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.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The History and Evolution of the Western Feminist Movement:

The first wave of feminism evolved over the centuries, becoming more active and visible in the late 1800s, generally wanting basic equality in terms of being recognized as a "person", voting rights, as well as property rights. The second wave pushed again for more complete equality in the 1960s. The main causes focused on employment equity, the family, and related issues. An outcrop of the second wave that developed in the late 1960s were the radical Marxists Socialist Feminist; this strain of ideology took hold and began co-opting the entire feminist movement in the late 1970s (probably around 1978) morphing into the 3rd wave. The second wave saw men more as partners and inviting them to take on more equal roles in the home, childcare, and related domestic issues. The key here is balance and equality.

The third wave feminists arose along side the "shelter movement" and eventually gained a foothold in the 1980s. This Marxist Socialist more radical third wave was like the second wave of the French Revolution in the late 1700s (i.e., executing the revolutionaries and taking over), pushing people like Senator Cools and Erin Pizzey out of the movement as being too moderate and not militant enough. Third wavers began to see men and boys as, at least, potential abusers who were/are the enemy. The main agenda of third wave feminists was a bifurcated effort in both shelters and academe. The shelters were looking for continued financing and creating what is now a "shelter industry".

Academics in Women's studies and related disciplines produced domestic violence research, parenting research, and related studies. Gaining power and finances in order to create favourable (to the third wave) definitions of the family, violence, and related issues are important projects for both groups in this wave. The third wave saw the family as their sphere of academic influence in terms of how mothering, fathering, the family, and other related issues should be defined.

The pro-feminist movement (third wave feminist men) facilitated definitions of masculinity, fathering, and related issues, which managed masculinity and created limitations for men as opposed to partnerships. Equality has been removed in terms of the Fatherhood Involvement Movement, which encourages certain men (usually part of intact families) to behave in diminutive parenting roles. This movement does not really promote the inclusion of separated and divorced fathers, especially those in the Fathers' Rights Movement (FRM).

Instead, this "involvement" movement distances itself from the FRM, leaving fathers (and some mothers) outside the parenting equation, only adding in fathers that are taking what they deem to be their version of an ideologically pro-feminist fathering stance.

Ideologically, the third wave (feminists and pro-feminists) is generally adversarial, seeing men and boys as abusers or potential abusers, fathers as disposable, promoting forms of misandry (in the media), and being more interested in managing masculinity (and femininity), and not really trying to strike an equitable balance that favours children, the family, the common good.

Dr. Robert A. Kenedy

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

138 Founders College

York University

Toronto, Ontario

What Women Want?

Sara Tappen |Friday, August 21, 2009
A few years ago, a popular movie called What Women Want played off the ancient joke and popular conceit that – while almost any woman can read almost any man like a book – most men haven’t the foggiest notion of what’s going on in the minds of their wives, girlfriends, daughters, and co-workers.

One of the great mysteries of modern life, though, is not the inability of men to fathom women, but the increasing inability of women to understand, appreciate, and defend each other.

Ironically, no group of individuals displays more gender illiteracy than the one which appoints itself the arbiter of all things feminine, the National Organization for Women. NOW recently elected a new leader at its national convention, and President Terry O’Neill launched her tenure with an elaboration on her pro-woman political agenda that included this telling statement:

“Conscience clauses, where pharmacists refuse birth control sales because it’s against their conscience, must go. Guess what? Women have a constitutional right to birth control…. There is no constitutional right to be a pharmacist.”

So – to clarify – women not only have a “constitutional right” to birth control…but that right trumps any other person’s constitutional right to follow his or her own conscience or religious convictions? That’s an interpretation of our pre-eminent national document that would astonish not only the Founding Fathers, but more than a few of the women Ms. O’Neill claims to represent.

Never mind that no coherent reading of the Constitution will produce any indication of the authors’ intent to defend a woman’s right to indulge in sexual activity without “threat” of fertilization. At what point did Ms. O’Neill decide that most women care more about having unfettered sexual intercourse than they do about following the deepest convictions of their soul?

Did it ever occur to her that a healthy percentage of the pharmacists whose consciences she so blithely dismisses might be…women? Given the choice between one woman’s desire to have carefree sex and another woman’s profound belief that dispensing certain drugs could make her complicit in the killing of a child, are we really compelled by the Constitution to side with concupiscence over conscience?

In fact, Ms. O’Neill implies not just that the Constitution protects “birth control” – but that it requires every person in the medical profession to accommodate the pharmaceutical desires of any sexually active woman at any time she asks.

Of course, if one pharmacist won’t fill a prescription, another pharmacist will – usually at the same location. At worst, in most parts of the country, a woman wanting to refill her pills might have to drive another mile down the road to get them. But according to NOW, that’s just too far to go for the sake of a fellow citizen’s conscience.

Is that really the mindset of most women in America?

A similar lapse of insight is detectable in the ongoing efforts of The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, via lawsuit, to extend over-the-counter access to the drug Plan B – the so-called “morning after” pill – to women younger than 18. A federal court found in favor of CRR, but the case is currently on appeal. (Full disclosure: the Alliance Defense Fund is co-counsel for those appealing the decision.)

Nancy Northup, president of CRR, celebrated the court’s decision as “a tremendous victory for all Americans who expect the government to safeguard public health.”

“Today,” she added, “all women – including young women for whom the barriers and the benefits are so great – are one step closer to having the access they need and deserve.”

Of course, giving teens access to abortion pills is a great way to keep them from going to their parents, or a doctor, and confessing their pregnancy. That means it’s also a great way to ensure that they don’t get checked for the now-rampant sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) that are infecting so many underage and extramarital sexual adventurers. Will that evasion help “safeguard public health?”

Some interesting statistics: four in 10 young women now become pregnant before they’re 20; one in four will contract an STD; one in two rape victims is under the age of 18. How many of those girls does Ms. Northup think would be better off dodging a doctor? How many will surmount the extraordinary emotional fallout of having an abortion?

In her zeal to celebrate the rights of teens to avoid parental consent, Ms. Northup fails to consider that half of those uninformed parents are women themselves. Do most mothers really celebrate the idea that, thanks to the intervention of organizations like CRR, their underage daughters can now have sex, contract an STD, and undergo a self-administered abortion without ever confiding any of that to her folks?

In fact, NOW and CRR and their self-congratulatory leadership have no more real interest in the rights or needs or concerns of women than Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt do – they are simply guardians of a legal and political agenda who, wrapped in feminist gauze, are willing to risk the bodies, the freedoms, and even the souls of other women to accomplish their deeply self-serving goals.

And what are those goals? Apparently, the same as Mr. Heffner’s and Mr. Flynt’s: unlimited sex with unlimited partners for every man, woman, and child in America…with no physical, legal, moral, or emotional restrictions of any kind.

That’s a goal they’re inching very close to achieving, but it’s one that ignores not only what most women really want, but the immutable facts of life.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Opposition to Equally Shared Parenting Bill in Canada Never Explains What's so Great about the Current System

August 22nd, 2009 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

As Glenn reported earlier, a bill to require the presumption of shared parenting in Canadian family courts has been introduced in that country's Parliament. It's been met with a considerable amount of disinformation from opponents. As in Australia, anything that even suggests an increase in the rights of a child to a relationship with his/her father is met with cries of alarm and outrage.

Some of that is principled concern about things like the practicalities of shared parenting. Would a six-month-old have to be shuttled weekly between households? Some people truly don't understand what a presumption of equally shared parenting means. If it would require courts to give equal access to violent, abusive or neglectful parents, they're understandably against it. Of course it would do no such thing, but plenty of perfectly well-intended people may not yet understand that.

So part of the opposition to a presumption of equally shared parenting is understandable. Proponents need to do a better job of educating people about what equally shared parenting is and what it's not.

A legal presumption is a rule of procedure for judges to follow. All it means is that if neither side to a dispute produces evidence against the presumption, the judge is obligated to follow the presumption.

The most commonly recognized legal presumption is surely the presumption of innocence in criminal cases. When a person is accused of criminal activity, he/she is protected by the presumption of innocence. Therefore, the prosecution is required to produce evidence to overcome the presumption, i.e. evidence of guilt. If the prosecution comes into court with no evidence, or insufficient evidence, of guilt, the judge is required by law to enter a judgment of not guilty and let the accused go free.

That's how a presumption works. It effectivley places the burden of proof on the side that opposes the presumption. If a presumption of shared parenting existed, it would place the burden of proof on whatever party to a custody proceeding opposed equally shared parenting. Certain things would be slam-dunk winners such as actual proof of violence, abuse or neglect. Others would be up to the judge to decide. Gradually, cases would make their way to appellate courts and a more complete jurisprudence on what would or would not be sufficient to overcome the presumption would take shape.

Articles like this one don't do much to help public understanding of the presumption of equally shared parenting (Winnipeg Sun, 8/20/09). My guess is that the writer doesn't have a good grasp of it herself. Her first paragraph makes equally shared parenting look like nothing more than an exercise in semantics.

Further down the page she says,

"Vellacott's bill may be well intended but no one's figured out how to make two ex-lovers who hate each other more than they love their kids compromise for everyone's benefit."

True enough. But of course the purpose of equally shared parenting is not, never has been and never will be altering the feelings of divorcing parents. If opponents demand that of equally shared parenting, they set the bar too high. And of course they set it higher than they do for the current system. After all, when was the last time you heard the current divorce and custody system criticized because it fails to make divorcing couples like each other and behave better?

Which brings me to a point I've raised before in discussing Australia's backtracking on equally shared parenting after less than three years. If people want to speak out against shared parenting, fine. But when they do, they should invariably be required to explain why, if equally shared parenting is so bad, the current system is preferable. The current system is awful, but if they don't propose an alternative, that's what they're arguing for when they oppose equal parenting.

People who oppose equally shared parenting need to fill us in on why it's OK, given all we know about the value of fathers to children, to separate the two. We know from mountains of social science accumulated by a vast array of researchers in countless different ways, in many different cultures, that children with actively-involved fathers do better than those without. We know that children, mothers, fathers and society generally benefit from father invovlement with children.

We also know that the current system in the United States "awards" primary custody to mothers in 84% of cases (U.S. Census Bureau). We also know that, in the vast majority of cases, non-custodial parents (mothers and fathers both), tend to become non-parents in that capacity. They tend to recede from their children's lives and become "Disneyland parents." (Journal of Family Issues, Susan Stewart, Iowa State University) That is precisely the opposite of what we should be trying to accomplish.

Finally, we also know that the single factor that overwhelms all the others in explaining why 70% of divorces are filed by women is child custody. Women know to a virtual certainty that they'll get the kids in a divorce; men know they'll lose them. Men don't want that, so they tend not to file for divorce (Brinig & Allen, American Law and Economics Review, 2000). In states that have enacted joint custody, the divorce rate dropped immediately afterward. So the presumption of equally shared parenting would likely have the additional benefit of cutting the divorce rate.

But again, the next time you hear or read someone opposing equally shared parenting, ask him/her what he/she likes so much about the current system http://glennsacks.com/blog/?p=4125