Sunday, July 21, 2019

Women in National Security Roles

As in many areas of our society, women are under-represented in national security roles. Unlike Spring, who used to argue that a woman not only shouldn't but couldn't be president, I think it it is terrible that women are under represented in executive offices, politics and national security or anywhere else for that matter. Even as a kid, I could not understand how anyone could oppose the Equal Rights Amendment. 
Mieke Eoyang

However, what I do not like is when a proposed solution to a problem is not only superficial but actually makes matters worse. The great thing about the article cited above is when the two female national security experts discuss the effects of banning women from combat roles.
ALLAM: Women still face many obstacles. For one, they're only now starting to see the payoff from being allowed into combat roles, earning battlefield experience that could help them advance to defense leadership. Eoyang again. 
EOYANG: What we're starting to see now are the first generation of women who entered national security after those bans were lifted being old enough to be senior in this field. This is an inflection moment.
So banning women from combat roles is a cause, a huge cause, of there being less women in national security roles. Of course this is true!. There are some who would like to create quotas for women in national security but that will never work. Once the gender gap in military fatalities is eliminated so will the gender gap in national security roles. I know people are often uncomfortable thinking this way but such thinking is just sexism.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is Lifetime Alimony Slavery?

Perhaps there is no greater emotionally charged claim regarding lifetime alimony than to equate it to slavery. In Florida a claim that lifetime alimony is akin to slavery was lambasted.

Claim: Forcing people to work for the rest of their life for someone else is pretty much the definition of slavery.

Counter claim: It is only a financial burden. And the recipient has earned it because she (98% of the time it is a she) took care of the kids and ran the household. Think of it more like a pension.

My take:  Although some women may have been the primary parent during the marriage it certainly isn't true of all and in my case was absolutely not the case. (The custody evaluator ruled parenting was joint) As for running the home, for every family where the women is the primary cleaner of the bathroom, there is one or more where the man is the primary cutter of the grass and remover of snow. Again, in my case, I did the vast majority of housework whether that be traditionally female or male work. Another issue is that often the person receiving alimony could have worked but simply chose not to work or chose to be underemployed because it was easier. There was never an agreement whatsoever in my marriage that Spring not work. She just avoided it because she could get away with it. She used me. The biggest issue in my my opinion is that lifetime alimony is equivalent to quitting a job and still receiving the salary until you die. That is bizarre.

It is ironic that in the 1960's NOW (the National Organization of Women) sought  to end alimony because it assumed that women were incapable of taking care of themselves.
(Betty) Friedan, by contrast, sought at-will, “no fault” divorce, where either party would be able to leave a marriage at any time. She also advocated for a one-time equal division of property in divorce because “as feminists . . . we didn’t believe women should ask for alimony” since alimony implies that women might put themselves in a dependent position in marriage.
Without alimony’s crutch, it was hoped, more women would pursue careers in case their marriages fell apart.
Unsettling the safety of marriage is an economic backbone of efforts to cultivate an ethos of independence among women: Education and careers would provide the safety that marriage no longer would.
Sadly NOW's position on alimony today reflects the the view that women need to be taken care of by men. So much for the ideology of their founders.

Legally the matter of whether lifetime alimony is slavery is not all that clear. The 13 Amendment states:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
The United Nations bans involuntary servitude other that for those drafted into the military and after being convicted of a crime. It even states:
Each Member shall ensure that all victims of forced or compulsory labour, irrespective of their presence or legal status in the national territory, have access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation.
So legally I am actually due compensation. I won't hold my breath.

My biggest concern isn't even alimony per se, it is that the most common way to obtain it is to commit the crimes of  perjury and fraud. Often, like in the case of Spring and her lawyer Nelly Wince, obvious crimes. Family court has become so corrupt that it is often just an arena to criminally obtain as much money as possible. Justice be damned. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Gender Equality and Alimony Can’t Logically Co-Exist

Gender Equality and Alimony Can’t Logically Co-Exist by Brian Brewington in Medium is a great article out the fundamental issues with alimony and gender equality.
If a woman expects to be paid the same as a man, there should be no part of the job that’s designated for the men she works with. Simply put, if we’re equals, which I truly believe to be the case — then why on earth would a woman ever be entitled to half of a man’s assets or more after they get divorced? 
There’s this saying you often hear spoken during alimony negotiations, that has always troubled me. The whole “in order to maintain a lifestyle she’s become accustomed to” argument. If that lifestyle she had become accustomed to, was solely provided by a man, when her and that man get divorced — she’s also divorcing that lifestyle she was accustomed to.
I agree wholeheartedly. Alimony is is based on the idea the sexist idea that women are unable to take care of themselves and must be provided for by a man. Truly a bizarre concept.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Freddie Prinze

Freddie Prinze was a comedian famous for co-staring in the hit 1970's television show Chico and the Man.

Tragically, Prinze killed himself in 1977. He was 22 years old. Why? Many people say he was depressed. Well yes, but why was he depressed? According to his mother:

Sometime during the day, Freddie received the divorce papers from Kathy's lawyer demanding $25,000 in lawyers' fees, $10,000 in court costs, $4,000 a month alimony for Kathy and $1,000 a month support for the child, as well as retention of all properties held in Kathy's name, plus dental and medical expenses for her and the baby. And all of this was retroactive to December 8, 1976. In all of it, what hurt Freddie the most was that he was restrained from going to the house except to visit Freddie Jr. 

You would have to be pretty cold hearted not to feel depressed.

If there is a silver lining to his Freddie's life it is that his his son, Freddie Prinze, Jr,. overcame the tragedy and has had a very successful career as an actor as well as a, rare in Hollywood, successful long-term marriage with Sarah Michelle Gellar with whom which he has two children.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wow! Suicide Risk for Divorced Men

For years I have always thought the risk of suicide for divorced men was four times that of women. Boy, was I wrong. It is actually 9.7 times.
These results dramatise the terrible consequences of being a divorced man in America, and lead to the question: why are divorced men killing themselves? Some analysts argue that the research community has ignored a plausible explanation for the excess suicide risks experienced by divorced men. As Perrault and Farrell observe, while social, psychological, and even personal problems facing women are readily denounced, societal institutions tend to ignore or minimise male problems as evident in suicide statistics. For instance, in many jurisdictions in the US there seems to be an implicit assumption that the bond between a woman and her children is stronger than that between a man and his children. As a consequence, in a divorce settlement, custody of children is more likely to be given to the wife. In the end, the father loses not only his marriage, but his children. The result may be anger at the court system especially in situations wherein the husband feels betrayed because it was the wife that initiated the divorce, or because the courts virtually gave away everything that was previously owned by the ex-husband or the now defunct household to the former wife. Events could spiral into resentment (toward the spouse and “the system”), bitterness, anxiety, and depression, reduced self esteem, and a sense of “life not worth living”. As depression and poor mental health are known markers of suicide risk, it may well be that one of the fundamental reasons for the observed association between divorce and suicide in men is the impact of post divorce (court sanctioned) “arrangements”.
In my case, custody of the children was joint although in reality I have had sole custody. Yet despite that and despite a vocational evaluator determining Spring could make just as much money as me, not to mention the clear and overwhelming evidence of fraud on her part, I am required to work the rest of my life for her.

Why divorced men commit suicide at such a high rate can be debated, but does anyone really thing that the fact that it is the man who pays alimony  98+% of the time is unrelated? 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lack of Due Process

Medium has an interesting article on the lack of due process in family court. The articles focus is on veterans but what is true for them is true for all.
Due process is often subverted for many individuals in divorce and custody ordeals — often for reasons of players in the court covering up one track after another in situations where transgressions have transpired both on procedural and substantive grounds whereby established precedents and rules have been disregarded — resulting in rights being terminated without parties being afforded proper adjudication.
“Disabled Veterans are encountering tremendous financial and emotional distress in various forms on a regular basis because of this injustice. Some to the point of suicide…other sufferings include illegal garnishment of entire bank accounts, inappropriate liens on personal property acquired with Title 38 compensation, driver license suspension, and even incarceration. Tragically, many are denied a meaningful relationship with their child(ren) as a result.”
— LT(J.G.) GREGORY PARSONS, U.S. NAVY, PDRL


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Real Sexism

I ran across the Real Sexism Project and think you should take a look. I am not going to comment much other to say that it does make you think and the fact that sexism against men exists does not mean sexism against women does not exist and is just as wrong.