NCFM E-Zine Gazette, Vol 15

The National Coalition of Free Men recently sent out its latest E-Zine, and you can read it by clicking on "Read More". E-mail subscription info to the E-Zine is also included. NCFM is a non-profit educational organization that examines the way sex discrimination affects men. It also tries to raise public consciousness about little known, but important, topics dealing with the male experience.

NCFM E-Zine Gazette

Editor Richard Kroeger

August 2000, Vol 15, No. 1




Welcome to the NCFM E-Zine Gazette.

We are the monthly email newsletter of the

National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM).

Visit: http://www.ncfm.org/



This month's issue contains:



1. FATHER TO BE ALLOWED TO VISIT CHILDREN HELD IN GERMANY

2. BREAST CANCER STAMP MAY LOSE APPROVAL

3. CALIFORNIA INMATES TO BE OFFERED DNA TESTS

4. VIRGINA MAN TO GET DNA TESTING AFTER 17 YEARS BEHIND BARS

5. SUPREME COURT RULING COULD SWAMP COURTS WITH SENTENCING APPEALS

6. SEXUAL HARASMENT AWARD UPHELD FOLLOWING APPEAL

7. GENDER PAY GAP SHRINKS

8. QUEEN ELIZABETH SLIPS TO 19TH RICHEST WOMEN

9. CHICAGO SCHOOLS BAR SEXUAL ABSTINENCE ADVOCACY GROUP



Special Feature



1. THE REALITIES OF DIVORCE



Public Service



** The News **



FATHER TO BE ALLOWED TO VISIT CHILDREN HELD IN GERMANY



Reversing an earlier decision, German officials are arranging for
an American father to visit with his children. Joseph Cooke's
children were taken to Germany six years ago by his ex-wife,
Christiane, on what was supposed to be a 2-week vacation.
Christiane turned the children over to German authorities before
checking herself into a mental hospital, who, in turn, placed the
children in foster care without Joseph's knowledge (NCFM EZine
Gazette, Vol. 14, July 2000). Joseph has not been able to visit
Germany because, under German law, he has failed to pay child
support to the foster family. The children's grandmother,
Patricia Cooke was recently denied visitation because the family
had spoke with the press concerning their situation. This case
has become a source of friction between U.S. and German leaders,
and was subject of discussion between President Clinton and
Chancellor Schroeder last May.



German authorities are providing counseling to prepare the
children for their father's visit. It is not clear when or if
Joseph will be able to take his children back to the U.S. The
only statement reported from German authorities is, "Mr. Cooke has
the right of access." Another official also noted "Nothing
concerning access and custody is ever final."



27 July 2000, The Washington Post



BREAST CANCER STAMP MAY LOSE APPROVAL



Reauthorization of a special postage stamp known as the
"semipostal," is in jeopardy because of a congressional dispute
over what causes the government should use the mail to endorse.
The special stamp includes a voluntary 7-cent surcharge over the
normal first class mail rate, which is donated to breast cancer
research. The semipostal has already raised $15 million. Sen.
Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, wants to introduce a semipostal for
fundraising to support a World War II memorial on the Washington
Mall. Women's activists such as Betsy Mullen, founder of the
Women's Information Network Against Breast Cancer, are upset that
the dispute is jeopardizing one source of funding for breast
cancer research. Currently, there is no discussion in Congress
concerning other causes such as prostate cancer research that the
semipostal could also be used to support.



25 July 2000, USA Today



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CALIFORNIA INMATES TO BE OFFERED DNA TESTS



Prosecutors plan to take the unprecedented step of offering free
DNA tests to some inmates in San Diego and some other Southern
California counties. The tests results may potentially overturn
convictions, a prospect that most prosecutors and judges
traditionally avoid. Most states have rules that block the
introduction of new evidence shortly after a conviction is handed
down (21 days in Virginia). Some prosecutors in California are
now open to the idea, in part because they say the tests will
disprove many claims of wrongful prosecution. San Diego officials
are reviewing the cases of 560 inmates convicted before 1992 to
determine which might qualify for this program. Officials have
reviewed more than 40 cases so far and have found none that
qualify. Part of the problem is that old evidence from sex crimes
has been destroyed as a matter of routine police procedure. The
tests cost $5000 to conduct (the cost of incarcerating a prisoner
for a year is about 10 times higher).



26 July 2000, USA Today



Editors note: Wait until the outcome of this program is completed
before praising it. It is important that everyone who has a
reasonable case for exoneration should be permitted to
participate. Nothing has happened so far.





VIRGINA MAN TO GET DNA TESTING AFTER 17 YEARS BEHIND BARS



Virginia Gov. James Gilmore III ordered DNA tests to determine
whether a retarded man who was sent to prison in 1983 had
committed rape and murder. Earl Washington Jr. was sentenced to
death for a 1982 rape and murder of Rebecca Williams after he
confessed, but then Gov. Douglas Wilder commuted his sentence to
life in prison amid doubts about his guilt. DNA testing of fluids
from Williams body in 1993 (10 years later) found DNA that did not
belong to either Washington or Williams' husband.



Virginia officials generally fight against post-conviction DNA
tests, going so far as to destroy evidence after the conviction is
made. This was the case for Joseph Roger O'Dell who was executed
in 1997 for capital murder. O'Dell's supporters seek to prove
posthumously that he was also innocent.



2 June 2000, The Washington Post





SUPREME COURT RULING COULD SWAMP COURTS WITH SENTENCING APPEALS



The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New Jersey hate crimes law
that increased prison time for conduct, even though a jury did not
consider that conduct. The U.S. appeals court ruled on 26 June
that applies to thousands of federal drug cases, and that dozens
of other state and federal statutes may be unconstitutional. The
court ruled that the Sixth Amendment bars judges from going above
the statutory maximum sentence by using extra evidence, such as
motive, weapon used, or volume of drugs sold, unless these facts
were part of the criminal indictment and were voted on by a jury.



23 July 2000, The Washington Post



Editors note: presumably this might impact sentencing for other
federal crimes.



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SEXUAL HARASMENT AWARD UPHELD FOLLOWING APPEAL



Maryland's highest court ruled that a Prince George's County man
who allegedly promised a co-worker a job promotion in exchange for
sex, was soliciting prostitution. The woman was later fired,
reportedly for cursing a client of the company where they worked.
The decision upholds a $22,240 judgment for the victim, but more
significantly, provides an alternative legal route for filing a
workplace discrimination lawsuit. Prior to this ruling,
plaintiff had to file a federal discrimination claim. Under the
new ruling, a wrongful termination suit can be a valid alternative
to filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC). The case was appealed to the Maryland high court because
it was "a back door attempt to circumvent the legitimate process"
according to Insignia, the company where they both worked.



In general terms, workers who are fired for refusing to commit a
crime, in this case prostitution, should be able to file suit,
even if federal anti-discrimination laws also apply to the case.
Judge Dale R. Cathell of the high court expressed a dissenting
opinion to the ruling. He argued that his colleagues had
stretched the definition of prostitution so far that "a person
requesting sexual activity, promising marriage, or any number of
other things in return, is soliciting prostitution."



25 July 2000, The Washington Post



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GENDER PAY GAP SHRINKS



The salary gap is closing in academia, science, and advertising,
according to Working Woman magazine. The statistic used is
generally a simple average of all people in a field or profession.
Female instructors at the doctoral level earn 94 cents to the
dollar, compared to their male counterparts. Female media
directors earn 90 cents to the dollar. Women chief executives of
mid-size ad firms earn $10,000 *more* than their male
counterparts. Women run 9.1 million companies in the U.S., employ
27 million people, and earn $3.6 trillion in sales per year,
according to the National Foundation for Women Business Owners.



24 July 2000, Christian Science Monitor



But... female anchors earn 28% less than male anchors on local TV
in Los Angeles, according to the American Federation of Television
and Radio Artists. The disparity is greater on the radio, where
15 of 19 local radio stations have a single male anchor in the
drive-time slots when most commuters are tuning in. Research on
television news viewing habits suggests that gender plays no
significant role in building an audience according to David L.
Smith, president of a survey research firm, with most stations
concluding that a male/female co-anchor team works best.



1 June 2000, Los Angles Times



Editors note: local stations in the DC area are increasingly using
two female anchors. It is common for the weather and sports
reporters to also be female. There are no stations in this area
with a single male anchor, or with two male anchors. The NCFM
EZine Gazette would be interested in knowing what the situation is
like in your city. Take notes and tell us what is happening.





QUEEN ELIZABETH SLIPS TO 19TH RICHEST WOMEN



The world's richest woman is Helen Walton, the 81-year-old wife of
Sam Walton who founded Wal-Mart. Her fortune is estimated at $40
billion. Number two falls to France's Liliane Betancourt, 74,
who's father founded L'Oreal cosmetics. She is worth $14 billion.
According to EuroBusiness magazine, 38 percent of all businesses
in the U.S. are owned by women, compared to 60 to 65 percent in
Germany.



Queen Elizabeth's fortune is estimated at just under $3 billion.
Of course, the Queen doesn't actually own Windsor castle, nor does
she pay for its upkeep. The queenship still has its perks.



10 July 2000, CNN.com



Editors comment: it is not clear what "a business is owned by
women" actually means. Most large companies such as ATT or Exxon
are owned by stock holders. It is not obvious that the statistic
"38 percent of U.S. businesses are owned by women" implies that
the other 62 percent are owned by men. The NCFM EZine Gazette
invites reader comments to expand on this question.





CHICAGO SCHOOLS BAR SEXUAL ABSTINENCE ADVOCACY GROUP



A group advocating sexual abstinence has been barred from Chicago
public schools after administrators found the group had presented
a controversial curriculum in sex education classrooms without
proper approval. The group, Pure Love Alliance (PLA), says it has
presented its abstinence program in 61 Chicago schools, as well as
schools in Miami, Los Angeles, and Alabama. Rev. Jesse L.
Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition have criticized the program as
being based on an unsound curriculum, and targeting black
communities with a message of "fear and shame." The PLA is
affiliated with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.
Reasons given for baring the group range from separation of church
and state, to statements by the American Medical Association (AMA)
and the World Health Organization (WHO) that claim programs
founded on abstinence-only are of limited value.



21 July 2000, The Washington Post



Editors comment: in short, the Chicago school board has chosen to
shield its children from competing ideas, even when those ideas
are easily defended and in line with the wishes of most parents.
The idea that children can and will decide for themselves seems to
escape the AMA and the WHO. It is not at all clear that this
makes our children stronger or smarter when faced with making a
sexual decision.



** Special Feature **



THE REALITIES OF DIVORCE



Synopsizing a story by John Tierney: Which sex is mostly to blame
for divorce? Conservative preachers and liberal feminists are
united in their disdain for philandering men who abandon their
children. Journalists and politicians (self) righteously condemn
"deadbeat dads." The fact remains -- women initiate two thirds of
divorce actions. Why?



Domestic violence is a cause, but only 6 percent of divorces in
Virginia cited this as the reason. Husbands and wives were cited
for adultery in approximately equal numbers. Dr. Margaret Brinig
of the University of Iowa states that less than 20 percent of the
cases are because women feel they've been exploited.



The answer appears to be child custody. Women are much more
willing to split up because -- unlike men -- have no fear of
losing custody of the children. Instead, a divorce enables them
to *gain* control over the children. Dr. Brinig asserts,
"Children are the most important asset in a marriage, and the
partner who expects to get sole custody is by far the most likely
to file for divorce."



Most states usually grant sole custody to the mother if she wants
it. A few states (e.g. West Virginia) have recently begun to make
joint custody the presumptive norm. Dr. Brinig observes that this
change seems to be keeping more couples together. She also notes
that when couples do divorce, fathers who share custody are less
likely to renege on their child-support payments.



West Virginia typically awards each parent a share of custody
according to how much time that parent spent with the child during
the marriage. Dr Brinig suggests, "Custody is now a way for women
to achieve a real show of force over men. If you remove that
distortion, it's apt to change the way men and women relate to
each other and to their kids. Fathers are likely to spend more
time with kids if they can expect to still see them if the
marriage doesn't work out. Women will be more likely to see men
as parenting partners, and less likely to use divorce as a power
play."



11 July 2000, The New York Times



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Thank you for your help!

________________________________________________________________


This concludes this month's installment of the NCFM E-Zine
Gazette. Thank you for your time! If you have a moment, please
forward this newsletter on to one of your friends or co-workers
who may be interested.



See you again next month!

Richard Kroeger, Editor

________________________________________________________________


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The NCFM E-Zine Gazette is (c) 1999 National Coalition of Free
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NOTICE: This story was migrated from the old software that used to run Mensactivism.org. Unfortunately, user comments did not get included in the migration. However, you may view a copy of the original story, with comments, at the following link:

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