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News Obama's Father's Day Speech

  1. Jun 25, 2010 #1

    BobG

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    This is a little late, but who could have guessed how upset people could get over a Father's Day speech - especially divorced fathers.

    Comments such as these pretty much reinforce the stereotype that mothers deserve custody of the children after a divorce and the proper father's role is to quit beating his wife and to be sure to make his child support payments on time.

    Courts are a lot better at respecting fathers' rights than they were 14 years ago, but there is still a bias in the courts towards women when it comes to awarding custody and an even larger bias in perceptions about what to expect from the court.

    At least now, the default starting assumption is shared custody, even if it's not hard for the mother to get the final decision tilted her direction. And, at least it's a lot harder for the custodial parent (usually the mother) to move the kids across the country, denying other routine access to their kids.

    I'd say the bias now is against whichever spouse devotes more of their time earning a living (especially against a spouse that earns a living defending their country or community - military jobs, police jobs, etc are a huge disadvantage when it comes to getting custody of the kids). The bias against fathers occurs because fathers still usually fulfill the role of primary wage earner in our culture.

    But however biased the current court system may be against men, even it seems to show more respect towards fathers than Obama's Father's Day speech did. Obama's message seemed to be "men are scum" and we need to change that.
     
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  3. Jun 25, 2010 #2

    chemisttree

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    Welcome to the "transformation".
     
  4. Jun 25, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    What transformation? Sounds like crackpottery to me.
     
  5. Jun 25, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    The black community in particular has a problem with men leaving their wives and families. A number of black leaders, including Obama, have spoken to this point already. Given this and his own childhood, it is easy to understand why Obama may be in tune with the problems faced by fatherless families.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2010 #5
    Personally, I can only comment confidently on what I know first hand. My father was a military man who left his wife with 4 small children. He only sent a small amount of money, when forced by courts, even though he was an officer (certainly not a gentleman), and later worked as an engineer full time and the air national guard part time. This was years ago, but an experience like this stays with a person. So, I know Obama's perspective and am not surprised if there is some bias in his speach, or in my post.

    The two recent examples I know among my friends and family are cases where both fathers work full time and have custody of the child. In these cases the mothers were the villians. In both cases the fathers had found good and caring girlfriends by the time custody was awarded, which may have been a factor. In both cases the fathers eventually married these girlfriends and a stable family was the end result.

    As far as things I don't know first hand, I can speculate.

    It seems to me that justice really depends on the case in question. In cases where both parents are good and caring, the interest of the child should come first. Perhaps then, the wage earner should not have primary custody, and the caretaker should have primary custody, as unfair as that may be to the parent who sees less of the child. In many cases, it could be a tough call because both the mother and father work full time, earn nearly equal pay and care just as much. I don't know what's right here, but if I were a judge I would give the child to the mother, since she is the one who gave birth.

    In any event, it's not Obama's fault that people don't fulfill their vows and responsibilties. However, it is his job to address social concerns, even if all do not agree with his methods.
     
  7. Jun 25, 2010 #6

    chemisttree

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    You couldn't have forgotten this could you?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY
     
  8. Jun 25, 2010 #7

    BobG

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    While using this as his Father's Day speech might be in tune with problems in the black community, he would appear a bit tone deaf to the rest of the country - especially those that just went through their own child custody battle. The best most fathers (especially the married ones) could have to say about this speech is, "I guess he's not speaking to me" and disregard it.

    A speech on how he was committed to elimination of gender discrimination in child custody cases would have connected with more fathers than the speech he gave.
     
  9. Jun 25, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

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    ...in other words, it might have made a better Mother's Day speech than a Father's Day speech.
     
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