Tags: families tribunal

30 Jul 2004, Comments (0)

PHMT

Author: Helen

Some of you will know what that acronym stand for. Others won’t.

Yesterday, a parliamentary committee handed down its recommendation for a new Families Tribunal – and I’m trying to suspend my cynicism re. the “one-stop-shop” Solution to Everything the government always seems to be pushing – but as usual, the Angry Dads organisations got their fifteen minutes of fame, to push the following memes, which they spread in internet forums and now the mainstream media:

1. All women want fathers kept away from children after separation. (We just want single motherhood with no time to ourselves, oh yeah.)
2. The Family Court “always” “favours” the woman in a custody dispute just because they are mothers and mothers are deemed “better” primary carers. Bastards!
3. This has nothing to do with women being socialised from birth to be mothers and to base their self esteem largely on their skill or lack of it as mothers.
4. (2) also has nothing to do with the fact that the mother usually has been the primary carer while the relationship was intact.
5. This has nothing to do with the fact that most couples make that decision because women, on average, earn less than men.
6. (5) has nothing to do with the fact that women have been socialised from birth to be primary carers and are seen as such (and therefore less effective in the workplace) by employers.

Yep, we just love that making-dentist-appointments and figuring-how-to-get-to-work-on-time-while-still-dropping-off-kids lifestyle so much, we just won’t give the blokes a piece of it. Woe!

Guys, you’ve just seen a typical example of PHMT, or Patriarchy Hurts Men Too. Read this classic piece, which explains what PHMT means, and stop blaming mothers for “getting” the kids (oh, and by the way – they’re not chattels).

You still have more of the power, as far as ordering the workplace and economy goes, because more of you are in management and boardrooms. Just get on with it, willya? and then you’ll have your dream to be the equal or primary carer. Just be careful what you wish for.