42 thoughts on “Saturdads

  1. Bertie Blenkinsop

    I think there’s a single dads group who hold their meetings in Smyth’s of Fairview.

    1. Bluebeard

      Yes Jane, because thats top of every separated dads agenda. Spanner. Go back to hunting homophobes.

    2. ROB

      Paternity leave? You are kidding, right?
      So that’s more time that they cant spend without their children. The law in this country around access to children, fathers rights vs mothers rights, custody etc are practically stone-age. Pretty much states that a woman’s place is in the home looking after kids – an insult to most women – however there are a few who like to use it as a weapon to “punish” former partners/ex-husbands.

      1. Dubloony

        Thought a lot of that would be addressed in the family & relationships act, just passed?

  2. Don Pidgeoni

    Such a tricky issue. Kids needs stability, especially when they are young and you won’t get that shipping them back and forth between their parents, regardless of who has custody. Custody should go to whoever is going to provide the best home/is closest to the child and in a society where mothers are the ones expected to give up their work to look after kids, it is likely to continue to be them who gets it.

    1. donkey_kong

      Don that is that’s manure.
      my kid spends half the week in my house and is a happy fellow.

      I was married and in recent time i’ve had access issues with the ex.
      brought her to court – we were both told to respect the court order (original access) despite only her being the one breaching it.
      several breaches , no sanction. ever. continual breaches and continual “do what teh court says”
      there is inequality galore here but it’s just not as snazzy as panti bliss versus ronan mullen.

      1. Bluebeard

        Correct. It is totally loaded against men- heartbreaking stories of bereft dads everywhere. But as you say, its not the fashionable kind of equality

        1. Joe the Lion

          Whiney men can’t articulate their grievances? Maybe they need to study the oratorical skills of Panti

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Ah Joe, here, put that away with your “whiney men can’t articulate their grievances”… it is a fact that Irish courts are loaded against men in family affairs.

            If you banged your head against the wall of Irish family law just to see your kids, you might be a bit whiney too.

            And Donkey Kong’s story about the women who break the courts instruction not even getting a scolding is common place.

      2. Don Pidgeoni

        I’m glad your kid is happy – its trickier for the kids that I know whose parents aren’t together. And I don’t for a second deny there are problems because people can be dicks.

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        As a women, that is complete horseh** Rob. And society and the law are completely different animals.

        Jane already made the point about men trying for parity in paternity leave which you effectively dismissed so I’m not even sure what you’re point even is.

        1. Atlas

          I don’t see how paternity leave parity/sharing is relevant at all. It has absolutely no bearing on divorced or unmarried dads’ paltry access rights to non-infant children or the paternalistic attitude toward women/hostile attitude toward men in Irish family law.

          It’s a complete red herring. Shame on you (and Jane) for using it as a cudgel to derail a discussion on fathers’ rights and for defending the disgraceful and sexist status quo.

          1. Jane

            I really don’t accept that I am. I think that children do need involvement from their fathers from infancy onwards and that it would be far more difficult to argue that a mother should have sole residency if fathers are active participants in parenting from the earliest stage. Neglecting paternity leave means that men don’t really have the same opportuntiy to establish themselves as equal carers with mothers, and I think that’s part of the problem with the social perception that mothers are the senior parent.

          2. Bluebeard

            Paternity leave is so low on the agenda of most fathers stuck in the hell of this courts system. It really displays an ignorance of the issues, or a competing agenda to even bring it up.

          3. Don Pidgeoni

            If anything, it shows a wider understanding of the role of fathers in society and how that might need to change than that presented by the court system.

          4. Jane

            You’re a great man for throwing around baseless, senseless attacks that you simply cannot defend on anyone who questions you, I’ll give you that.

    2. Paolo

      Simply not true. Mothers in this country (and in the UK) will generally get habitation rights with the children, even when they are in a less favourable position to look after them. Everything is skewed in the mother’s favour.

          1. Don Pidgeoni

            Not really what I asking about but interesting you have to married, although massively backwards. Its not the only way to become a guardian is it and if it upsets people that much, get on and change it.

          2. Domestos

            In response to Paolo, you asked for a citation demonstrating the law is skewed in favour of the mother. I think this show serves as an example. For disclosure, I’ve no kids, and am male. As ever, commenting on Broadsheet and being an advocate are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

          3. Don Pidgeoni

            I was going for a reference for “generally get habitation rights with the children, even when they are in a less favourable position to look after them” but point taken. I didn’t know about the guardianship thing, its weird right?

          4. Jane

            The reason the mother is the default guardian absent other information is that she gave birth to the child which means that her parentage can be proven with no further investigation.

    1. Joe the Lion

      Oh they’re doing a ritual act of buttock clenching in the high street Sunday if you’re around

    2. Atlas

      People actually accepting that it’s a legitimate problem and cease the scoffing at fathers’ rights activists would be a start. An end to feminist intransigence on any issue where men are the victims of systematic discrimination on the basis of their sex would also be a huge help. The view that it’s impossible to be sexist against men – so there’s no way the grievances of divorced/unmarried fathers can be justified – is scarily common within social justice circles.

      If that can be granted and it can become a mainstream social issue, actual pressure can be put on the legislature to bring about real change.

      But that’s just my two cents. How are you going to change things Pidgeon?

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        Oh no, I wouldn’t want my feminism to interfere with something that feminism would totally be able to help with.

        None of what you said help fathers in their current situation. Anything concrete since paternity leave couldn’t possibly help address gender imbalances in child rearing at all?

        1. Atlas

          “None of what you said help fathers in their current situation.”

          Really? Legislative change in the area of family law wouldn’t help? Come on. Less of the hand-waving dismissals please.

          Paternity leave (or compulsory, shared maternity leave) would be great for gender imbalances, particularly in the workplace. Women wouldn’t be forced into the handicap of taking months at a time off for each child, stymying their career path in the process. IMHO, it’s probably the best policy we could enact for smashing the ‘glass ceiling’ for women, with the added benefit of men getting to spend more time with their kids. The policy is decades overdue for those reasons, but I personally couldn’t see it having more than a tangential impact on family law in divorce situations.

          I don’t think it would change much the paternalistic attitudes of judges toward women in the (in camera) family law courts, whether in terms of meagre access being granted to fathers or the softly softly approach taken towards mothers who cynically breach court orders to settle scores with the estranged partner. Once again, I think there needs to be legislative change (probably even constitutional change too given the retrograde sh*te it says about ‘The Family’ in there) to have a real impact.

          That necessitates a shift in social attitudes, and when modern progressives, social justice campaigners and other general left-wing rabble rousers who are good at bringing social justice issues to the fore are dominated by a firebrand of feminism whose doctrine does not allow for the acknowledgement of institutional sexism against men (because ‘sexism = prejudice + power’) – well, at the very least it doesn’t help. In fact, it creates a bit of a roadblock where fathers’ rights is a toxic brand that a lot of people who could totally do something about it won’t touch it. Generally abhorrent people like John Waters end up championing the cause when Una Mullally types (as much as it pains me to say it) would to a much better job.

          All I’m saying is it would be easier if this weren’t the case.

        2. Don Pidgeoni

          My point was none of what you suggested above was suggesting anyway to change things, it was all a bit waffly. I am genuinely interested in how men would like to challenge these issues without resorting to spiderman outfits.

          We are essentailly arguing for the same thing – I think paternity leave would change things, like any social change it would take a while but if you can show a judge you have been involved in the care of a child, daily care, you are going to be (or should be) more likely to get better custody of that child.

          Tbf, “firebrand feminism” is one type of feminism, a small, but granted vocal one. We could make a lot of changes if men and women could see where patriarchy makes idiots of us both.

          1. ROB

            I think I agree with you don. Lets start with Decent Paternity leave. What can we do? When I get doorstepped by a politician, I throw it out there. Of course, everyone knows it would be great, but someone has to pony up for the cost of this. Employers and govt will challenge it – and like anything that has a cost, it gets pushed back.
            There are other needs for the cash (like rolling out the cervical cancer vaccine which would be a paltry 8 million) . I dismissed it because it’s irrelevant to the rights of the father in to-day’s constitution. Paternity leave and constitution are two different animals, as you correctly stated, which is why I’m not sure why you bring this up.

            Jane: “The reason the mother is the default guardian absent other information is that she gave birth to the child which means that her parentage can be proven with no further investigation.”

            Wow. I know I shouldnt bother writing as your opinion is not incorrect, it’s just in a different dimension.
            However, the reason is due to the age of the law, and the fact that at the time it was written, it was thought that men could not look after children, cook and clean.

            I’ll have to read up on the recent Family and relationships act, thanks for the tip Dubloony!

      2. Joe the Lion

        Why don’t you join the gays for a while and learn how to run an effective social justice campaign? Whine

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