Deadbeat Hysteria Claims More Victims ---
Squeezing Blood From A Stone

by Dr. Howard Levine

I never heard of Marvin Davids until last year when several articles appeared in the Toronto Star. I read them and was appalled. As a fellow father having a first hand experience of aggressive legal manoeuvering in Ontario divorce courts, I felt that the skewed articles reinforced and perpetuated myopic myths and stereotypes that contribute to male bashing and "deadbeat hysteria". (Refer to

I saw a man who was being relentlessly beaten upon by a draconian, oppressive and gender biased regime; a man who was being toxically shamed, humiliated and systematically dehumanized. A quote from the article URLíd above told us "Marvin Davids blamed his ex-wife, her lawyer and their $300,000 ``war chest'' for his downfall. ``They've ruined me,'' he says. ``I was living with this woman for 30 years and she has everything that we ever had. She's got the bank accounts, the real estate. My kids . . . she's got them against me.'' Instead of ending the strife, the system, by playing off his ex against him, magnified it a hundred-fold.

If that wasnít enough to raise a red flag, the article further told us that "Marvin Davids describes himself as a ``ruined man'' who has had to declare personal bankruptcy." ``I've got to rebuild now. I'm 51 years old. . . . Now what do you want me to do? What should I do?'' He told us that the stress from the battle with his ex-wife over support payments had cost him his second marriage. The man, who had previously lived in a half million dollar home, was broke, living with his elderly parents, being told to pay 100% of his salary and being threatened with incarceration. But, these scenarios and comments, as many a divorcing man, under siege (especially self-employed) will relate, fell upon deaf ears.

In complete contrast, the cry of the day that ``He's getting away with this because the government isn't doing its job and making him pay,'' came through loud and clear. ``They haven't suspended his driver's licence or taken him back to court. It's a farce,'' In typical fashion, like a well-oiled machine, the taxpayer supported "Family" Responsibility Office tightened the screws on the non-custodial parent. Leading up to this, it appears that no matter how hard Mr. Davids tried, the "just-ice" system brick walled him. No matter what he did, it was perceived as wrong and never good enough. In July 1998, the trial judge, Mr. Bryan Shaughnessy, concluded "that Mr. Davids has unequivocally demonstrated a profound lack of consideration for his family, and that it is highly unlikely that he will pay periodic child and or spousal support,''. The fact that $5600.00 a month might be a tad high didnít seem to factor in.

In an attempt to right this injustice and misperception, "Marvin Davids appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, claiming the trial was unfair. He lost." He was further painted as "determined to give his wife and children as little as possible and was prepared to lie and cheat to achieve that goal."

How much can one man be expected to take? I thought the law was supposed to be a shield, not a sword. His side of the story was totally ignored and discounted. He was invalidated and quashed. He was imputed an income and told to pay up or go to jail. According to procedure, he had his day in court.

Although Mr. Davids had fallen into the depths of despair declaring outwardly in last acts of desperation that he was physically, emotionally and financially exhausted and the he was feeling at the end of his rope, he was cut no slack. Mr Davids hasnít made headlines lately as he didnít react by cutting off his wifeís head. He didnít shoot his children. He didnít stab a judge or lawyer. He didnít bomb a courthouse. All he did was to hang himself.

Remember, men donít have issues, as the story is endlessly spun, we are the products of a patriarchy intent on repressing women. If that wasnít the case and if men could get through the wall of denial, shame and silence installed by a culturally triumphant feminist indoctrination, there would already be an Ontario "Menís" Directorate.

Will we have an inquest into this matter? Only if enough of us cry out loud and send this letter, or your own, to every MP, MPP and media outlet in town. Will he just be sloughed off as another unstable man who didnít live up to his obligations Ė a victim of his own demise? Will they wipe the arrears off the record or will it stay on the FRO outstanding list of money owed for decades to come? Maybe, just maybe, Iím totally wrong Ė maybe Marvin outsmarted us all Ö he probably hid his money in heaven and is now there to live the life of Riley.