On International Women’s Day there was celebrating, fundraising and campaigning. There was also a small online demand for equality. Not for women, but for men. ‘When’s International Men’s Day?’ some male tweeters wanted to know. A quick Google, or a visit to this very site could have told them that happy day is on the 19th of November. These, uh, whistle-blowers were lampooned by comedian Richard Herring on Mothering Sunday.
All very well. Fresh flowers are a pleasant asset any des res, cards are always nice to receive and, well, motherhood involves a lot of frowning and anti-wrinkle cream is expensive.
Some people had other ideas though. These alternative ideas involved breakfast in bed for Mum, or balloons. Fathers4Justice went for a full page advert in the Spectator (oh, add a year’s subscription to the Spectator to Mother’s Day ideas!), the I newspaper and on Facebook.
Yes, Fathers4Justice, the organisation who last hit the headlines for appearing in superhero costumes (accidentally aligning themselves with this guy rather than Superman) have changed their approach to raising awareness about their campaign.
No, readers of The Spectator and the I newspaper were greeted with the image of a baby covered in hateful scrawl and the message that the Fawcett Society, the NSPCC and the Labour Party have condemned the little white boy pictured to a lifetime of discrimination.
I am not denying Fathers4Justice don’t have a case. It’s highly unlikely every separation involving children ends in a totally fair arrangement. Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts makes it clear father’s access to their children is highly important and requires discussion in her response to the Fathers4justice advert (you can read it in full here)
Roberts also discusses Fathers4Justice’s tactics: “In recent weeks it has targeted Cafcass, the body responsible for protecting the rights of children in court proceedings, Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, (which it claimed supported 'the abuse of children') and Mumsnet.”
Does that sound like the actions of a campaign that closes their advert message with the request we “support a message of love, not hate”?