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NCFM E-Zine Gazette
Editor Richard Kroeger
July 2000, Vol 14, No. 1
Welcome to the NCFM E-Zine Gazette.
We are the monthly email newsletter of the
National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM).
This month's issue contains:
1. FATHER'S DAY MARCH DRAWS CROWD FROM THROUGHOUT COUNTRY TO DC
2. ELIAN GOES HOME WITH HIS FATHER
3. U.N. WOMENS CONFERENCE REACHES AGREEMENT
4. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR BOYS?
5. GERMANY CURTAILS VISITATION RIGHTS
6. GORE TARGETS DEADBEAT DADS
7. AUTO MAKERS EXTEND BENEFITS TO HOMOSEXUAL DOMESTIC PARTNERS
8. SUPREME COURT MAKES DISCRIMINATION SUITS EASIER
9. SENATE REACHES AGREEMENT TO EXTEND VAWA
10. OUTLAWED WORDS AT ENGLISH COLLEGE
1. TO BE A BOY IN AMERICA
2. GAZETTE COMMENTARY: FLIRTING
** The News **
FATHER'S DAY MARCH DRAWS CROWD FROM THROUGHOUT COUNTRY TO DC
Nearly 100 men and their families participated in this years
Father's Day rally in Washington DC. The rally began at 11:00 on
the White House Ellipse, followed by a march down Pennsylvania
Avenue to the steps of the Capitol. Many bystanders were
supportive, honked their horns, and waived at the Marchers. March
organizers were pleased with the turnout, stating that the event
is growing each year and have ambitious plans for next year,
including inviting celebrities and scheduling more activities.
The Post reported, Ken Yolman came from the Virgin Islands seeking
words of comfort. Heather Smiler drove from Brooklyn to support
her brother who says he hasn't seen his daughter in 10 months.
Richard Brooke, from Chicago, said he just wanted to talk with
other fathers who have struggled to see their children after a
The marchers carried signs declaring, "I am not a paycheck," and
"Dead beat or dead broke." Dean Tong of Tampa Florida said,
"there are too many instances where men are denied due process
when they are unfairly prevented from seeing their children." Co-
organizer Greg Romeo of Nashville Tennessee was quoted, "We are
tired of not being treated right by family court judges and
caseworkers and being deprived of our rights to help raise our
The NCFM EZine Gazette
19 June 2000, The Washington Post
ELIAN GOES HOME WITH HIS FATHER
After being held in the United States for seven months against his
father's wishes, Elian Gonzolez returned to his home in Cuba on
June 28 with his father, Juan Miguel Gonzolez, after all court
appeals to keep him in this country were denied.
U.N. WOMENS CONFERENCE REACHES AGREEMENT
Prostitution has become a stumbling block at the United Nations
Women's Conference held in New York. At issue is whether
prostitution, now considered criminal by the United Nations,
should be sanctioned as a form of women's labor. President
Clinton has stated, "... we are opposed to prostitution in all its
forms. We would not become a party to any treaty that weakened
laws against prostitution." However, U.S. negotiators along with
other Western countries have tried to clarify international
sanctions to cover only "forced" prostitution, thus legalizing all
prostitution that is not coerced. The controversial move was in
conflict with the Philippine delegation, which sought to broaden
the law. Several feminist groups such as Equality NOW are angered
that the Clinton administration appears to have compromised his
earlier hard-line stand against all forms of prostitution.
Other areas of international disagreements in the conference are
provisions to expand homosexual rights, introduce new "sexual
rights" for children at age 10, and require abortion training for
health workers throughout the world. Poor countries and countries
supportive of the Vatican are generally opposed to these
provisions, while they are supportive of stronger prohibitions
By June 10, 189 nations reached agreement on a 150-page platform,
which set "women's equality" as a goal. The document is described
as tougher than the one adopted 5 years ago at the Beijing
Conference, including tougher measures targeting domestic
violence, sex trafficking, and the effect of HIV on women. The
next meeting will be in 2005.
6 and 7 June 2000, The Washington Times
12 June 2000, The Washington Post
Related story: Women's advocates honored Hillary Rodham Clinton at
the United Nations by singing the civil rights hymn, "We Shall
Overcome." Approximately 10,000 women from 180 governments were
gathered to discuss progress and activism following the Fourth
World Conference on Women held in Beijing five years ago. Clinton
and women's advocates focused on problems faced by women, and
atrocities committed against women throughout the world, and in
particular in poor, tribal, Arabic, and Indian cultures.
6 June 2000, The Washington Post
Editor's commentary: Ms. Clinton referred to such practices as
burning women because their dowries were too small in her speech.
Such acts are an objectionable and primitive practice that we
should protest. However, discussion of perspective of these
crimes is rarely presented. In a broader context, it is clear
that both men and women can be victims in these cultures. Who
really is worse off, and why is the discussion only about women
and the issues that they face? The horrible crime described by
Ms. Clinton is comparatively rare and is already illegal in almost
all countries. The decision to feature the burning of women to
define the problem of violence against women was made because it
has a lot of emotional impact, but ultimately it is little more
than a political tactic that distorts our perspective and
understanding of the true scope and nature of the problem.
Somehow lost in politicization of world gender violence are that
both Hutu men and women slaughtered nearly a million Tutsis,
mostly men, in Uganda in 1994. Today the Tutsi tribe is 70%
female. Or that AIDS will claim the life of almost 50% of
children by the age of 15 in the worst hit parts of Africa --
mostly boys. As victims of gender violence, the victimization of
men and boys are well in the lead with no close second. Those who
seek to make gender violence an issue before the U.N., focus
strictly on issues that concern women. There is no corresponding
agency or constituency to address the issues of gender violence
against non-women. Selective U.N. intervention in military
conflicts should not be confused with opposition to violence
against men. In every case, U.N. action can be traced to some
other international interest.
This is a complex subject. The NCFM EZine Gazette invites reader
commentary. Commentary will be linked to our archive editions.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR BOYS?
Colleges are looking for a few good men. Colleges have recently
begun giving preferences to male applicants in order to balance
campuses that are now dominated by women. This policy is drawing
fire from some officials who worry that qualified girls are being
treated unfairly, and justify the imbalance in college based on
their perception of male advantages elsewhere in society. Women
have outnumbered men in American colleges since the 1970s.
Margaret Miller, president of the American Association of Higher
Education, notes what she describes as "irony" that the
predominance of women has caused such a reaction. Presumably the
irony is because the predominance of men in colleges over a
generation before was the basis for many similar programs giving
women preferences. Miller also notes that no one seemed
particularly concerned about the situation for decades. Men now
make up about 43% of the college enrollment -- and dropping.
Some officials contend that we should focus on the underlying
problem of the dwindling number of boys, and avoid admissions
preferences altogether. They say that the causes are still being
sorted out, but suggest boy's behavior problems, and the lure of
lucrative careers in high-tech fields that don't require a college
degree are part of the problem.
4 June 2000, Chicago Tribune
Editors note: the gender gap in college was already large in 1990
(45% men/55% women), when high-tech computer jobs were not a
factor in post high-school employment. There is a strong
correlation between level of education and salary. Education is
also correlated with health, and longevity.
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GERMANY CURTAILS VISITATION RIGHTS
Three weeks after German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder promised to
help arrange visitation for American parents embroiled in
international custody disputes, local authorities have canceled
visiting rights of one highly publicized case, apparently in
because the American family had spoke with the press. German
officials stated, the "media uproar" had confused and unsteadied
the children who are held in foster care in the south of Germany
against their father's wishes. The U.S. State Department calls
the ruling absurd and points out that the German action is clearly
intended to be punitive because of the publicity that the case has
generated. The father, Joseph Cooke, lives in Flushing N.Y.
Joseph lost his children six years ago when his then-wife,
Christiane, turned their children Michelle and Daniel over to
German youth authorities without his knowledge. She then checked
herself into a mental institution. The children's grandmother,
Patricia Cooke, is the only U.S. relative with visitation rights.
Joseph could be jailed if he went to Germany for failure to pay
A German social worker urged Patricia Cooke to cancel her visit of
her Grandchildren in June, and warned that if she did visit, it
would have to be on neutral territory and accompanied by a
psychological professional. A follow-up letter informed her that
her hours would be reduced and threatened that future visits would
depend on her behavior. Patricia Cooke does not understand why a
psychologist should be present at all, and said "I would like to
do the normal things a grandmother does, like take them for ice
22 June 2000, The Washington Post
see also, EZine Gazette, Vol. 13.1, June 2000.
GORE TARGETS DEADBEAT DADS
Presidential candidate Al Gore described absent fathers as "the
No. 1 cause of child poverty in America" at a conference on
fatherhood in Washington this month. "As president, I will launch
a second generation of welfare reform to require all fathers who
owe child support to pay up or be required to go to work ... We've
been requiring that of the mothers; let's require it of the
fathers." Gore would help two-parent families stay together by
proposed changes in the tax code that would eliminate the
"marriage penalty" for families that use the standard deduction.
Steven Baskerville of Howard University, writing for a news letter
to be published by the Women's Freedom Network, charges Gore's
campaign with promoting the incarceration of more fathers.
Republican Presidential candidate, George W. Bush, spoke in more
general terms, calling instead for mutual "friendship and respect"
to encourage marriage and to address the problems of
fatherlessness. The Republicans are also proposing tax reform
which they claim will eliminate the marriage penalty for all tax
2 June 2000, Seattle Post Intelligencer
AUTO MAKERS EXTEND BENEFITS TO HOMOSEXUAL DOMESTIC PARTNERS
Ford Motor Co., GM, and DaimlerChrysler Corps. jointly announced
that they will offer full health benefits to same-sex domestic
partners for their nearly 500,000 U.S. employees. The United Auto
Workers union pushed for the change a year ago in contract
negotiations. Explicitly excluded, however, unmarried
heterosexual couples will not get similar benefits.
9 June 2000, The Washington Post
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SUPREME COURT MAKES DISCRIMINATION SUITS EASIER
The Supreme Court made it easier for an employee to get an on-the-
job discrimination claim heard before a jury. Employees can win
such lawsuits without direct evidence of an employer's illegal
intent. A Mississippi man who said he was the victim of age
discrimination brought the suit. The decision is likely to extend
into all other forms of employment-bias lawsuits.
Employees must still prove that there was discrimination.
However, they do not need to prove intent or motive on the part of
12 June 2000, CNN.com
SENATE REACHES AGREEMENT TO EXTEND VAWA
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) will introduce a compromise bill worked
out with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah),
calling for an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The legislation, if adopted by the House, will authorize spending
$645 million a year over the next five years, up from $266 million
a year that is being spent now. The expanded bill will create
several new initiatives, including transitional housing for
victims, a program to reduce violence during children's
visitations, and to aid disabled and immigrant women.
27 June 2000, The Washington Post
OUTLAWED WORDS AT ENGLISH COLLEGE
Stockpot College in Manchester England has a new policy that bans
39 terms on campus, including: "gentleman," "history," "chairman,"
"manmade," "Mrs.," "normal couple," and "postman." These have
been deemed "unacceptable language" for the 15,000 students and
employees, and can result in expulsion or termination should any
of these offensive blasphemies be used. "Gentleman" was banned
because it had unwanted class implications, and other words such
as "crazy," "mad," or "manic" have been banned too because they
could be offensive to someone with mental health problems. The
college offers vocational classes in business, tourism, child
care, as well as "floristy." It was noted that the campus is
located in Man-chester, a point that is not currently in dispute.
The political correctness does not end at the campus door,
however. The British National Employment Service banned the words
"hard-working," "enthusiastic" and "reliable" from a newspaper ad,
stating that they compromised the 1999 Disability Discrimination
Act. The ban was later repealed by David Blunkett, England's
education and employment secretary, noting that is was insulting
to suggest that the disabled person cannot be reliable, hard-
working and enthusiastic.
13 June 2000, The Washington Times
** Special Feature **
TO BE A BOY IN AMERICA
A plug for Chirstina Hoff-Sommers new book, "The War Against
Boys." We read it in the Washington Post (11 June 2000), a paper
where most gender-related stories are presented with a decidedly
feminist point of view, often crossing into overt advocacy! At
least that is how the editor of this newsletter sees it. They
deserve credit, however, when they let an objective article sneak
through. Here is what the Post provides as a "sampling" from her
* Girls attempt suicide more often, but boys are far more
successful. "In a typical year (1997), there were 4,493 suicides
of young people between the ages of five and twenty-four: 701
females, 3,792 males.
* The typical boy is a year-and-a-half behind the average girl in
reading and writing skills. Girls' scores still lag behind boys'
in national science and math tests, but only slightly.
* The majority of college students are women, and the gap is
expected to grow. By the year 2007, the Department of Education
estimates that there will be 9.2 million women in college and 6.9
* Boys were as likely as girls to complain that they had
experienced "unwanted and unwelcomed sexual behavior that
interferes with their lives," according to a 1993 study conducted
by the American Association of University Women. A follow-up
study by researchers at the University of Michigan found that the
"majority of both genders (53 percent) described themselves as
having been both victim and perpetrator of harassment."
GAZETTE COMMENTARY: FLIRTING
Washington Post staff reporter Roxanne Roberts laments (6 June
2000, The Washington Post), "Flirting, the delicious art of saying
nothing and everything, is disappearing." Republicans do it,
Democrats do it, but as far as office flirting, "don't go there."
Ms. Roberts is quick to point out that, here in Washington at
least, no one is ever truly away from the office. Perhaps the most
revealing quote, however, is from the president of the National
Organization of Women (NOW), Patricia Ireland, "Flirting is not
necessarily a sexist sin. But just as I would not wear clothes to
the office that are appropriate for dancing at a club, I wouldn't
bring the same kinds of interactions to my office that I would
have at a party." She admits, flirting "is not a good idea
because it's too easy to be misinterpreted," and concludes with
"flirting only crosses the line to harassment if the attention is
In summary, Ms. Roberts and many she interviewed, long for the fun
and charm of the ancient ritual of flirtation. The subtext, be
wary as it comes with certain risks. Take it from Ms. Ireland, a
leading feminist who has been instrumental in making innocent
flirtation such as "unwanted looks" into illegal harassment.
Consider this in the context that it is even easier today to bring
a discrimination suit against an employer without the need to
prove intent (see story "SUPREME COURT MAKES DISCRIMINATION SUITS
EASIER"). It should be no surprise, therefore, that the delicious
art of flirting is indeed disappearing. Perhaps flirting is like
the canary in a mineshaft. It seems we're running out of air.
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Richard Kroeger, Editor
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