Courts Should See Men as Parents, Not Just `Open Wallets' for Child Support

Courts Should See Men as Parents, Not Just 'Open Wallets' for Child Support

The front-page article ''Custody Cases Test Attitudes of Judges,'' March 15, reported the increasing frequency of women losing custody of their children to former husbands.

This is coupled with news stories such as those about the custody battle of Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, and tabloid TV talk shows that indicate that women are losing custody of children in divorces. The news media and the tabloids all portray these events as terrible. And they are. However, for years, the male has been expected to give up most, if not all, custody of his children without complaining.

It is assumed by the courts and society that the woman makes the better parent. The courts also look upon the male as nothing more than an open wallet. If a man wants custody of a child, the courts view the man as wanting to get out of paying child support.

If the courts really wish to be fair, joint custody should be awarded to both parents and both parents should contribute financially. If one parent limits access, then that parent should lose custody.

Ken Sanger, Ridgecrest, Calif.

Turkey's atrocities

Regarding the editorial ''Unsplendid Little War,'' April 3: The recent developments in Kurdish Northern Iraq are sad but not surprising. It is the fourth time during this century that Turkey has committed atrocities against its neighbors and its peoples.

The genocide of 1.5 million Armenians; the ''ethnic cleansing'' of 300,000 Greeks living in Istanbul and Asia Minor; the invasion, occupation, and settling of Northern Cyprus; and the century-long effort to change the identity of Kurds to ''Mountain Turks'' are only some of the atrocities and unjust actions committed this century by a state that would like to be called ''modern.''

Turkey has been permitted the latest invasion because of its strategic location next to Iraq, which the United States values more than human rights and freedom.

The Turkish military has only one target: to turn the attention of the Turks outside their borders. But the only thing they will accomplish is the lasting hatred of the Kurdish people.

Takis Metaxas, Wellesley, Mass.

Providing equal opportunities

Thanks for the article ''Why Americans Get Riled About Racial Hiring,'' March 31. When will we see the moral wisdom of providing quality education to all?

And when will we have the moral leadership to insist on this? The competition for higher education and jobs will be fair only when all American children are given the same foundation to spring from.

If we universally implement higher standards and opportunities at an early education level, we won't have to lower them when we get to the university level. This can only contribute to a highly educated and trained work force.

Not only is quality education for all a moral imperative; it's just darned practical.

Gretchen Garrity, Brockton, Mass.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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