might not win, but the very fact that you might should be enough to make anyone with a triple digit IQ mind their manners. Actually scratch that, I don't think she's that bright. In which case he should just go for broke and work towards getting custody.

How did this guy get mixed up with a woman who would pull something like that in the first place?

Lee


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Beppie
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Hey Lee, while I agree with you that the woman who lied about the child support with-holding behaved atrociously, just be careful using terms like "white trash bimbo" because some of our users might find it offensive, okay?
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bettie
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I just wanted to mention that generalizing that intelligence and IQ scores are some how related to ethical behaviour is just plain unkind. I have worked with plenty of people who would fall below the three digits and are very kind and generous people.

I just wanted to mention that because low IQ numbers have been thrown around as an insult in this thread and a couple of others on the boards as of late.

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John Doe
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I do get to see my kids, every other weekend and wednesdays for dinner. What others have said about holding back on child support is true. It is a non starter. It gets your wages garneished, your drivers liscence taken away, you thrown in jail, and your poster in the post office under the title deadbeat dad.
The real problem is that the dad can't really fight back because the other just has to utter two words, and then what ever contact you have goes out the window, and you are lucky if you get supervised visitation. All she has to say is "sexual abuse" and you are screwed. I am not aware of any woman who has gone to jail for posting a false charge of the husband sexually abusing the kids.

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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
I am not aware of any woman who has gone to jail for posting a false charge of the husband sexually abusing the kids.

You know John, that is something that I noticed out here as well...that although there have been cases where women were charged with perjury for pressing false charges of abuse, it seems to be a fairly small percentage of the cases where false charges are deemed to have been filed. Two years ago in Pasadena, California; a woman who did not want her two children to have any visitation with their birth father filed molestation charges against the man, who was later found "factually innocent." This meant that she could be tried for perjury, and the District Attorney actually went for it. The woman received a 90-day jail sentence, probation, and lost custody of her children.

But I also know of several cases in my own jurisdiction (one which I actually worked on, others I only heard about secondhand) where one party filed false charges on the other and was not tried for perjury once the charges were found to be unsubstantiated.

I do not have enough evidence to back a claim that women are less likely to be tried for perjury than men are, but I definitely see a trend where people are lying under oath as part of some revenge scheme and are not always being called on it. That trend disturbs me, because while it is certain that lies are told in court, not punishing those who are caught lying sets a rather foul precedent. I wonder if perhaps some District Attornies simply believe it is better to allow serious charges like those of molestation to go forward even when there is not clear-cut evidence, simply to avoid looking like they are "soft on crime." That wouldn't surprise me one bit, if it were the case.

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John Doe
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Actually in divorce settings the vast majority of sexual abuse charges end up getting cleared, but usually it is in some middle ground like not enough evidence to proceed. In the meantime the guys life is distroyed, he has next to no contact with his kids, the kids are subject to all sorts of intrusive and abusive questioning. it a great ploy to alienate kids from their father and it happens all the time. But the attitude of the courts is better that 100 innocent men have their relationship with their kids distroyed, their reputations ruined, and suffer unbeleivable mental anguish, than to let one dad who is actually guilty of it have access to his kids. The courts have gone from the assumtion that "father knows best" to the assumption that "father molests".

By the way, if the dad had been found guilty, what would the likely jail time have been. Dollars to dougnuts it would have been a lot more than 90 days. Did this woman have to register for the rest of her life with the authorities on a list that is open to the public. A list that could indanger her very life? Even in the rare case that a woman gets prosecuted for it, the punishment is a joke by comparision.

[This message has been edited by John Doe (edited 10-21-2001).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
[B]By the way, if the dad had been found guilty, what would the likely jail time have been. Dollars to dougnuts it would have been a lot more than 90 days. Did this woman have to register for the rest of her life with the authorities on a list that is open to the public. A list that could indanger her very life? Even in the rare case that a woman gets prosecuted for it, the punishment is a joke by comparision.
B]

Agreed...but that is apples and oranges. Child molestation and perjury are two different crimes with two different ramifications. While both show lapses in integrity, I would argue that one has far more serious and long-lasting repurcussions than another. No matter how you slice it.

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John Doe
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How so? If the only victim of purgury were "the integrity of the court" you might be right. But look at what would have happened if the guy had been convicted based on the wifes testimony. How much more serious and long lasting damage can you think of. If anything, purgery designed to convict an innocent man of child molestation is a much more serious crime than child molestation itself.
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bettie
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I suppose the only people to be able to answer that question is someone who has both been falsely accused of child molestation and someone who was molested as a child.

I doubt there is a reasonable study on this matter so I'll just quote some wise words posted above.

quote:
The fact of the matter is that we're all on the short end of the stick when it comes to discrimination. The mere fact that discrimination based upon gender happens at all is sickening enough, why try to compare who has it worse? All the energy that is expended on doing that could just as easily be expended doing something about it.
Why not take that route instead?

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John Doe
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I would have to agree with you that it would be a pretty tough study to conduct, especially to have a big enough sample size to make it statistically convincing. One would also have to control for what exactly the nature of the child molestation was, which is something that the vast majority of studies into child sexual abuse do not do. they tend to lump consentual manual sex of a 12 yo boy with a 21 year old friend in with the forcible rape of a 5 yo by his or her stepfather.
However, just imagine yourself in the position of someone who has been falsely convicted of child molestation for a minute or two. First there is the jail time, jail time for anyone falsely accused of anything is horrible enough, but do you have any idea of how child molestors are treated in prision? Most likely he will be raped repeatedly, and the prision administration will turn a blind eye to it. Then there is the social ostrisim, your friends drop you, your neighbors look at you suspiciously. Even your family is likely to disown you. Of course in these cases where we are talking about divorce/custody cases, there is the effect on the relationship with the children. The man, even after he gets out of jail, is likely to have little or no contact with his children. If he is lucky, he will get to see them with some busybody social worker watching him like a hawk and listening to everything he says to his kids. So he tries to move to a new town to start over, but he can't really start over, since the first thing he has to do when he moves to his new town is go to the police station to register. The cops then go an tell all of his new neighbors about his (false) conviction for child molestation. So much for starting over. Getting a job will also be pretty tough, of course he will still be liable for child support payments, so he will live in abject poverty.

Now does 90 days in jail seem like adiquate punishment for some one who deliberatly and premeditadilly put someone through this. (and that is for one of the very rare cases that get prosecuted at all)

As for the second part about arguing about who has it worst, nad directing our energies to fixing it instead. To fix a problem, first one has to be aware that there is a problem. the thrust of the post at the top of this thread was that the problem went in only one direction, and that is very much the popular perception. So I agree, we need to fix the problems of gender discrimination, but to do so we need to be aware of them and not just ignore them or sweep them under the carpet.


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bettie
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John, you said that "If anything, purgery
designed to convict an innocent man of child molestation is a much more serious crime than child molestation itself".

My point was that we can never know which is worse or if one injustice can be worse than another. It is all a matter of opinion. Arguing about it only leads to bitterness. At least that is my perception.

Here is a quote that brought me some peace of mind.

quote:
Do not search for the truth;
Only cease to cherish opinions.
If there is even a trace
Of this and that,
Of right and wrong,
The mind will be lost
In confusion.
Although all dualities
Come from the One
Do not remain in the dualistic state.

- Seng-Tsan (d.606)


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And glad to just be me"
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John Doe
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I was responding to Dan's point that one has more serious and long lasting reprocussions than the other, and his treating purgery as if it were in effect a victimless crime. One which mearly shows a lapse in integrity. Writing a check for $150 when you only have $120 in the bank is a lapse in integrity. Purgery designed to ruin a person is more like a viscious violent assault, but one that uses the power of the state as the wepon, rather than a baseball bat or a knife. Afterall what is more valuable to you than your good name, except perhaps your children. This is something that takes away both.
You have to make judgements about what is worse, or you fall into the worst sort of moral relativism, where running a stop sign is the equivelent of flying a plane into the WTC. To say that all injustices are equal is a moral cop out.

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Laura
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It seems to me that when a perjurer is caught, full restitution can be made, whereas when a child molester is caught, it's much much harder for the damage to be undone. Perhaps this is what Dan meant when he said that one crime has more long-lasting ramifications than the other.

John, I think that you're mostly worried (and rightly so) about the cases where the perjurer is not caught. But in this case, where she was, it seems kind of vindictive to fret about what *might* have happened if she hadn't been caught, and punish her based on that.

It's true that the intent is the same, but it's sort of like murder versus attempted murder - they're very different crimes, with very different punishments. It's unfortunate that by definition, the "successful" perjurers - who do the most damage - get off scot-free. But to punish the "unsuccessful" perjurers for the crimes of the successful ones - that just doesn't seem right to me.


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John Doe
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How exactly is full restitution made? I just listed what happens to people who are convicted of child molestation. How do you make restitution for somethig like that if it happens unjustly. Why is that sort of damage so easy to repair compaired to child molestation? By the way, the effects of child molestation can vary greatly, based on the relationship invovled, the degree of consent by the child, the gender of the child, how big a deal is made out of it when it is discovered (the bigger it is made out to be, the more traumatic it is for the child), and the child's personality.
Your argument is sort of like the guy who says well I can't fix the leak in my roof while it is raining, and when its not raining I don't need to. What about the deterrent effect. Under your system, its open season to distroy your spouse. Of course, nobody would take accusations that the woman was sexually abusing the child seriously, so it is only guys that are vulnerable. After all the topic is "are we equal". Apparently its ok to talk about absolute trivialities when it is women who get the short end (ie a good looking tennis player making more than one that doesn't look as good but is a better player), but when there is something extremely serious where men are on the short end, the attitude all of a sudden becomes, "it doesn't make any sense to argue about who has it worse".
And why not be vindictive? Isn't deterrence and vindictiveness the very basis of the criminal justice system.

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