When Harry* and Annette* got divorced, each took half of the furniture and other things they accumulated in their time together.
Harry complained: “Annette ran off with half my stuff! How could the law support her in this?” Annette did not complain about her material losses. If you were to actually ask her: “How do you feel that Harry took half your stuff?” she would have been surprised at your reasoning. Those things, after all, were collected by her and Harry. It is inconvenient to lose some, but it is entirely just that he should take half of it.
Annette wanted custody of the children, Harry did not. Consequently, Annette got custody. Harry grumbled: “Annette ran off with my children!”
Because Annette had custody of the children, Harry was ordered to pay child support. The truth is, of course, that Annette had to help support the children from her salary too – both Harry and Annette financially provided for the children. Harry lamented how men nowadays are exploited by the cursed feminist laws that favour women above men and let him pay to support her new household. It is better, he said, for men not to marry at all. Just look how women exploit men in divorce! The whole court system is set up to favour women!
If Harry were to see things objectively, he’d have had a use for these numbers:
Married couples accumulate much more than singles, even if the joint amount is divided by two to regard them as owning half each. Being married to Annette made him materially richer.
Divorced women end up a lot poorer than their married sisters. Divorced women end up a lot poorer than divorced men. Annette divorced despite financial implications, not because of it.
Divorced men, just after divorce, usually are about 2.5 times as wealthy as divorced women. Divorced men also make more money than never-married men.
Things got sour, and at one stage lasting two years, Annette made it hard for Harry to visit his children. Harry rightly blamed Annette. But he also blamed the “feminists who made the laws in such a way that it is hard to see my children.”
Are there any such feminist laws which make it hard for Harry to see his children? No, there is no law saying that Annette has the right to keep the children away from Harry. But it is hard to prove what Annette is doing, unless a police officer actually accompanies him on each attempt to visit his children. This is not legal discrimination against men (I have never heard of a court or a law treating non-custodial mothers, kept away by fathers, any differently). By the very nature of how things work, it is hard to enforce visitation rights of non-custodial parents. And women more often want custody, and so end up as custodial parent more often.
Are these really examples of horrible laws made by radical feminists to favour women above men? Or did Harry blame the courts for partly his own selfishness (in wanting to keep almost everything in the divorce) and partly Annette’s (in keeping the children away from him)? Are there any actual divorce or custody laws, in Western nations, that discriminate against one gender? Or are the laws just, but misused by some divorcees?
*Fictitious names, fictitious couple