Saturday, June 30, 2007

Neil Lyndon: The Best Interests of the State

This is Neil Lyndon's recent conference speech, reproduced with his permission:

I hope you will have seen the quote from Daniel Patrick Moynahan which I am taking as the rubric for this talk but for anybody who hasn‘t, here it is. This is from his book "Family and Nation", where he said - "There is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos... And it is richly deserved."

Moynahan included that remark in his Godkin lectures at Harvard in 1986 but he wrote it, originally, in 1965 - which, it is a paradox to recognise, was possibly the last moment in human history when the ancient order that had more or less prevailed between men and women for centuries was still very largely intact. It was still broadly true at that moment that men went to work and women stayed at home to look after the family. It was still possible to raise a family on the single income that the father might earn. It was still true that most men and women had sex only with the person they married and expected to stay married to that person for life. Life, at that time, meant life. Such a state might not have been much fun but it was stable, orderly and predictable.

If Moynahan thought he was observing chaos in 1965, God knows what word he would have used to describe what happened thereafter. Within a year, the contraceptive pill for women would become freely available across the developed world and - for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, however you choose to view or interpret it - the entire order of things between men and women changed fundamentally, irreversibly and forever.

Everything that we now observe in the changed position of women and men - especially the reduced position of men in marriage, the elimination of men as fathers, the marginalisation of men as figures of authority and respect in the upbringing of children, the ridiculing of men in every quarter of the culture - all that stems from that pivotal moment in history when women became, for the first time ever, able to decide for themselves - with infallible certainty - whether or not to become pregnant and subsequently, with the introduction of abortion by vacuum curettage, whether or not to carry a baby to term. All sexual and familial power devolved to women from that instant.

For a moment, however, let’s just think back over 40 years to 1965 and for those whose memories don’t stretch that far, allow me to take you there with a wave of my magic authorial wand.

In 1965, I was 18 and taking my A-levels at a comprehensive school in rural north Dorset. It is a very big school now, with nearly 2000 pupils, but in those days there were only 650, in equal numbers of girls and boys. It was a remarkable school in many ways and I owe it my life for reasons that aren’t relevant to this talk but, looking back on it, the most remarkable thing that strikes me now is that, in the whole time I was there, throughout the early and mid-1960s, only one girl that we knew about got pregnant. Maybe there were others, though I doubt it. It’s possible that some girls got pregnant and were whisked away and the rest of us never realised what was happening but I doubt it. On the face of it, therefore, of the 1000 or so girls who passed through that school while I was there, only one got pregnant, had to leave school and gave birth. What became of her? She married the baby’s father.

We haven’t finished with 1965, we’ll go back there in a moment but let’s now spool forward to a moment in 2003, nearly 40 years later. I am talking on the phone to my stepson who is 18 - the same age as I was in 1965. He is on his mobile. He is standing in the street in the little town in Suffolk where he grew up. Suddenly, he breaks off. “Hang on a second,” he says, “I’ve just seen something remarkable.” Then he tells me that five girls he knew from his year at school have just walked past him and three of them are pushing babies in prams and pushchairs. When I asked him how many of the girls who had gone to his coeducational comprehensive school at the same time as him had subsequently become pregnant, he blew out his cheeks and guessed “25”. That’s out of about 200 girls. And how many of those girls were living with the fathers of their babies? Not one.

So in 40 years, in roughly comparable schools, each of which draws its pupils from roughly similar catchments in terms of social class and income, you go from a position where one girl in 1000 gets pregnant and she then marries the father to a position where one girl in 10 has a baby and the father of every one of those babies is nowhere to be seen.

What on earth happened in those 40 years to produce such an unprecedented change?

One thing I can tell you absolutely for certain: it wasn’t that girls suddenly discovered sex after 1966. My school in Dorset was positively thrumming with sexual intrigue and excitement from top to bottom and all day every day. Nothing in my subsequent life - and I worked at the BBC for some years which was like going to work in a Roman orgy at times - nothing comes close to the intensity of sexual interest and activity at that school.

Yet nobody got pregnant. Why? It certainly wasn’t thanks to reliable contraception. Condoms were the only form of mass-produced contraception widely available to adolescents at that time and most of us couldn’t afford them more than once or twice a year. The barber’s whispered offer of “something for the weekend” was available only to men in work and even they probably couldn’t afford more than a packet of three. No. Girls didn’t get pregnant because girls made damned sure they didn’t get pregnant; and the boys all understood that a pregnancy would be such a total disaster that it was worth suffering almost any pain or self-denial or second-hand substitute rather than risk it. A teenage pregnancy was a calamity for everybody - not just the girl but the boy, too, and both their families - one of which would probably have to give accommodation to the new baby under their own roof.

So why do girls today get pregnant and have babies - or abortions - in such numbers?

Can it be because - as we are constantly being told by hand-wringing social agencies - they don’t get good enough sex education at school? In other words, is it because they don’t know what they are doing?

Are you kidding (perhaps that’s not the best way of putting the question in this context)? Perhaps I should say: Are you serious?

The idea that hundreds of thousands of teenage girls in this country get pregnant because they don’t know anything about sex is as remote from reality as the notion that Father Christmas comes down the chimney. A generation brought up on East Enders and Neighbours, on Hollyoaks and Big Brother, on Girls Aloud and Sugababes is not short of the most graphic and explicit information on every aspect of sex - even those which many sensitive adults would want to receive only with their hands over their ears or eyes. My wife is a primary school teacher. She has had to give sex lessons to children as young as seven. She is adamant that, apart from special needs pupils who might not be able to comprehend the message, there wouldn’t be a single girl at primary school over the age of 10 who hadn’t been more completely informed about sex than my generation had been by the time we were of marrying age at 16.

So it isn’t ignorance that gets them pregnant. And it isn’t the lack or unavailability or expense of contraception. Girls today can get the Pill from their GPs at the age of 14 and no questions asked. Boys can get condoms free at contraceptive clinics, even at some schools. They’ve got a thousand times better access to contraception yet they have a thousand times more babies. There are approximately 40,000 teenage conceptions a year in England alone of which 60% lead to live births.


The answer must be that they do it because they get paid to do it. They do it because it’s the best career move on offer to them. They do it because they’ve got nothing better to do. They do it because the state makes it worth their while.

Every one of those girls my stepson saw in the street was living on state benefits to provide for their baby and themselves. None of them was working. Every one of them was living in accommodation provided by and largely furnished by the state. The government itself says that “benefit payments to a teenage mother who does not enter employment in the three years following birth can total between £19000-£25000 over three years”. If you multiply those figures by the number of live births, the total goes off the end of your calculator. It’s hundreds of millions of pounds a year from the national exchequer.

For what? For misery. For deprivation. For despair. For a depth of chaos which Daniel Patrick Moynahan could not begin to have imagined when he spoke about chaos in 1965.

There isn’t any dispute about the scale of the social catastrophe which follows from the birth of so many children to single teenage mothers. The government officially acknowledges that such children are greatly increased risk of “poverty, low educational attainment, poor housing, poor health, and lower rates of economic activity in adult life.” They are far more likely to get a police record, to appear in court and to be sent to prison. The young men who emerge from such households are generically incapable of forming stable relationship themselves, never acquiring - as Moynahan described it - any set of rational expectations about the future and are highly likely themselves to inseminate teenage girls and then to have no role in the upbringing of their offspring.

It is impossible to see any advantage at all to the state in any aspect of this set of circumstances. The cost is appalling. The consequences are frightening. The future is almost unbearable to contemplate.

So why on earth do we perpetuate this state of affairs?

We do it - I would like to propose - because we live in an age when the claims of the individual are held to be generally superior to the interests of the state and when, in particular, the holiest of holy writs is a woman’s right to act in any way she chooses - no matter how quixotic that choice may be and regardless of its consequences for society at large.

This has been the principle which has underpinned state policy on abortion for the last 40 years and it has been an unmitigated catastrophe. More than six millions lives have been stilled since the 1967 Abortion Act - a figure which is exactly equal to the decline of the native population in the same period - and there isn’t a single person, not even the most ardent proponent of abortion, who has a good word to say for that particular melancholy number. They may celebrate the freedom of the individual to make the choice to have an abortion but nobody celebrates the collective results of those choices. Nobody is triumphant that demand for abortions rises year on year so that it now approaches 200,000 a year in England and Wales - despite the free availability of contraception - and the cost continues to average about £1000 for each surgical procedure so a considerable sum of state money is being spent.

Nobody has ever claimed that any benefit proceeds to the state from this multitude of abortions except, I suppose it could be argued that if the state pays for an abortion it doesn’t have to pay to bring up an impoverished, ineducable delinquent who will become an unemployable criminal adult and the absent father or the unfit mother of yet another individual who will probably be exactly the same. But the best that you could say of that benefit that would be to describe it as negative.

But what if - what if - the state were to reverse its priorities. What if it were to declare that its own interests were paramount. What if the state were to say that - since there is no benefit that redounds to the state from these expenditures on single mothers or on abortions - that the state therefore ceases those payments? No more maternity pay. No more council houses. No more free abortions.

There would be no interference in the rights of individuals if the state took that position. A teenager would still be free to get pregnant if she chose to do so and would still be free to have an abortion. But, either way, she would have to pay or she would have to find somebody else to help her pay - which would probably be the father of the child and, possibly, her family. Or - as it always was in the past - she would have to turn to charity. The only difference would be that the state would no longer pay for the woman’s right to exercise her freedom. She would exercise it at her own - or if she was lucky - her man’s expense.

What then? What changes would result from that change in state policy? To get the answer to that question, I suggest you ask some teenagers. I have. Guess what they say? They say - immediately, without reserve - that the girls would make sure that they didn’t get pregnant. Which is exactly what girls did in 1965 and all the centuries before the present age.

If a girl knows that there is no advantage to be gained by getting pregnant - the word actually should be benefit - there is no benefit to be gained, she is going to pay a great deal more attention to the question of contraception. She is also going to want to know a great deal more about a boy’s intentions towards her offspring if she knows that she can only expect to receive material and emotional support from him if she gives birth.

Now, let’s ask this question: whose interests apart from the interests of the state would be served by such a set-up? Answer: the child’s.

It is, self-evidently, in a child’s interests to be conceived by a mother who can expect to be able to provide for him or her. It is obviously - and nobody argues against this - in a child’s interests to be born into a stable relationship between father and mother in which settled arrangements are in place for the child’s future welfare and upbringing. It is in a child’s best interests to have a family - not to be dependent upon the state as an absent, penny-pinching and impersonal parent. A piece in the papers yesterday spoke about the “father-hunger” of masses of black boys in this country who have been born to single mothers and have never known any father love except in the remote form of a gang membership. Such is the tragic outcome of a state policy which entitles a woman to have a baby at the state’s expense.

The policy that the child’s best interests should come first in the family courts has long and correctly been identified by campaigners for fathers’ rights as a sham because what it actually means - as Lady Justice Butler-Schloss’s has openly declared - is that the child’s interests are identical with the mother’s. But what needs to be restored to the operations of the family courts, the legislature and the executive is that their first duty is to preserve and uphold the interests of the state, not the individual. And if you take the interests of the state as being paramount, it becomes obvious that our laws and employment practices and our tax system and our system of honours and privileges should all be directed towards the support of the family - because it is in the family that the child’s interests can best be promoted and protected. In other words, the child’s best interests are synonymous not with the mother’s but with the state’s best interests and vice versa.

So, if we stop paying for abortions and single mothers - and save all that money that we would be spending on special schools and social workers and police forces and courts and prisons - what do we do with the money? I’ll tell you what we do (actually I wrote all this in my 1992 book No More Sex War): we spend it on families, preferably on families where the parents are married. We extend subsidies to mothers and fathers of young children so that neither of them has to work at all during the first year of a baby’s life. We remove taxes on their incomes to such an extent that a mother and a father each working part-time can support children up to school age. We make it beneficial and profitable for couples to marry, to take time off work to look after their own children and to stay together.

In other words, we should live in a state that puts the children’s interests first because theirs are the essential interests of the state.

How is this to be achieved? It won’t happen through a men’s movement, that’s for sure. I think by now we have to recognise that no cognisance is going to be taken in our lifetime of the injustices that have been inflicted on men in our own lifetime. I simply don’t believe that is going to happen.

It won’t happen through any of the established political parties because they are all indissolubly committed to the status quo, largely without the slightest tremor of recognition that it is unsustainable.

Maybe the Equal Parenting Alliance could consider these measures as policy; but, to my mind, change is most likely to come through a taxpayers’ revolt. The fuel tax protests of 2000 did give me a lot of heart because they demonstrated that a Poujadist uprising, even today can scare a government half to death. The limited risings of outraged pensioners who have refused to pay their increased community charge is also a heartening sign, in a little way. But if a grouping like the Taxpayers’ Alliance were capable of raising a million or more people who were committed to change and if they all said with one voice: stop paying for single mothers and stop paying for abortions in the name of the best interests of the state or we shall withhold our taxes en masse from next April 5 - then the government would be forced to listen.

So that’s what I am going to do. I am going to join and support the Taxpayers Alliance and I am going to try to get them to adopt these policies and I suggest you do the same. Why don’t we make it our aim to incite a taxpayers’ strike within five years? I could then spend my 65th birthday in prison which would be a fitting result.

Good luck and happy Father’s Day.


Alien Anthropologist said...

"since there is no benefit that redounds to the state from these expenditures on single mothers"

Not true. A vast number of bureaucrats are paid to look after those 'single mothers', a vast number more are paid to deal with the consequences of their unskilled, unemployable, criminal kids, and the rise in crime and disorder that those kids create gives the government its major justification for increasing police state measures to 'protect' us from the very threat it created in the first place.

Just because the majority of people want to live in a relatively stable, free and safe society (in so far as those three can be applicable at the same time), that doesn't mean that creating such a society is in the interest of the state. If anything, it's the opposite, as disorder leaves the majority clamoring for more government power to protect them.

Government is a wonderful scam, because the worse it does the more power and money it can take from the people.

sisyphus said...

Now here's a coincidence (or is it?) - article in 30/6/07 edition of The Economist headline We ain't got dames--young layabouts suffer a drought (p.46).

"A new disease is abroad in Eastern Germany: 'Frauenmangel', lack of women. In some towns there are only 75 young women for every 100 young men. In one or two there are as few as 40. The effects are worrying...because of the existence of a growing underclass of young men who are partnerless, underqualified and jobless.

"A study by the Berlin IPD has looked at two small towns in EG. It is a vicious spiral. Girls are more studious than boys, so they get better qualified and migrate west to find partners and jobs. The boys lack role models at home, where fathers are often unemployed, and at school, where teachers are mostly female. Young men now account for 65% of high school dropouts.

"The few women who stay prefer single parenthood to hitching themselves to useless partners--benefits for single women are generous. It is women who are now masters of their own destinies. The study...tells of frustrated gangs of youths drinking outside supermarkets, sleeping on their loading ramps.

"(The report says) EG is now a laboratory for the rest of Europe, since other places are starting to see the same phenomenom.

"...And the most fertile ground for the extreme-right NPD is now in places with a shortage of women, not high unemployment."

Neil Lyndon's conclusions are almost certainly universal, at least in the western world. My cousins in Sydney, Aus, tell me it's the same there. The feministi have won (for the time being).

Anonymous said...

Everything Alien Anthropologist just said!

However, Neil Lyndon is essentially correct on how to treat the problem; stop paying for single mothers to have council houses and extra benefits; stop paying for abortions.

Also, give men equal parenting rights and abolish the child support system.

Anonymous said...

Are you crazy? Abolish child support? So guys can just have sex and discard all the responsibilities? You must be kidding yourself.
Also, a lot of those girls who are teen mothers are from broken homes themselves. A lot of it has to do with having their self-esteem broken so they go and have sex all over the place. Single parenthood isn't just a woman's fault. Actually it's mostly the man's.

Jim said...

"Are you crazy? Abolish child support? So guys can just have sex and discard all the responsibilities?"

Are you crazy - provide child support so girls can have sex and discard all the responsiblities, such as supporting themselves and their children and providing a [actual, biologically related]father in the home for these children?

"Single parenthood isn't just a woman's fault. Actually it's mostly the man's. "

BULLSHIT. Was she raped? Is she so stupid that she doesn't know sex leads to pregnancy? What twaddle.

How about women being expected to think and act like adults for a change?

Heretic said...

"A lot of it has to do with having their self-esteem broken so they go and have sex all over the place."

Ah yes. Self-esteem. The universal panacea of the Religious Left. The reason for teenage pregnancy, eating disorders, female violence, you name it; the poor dears have low self-esteem. I just have a couple of questions about that.

(1) Why are male crimes not caused by low self-esteem? Why is rape not explained away as the result of low self-esteem? If a man has low self-esteem, that is a cause for celebration, is it not? If feminists are concerned about male anti-social behaviour, and anti-social behaviour is caused by low self-esteem, why don't feminists spend their time trying to build male self-esteem? Surely by attempting to damage it further, they are encouraging more crime?

(2) Are you saying that women's self-esteem was higher back in the 1950s, when teenage pregnancies were rare? That seems to be the implication.

Of course, I don't expect to receive a reasonable adult answer from you, but go on, surprise me...

BrusselsLout said...

"Single parenthood isn't just a woman's fault. Actually it's mostly the man's."

But as Neil Lyndon points out in his article, it's very easy to get state support if you are a single mother (or an unmarried teenaged bint who's got herself pregnant).

Pregnancy is under the control of the woman. Moreover, so is the decision of whether to have the child. This makes the claim of accident somewhat less of an excuse. Above all (to any thinking person at least) it makes the blame of the male partner a rather weak one.

Conclusion? Career single mothers.

An excellent article, I thought.

Anonymous said...

Wow, only two days and so many allegations!
"provide child support so girls can have sex and discard all the responsiblities, such as supporting themselves and their children and providing a [actual, biologically related]father in the home for these children?" have you actually done your research with statistics and on the ground? I doubt it. In the age of casual sex, it should not be a wonder that there are so many single parents, sex is unfortunately not taken as seriously and there are few who choose to remain abstinent until marriage. It takes two to tango; so why in all world should it just be the mother's financial burden for a child that was made by a man and a woman? Is he so stupid that he doesn't know that sex leads to a child?
Women and men are equally to blame for each others bad self-esteem. It's not just women, it's not just men. When it comes to girls being promiscuous, all I was pointing out is that they are just looking for someone to love them. If you actually do your research on the ground, most of the <16 mothers say they had a baby so somebody would love them.
And pregnancy is under the control of BOTH the women and the men. If birth control fails then both have to take the responsiblity of their actions, and that does not involve murder.

Heretic said...

"Wow, only two days and so many allegations!"

'Allegations'? What are you talking about? Nobody is alleging anything.

You didn't answer either of my questions about low self-esteem. I assume that is because you can't.

Your first post was the usual semi-hysterical emotional shaming tactics that men have become used to. When it became clear that this wasn't going to work, you then switched to accusing us of making 'allegations' (simply another attempted shaming tactic), and you moderated your claims:

First you said "Single parenthood isn't just a woman's fault. Actually it's mostly the man's."
Then you changed your mind and said "And pregnancy is under the control of BOTH the women and the men."

So you attempt to shirk your share of responsibility until you are forced to accept it. I think it was Wendy McElroy who recently said "A girl schooled in feminism is never permitted to reach emotional maturity".

Let's not forget " have you actually done your research with statistics and on the ground? I doubt it". In other words, "You haven't read enough so therefore you're not allowed to speak". If your own case was even vaguely academic in tone, if the feminist movement ever showed even a shred of respect for evidence, or for science and classical liberal education, I would have some sympathy. However, it is just a ruse used by a movement which regards evidential standards as a sinister conspiracy against women, or as an aspect of elitist culture. Don't ask me if I've read enough. Just cite your sources if you have any.

Can any feminist out there conduct a rational discussion without resorting to personal attacks, emotional manipulation and shaming language? Frankly, I haven't met one. The world is beginning to see through these tricks.

Anonymous said...

anonymous implies that abortion is murder, so he or she probably isnt a feminist, but a conservative. I think conservatives would rather just have all the gender stuff go back to the 50s, but since thats probably not going to happen with women, they settle by just ensuring that the way society treats men stays stuck there.

Anonymous said...

sisyphus really brought up something important, which is that men's problems have a kind of positive feedback loop associated with them and that they'll probably just get worse and worse as they accumulate across generations. We'll eventually end up with large numbers of young, uneducated men with who can't get women, and they'll probably end up seriously destabilizing society in someway. And that'll actually negatively effect women, so i'm thinking thats thats the part we should focus on in trying to get our message across.

BrusselsLout said...

We'll eventually end up with large numbers of young, uneducated men with who can't get women, and they'll probably end up seriously destabilizing society in someway.

I've recently finished reading Warren Farrell's superb book. He makes some points which are mind-blowing.

The problems that men face in finding a partner are multiple.

First of all, the pressure is STILL on the man to initiate the relationship. Although women have, for a couple of decades, had the OPTION to initiate they have never had the obligation. (And very few take the option anyway.)

This means that the man has to risk rejection. And, unless he's a super-seducer, the odds are seriously stacked against him. Going through the embarrassing and sometimes humiliating process of rejection is a part of finding a partner for a man. This is something that a woman does not experience, except, perhaps on rare occasions and to a much milder extent.

But the problem for the man has now become compounded over the 20 years or so.

Suppose a particular man lacks experience. But his blood is still red, so he tries to initiate a relationship with a woman he's attracted to. He does it badly.

Now suppose the woman is just the wrong one to have tried to begin a relationship with. His advances are "unwanted".

She goes to the police and claims she has been sexually harrassed. He faces prison. And for trying to start a relationship.

So what's the upshot of this? Men will avoid relationships. Or at least with women in countries with laws such as we have in the Anglophone world.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I have to say that I'm quite glad that somebody realised Í''m not a feminist just because I disagree with their blog. What I said is that pregnancy is both the responsibility of the man AND the women. That is different from single parenthood. If you'd just realised what I said, is that a lot of these do want men in their lives, and single parenthood results usually from the men walking out on them.
Which is why it is just crazy suggesting to abolish child support, as it leaves men with no responsibility, and a lot of women in poverty.
As with concerning abortion, it is still murder no matter what age it occurs in. It is not a method of birth control or a reproductive right.
Anyway, we all have our opinions, but to accuse me of hysteria and radicalism is going a little bit too far. All I'm doing is expressing my opinion, and the belief that women and men have equal responsibilities when it comes to the raising of a family.

Heretic said...

Dear Anonymous,
OK, perhaps we were overly aggressive towards you. We are used to having to deal with feminists who expect to have everything their own way, and anyone who dares to question them is likely to have their lives destroyed. This happened to Lyndon himself, and it is political tyranny, plain and simple. I have tried asking feminists nicely, and it gets you nowhere. Logic is a male trick designed to silence women, so I'm told. I admit to becoming somewhat prickly as a result. Nothing personal intended.

I think Neil Lyndon's point was that the current system in the UK provides incentives for young women to become single mothers, and that this has widespread negative effects. That is something I would agree with. The child support system certainly needs radical reform to remove these incentives; if a young woman thought she might end up in poverty, she might think twice about getting pregnant. Lyndon is right when he asks why on earth the taxpayer and the wider society should pick up the bill, not only for the child care, but later on too, for dealing with the unemployable delinquents that this 'alternative family' tends to produce. The system is also designed to punish those who wish to have children in the tradtional way, which, let's face it, usually leads to better outcomes. Lyndon has a strong case, I believe.

Of course contraception is a joint responsibility. The belief that women are helpless victims, and the desire to punish men for wanting to have sex with them, are factors which need to be removed from our calculations. It is a gross misrepresentation of the truth, which only serves a fascistic lesbian agenda.

Personally, I don't agree that abortion is murder. I take Bill Clinton's view that abortion needs to be 'safe, available and rare'. Currently, however, it is far from rare.

When you used the word 'murder', I assumed you were putting words into my mouth. Feminists often assume that the men's movement is rabidly anti-abortion, without even bothering to check. Personally, I believe we need abortion, a bit like we need amputation; it's an unpleasant last resort, but sometimes it has to be done. I am staunchly pro-choice, but it comes with small print. I completely agree that it is not a form of contraception, and should not be used as such. We shouldn't be dishing abortions out like sweets. Again, if a girl thinks she might not get an abortion, she might be more careful. So might the boy. Condoms, on the other hand, we should be dishing out like sweets.

Family breakdown is a complicated issue, but the political Left has a clear agenda to destroy the family, and this must be opposed.

Heretic said...

Another point I missed. You said:

"single parenthood results usually from the men walking out on them."

I'm not saying that never happens. I know it does. But a lot of the time it is the woman who rejects the father, and drives him away. The political Left and the Family court system co-operate to separate fathers from their children in vast numbers.

Have you ever heard of Fathers 4 Justice? A lot of men want to be with their children, but are not allowed to be, even though they have done nothing wrong.

Vindictive mothers often use children as a weapon against the father, and prevent him from seeing his children just to spite him. It is the children who suffer.

If you really believe in joint responsibility as you say, then you need to take a gender-neutral view of this. Women are not cowering victims oppressed by an Evil Patriarchy. No-one has a monopoly on good behaviour.

Nick S said...

Heretic, I like the way you responded to miss anon. I think it is funny the way some women say 'but I'm not a feminist', as if somehow not identifying oneself as such excuses the same lazy thinking and scapegoating of men.

Regarding the twaddle about female self-esteem, the reality is that there are far more constant attacks on male self-esteem in our society. If anything, there are probably far more men and boys who suffer from low self-esteem. The problem with many women today is not low self-esteem, but rather exaggerated sense of entitlement and narcissism.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with Nick S. I don't know your history, but you seem to have being hurt by women, and think that they are out to get you...I was not scapegoating men; there are many instances where they act irresponsibly. Women act irresponsibly too.
Men who walk out on women SHOULD have their fingers pointed at them, and by doing so i am NOT a feminist. That just makes me somebody who says that it is wrong to do so, and then groan about having to pay child support, when it was the man who made the child in the first place.
Otherwise, I do agree that there are women out there manipulating the courts system to get back at the men. That never stopped men from having the responsibility to pay child support.

Heretic said...

"I don't know your history, but you seem to have being hurt by women, and think that they are out to get you".

I dont know if you are referring to myself or Nick S.

I am reminded of the scene in Catch-22 where Yossarian is screaming "They're shooting at me!, They're shooting at me!". "There is a war on. They're shooting at everybody". "I don't care! They're shooting at me!".

The political struggle that I am discussing on this blog is not about me. My personal history doesn't enter into it. It is not only the personal which is political.

Yes, women use feminist principles as an excuse to behave appallingly, and that has happened to me in my personal life. This has helped to sensitise me to the situation, but the problem is much bigger than that.

Anonymous said...


Read your blog with interest, it's good to hear you want to get involved with the TaxPayers' Alliance. Email me at and we can look how to best get you involved.


Tim Aker
Grassroots Coordinator
TaxPayers' Alliance

Nick S said...

Miss anon, your comments have no relation to what I actually wrote. It is clear that you couldn't address the issues I raised, so instead you choose to invent a straw man and knock it down.

Where precisely did I say that men who father children should be allowed to evade all responsibility? Nowhere. This is simply a view you have attributed to me without any evidence. I am not opposed to child support, although I think sometimes it can be an excessive burden.

Because you can't deal with the arguments I raised, instead you choose to attack me personally. This is a standard feminist tactic, and it is wearing thin.

Also, please spare me the condescending sympathy and free psychological evaluation.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Self-esteem. The universal panacea of the Religious Left. The reason for teenage pregnancy, eating disorders, female violence, you name it; the poor dears have low self-esteem. I just have a couple of questions about that.

Acutally, self esteem (pride) is one of the most frowned upon things a person can have within true religious circles. As a Christian myself, a huge amount of time in prayer in dedicated to removing my pride. Having said that, it is important to note that there are in fact two churches in operation in this world. The true Church (dedicated Christians trying to live Godly lives) and the false church (religion. com men out to make a buck. Liard out to look good, cults and so on.). Unfortunately, people with no knowledge make generalisatioons and paint the whole Church with the same brush that ought to be used against tele-evangelists etc only.

Apart from that, I enjoyed this article. Much to ponder on. Thanks.