Calgary Herald

Sunday 17 June 2001

Happy Person Day, dads

Naomi Lakritz
Calgary Herald

Happy Father's Day, dads. Would you like a tie or another pair of socks? You can have anything you like, as long as you don't ask to sit at the table with the other half of the human race.

Recently, the National Association of Women and the Law, along with the Ontario Women's Network on Custody and Access, threw a hissy fit and said they will boycott the federal Justice Department's national consultations on custody legislation because -- gasp! -- they'd have to sit at the same table as fathers' rights groups.

What are they afraid of -- that the guys might burp or scratch themselves in some inappropriate place?

If only it were that simple.

Instead, the phrase "fathers' rights" is an oxymoron to people like OWNCA member Ghislaine Siroris who complains that if men are included in the seating arrangement, it doesn't demonstrate a clear commitment to women's equality.

It would be nice if the strident feminist element would make up its mind once and for all whether biology is destiny.

They'll lobby long and loud for a national day-care system because professional carers are better than moms any day, but when it comes to child custody, suddenly their view is that nobody can do it better than mom. Seems biology is indeed destiny, but only when it suits their purposes.

The women also objected to the "gender-neutral" language in the Justice Department documents that had been prepared for the hearings.

Didn't they just spend three decades emasculating the English lexicon and forcing everyone to convert to "chairperson," "spokesperson" and "personhole cover" on pain of being carted off for sensitivity re-education? And now that they've gelded the grammar as systematically as a farmer might a litter of piglets, they're still not happy. Oh, brother. Oops. Oh, sibling.

Much as these women would love to think they can reproduce by parthenogenesis and grow a child from an unfertilized egg, they can't. Much as some obviously believe it would be far more efficient to cuddle up to a turkey baster than to acknowledge that men's role in parenting is larger than just providing sperm, they can't do that, either.

When women like these set out to carve up the language into person-words, they also tinkered with meanings. Equality now means whatever gives them an edge over the guys and women's rights are synonymous with a self-serving agenda that is strikingly similar to the one they accuse men of using for thousands of years to oppress women.

"Women's organizations believe the outcome of this consultation will jeopardize the rights and safety of women and children," yaps NAWL spokesperson Bonnie Diamond.

Maybe her organization should change its name to the National Association of Women ARE the Law since that appears to be their premise.

Is there a species on the planet more unjustly maligned than fathers? Used-car salesmen get a better rap than dads do. Fathers are abusers, bullies, deadbeats, child molesters and all-around sexist clods who have a lot of gall wanting a relationship with their children once the initial moment of conception is over.

If these matriarchy-uber-alles groups want to boycott, girlcott or personcott the public consultations, then the hearings should get underway without them.

Why bother coaxing these crybabies back to the fold when all they have to say on the serious issue of changes to the federal Divorce Act is "gimme"?

These organizations speak only for themselves. They certainly do not speak for those of us who will have no ties to gift-wrap this Father's Day because the hard-working, decent, honourable guys who were our dads have passed away. We will not allow them to be insulted.

Pull up a chair, all you fathers, and join in the debate. You have every right to be there.

Contact Naomi Lakritz at 235-7557 or by e-mail at

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