Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Deadbeat dads jam phones

Hate mail, calls flood into the attorney-general

Toronto Star, BY PATRICIA ORWEN STAFF REPORTER, Friday February 20, 1998, page A12

Retaliating against the province's recent crackdown on deadbeat dads, angry fathers are sending hate mail to the attorney-general and deliberately jamming government phone lines.

"It's despicable," said Attorney-General Charles Harnick, responding to news that a 1-800 phone number and a picture of a private government office appeared this week on the Web site of a Toronto based fathers' rights group.

Text in the Web site urged "all" to join in a "public disobedience initiative."

"I can't believe some people would actually go to these lengths in order not to do what is morally right - and that is to pay for their children," Harnick said.

Phones are ringing 3,000 times a day at the Family Responsibility Office and the ministry has had to take staff off important projects, such as enforcement of child support, to help answer calls, he said.

That means up to 1,000 extra calls a day may be jamming lines that are mostly used by women asking about support payments.

The province handles 167,500 cases involving the support of 350,000 children. To date, nearly $1 billion in child support is owing in Ontario and a whopping 75 per cent of parents in the government program, mostly fathers, don't pay support on a regular basis.

"A lot of those children have ended up on the welfare rolls and the fact that we're finally doing something to change that obviously makes some people mad," said a source in Harnick's office.

OWE $400 MILLION
Recent new enforcement measures, including driver's licence suspensions, ordering deadbeat dads to jail and giving private collectors the task of tracking down 20,000 dead-beats who collectively owe more than $400 million in child-support payments seems to have sparked the protest, said Harnick.

"There's no justification for this kind of attack," he said. "I wish that instead of protesting, they would just love their children enough to pay for them." Malcolm Mansfield, president of Fathers Are Capable Too: Parenting Association, which operates the Web site in question, said his 200-member organization actually doesn't endorse the attack on the government phones.

"That was one of our members who thought it was a good idea.., we don't really want to do that," he said, referring to a directive in his Web site that reads: "Jam up the FRO (Family Responsibility Office) telephone lines ... let's ... shove the FRO phone bill right out the roof. Call several times every day of the month, every month. Never stop calling and keep on the phone until it hangs up. Call from B.C. if the long distance number will accept calls from that region."

Mansfield said the dads have good reasons for being angry. "They don't get angry because they have to pay.

What they are more concerned about is that they are paying support and don't have access to their kids." "It is a gender war," he said, adding that he got no satisfaction from a meeting his group had with Harnick last year.

Harnick, however, said fathers' rights groups do have some legitimate complaints, which are being addressed by a joint committee of Parliament.

The Boy Crisis

TEDx Dr Warren Farrell

TEDx - The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

One of the foremost speakers and thinkers on gender issues

Dr. Warren Farrell

It's a crisis of education. Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science.

It's a crisis of mental health. ADHD is on the rise. And as boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women.

It's a crisis of fathering. Boys are growing up with less-involved fathers and are more likely to drop out of school, drink, do drugs, become delinquent, and end up in prison.

It's a crisis of purpose. Boys' old sense of purpose-being a warrior, a leader, or a sole breadwinner-are fading. Many bright boys are experiencing a "purpose void," feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification.

So, what is The Boy Crisis? A comprehensive blueprint for what parents, teachers, and policymakers can do to help our sons become happier, healthier men, and fathers and leaders worthy of our respect.

Associated Press

Why boys are in trouble

Boys have been painted as the bad guys in the push to encourage girls to succeed, leaving many young men feeling confused and alienated, wondering what they did wrong

The Associated Press
January 5, 1999

According to psychologist and author William Pollack, 'sports are the one arena in which many of society's traditional strictures about masculinity are often loosened, allowing boys to experience parts of themselves they rarely experience elsewhere.'

When Harvard Medical School psychologist William Pollack administered a test to a group of 150 teenaged boys a few years ago, the results were shocking. Read More ..

The Boy Crisis Book - Warren Farrell - John Gray

The Boy Crisis Book

The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

Authors- Waren Farrell PhD and John Gray PhD

What is the boy crisis?

It's a crisis of education. Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science.

It's a crisis of mental health. ADHD is on the rise. And as boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women.

It's a crisis of fathering. Boys are growing up with less-involved fathers and are more likely to drop out of school, drink, do drugs, become delinquent, and end up in prison.

It's a crisis of purpose. Boys' old sense of purpose-being a warrior, a leader, or a sole breadwinner-are fading. Many bright boys are experiencing a "purpose void," feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification.

So, what is The Boy Crisis? A comprehensive blueprint for what parents, teachers, and policymakers can do to help our sons become happier, healthier men, and fathers and leaders worthy of our respect.   Read More ..

Canadian flag
Health Canada Publication

The Invisible Boy: Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens

"... the existence of a double standard in the care and treatment of male victims, and the invisibility and normalization of violence and abuse toward boys and young men in our society.

Despite the fact that over 300 books and articles on male victims have been published in the last 25 to 30 years, boys and teen males remain on the periphery of the discourse on child abuse.

Few workshops about males can be found at most child abuse conferences and there are no specialized training programs for clinicians. Male-centred assessment is all but non-existent and treatment programs are rare. If we are talking about adult males, the problem is even greater. A sad example of this was witnessed recently in Toronto. After a broadcast of The Boys of St. Vincent, a film about the abuse of boys in a church-run orphanage, the Kids' Help Phone received over 1,000 calls from distraught adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is tragic in a way no words can capture that these men had no place to turn to other than a children's crisis line."

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association
Dating Violence Statistics in the United States

Nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys say they have been raped or experienced some other form of abusive violence on a date, according to a study released Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

National Post

The mean T-shirt: From the Stupid Factory

Todd Goldman says his popular boy-bashing T-shirts are simply funny.

So why are retailers having second thoughts?  Read More ..

Why boys are in trouble

Boys have been painted as the bad guys in the push to encourage girls to succeed, leaving many young men feeling confused and alienated, wondering what they did wrong

The Associated Press

According to psychologist and author William Pollack, 'sports are the one arena in which many of society's traditional strictures about masculinity are often loosened, allowing boys to experience parts of themselves they rarely experience elsewhere.'

When Harvard Medical School psychologist William Pollack administered a test to a group of 150 teenaged boys a few years ago, the results were shocking.

The Globe and Mail

Where the boys are

The Globe and Mail
February 1, 2003

Academically, boys across the country are lagging behind the girls, but a Montreal public school has seen dramatic improvement by separating the sexes in classes. It allows teachers to tailor curriculum and style to suit each sex. The result? The number going on to college has nearly doubled. INGRID PERITZ reports

MONTREAL -- The teenage girls at James Lyng High School like to flirt with boys. They like to tease them, joke with them, even date them sometimes. But attend class with them? As the giggling girls in one math class this week might say, "Gross."

Luckily, they don't have to. Coed James Lyng splits boys and girls up at the classroom door. The division of the sexes is credited with helping turn a faltering inner-city high school into an education success story.  Read More ..