March 30, 2007
Of all the contentious government programs, surely everyone would agree on an initiative to promote responsible fatherhood, right? Wrong. The National Organization for Women (NOW) has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for funding fatherhood programs that "discriminate" against women. Kathy Rodgers, the president of Legal Momentum, which joined the protest, said, "What we're asking them to do is to make sure that the grantees provide equal services to men and women.
It should be a parenthood initiative." Theirs is an interesting suggestion, seeing as the Food and Drug Administration was recently hammered by leading feminists for providing less funds for its Office of Women's Health. If NOW were truly an equal-opportunity watchdog, why hasn't its leadership launched a similar grievance against the FDA? Where is NOW's campaign for an Office of People's Health? Unfortunately, their anti-father crusade only exposes the group's true agenda--to treat fathers as having no special role to play in children's lives. As HHS says, "Helping men become better fathers will benefit women and children too."
Furthermore, the initiative is modestly funded when compared to other government programs, many of which rake in far more than $50 million--and without the direct benefit to families. As part of Promoting Responsible Fatherhood, men, many of whom are low-income, receive job and parent training, substance-abuse prevention and treatment, and educational opportunities.
What's more, there is no official ban on women in the program. One HHS official said the programs were advised to accept females if they applied. NOW claims to be a "voice" for women everywhere, the effect of which has been nothing less than a shriek by a group of fringe "feminists" taking aim not at discrimination, injustice, or chauvinism but motherhood, healthy sexuality, and traditional families.