Friday, January 12, 2007

Read what I've written, I've got something to say.

I have been enjoying some increased popularity of late. I should hasten to point out that this is through no apparent effort of my own. I have been linked to from Violent Acres where the hostess has written a quite deliciously piquant piece on, among other things, man bashing in television land. This deservedly got Digg'd (Dugg?) in a big way and now she's well on her way to becoming one of blogging's shining stars. Then I read her FAQ and I'm even more flattered to be riding her shirttails. In fact, if I hadn't sworn off the whole institution and she wasn't married already, I might be considering a proposal.

So, I guess I should be making the most of this extra exposure and point out some of the items I'm most proud of, by way of shortcuts for those passing through. Check out the "Essays" on the right.

"Feminist bashing" is a reply to a feminist complaining about said passtime which says everything I want to say about the political movement I used to support but no longer can.

"In the Best Interests of the Child" parts 1 2 is a commentary on a text which features highly on many family law reading lists which advocates the complete removal of a child from the life of one parent in the event of a divorce, any divorce. I never finished this because it just got too distressing, but the main point is there.

"The First Step Towards Destroying a Parent is Made by Law" is an exploration of the problematic Parental Alienation Syndrome and the first inch provided by sole custody thinking towards the long, long mile that some parents are forced to walk down and away from their children.

I was amused by 20/20's exploration of titty bars and suspect they must not have been carded at the door, either that or they're just terminally naive. Oh, and I invented (or hijacked) a new word: "patriphobia". One of the saddest tales I ever heard from family court is in "How to destroy a man". On the revisionist historical fashion for claiming famous male figures stole credit from their wives, I am particularly pleased with the horribly punny "Bach gets fugued".

Oh that's enough, as the good lady of Violent Acres might put it: turn off that fucking TV and just follow the fucking links.

(I guess I should figure out how to add a "Digg This" thingy, then maybe I'll get famous too.)

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Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I would have emailed this but couldn't find an address...Somehow I stumbled on to a bunch of websites about disenfranchised dads (including yours) and I wish I knew some way to offer my help to the cause.

You see, I am a 30 year-old woman who was raised by her dad from the age of 3 on. There was a stepmother involved in the mix, but that's another story for another day. My folks managed to keep the divorce amicable (Dad told her to leave after a one-time affair). I realize my situation was one that fairy tales are made of in that I never heard either parent badmouth the other and joint custody was loose and friendly (dad was the primary custodian). There was no alimony. No child support. No battle. No problems. I am a strong, independent woman made all the better by my relationship with my father.

However, my husband's situation is the striking opposite of mine. When R. was 3, his father ejected his mother for adultery and thenceforth commenced the most vicious custody battle I've ever heard of.

R's dad had his ex-wife declared mentally incompetent and was awarded sole custody of R. the custody battle raged on for 10 years, culminating in a final showdown when R turned 13 and his mother tried, unsuccessfully, to turn R against his father.

Now, R's mother was no angel, however extenuating circumstances (namely the Vietnam War and a family history of alcoholism) warranted a little consideration on the father's part. R was permitted one visit a year to see his mother (for one month during the summers).

Then, the father that fought so hard for R refused to attend our wedding because of personal issues with his current wife. Go figure.

I realize most of the details are lacking in this story. I offer the two tales as a dichotomy. I agree that fathers have long been overlooked in custody arrangements. I distinctly remember a little girl in my sister's 3rd grade class telling her it was illegal for us to live with our dad and not our mom.

I guess my rhetorical questions are: How do we make a balanced equation in custody battles? How do we find compromise? How do I get up on my soapbox and tell the matriarchal family courts that I am all the better for being raised by my dad? What expert do I tell my story to? And on the other hand, who does my husband tell his story to? Who's to answer for the unconscionable behavior he witnessed from his father?

God, this goofy two way street and no street signs or directions anywhere. Keep fighting the good fight. You don't have to post this if you don't want.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Myra..there are good and bad on both sides of the divide. The major problem is that 'the law' is adversarial in nature-and can only fall on the best side of a deal.
With most Dads working in a 'normal' family they are the losers to 'homsey' Mum.
THEN..the vultures move in.
Simply put men- need more legally established rights,women need educating about the evils inherent in easy divorce and the 'vultures' need their wings not just clipped-but removed.
Nobody should make a living out of perpetuating such biased misery, never mind the societal damage being done every day!
I'm a Buddhist- so I leave Karmic law to take care of the rights and wrongs of my contact with the 'fair' sex.
No doubt my sad experiences were well earned by me in a former life. Oh!.. by the way- If my kids had stayed with me,as the majority wanted,-I'm sure their mother would have returned soon enough.
Now they are grown up- I never see them..Natch !! PAS rules.