Woman beheaded in New York state honor killing?

From the New York state chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Feb. 16:

ALBANY, NY — On February 12, 2009, in Orchard Park, Buffalo, NY, forty-four year-old Muzzamil Hassan, a prominent Muslim businessman, was arrested for having allegedly beheaded his wife, thirty-seven year-old Aasiya Z. Hassan. What was Aasiya’s crime? Why, Aasiya was having Muzzamil served with divorce papers. And apparently, on February 6, Aasiya obtained an order of protection which had forced her violent husband out of their home.

NOW New York State is horrified that Erie County DA, Frank A. SeditaII, has referred to this ghastly crime as “the worst form of domestic violence possible.” The ridiculous juxtaposition of “domestic” and “beheading” in the same journalistic breath points up the inherent weakness of the whole “domestic violence” lexicon.

What is “domestic” about this violence? NOW NYS President Marcia Pappas says “it is high time we stop regarding assaults and murders as a lover’s quarrels gone bad. We further demand of lawmakers that punishments fit crimes. We of NOW decry the selective enforcement of assault laws and call for judicial enforcement of our mandatory arrest policy, even when the axe-wielder is known by his victim.”

And why is this horrendous story not all over the news? Is a Muslim woman’s life not worth a five-minute report? This was, apparently, a terroristic version of “honor killing,” a murder rooted in cultural notions about women’s subordination to men. Are we now so respectful of the Muslim’s religion that we soft-peddle atrocities committed in it’s name? Millions of women in this country are maimed and killed by their husbands or partners. Had this awful murder been perpetrated by a African American, a Latino, a Jew, or a Catholic, the story would be flooding the airwaves. What is this deafening silence?

And exactly what do orders of protection do? Was Aasiya desperately waving the order of protection in Muzzamil’s face when he slashed at her throat? Was it still clutched in her hand as her head hit the floor?

You of the press, please shine a light on this most dreadful of murders. In a bizarre twist of fate it comes out that Muzzamil Hassan is founder of a television network called Bridges TV, whose purpose it was to portray Muslims in a positive light. This a huge story. Please tell it!

Marcia A. Pappas, President
National Organization for Women-NYS

See our last post on the struggle within Islam.

  1. I don’t think that it was
    I don’t think that it was simply a cultural/religious reaction to divorce that caused this crime to occur. I think there were a lot of factors that lead to his mental instability. The man originally built his fortune as a banker. The bridges tv venture was his wifes idea, and it had recently become a sinking boat (financially). I have a feeling he held a lot of resentment towards her for damaging his financial status, and I think that losing his home to his wife was the straw that broke the camels back. I don’t think that he felt a religous entitlement to kill her (since it would be forbidden religiously anyway), I think he just snapped. While courts gave this woman the right to take over the house, it also handed her a situation that it could not protect her from (despite the order of protection). When you take everything away from an unstable person, its a recipe for disaster. The law couldn’t simply lock the man away on the grounds that he “might” commit a crime (and it shouldn’t). While his prior record of abuse is a sign that he may try something, we would not be a free country if we locked people up over suspicion. It really just became a waiting game for him to snap. I think it would have been more intelligent for her to stay somewhere else with the kids rather than throw an unstable person out of a home that he probably paid for (especially knowing that financial issues would fuel his instability). As for her protection from her psychotic husband, we simply don’t have the resources to give all people in volatile domestic situations their own security detail. It would be far more intelligent to prevent the situation from becoming volatile to the best of our ability.


      We atheists and other infidels are no longer ignorant of the tenents and canon of your death cult that has raped and murdered it’s way across the world for 1300 years. While some of the early Medina Sura may have touted peace, harmony, and forgiveness, the Mecca Sura of hatred, murder, rape, revenge, and repression ABROGATED those earlier Sura. Who introduced this notion? Mohammed himself!

      To everyone who reads this, go educate yourselves about Islam. It is an abomination of behaviour and teachings about how to enslave women and grind their individuality down so that they are nothing more than emotionally and psychologically destroyed baby factories for a wholly male dominated world view.

      Whenever you see a muslim woman defending her so called ‘faith’ know that she knows to utter one word otherwise opens the door to being tortured and murdered like this poor brave woman, Aasiya Hassan.

      Fight back against the lies like the one posted here that i am replying to!

        1. Yes, but maybe they can at least write
          “lboth”? “pothetic”?

          Your grasp of written English is what’s “pothetic.”

          Thank you for your sensitive and well thought-out contribution.

      1. Dude, people kill each other
        Dude, people kill each other all the time. someone is killed every single day. probably every hour. possibly every minute.

        The murderers aren’t all muslim. they are EVERY race, ethnicity, religion, sex, country, height, weight, hair color…

        this isn’t all over the news because by now, single murders involving people that know each other are not newsworthy anymore.

        It is like breathing–it happens all the time. Breathing is not newsworthy.

      2. first of all get ur facts
        first of all get ur facts straight, mecca’s surahs came BEFORE madinas and so could not abrogate what came AFTER it, if ur going ot bash a religion, at least educate urself a little first, you sound so ignorant..secondly, i find it amazing that if a crime is committed the only time the focus is on the religion is when it involves muslims. there was a beheading on the greyhound bus in canada but no one bothered with the criminals religion then…and being a muslim woman myself, living in northa america, born and raised, i take offense when it is automatically assumed that if i defend my religious beliefs, i am either brainwashed or living in fear.

        this man committed this crime, not because he is muslim(seeing that divorce is not even forbidden), but because he is a despicable human being with no conscience.

    2. Oh the mental instability
      Oh the mental instability argument. Right. Anything but what it was: women hate. It’s a hate crime. Directed at women. That particular woman, whom he owned.

      Thanks to Marcia at NYS NOW for telling it right. Gandy could learn from her.

  2. Family Court shares responsibility for murder
    Of course this is horrendous, but so is the US Family Court System which is run by feminists and divorce advocate attorneys – all at taxpayer expense. Women are automatically granted legal aid through tax-funded women-only shelters. These shelters encourage kick-out orders and divorce not reconciliation. There are no shelters for men or their kids in most states, yet physical violence is more often intiaited by women against men according to a number of recent studies. Women are routinely granted kick-out orders against men solely on their word they ‘feel’ threatened. The physical custody of children are overwhelmingly automatically granted the woman. It’s nearly impossible to get a downward adjustment on child support even when a man becomes unemployed and arrearages pile up with interest. There is no retroactive downward adjustment if he doesn’t go to court immediately upon being unemployed. The wife can shack up with a crack addict who molests their daughter and beats his son, and the father has little legal recourse other than try to document abuse. The whole system creates more violence than it eliminates. This man’s wife had a protection order mandating that he leave their home as of February 6. I’m sure that this contributed to his temporary insanity. Unfortunately for men and their children, the only legal system that protects the father is Islamic law not the Family Court System. If you want to see real change, award child custody to the person trying to keep the marriage together (most often the man) not the one seeking divorce – why reward the quitter unless severe physical abuse can be proved? Until the Family Court systems of western society begins to operate in an equitable way, things are only going to get worse as men snap and murder suicides escalate under the escalating financial meltdown.

    1. What research studies?
      After reading your post, which is overflowing with your unresolved personal anger, I am most curious about these supposed “number of recent studies” that allegedly show that women instigate domestic violence more often than men.

      Can you please cite any of these research studies? How about just one? I would be genuinely interested in reading about this recent research for my own mental health counseling practice.

      I hope that you can find a path towards happiness in your future…

      1. Paula, here are a few references
        I have no unresolved personal anger, so you might want to consider another career other than amateur psychology. Men and their children are being routinely discriminated against in Family Court, and I sympathize with them. As to my own family, I’ve been married for over 10 years and our 1st grader attends a science magnet school where is very popular, and scores well above his grade level in most areas. I’ve worked at senior levels for some of the brightest women in industry, including Carol Bartz and Meg Whitman, who I know on a first name basis. Here are a few references, since you are apparently either too academically challenged or intellectually lazy to perform your own Google search:

        Men are more likely than women to be victims in dating violence:
        University of Floriday Study

        Women twice as likely to commit domestic violence:
        University of Washington

        Women commit over half of domestic violence and use weapons more often:
        Centers for Disease Control

    2. Agreed to a point..
      We should tell the State to fuck off…you’re an uninvited guest in my house at my expense later…go chase a crackhead or something..


  3. This is what leftist don’t seen to get.
    Men are hurting big time. This is not a backlash against progress.

    How many male workers in the USA are paying child support and are going to jail if the cant pay? And don’t forget alimony? I have hundreds of court cases on my hard drive that show men aren’t even allowed to get ill.

    Firemen who have seen too many car deaths have taken a less paying job because of depression. But the Family Courts say they are not allowed to do this. They must always keep the same paying job when they were divorced.

    Since the fear of a repression happened heaps of gold digging women divorced their husbands and the husbands have to find a way to maintain the income. But they can’t so they are committing suicide.

    In New Zealand, every Fathers Day hundreds of crosses are placed in front of Parliament for the fathers that committed suicide but the politicians won’t listen.

    All they care about is “women are victims”.

    Capitalism owns feminism. And the more the left thinks fathers are a backlash the more women run to the bourgeois.

    1. Capitalism owns feminism?
      Alright now that’s funny.
      but …

      > And the more the left thinks fathers are a backlash the more women run to the bourgeois.

      Could you translate?

      This resentment over child support sure ticks you guys off. No sympathy.
      (full disclosure: 2 kids) I know a bunch of guys who resent child support. To a man they are lazy and selfish.

      > Firemen who have seen too many car deaths have taken a less paying job because of depression

      There’s a worse paying job than Firemen? Where I live they are grossly underpaid. And they quit because the smoke starts to wreck your eyes.

      CAPTCHA 1+0 =

      Might be telling you losers something.

      1. I will explain

        Alright now that’s funny.
        but …

        OK, I can see the funny side especially since feminism is supposed to be about women’s liberation.

        And the more the left thinks fathers are a backlash the more women run to the bourgeois.

        Could you translate?


        When one side is so called back lashing, it creates another backlash. Women are running to the state for protection rather than men.

        And they are doing this by thinking men are the problem.

        Just as monkeys, women will go to the alpha to provide security from the beta.

        And if this continues, women are not going to allow the state to fall. They will not allow the beta males to have any power.

        Gender feminists already say men must have no power through their statement in Human Rights Commissions, “Men have had their chance for 1000’s of years. It is women’s turn now”.

        But look around you … are women really independent from men? Maybe men are not taking care of women as they used to but they are certainly taking care of women through their taxes. Who is paying for all these programs, safe houses, advertising and political protests?

        Who pays for the meetings, the walks, the ministry of women?

        Do you think women will give this up when their leftist men are helping to create the fear?


        Another thought.

        Gender feminists/Radical feminists (you know them as the ones who have the high position in everything) are also focused on destroying masculinity. Do you think masculinity is important for a revolution?

        Who is benefiting from this?

        1. translation partially successful
          > Gender feminists/Radical feminists (you know them as the ones who have the high position in everything) are also focused on destroying masculinity.

          Some of my best friends are radical feminists and they aren’t focused on destroying my masculinity. Unless they’re biding their time …

          >Do you think masculinity is important for a revolution?

          As far as I know masculinity is required for procreation – so it’s important for an evolution. The revolution begins at home.

          > Who pays for the meetings, the walks, the ministry of women?

          Who indeed.

          1. Partially is good with me.
            Gender feminists/Radical feminists (you know them as the ones who have the high position in everything) are also focused on destroying masculinity.

            Some of my best friends are radical feminists and they aren’t focused on destroying my masculinity. Unless they’re biding their time …

            Really? I guess they are not as honest to men as they are to women. I wonder why?

            Gosh, only 20 years ago feminist groups would bar a woman who could not feminise her son let alone allow a women to meetings who held a baby boy.

            As far as I know masculinity is required for procreation – so it’s important for an evolution. The revolution begins at home.

            You are way behind the times. This is what bores me with feminised men.

            Masculinity in primary school means Ritalin. When did 5 year old boys become interested in procreation?

            Hey, when did playing soccer or rugby make you an enemy? Don’t try and tell me masculine is all about procreation. Shite many men who confess to being feminist have a masculine trait.

            In fact, lesbians and gays have a top and bottom. How many lesbian and gay balls have YOU attended? There is a masculine and a feminine but I don’t see them procreating. Ooops. actually I do. Lesbians can procreate but gays must adopt.

            Oh, well…. theory once again looses to reality.

            BYW, did you know that research shows heaps of lesbians and gays have lots of heterosexual relationships. But that it is not a big deal. All young people know this.

            I guess we are monkey’s after all.

            1. hayseed thread gets old
              > Gosh, only 20 years ago feminist groups would bar a woman who could not feminise her son let alone allow a women to meetings who held a baby boy.

              Nope. Old enough to have been there. You’re dead wrong, but thanks for playing. There are extremists in all cultures and subcultures. For every man hating dyke I’ve known there have been endless politically and socially aware lesbians.

              > You are way behind the times. This is what bores me with feminized men.

              You seem to be an idiot. That’s what bores me about this thread. If you want to call me feminized post pics of your middle aged self wearing only leather boots.

              > Masculinity in primary school means Ritalin.

              Giving SRI’s to kids is evil. Has nothing to do with your amateur gender incoherence.

              > Hey, when did playing soccer or rugby make you an enemy?

              When you’re on the other team?

              > How many lesbian and gay balls have YOU attended?

              Many actually. My guess is way more than you. Great place to hook up with straight women.

              > Lesbians can procreate but gays must adopt.

              Two women cannot conceive a child. Google: meiosis.

              > did you know that research shows heaps of lesbians and gays have lots of heterosexual relationships. But that it is not a big deal. All young people know this.

              To which I might reply: ‘duh.’

              From your ramblings I think you live in a backwater somewhere but have decided that you somehow have figured out the world through a random sampling of various fringe ideologues and chance encounters with extremists. I suggest you educate yourself about gender relations in the big cities of the civilized world. We’ve been building a rainbow society for the last 40 or so years and, within the confines of the allied subcultures, we’ve been very successful. As I can relatively easily figure out what backwater you come from, I’ve never been there but know some natives, I can only suggest relocating to civilization.

              1. You sometimes writew stupid things.
                I should say sometimes I do.

                A rainbow is a beautiful thing. Arguing over feminism or masculism with you is not.

                What started as an opportunity to show newspaper articles has turned into crap discussion that I think will over ride the articles.

                Anyhow, high five for your friends, high five for you. May you live long and prosper.

                I think I might just stick to giving newspaper articles from now on.

  4. Hyperbole
    So, “Millions of women in this country are maimed and killed by their husbands or partners.” says Marcia A. Pappas, President, National Organization for Women-NYS.

    Really? That’s at what rate? 2700 a day if just one million. Including Sundays and holidays. 5400 if two million. Of course it goes up on Superbowl day. No wonder a beheading doesn’t make it into the media much, which doesn’t actually explain how I get to read about it in Australia’s newspapers and hear about it on TV. Silence?? How long has this been going on? At that rate every women in America will have been maimed and killed by their partners in a couple of decades.

    I am sick of this woman’s hyperbole, exaggeration and mendacity, her hysterical lack of proportion.

  5. This was NOT an honor Killing (I worked at Bridges)
    This was not an honor killing. I wish that people would stop perpetuating that erroneous speculation. MO Hassan was married before to a non-Muslim woman, and had two children with her as well. He divorced the first wife without killing her. He was not a religious Muslim. Bridges TV was nothing more to him than an oppertunity to make money. He did not fast or pray as is required in the religion. HE often said that he did not miss Pakistan, or wish to visit. He was very Americanized. What this was is an example of is his rage, and domestic abuse… not an “honor killing.” I know all this becuase I used to work there. Most of the staff there was NOT Muslim. Leave the religion of Islam out of it.

  6. Thanks for a chance
    I understand that some men are seen as deadbeat dads over child support and I come across the right wing as the strongest against dads who complain. After all, right wing made child support a law.

    But I just want to say that men speaking about how they feel is the way we will progress. And to shut them down and ridicule them is contradicting.

    I also want to share some articles from female politicians with you all. Men can’t speak up against feminism openly because then they are seen as woman haters.

    Women should sign sex contracts, says MP

    A FEMALE politician today confirmed she was serious that women should sign a contract before sex to combat false rape allegations if proposed laws are passed.

    Independent MP Ann Bressington yesterday told Parliament the planned new laws – which make it an offence to continue a sex act with a person after consent if they changed their mind – would make it easier for men to be accused of rape.

    She also claimed “one-night stands” and casual relationships would become a “high-risk activity”.

    “Perhaps this parliament could devise a contract which men could carry around in their pocket, next to their condoms,” she said during a speech to Parliament.

    “There could be a waiver should a man meet up with a woman who has had a couple of drinks before they engage in sexual intercourse.

    “The contract may contain the name and address of the women, with her driver’s licence number, so that the man can see the signatures match, clauses that state that the woman has or has not been drinking or taking drugs – licit or illicit – and that she consents to foreplay.”

    The proposed contract would also include details of the woman’s marital status, whether she has children and whether she consents to being taken to another location to engage in sexual activity.

    Yes, I was serious

    On ABC Radio this morning, Ms Bressington confirmed she thought men should carry sex contracts if the current Bill passed both houses of Parliament.

    “(The Bill) opens the door to more false allegations that are already occurring. Men will have no defence from women falsely crying rape,” she told the ABC morning show.

    “This Bill makes men guilty until proven innocent and they will have no defence.”

    When quizzed further about the contract idea, she said she was serious because it would prevent men being falsely accused.

    Fellow independent MP Kris Hanna, who has been pushing for new consent laws for years, said the Bill’s intention was to prevent men being able to claim consent was given in ridiculous situations – such as when a women was unconscious or blind drunk.

    “We are trying to encourage reasonable conduct,” Mr Hanna told the ABC. He said juries “usually come up with a commonsense result” in the types of cases Ms Bressington was referring to.

    Controversial Bill

    The same controversial Bill led Independent MP Bob Such to claim T-shirts emblazoned with provocative slogans encouraged sexual assaults when it was debated in the Lower House earlier this year.

    Ms Bressington said the planned laws “make men guilty until proven innocent” and suggested the low conviction rate in rape cases was because of inadequate investigative practices rather than poor laws.

    She said government was invading “our bedrooms or even the back seat of our cars”.

    Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service director Vanessa Swan said the laws brought South Australia in to line with other Australian states.

    “I think it is a really positive development and will improve the situation for victims of sexual assault,” she said.


    This bill was passed of course as it has also been in NZ and other Western countries. Another problem with this law is that women are being researched at the moment over alcohol and it is believed even 2 drinks makes a woman incapable of giving consent. So much for women empowerment. They are being treated as children like never before.


    Basically,… if a man has sex with a woman who has any alcohol in her system, he is a rapist.

    Turner slams Family Court Bill

    UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner says the Family Court Matters Bill just introduced to Parliament fails to address any of the major problems of the Family Court.

    “The inability of the Family Court to order paternity tests is an embarrassing oversight which should have been remedied in this Bill, but the Minister has chosen to continue ignoring the issue.

    “I even offered my paternity testing member’s bill on a plate to the Minister which would solve this anomaly and is based on a Law Commission recommendation – but he rejected it flat.

    “The fact that only one in nine judgements allow for shared parenting is a major flaw in a Court that has decided it is best for children to relegate one parent to part-time visitor, despite research which tells us the opposite.

    “Shared parenting should be the default position for a Court order, unless one parent is deemed unfit. But the Court has decided upon a default position that cuts one good parent – usually the father – out of a caring role for their children.

    “Allowing the media further access to report this shabby Court will hopefully lead in the future to some substantive changes that are long overdue, but this Government Bill is mostly irrelevant,” says Mrs Turner.

    Creating a winner and a loser as the family Court system does, only encourages litigation, as the first parent to get a lawyer and head to Court is more likely to get sole custody, Mrs Turner points out.

    “If shared parenting is the norm, it will take away the incentive for parents to drag their children through the Court. If the Minister wants to improve the Family Court system – that is what needs to happen.”

    Mrs Turner is also critical of the fact that the problems of legal aid, delays in process and abuse allegations, remain completely unaddressed by the Government.

    “Our Family Court system needs an overhaul. The Minister needs to stop tinkering around the edges and review the system from the inside out,” says Mrs Turner.


    This above article is 2007 but still things have not changed. Men are still being forced to be the provider so they must pay child tax either to the Government to offset welfare payments to the mother or child support to a working mother.

    So much for equality. Women are still seen as the poor little helpless woman and the main carer of children. Women have been accepted to enter the domain of men’s work but men are not being accepted in the domestic domain. Women are not coping and feminists are complaining that men are not being fair.

    But is it men who are not being fair, or is it the system?

    Men are paying incredibly large sums of money to be a part of their children’s lives for lawyers yet the justice system itself is biased against them. And then they are abused by the media and governments who says they are not progressing.

  7. Paternity fraud

    Compulsory paternity tests proposed in bill

    A new bill would allow courts to order compulsory DNA testing of children for paternity checks, regardless of consent.

    United Future MP Judy Turner’s private member’s bill provides for the Family Court to order cheek swabs for DNA testing of children whose paternity is in dispute.

    The measures in the Family Proceedings (Paternity Orders and Parentage Tests) Amendment Bill also include warrants allowing the possibly forcible taking of the child to get the sample if a parent resists the order.

    At present, courts can only recommend parentage tests and parental consent is required for children under the age of 16.

    The Law Commission recommended court orders for DNA samples in its 2005 report on Legal Parenthood, saying parents should not be able to unreasonably thwart such requests.

    The Government has said it will consider the issue, but is waiting for a Ministry of Justice review on the Law Commission’s report.

    In Parliament, Minister for Courts Rick Barker said it warranted “further consideration” but said Ms Turner’s bill only dealt with a narrow part of the commission’s report, which included about 30 recommendations relating to legal parenthood issues.

    Ms Turner said it would cut down on costly, lengthy court challenges for those trying to prove parenthood and stop mothers effectively thwarting such requests by refusing to give consent. Penalties of up to three months’ prison or $2500 fines could be handed down for resisting the orders.

    Mr Barker said Ms Turner’s bill involved issues including the use of force, and common law currently did not allow a sample or blood tissue to be taken without consent.

    “The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act gives people common law rights about personal liberty, trespass, and about privacy. Those are rights that children have as well as adults and legislation about paternity testing needs to find the appropriate balance between the interests of mothers, fathers and children.”

    Ms Turner said the Government had sat on its hands since the Law Commission’s 2005 report on Legal Parenthood, which stated, “It is in the child’s interests to have accurate knowledge of their genetic lineage, and in the interests of justice that doubt about parentage can be conclusively resolved.”

    Ms Turner said it was important for the rights of the child, and mothers should not be able to thwart their right to know their genetic background and history.

    It would also help men ensure they were liable for child support payments, as well as those who suspected they were the father and wanted to apply for access and be part of the child’s life, she said.

    “At the moment, they are blocked because the mother won’t allow the test. That creates a huge battle in the courts which can take years and that means in terms of having access to the child in its developing years, you’ve almost lost the fight before it starts.”


    This bill has not yet seen the light of day.


    Department of Pediatrics and The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics University of Chicago


    In 1994, the Committee on Assessing Genetic Risks of the Institute of Medicine published their recommendations regarding the ethical issues raised by advances in genetics. One of the Committee’s recommendation was to inform women when test results revealed misattributed paternity, but not to disclose this information to the women’s partners. The Committee’s reason for withholding such information was that “‘genetic testing should not be used in ways that disrupt families”. In this paper, I argue that the Committee’s conclusion in favour of nondisclosure to the male partner is unethical. I argue that both parties ought to be informed.

    In other words, men have no right to know if children are theirs or not.

    In other words, men must provide for women and children even if the women have been unfaithful and the children are not his.

    Unfaithful wives opt for prenatal paternity tests

    PATERNITY tests are being carried out by DNA laboratories on children while they are still in the womb, enabling their mothers to abort them if they are the product of an extramarital affair.

    The service, known as a prenatal paternity test, is being used by hundreds of British women every year, according to one of the laboratories performing it.

    Most of the women opting for it have had affairs and are anxious to know whether the child they are carrying was fathered by their partner or their illicit lover.

    Some DNA laboratories are refusing to perform the prenatal paternity test, insisting that it is unethical – a view echoed by anti-abortion campaign groups. Invasive procedures are necessary for testing, raising the risk of a miscarriage and health problems for the mother.

    It is the latest ethical difficulty to hit the burgeoning business of private DNA testing. At least 20,000 tests are believed to be carried out each year in Britain.

    Academic research shows many fathers are right to wonder about their children’s provenance: one in 25 unwittingly raises another man’s offspring.

    One company, DNA Solutions, acknowledges that some of the women using its prenatal test – which costs at least £234 ($494) – will probably go on to have terminations if the baby is shown to have the “wrong” father.

    Marketing director Dan Leigh said the company was performing up to 500 prenatal paternity tests in Britain each year.

    The practice was even more prevalent in the US, he said. There had been “a few cases in the US that had resulted in abortion”, though not necessarily involving DNA Solutions.

    Mr Leigh conceded that if a woman took a test and it showed that her unborn child was not her husband’s, she might want an abortion to conceal her infidelity.

    Under British law, DNA tests can be carried out only if the person whose cells are being scrutinised has given written permission. “If she had an affair with someone and she was pregnant and she went for a prenatal test, she could ask the guy she had the affair with and then compare the result with his profile,” Mr Leigh said.

    To extract a usable sample for testing, the pregnant woman must undergo either chorionic villus sampling, which is carried out between the 11th and 18th week of gestation, or, as is more commonly the case, amniocentesis, which is done slightly later.

    Mark Pursglove, international operations manager for International Biosciences in Sussex, said his company also offered prenatal paternity tests, but only as a last resort.

    Mr Leigh defended the service: “I think the truth should be out there. If you are raising a family, as a father you have every right to know.”


    Very kind of these women to do this. But still, … this is putting men’s rights in individual women’s hands. Men still have no complete right by law to know if they are the father or not.

    Don’t blame ’em, guys can’t help it

    REMEMBER the great paternity testing hoo-ha earlier this month? Everyone was mano-a-mano – or, more accurately, mano-a-(wo)mano – over a proposal to make it illegal to take and test a young child’s DNA without the permission of both parents … or purported parents. And I do mean everyone.

    Even The Australian’s newsroom was a-twitter, from editors jumping on a “great story” to reporters going to bat for their personal position.

    “Men have a right to know, regardless,” one side argued. “No, there must be ground rules and this is a matter for family courts,” countered the other.

    It’s easy to forget that the whole kerfuffle stemmed from a dry discussion document released by Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus, who has portfolio responsibility for criminal law within the Attorney-General’s Department. What’s more, the document dealt with broader matters. It outlined proposed changes to the criminal code designed to fill a regulatory gap created by the development of comparatively cheap and accessible technology for conducting genetic tests. Paternity testing was only a subset.

    Following the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s foresighted 2003 report Essentially Yours: The Protection of Human Genetic Information in Australia, the changes would help prevent misuse of personal genetic data by insurance companies, employers, angry spouses and even journalists tracking down samples of famous DNA from the likes of Prince Harry and Barack Obama.

    It seems sensible. I, for one, don’t want Rupert Murdoch denying me employment because I have the gene for ranting. Similarly, I would be cross indeed if my car insurance were cancelled because I see the world through rose-coloured (sun)glasses.

    But no. That was swept aside over the prospect of a man being tossed into the clink for two years if he, or someone he hired, snipped a child’s locks and posted them, along with his own saliva sample, to a testing firm happy to run a daddy test for a daddy of a fee. Why such enthusiasm for what’s really a side show?

    Because men care. They care big time. They care more than we women can possibly imagine. And it’s not as if we chicks are oh so cool about kids, dads and the link between them. But why? Why do men care so much about knowing whether they are the biological father of a child, even one they’ve helped rear and love deeply?

    For starters, they have millions of years of evolution pushing them to care. Males of any sexually reproducing species – even ours, until now – can never know for certain that they’ve fathered their partner’s offspring. That’s obvious. So, as British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins puts it, their “selfish genes” are pushing males to ensure they’re supporting littlies who will send their genes down through the generations, not some interloper’s.

    Fearing that Mrs Langur Monkey, Madam Sparrow or Lady Jane have had a tumble with a sexy rival, they may go so far as to kill off infants or cut off hatchling or child support. The guys also suspect that Mrs, Madam and Lady have a weakness for males sporting genes so hot, they’ll help keep the females’ genes rolling on. Any female also wants a good provider, as the biological costs of bearing and rearing young are higher for her than him. If genes and support don’t come in the same package, well, so be it. It’s all about mating strategies.

    This isn’t just theoretical. Numerous studies point to examples of nature’s handiwork on even the most modern of modern men. For instance, at birth infants tend to resemble their fathers markedly. (A cunning trick by females.) Even if they don’t, Canadian researchers have shown that the newborn’s maternal relatives often remark on – and believe there is – a strong similarity. Recently, US evolutionary biologists also found that men are far better than women at identifying fidelity and infidelity. When the lads get it wrong, they almost always err on the side of cheating where none exists. In contrast, women are better at hiding infidelity than men.

    It’s hardly surprising, then, that in many cultures men with multiple partners are considered virile while their female counterparts are considered promiscuous. Isolation of women at home, on the farm, in the harem or behind a veil remains common. Unequal punishment of the sexes for infidelity remains standard practice in some fundamentalist societies, Christian and Muslim.

    Still, we humans have a big cerebral cortex that enables us to control our so-called baser instincts. We’ve devised cultural systems to manage the ongoing biological war of the sexes. One that worked for generations was – like the US military’s policy on homosexuality – “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Prince Charles doesn’t publicly question the paternity of Prince Harry any more than his dad disputes the boudoir origin of Charles’s brother Andrew. All sorts of fictitious and unquestioned kin relationships have kept the wheels of society oiled.

    But the wheels are falling off the fiction. The pressure became enormous following World War II, when the notion of the nuclear family – mum, dad and kids living alone – became the ideal family. The various family structures that our ancestors created were more flexible and co-operative. Extended families, clans and the like took the heat off mothers and fathers. Men knew there was a relative about keeping a wary eye on wandering eyes, while women knew they had many helping hands, well, on hand.

    No human system was, or is, perfect, but some are more perfect than others … or less so in the case of picket-fence families. And when women began entering the workforce in significant numbers, well, it’s no wonder that, today, more women than men file for divorce. Talk about boosting innate male anxiety. The fear of being cuckolded and the public shame of paying for it through child support can make some men go feral.

    Toss in DIY genetic testing and the brew is explosive. No wonder men care, even those in a newsroom.


    Does anyone want more?

  8. Domestic my ass
    Want stop domestic violence? I’d tell the State, you know, those self appointed people, to stay the fuck out of people’s personal lives. The home is no place for the state to be. Stay out my wallet and my bedroom. I wonder..what were people doing in the home before the state helped themselves to your home? Society didn’t collapse..nor did the Universe…


      1. “go away”?
        You are posting to my website, troll! You “go away”!

        Silly me, I thought it was international oil companies that are polluting our air. Of course, it is really Muslim immigrants. How did I ever miss it?

        1. I agree
          I was posting in reference to “I’d tell the State, you know, those self appointed people, to stay the fuck out of people’s personal lives.”

          I agree totally about international oil companies and the general direction of this website I’m just totally sick of fake ass libertarian bullsh$% about keeping the government out of everything. The government’s here, change it for the better or shut the f$%#*(( up. How come it’s OK for right wing idiots to take their ball and go home if they don’t like the election but when I don’t like bombing Iraq to hell all of a sudden I’m unAmerican? I had to put up with 8 years of Bush so if they don’t like it now then leave.