October 18, 2008 By Paul M. Clements
If you Google Jocelyn Elise Crowley, you'll find that she's a professor of Woman's Studies. So it's no wonder she's written a book that trashes the fathers rights movement. On the last page (269) we find the statement: "Why should men alter their political agenda to help secure equality for women?" Which is what she is proposing as the conclusion to this book. On page 11, she is talking about the goals of the fathers rights groups, and the three themes of the book. She clearly states her bias: "the uniqueness of their mission does not automatically mean that their objectives have merit."
Indeed, Crowley finds no merit in ANYTHING fathers rights groups want. She admits, "that their stories are compelling," but trivializes their concerns. In doing so, Crowley reneges on the promises made to interviewees, and her claims of trying to be fair and unbiased. She admits that, "mothers retain primary physical custody in the OVERWHELMING percentage of cases", but denigrates claims of fathers that they are being discriminated against in family courts.
Crowley goes on to say that "the push by fathers rights groups for equality with women completely discounts the disadvantages women must confront in contemporary American society." She thereby ignores the same fact she states so clearly above: mothers retain primary custody in the overwhelming percentage of cases." She misses the question her own words present: If men must push for equality with women, mustn't they, therefore,be UNEQUAL to begin with? Going on, she claims, "women work for less pay," (a reference to the feminists' "glass ceiling"), (an idea Dr. Warren Farrell has debunked in his book, Why Men Earn More)]]Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap -- and What Women Can Do About It. She goes on: "(women)suffer enormous financial instability when their adult relationships fall apart." This bit of nonsense, of course, results from Lenore Weitzman's ADMITTED and PROVEN false statistics regarding the economic standards of men v. women following divorce. (Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths Finally, we come to the REAL reason Crowley wrote this book. She states: "Without substantial and effective child support, women and children would face enormous (she likes that word) economic hardship. That theme surfaces numerous times in the book.
Crowley obviously believes that women are entitled by their gender to be supported, in a Communistic "Transfer of Wealth" scheme, by the men THEY CHOOSE to divorce. Of course, Crowley doesn't mention the fact that WOMEN initiate the divorce in 88% of cases. (U.S.Census Bureau) In maintaining this belief, Crowley IGNORES the "compelling" (her word) stories told by interviewees about the unfairness and abuses of the chid support system. On Page 17, Crowley acknowledges that increases in the divorce rate were due to the feminist movement, but later decries fathers' rights emphasis on the same conclusion. After No Fault divorce became law, she admits, "Unhappiness became sufficient justification" (for divorce). However, she will not admit to the righteousness of the feelings of betrayal suffered by the fathers. Perhaps the best part of the book are several telling statistics which support fathers' claims. On page 20, we find that, where illegitimate births represented 4% of the total births in 1950, that rate had risen to 46.1% in 2004. She tacitly admits that fact to be due to WOMEN'S choices, but continues to blame men.
She admits that raising children in a single parent home (citing 84% of custody decisions as favoring the mother,Page 31))(other studies set the figure at 95 -97%) is detrimental to the children. However, her solution to that problem is to extract child support from the father to give to the mother. She obviously didn't do her homework for this book, or she would have known that MOTHERS are 62% more likely to abuse children than dads. (never mind, more child support will fix that) Indeed, Crowley uses the tired old excuse of a fear of domestic violence as a reason for opposing shared physical custody.
True to her feminist roots, she simply IGNORES the truth of female violence. Domestic Violence: The 12 Things You Aren't Supposed to Know Finally, on Page 21, she admits that child support was originally intended for welfare purposes. (to ease the burden of welfare on taxpayers) However, she CHEERS the implementation of Public Law 98-378, which made NON-welfare divorces eligible for child support. She says: "Fathers of non-welfare children form the core foundation of fathers' rights groups." And there you have it! If easing the welfare burden is NOT the reason for child support enforcement, then the middle class fathers complaints are valid. THEY are the targets. The income to the states and courts from federal incentive payments for collecting child support has become the main purpose of child support! But Crowley continues to maintain, throughout the book, that women are in need, and deserving of, child support from the father, regardless of their economic situation, and regardless of HIS loss of due process rights, or the impoverishing results on him and/or his subsequent family.
Crowley approached her interviewee fathers with the stated purpose of writing a fair, unbiased treatment of their issues and concerns. This writer was one of those. However, although she includes numerous horror stories, she totally ignores the truths those fathers wanted to bring to the public, truths exemplified by those stories. Her main focus throughout was the maintenance and enhancement of the child support program as an entitlement for women. She ignores legitimate research, citing her own writings more frequently than is warranted, and denigrates the fathers rights efforts in favor of a feminist agenda.
The book is a sham from front to back, written more to enhance the academic reputation of a feminist writer than to expose the truths behind the fathers' rights movement. For a better insight, we suggest the reader purchase a copy of Dr. Stephen Baskerville's book, TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family There, you will learn the reason why DEFIANT FATHERS are defiant. Crowley's book is a waste of time and money, appealing only to the feminist choir, presenting nothing new, nothing that hasn't been written before in hundreds of feminist newsletters and editorials. Certainly nothing of interest to those concerned with the issues facing divorced fathers.