Monday, June 29, 2009

Persistent Myths in Feminist Scholarship


Persistent Myths in Feminist Scholarship

By Christina Hoff Sommers

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Harder to kill than a vampire." That is what the sociologist Joel Best calls a bad statistic. But, as I have discovered over the years, among false statistics the hardest of all to slay are those promoted by feminist professors. Consider what happened recently when I sent an e-mail message to the Berkeley law professor Nancy K. D. Lemon pointing out that the highly praised textbook that she edited, Domestic Violence Law (second edition, Thomson/West, 2005), contained errors.

Her reply began: "I appreciate and share your concern for veracity in all of our scholarship. However, I would expect a colleague who is genuinely concerned about such matters to contact me directly and give me a chance to respond before launching a public attack on me and my work, and then contacting me after the fact."

The critical work of 21st-century feminism will be to help women in the developing world, especially in Muslim societies, in their struggle for basic rights.

I confess: I had indeed publicly criticized Lemon's book, in campus lectures and in a post on I had always thought that that was the usual practice of intellectual argument. Disagreement is aired, error corrected, truth affirmed. Indeed, I was moved to write to her because of the deep consternation of law students who had attended my lectures: If authoritative textbooks contain errors, how are students to know whether they are being educated or indoctrinated? Lemon's book has been in law-school classrooms for years.

One reason that feminist scholarship contains hard-to-kill falsehoods is that reasonable, evidence-backed criticism is regarded as a personal attack. Lemon's Domestic Violence Law is organized as a conventional law-school casebook--a collection of judicial opinions, statutes, and articles selected, edited, and commented upon by the author. The first selection, written by Cheryl Ward Smith (no institutional affiliation is given), offers students a historical perspective on domestic-violence law. According to Ward: "The history of women's abuse began over 2,700 years ago in the year 753 BC. It was during the reign of Romulus of Rome that wife abuse was accepted and condoned under the Laws of Chastisement. . . . The laws permitted a man to beat his wife with a rod or switch so long as its circumference was no greater than the girth of the base of the man's right thumb. The law became commonly know as 'The Rule of Thumb.' These laws established a tradition which was perpetuated in English Common Law in most of Europe."

Where to begin? How about with the fact that Romulus of Rome never existed. He is a figure in Roman mythology--the son of Mars, nursed by a wolf. Problem 2: The phrase "rule of thumb" did not originate with any law about wife beating, nor has anyone ever been able to locate any such law. It is now widely regarded as a myth, even among feminist professors.

A few pages later, in a selection by Joan Zorza, a domestic-violence expert, students read, "The March of Dimes found that women battered during pregnancy have more than twice the rate of miscarriages and give birth to more babies with more defects than women who may suffer from any immunizable illness or disease." Not true. When I recently read Zorza's assertion to Richard P. Leavitt, director of science information at the March of Dimes, he replied, "That is a total error on the part of the author. There was no such study." The myth started in the early 1990s, he explained, and resurfaces every few years.

Zorza also informs readers that "between 20 and 35 percent of women seeking medical care in emergency rooms in America are there because of domestic violence." Studies by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, indicate that the figure is closer to 1 percent.

Few students would guess that the Lemon book is anything less than reliable. The University of California at Berkeley's online faculty profile of Lemon hails it as the "premiere" text of the genre. It is part of a leading casebook series, published by Thomson/West, whose board of academic advisers, prominently listed next to the title page, includes many eminent law professors.

I mentioned these problems in my message to Lemon. She replied: "I have looked into your assertions and requested documentation from Joan Zorza regarding the March of Dimes study and the statistics on battered women in emergency rooms. She provided both of these promptly."

If that's the case, Zorza and Lemon might share their documentation with Leavitt, of the March of Dimes, who is emphatic that it does not exist. They might also contact the Centers for Disease Control statistician Janey Hsiao, who wrote to me that "among ED [Emergency Department] visits made by females, the percent of having physical abuse by spouse or partner is 0.02 percent in 2003 and 0.01 percent in 2005."

Here is what Lemon says about Cheryl Ward Smith's essay on Romulus and the rule of thumb: "I made a few minor editorial changes in the Smith piece so that it is more accurate. However, overall it appeared to be correct."

A few minor editorial changes? Students deserve better. So do women victimized by violence.

Feminist misinformation is pervasive. In their eye-opening book, Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies (Lexington Books, 2003), the professors Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge describe the "sea of propaganda" that overwhelms the contemporary feminist classroom. The formidable Christine Rosen (formerly Stolba), in her 2002 report on the five leading women's-studies textbooks, found them rife with falsehoods, half-truths, and "deliberately misleading sisterly sophistries." Are there serious scholars in women's studies? Yes, of course. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, an anthropologist at the University of California at Davis; Janet Zollinger Giele, a sociologist at Brandeis; and Anne Mellor, a literary scholar at UCLA, to name just three, are models of academic excellence and integrity. But they are the exception. Lemon's book typifies the departmental mind-set.

Consider The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World (2008), by the feminist scholar Joni Seager, chair of the Hunter College geography department. Now in its fourth edition, Seager's atlas was named "reference book of the year" by the American Library Association when it was published. "Nobody should be without this book," says the feminist icon Gloria Steinem. "A wealth of fascinating information," enthuses The Washington Post. Fascinating, maybe. But the information is misleading and, at least in one instance, flat-out false.

One color-coded map illustrates how women are kept "in their place" by restrictions on their mobility, dress, and behavior. Somehow the United States comes out looking as bad in this respect as Somalia, Uganda, Yemen, Niger, and Libya. All are coded with the same shade of green to indicate places where "patriarchal assumptions" operate in "potent combination with fundamentalist religious interpretations." Seager's logic? She notes that in parts of Uganda, a man can claim an unmarried woman as his wife by raping her. The United States gets the same low rating on Seager's charts because, she notes, "State legislators enacted 301 anti-abortion measures between 1995 and 2001." Never mind that the Ugandan practice is barbaric, that U.S. abortion law is exceptionally liberal among the nations of the world, and that the activism and controversy surrounding the issue of abortion in the United States is a sign of a vigorous free democracy working out its disagreements.

On another map, the United States gets the same rating for domestic violence as Uganda and Haiti. Seager backs up that verdict with that erroneous and ubiquitous emergency-room factoid: "22 percent-35 percent of women who visit a hospital emergency room do so because of domestic violence."

The critical work of 21st-century feminism will be to help women in the developing world, especially in Muslim societies, in their struggle for basic rights. False depictions of the United States as an oppressive "patriarchy" are a ludicrous distraction. If American women are as oppressed as Ugandan women, then American feminists would be right to focus on their domestic travails and let the Ugandan women fend for themselves.

All books have mistakes, so why pick on the feminists? My complaint with feminist research is not so much that the authors make mistakes; it is that the mistakes are impervious to reasoned criticism. They do not get corrected. The authors are passionately committed to the proposition that American women are oppressed and under siege. The scholars seize and hold on for dear life to any piece of data that appears to corroborate their dire worldview. At the same time, any critic who attempts to correct the false assumptions is dismissed as a backlasher and an anti-feminist crank.

Why should it matter if a large number of professors think and say a lot of foolish and intemperate things? Here are three reasons to be concerned:

1) False assertions, hyperbole, and crying wolf undermine the credibility and effectiveness of feminism. The United States, and the world, would greatly benefit from an intellectually responsible, reality-based women's movement.

2) Over the years, the feminist fictions have made their way into public policy. They travel from the women's-studies textbooks to women's advocacy groups and then into news stories. Soon after, they are cited by concerned political leaders. President Obama recently issued an executive order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls. As he explained, "The purpose of this council is to ensure that American women and girls are treated fairly in all matters of public policy." He and Congress are also poised to use the celebrated Title IX gender-equity law to counter discrimination not only in college athletics but also in college math and science programs, where, it is alleged, women face a "chilly climate." The president and members of Congress can cite decades of women's-studies scholarship that presents women as the have-nots of our society. Never mind that this is largely no longer true. Nearly every fact that could be marshaled to justify the formation of the White House Council on Women and Girls or the new focus of Title IX application was shaped by scholarly merchants of hype like Professors Lemon and Seager.

3) Finally, as a philosophy professor of almost 20 years, and as someone who respects rationality, objective scholarship, and intellectual integrity, I find it altogether unacceptable for distinguished university professors and prestigious publishers to disseminate falsehoods. It is offensive in itself, even without considering the harmful consequences. Obduracy in the face of reasonable criticism may be inevitable in some realms, such as partisan politics, but in academe it is an abuse of the privileges of professorship.

"Thug," "parasite," "dangerous," a "female impersonator"--those are some of the labels applied to me when I exposed specious feminist statistics in my 1994 book Who Stole Feminism? (Come to think of it, none of my critics contacted me directly with their concerns before launching their public attacks.) According to Susan Friedman, of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, "Sommers' diachronic discourse is easily unveiled as synchronic discourse in drag. . . . She practices . . . metonymic historiography." That one hurt! But my views, as well as my metonymic historiography, are always open to correction. So I'll continue to follow the work of the academic feminists--to criticize it when it is wrong, and to learn from it when it is right.

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at AEI.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More bullshit from Boshier on TVNZ

Boshier dribbles more utter crap ; “No, when I was appointed in 2004 I just felt that it was wrong, that you had a court operating that wasn’t transparent and accountable”

But Judge Boshier, you fobbed me off in 2004 when I repeatedly tried to highlight a travesty of justice that is ongoing in the secretive and sinister world of the family court. You wouldn't know the meaning of the words accountability and transparenctly.How does a lying corrupt creep like you sleep at night? Remember you wrote in 2004;

“Dear Mr Burns
Thank you for your further letter of 12 October 2004. I will not be responding any further on this issue.”

I wrote to Boshier requesting that a bias and unscrupulous family court psychologist John Watson be withdrawn from my family court proceedings because he was causing great stress to my mother, who was suffering bad health. Boshier fobbed me off and John Watson hounded my mother to death a year later. RIP mum. I will get even with your corrupt court Boshier. Believe me I will.My case started in 2001.It was built on false allegations of child abuse and domestic violence. This case is far from finished.

The interview has been transcribed below. The full length video interviews and panel discussions from this morning’s Q+A can be seen on at,

PAUL The Family Court was established back in the early 80s, it's become a very controversial court. The Family Court deals with some of the most sensitive most difficult matters in our community life. It handles the painful disputes within families, within marriages. It has a huge effect on the lives of children. The Court deals with protection orders after there's been domestic violence say and decides custody matters, but the Court has been criticised over the years vehemently for the length of time it takes to make decisions, and it is especially criticised by men's groups who say the Court fails fathers, and is mother biased. Well the Principal Judge of the Family Court since 2004 is Principal Judge Peter Boshier. Thank you very much for joining us.
PETER Good morning.
PAUL How bad are the delays in say your custody issues?
PETER BOSHIER – Principal Family Court Judge
We have delays that we've got to improve on. When people have go their children's issues to resolve they’ve got to have them done speedily, so we've got a long way to go yet to make access of justice where I want it to be.
PAUL What causes the delays?
PETER Sheer volume of work Paul, we are the second busiest court now in New Zealand, 87,000 applications are filed in our court each year, and 27,000 of those deal with care of children, so it's sheer volume.
PAUL Sheer volume, and I spose you're dealing in shades of grey aren’t you?
PETER We are, and we're dealing with people, who feel that they know what's best for their children when they don’t always. They're often their own issues.
PAUL Exactly, both parents know what is best. Dr Muriel Newman however, the former ACT MP says the delays are horrendous Peter, she says sometimes custody cases are taking up to a year. Now that’s a long period, I mean even before it gets to the Family Court this is a long period of uncertainty for kids isn't it?
PETER Yes, and that’s why I've been very keen to do reforms in the Family Court, I think we've needed to.
PAUL But what are you doing about getting them down beneath a year?
PETER Well we have now a programme called Less Adversarial Trials. That’s turning the way we do court work on our head, because we're now limiting the sort of issues that people have bring. So traditionally people have flown with whatever they’ve wanted to, we've now been much tighter and we're reducing the time that we're prepared to give them for their cases.
PAUL You’ve also added another stratum haven't you, you’ve got mediation now.
PAUL Which keeps things away from the judges, takes some of the volume of work off judges?
PAUL So what kind of cases would go this mediation stratum?
PAUL Well the Family Court matters legislation passed last year sets up mediation for non judges, but it's yet to be funded and introduced. So I unapologetically want to say to you I will look forward to the day when we have funded and we have non judge led mediation.
PAUL Right, so it's been set up, non judge led mediation, but no funding for it?
PAUL Now your attitude to fathers, Judge. Bob McCoskrie of Family First, a thorn in your side I guess, he quotes – well he got this through the Official Information Act, he says the Court remains unfair to fathers. He says 50/50 custody is granted in only 13% of cases, and women get sole custody in two thirds of cases, that hardly seems to be balanced equally between mothers and fathers.
PETER Mm, well one of the good things about the openness of the Court which I've been very very comfortable with, is the that we now publish our statistics, and they demonstrate that the times that men get care of their children, pretty much correspond with the times when they apply for them. So to the extent that mothers get care more than fathers, it's almost exactly proportionate to the number of times that men and women apply. It's uncanny.
PAUL Explain that to me.
PETER Right, well if you’ve got a mother applying for sole care, it's logical she's probably going to get sole care. If a father applies for sole care he might, and so the number of applications that mothers file are many many more than fathers.
PAUL Right, so when Bob McCoskrie says 50/50 custody is granted in only 13% of cases that does not necessarily imply a bias against fathers?
PETER No no, exactly, and you can't force fathers to have equal care if they don’t want it, many fathers don’t, and Family Court Judges are forever exhorting reluctant fathers to have more care time, but I think that we're getting there on changes to attitudes, and I'm pleased that men are willing and wanting to be more fatherly.
PAUL Because there is a danger in their not being fatherly isn't there, fathers get alienated from their kids of course the less they have to do with them. Are these figures roughly right. According to some research I discovered there is a great danger in children having no fathers. A child that has no father is 14 times more likely to rape, 20 more times likely to go to prison, would those numbers surprise you?
PETER They wouldn’t surprise me, and if you looked probably at the figures in the Youth Court of the profile of young people offending, a lot of them Paul will unfortunately come from dysfunctional families, and probably even not know their fathers.
PAUL Of course on this business and before we go, was it because of the Men's Groups and the aggravation they gave you, and the what you perceived to be misunderstandings that you opened the Family Court to the news media, or to the public via the news media?
PETER No, when I was appointed in 2004 I just felt that it was wrong, that you had a court operating that wasn’t transparent and accountable, so you do need to protect privacy, but it's wrong frankly to have a court that the public doesn’t know what goes on inside, so it was always the right thing to do.
PAUL Does the Family Court have the view that mothers are more important?
PETER No. No, in fact what I'd want to stress is that what I'm most wanting in my time is to have families that even when they separate they have both parents. If we can achieve both parents looking after their children, even though they're separated, we're gonna have a much better society.
PAUL Domestic violence, Judge Boshier, you’ve called it one of the most pernicious problems facing this country. How bad is it, what do you see?
PETER We're a very violent society in New Zealand, and I don’t know why. Some of the violence that I see when I'm doing defended cases, frankly Paul it moves me sometimes nearly to tears. I don’t know why the violence is just so awful and we see domestic violence cases played out in the media, the beatings of the most awful sort, it is a problem that cannot possibly be exaggerated, it is there.
PAUL You’ve questioned some of the domestic violence programmes, you wonder if they work?
PETER Yes, yes.
PAUL In what ways do you think they don’t, what tells you that they might not be working, the numbers? 75,000 cases reported of domestic violence in 2006 alone. Anyway what tells you?
PETER Well I don’t think that we can just send every person who's a perpetrator of violence to the same programme and expect that it's going to be good for them. I think what we need to do is look at what each individual perpetrator is doing, why, their ethnicity, their culture, whether they're affected by drugs, if they're on methamphetamine you can't treat them the same as just some other perpetrators of violence that aren’t on P, so it depends.
PAUL You went on to the Stellar Trust recently which is a trust aimed at creating awareness of P, and the scourge of P and the dangers of P, are you starting to see more and more P related domestic violence, family breakdown?
PETER Yes, and you know the thing that really worries me about P is that in the care and protection work we do, that is to say where the State intervenes, it's so hard to rehabilitate young parents who are on P, and you can rehabilitate young parents on some other drugs, they can go to Odyssey House, but to try and rehabilitate young parents on P, we're really looking at the State often taking the children off them, it's so hard to get a positive turn around, that’s my difficulty.
PAUL That’s your worry about that particular drug?
PETER Yes it is, and it seems that once people are addicted to P, the violence that often I can't even recall afterwards is just massive, more than I would normally expect to see.
PAUL Quick word on the proposed On the Spot Protection Orders which the government is proposing. The Bill is in parliament now. Basically what this will do is if there's a domestic violence incident the Police are called, the Police will come round to the house, if they think they know what's gone on, they can remove a party from the house for five days, in other words on a hunch a 22 year old constable can throw 57 year old Jo Blogs out of the house he's paid the mortgage on for 30 years, what do you think of this particular proposal?
PETER Well it has my support, I think that when the Police go in there is demonstrable violence they can arrest, if they arrest they can't issue an On the Spot Protection Order, so it's a lesser being and I think it will be good in cases where one party is just out of control, there is obviously going to be violence and there has been, but the Police just can't work out who's occasioned it. So I think that there are times when it's going to provide security to that family that’s just under siege.
PAUL I thank you so much for your work, and for coming on the programme.
PETER Thank you it's nice to be here.
PAUL Principal Judge of the Family Court, Peter Boshier.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

NO Amnesty for Abused MEN!

NO Amnesty for Abused MEN!

I want to comment on your new anti-domestic-abuse ad fixture in Hamburg, Germany . If you want it to be realistic, you need to show it with the woman hitting the man as unbiased research shows women are as violent as men in domestic settings. In fact,
The American Psychiatric Association in Psychiatric News August 3, 2007 Volume 42, Number 15, page 31 has this to say:

Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women. This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

As for physical injury due to intimate partner violence, it was more likely to occur when the violence was reciprocal than nonreciprocal. And while injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships with reciprocal violence it was the men who were injured more often (25 percent of the time) than were women (20 percent of the time). "This is important as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious," Whitaker and his group stressed.

I ask why are we given false information on the real truth of domestic violence? The Violence Against Women Act has helped few women and has made it more dangerous for women. Meanwhile if offers NO protection for the men who are abused. This ad only enables women to be abusive while it insults the many men who have been and are being abused.

Pastor Kenneth Deemer

Director Shattered Men
P.O. BOX 166

JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month

Web site:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good Dad - Bad Dad ; You be the judge

You be the judge

We've always argued that good parents are being criminalised and harmed by the anti-smacking law and we currently have a number of cases in front of both the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers for their consideration. These have been independently reviewed by a senior policeman.

In the latest case covered by the media we've been saying that this is a 'good dad'. And we stand by that.

We would never support a parent who 'repeatedly throws their child to the ground'. But in this case that NEVER happened!

How do we know? Because we had an observer in the court who heard ALL the facts (unlike the media who relied only on what the witness alleged in the police report!)

In the same way that the anti-correction lobby groups use words like 'beat' 'thrash' and 'violent' to describe a loving parent who may use a smack to correct a child, in this current case, words count.

Please take a moment to read what our observer wrote (our emphasis added):

Dejected and disorientated. That's how I feel after watching proceedings in the District Court today.

The police prosecuted him for pushing his son more than once, and the son either falling or stumbling more than once. It took place on the edge of a rugby field where the son was refusing to get on and join his team. A considerable battle of wills had escalated as the child protested his remiss father's omission to bring the proper shorts in which to play. There was also some problem with the boy digging in his studs in a manner which made him more prone to stumbling as well.

A passer-by intervened and was told to mind her own business. This resulted in a letter to the principal of the school the boy attended. The principal referred the letter to the police. CYF were only involved after the police decided to prosecute. CYF interviewed the family and were happy that the boy was at no further risk. The father's out of the blue arrest, fingerprinting, photographing and interview occurred 3 weeks after the incident took place.

In court today what I have described is what the police read out as their reason for charging the father with common assault. The principle of justice whereby an accused person has the right to face his or her accuser no longer applies. It is up to the police to not just use their discretion about whether to prosecute but also to decide if the testimony has veracity. It is not up to the court to establish such.

The father pleaded guilty primarily because he cannot afford to defend the charge. He doesn't qualify for legal aid and proceedings to date will cost him $1500 he doesn't have. It hurt him badly to make this concession. He hadn't known it was against the law to 'shove' his boy. He has no record of violence and has never been in the dock before. His lawyer made an application for a section 106 discharge without conviction and the police say that due to the level of violence alleged, they will not contest this. The father has agreed to an anti-violence course which helps.

The judge took many minutes to read the many testimonials submitted in support of the father who has raised his two boys single-handedly for most of their lives. During this time, we - myself, the grandparents and partner - all remained very quiet. Apart from the father sniffing and blowing into a tissue in an attempt to hold his composure the room was silent. The father was ashen.

Eventually the judge agrees to remand the father on bail to reappear in two months at which point he should have completed the course of anger management. We filed out with wet eyes and words failing. The lawyer tells the father that there is still no guarantee he will get a discharge without conviction in September. So the distress and uncertainty he was hoping to put behind him today will continue for weeks to come. He tells me he will never trust the police or justice system again.

This is, by their own description, a middle-class well-educated couple. A couple who both work and try to raise their blended family well. The grandparents are bewildered. Angry. Like me. Disorientated and dejected. But that is nothing compared to what the father is feeling.

The bar has been lowered. The police can and will prosecute any degree of force on hearsay. Be warned.

There are some important issues here:
1. Why didn't the woman witness report it immediately to the police rather than writing to the principal. Was she just annoyed at being told to mind her own business?
2. Why was the witness the only one concerned about the father's actions when there were many many other parents present at the sportsfield who weren't concerned?
3. Why did the police not interview other potential witnesses rather than rely on one passer-by?
4. The dad was trying to get the child on to the sports field to play. Why would he 'push the child to the ground' which would defeat that purpose?
5. Why prosecute if the police are willing to accept discharge without conviction? Do they have no other choice under this law?
5. By the police using the phrase 'repeatedly pushed to the ground' based on what only the witness said, they have portrayed a dad dealing with a strong-willed child as abusive
6. By the media using this terminology, they have done what the anti-smacking supporters have done. Words matter, and by changing 'attempting to push the child on to the field to play' to 'repeatedly pushed to the ground' they have changed the whole nature of the actions of the parent.
7. Does this mean that using force to remove a protesting child (who may also fall to the ground in protest - as they do!!) to 'time-out' is potentially an assault???

There is an updated report in the NZ Herald today which has brought some balance to the coverage.

One other note:

The 'perfect parent lobby' aka Barnados, Plunket, Families Commission and Deborah Morris believe that parents should NEVER get tired, frustrated, or angry and should ALWAYS correct bad behaviour with precision and perfection!

They are still looking for their 'poster parent'!!!

As stated at the beginning, good parents are being criminalised by a flawed law.

We will continue to fight against a law that does that. We'd be keen to hear your feedback on this issue.

Thanks for speaking up on this issue, and please encourage people to visit our website

Got a comment on this issue? Email

Have a great week

Bob McCoskrie
National Director

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fathers for Justice The fight goes on for Dads

Fathers for Justice

The fight goes on for Dads
http://www.society- index.php? option=com_ content&view=article&id=272:fathers- for-justice&catid=95:prelude&Itemid=409

Imagine a child living without a father. A little boy or girl clutching a teddy bear on the stairs waiting for their dad to walk through the front door. In a broken household a child will spend many nights missing a dad wishing things were different. A million parental couples go through the family courts every year, and of those at least 40% of fathers have little or no contact with their children after separation.

Of 12 million children in the UK , one in four will have suffered the grim reality of separation from a mother or father during their childhood.

Matt O'Connor, founder of one of the most high profile and controversial campaigns of the modern era, Fathers 4 Justice, described the British family courts as "the Devil's Labyrinth" because as he bluntly puts it, "when you get into the system it's near impossible to escape".

His formidable struggle to see his two children, aged eleven and nine at the time of divorce from a previous marriage, was a battle through a legal system that `criminalises and crushes you before suffocating you with a blanket of secrecy and censorship', as described in his biography Fathers 4 Justice: The Inside Story, published in 2007.

In many divorce cases a father will be more likely to lose their parental rights than the mother, raising questions about equal parental rights for the child. Fathers up and down the land share similar sentiments about the courts, but unlike Matt, who has maintained a good, healthy relationship with his children after separation from his ex-wife, for many thousands of fathers it spells the trauma of limited or denied parental access. Of all divorce cases brought before the courts, 70% of divorce petitioners cite adultery or unreasonable behaviour as the reason for denying parental rights to the father.

Many fathers are accused of unreasonable behaviour by a partner. Henry, 55, from North London , married his ex-wife for two years before the couple divorced in 1996. Their battle in the courts for parental rights over their daughter Liz, aged two at the time, lasted for 11 years and was one of the longest cases highlighted in British legal family history. It ended in 2007. Henry's attempts to stop his ex-wife's manipulative behaviour of telling `stories' to his alienated daughter became a turning point in his life when Liz wrote a letter to the judge at nine years old emphasising "she didn't want to see me anymore and hoped I was dead. A judge said it was the most horrible letter he had ever read from a nine year old".

Henry's long-term alienation from his daughter by the court was "so bad" that Liz has grown up over the years believing a father's worst nightmare, "My daughter is growing up believing her father has abused her, and the court has done nothing to stop that in any way".

While the courts granted Henry an interim contact order to visit Liz every two weeks over 12 months, his visitation rights were "obstructed at every turn by the mother". Sadly after 11 years, 25 judges, numerous costs and divorce proceedings his final court order has marked a tragic end, "I can't see her. I'm not allowed to send her any cards or letters. All contact has been stopped by the court and I have an order stating there will be no contact until my daughter agrees otherwise. Probably she's lost her father forever". Henry has not seen his daughter for two years since February 2007 and is ordered by the court to stay away from Liz, now aged 14, until she has reached the age of 18 when she will be classed as independent.

Henry again voices his frustrations, "Quite frankly it's a joke. I don't believe the child is at the top of the agenda. The law has this idea that if they keep the mother happy it transforms into the happiness of the child, while the other parent is not so important".

Matt O'Connor is adamant that it only takes one unreasonable parent in a "nuclear legal war" to make all the difference where children are the biggest victims of all, "There's no winning in this. Women will end up being alienated by their children when they get older, Children become resentful when they find out what's happened, they will ask `why was I denied my father by you'? ".

Another deprived father shares that feeling. Dave, 39, from Warrington , was married with two adopted children until his ex-wife decided to leave and then "used the children as a lever to get me out of the house", with threats of denied access to his children. The final straw came on Boxing Day 2006 where he was allowed only two hours with the kids. After legal advice from a solicitor, as is common practice in divorce proceedings, he was optimistic but got nowhere after raking up a bill for £10,000, "The scales fell from my eyes. They said yes we can do this and do that blah blah blah but it got me nowhere".

Amidst all the chaos of divorce proceedings a number of "mysterious things" suddenly emerged such as false accusations of physical abuse by his ex-wife during the relationship, a revelation that made its debut in court, "she said I was aggressive towards her and pulled out a baseball bat in front of my children and threatened to hit her, which was absolutely ridiculous". However no police evidence could prove the mother's claim.

Matt O'Connor wrote in his book that, 'they'll stick you in a contact centre in some desolate church hall or sports centre for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon once or twice a month- if you're lucky'.

Dave had an interim contact order to visit his children every Sunday from 11am to 5pm through the afternoons over a period of 18 months at a contact centre. He recalls that visitation was frequently obstructed by his ex-wife, even in summer 2008 when he arranged for his daughter to spend a week with him for a holiday break, but "amazingly my daughter became `ill' on that day, my ex-wife never sent any text message or rang me". When he finally summoned the police to resolve the situation outside the family home where he was awaiting his daughter, the police replied, "unfortunately we cannot remove the child from her mother, it's a no win situation for you, you might as well go home".

Dave feels there is no justice for fathers in a family system where "judges will always do what's in the best interests for the children while keeping in mind that the children should always be with their mother". Throughout his three year ordeal Dave has lost two jobs, a business, has become bankrupt, and has filed a suit for another contact order after an arranged visit at Christmas last year was abruptly cancelled by a text message from his ex-wife saying, "we have stopped contact. You have been sent a letter".

Dave is adamant the legal system offers preferential treatment to the `wishes' of the mother over a father's agony to see his children where "the law sits there and listens to what mums say, and all they need to say is `he's been violent to me in the past, the children don't really want to see him', and that's it -you've got no chance". At present Dave is back at square one, fighting it through the courts, a battle that will continue to be "a massive uphill struggle" to prove his entitlement for equal rights.

Every year fathers express their struggle to have their say in the the matter of their children, and mainstream awareness was brought to the importance of equal parenting for a child by Matt O'Connor's Fathers 4 Justice campaign through high profile publicity stunts like Batman and Robin on the roof tops of the Royal Courts of Justice in 2003.

Before it all began, Matt's attempt at suicide by almost jumping off a bridge brought a "spiritual enlightenment" where he envisioned a new purpose, "It shapes you. I was in a bad place. The madness was quite good in some respects because I went off and did something I wouldn't have done if I hadn't been at a low point in my life, and Fathers 4 Justice would never have been born".

Although his campaign prompted mixed reactions by the public and the media, the words that "Ignorance is obviously bliss for some people but not for me" are spoken by a father who felt the campaign was necessary to highlight fathers like himself, who are classed as single people in the eyes of the law. Michael, 36, from Reading , has a daughter aged six and was married for five years before he divorced three years ago. After a dispute his ex-wife absconded with their daughter while he was in town one afternoon, "I was happily in town and by the time I came back she had taken my daughter and gone. I didn't find out for nearly a week where she had gone".

"the law sits there and listens to what mums say, and all they need to say is `he's been violent to me in the past, the children don't really want to see him', and that's it -you've got no chance".

After she got in contact, court proceedings followed. Michael was allowed to see his daughter twice a month for two hours at a contact centre. To this day Michael has a fun, pro-active relationship with his daughter three times a week, but even though he has played a substantial role in his child's emotional wellbeing and lifestyle, he is not recognised by law as having any decisive influence as a parent, "I do most of her schooling and all of her activity training like diving, and even now I'm still classed as a single person and have no rights as a parent".

As a response to family divorce cases and fathers struggling to see their children through the courts, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said, "The Children and Adoption Act came fully into force in December 08 and brought in new measures to enable courts to deal with non-compliance of a court order (contempt of court) whilst ensuring that the interests of the child are paramount". In respect of a child's welfare during times of separation The Department for Children, Schools and Families said, "The Government is firmly committed to improving the outcomes for children and we want every child to have the opportunity to grow up in a secure and loving family environment" .

Despite government claims that the interests of children are of primary importance, fathers like Michael are not convinced, "The biggest victims are the children. This is why our society is going down the toilet, because family values have been systematically destroyed". Michael emphasises that shared responsibility is vital as "both parents, whether you're living together or apart, should be equally responsible for the upbringing of their children by law".

Fathers like Dave from Reading only hope that his children know that he fought the best he could to see them and stay a part of their lives, "At the end of it all a child will grow up and will want to know, `Why didn't you try harder?'. If you can look that child in the eyes and say, `I did everything I could and I never gave up', then he will never throw it in your face in years to come".

However, Matt O'Connor believes it is important to realise that mothers and fathers are equally important for their different contributions to parenting and he explains, "Myself and my partner Nadine have completely different values, my ex-wife who I get on well with has different approaches, but what a man and a woman bring are two different qualities that is part of what makes the child a whole".

------------ --------- -----

Rockyie is freelance journalist. He has written for publications such as Black Britain, Arts London News etc. He lives in London

Monday, June 22, 2009

HAPPY FATHERS DAY! "I'm your daddy"

Being a daddy's girl

I really like this article and I am thankful that I enjoy a loving bond with my custodial teenage daughter.

Janice Shaw Crouse | Sunday, June 21, 2009
Being a Daddy’s Girl

“Behind every great woman, you will find her dad.” According to an article by Joanne Richard in the Edmonton Sun, that’s the kind of extraordinary power that a father has over his daughter. Dr. Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist and author, declares that the way a dad treats his little girl determines how she will feel about herself as a woman. If fathers admire their daughter’s achievements, character, and looks, says Dr. Rapini, that girl will become a confident and self-assured person who will choose a husband who treats her the same way. In fact, Dr. Rapini echoes the old maxim that the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

I think Rapini is on to something! Research studies indicate that daughters tend to marry someone who treats them like their dad treated them. That is true in our family. My husband often says that he is grateful that I am a “daddy’s girl” because he is the beneficiary of my father loving me unconditionally. Our daughter is a “daddy’s girl,” and our son married a “daddy’s girl.” It certainly has proven to be a good formula for successful marriages in our family.

Research indicates that before the age of 12, 90 percent of a girl’s self-esteem is shaped by her relationship with her father. Though my dad has been dead for over 20 years, I see him in the shape of my hands, in the color of my eyes, in my exuberance and in the ways that I face life — in both good times and during adversity. My dad encouraged me to try anything, and he gave me the confidence to believe that I would succeed whenever I do my best.

My sister laughingly says that she was in college before she realized that she wasn’t the most talented and beautiful girl around. That was the legacy of our father: each of us grew up confident in our abilities, looks, and potential. We are all confident and accomplished because daddy believed in us and encouraged us from our earliest memories.

That should not have been the case, because we lived by much stricter standards than our friends. Daddy was definitely the HEAD of our house; we were not allowed to go to dances or movies. But Daddy’s strict rules were not burdensome; he explained why he believed those rules were good for us, and in our weekly “family counsels” we had the opportunity to “talk back” and complain. It didn’t change his mind, of course, but we let off steam, and he listened respectfully. Plus, Daddy was fun. When Daddy was there, life was a party. We had a good time; he was always ready to go to the ballgames at our school and to take the family on a picnic, to a park or on a trip.

Daddy was “called to preach” when I was 11 years old. No one in my father’s family had gone to college, but he determined that he could not offer God less than his best. So, he committed to getting the education necessary for full ordination and the theological training necessary for being an in-depth and powerful preacher of the Gospel. That meant uprooting our family and moving us to another state so that he could enroll in college. During those years when he was working full-time as a student pastor and attending college and seminary, we saw the light in his study shining under the door as we went to sleep. We grew up understanding the sacrifice that was necessary for excellence and the importance of giving your very best to God.

Daddy was not perfect, of course, but we never doubted his love for mother or for us. He made it easy for us to believe in God’s love because his love was so constant and unconditional. To paraphrase George Santayana, “A good father is one of God’s Masterpieces.” Certainly, a good daddy is one of God’s greatest gifts to a little girl.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Layoffs, courts put some dads in jail

Layoffs, courts put some dads in jail

By Glenn Sacks and Dr. Ned Holstein

Sunday, June 21, 2009

http://www.ajc. com/opinion/ content/opinion/ stories/2009/ 06/21/sacksed_ 0621.html

This will be an exceptionally sad Father’s Day for millions of divorced and separated fathers and the children who love them and need them. Many dads have lost their jobs or suffered significant drops in income. Because it is difficult for fathers to get their child support orders modified downward, many decent, loving fathers are being jailed because they can’t keep up with their child support obligations.

Ed O’Donnell, chairman of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee, says that it “usually requires in excess of six months before a judge will say, ‘[The job loss] is possibly a real change in circumstances’… Six months is a long time, when you’re desperate.”

This problem is creating many outrageous, well-documented injustices.

For example, in one case highlighted by the Boston Globe, a divorced father who worked in the real estate industry had been paying $6,000 a month in child support, plus additional expenses such as health insurance and tuition. When the real estate industry crashed, he fell behind and, with an application for a downward modification still pending, was handcuffed in court and jailed for 30 days.

The Bergen Record recently detailed the case of Peter Triantafillou, a divorced dad who agreed to pay $5,000 a month in child support in 2006 while earning a good income as a trader. When the economic downturn hit, he was laid off twice and now earns only $60,000 — exactly the amount of his child support obligation. He says:

“They had an arrest warrant on me. I had to go to jail for two days. I could understand if I was a deadbeat dad. Or I was on the run or something. But I’m here, picking up my kids after school. I’m involved. Just because I don’t have that much money to pay anymore doesn’t mean I should be chastised.”

National Public Radio reported the case of a Cape Cod, Mass. , father who lost his job in January but is still required to pay $3,466 a month in child support and 65 percent of college expenses for two of his children. According to NPR:

“He petitioned the court to pay less child support but … had to wait two and a half months for a hearing. Then the judge denied his request to temporarily lower his child support payments and scheduled a trial for July … typically, it takes six months from the time a noncustodial parent petitions the court to pay less because of a job loss to when the court makes a decision.”

While the vast majority of those losing jobs in the recession are men, it is certainly true that custodial mothers are also struggling. Yet while people may fall behind on their credit cards and their mortgages, only parents with child-support orders risk being jailed because they can’t pay their financial obligations.

The system’s lack of concern for fathers is evidenced by the fact that child support officials in numerous states are telling reporters — without a trace of irony or shame — that the best way they’ve found to collect child support money in the recession is garnisheeing half of obligor fathers’ unemployment checks.

Some judges tell laid-off fathers to pay the child support from their savings. Yet most of these fathers don’t have significant savings, and the burden often ends up falling on their elderly parents. It is common for grandparents to use their retirement funds to pay their sons’ child support to keep them out of jail.

Judges’ attitudes toward this is usually an unsympathetic “I don’t care where the money comes from as long as it is paid.” Even for fathers with some modest savings, this is wrongheaded — child support is supposed to be based on income.

While there certainly are fathers who do not meet their responsibilities to their children, the “deadbeat dad” issue has always been overblown. Even before the recession, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s own data showed that two-thirds of “deadbeat dads” earned poverty-level wages, and only 4 percent earned even $40,000 a year.

For years sheriffs in many counties have marked Father’s Day by launching “deadbeat dad” raids to nab dads who have arrest warrants. These raids — always accompanied by lectures on “responsibility” — generally yield strikingly little money, but they do get the sheriffs good publicity. Given the terrible position so many fathers are in, this year’s raids will be even more cruel.

Glenn Sacks is the executive director of Fathers & Families; Dr. Ned Holstein is its CEO

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jeer old dad

Jeer old dad
When it comes to television advertising, it's open season on fathers
Mary Vallis, National Post
Saturday, June 20, 2009

In commercial after commercial on TV, the image of the modern husband and father is one of the buffoon -- trapped in a shed he built without doors, staring blankly at spilled juice, gorging on dog cookies until his ever-capable wife comes to the rescue.

Such ads are a mainstay because they work: They make viewers laugh, and they sell. And, also, critics argue, because such stereotyping remains socially acceptable.

"WASP men are the greatest target in advertising. The reason I say that is they are the only safe target in advertising," said Terry O'Reilly of Pirate Toronto, a leading audio advertising firm, and host of The Age of Persuasion, a CBC radio show.

"When you make fun of a white, Anglo-Saxon male, husband, dad, you don't get a single letter of complaint."

In his 30-year career in advertising, Mr. O'Reilly has never received a letter from anybody offended by the gentle fun he pokes at dads.

But in an age when fathers are expected to take on a greater role at home--changing diapers and clipping coupons, while also earning a paycheque -- portrayals of Dad as a bumbling fool are troubling to those who would like to see more equality in the domestic realm.

"It's deeply sexist, but what's even more troubling is that it's invisible as a form of sexism," said Dr. Kerry Daly, who runs the Fatherhood Involvement Research Alliance at the University of Guelph.

"They laugh, and it's funny, so there's the licence to laugh without the concern for the impact that it has. And I think it does have a significant impact, in continuing to reinforce negative behaviours associated with fathering and men's behaviour."

Fathers' rights advocates have begun boycotting companies that run ads they deem offensive. Since 2004, the Advertising Standards Council of Canada, the advertising industry's regulatory agency, has upheld seven complaints against advertisers accused of treating men unfairly.

In one of the cases, a father in Calgary filed a complaint against home-improvement store Rona. The spot showed a female customer lamenting that her husband does not help around the house.

A female salesperson responded, "They're all like that, aren't they?" The advertising council deemed the clerk's comment "disparaging" because it implied all husbands are lazy.

Such depictions of men frustrate Don Dymond, a fathers' rights activist and chemical engineer in Fort St. John, B. C. One night last January, he sat in front of his television and took notes as he watched how often men were portrayed as "smart," or "dumb" or "neutral." Tallying his notes, he concluded the ads portrayed men as dumb five times more often than women.

One of the offenders in his admittedly unscientific survey was Bounty paper towels. In the ad, a man and his son watch spilled liquid seeping toward a rug, as a glass still lays on its side in front of them.

As they debate how many paper towel sheets it will take to clean up the spreading mess (three-or four-sheeter?), Mom capably settles the debate, ripping off one sheet of paper towel and walking over to clean up.

"Once you open your mind to it, and you sit and you watch every single commercial on TV, anybody would start seeing this," Mr. Dymond said. He fears the effect they will have on his young sons. "What message are we sending out? ... If none of this turns around, what do we think it's going to be like in 20 years?"

Alison Thomas, a college professor of sociology in B. C., ponders the same question. Her own husband often cringes when offending ads flash on their television screen.

For years, Prof. Thomas has studied the depiction of parental roles in Mother's Day and Father's Day cards.

Her research, gleaned from studying hundreds of greeting cards, shows that fathers are typically characterized as flatulent, lazy shirkers who are subordinate to their wives and flounder with household tasks. Mothers, on the other hand, are portrayed as always there, always busy and always right.

Such humourous messages could have far-reaching consequences for both genders, Prof. Thomas said.

"It reinforces for women and men alike the idea that this really isn't men's normal home turf, that they're not able to be good at it, and therefore, why bother?" Prof. Thomas said.

"As a feminist, I find that problematic, because while it appears to be empowering women -- saying women are superior, women are supermoms, they can do everything, men can't really do this stuff -- what's the outcome going to be? That women carry on doing it all."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Australian documentary on men's health.

The chances of TVNZ ever highlighting men's health issues is about as slim as Helen Clark and Peter Davis telling the truth about the debauchery they covered up under the Absolute Power Regime. Radical feminists like Clark have destroyed men's rights in a country where weak gutted males just allow unlawful gender discrimination to carry on. She'll be right. Yeah right no wonder the male suicide rate is rising rapidly!

Dr Elizabeth Celi, author of Regular Joe Vs Mr Invincible did an excellent TV segment this week on the Ten Network's 9am with David & Kim, about men's health, domestic abuse and social bias against men. You can view it at the following link:

You can also download a WMV version of the segment from:

Dad Commits Paternity Fraud, Goes to Prison

http://mensnewsdail /author/robert- franklin- esq/

Dad Commits Paternity Fraud, Goes to Prison
By Robert Franklin, Esq.

18 June 2009

We've seen plenty of paternity fraud before, but always done by a woman. Usually she tells a guy - or allows her husband to believe that the child is his, when it's not. That way, she gets to choose who she wants to be the dad. If she prefers Tom to Harry, she tells Tom the baby's his whether it is or not.

The other way a woman commits paternity fraud is to disappear from the man's life once she's pregnant. Or, if he asks her whose it is, she tells him it's someone else's.

However it's done, I have only seen two cases in which a woman paid any type of price for her deceit. Back in 1990, a West Virginia woman, Anne Conaty, became pregnant with her boyfriend's (John Kessel's) child. He made it clear to her that he wanted to be a hands-on father, but she had other ideas. She fled to California and placed the child for adoption in Canada, fully aware that Kessel had gotten a temporary injunction against the adoption. The adoption was completed, but Kessel successfully sued Conaty, winning a judgment for $7.85 million against her and her California attorney.

In one other case, a Georgia man successfully got a judgment for return of child support he had paid for a child who was not his and about whom the mother had lied.

Here , by contrast, is a man who defrauded a woman and was sentenced to 4-23 months in prison for his trouble (/MSNBC/, 31-Dec-08). He had been paying child support for five years, but when the woman went to court to get the amount increased, he contested paternity and, when the time came to give DNA samples, sent a buddy in his place.

The buddy has been charged as well, and was also tried.

So what gives? Why is it that women can lie to men and courts about paternity without legal consequence? And it's not that he lied under oath that made the difference; in divorce cases women often swear that the child is the husband's without consequence when it's not. What the guy did was scurrilous, but the same holds true for women who lie about paternity.

If it's wrong, it's wrong.

Network- I'm Mad as Hell

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why Women Are Unhappy

This article is spot on as never is the line , “the feminists have carried on a long-running campaign to make husbands and fathers unnecessary and irrelevant”, as this ideology has sadly infiltrated all aspects of family law. In my case the family court persecuted me for seven heartbreaking years. Nowadays I have custody of eldest daughter and the system has washed its hands of my family. She is so upset with her feminist court appointed lawyer. Thanks for nothing Adrienne Edwards and Chris Robertson. The family court is the ideal environment that vengeful unhappy mothers can crucify an innocent father by alienating his children through false allegations. Thank you very much Judge Boshier and your unlawful gender bias court of hatred. Ask any of my four children what they think of the insidious low down New Zealand Family Court.

Why Women Are Unhappy

By Phyllis Schlafly

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The National Bureau of Economic Research released a study to be published soon in the American Economic Journal that shows women's happiness has measurably declined since 1970. It's no surprise that this has stimulated much comment.

This study covers the same time period as the rise of the so-called women's liberation or feminist movement. The correlation demands an explanation. You can read the entire study Here

One theory advanced by the authors, University of Pennsylvania economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, is that the women's liberation movement "raised women's expectations" (sold them a bill of goods), making them feel inadequate when they fail to have it all. A second theory is that the demands on women who are both mothers and jobholders in the labor force are overwhelming.

I'm neither an economist nor a psychologist, but I'll join the conversation with my own armchair analysis. Another theory could be that the feminist movement taught women to see themselves as victims of an oppressive patriarchy in which their true worth will never be recognized and any success is beyond their reach.

Feminist organizations such as the National Organization for Women held consciousness-raising sessions where they exchanged tales of how badly some man had treated them. Grievances are like flowers -- if you water them, they will grow, and self-imposed victimhood is not a recipe for happiness.

Another theory could be the increase in easy divorce and illegitimacy (now 40 percent of American births are to single moms), which means that millions of women are raising kids without a husband and therefore expect Big Brother government to substitute as provider. The 2008 election returns showed that 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama, perhaps hoping to be beneficiaries of his "spread the wealth" policies.

In the pre-1970 era, when surveys showed women with higher levels of happiness, most men held jobs that enabled their wives to be fulltime homemakers. The private enterprise system constantly produces goods that make household work and kiddie care easier (such as dryers, dishwashers and paper diapers).

Betty Friedan started the feminist movement in the late 1960s with her book "The Feminine Mystique," which created the myth that suburban housewives were suffering from "a sense of dissatisfaction" with their alleged-to-be-boring lives. To liberate women from the home that Friedan labeled "a comfortable concentration camp," the feminist movement worked tirelessly to make the role of fulltime homemaker socially disdained.

Economic need played no role in the feminist argument that marriage is archaic and oppressive to women. A job in the labor force was upheld as so much more fulfilling than tending babies and preparing dinner for a hard-working husband.

Women's studies courses require students to accept as an article of faith the silly notion that gender differences are not natural or biological but are social constructs created by the patriarchy and ancient stereotypes. This leads feminists to seek legislative corrections for problems that don't exist.

A former editor of the Ladies' Home Journal wrote in her book "Spin Sisters" that the anorexic blondes on television are every day selling the falsehood that women's lives are full of misery and threats from men. Bernard Goldberg calls the mainstream media "one of America's most pro-feminist institutions."

According to feminist ideology, the only gender-specific characteristic is that men are naturally batterers who make all women victims. On that theory, the feminists conned Congress into passing the Violence Against Women Act (note the sex discriminatory title), which includes a handout of a billion dollars a year to finance their political, legislative and judicial goals.

The feminists whine endlessly using their favorite word "choice" in matters of abortion, but they reject choice in gender roles. The Big Mama of feminist studies, Simone de Beauvoir, said: "We don't believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children ... precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."

The feminists have carried on a long-running campaign to make husbands and fathers unnecessary and irrelevant. Most divorces are initiated by women, and more women than men request same-sex marriage licenses in Massachusetts so that, with two affirmative-action jobs plus in vitro fertilization, they can create a "family" without husbands or fathers.

Despite the false messages of the colleges and the media, most American women are smart enough to reject the label feminist, and only 20 percent of mothers say they want full-time work in the labor force. I suggest that women suffering from unhappiness should look into how women are treated in the rest of the world, and then maybe American women would realize they are the most fortunate people on earth.

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies

How dads inspire and support a daughter's development

A girl's first hero

How dads inspire and support a daughter's development


16th June 2009,

Hey, dads, what you sow now, your daughters will reap later.

How a woman feels about herself as a woman goes back to how dad treated his little girl, report experts.

"Behind every great woman, you will find her dad" -- that's if he was an engaged, present, involved dad, says Dr. Mary Jo Rapini.

"If dads are able to admire their daughters achievements, character and interests and not their looks, the daughter will grow up to be confident and self assured. She will choose men who treat her with the same admiration and respect as her dad did," adds Rapini, a psychotherapist and author.

According to Rapini, a dad has so much power over his daughter.

"If he gives her gifts and focuses on her looks he will raise a girl who is more materialistic and thinks love and affection comes in a gift box.

"If he praises her looks all of the time, he will raise someone who loathes herself and is constantly checking to make sure she looks OK in a mirror -- we do that enough anyway.

"If he focuses on her abilities and interests he will develop a daughter who is more self assured, confident and understands leadership."

Studies show that dads give girls 90% of their self-esteem before the age of 12, she says. "What this means is that girls that grow up without a dad in the home, or one who abandoned them, are always going to be a little bit less confident and sure of themselves than peers who grow up with a dad in the home."

According to Rapini, an involved, engaged dad will be viewed as the first man she ever loved, and someone who loves her unconditionally. "Unlike mom -- who many daughters have emotional fights with -- dads don't get into all of the drama and are more accepting of them.

"Dads also have a way of redirecting a girl when she is being overly emotional. He can make her laugh and help her see the situation is not as bad as it appears. The daughter looks at dad as the type of man she wants to someday marry," adds Rapini, co-author of Start Talking: A Girls Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever.

Dads need to be sure not to pull away from daughters during the teenage years, adds Dr. Venus Nicolino. "Many fathers feel uncomfortable with transformation from tween to teen -- she's no longer daddy's little girl.

"A father needs to be there, emotionally available at all times but especially when he feels himself wanting to pull away during her teenage years. An emotionally available father can be the stabilizing force for a young woman. The little voice inside her that says, 'I love you no matter what', " says Nicolino, a relationship expert.

She adds that the best thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother so that she will witness what to expect from the men in her life, and what she should not have to put up with. "Having a father who loves her mother makes her more likely to go on to choose a man who will truly love her."



Dr. Mary Jo Rapini suggests these five dosfor dads to positively impact his daughters:

- Focus on your daughter's talents and make note of them.

- Focus on times you see her being respectful, confident, compassionate and compliment her.

- Help her/guide her in creating her vision, dreams and interests.

- Tell her she can be or do anything she puts her mind to.

- Talk less, do more with her, listen to her.


- Be controlling and tell her you will decide what is best for her.

- Tell her she is pretty and say it all the time so she becomes focused on being pretty.

- Tell her she is getting chubby. Really, if you focus on their body you will create a girl with lots of issues and she may never get over them.

- Fight with her mom and be disrespectful to her in front of your daughter.

- Tell her she is not very smart -- "if you do this, I promise she will fulfil it."

Dr. Mary Jo Rapini

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

UK - Names of judges found guilty of misconduct to stay secret
Names of judges found guilty of misconduct to stay secret

• Straw wins four-year battle to keep identities hidden
• Challenge by Guardian rejected by tribunal

The government and the judiciary can continue to conceal the names of more than 170 misbehaving judges, a freedom of information tribunal has ruled.
The judge heading the tribunal decided that some members of the judiciary who have been sacked or reprimanded for misconduct would suffer "great distress" if details of their misdemeanours were made public.
The judges' authority in the courtroom would be undermined, and their privacy unjustifiably invaded, if the public were allowed to know how they had been disciplined, according to the tribunal.
The ruling came out in favour of justice secretary, Jack Straw, and the judiciary as they have fought a four-year battle to hide the identities of miscreants.
The three-member tribunal, led by David Marks QC, dismissed a challenge from the Guardian which had argued that the public should know which judges had been disciplined and why.
Straw and Igor Judge, the lord chief justice, are in charge of deciding how to punish judges, members of tribunals, magistrates and coroners if they behave badly in the courtroom. They can also be disciplined if their conduct outside the courtroom "tarnishes the reputation of the judiciary".
It is known that judges have been admonished for being convicted of drink-driving, falling asleep in a rape trial and viewing porn on their official computers. An immigration judge who had an affair with his Brazilian cleaner and sent her text messages calling her "chilli hot stuff" was rebuked for showing "poor judgment" in hiring her. The cleaner was cleared of blackmailing him.
In their verdict, Marks and the two members of the tribunal said it was not "at all far-fetched to assume" that the courts would be disrupted if the public were allowed to know about judges' misdemeanours. They cited the example of an unnamed "very senior judge who was reprimanded by the lord chief justice".
Marks and his colleagues said that if barristers had known about the behaviour which had led to the reprimand, they would have used the information to try and get an adjournment of hearings or "in some cases an application that the judge in question not hear the particular case.
"This clearly has adverse implications for the public and for the administration of justice generally," they said.
Marks also said judges could also experience "intrusive" and overblown reporting by the media of their misconduct. This could "cause an undermining of authority generally and thus prejudice any further employment prospects of whatever sort in the wake of a reprimand", they added.
They were "impressed" by the Ministry of Justice's argument that judges were entitled to a "reasonable expectation of privacy".
They recognised that disclosure of the data requested by the Guardian would "admittedly ... further the interests of transparency and accountability". However they decided that "enough" information about the "fact and scope" of the reprimands over the past decade had already been made public.
The Ministry of Justice had published information outlining the number of times judges have been disciplined, a description of the system for adjudicating complaints, and broad categories of misconduct committed such as "inappropriate behaviour" and "misuse of judicial status" without giving further details of individual wrongdoing.
Marks rejected the Guardian's arguments that publication of the misconduct would "enhance public confidence in the administration of justice and that secrecy is more likely to engender resentment, suspicion and contempt than enhance respect".
The public should know if those who pass judgment on others were being disciplined correctly when they transgressed, the paper said.
The Guardian had also argued that openness would also help to ensure that judges were not persecuted unfairly by ministers.
Following pressure from the Guardian, the Ministry of Justice has pledged to be more open about judges who have been sacked in future.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Teenage girl sues over sexual abuse

Teenage girl sues over sexual abuse

By Gemma Jones | June 09, 2009
Article from: The Daily Telegraph

A TEENAGER from New South Wales has told of the months of sexual abuse she suffered in a foster carer's home - the third DOCS sex abuse case to be revealed in two weeks.
Amid calls for tougher scrutiny of foster carers, the now 19-year-old is taking her case against the department to the High Court.

She is trying to prove DOCS has the same legal responsibilities as a parent to protect a child, in the hope it will help others.

The university student was sexually abused by the nephew of her foster father and had been unhappy in her foster home in the state's Far North, but she said DOCS forced her to return.

She finally worked up the courage to tell her brother about the sexual abuse four years ago and he told a case worker. DOCS notified police and the man was charged with sexual assault and convicted.

"The idea of being in foster care is that it is a placement where you should be safe, especially if you are a child who comes from an abusive background like I have. You want to know things like that won't continue," the girl said yesterday.

"I just feel that they try to deny stuff, they pretend that they weren't the ones at fault."

The girl, who cannot be named, is now studying human services at university and wants to make a career out of protecting children.

Opposition community services spokeswoman Pru Goward said scrutiny of those caring for DOCS children should be stronger because they were the most vulnerable.

"The process and protocols for assessing whether a person is fit to be a foster carer and whether they have a history of child sexual abuse need reviewing because they are not picking up these cases," she said.

"I think you have to assume these children are at a higher risk of being abused than other children because of their vulnerability, they don't have parents to advocate for them."

Last week it was revealed 18-year-old Mark Robinson was placed by DOCS with a pervert who sexually abused him before a police check revealed the carer's dark past.

In the latest case, DOCS said it informed a specialist police unit set up to help child sex abuse victims.

"DOCS provided support and counselling to this teenager at the time and supported her as she left care," a DOCS spokeswoman said.

Teenage girl sues over sexual abuse | The Australian,25197,25608670-5006784,00.html

Divorce hurting boys' education; experts

This is a sad reflection of the state of the family unit in New Zealand. Family breakdown is not addressed at the coal face, where no fault divorce is the norm and boys suffer in a gender bias system that places all blame onto the father for problems that cause seperation. Male self esteem levels are low, but government thinks it's not worthy of consideration.

Divorce hurting boys' education; experts
The educational achievements of New Zealand boys may be falling victim to the soaring divorce rate, according to experts.
The connection has been made as a new report confirms that boys are lagging behind girls at secondary school, with the gap greater in New Zealand than any other developed country.
The findings come in a report by the 30-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which compared achievement by 15-year-old boys and girls in 40 countries.
"There are significant gender differences in educational outcomes, and these appear as students grow older," the report said.
Last year's National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results, released this month, showed girls outperforming boys by wider margins as pupils got older.
St Bede's College rector Justin Boyle pointed to boys' education suffering when parents divorced.
"Invariably, we find if mum and dad have split they (boys) have not had the male role model in their lives to encourage them in a holistic way about how they get educated."
Divorce statistics released this month showed about one-third of New Zealanders who married in 1983 had divorced before their 25th wedding anniversary.
Education consultant Joseph Driessen said children who came from broken homes were typically 25 per cent behind other children in achievement.
"Boys are affected by divorce very deeply because 85 per cent of custody goes to the mother and guys just disappear. That needs to change," he told The Press.
"We need to have a family split-up philosophy where we realise that sons need their fathers. All custody and access should be 50-50." Mr Boyle said boys' schools could help form well-rounded men. "We are in a good position in a boys' school to look at particularly boys' issues and address them head-on," he said.
The OECD report said single-sex schools in New Zealand were more effective for girls than for boys.
A Ministry of Education report released yesterday showed boys outnumbered girls by more than two to one in needing specialist literacy teacher help.

Saturday, June 6, 2009



Judges Callously Ignore Plight of Californians
May 29, 2009

By Christian Carangas
Los Angeles, California -
California's unemployment rate is 11%. Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger is proposing health cuts that would deprive 930,000 children of insurance and slash care to the elderly and sick. 80% of state parks might have to close. Thousands of teachers, firefighters and nurses are getting pink slips. And court workers are being asked to take an unpaid day off every month. But there is one group of workers who will not suffer.

The judges

For example, the 400 judges of Los Angeles County receive an annual compensation package of just under a quarter of a million dollars a year - $249,113.00 to be precise. $178,789.00 of that is their state salary. Destitute Los Angeles County pays them an additional $46,000.00 a year. The rest is a health and retirement benefits package paid by the state.

California's judges are the highest paid in the nation - without the extra payments which 55 of California's 58 counties pay to them. Los Angeles County's payments are the highest. None of the counties were required to make these payments. They were paid completely voluntarily by the county supervisors.


Richard Fine who exposed this, said the payments were a bribe. Los Angeles County is the biggest user of the courts in Los Angeles. It has the largest jail system in the world. Mr. Fine stated that in the last 3 years, no judge has ruled against the county of Los Angeles.

But the situation is even worse

For more than 20 years, counties have been using taxpayer money to make these payments. BUT THESE PAYMENTS WERE ALL ILLEGAL. In October 2008, a Court of Appeal in San Diego ruled that these payments were unconstitutional. In December 2008, the California Supreme Court upheld that decision.

The illegal payments by Los Angeles County during those 20-plus years exceeded $300 million. It is estimated that all of the counties probably paid at least $1 billion in illegal payments - all on the blood, sweat and tears of the taxpayers.

Judges are supposed to be honorable people. They swore to uphold the constitution. Did even one judge offer to pay back all those illegal payments? No. Did one judge even offer to refuse future payments? No.

Instead, Ronald George, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, and the other judges immediately hired a lobbyist, a former California lawmaker Burt Margolin, at $9,000 a month from taxpayer money, to get a bill introduced into the California legislature to legalize those payments, and to grant them immunity for taking them in the past.

They had an ally in the California Senate - Darryl Steinberg (D-Sacramento) - a former judge. Even though the legislature was mired in a desperate attempt to fund a $42 billion deficit, he introduced a bill (SB 11)that did exactly what Ronald George wanted, and had it passed within 72 hours in both houses without any debate or discussion. The governor promptly signed it. Such is the nature of corruption among all branches of government. Taxpayers in California will pay for this for years to come - if not forever.

In order to pay the estimated $20 million in extra payments to the judges, Los Angeles County had to plead for extra money from the Economic Stimulus Bill. That is a gross abuse of that bill.

California's judges have shown a flagrant and callous disregard of the plight of Californians. While millions in California struggle to put food on the table, its judges are soaking the citizens for every last penny. 50% of every fine levied by a court goes into a special fund to build new court houses for themselves.

Not one judge has had the integrity and honesty to come out and say that he/she will not take the extra payments by the counties, or to donate those payments to people who are starving and cannot afford health care. This is unjust, and judges are supposed to do justice.

All this is but one more sign of the corruption that has seeped into the entire system. Like a building infested with termites, such a system cannot long survive. Those entrusted by the people with the responsibility of taking care of the people, have simply used the opportunity to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the people.

It is time for a complete cleansing of the stables. America needs people who are not greedy, selfish and corrupt to run its government. The time for that change is now, and among the first to go should be its judges.

Fresh Air Fund helps kids

Hi Peter

I thought you would be interested in helping out The Fresh Air Fund by posting a mention of this exciting news on Dad4Justice. The Fresh Air Fund received a tremendous offer by some very generous donors. Any gift given from now until June 30th will be matched dollar-for-dollar. We are so excited and thought you could help by posting a mention, tweet, or by putting up one of our new banners on your site. I've set up this news release which explains everything, so please feel free to use any of the images, logos, videos, banners, buttons, etc:

We are also still in need of hosts for this summer. Host families open their hearts and home to a child to give a fresh air experience that these children never forget. Please let me know if you are able to post and if you could send me the link that would be fantastic.

Thank you so much,


Sara Wilson,
The Fresh Air Fund

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

U.S. Supremes Likely to Review Judge Sotomayor’s Ruling

Tuesday, June 02, 2009
U.S. Supremes Likely to Review Judge Sotomayor’s Ruling

It is increasingly likely that the United States Supreme Court will take its first case concerning the interpretation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The case is Abbott v. Abbott, and the U. S. Solicitor General has recommended that the Court grant the certiorari petition.

Interestingly enough the Court will essentially be required to determine whether or not to follow Judge Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion in Croll v. Croll.

In that case the Second Circuit ruled in 2001 that a so-called ne exeat right (a veto on relocation of the child outside the jurisdiction) is not a right of custody under the Hague Convention. Judge Sotomayor issued a strong dissent which has been applauded by many Hague lawyers and followed in some other circuits in favor of the majority opinion in Croll. Her dissent included an analysis of the foreign case law on the topic.

In the pending Abbott case the Fifth Circuit followed the majority opinion in Croll. It concluded that a Chilean order -- that granted daily care and control of a child to the mother and visitation to the father and prohibited either parent from removing the child from Chile without the other’s consent -- did not give a “right of custody” to the father. Therefore, although the mother breached the ne exeat order by bringing the children to live in the United States, the father had no standing to secure the child’s return to Chile under the Hague Convention.

The Solicitor General concludes that the Fifth Circuit was wrong and cites to Judge Sotomayor’s dissent in Croll. The Solicitor General also correctly points out that, in interpreting the language of a treaty, the opinions of “our sister signatories are entitled to considerable weight,” especially when both the Convention and Congress have emphasized the importance of uniformity in interpreting the Convention, and that courts in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Israel have adopted the view that a ne exeat right creates a right of custody.

Posted by Jeremy Morley at 4:00 PM

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Judge Reprimanded For Facebook Chats

My good friend from Canada Jeremy weites;

"So the status and condition and the custody of children in the application of law is reduced to this? And all the judge gets is a reprimand? And the lawyer? What happened to him? Still practicing? And what happened to the plaintiff and his custody issues in the new trial? No mention of that? Should we even bother to ask? Did he get justice? Did his children?

How many of YOUR cases were discussed this way and in other backroom communications? And even backroom "deals" perhaps? I know my case was 'decided' in this way. Think your judge doesn't know the lawyers before him/her? Think again.

Judge Reprimanded For Facebook Chats
Judge, Lawyer Discuss Case On Web Site
POSTED: 4:07 pm EDT June 1, 2009

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Judge B. Carlton Terry Jr. received a public reprimand from the Judicial Standards Commission for communicating with a lawyer of a trial he was presiding over.

The reprimand was issued in March. At issue was an Iredell County child custody and support case that took place in September 2008.

While meeting with the two lawyers in his chambers on Sept. 10, Judge Terry spoke with defense lawyer Charles A. Schieck about Facebook, a popular social networking Web site, the reprimand said. The two would later become "friends" on Facebook, which allows them to view each other's Facebook page and communicate with each other there.

According to the reprimand the next day, Terry, Schieck and the plaintiff's lawyer Jessie Conley, were reviewing evidence of an affair by one of the parties in the case. Terry stated that he believed the allegations about the affair were true, to which Schieck replied "I will have to see if I can prove a negative," the reprimand said.

That night Terry checked Schieck's Facebook page, where the lawyer had posted "how do I prove a negative," the reprimand said. Terry replied on Schieck's Facebook page that he had "two good parents to choose from" and "terry feels that he will be back in court," which according to the reprimand meant that the case was not being settled. Schieck replied, "I have a wise Judge."

Terry told Conley about the conversation on Facebook the next day, the reprimand said.

That night Terry wrote on Facebook that "he was in his last day of trial," which Schieck responded to with "I hope I'm in my last day of trial," and Terry wrote again "you are in your last day of trial," the reprimand said.

Terry also used Google to access a Web site of the plaintiff's photography business, the reprimand said. On Sept. 12, when the case reconvened, Terry recited a poem that he found on the plaintiff's Web site, with minor changes. Terry told the commission that he quoted the poem because it gave "hope for the kids and the plaintiff was not as bitter as he first thought."

According to the reprimand, Terry never disclosed to either counsel that he had conducted independent research on the plaintiff or visit their Web site.

Conley filed a motion on Oct. 2, 2008 asking for Terry's order to be vacated, a new trial, and the judge's disqualification from the case.

Terry disqualified himself Oct. 14, and the request for a new trial was entered on Oct. 22.

The reprimand concluded that Terry's actions showed "evidence of disregard of the principles of conduct embodied in the North Carolina Code of Jucicial Conduct, including failure to personally observe appropriate standards of conduct to ensure that the integrity and independence of the judiciary shall be preserved."

Terry accepted the terms in the reprimand and agreed that he will not repeat such conduct in the future, that he will read the Code of Judicial Conduct. He also agreed not to retaliate against anyone associated with the commission.