Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two Great Blogs - From Feminists and Fathers

At the risk of offending everyone, I want to recommend two very different blogs I regularly read. They are so different that they may in fact appear to be polar opposites. One is a group blog with lots of interesting posts by self-described feminist law professors: Feminist Law Professors. The other is the blog of the Massachusetts-based Fathers and Families organization, written by its founder Ned Holstein, in collaboration with fathers' rights advocate Glenn Sacks: Fathers & Families Blog.

I like to think of myself as both a feminist and an advocate for men. I believe feminism and fathers' rights need not be in conflict with each other. Of course, much of what many feminists (that is, the radical ones) say is not only quite extreme but in fact demonstrably false, and similarly, much of what many men's advocates say is also extreme, ridiculous, and over the top.

But there are many valid, reasonable points made by both feminists and men's advocates. The issues they raise should be addressed in our society, and should lead to changes in our legal system. Many of these valid points are being made, and these important issues are being discussed, on the Fathers & Families Blog and the Feminist Law Professors Blog.

We all should pay attention to the sane, rational voices who cry out for true equality for men and women - in the workplace, at home, in our legal system, and everywhere else in our society. This is the kind of true equality that the feminist movement set out to accomplish in its earliest years, and is the kind of equality that its reasonable proponents continue to seek.

I am very attracted to the thinking and writing of Cathy Young, whose former column for the Boston Globe is greatly missed, and not just by me, I'm quite sure, as her voice is to me the very calming sound of Reason in a sea of angry, strident voices in the Battle of the Sexes. Her book Ceasefire! Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality should be required reading for all in the family law world and all concerned with gender issues.

I believe that much of the unfairness faced by women, both in the workplace and elsewhere, is intrinsically related to the unfairness faced by men in domestic relations situations. Thousands of years of history have prejudiced most of us, whether we realize it or not, to act on the apparent belief that men and women have certain determined roles and should remain in those historical roles. The same conservative attitudes that stand in the way of women in the workplace also stand in the way of men at home. But Cathy Young has already said it, far better than I could ever say it, in her book years ago.

I don't always agree with what I read in either one of these two very different blogs, one from fathers and the other from feminists. However, I do find I actually agree with quite a lot of what I read in both, and I think both blogs are contributing in a very important way to a crucial debate that we all need to engage in, without fear, if we are to move forward and progress toward a better society. And when I say a better society, I mean especially for our families and our children.

For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see Law Offices of Steven Ballard.

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