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Robert Sell

Hello everyone,

As I read the section of the state gender bias reports dealing with divorce and alimony, something that kept sticking out at me was the opinion of the researchers that "homemaker" was the equivalent of a career choice for women.

Instead of having a normal career of her own, she "chose" the role of homemaker and so should be perpetually compensated for that. I have never had a job where when I left it my employer was required to continue supporting me forever as they did when I worked for them.

Comparatively, there are many jobs I have had that were NOT an enhancement to my career and in fact hurt my career. But I stayed in them because of the marital circumstances I was in. My wife adamantly refused to move or have a career of her own forcing me to harm MY career potential. I did not finish college because I had to work 6 and 7 days a week to get ahead. If I had chosen to add the burden of college to my plate, the extra effort would have been viewed by the state as a contribution and sacrifice by her to me to my own detriment. Now she is rewarded for her choices and I am punished for mine because she now posses the marital property I paid for from all that work so that her lifestyle during the marriage could be maintained. However, my lifestyle of free choice has been taken away in order to satisfy hers.

These studies attempt to come to blanket conclusions about marital roles and relationships and as a result become gender biased themselves. This is because what is left out of the study is the personal intimate relationship between the couple. You will note in the Georgia study that it is all about the "woman" and what happens to her during and after divorce - because of her freedom of choice and the choices she made. Rarely , if at all, in these studies do you see presented the negative impact on a man's life for being "forced" into the role of "breadwinner" because his wife chose "homemaker." This further contributes to the gender bias toward men inherent in these studies and the system constructed from their data.

Hence, this is our argument and our position, that the state does not belong in this area of our lives because you cannot have blanket laws based on studies that are not fair to the intimacies of people's relationships. Thousands of words are spoken between couples during their marriage and thousands of arguments, discussions, and choices, as well as the effects of the personalities of each. None of this is considered when analyzing their apparent roles in the marriage. The state nor any judge cannot possibly dispense equity in divorce without knowing all these intimate details nor possibly enact legislation that fairly treats it. The very best they can do "in equity" is to split the marital assets and allow each to go their separate way to make further free choices as free people about how they want to live their lives.

As a result the state has put itself in the position of abandoning it's pledge to protect the constitutional rights of both men and woman with any legislation they enact and instead treat them differently based on the private choices they made in their marriages. State divorce and alimony laws become inherently gender biased without even using the words "man" or "woman" because they seek to compensate and punish based marital privacy and intimacy.

Therefore, whether you are happily married or otherwise, we need your support to help us remove the meddling state governments from our private lives.

Robert Sell


Citizens For Liberty And Privacy.