I went to a conference this week and the speaker talked about what we are, (nurses, doctors, salesmen, preachers) versus who we are (kind, present, loving, cruel). Those words have worked on my heart and I felt the need to share.
As representatives of the United States government and indeed examples of men/women, I wonder how many of you have thought about these things. Are you basing your decisions regarding this country and its citizens based on what you are? Or who you are?
As legislators, lawyers, politicians, governors, congressmen, representatives have you let those “what you ares” overcome the “who you are” underneath. Do you base your decisions on keeping “what” you are safe? Are your votes dependent on a deal you made with your fellow congressman? Do lobbyist and money sway your opinion? Does being re-elected weigh heavy on your mind and influence your vote? If so then “what” you are is perhaps too influential on your decision-making
I suggest you look deep into yourself and ask if you want your legacy to be what or who? Do you want to be remembered as being trustworthy, honorable, strong, caring, moral, ethical? Or as politics is played today, do you want to be remembered as a slick operator, a man/woman to not get on the bad side of, a slippery eel.
As I look back on the legislation, laws passed and deals made in the past forty years I don’t see many politicians in general that seem to put “who” they are ahead of “what” they are.
Much has been heralded about the Equal Rights Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, FMLA, VAWA, Bradley amendment, Title IV-D and the changes it has brought about for women and children. While some of this change has been for the better there has been a decidedly less publicized and quietly growing destruction of the American family ever since.
While over a million children a year are affected by the growing divorce rate and single mother births have reached a proportion greater than the numbers of children born in wedlock I have to wonder if anyone in charge of this once great country is aware of what our fatherless society is becoming? By creating a society where being a woman means you make all the decisions and indeed in family court are handed the power of destruction of your family have we really seen an improvement of lifestyle and production or are we as a society paying the cost of the federal government becoming “baby daddies” and replacing the once strong influence of a father with government handouts and free rides for those who choose it.
The phrase deadbeat dad is thrown about freely and regularly through out society and the judicial system. When in truth the system makes deadbeats out of most fathers. While they would love to be able to support their children and house and feed themselves the “awards” set prohibitively high prevent that. When a father is paying out sixty to seventy percent of his take-home pay plus required to cover child care, insurance and fifty percent of out of pocket expenses such as glasses and braces plus house, feed and cloth himself there’s literally nothing left and once a father is behind, the arrears grows and grows with no way out, they often give up, Becoming indeed the deadbeat dad. The FDA estimates it costs 916$ a month to clothe, house and feed a child in a safe clean satisfactory manner. So why might I ask why fathers and mothers are not equally responsible for this amount? Taking away the incentive of a huge child support award may encourage women to work on their marriage and discourage this day and age of having numerous children by numerous fathers and collecting from all of them.
That being said there’s the other side of the story where women are “awarded” ridiculously low amounts and expected to single handedly with no financial, physical or emotional support house, clothe and feed their child. Either extreme the child is punished.
The standard of the judiciary is to do what’s in the best interest of the child. Which in my mind comes back again to the basic question. What are you or who are you?Which of these is more important, which brings morals, values, and common decency back to the forefront. Perhaps rather than creating an environment where our children have become ATMs which the Title IV-D requirements have made them and the Bradley amendment has reinforced, perhaps just perhaps the legislators, congressmen and representatives in this countries government should give children back their families requiring 50/50 custody and 50/50 financial support for each child. That would mean each “fit” parent would be responsible for the child half the time. Since time and necessities would be split that would erase the need for child support awards. Use what the FDA states is required.
Have we really become a society where instead of equality we ramrod our political correctness down the throats of the masses? Where were the morals and values in recent events such as Ferguson or Baltimore riots? Were the politicians so worried about maintaining “what” they are they willingly gave up “who” they are to maintain it? How many of those rioters were children from fatherless homes? It’s been proven in study after study those children are at greater risk to end up in jail, do drugs, have psychological problems.
At what cost are we willing to continue to create a secondary class routinely discriminated against and daily denied their constitutional rights based on feminist ideals of superiority. “Who” is standing up for the children. “What” you are isn’t. Money collected by the state from the government “incentives” provided in Title IV-D assures the “what” you are’s maintain the status quo. Fathers that want to be parents are denied that right, their children stolen from them by the judiciary and the mothers who are guaranteed absolute power from said judiciary. Judges discretion is a term I hear over and over and over. To me, that would imply that judges are given the freedom to judge based on “who” they are not “what” they are. Unfortunately in the majority of cases this is just not so. Judges, being human are influenced by their own biases and egos just as anyone else is. This leads to most divorce and custody cases being decided well in advance of any specific case with judges handing out cookie cutter decisions based on what they think will keep them on the bench not what is truly in the best interest of the child.
Ultra-feminist ideals have been and are continuing to form policy, case law and societal “norms” degrading men and their value. The “what” these women are has pushed men out of families, out of their children’s lives and created an atmosphere of “man-bashing” that is damaging to males of all ages. We see it on television, main-stream media, news and stories from our neighbors, the physical, psychological and emotional abuse of the bungling, incompetent male is seen daily while in truth men are just as nurturing, competent and capable as females are.
Domestic violence advocates will tell you that the VAWA has changed the numbers of women abused and it has done so by selectively choosing their statistics and chronically ignoring the numbers of male victims of intimate partner violence, they are raking in the money and swaying public opinion. The “what” they are has overtaken who they are. They are no longer interested in helping everyone who has suffered from abuse but a select population, women only. How many male shelters do you hear about. How often do you see a female convicted of domestic violence in comparison to her male counterparts? If a male says he was raped or beaten he is publically ridiculed, ostracized and not believed. How does that fit into a morally ethically correct country? It doesn’t, it’s another example of the whats being more influential and important than the who’s.
I recently had an opportunity to present our state legislature with some statistics related to domestic violence. Not only did two members of the domestic violence coalition for our state disagree with my statistics they illegally lobbied legislature successfully causing an equal custody law to be killed in committee. Nowhere in their behavior did I see who they were but I saw an awful lot of what they were. Not once did morality, ethics or truthfulness enter their mind. They degraded and were openly hostile to anyone with a differing opinion. The what they are was threatened and their actions were those of defense.
I wish I could explain when and where the change came in our society. Was it the onset of “no-fault” divorce. (Which is a falsehood. There would be no need for a plaintiff and defendant is there was no one being blamed. Everything would be split 50/50 debt, possessions and time with the kids, support of said children). Was it women’s lib? Was it when welfare became a lifestyle rather than a temporary hand up?
I’m a simple Midwestern woman and can’t answer those questions. I can however ask those of you who have influence In this country to stop. Think. When you look in the mirror in the morning do you love and appreciate the who you see? Or are you admiring and polishing the what you are. Would you want your parents to know what you do daily? Do you want your children to grow up in your image and do the same things?
I’m asking you to let morals and ethically correct actions guide your life and the decisions you make for this country and its citizens. I’m asking you to research the effects that absent fathers have on the children of this country. I’m asking you to use WHAT you are to affect WHO you are. I’m asking you act based on who you are and want to be not on what you are. I’m asking you to reform family law. I’m begging you to equalize family court. I’m pleading with you to bring a return of a nation with values, morals and ethics. I’m requesting you tip the scales back to equality.
Make family law reform a priority. Save the next generation of children from fatherless ness.
I’ll be happy to talk to you anytime anywhere.
Thank you for your time.
Shawna M. Thompson-North Platte