Men's rights is an umbrella term, encompassing the rights given or denied to males within a nation or culture. Men's rights have been the subject of a variety of social and political movements, including men's liberation, profeminists, minority men's liberation, mythopoetic men's movement, gay male liberation, and the men's rights movement.
Issues commonly associated with men's rights include marriage, cohabitation, parentage, divorce, support agreements, and child support.
Bob Geldof at the G8 Press Conference, June 8, 2007
The fathers' rights movement in the UK consists of a variety of groups, ranging from charities, self-help groups to civil disobedience activists. The movement can be traced to the founding in 1974 of Families Need Fathers, though the organization does not see itself as a fathers' rights organisation, pointing out that its primary focus is on the children's right to have a meaningful relationship with their fathers. FNF provides self-help support groups, promotes research into shared parenting, and lobbies political for legal changes in the family law system in the UK. It has been credited with several successes. The founding of Fathers 4 Justice in 2003 brought the cause of fathers' rights to public attention with high-profile stunts with members dressing as comic book superheroes and other easily recognizable characters to scale public buildings and monuments. With time their protests became increasingly controversial, and internal strife divided the group. It was officially disbanded in January 2006 following a suggestion that Prime Minister Tony Blair's son be briefly kidnapped, though further protests by a F4J splinter group, the 'Real F4J', have occurred. Other fathers' rights activists have been criticized for harassment, threats and illegal activities, including fraud. In the UK, fathers' rights groups have advocated for changes to the Child Support Act including child support, shared parenting and access to children and lack of enforcement of court orders. Pressure from the fathers' movement has influenced the UK Government, which published a draft Children (Contact) and Adoption Bill in February 2005 that aims to widen judges' powers in dealing with parents who obstruct their ex-partner from seeing their children.
Bob Geldof reported that of the approximately 15,000 custodial cases that are resolved in family courts each year, only 7% of fathers in the UK are allowed to live with their children, and that 4 out of 10 fathers lose all touch with their children permanently. He reports that family courts think it extremely unhealthy for a man to articulate his love for his children. He states that 1 in 4 children live in single parent homes, children who grow up without their fathers are 5 times as likely to be unemployed and 3 times as likely to be involved in crime, 80% of all social housing is for single parent families, and that taxpayer costs for fatherlessness are at least $15B pounds per year. Read more...
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Glenn Sacks is an American men's and fathers' issues columnist and radio broadcaster. He is the first columnist specializing in men's and fathers' issues to be published regularly in Top 100 American newspapers. His Side with Glenn Sacks radio commentaries are broadcast daily on KLAA AM 830, a 50,000 watt talk station in Los Angeles and Orange County. From 2003-2005, His Side with Glenn Sacks ran in a syndicated talk show format in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Seattle, and other cities.
Sacks is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows, and is often quoted in newspapers and magazines. He began a blog in 2006, and sends out a weekly e-newsletter to 50,000 subscribers. Sacks is often criticized both by feminists and by hardliners within the men's and fathers' rights movement.
Sacks is also known for his ability to quickly rally support from thousands of his readers in support of his campaigns against what he perceives as anti-male bias. Some examples include his campaigns against "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!" children's T-shirts and the Verizon TV ad "Homework," which Sacks says depicts fathers negatively. Both campaigns received national media attention and were successful. Read more...
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