The War Against Men

From the September-October 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

If the war against boys is still raging, the one against men might well be over. Melanie Phillips wrote in the June 10 London Spectator, “One of the many mysteries of our age is why the British establishment has declared open season upon half the human race. Men are systematically robbed of their reputation, their children and their purpose in life…. If what is routinely thrown at men was directed at any of our fabled victim groups—women, black people, gays—society would stand condemned of the most vile prejudice, discrimination and even persecution. Yet the vast majority of people either do not know how the dice are being loaded against men or, if they do have an inkling, think deep down (or not so deep) that, well, they really do deserve it.”

Ms. Phillips pointed readers to England’s justice system as an example of what she means: “The courts are institutionally biased against husbands, ousting them from their homes on the slightest pretext, stripping a man of his children and his assets even if his wife has gone off with a lover and his own behavior has been exemplary.” The courts, Phillips says, routinely assume that mothers are better parents while fathers are the ones who desert families or abuse women and children. Yet international research shows that women initiate just as many divorces and just as many acts of domestic violence as men. In fact, mothers and boyfriends, not fathers, are more likely to commit violent acts against children.

Across the Atlantic, the American Spectator reports that two thirds of all divorces involving children are initiated by women. Yet, despite this little-known fact, women are the ones usually awarded custody of children in divorce proceedings. This, again, is because it’s assumed that dad is the dead-beat, the cheater, the wife beater or child abuser.

While our society does have its share of delinquent dads, it is certainly not fair to assume that fathers are the villains in divorce proceedings. In fact, according to a poll taken in 1994, 41 percent of men would agree to remain in a mediocre marriage for the sake of the children. Only 27 percent of women agreed with this view.

So much for stereotypes.