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Fathers Deserve An Equal Right To Joint Custody
Wednesday, October 31, 2001; 12:01 a.m. EST
Fathers Deserve An Equal Right
To Joint Custody Of Their Children
by Isaiah Flair
One of the last remaining frontiers of collegiate discourse is
parenthood. For the purpose of this column, fatherhood in specific.
You donīt really hear much about it, even though it is one of the two
most important things in human existence. Periodically, there will be
a headline which proclaims, "Deadbeat Dadīs Bank Account Seized!".
Such headlines are compliments of a rather patriphobic and misandric
movement which would portray all dads in such a light. But letīs take
a look at the 99.9999% of fathers who do not fit into such a negative
category, and indeed, at fatherhood itself.
As a pro-lifer, I have to acknowledge that not only does a prenatal
babyīs life begin at conception, but that there begins fatherhood
also. It is at conception that the father and mother are conjoined to
produce new life. It is at conception that the most beautiful thing on
the planet, the G-d-blessed spark of innocent human life, begins itīs
journey through existence.
From that moment, every good father (the 99.9999%) loves his baby,
and is moved by a need to protect, defend, and care for her from that
moment, through all the days of her life. This empathy, this
compassion and emotional investment, is a society builder. It is what
gives fathers the motivation to work, to build homes, and to try and
make the world a safer place.
It should be encouraged by every legal vehicle possible.
One such vehicle involves legally acknowledging the right of every
father of a prenatal baby to protect his babyīs life from conception
forward. This refers of course to the 99.9999% of babies who arise
from consensual relations.
Such a legal acknowledgement tells fathers that society recognizes
them as equally invested in their babyīs lives. It says, "You love
your baby from conception forward, and we accord that full respect."
It also incorporates the fundamental principle of our Constitution,
which is no taxation without representation. After all, it is at
conception that fatherhood is legally recognized for the purpose of
financial assessment. It is at conception, when father and mother are
conjoined to produce new life, that the fatherīs half of the babyīs
genetic make-up is determined. It is this genetic makeup which
determines that the baby will have her fatherīs hands, or blue eyes,
or quick intelligence.
Thus, under the fundamental American guiding principle of no taxation
without representation, as financial responsibility begins at
conception, there must also begin the absolute right of every father
to protect his baby from being aborted, chemically or surgically. Itīs
just the right thing to do, and the only way that fatherhood - and
thus the full personhood of men - will ever truly be acknowledged.
Interestingly, the majority of polls, regardless of which side of the
political fence the polltaker is on, shows a 70-80% majority favoring
the full legal empowerment of fathers in so far as to recognize their
natural right to prevent the abortion of their own baby, from the
moment of conception forward. Indeed, this is acknowledged as an
integral part of the natural role of fathers: to care for and protect
their own babies.
Politically, this will become a reality in time; it is inevitable in
the march towards a fundamentally egalitarian society. There will have
to be a couple of Supreme Court staffing changes, but that is a good
thing, and equally inevitable, given the name of the duly-elected
United States President.
Of course, another critical legal vehicle entails the recognition of
post-marital equal custody rights for every good father (the
99.9999%). This will eventually take the form of a judicially binding
presumption of joint residential custody in the event of divorce.
"Joint residential custody" simply means that all of the children of
the marriage spend equal time with both parents, and thus claim their
right to both father and mother after a marriage ends, just as much as
while that marriage continued.
This also flows from "no taxation without representation". It very
well captures the spirit of what my Revolutionary War ancestors
proclaimed two hundred and twenty-five years ago: that with
responsibilities must come rights, and these rights must not be
abridged. Putting the principle in the context of the current
discussion, fathers are deserved of an equal right to joint custody of
their children, in and out of marriage. Correspondingly, fathers are
to be invested with equal financial responsibility for every one of
Of course, there are many other fatherhood issues. These include an
equal right to be a primary caregiver, as over a million fathers in
the USA are now. It includes constructive portrayals in the news
media, as well as in films, television shows, et cetera.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Toogood Reports contributor Isaiah Flair is a proud resident of the
Pacific Northwest, and writes about social issues affecting our great
nation. He believes that the United States of America has the right
and the responsibility to stand up for conservative values at home,
democracy and capitalism worldwide, and free speech everywhere.
The right to life, to a vote, to raise a family, to have faith, and to own
private property should trump the liberal values of moral relativism,
judicial activism, heterophobic misandry, atheism, and Marxism every
day of the week and twice on Sundays. He can be reached at
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month