Saturday, March 18, 2006

Beats me why men still want children

Weekends With Dad, Courtesy of D.S.L. (NY Times today)

With work and the school week behind them, Charles A. Mason III and his daughter, Arielle, who live more than 1,500 miles apart, prepared for their scheduled weekend visit. There was no packing involved, no plane tickets, no car rides or drop-offs. All it took was some instant messaging on their home computers and a little fidgeting in front of their respective Webcams, and father and daughter were chatting, playing checkers and practicing multiplication tables.

"It's funner than talking on the phone, because I can see him," said Arielle, 10, who lives with her mother in Longmont, Colo., but has regular "virtual visits" with her father as part of the custody arrangement her parents worked out after her mother moved eight years ago. "It's just like being in front of him, but with games and computer stuff added."

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With almost 75% of divorces initiated by women the odds of a father staying with an intact family to raise his children to young adulthood are about 25%. Since custody usually goes to the mother, the father is doomed to permanent heartbreak, and often financial ruin the result of today's very high child support levels.

"Virtual visitation" is getting heavy media attention because feminists hope it will derail attempts to curb the growing number of laws and court decisions restricting a custiodial mother's right to move far away with the children following divorce.

Were I a young man in this culture very much doubt I'd marry.

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