Sunday, August 26, 2007

Barbeque Dads

I went to a Barbeque party at a friend’s house yesterday, on one of our few dry and sunny days this year in London.

The couple hosting the party are from the Philippines, and the guests were mainly from their extended family, and the local Philippine community.

I made my way into the kitchen to greet the hostess. A platoon of graceful, feminine women was busy preparing a feast of Asian delicacies. As I made my way out to the garden, I met the host, lighting the barbeque and inflating the children’s bouncy castle.

I got talking to an interesting British couple there. Al, an engineer, was a father of two. His wife had left him for another man, and moved to Ireland, taking Al’s children with her.

Al was paying child support to her via the disastrous Child Support Agency. He was very affable about the situation, as he sat in the sun drinking his cold beer from a can.

“If she was to marry the Sultan of Brunei, and suddenly have billions of pounds in the bank, my payments would not change. I would still have to pay the same. If I was to marry the Sultan of Brunei’s sister, on the other hand, my payments would increase”.

“I’m only allowed to live in a two-room place, one for myself, and one for the kids when they come to visit. Anything else is deemed to be an extravagance”.

Al is a wage slave. The court has ordered that he should have a minimum standard of living. Anything else he makes above that is taken from him and given to his ex-wife. Her new husband’s income is not taken into account, but his new wife’s income is. Let’s not forget that she left him for another man. He has done nothing wrong.

He is lucky that his new wife is wonderfully supportive. Childless herself, she has taken the role of step-mother very seriously, reading books on child development, trying to maintain a positive relationship with Al’s ex-wife.

“We spend about five hundred pounds a month travelling to Ireland so that Al can still be in his children’s lives. I don’t think the children’s mother actually knows how much effort we make. The children can’t understand why we can’t all just live together in one big house.”

As always, it’s the children who suffer. ‘Best interests of the child’ my arse. ‘Best interests of the woman’ is the only law our Family Courts understand.

Even calling an institution so blatantly anti-family a ‘Family Court’ is like something straight out of George Orwell. In 1984, the Ministry of Truth was responsible for propaganda, the Ministry of Peace was responsible for war, and the Ministry of Plenty was responsible for shortages. That was a political satire. In 2007, the Family Court is responsible for divorcing married couples and tearing children away from their parents and grandparents. This, unfortunately, is no joke, but I bet Orwell would find it amusing.

Once the bouncy castle was ready, it was immediately attacked by a horde of screaming happy Philippine children. Al’s kids were not among them, because they were not there. Our orders about ‘only two kids at a time’ were completely ignored, and we were too relaxed to make an issue of it. In the event, nobody died.

A grandmother sat in one corner, cradling a tiny girl, and exercising a gentle but firm brake on the children’s wilder excesses. When finally the food arrived, it was stunning. One of the Philippine women had overheard some of my conversation with Al and joined in.

”What is it with the British with divorce? It’s all you ever hear in this country, divorce all the time”.

I didn’t know where to begin. “Well, there is this thing called Cultural Marxism. The Patriarchy is a heterosexual dictatorship…” I anticipated the look of confusion I would receive and instead decided I was happy just to find myself in an oasis of sanity, pleased to find that there is still somewhere in the world that hasn’t been overtaken by this man-hating, heterophobic, anti-family cult. Somewhere, in another town in England, an eleven year old boy had just been shot dead by a boy on a bicycle, but here, just for a while, was civilisation.


Richard Ford said...

We need more articles such as this one. Most men have lived almost their entire lives under feminism and cannot quite believe that decency between men and women can exist. True, women sometimes throw themselves at us when we are abroad- but we put this down to our having more money than them.

The fact is that we have forgotton what normal is.

BrusselsLout said...

We need more articles such as this one.

This is another "Where To Guv?". Really enjoyed it and hope there are more to come in the months to come.

The fact is that we have forgotton what normal is.

10 years ago, when I got my first contract abroad, I worked in Germany. Always enjoyed my Saturday nights out in Frankfurt's "pub sector", Sachsenhausen.

Walking home from Sachsenhausen to my flat, sometimes at 3:00 a.m. or even later, I would occasionally go through a park.

On one occasion, there was a woman in the park walking ahead of me, but slower. I was gaining on her. And from her body language she was obviously normal: she wasn't a prostitute. This was where I would normally feel a sense of unease about how she would react when I caught her up.

Would she panic and scream blue rape? Or, less dramatically, would she suddenly change direction, and take the exit that I would have wanted as well? What would I do then? Do I continue in the park instead, and take a longer route home, when I was beginning to get tired and fancy a good night's sleep? Or do I slow down, and walk at an uncomfortably slow pace? And then, there would still remain the problem of what to do if she took my exit.

I gritted my teeth, not quite in anger, and decided to continue as normal, as if she wasn't there.

The moment came to overtake. I could feel a rush of adrenaline coming on in anticipation of her fear of me.

But it turned out not quite as I expected. Instead, she looked completely unperturbed by my presence. I felt instead a sense of relief the moment she turned her face to look at mine. I even detected a slight smile, which, although not sexual, was still friendly enough to enhance and sustain a while longer that wonderful sense of relief.

And at 3-something in the morning. Nobody else around.

I have, since Germany, worked in Belgium, Switzerland and I'm now in Luxembourg. This same story has repeated itself in different forms in different situations quite a few times over the last 10 years.

This is normality. I'm glad I longer live in the UK.