A Cause Worth Fighting For   2 comments

Prompting you to take action!

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

I talk about a lot of causes.

I’ve definitely covered atheism on this blog, and will probably do so in the future.

I also have strong opinions on a lot sociopolitical issues – gay marriage, equality, education, welfare, etc. – and at some point I may talk about them here too. But although I may feel passionate about those subjects, I tend to abstain from bringing them into the public square.

Politics turns into loud screaming match that gets us nowhere and doesn’t really solve anything. Were the political climate less confrontational, I might be more inclined to wade into the discussion. I also don’t really mind other people’s beliefs, and only when they are thrust upon me. Plus, we have enough irreligious warriors in the Amazing Atheist, Richard Dawkins, Jaclyn Glenn, etc., and I think they are doing a good enough job on their own.

I am also a hardcore skeptic, and I feel that debunking false claims, pseudoscience, and other sorts of woo is extremely important. But I don’t really passionately charge at people doing those things. I’m more like a sleeping volcano, who gets prodded by these things and ends up blowing up at the triggering person in a pyroclastic flow of logic and science.

That is assuming I even care at the moment.

Most strangers can believe in their crystals, homeopathy, and the like. I only really speak out when I see family and friends buying into stuff like that. So even though I feel passionate about this also, I don’t jump up and actively work against it.

There is one thing I’ve been involved in, and I still feel passionately about: Father’s rights.

I got involved in the father’s rights movement because I was a single father who was trying to establish my paternity (my ex actually wanted me to leave, since I didn’t want to be with her. She wanted to keep me off of it so her eventual husband could take my place and adopt uncontested) and gain the ability to see my daughter. I, like many other men, was put through the ringer, and I didn’t even deal directly with the courts.

I was barred from the hospital after my daughter was born, because I had the audacity to ask what steps I needed to take to be put on the birth certificate. Then, while trying to avoid court, I was forced to jump through hoops while I tried to get whatever time with her I could, which was a slowly dwindling amount. This was all because my only option was court, even if they were fully cooperative.

When I finally got sick of the run around, and asked them directly to let me put my name on the birth certificate, I was threatened with never seeing my daughter again.

I decided to petition for paternity, and didn’t see my daughter for 4 months as a result. Instead, she got to call another man dad, and I had to shell out for a lawyer. Then I had to go to mediation, take a paternity class, do a trial/integration period, give an arm and a leg, make a blood sacrifice to Cthulhu, and other legal mumbo jumbo. Eventually, all that got me basic visitation, monthly child support, and one year’s worth of arrears owed (almost 3000.) According to my lawyer, all of that was an incredible deal, and I was lucky to get it.

That was the part that I couldn’t take.

The fact that I got the bare minimum required by law, and was lucky for it, was infuriating.

Then I looked at all the other stories, all the other things people went through, and it made me even madder.

The system is corrupt, and is mired in misguided sexism for both genders. According to the courts, women are weak mothers who never want to work again and need to be protected from the evil men. The men should be reduced to nothing more than walking wallets to bleed dry, because they must all be deadbeats, even the ones who petition and fight for their children.

Things in Utah are improving slowly, especially in public awareness. But the laws have yet to really change. I heard there was a committee or something working on it, so it will still probably be a while before they do. I only hope that they change while I can still benefit from them with my daughter.

But why am I not still involved with father’s rights?

The reason is a little selfish: it’s because I don’t need to fight any more.

I have time with my daughter and an amicable relationship with my ex. I am also not in a position to gain much more, and I could (and probably would) lose a lot by trying. So for now I am happy to sit back and take a passive role trying to spread awareness to those who want to listen. That will probably change in the future, but for now I’m enjoying the thing other people fight so hard for.

I am enjoying time with my family. That is a cause worth fighting for.

-Shaman

2 responses to “A Cause Worth Fighting For

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  1. I hot custody of my two kids. I feel your pain. I think both males and females get shafted by the system. I wish we’d attack it as a human problem, rather than a gender/sex problem.

    Like

    • Exactly. I always hear people saying, “It’s about the children.” I wish the law reflected that more. But at least co-parenting initiatives and other things of that nature are becoming more common place.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

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