I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Darcy & Kris had a busy day on behalf of all Fathers Seeking Justice

CTV Toronto Darcy Nogueira of Fathers 4 Justice is seen atop a scaffolding at a Toronto construction site on Wednesday, August 27. Fathers 4 Justice spokesperson Chris Tatus (sic Titus) speaks to CTV Toronto on Wednesday, August 27. Man charged after climbing crane dressed as Spiderman Updated: Wed Aug. 27 2008 7:02:02 PM ctvtoronto.ca Two people have been charged after a man dressed as Spiderman climbed a 200-foot crane at a Toronto construction site early Wednesday morning. Darcy Nogueira, 34, was arrested after he climbed the crane and unfurled a 32-foot banner with the logo of Fathers 4 Justice, which promotes fathers' rights in child custody cases. Activists who participate in demonstrations for the organization are often dressed as superhero characters. Police were called to the construction zone at 18 Rean Drive at about 6:30 a.m. and immediately stopped work at the site and sealed off the area. Fathers 4 Justice organizes publicity stunts to raise awareness about their work, which includes advocating that both parents raise a child after a separation or divorce, Fathers 4 Justice spokesperson Chris Tatus (sic Titus) told CTV Toronto. "For every activist they pull down of ours, we have another waiting to take their place," Tatus said. Wednesday's protest was the fourth of its kind in the month of August alone. A few weeks ago, protesters dressed in superhero costumes climbed to the roof of NDP Leader Jack Layton's office. Tatus (sic Titus) said more protests are planned in an attempt to get equal parenting rights on the political agenda. Nogueira and Kristin Titus, 35, have each been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, common nuisance, mischief and mischief interference with property. Nogueira also faces a break and enter charge. He and Titus are to appear in court on Thursday. With a report from CTV Toronto's Dana Levenson

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cross Canada campaign to support Equal Parenting and Vellacott’s Motion M-483 arrives in Saskatoon



Maurice Vellacott, MP Saskatoon-Wanuskewin

Cross Canada campaign to support Equal Parenting and Vellacott’s Motion M-483 arrives in Saskatoon

For Immediate Release August 22, 2008

SASKATOON – Maurice Vellacott, M.P Saskatoon-Wanuskewin has tabled a Private Members Motion (PMM-483) which proposes changes to the Federal Divorce Act to enshrine the principle of Equal Parenting during and after divorce.

Fathers 4 Justice Canada (F4J Canada) has supported such legislative changes since 2003 and believes that such change is long over-due. To educate and gather popular support from fellow Canadians for this important legislative action, F4J Canada has launched a cross-country tour with the support and assistance from local groups and company sponsors.

F4J’s cross Canada campaign arrives in Saskatoon this Friday, August 22, before moving on to Regina on Saturday. The F4J Superheroes will be stopping at Diefenbaker Park at the WAM (We Are Many) arts and environmental festival that opens Friday at noon and will have many big name entertainers there. After the festival opening ceremonies, the F4J Superheroes at 12:30pm will be meeting up with Saskatoon-Wanuskewin MP, Maurice Vellacott at the Diefenbaker Park at the south-east corner of Ruth Street and St. Henry Avenue.

Mr. Vellacott welcomes all his constituents, Saskatoon residents and visitors to stop by and visit with him and the F4J Superheroes, at Diefenbaker Park, at the south-east corner of Ruth Street and St. Henry Avenue, during the WAM festival this Friday, August 22, from 12:30pm through the early afternoon.

Children and adults will receive bracelets promoting truth, justice and equality, temporary tattoos with a message about M-483 and the opportunity to have their picture taken with some of our now famous Everyday Superheroes and the F4J Barney Mobile. Pre-addressed/postage paid postcards will be available for all who want to support M-483 and equal parenting.

“We invite all concerned Canadians to join with us and make their support known and visible in spreading the message that the time has come to act,” said Vellacott.

M-483 is currently scheduled for its first hour of debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday, October 8.

– 30 –

For further comment, call (613) 992-1966 or 297-2249

Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome ~ The New York Times Article

This is an interesting article on the book Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome by Amy J. L. Baker. One of her conclusions is that there may be a 50-50 ratio of men and woman who do this. Most literature I have read shows it to be quite lopsided in accusing females over males. If further research shows this to be true it does not change the fact that whoever does it, in my view, is a weak, controlling, narcissistic, bullying coward - or someone who is mentally ill and incorporates all this and more into their technique and who has only their own interests at heart not those of their children. They cannot grasp the damage they are doing to their children and the fundamental current and future damage they are doing to their children's lives. I can speak with clear authority on the emotional pain it causes in both the target spouse and the children who had a former loving and close relationship with their father. I can see through the pain to a future that will restore some of that relationship but I can also see my children will never be the same. They won't let me hug them, my 13 year old will turn on a dime as soon as she suspects the mother is in "brainwashing" mode and I immediately get the dirty looks as though I am some kind of scumbag. The ex has learned life lessons through a tumultuous and incestuous upbringing. The norm for her is all fathers and perhaps some male siblings are going to want to molest their daughters/siblings and she is passing this on. Given her mother did not protect her and may have had, at the least, a passive role in her abuse and she remained largely estranged from this mother, did not attend her death bed nor her funeral in 2007, what kind of mother can she be under the circumstances. It is a twisted, abnormal and solipsistic view of the world and she needs help and ought not to be able to brain wash children in this manner. It is so tragic. Add to her twisted view of men and the world her mental health issues and you have a recipe for disaster. Don't get hung up on whether it is a syndrome or not. What is clear and unmistakable it is damaging psychological abuse of innocent children. There is a UN charter on the treatment of prisoners of war against torture including brainwashing called the Geneva Convention.

Article 13: Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest. Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited. Article 17 ...No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

There is no such law with specific respect to emotional child abuse that can be easily enforced by anyone whether it be police, a target parent or his/her extended family, child protection authorities, mental health agencies charged with evaluating children on the books in any civilized country when it comes to parental manipulation of children using the same techniques of brainwashing defined in Dr. Richard Warshak's book, "Divorce Poison": Isolation, (can include relocation, kidnapping), - the ex kidnapped my children and hid them for 7 months; stripping (breaking symbolic and emotional connections) - as simple as removing any pictures of the target parent to more complex scenarios) she not only made sure the children didn't see a picture of me but no one else in the extended family on my side either - not even their older sisters; fear - amongst other methods the goal is to create psychological dependency on the /brainwashing/bashing/badmouthing parent - when my children first saw me 8 months after they went missing they literally turned their heads away and downward at her bidding. I was devastated by this woman's unconscionable manipulation of my children and she clearly had them firmly in her grasp. To this day when they enter her public housing dwelling they open the front door only enough to fit through and quickly close it again. Why? The ex stole a lot of my stuff and she ordered the children to not let me see in the front door so "daddy can't know what we have in case he takes her to court." Even the child protection agencies within these countries are not equipped to handle it and can do nothing to detect it exists. They can try in other areas as our local one did with the Family Preservation Program and I cannot say enough good things about how much help this was to me and the children.
September 23, 2007

When Ties to a Parent Are Cut by the Other
The New York Times

THIS is a nice moment in Joe Rabiega's life. At 31, he has a good job as a research coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is happily married and feels blessed that his wife of five years, Tiffany, is pregnant with their first child. His hope is to give that child a happier upbringing than the one he had. Mr. Rabiega's parents divorced when he was 8, and though they were supposed to share custody, he said, his father, a truck driver with a drinking problem, did everything possible to turn him against his mother and eventually kept him from seeing her. "He bullied my mother into giving up custody," Mr. Rabiega said. When he was still allowed to visit his mother, he'd have to stay by the phone to take a call from his father at 4 every afternoon and 8 each evening. He said his father trained him to spy on his mother's socializing and spending habits. "His ability to manipulate her was so lopsided, it never got to the point where a court heard it," he said in a phone interview. "His threats of violence made it clear she'd never get me." For several years, he said, until his late teens, he didn't see his mother and believed everything his father said about her. "He took me to the police station and told them my mother abandoned me, even though it was completely not true," Mr. Rabiega said. "He had the entire neighborhood convinced that my mother no longer wanted me. "He had me convinced without him, I had nobody," Mr. Rabiega said. "When he'd been drinking, he'd get out his gun and threaten to kill himself if I left him." It wasn't until Mr. Rabiega was an adult that he began to see his mother in a different light, he said. "She was a seamstress in a garment factory who didn't graduate from high school. She was weak, no one to guide her, no money, no education, no resources to fight for me." At one point, he said, she attempted suicide. Mr. Rabiega is one of 40 research subjects in a new book by Amy J. L. Baker, about parents who turn a child against the other parent, "Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome." Dr. Baker, the research director of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection at the New York Foundling, does not identify the subjects by their real names, but Mr. Rabiega (called Jonah in the book) agreed to let his name be used for this column. "If this can help people, it's worth it," he said. "I really compare what I went through to people who are kidnapped and brainwashed." Most people would agree that one parent has the power to turn a child against the other parent; however, classifying the behavior as a mental health syndrome, as Dr. Baker does, has met with considerable criticism in the past. "It's been a very controversial area," said Dr. Baker, 48, who lives in Teaneck, N.J., and has a doctorate in psychology from Teachers College at Columbia.
Dr. Baker's book is written in an academic style and sticks closely to the stories of the 40 adult subjects, ages 19 to 67, who describe being wrongfully manipulated by a parent. It is an attempt to take the sensationalism out of the subject. Accusations of such manipulation have been an issue during high-profile celebrity custody battles, like the ones involving Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. There is none of that in Dr. Baker's book, which includes a seven-page bibliography of scholarly research. Instead, she tells the stories of ordinary people like Mr. Rabiega, struggling into their adult years with the damage they describe from having been manipulated into hating a parent. While most research has focused on children, Dr. Baker looks at these children once they've become adults. A key question she set out to answer: Do any of these kids grow up and figure it out? "That I can answer yes," she said. "I can't say how prevalent it is, but I have found lots of people." Some of what she found undercut earlier research. When therapists first described the behavior in the 1980s, they talked about it as manipulation by mothers to punish fathers. This drew criticism from some women's groups, who dismissed the syndrome as something concocted by lawyers for abusive fathers trying to improve their custody chances. Dr. Baker said her research — both for the book and with several hundred subjects over the last five years — indicates a mother or father is equally likely to do the manipulating. It is "truly 50-50," she said. Other patterns emerged from her 40 subjects: 75 percent were the products of divorce, and 58 percent were divorced themselves; 70 percent suffered depression; 35 percent developed problems with drugs or alcohol. And perhaps the saddest: Half of the 28 who had children said they were estranged from their own children. Dr. Baker believes the behavior is prevalent enough to qualify as a syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of the American Psychiatric Association. While that's not going to happen soon — the manual won't be revised again until 2012 — she hopes her research might cause social workers and therapists who investigate custody cases to be more aware. "If you believe it's possible for a child to be brainwashed by one parent, the job of a custody evaluator is a lot harder," she said. The challenges in such cases can be daunting. How do you know if the scorned parent is being unfairly victimized or if that parent is abusive and deserves to be scorned? "It's a lot of investigating, and there's no one definitive tool," Dr. Baker said. Some of that investigative muscle is missing from her own research. Dr. Baker did not interview parents for their version of events, nor did she cite independent sources like court records that could corroborate the stories. "I did what I could," she said. "This is just one study. It's a very new field and there's little research. The point is to give voice to these people who have not been heard." It is also hard to get people to talk publicly about family dysfunction. Mr. Rabiega was willing to speak partly because both his parents are dead. He said that when he was in his 20s, he again developed a relationship with his mother, but that his father's "brainwashing" had been so strong, he couldn't entirely overcome it. "It was hard for me to fully love my mom," he said. "If she needed me to do something or needed money, I didn't want to and I'd get angry. My father implanted a disgust and disdain in me for my mother that wouldn't go away and tainted our relationship." Ten years of therapy helped, he said, as did his wife and finding religion. "It helped when I reconnected with my mom, she held nothing against me," he said. "She reiterated it was my father's fault, and I had no choice." "Unfortunately," he said, "I realized a lot after my mother died." E-mail: parenting@nytimes.com Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Death of Katelynn Sampson lights fire under politicians derrière with respect to custody

The tragic death of this 7 year old vulnerable child has sparked the law makers to examine ways to prevent this from happening again including amending the law and perhaps even looking at those in the judiciary charged with making these very fundamental decisions. Hopefully, it will be a holistic and all encompassing look given the state of family law in this province and the disrepute family courts and their Divorce Industry participants find themselves, particularly amongst men and fathers.

Why wasn't the father sought in this case? Where was the father? I see his picture attending the funeral! Was he that hard to find before hand or was the judge to lazy to have him tracked down? Was he a write-off as a parent as the mother and guardian appear to be? So many questions so few answers.

It's interesting how all the politicos jump on the bandwagon to look like they are doing something. Criminal records checks may be useful and should be done but they make little difference to the current crop of family court justices. My ex has one, as those of you who have read the prologue to this blog and my book know. She has beaten the children, psychologically abused them, financially abused our family, physically and psychologically abused me but it makes no difference. I'm a man, therefore a beast, therefore I must "suck" it up. The law sucks, the family court system sucks and it needs changing at the federal and provincial level to bring equal parenting on board as the new norm. There is law but there is no justice. Pardon my vent but it is good therapy after all the years of walking in my well trodden shoes through the emotional nightmare of emotional and physical theft (aka as kidnapping) of my loving children and the loss of their affections, from what was the status-quo, over three years ago. Let some politicians walk in my worn down shoes for one week and then we would see changes. I feel better now that I've vented.

Katelynn case leads to probe of custody process TheStar.com - Ontario - Katelynn case leads to probe of custody process

NDP files complaint against judge who awarded custody to woman now charged in 7-year-old's death

August 18, 2008


The province will examine how child custody cases are handled in Ontario courts to ensure the protection of vulnerable children like Katelynn Sampson, a 7-year-old Toronto girl whose caregiver has been charged in her death, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.

"We want to see how frequent this occurs, what steps might be taken, do all judges approach this in the same way, those kinds of things," McGuinty said after touring an aerospace parts manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ont.

"Obviously what needs to prevail here is the safety of the child."

The circumstances surrounding Katelynn's death have angered many since the girl's battered body was found by police Aug. 2 in her caregiver's apartment, where Katelynn had been staying with her mother's consent.

One officer said the injuries the girl suffered were the worst thing he had seen in 20 years of policing. Screams of anguish could be heard outside her funeral last week after friends and loved ones saw the grotesque injuries to the child's body.

Opposition parties say Katelynn paid the price for a flawed system which allowed a woman with a criminal record to obtain custody of the child. While some are calling for tougher legislation, others say the province needs to look more closely at provincial judges who preside over child custody cases.

NDP justice critic Peter Kormos filed a complaint Friday against Ontario Justice Debra Paulseth, who awarded custody of Katelynn to Donna Irving.

Irving has been charged with second-degree murder along with her boyfriend, Warren Johnson.

Katelynn had been staying with the couple with her mother's blessing, but court transcripts revealed that few questions were asked about Irving, who had a criminal record for drugs, prostitution and violence.

Kormos said the case raises troubling questions about Paulseth's conduct that must be investigated.

"The only defence that child had was the law, which is designed to defend her, and the court, who has an obligation to uphold that law," he said.

"I suggest to you that the judge in this instance failed that child miserably, but also failed in her duty as a judicial officer."

The rules must also be changed before another child slips through the cracks, said Progressive Conservative leader John Tory.

Criminal record checks should be mandatory and a lawyer representing the child should always be present in court, he said.

"I think somebody should be looking into what happened in this particular case," Tory said.

"But what's more important is changing the rules going forward, so you always have a criminal background check, so that you always have proper representation for the child."

Last week, Attorney General Chris Bentley said work was already underway to review the Children's Law Reform Act and promised to make any changes necessary to ensure that children were protected.

Kormos wrote to Bentley on Aug. 8, asking him to lodge a complaint about Paulseth with the Judicial Council, which probes complaints against provincially appointed judges. Bentley refused, saying he has no authority to do so, Kormos said.

But that didn't stop his predecessor, Michael Bryant, from asking the Canadian Judicial Council in 2004 to investigate the conduct of an Ontario judge who presided over a 1999 murder trial, Kormos countered.

At the time, Bryant acknowledged that attorneys general rarely made such requests, but it was done in the interests of the ``administration of justice."

Paulseth, who practised for 13 years in family courts, was appointed to the bench in 2005, according to government documents.

She had previously served as assistant deputy attorney general for court services, "responsible for all legal, policy and administrative support to the operation of the court system in Ontario," the ministry release states.

Equal parenting campaign in favour of Maurice Vellacott's Motion M-483

August 13, 2008


Equal parenting organization going cross-country Newcastle resident heads up national campaign by Fathers for Justice Canada

By Moya Dillon


NEWCASTLE (ON) - Equal parenting is a concept Kris Titus, national co-ordinator for Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) Canada, feels strongly about on a personal level. After going through a divorce 10 years ago, Ms. Titus became a proponent of equal parenting after realizing the effects her custody arrangement was having on her children. "I just thought 'My God,' they're really hurting," she said of seeing her children crying after leaving a visit with their father. "It just wasn't fair to them."

Ms. Titus went back to court with her ex-husband to request equal custody, rather than the children seeing their father every other weekend. Their first request was denied. "They took issue with us wanting to be financially independent," Ms. Titus explained. "We were told we didn't have a good enough reason for him ending child support payments, even though we were going to split custody equally." It took one more try, but the courts eventually agreed with the couple and the difference to the kids, Ms. Titus said, was instantaneous. "They weren't crying or screaming anymore when they had to go from one to the other,"

she said. "The change, in such a short time, was just amazing."


F4J will be taking its message of equal parenting on the road with a Cross Country Crusade this summer. Organizers will make 30 stops between Vancouver and St. John's as they drive across Canada in the "Barney Mobile," a large purple van. The van will be staffed by the organization's signature superhero-costumed supporters, which are meant as symbols of how children see their parents. "We're the first and most important role models children see, to them we're heroes," Ms. Titus said. "The goal of the courts should always be to help both parents stay as involved as possible in their children's lives."


F4J supporters will be handing out postcards addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the crusade's promotional pit-stops. The postcards champion a Motion to Parliament in support of equal parenting by MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin.) The crusade's final stop in Ottawa in October is timed to coincide with the earliest date the motion may be read in the House of Commons.


"We just want equal parenting to be the assumption by law," Ms. Titus said of Fathers 4 Justice. "People get so caught up with animosity during divorce. We need to keep our eyes on the prize, which is raising healthy, happy children."


The Cross Country Crusade will roll through the GTA the week of Sept. 8 to 12 and will be making at least one stop in Durham Region.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Barbara Kay: Britain moves toward guilt based on sex

The National Post
Posted: August 13, 2008, 10:00 AM by Kelly McParland

Harriet Harman, the U.K. Labour Party’s Deputy Leader, representing a vacationing Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the House of Commons recently, was asked if she had designs on the party leadership. Harman joked that if she became prime minister, the nation’s airports would be thronged with men attempting to flee the country.

Nobody laughed.

Ms. Harman is not only Deputy Leader, she is also Minister for Women and a hard-line feminist by anyone’s standards. (She is best known for her introduction of an ironically titled “Equality Bill” that would sanction legal discrimination against men in employment opportunities.)

Under Ms. Harman’s aegis, proposed major changes to the U.K.’s homicide laws are expected to pass through Parliament by early 2009.

The most ominous — and most likely to fulfill Ms. Harman’s misguidedly jocular prediction of mass male flight from Britain — is the automatic reduction of a charge of murder to manslaughter for women claiming past, or fear of future, abuse from male partners.

Under the prospective law then, no woman pleading abuse — and who wouldn’t under such circumstances? — could receive a life sentence — even if the abuse was only verbal.

Manslaughter sentences are notoriously variable, and judges notoriously chivalrous in sentencing women. With this legislation, women killers could henceforth confidently anticipate what up to now has been a matter of luck and soft-heartedness: legally getting away virtually scot-free with what we have traditionally understood as premeditated murder. The dramatic shift lies in a single word. The current “partial defence” in reducing murder to manslaughter is a “sudden loss of control.” Proposed is a simple “loss of control.”

Thus a man who kills his woman partner in sexual flagrante, traditionally a partial defence, would lose that legal gambit, while a woman could now offer a legal “slow burn” to justify her “loss of control.”

The modification would supposedly apply “in exceptional circumstances only, killing in response to words and conduct which caused the defendant to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.”

“Words and conduct”? “Justifiable”? “Seriously wronged”? Under such vague parameters, taking the law into one’s own hands — until now considered revenge, the hallmark of honour-driven tribes and gangs — would become the new justice. Ms. Harman sees the legislation as a levelling of the playing field: “Changing the law will end this injustice of women being killed by their husbands and the injustice of them then being blamed.”

No, the real “injustice” would be to sanction what is anathema for race or religion, the assignation of innocence or guilt according to sex rather than evidence.

Even practically speaking, far from reducing domestic friction, such an entrenched two-tier standard would serve to inflame the imagination of every woman with a grudge, however trivial, and sow fear, resentment and anger amongst men in volatile relationships.

This outrageous proposed law rests on two feminist myths. The first is that in partner violence men are inherently responsible for domestic violence: They start it or provoke it. Consequently, women who suffer abuse, and women who initiate abuse, must both be considered victims. The second is that abused women who kill have no other self-protective recourse.

In fact about one-quarter of partner violence is initiated by men, one-quarter by women and about 50% is started bilaterally. All credible research confirms this. In fact, women may have felt trapped in abusive relationships 50 years ago, but today they have recourse to a wide array of social services that are not available to abused men.

Moreover, as a precautionary principle that ignores justice, women’s security and interests — including judicial indulgence of false allegations of abuse — systematically outweigh men’s rights in policing, divorce and custody disputes.

The legal war against men may seem to be more advanced in the U.K., but the legal culture of every Western nation is permeated by the spirit of radical feminism. In a continuing dumbing-down of female moral agency, abuse — real, but also reciprocal and merely alleged — has become a catch-all strategy for exculpating women who batter or kill their partners. What was once unthinkable — inequality before the law — is fast becoming not only thinkable, but also commonplace where sex is involved.

National Post bkay@videotron.ca

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by Rectificatif
Aug 13 2008 1:35 PM

Once again Kay hits the bullseye.

We needn't go very far to understand what has primed our culture to accept these murderous ideas.

Here's a sidebar some of you may find interesting.

Literature studies on many campuses in Canada include the Sharon Pollack play "Blood Relations," a 1980 text that still gets many productions at universities.

It's all about Lizzy Borden, who, as we all know, was the 1882 killer of her father and step-mother. Ms Borden, a lesbian who felt oppressed in her family home, was charged with the crime of chopping her mom and pop to bits, and "acquitted" of the charges, said to be "based on circumstantial evidence." There is no doubt any more that she committed the crime.

Canadian feminists tout the play as reprenting a heroine of our own times, one who committed a noble act of liberation. Not a few feminists not only praise Lizzie for chopping up her parents, but celebrate the fact that she got away with it. In fact, there is no moment in the play when any antipathy to Lizzie or her actions is present.

The online E-notes for this play read as follows:

"In contemporary times, the figure of Lizzie Borden has achieved iconic status. Many perceive her as an early feminist who did not shy from acting and thinking as an individual. It has often been theorized that, if Lizzie did in fact commit the murders, her actions were based on self-preservation, an attempt to escape from an abusive family situation."

Young students are directed to such interpretations [ www.enotes.com/blood-relations], and are not encouraged to challenge them.

by pumpkineater
Aug 13 2008 10:05 PM

Harriet Harman: Did her name destine her to a life of "Harm to Men"?


"1990 Harriet Harman [was part of a group who] expressed their beliefs in a social policy paper called The Family Way."

"[The paper] said: 'It cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life, or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social harmony and cohesion.'"

Mail Online: "How feminists tried to destroy the family" (07.01.22)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The National Post weighs in on Family Court Bias

The bias of Family Courts is getting the attention of another newspaper in Canada. This is one of two national papers in my country and it is gratifying to see our efforts are paying off in protesting the injustice perpetrated on fathers. Our constitution is violated everyday by the courts charged with upholding equality. It has to stop. National Post

Friday, July 18, 2008

Give dad a chance

Research shows that two parents are better than one. So why does the legal system still favour mothers?

Barbara Kay, National Post Published: Friday, July 18, 2008

In the 1979 movie Kramer vs. Kramer, a New York mother bored with child care bolts to Los Angeles "to find herself," leaving her husband suddenly in sole charge of their little son.

The heart of the movie is the riveting evolution of a patriarchy-era father -- career-obsessed, domestically disengaged -- into a New Man: putting career ambitions second to his child's needs, parenting clumsily and frantically at first, but eventually with tender efficiency.

Not without realistic missteps and emotional pain along the way, they form a loving bond. The child is happy. Nevertheless, when the mother swoops back into town 18 months later and sues for custody, a patriarchy-era court ignores the dad's obviously superior moral claim -- and the child's wishes -- awarding the mom custody on the basis of her gender.

Thirty years later, New Men are the norm in bourgeois society. But the instinct to privilege the mother-child nexus, ironically a dominant feature of both the sentimentalist patriarchy and today's feminist-dominated family law, continues to rule in family court.

As many New Men are shocked to learn, all the midnight feedings, bedtime stories and soothing Band-Aid applications to scraped knees count for nothing against morally indefensible gender bias in family court: In 90% of litigated custody cases, the mother gains sole custody.

Thus, with mom-friendly courts always the trump card up a mother's sleeve, even the best of fathers in all custody negotiations must depend on the mother's good will, rather than justice for anything approaching equal access to his children.

In 1997, when the current Divorce Act came into effect, a special joint committee was convened to make recommendations on child custody and access. After 55 hearings and more than a year of study, the 48 recommendations of the 1998 report, For the Sake of the Children, converged on one theme: The sole-custody adversarial system, as it pertains to the majority of custody and access disputes, denies children and non-custodial parents basic human rights, and puts children's psychological and emotional health at risk.

The report recommended the "non-rebuttable presumption" of equal parenting (in the absence of abuse) as both fair to parents and best for children. But it was ignored by the then-Liberal government and fell into a political black hole.

We know what Canadians think on this issue: Polls show that 80% of Canadians support equal parenting. We will know the present government's frame of mind when Saskatoon-Wanuskewin MP Maurice Vellacott's Motion M-483 in support of equal parenting comes up for debate in Parliament this fall.

A hopeful sign: On June 19, the Northwest Territories passed a supportive motion for Vellacott's initiative with a vote of 11 to zero (with seven abstentions).

Vellacott has lined up 17 of a necessary 20 seconders to his motion and feels optimistic about its reception: "The social science is air-tight on the importance of fathers and mothers in the whole range of life experience as [children] grow older."

He is correct about the social science. In a September, 2007, policy paper, University of British Columbia sociology professor Edward Kruk, Canada's foremost expert on custody, adduced a wealth of peer-reviewed data to support the superior effects of "shared parental responsibility."

Yet, as he observes, judges in family courts tend to perpetuate old stereotypes, ignoring evidence in cases where the father is provably the more responsible caregiver, or presuming fathers only seek sole custody to evade financial responsibility.

Under mounting critical scrutiny in recent years, the judiciary's lack of expertise in determining the "best interests of the child" has become increasingly apparent. As a result, a new parental "responsibility-to-needs" discourse has emerged in the socio-legal realm.

A child's "needs" cannot be optimally met by a single parent, however loving. Kruk's findings show that a child must spend at least 40% of his time with a parent to establish and maintain a beneficial attachment.

Kramer vs. Kramer ended happily, with the mother's recognition that fairness to the child required voluntary relinquishment of her legal entitlement.

Unfortunately, Hollywood is not running the divorce industry in Canada. In real life, mothers are rarely so selfless; court-battle endings are rarely so happy for fathers and children.

In 2006, Stephen Harper's electoral platform promised to implement "a presumption of shared parental responsibility, unless determined to be not in the best interests of the child," with mediation as an alternate method of conflict resolution.

Campaign talk is cheap. When can divorced Canadian fathers -- and their children -- expect justice, so long demanded, so long promised and so long deferred?

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