National Coalition for Men
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|Founder||Tom Williamson, Naomi Penner|
|Focus||Men's rights, Fathers' rights, Masculism|
|Harry Crouch, President; Marc Angelucci, Vice-President; Al Rava, Secretary; Deborah Watkins, Treasurer|
|Slogan||"Freeing Men From Discrimination Since..."|
The National Coalition for Men (NCFM), formerly the National Coalition of Free Men, is a non-profit educational and civil rights organization which looks at the ways sex discrimination affects men and boys. The organization has sponsored conferences, adult education, demonstrations and lawsuits. NCFM is the United States' oldest generalist men's rights organization. It professes to being politically neutral, neither conservative nor liberal.
Free Men, Inc. was founded in Columbia, MD in January 1977. The name "Free Men" was used as an imperative (as in Free Men from unfair divorce laws). By-laws were formally adopted in July. The four founding members were: Richard Haddad, Dennis Gilbert, Allan Scheib and Allen Foreman. Richard Haddad authored the "Free Men Philosophy" which included 26 items from which he felt men should be freed. These represented options. The first newsletter was named "Options".
This early chapter concentrated on forming "support groups" for men as counterparts to "consciousness raising groups" tailored to women.
Initial national interest resulted from appearances by author Herb Goldberg, author of the Hazards of Being Male. By 1980, the Free Men. Inc. organization in Columbia had begun to disintegrate. Nevertheless, undaunted by local circumstance in Columbia, others in different parts of the country began forming groups associated with the Maryland organization. Two new groups formed chapters in Boston, Massachusetts (Headed by Frederic Hayward, founder of Men's Rights, Inc. A strong supporter was Robert A. Sides who went on to represent NCFM on national TV/radio talk shows) and Nassau County, New York. The strongest of the two was in Nassau County. As a result, it received all of Free Men, Inc.'s records as it became clear that the Maryland group was going to fold.
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The Nassau County Chapter was formed in early 1980. In February 1981 the Nassau County, NY chapter began its own newsletter called "Transitions." By October 1981 the chapter had been responsible for inspiring and forming other groups in Suffolk County, NY and New Milford, CT.
On Saturday, October 24, 1981 the Nassau County chapter produced its first conference. It was funded by Adelphi University and was called "Freeing Men From The Macho Mold: Options For Men In The 1980s." The conference was followed up the next day by Free Men's first convention, which was attended by representatives from various groups. Transitions became the national newsletter.
Out of the convention was born the "Coalition." Tom Williamson and Naomi Penner organized the convention, organized the national body and are credited with founding the "Coalition." Tom Williamson was elected President and Naomi Penner was elected Vice President.
Incorporation proceedings were begun and the coalition became official in December 1981. The incorporation was amended in 1982 to further clarify objectives. The original intent was for the governing body to be called, "Free Men." However, after the organization was informed that someone else in New York owned that name the organization considered such words as "Union" and "Association" before settling on "Coalition." The governing body was formally incorporated as "The Coalition of Free Men, Inc."
The word "National" was added in 1990 over frustration with media which kept referring to Free Men as a local group based in a small town. The word National is an informal AKA registered with the IRS for tax purposes, but is otherwise unofficial to this day. The name of the corporation has never been legally changed.
The NCFM supported a Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act in 2012. The organization argued that the bill written by Senate Democrats excluded heterosexual men and would empower "false accusers at the expense of true victims". The liberal Center for American Progress has criticized the NCM for its stance on the issue.
The NCFM has filed a lawsuit that challenges the legality of requiring only males to register for the military draft. The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Selective Service System in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 4, 2013. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the case and remanded the case back to the district court.
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- NCFM Philosophy ncfm.org accessed Jan 15 2012
- Transitions newsletter, May/June 2008 accessed Feb 24 2009
- Denise Noe, "Tentative thoughts on the William J. Hetherington spousal rape case," mensnewsdaily.com, Dec 29 2007 accessed Jan 15 2012
- Portero, Ashley (May 16, 2012). "Men's Rights Group Backs GOP Violence Against Women Act To Protect 'True Victims' — Heterosexual Men". International Business Times. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- North, Anna (May 16, 2012). "Violence Against Women Act Gives "Men's Rights" Its Moment". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Rosenthal, Andrew (May 17, 2012). "There's a National Coalition for Men". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Volsky, Igor (May 16, 2012). "Misogynistic 'Men's Rights' Group Endorses GOP Version Of Violence Against Women Act". ThinkProgress. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service (2016) 19 February 2016. U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir.