My guess is that most of the people who will actually read Men on Strike will be those who already agree with it’s core premise while those who don’t will dismiss it out of hand. And that’s just fine, because it isn’t meant to change minds; it’s meant to energize them. Dr. Smith states in the prologue that her intent was to foster “…a revolution to change the culture, and thus the political climate in this country that allows laws and actions against the male sex that would never be allowed against the female one.” It’s a manifesto, and manifestos are usually only read by true believers.
“…Father’s Day is a good time for everyone to start treating fatherhood as something more than a punch line.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a Father’s Day article on Men on Strike.
Qualifier: “Anyone who saw the success Democrats had talking up a “war on women” in last year’s election campaign may be dubious of Smith’s ‘war on men.’” Note that the writer has to mention that one has to be “dubious” so he can appear more moderate.
“Revealingly, the federal government spends $5 billion a year to enforce child support (usually from fathers) but just $10 million to enforce visitation rights”
Gary Bauer has a decent Father’s Day article up at Politico entitled “Here’s to American Dads”:
This “dad deficit” underscores a too-often-ignored fact: that whether a father is present in a child’s life is probably the greatest factor determining whether or not that child will succeed or fail in life. Children whose fathers aren’t present are more likely to suffer from a wide variety of problems — from increased poverty, crime and out-of-wedlock birth rates to diminished educational achievement and health outcomes.
But it’s not all men’s fault. For one thing, in the American legal system, men have absolutely no say in the reproductive decisions of the women they impregnate. What’s more, as Dr. Helen Smith argues in her new book “Men On Strike,” men are responding to a culture that’s hostile to them. “Most men are not acting irresponsibly because they are immature or because they want to harm women,” she writes. “They are acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives today’s society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers.”
I think that’s an overstatement. But, as Smith notes, courts almost always favor the mother in child custody and child support decisions. Revealingly, the federal government spends $5 billion a year to enforce child support (usually from fathers) but just $10 million to enforce visitation rights (generally on behalf of fathers).
Interestingly, I have noticed that in order to look more moderate, men like Bauer try to distance themselves by saying such things as “I think that’s an overstatement.” You will see that type of comment again, just watch.
I was researching Father’s Day and saw that it was Richard Nixon who made it a federal holiday:
The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910….
In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.
It seems to me that with all that fathers do for our country, it is the least that can be done. Fathers are important, just like mothers and it is unfair to pretend that they are not.
So Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.