The father, the son, and the custody ceiling

I was reading a post this morning about Father’s Rights, and it really brought to my attention just how much this issue has gone unnoticed in greater social and political conversation.

There is no doubt that divorce rates are on the rise, currently sitting at one in two heterosexual couples. Such a statistic bares great significance in painting us a picture, of just how many children are being raised by a single parent (or a ‘step-parent’ for that matter), and just how many parents out there, are left paying child support, regardless of how often they are entitled to see their children.

And of course, in this instance, it is the father who gets the raw end of the deal. With almost 90% of women winning joint, or sole custody over their children, I can’t help but raise the question – why is it that in our so-called modern society, mothers are still considered more trustworthy and able to raise children than their male counterparts?

For myself, there is a simple answer to this question – traditional gender roles.

What I find most ironic about this situation, is that for the past few decades, as women have started to climb the corporate and social ladder, we have seen such traditional roles as a hindrance to our progression. We have attempted to shed this label of the woman as being the domesticated wife and mother, in search of more empowering roles within society. It was the moment we started to swap the apron for the suit, that traditional gender roles were truly a weight and burden on our shoulders.

Yet in the courtroom, we are more than happy to draw upon such traditional roles, as a reasoning for why we should get what we want. We pull out the gender card, and we put on the apron, and we stand there before the judge, and draw upon the fact that for centuries it has been the woman’s role to look after the children, and it should continue to be this way.

Our system needs to be more open to the idea that in a world and society where women are executives, and men are house-husbands, opting for the easy way out shouldn’t be the case anymore. We are at a point where both men and women, are equally able to fulfil the roles of the corporate suit, and the ‘director of domestic affairs’ so too speak, and the statistics of child custody needs to start reflecting this.

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3 thoughts on “The father, the son, and the custody ceiling

  1. I really like this post as it’s so very true, authorities are so quick to give custody to mothers, that many brilliant fathers are being shunned and meant to feel they are not worthy. I know many men that are mothers and father to children and they are the little ones world and also doing an awesome job. I wish they could bring a test or a qualifier to know who the child should go to. 50/50 doesn’t always work but never should it mostly be going to mothers, especially when many mothers use their children tools to hurt the fathers!

  2. I think is a really big issue and you raise some great points. Children often need both parents – loss of love from one or other can lead to emotional issues. I think it should be based on merit – and as much as possible, 50/50.

  3. Pingback: Kids Without Voices « Think of the Children

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