Family Courts – their belief that fathers are automatically less qualified to raise children.
Since my girls were born, I was their primary care giver. I separated from my ex-wife, and we had the children on a week-on/week-off arrangement for about 3 years. She then decided to apply for sole custody (mostly in order to get more money in child support and government grants).
My two girls talked with a court-appointed family consultant, and have specifically asked to live with me. I have remarried since my divorce, and they find staying with me is a calmer environment and they love their new step-mum and step-sister.
The court response was that since they asked to stay with me they are obviously immature and unsure in their relationship with me. The judge made it very obvious that the one and only criteria for raising children is having a vagina. (NO she didn’t quite say it that way – but the way she treated the case was very confronting to fathers).
I am now trying to change this. If you care about sexism towards men (and frankly towards women too, because the same judges also think the women belong in the kitchen with these children!)
When I used to teach nursery school, I was stunned to watch another teacher waking his four-year-old charges up after nap time. He would (playfully) kick each boy’s cot and say, “Come on! Up-and-at’em” and then kneel down by each girl’s cot and gently say, “Time to wake up, sweetheart.”
We start treating boys and girls differently very early and have very different expectations for them. “Boys are supposed to be tough” is just as sexist as “girls are supposed to be sweet” or “girls aren’t supposed to be tough” and “boys aren’t supposed to be sweet.”