Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We live in an age like no other

Never has it been possible to divorce a woman, take her children, not let her see them, make her pay you to look after them for her, then, if she isn't able to, complain that she must not love her children and throw her in jail. The mere idea is transparently unjust. Yet, today that is exactly what custodial parents can do to non-custodial parents, under the full protection of the law. That almost always means what mothers can do to fathers. No one even seems to notice unless the mother doing it is a lesbian.

Today, a high court has to be called on to point out that accusations of rape ought to carry a bit more of a basis than "I was drunk, so I couldn't give proper consent". Meanwhile the media parrot out the line that only one in 20 accusations of rape result in a conviction without ever considering the possibility that there might be something wrong with our definition of rape. The real tragedy, of course, is that those who truly have been raped face an ever mounting pile of controversy at the mere idea of reporting their pain.

Then there's the study which concluded that one in five people are stalked in a two year period. Buried in the study itself (pdf), you'll find that the definition of stalking is so broad that one might wonder they didn't find the fraction to be larger, including, as it does, irate phone calls and email flames and possibly finding yourself on the same street as someone you don't much like. One wonders if a better conclusion is that one in five people experience significant episodes of paranoia over a two year period. But that wouldn't suit the victim culture we live in, where we must extend the definition of victim as far as possible and then expect "the police and prosecutors to identify these cases before they take a deadly turn". Before you know it, a pointed finger is enough to have you tarred for stalking and carted off to jail as a potential murderer. Thoughtcrime, guys.

It gets to the point that either you're a victim or a perpetrator, which would you rather be?

(The same report, by the way, expresses surprise that half of the stalkers reported by "male victims" are also men, but makes no comment that the numbers clearly indicate that half of all stalkers are women!)

Under such a climate, we can no longer see who the victims really are. Then we can have willfully ignorant journalists getting their knickers in a twist at some of the appropriately hurt and angry language they find on the intertubes from men who have been falsely accused, thrown out of their homes, kept from their children, and beggared with child support dues. With feigned fear and astonishment, they wonder at what they call aggressive words directed at the feminists who support the policies that have done these things, salting their pretend horror with claims of misogyny, suggestions that the men are barely evolved offspring of a thuggish boogie-man patriarchy who know only "hate speech", form "hate groups", "mimic the micro-practices of offenders" (whatever the hell that means), and whose "havoc" must be "dealt with".

To answer their "fears" they turn to "experts" who trot out carefully approved, politically correct doublespeak to reinforce the paranoia. A father desperate in his inability to do anything for his children besides pay for them is regarded as the cause of the problem because can't he see that "conflict is harmful to children, conflict between parents may cancel, or even reverse, any benefits associated with frequent visitation"? Never once do they consider that this means conflict generated by the custodial parent is an unassailable argument for the exclusion of the non-custodial parent from the children's lives and renders him helpless to do anything about it. Again, this nearly always means what the mother can do to the father. He is supposed to just swallow it whole and if he can't choke it down, he's the problem. The man's anger is the problem, not whatever caused it. An unbearable provocation is nothing, only the reaction has significance. Anything less than putting his tail between his legs and slinking off into the night is completely unacceptable.

Thus they pathologize outrage and turn victims into perpetrators. Appropriate, justifiable outrage and true, helpless victims ready for the administration of a coup de grĂ¢ce.

Men are beginning to notice. The problem is worldwide. The news and opinions cited here come from the UK, the USA, South Korea, Canada and Australia. It's not a backlash against feminism, that is a red-herring distracting us from the reality of an underhanded and oppressive cultural regime rooted in all of us. There is no conspiracy, a conspiracy has to hide, this is our own foolishness in plain sight. But in our blindness it is nearly invisible. It has torn many lives apart, but in so doing, it must show itself, eventually. Let's hope that even if we and our children must pay the price, their children might not.


Davout said...


I wander through your blog occasionally but rarely comment because you usually don't leave any stones unturned.

I agree with your following tongue-in-cheek statement:

"The man's anger is the problem, not whatever caused it."

Problem 1: Emotional/psychological violence by the woman is not criminalized, while the physical response to it by the man is. Why? It is easier to prove the latter than the former.

Problem 2: The prevailing legal and societal view is that physical violence by the woman is 'always a reaction and less harmful' while physical violence by the man is 'the instigating factor and more harmful'.

The only way out of this IMO is to find a way to criminalize broad swaths of emotional/psychological violence.
PAS has only scratched the surface.

Anonymous said...

The "defend women, protect your pussy" attitude is deeply ingrained in men's psyche. Women masterfully exploit this, as well as more general shame and manipulation tactics. The result is our current deep sea of misandry.

Dealing with these problems isn't easy. You're making a difference with this blog, I think. But don't expect the outrageous injustices to vanish soon

Anonymous said...

Hi DF,

In response to your request for comments;

I was involved in a nasty dispute with my ex immediately after my son was born. Seeing as her previous child was born under the same circumstances and being much less generous than I was previously, I consider that this was part of her income strategy.

Court ensued, the typical "I am scared", "I think there may have been inappropriate behaviour with my daughter". No real accusations, those could be refuted, just implications.

Added to this, she was taking classes thus not working, therefore she received free legal representation because "a woman can't lose her kids because she can't afford to pay a lawyer, that's a women's rights issue in our patriarchal society". I find it interesting that the reverse is simply not true, men can lose their children due to lack of money, I guess it isn't a big deal.

I will interrupt my story to say that your dissection of the "Zosha's Mom" commentary was exactly correct. That is exactly how the game is played and there is no defence. The father is just hopelessly screwed.

Court came and went with her getting the expected "complete sole custody". Thankfully, I received normal visitation not the "supervised access", at my expense, that had been sought.

Even before the court date, it was clear that there was no way for a male parent to have any reasonable representation of parental interest in this system. The only times that happens is if the female parent is absent, obviously mentally unstable, or a very bad drug addict.

From then on, I folded, I didn't have any power, so I worked with that as best I could. I swallowed my anger. I accepted that she insisted I couldn't have any member of my family look after the child, even if I only wanted to run to the corner store as that was "my time with my son, if I wasn't spending it with him, then I shouldn't have him". That he was sleeping wasn't relevant. I put up with blocked visitation whenever she was unhappy with me over something.

I listened to comments of "I don't have any support here, I should move to England where I have family to help me". Considering that her family isn't close, she speaks to her brother and sister, who live here, at most twice a year, some years not at all. The moving comments were code for "don't piss me off or I will take your child away".

Completely manipulative but at the time, I believed it, or at least worried about it and swallowed even more.

However, I had an advantage. My ex really didn't like being a parent, so I did what was required. I cancelled any plans on a moments notice because she would call me up and ask me to take our son as "something came up for her". That this seemed to consistently happen when I had something planned that she knew about was an interesting tidbit but easily dealt with as she didn't need to know most of my plans anyways.

time moved on, from about 3 on, I had my son every week-end. She would have him less then 5 week-ends a year. Since "she was a full-time single mom, the break was necessary". We'll ignore the fact that I took him to all his activities (and paid for them) as "she was too tired and couldn't". At 10, he lived with me full time for a year. That this corresponded with my purchasing a new home, a stressful busy experience, while taking night classes, and working long hours, wasn't coincidence in my opinion, but it was a form of sabotage that I preferred. Oh, I was also volunteering at my son's activities, taking him to activities, helping him with his homework (which she doesn't do, his older sister helps him when she is able - actually his older sister became his de-facto mother a few years ago as my ex essentially had a complete nervous breakdown. Remember, you can only get custody in the evidence of a "OBVIOUS mental instability". If the mother can present well in public, it doesn't matter.

He now "lives with his mother" although since 11 that means 3 days a week to my 4. Since she has full custody though, that means that I pay full child support. If I disputed that, you can bet that my access would be limited to the court ordered amount instantaneously. Then by the time the court date rolled around six months later - it would be disruptive of the "established schedule" to make any changes.

I tend not to explain or comment on this whole thing much, the anger is too deep. Has it negatively affected my mental health? Unquestionably. I suffer from depression and stress. Has it affected my social health? Absolutely, being single for 10+ years wasn't really in my plans, but I made my choices based on my priorities, and only have minor sense of loss. (That situation really ended a few years ago, but I had made myself too busy to really change by then, and, hey, would you believe that I have some trust issues?)

Ah well, only another decade to go.

"Smile and nod, boys, smile and nod"

Believe me, I can understand those who can't do it. I sympathize with those who don't even get that chance. I had friends that would come and sit with me when I was too angry, to give me an outlet for impotent rage. To tell me that what was going on was wrong. Even they couldn't grasp why I was willing to sacrifice again and again and again, though. I was young, and my friends were single and childless at the time.

Your blog is important. To me personally. No person should have to endure what I did. No man should have to endure what you are going through. (I understand that you don't see your children at all.)

Keep writing.

Oh, on the off chance that my comment will be seen and recognized, although I doubt it, I will sign as anonymous to give me plausible deniability. I have also left out many identifying details that I would like to have shared.

Such is life, you can't speak, even anonymously, for fear of retaliation. The family law situation is more oppressive than a totalitarian regime. (For those that would argue a totalitarian regime would kill people - I offer that losing my son would do the same to me).

Anonymous said...

While I'm divorced, I'm fortunate not to be in your situation, as we didn't have kids.

Your blog is one of the most intelligent ones out there on this subject. Although what you've been through is clearly terrible, you seem to maintain some kind of balance, and don't stoop to hate speak. It's a great source for info if friends ask about these issues, as there is precious little out there. I'm often shy about broaching these issues with people, as one can often feel like some ranting radical.

I do have two friends who are divorced with kids, and I've seen the absurdity of the system.

On a personal level, I've seen the shear lack of commitment in women who think they have bucket loads of it. They think that because they want to wear a fancy frock, it means they're grown up and want to commit.

The feminist biase of the media never ceases to depress, and the TV is on it's last warning before it gets dumped.

Keep up the good work. You seem like a man of decency, never lose that. Please.

Anonymous said...

First off, let me confess that I am a woman.

I cannot understand what you are going through but I wish you the best. You are an incredible writer and through the vividness of your words I hope that I can at least feel enough of your pain to make me aware of the issues and feel compassion for those caught in these traps.

I have read several of your posts. In many of them you talk about what a trap it is for men to respond as their feelings dictate in these stressful situations. That getting angry and upset is taken as evidence of their unfitness and is used against them. It's ironic that behavior that would be expected in a woman being torn from the arms of her children is taken as evidence against a father's suitability as a father. For if a mother stood calm and rational as she lost her children, she would be considered an unfit mother.

Please keep writing your blog. I sense that you speak for many.

John Doe said...

Friends, thank you for your kind words and sharing a little of your stories and thoughts. You shame me for the petulance of my appeal for comment! That said, I'm going to leave it up because I do feel that this subject is unreasonably taboo in our culture and that is partly why these injustices happen. My own need for anonymity is symptomatic too, but there is nothing I can do about that, not yet.

JQ75 said...

Reading your first paragraph sounds totally absurd, but when you flip it around you do indeed find that is exactly what happens. I have extremely limited visitation and have to be thankful when my wife can’t find a babysitter and dumps my son on me at the last minute so I can see him just a little bit more.

The courts are so slanted in the direction of the mother. Basically she can reduce my visitation with a hypothetical, “Well he has tools and ladders and if he gets the circular saw and plugs it in or carries the ladder out of the shed and climbs on the roof…”. I’m not making that up, they actually used those two examples. In her care he had two broken arms, one bad cut on his face, started a fire in the microwave and was left at a store with a stranger. That really happened and I could not for the life of me get them to admit that was a problem. But the hypotheticals that she suggested got plenty of air time.

Well I thought it was mainly domestic relations that was screwed up until I was a juror on a case of double felony – rape/kidnapping. The victim at first denied rape, then said that at two separate occasions she reported it to hospital staff who did nothing. Hospital staff will call police on a moments notice for any kind of possible crime, let alone rape. The kidnapping charge was a technicality that he moved her against her will from 2 feet from her couch to her couch. The case was full of problems, conflicting testimony etc. But in the jury room, on reviewing evidence, we discovered the defendant was never charged, arrested, or jailed. This and other third party written testimony (hospital, doctor, phone records) convinced us that this man was not guilty.

We asked the judge, why was this man not arrested? “Oh it would look bad if we didn’t prosecute a rape case”. During the trial it came up that there was a concern for false arrest. So at least in this case, if the accusation is rape, it takes a fast track straight to the grand jury and is prosecuted, regardless of the flimsy evidence that did not even have the man jailed. The lead detective contradicted himself on the stand four times and a critical link to the time line was missing (one page) from the prosecution's exhibit. It is hard for me to describe the whole 4 day experience in a few paragraphs, but it is a shock that will stay with me.

During a heated debate about my restricted visitation I was called a “poor litigant”. I asked what does that have to do with parenting. The court steals my child and money so I think they are a--holes, I don’t think that of my own son. Do they think so highly of themselves and their screwed up system that I should love them as I do my own son? I said, “I don’t want to be a litigant, and I don’t think much of your system, but that has nothing to do with me being a good parent”. Again, I might as well have been talking to a stone, they could not see that those are two different things.

I repeatedly challenged them, turn the tables for a week or a month. Freeze her money, give me custody, freeze her visitation, she’ll be in a padded room, she’ll be way beyond “poor litigant”. Again, these a--holes can not put two and two together.

You hit it on the head:

Something must be done, you are so right. But readers will argue, “What can little old me do, I’m just one person”? That is a large part of the problem. When everyone signs on to be a helpless victim and not speak up, these tragedies will breed like bacteria in a petrie dish.

Stand up and be counted, or shut up when it happens to you. Sure, one person may not be able to change things, but without trying you are guaranteed to fail, at least trying you have some chance of success. And the chance is larger than you could imagine, for all good changes have arisen from a small group of passionate people speaking up.

As seen on your news link, with the photo of the judge’s pompous robes, steeped in hundreds of years old tradition, we could be due for a review and update every few centuries. We’re way overdue now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this. Your first paragraph says it brilliantly. I'm a 24 year old woman, no kids, and while I was aware that the system was unfair towards fathers, I have never had any first hand experience with it. Reading your post, and now the comments, I no longer see it as simply "one of those things". It is outrageous. So thank you- you have done more than speak to others in your position; you have reached someone who otherwise might not have given it a second thought.

John Doe said...

Hawa, I got your message, but it seemed intended privately. Do you want me to publish it? Either way, that is indeed good news! Thank you for letting me know!


Anonymous said...

Yeah people will always side with the mother. They are always innocent victims and the father is always evil.

My step daughters mother treated her like dirt for five years, neglecting her fincially and emotionally and often asking her to move out.

When my step daughter finally ran away and came to live with us her mother carried on playing the victim saying it was my step daughters fault and some of my step daughters friends parents told my step daughter off.

Fortunatly my husbands ex wife, although she wanted to stop him seeing his children, was not going to pay a lawyer when she could spend the money on herself, so my husband managed to maintain conact by telling her either saw his kids or took her to court.

My husbands ex wife told the kids lies about their father and fortunatly now they are older they know the truth and we have never said a bad word about their mother, she showed her true colours all on her own.

I think fathers should never give up and I am amazed that childrens charity and welfare organisations are doing nothing to protect the rights of children whose mothers emotionally abuse them by not allowing them to have a relationship with both parents.

Anonymous said...

The real tragedy, of course, is that those who truly have been raped face an ever mounting pile of controversy at the mere idea of reporting their pain.

A real tragedy is that everyone seems to feel it necessary to declare what happens to women as "the real tragedy" when discussing grotesquely unjust prosecution of rape. When writing about injustices that men face, is it also necessarily to recite a conventional oath affirming the preeminence of women's suffering? In our misandristic society, where a mere vicious accusation of "misogyny" is enough to have a man socially exiled, actually imprisoned, or verbally stoned, probably not.

Anonymous said...

Difficult to comment without being very angry. Please note that anger is a result of being unfairly persecuted and prosecuted. My own sons have rejected their mother after years of false allegations toward their father. As a woman that can present well, she had no problem telling lies in court, even when I had legal records that proved she was not truthful. As of late, she has been arrested for domestic violence on her 4th husband, lost her teaching position (due to erratic aggressive behavior), and had her husband of 4 years attempt suicide. She has been an alcoholic for at least 20 years, but will not tell the doctors that prescribe her anti-depressants that she combines drugs and booze. She has come to her oldest son for comfort, but he remembers being thrown from his home at 13yrs old, sent to live with his father as punishment, and denied access to his younger brother for 5 years. Until wanting his help and comfort, she had no contact with him for over 5 years. I have watched her destroy her relationship with her sons, and try to lie her way out of her behavior. It may be sick, but I feel vindicated. She is friendless, with no family that will speak to her. She has earned her lot with her nightmarish behavior. I have been approached by the same law enforcement people that accepted her word as gospel 15 years ago, and beat me with sticks while in handcuffs, to help them deal with her. She now lies about them, and they have to deal with the courts that first believe a woman in tears before the evidence. Sorry, I would love to help, but the permanent nerve damage from those sticks prevents me from hearing your pleas of innocence.
The bad news; bad karma will follow me for this non-action.
The good news; my sons are reunited with each other and their father, AND they are very clear that they have been lied to for years. Bad karma, but may she die slowly and painfully and then rot in hell.

Anonymous said...

I only wish my daughter’s father had a “desperate” wish to see her. I am dreading the day that she is old enough to start asking me the hard questions… because I’ve done everything I can to involve him in her life from the moment she was born, and been met with apathy, excuses, and broken promises. Taking him to court for child support was a last resort for me, and he ended up with a $259 a month requirement. That doesn’t begin to help with her expenses, and I put it in a savings account for her future, and still he doesn’t pick up a phone, or a pen, or bother with an email. She deserves so much more.

Anonymous said...

I’ve done everything I can to involve him in her life from the moment she was born, and been met with apathy, excuses, and broken promises.

Did you make clear to him you wanted him to have a choice of working or staying at home? Have you done anything to address the terrible sexism in family law? Have you done anything to address media misandry that may have deeply wounded your ex-husband?

Since you're here, you must realize that there's much more that you could do to help men. Or do you prefer to whine and complain?

Leif Thor said...

You tell it how it is.

Its pathetic. We've been reduced to walking ATMs.

My wife makes 6 times my salary, and I'm still supposed to provide child support so she can live in a house in San Francisco.

That's just wrong, and if roles were reversed, it would be visible why.

Boris Epstein said...

An outstanding post!

I deeply sympathize with what you have been through, and very much admire your ability to thoughtfully dissect such topics. See, political correctness, or the double-standards culture that is between it is, in my opinion, what is behind such a skewed culture. It is that culture of double-standards that, in my opinion, must be eradicated to heal this societal desease.

Anonymous said...

This has been the reason that Dr. Stephen Baskerville has written his new Book about the Family Courts. Being a non Custodial Father myself, and a part time visitor in my Children's lives. After 13 years, I would say in all candor. I would not have married and not have had children.

I love my children don't get me wrong. But I have been ejected from their lives by a system that denies my very humanity. And regards their Mother as a Superior human being. Our Marriage was a fraud from the beginning. Where Sex was doled out sparingly based on a rewards system, like a treat for a Pet.

She was a damned lousy Wife, and a lousy Sex Partner. She also used religion to spiritually manipulate me as well. She is a person who I would not want to have as a Friend.

Sadly I see this behavior in too many of our Women. And a legal system that rewards such predatory Female behavior. Unless Men fully reject Women and shut off having children with them. None of this will change.

We now have Guilt Rape. The newest Rape articulated by the Femifascists at NOW. Guilt Rape occurs when a Male complains, "If you loved me you would...". This is now considered Rape.

The intent of Feminists is clear to create a Sexual Gulag for Men in America. With the Government as their Enforcer of Male behavior. Feminists have succeeded in infiltrating our houses of worship even. So the Churches have betrayed Men as well.

tickletik said...

I read the "leave a comment dammit" line and saw it was time to comment.

Some of us don't leave comments because we respect your words. Much like walking in front of a masterwork painting. We stand, awed and humbled.