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The Washington Times printed this piece on the existence of bias against men in sexual harassment investigations in the U.S. Army. It discusses how a military career can be destroyed with a simple accusation in which men are generally assumed guilty until proven innocent, and in particular examines the 1996 incident involving Lt. General Claudia Kennedy. As bad as real sexual harassment is, the sensationalism and hypersensitivity surrounding it without regard to physical or verifiable evidence is undoubtedly doing an equal amount of damage.
A student at Aberystwyth, a university in Britain, has accused a male undergraduate of raping her two years ago. No physical evidence exists, and from her own quotes it is not clear that she even made her intentions clear to the young man. She said in court, "I was willing at first but it got a bit uncomfortable." I feel a bit of sympathy for the young man who is going to be vilified for this, knowing that these accusations can have a profound effect regardless of whether you know you're innocent. The UK Telegraph has the story here.
Kim writes "On August 26, 2000 a group of choice for men supporters will be demonstrating on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. We will be located in the West Front of the Capitol building from 11:30am to 5:30pm. You are invited to come and join us. We need you and you need us!
We will be holding up signs advocating equal reproductive choice for men. What you put on your sign is up to you, however you should try to be respectful. Ideally, your slogan should be kept to 8 words or less and should be written with big dark letters on a light background. We will have a table for pamphlets and bumperstickers.
We all look forward to seeing you there! Sincerely, Kim" Please contact Kim if you have any further questions about the demonstration or are interested in attending.
Rod Smith, a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, was sentenced to two years probation and more than half a year of counseling for domestic violence. This was despite the fact that his accuser, the mother of his two children, recanted her story. From the details of the alleged abuse, one might think that there would be physical evidence, but no mention of this is made. It looks like another case of believing a woman only when she claims victimhood, and disregarding her words otherwise. Sportserver has the article here.
Tony Kornheiser of the LA Times recently experienced the loss of his father. He decided to write his usual column as a tribute to his father, talking about their relationship and his dad's love, humor, and the quirks that made him who he was. I thought the article was moving and written in a very masculine mode of writing. Although the article is about loss, I see it as an important positive thing to think about fathers and what they mean in this way. You can read the article here.
More news from Canada: The National Post reported on a story about both the bio father and stepfather being forced to pay child support for a child, referred to as 'double dipping' (since the child/mother gets twice the support). The ruling is being challenged in the Canadian court system. An outline of the situation is kind of complicated, so I won't summarize it here. One thought occurred to me, though: the boy who is the recipient of child support from both men has a sister, and does anyone really think the boy should be financially supported better than her? It's an absurd concept, to say the least.
The Orange County Register printed this news story about bureaucratic errors in the child support collection system - and men who are labeled 'deadbeats' when they are really current with their payments. One man is suing a District Attorney's Office to compensate for damages he suffered while he challenged child support debts he never owed. It should be no surprise that more accountability needs to be built-in to this system to allow errors to be corrected.
Ed Bartlett from Men's Health America has distributed the announcement for "Round 3" of the action plan to get the Men's Health Act of 2000 passed by Congress. Please click "Read More..." below to see what you can do this week for the cause of men's health in America.
The National Post printed this story that the Canadian government has commissioned a study which has determined that most Canadians want changes to the Divorce Act that would be more child friendly and encourage shared parenting. Anne McLellan, the Justice Minister, accepted the report but told the committee that it would take three years for the changes to go into effect. According to the article, this wait is neither necessary nor has it made many people happy.
George W. Bush is promoting a "Paternity Registry" law that would deny fathers the ability to stop adoption proceedings taken by the mother if they did not register as the father within 30 days of the child's birth. Click here for the ABCnews article. Bush is quoted as saying, "Our child welfare system...must do more to encourage fathers to care for their families or, failing that, to expedite adoption when that is the
mother's wish or the mandate of the state." Note: The Men's Activism News Network does not officially endorse any political candidates.
Brill's Content printed this story on Betty Friedan and her accusations of domestic abuse by her former husband Carl Friedan. Ms. Friedan has made several attempts to downplay her comments about abuse in her newest book Life So Far, and Kimberly Conniff, the author of this article, suggests that it may have been done to create some controversy around the book to boost its sales. The article also goes into the generally poor journalism surrounding the issue, where Mr. Friedan was not given the chance to comment on the accusations before most book reviews were put in print.
Clinical trials are being performed for a birth control pill that can be taken by men. So far there have been good results, and common side effects such as acne and high blood pressure are not showing up in this particular drug. No word on when it might become available, but this is good news nonetheless. The BBC news article can be read here.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports in this article that a man has lost a second court battle to have his child support obligation removed from a child which DNA tests have proven is not his. He argued that the last 10 years he has been paying child support was the result of his being defrauded by the mother of the child, but the judge would not amend the paternity suit. Isn't it great that DNA tests can be used to force men into unwanted paternity while they often mean nothing when absolving men of it? Update: I've fixed the link to the story.
Florida's Supreme Court decided last Thursday that a man must pay more than a year's worth of alimony to the estate of his dead ex-wife. Apparently the woman died after the divorce was finalized but at the time both parties were appealing parts of the final judgment. Since the man had not paid the alimony between the time the divorce was finalized and his ex-wife's death (due to the appeal), he argued that since she was now dead he shouldn't have to pay her the money. The court disagreed, in its time-honored trend of sticking with legal technicalities rather than common sense. ABCnews has the article here.
The UK Times reports that the Defence Ministry in England is preparing field trials for mixed-gender infantry units to determine whether women should be allowed in combat positions in the military. Read the article here. The main reason this is being done is to give women better opportunities to compete for senior positions in the military, but this would also help to balance the rights and responsibilities women have in the armed forces. Considering this is a controversial topic, why not discuss it in our comment boards? Click "Read More" to enter the comment board for this article, and read our tutorial if you need help posting comments. What do you think, would this be a step forward or backward for the men's movement?
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