3rd January, 2002


Dear Sir
At 2.50pm on Tuesday 18 December, I selected two trays of Round Steak, costing 6 at a butcher shop in the Douglas Shopping Centre, asking the male assistant to mince same. He refused saying the mincing was cleaned up for the day.
Next I went to another butcher and requested 5 worth of Round Steak to be minced. A male employee refused saying something about lamb being in the mixer.
Next stop was a butcher in Turners Cross where a thorough gentleman had no problem mincing Round Steak, treating me as a valued customer.
What is the Butchers Association policy on this matter and have other customers had similar experiences ?
Neil O'Donoghue

Gender Equality & Family Law ...

Gender Equality and Family Law
Dear Sir
The eradication of discrimination against women has been driven and underpinned to a large extent by legislation based on the concept of equality it is long past time that legislation was enacted to eradicate the cruel injustices inflicted on fathers in relation to custody and continued parenting after Marriage/Relationship breakdown. Laws must co-evolve with changing lifestyle and attitudes of society. Parenting duties are being shared more equally than ever before and this should be reflected by changes in legislation and the judicial interpretation of legislation.
One of the best ways of ending the discrimination in the family law courts would be the introduction of reporters into the family law courts. If reporters were to report on individual cases, the judiciary would have to be more careful, and therefore could not make unjustified decisions and would therefore be held accountable for any decisions that they would make. In these cases the names of the parties would not be disclosed to the public, but the outcome of the cases and the evidence used against the father and or Grandparents would. This would ensure that there would be some sort of equality in a system that favours the mother over a father, as well as a Grandparent. Fathers who are more than willing to be responsible parents should not be denied the right to do so. Likewise Grandparents should not be denied the right to see their Grandchildren.
The solution to this is two tier: Social attitudes towards fathers must change. The legislation and structures dealing with marriage breakdown need to change, so that shared parenting and joint custody becomes the norm and the custodial Guardianship rights of both parents and children are upheld.
The legislation governing separation/custody does not overtly appear to discrimination against fathers. However it is deficient in that.
1.It does not protect parenthood adequately
2.It does not encourage the amicable resolution of custody disputes.
3.It provides no guidelines/standards on dealing with custody issues.
4.It does nothing to rectify the anti-father attitudes in society generally and which are more pronounced amongst the judiciary.
Society changes, but legislation stays the same. Is this right?

Yours Sincerely.
Christopher Carr [Unmarried father, with sole custody).
'Parental Equality'