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NCFM E-Zine Gazette, Vol 14
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National Coalition of Free Men Click on "Read More..." to view the National Coalition of Free Men's e-mail newsletter, the NCFM E-Zine. The National Coalition of Free Men (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. Their web site can be found at http://www.ncfm.org.

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

This month's issue contains:


Special Features:


Public Service

** The News **


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 messy divorce.

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 children."

The NCFM EZine Gazette
19 June 2000, The Washington Post


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.


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 against prostitution.

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.


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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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 child support.

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 cream."

22 June 2000, The Washington Post see also, EZine Gazette, Vol. 13.1, June 2000.


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 payers.

2 June 2000, Seattle Post Intelligencer


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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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 the employer.

12 June 2000, CNN.com


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


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 **


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 new book:

* 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 million men.

* 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."


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 unwelcome."

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.

** Public Service **

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The E-Zine Gazette is compiling a list of stories that document double standards in the American justice system. We plan to compile these stories into a concise and open-minded analysis to help illustrate the problem, and to provide you with the information you need to understand it.

Please send clipping to the NCFM address given below, along with which paper and the date that it appeared. Alternately, please send the complete text and reference to:

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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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