Most Americans would be deeply shocked if they knew what goes on today under the name of divorce. Indeed, many are devastated to discover that they can be forced into divorce by procedures entirely beyond their control. Divorce licenses unprecedented government intrusion into family life, including the power to sunder families, seize children, loot family wealth, and incarcerate parents without trial. Comprised of family courts and vast, federally funded social services bureaucracies that wield what amount to police powers, the divorce machinery has become the most predatory and repressive sector of government ever created in the United States and is today’s greatest threat to constitutional freedom. Unilateral Divorce Some four decades ago, while few were paying attention, the Western world embarked on the boldest social experiment in its history. With no public discussion of the possible consequences, laws were enacted in virtually every jurisdiction that effectively ended marriage as a legal contract.
Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family. The government can now, at the request of one spouse, simply dissolve a marriage over the objection of the other. Maggie Gallagher aptly titled her 1996 book The Abolition of Marriage. This startling fact has been ignored by politicians, journalists, academics, and even family advocates. “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” wrote Gallagher. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.” No American politician of national stature has ever challenged involuntary divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” observes Barbara Whitehead in The Divorce Culture. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.
” In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” The exception proves the rule. When Pope John Paul II criticized divorce in 2002, he was roundly attacked from the right as well as the left. The full implications of the “no-fault” revolution have never been publicly debated. “The divorce laws were reformed by unrepresentative groups with very particular agendas of their own and which were not in step with public opinion,” writes Melanie Phillips in The Sex-Change Society. “Public attitudes were gradually dragged along behind laws that were generally understood at the time to mean something very different from what they subsequently came to represent.”' Today’s disputes over marriage in fact have their origin in this one.
Demands to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples are inconceivable apart from the redefinition of marriage already effected by heterosexuals through divorce. Though gays cite the very desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, activist Andrew Sullivan acknowledges that that desire has arisen only because of the promiscuity permitted in modern marriage. “The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50 percent divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” he points out. “All homosexuals are saying . . . is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead.
But until you do, the exclusion of gays is a denial of basic civil equality” (emphasis added). Gays do not want traditional monogamous marriage, only the version debased by divorce. Contrary to common assumptions, divorce today seldom involves two people mutually deciding to part ways. According to Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Cherlin in Divided Families, 80 percent of divorces are unilateral, that is, over the objection of one spouse. Patricia Morgan of London’s Civitas think tank reports that in over half of divorces, there was no recollection of major conflict before the separation. Under “no-fault,” or what some call “unilateral,” divorce—a legal regime that expunged all considerations of justice from the procedure—divorce becomes a sudden power grab by one spouse, assisted by an army of judicial hangers-on who reward belligerence and profit from the ensuing litigation: judges, lawyers, psychotherapists, counselors, mediators, custody evaluators, social workers, and more.
If marriage is not wholly a private affair, as today’s marriage advocates insist, involuntary divorce by its nature requires constant government supervision over family life. Far more than marriage, divorce mobilizes and expands government power. Marriage creates a private household, which may or may not necessitate signing some legal documents. Divorce dissolves a private household, usually against the wishes of one spouse. It inevitably involves state functionaries—including police and jails—to enforce the divorce and the post-marriage order. Almost invariably, the involuntarily divorced spouse will want and expect to continue enjoying the protections and prerogatives of private life: the right to live in the common home, to possess the common property, or—most vexing of all—to parent the common children.
These claims must be terminated, using the penal system if necessary. Onerous Implications Few stopped to consider the implications of laws that shifted the breakup of private households from a voluntary to an involuntary process. Unilateral divorce inescapably involves government agents forcibly removing legally innocent people from their homes, seizing their property, and separating them from their children. It inherently abrogates not only the inviolability of marriage but the very concept of private life. By far the most serious consequences involve children, who have become the principal weapons of the divorce machinery. Invariably the first action of a divorce court, once a divorce is filed, is to separate the children from one of their parents, usually the father.
Until this happens, no one in the machinery acquires any power or earnings. The first principle and first action of divorce court therefore: Remove the father. This happens even if the father is innocent of any legal wrongdoing and is simply sitting in his own home minding his own business. The state seizes control of his children with no burden of proof to justify why. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) falls on the father to demonstrate why they should be returned. Though obfuscated with legal jargon (losing “custody”), what this means is that a legally unimpeachable parent can suddenly be arrested for seeing his own children without government authorization.
Following from this, he can be arrested for failure or inability to conform to a variety of additional judicial directives that apply to no one but him. He can be arrested for domestic violence or child abuse, even if no evidence is presented that he has committed any. He can be arrested for not paying child support, even if the amount exceeds his means (and which may amount to most of his salary). He can even be arrested for not paying an attorney or a psychotherapist he has not hired. The New York Times has reported on how easily “the divorce court leads to a jail cell.” Take the case of Marvin Singer, who was jailed without trial for not paying an attorney he never hired $100,000—only half of what the court claimed he “owes.”
In Virginia, one father was ordered to pay two years’ worth of his salary to a lawyer he also did not hire for a divorce he did not request. Once arrested, the father is summarily jailed. There is no formal charge, no jury, and no trial. Family court judges’ contempt for both fathers and constitutional rights was openly expressed by New Jersey municipal court judge Richard Russell: “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating,” he told his colleagues at a judges’ training seminar in 1994. “Throw him out on the street. . . . We don’t have to worry about the rights.” Generated Hysteria Why do we hear almost nothing about this? Aside from media that sympathize with the divorce revolution, the multi-billion-dollar divorce industry also commands a huge government-funded propaganda machine that has distorted our view of what is happening.
The growth of the divorce machinery during the 1970s and 1980s did not follow but preceded (in other words, it generated) a series of hysterias against parents—especially fathers—so hideous and inflammatory that no one, left or right, dared question them or defend those accused: child abuse and molestation, wife-beating, and nonpayment of “child support.” Each of these hysterias has been propagated largely by feminists, bar associations, and social work bureaucracies, whose federal funding is generously shared with state and local law-enforcement officials. The parent on the receiving end of such accusations—even in the absence of any formal charge, evidence, or conviction—not only loses his children summarily and often permanently; he also finds himself abandoned by friends and family members, parishioners and pastors, co-workers and employers (and he may well lose his job)—all terrified to be associated with an accused “pedophile,” “batterer,” or “deadbeat dad.”
It is not clear that these nefarious figures are other than bogeymen created by divorce interests, well aware that not only the public generally but conservatives and family advocates in particular are a soft touch when it comes to anything concerning irresponsible behavior or sexual perversion. Christians are especially vulnerable to credulity about such accusations, because they are disposed to see moral breakdown behind social ills. Moral breakdown certainly does lie behind the divorce epidemic (of which more shortly), but it is far deeper than anything addressed by cheap witch-hunts against government-designated malefactors. It is also largely credulity and fear that leads Congress by overwhelming majorities to appropriate billions for anti-family programs in response to these hysterias.
The massive federal funds devoted to domestic violence, child abuse, and child-support enforcement are little more than what Phyllis Schlafly calls “feminist pork,” taxpayer subsidies on family dissolution that also trample due process protections. Family law may technically be the purview of states, but it is driven by federal policies and funded by a Congress fearful of accusations that it is not doing enough against pedophiles, batterers, and deadbeats. In fact, each of these figures is largely a hoax, a creation of feminist ideology disseminated at taxpayers’ expense and unchallenged by journalists, academics, civil libertarians, and family advocates who are either unaware of the reality or cowed into silence. Indeed, so diabolical are these hysterias that some family advocates simply accept them as additional evidence of the family crisis.
But while sensational examples can be found of anything, there is simply no evidence that the family and fatherhood crisis is caused primarily or even significantly by fathers abandoning their families, beating their wives, and molesting their children. Irrefutable evidence indicates that it is driven almost entirely by divorce courts forcibly separating parents from their children and using these false accusations as a rationalization. Divorce Gamesmanship During the 1980s and 1990s, waves of child abuse hysteria swept America and other countries. Sensational cases in Washington state, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ontario, Saskatchewan, the north of England, and more recently France resulted in torn-apart families, blatantly unjust prison sentences, and ruined lives, while the media and civil libertarians looked the other way. Today it is not clear that we have learned anything from these miscarriages of justice. If anything, the hysteria has been institutionalized in the divorce courts, where false allegations have become routine.
What is ironic about these witch-hunts is the fact that it is easily demonstrable that the child abuse epidemic—which is very real—is almost entirely the creation of feminism and the welfare bureaucracies themselves. It is well established by scholars that an intact family is the safest place for women and children and that very little abuse takes place in married families. Child abuse overwhelmingly occurs in single-parent homes, homes from which the father has been removed. Domestic violence, too, is far more likely during or after the breakup of a marriage than among married couples. Yet patently false accusations of both child abuse and domestic violence are rampant in divorce courts, almost always for purposes of breaking up families, securing child custody, and eliminating fathers.
“With child abuse and spouse abuse you don’t have to prove anything,” the leader of a legal seminar tells divorcing mothers, according to the Chicago Tribune. “You just have to accuse.” Among scholars and legal practitioners it is common knowledge that patently trumped-up accusations are routinely used, and virtually never punished, in divorce and custody proceedings. Elaine Epstein, president of the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, writes that “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases. The Illinois Bar Journal describes how abuse accusations readily “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” The UMKC Law Review reports on a survey of judges and attorneys revealing that disregard for due process and allegations of domestic violence are used as a “litigation strategy.” In the Yale Law Review, Jeannie Suk calls domestic violence accusations a system of “state-imposed de facto divorce” and documents how courts use unsupported accusations to justify evicting Americans from their homes and children.
The multi-billion dollar abuse industry has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice” writes David Heleniak in the Rutgers Law Review. Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in the scholarly journal Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.” Feminists confess as much in their vociferous opposition to divorce reform. A special issue of the feminist magazine Mother Jones in 2005 ostensibly devoted to domestic violence focuses largely on securing child custody. Both child abuse and domestic violence have no precise definitions.
Legally they are not adjudicated as violent assault, and accused parents do not enjoy the constitutional protections of criminal defendants. Allegations are “confirmed” not by jury trials but by judges or social workers. Domestic violence is any conflict within an “intimate relationship” and need not be actually violent or even physical. Official definitions include “extreme jealousy and possessiveness,” “name calling and constant criticizing,” and “ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing the victim’s needs.” For such “crimes” fathers lose their children and can be jailed. “Protective orders” separating parents from their children are readily issued during divorce proceedings, usually without any evidence of wrongdoing. “Restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply,” and “the facts have become irrelevant,” writes Epstein. “In virtually all cases, no notice, meaningful hearing, or impartial weighing of evidence is to be had.”
Cycle of Abuse Trumped-up accusations are thus used to create precisely the single-parent homes in which actual abuse is most likely to occur. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse, an 87% greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect, and an 80% greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm from abuse or neglect than children living with both parents.” Britain’s Family Education Trust reports that children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused in a single-parent home than in an intact family. The principal impediment to child abuse is thus precisely the figure whom the welfare and divorce bureaucracies are intent on removing: the father.
“The presence of the father . . . placed the child at lesser risk for child sexual abuse,” concludes a 2000 study published in Adolescent and Family Health. “The protective effect from the father’s presence in most households was sufficiently strong to offset the risk incurred by the few paternal perpetrators.” In fact, the risk of “paternal perpetrators” is miniscule, since a tiny proportion of sexual abuse (which is far less common than physical abuse) is committed by natural fathers, though government statistics lump them in with boyfriends and stepfathers to make it appear that incest is widespread. Despite the innuendos of child abuse advocates, it is not married fathers but single mothers who are most likely to injure or kill their children. “Contrary to public perception,” write Patrick Fagan and Dorothy Hanks of the Heritage Foundation, “research shows that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that child’s mother, not a male in the household.”
Mothers accounted for 55 percent of all child murders according to a Justice Department report. HHS itself found that women aged 20 to 49 are almost twice as likely as men to be perpetrators of child maltreatment: “almost two-thirds were females.” Given that “male” perpetrators are not usually fathers but boyfriends or stepfathers, fathers emerge as by far the least likely child abusers. Yet government logic is marvelously self-justifying and self-perpetuating, since by eliminating the father, officials can present themselves as the solution to the problem they have created. The more child abuse there is—whether by single mothers, boyfriends, or even (as is often the case) by social workers and bureaucrats themselves—the more the proffered solution is to further expand the child abuse bureaucracy. Waxing indignant about a string of child deaths at the hands of social workers in the District of Columbia, federal judges and the Washington Post found solace in the D.C. government’s solution: to hire more social workers (and lawyers too, for some unspecified reason).
“Olivia Golden, the Child and Family Services’ latest director . . . will use her increased budget to recruit more social workers and double the number of lawyers.” Children die at the hands of social workers, so we must hire more social workers. Likewise, it is difficult to believe that judges are not aware that the most dangerous environment for children is precisely the single-parent homes they themselves create when they remove fathers in custody proceedings. Yet they have no hesitation in removing them, secure in the knowledge that they will never be held accountable for any harm that may come to the children. On the contrary, if they do not remove the fathers, they may be punished by the bar associations and social work bureaucracies whose funding depends on a constant supply of abused children.
A commonplace of political science is that bureaucracies relentlessly expand, often by creating the very problem they exist to address. Appalling as it sounds, the conclusion is inescapable that we have created a massive army of officials with a vested interest in child abuse. Trafficking in Children The child abuse industry also demonstrates how one threat to the family creates another. Just as the divorce revolution eventually led to the demand for same-sex “marriage,” the child abuse deception has led to demands for parenting by same-sex couples. Most discussion of homosexual parenting has centered on questions of children’s welfare versus the rights of homosexuals. Few have questioned the politics whereby prospective homosexual parents obtain the children they wish to parent.
Granting same-sex couples the right to raise children means, by definition, giving at least one of the partners the right to raise someone else’s children, and the question arises whether the original parent or parents ever agreed to part with them or did something to warrant losing them. Current laws governing divorce, domestic violence, and child abuse render this question open. The explosion in foster care based on the assumed but unexamined need to find permanent homes for allegedly abused children has provided perhaps the strongest argument in favor of same-sex “marriage” and homosexual parenting. Yet the politics of child abuse and divorce indicate that this assumption is not necessarily valid. The government-generated child abuse epidemic and the mushrooming foster care business that it feeds have allowed government agencies to operate what amounts to trafficking in children. A San Diego grand jury reports “a widely held perception within the community and even within some areas of the Department [of Social Services] that the Department is in the ‘baby brokering’ business.” Introducing same-sex “marriage” and adoption into this political dynamic could dramatically increase the demand for children to adopt, thus intensifying pressure on social service agencies and biological parents to supply such children.
While sperm donors and surrogate mothers supply some children for homosexual parents, most have been taken from their natural parents because of divorce, unwed parenting, child abuse accusations, or connected reasons. Massachusetts Senator Therese Murray, claiming that 40 percent of the state’s adoptions have gone to gay and lesbian couples, rationalizes the practice by invoking “children who have been neglected, abandoned, abused by their own families.” But it is far from evident that these children are in fact victims of their own parents. What seems inescapable is that homosexual parenting has arisen as the direct and perhaps inevitable consequence of government officials getting into the business—which began largely with divorce—of distributing other people’s children. Child-Support Racket The “deadbeat dad” is another figure largely manufactured by the divorce machinery.
He is far less likely to have deliberately abandoned offspring he callously sired than to be an involuntarily divorced father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom, “forced to finance the filching of his own children.” Child support is plagued by the same contradictions as child custody. Like custody, it is awarded ostensibly without reference to “fault,” and yet nonpayment brings swift and severe punishments. Contrary to popular belief, child support today has nothing to do with fathers abandoning their children, reneging on their marital vows, or even agreeing to divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those divorced against their will who lose their children through no legal fault or agreement of their own. It is an entitlement for all single mothers, in other words, regardless of their behavior. Originally justified as a method of recovering welfare costs, child support has been transformed into a massive federal subsidy on middle-class divorce.
No-fault divorce allowed a mother to divorce her husband for any reason or no reason and to take the children with her. Child support took the process a step further by allowing the divorcing mother to use the now-fatherless children to claim her husband’s income—also regardless of any fault on her part (or lack of fault on his) in abrogating the marriage agreement. By glancing at a child-support schedule, a mother can determine exactly how large a tax-free windfall she can force her husband to pay her simply by divorcing, money she may spend however she wishes with no accounting requirement. It is collected at gunpoint if necessary, and nonpayment means incarceration without trial. Like the welfare it was supposed to replace, child support finances family dissolution by paying mothers to divorce.
Economist Robert Willis calculates that child-support levels vastly exceeding the cost of raising children create “an incentive for divorce by the custodial mother.” His analysis indicates that only one-fifth to one-third of child-support payments are actually used for the children; the rest is profit for the custodial parent. Kimberly Folse and Hugo Varela-Alvarez write in the Journal of Socio-Economics that child support serves as an “economic incentive for middle-class women to seek divorce.” Mothers are not the only ones who can profit by creating fatherless children. Governments also generate revenue from child support. State governments receive federal funds for every child-support dollar collected—money they can add to their general funds and use for any purpose they choose.
This gives states a financial incentive to create as many single-parent households as possible by encouraging middle-class divorce. While very little child support—or government revenue—is generated from the impecunious young unmarried fathers for whom the program was ostensibly created, involuntarily divorced middle-class fathers have deeper pockets to loot. This is why state governments set child support at onerous levels. Not only does it immediately maximize their own revenues; by encouraging middle-class women to divorce, governments increase the number of fathers sending dollars through their systems, thus generating more revenue. Federal taxpayers (who were supposed to save money) subsidize this family destruction scheme with about $3 billion annually. “Child support guidelines currently in use typically generate awards that are much higher than would be the case if based on economically sound cost concepts,” writes Mark Rogers, an economist who served on the Georgia Commission on Child Support. Rogers charges that guidelines result in “excessive burdens” based on a “flawed economic foundation.”
The Urban Institute reports that arrearages accrue because “orders are set too high relative to ability to pay.” Federal officials have admitted that the more than $90 billion in arrearages they claimed as of 2004 were based on awards that were beyond the parents’ ability to pay. All this marks a new stage in the evolution of the welfare state: from distributing largesse to raising revenue and, from there, to law enforcement. The result is a self-financing machine, generating profits and expanding the size and scope of government—all by generating single-parent homes and fatherless children. Government has created a perpetual growth machine for destroying families, seizing children from legally blameless parents, and incarcerating parents without trial. Responsibility of Churches While many factors have contributed to this truly diabolical, bureaucratic onslaught against the family, we might begin by looking within.
The churches’ failure or refusal to intervene in the marriages they consecrated and to exert moral pressure on misbehaving spouses (perhaps out of fear of appearing “judgmental”) left a vacuum that has been filled by the state. Clergy, parishioners, and extended families have been replaced by lawyers, judges, forensic psychotherapists, social workers, and plainclothes police. Family integrity will be restored only when families are de-politicized and protected from government invasion. This will demand morally vigorous congregations that are willing to take marriage out of the hands of the state by intervening in the marriages they are called upon to witness and consecrate and by resisting the power of the state to move in.
This is the logic behind the group Marriage Savers, and it can restore the churches’ authority even among those who previously viewed a church’s role in their marriage as largely ceremonial. No greater challenge confronts the churches—nor any greater opportunity to reverse the mass exodus—than to defend their own marriage ordinance against this attack from the government. Churches readily and rightly mobilize politically against moral evils like abortion and same-sex “marriage,” in which they are not required to participate. Even more are they primary stakeholders in involuntary divorce, which allows the state to desecrate and nullify their own ministry.
As an Anglican, I am acutely aware of how far modernity was ushered in not only through divorce, but through divorce processes that served the all-encompassing claims of the emerging state leviathan. Politically, this might be seen as the “original sin” of modern man. We all need to atone Stephen Baskerville is Associate Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and the author of Taken into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007).
Dear Ian, I would like to respond to your article 'children need dads, not visitors'
and congratulate you for taking an interest in the global epidemic of fatherless children. However allow me to make a comment regarding your expression "When you hear the words "father's rights," you often encounter angry, embittered men who hate women". By and large these men do not hate women at all. This is simply one of those urban myths that has grown legs, and is promoted by those who take great delight in demonizing and stereotyping all males, in order that they can remove their children from their lives. With a little searching, you will note that almost every fathers group in the world, fits into your "angry fathers group" category. Why is this so, you might ask?
The answer is very simple. With few exceptions, they are responsible fathers who strongly resist the forcible removal of their children from their love, care and protection, by State sponsored agencies, institutions and bureaucracies against their will. Most have not only lost their children, but also their homes and are emotionally and economically ruined by the experience. They are not just angry, they are absolutely outraged and wouldn't be human if they weren't. Not if/but when the community finally learns of the horrific ramifications of these Government sponsored human rights abuses, they will be horrified and heads will certainly roll. However it will be too late for the many millions of helpless children and their non-custodial parents around the world, whose lives have been destroyed by the current draconian family laws, which belong to the Orwellian State.
If these atrocities were committed against any other minority group, there would be a universal outcry, yet we hear very little from those that are in a position of power, to bring relief to the victims. A multi million dollar industry flourishes unchallenged, while our communities bleed and are torn apart. I have yet to find one responsible person, who has had their children forcibly removed from their care, speak out against shared parenting. Yet I have found many who have never had this traumatic experience forced upon them, yet are ready to join in and espouse the diatribe against fathers and shared parenting. With a little searching however, you will find that most of those that engage in persecuting these unfortunate fathers and their children, have/or are in fact profiteering from the human misery they are inflicting. What they fail to realize is the fact that these persecuted and stereo typed fathers, have mothers, sisters, daughters, and many new partners who are also horrified at what is happening to their loved ones. Many are starting to speak out in support, and it is no longer a question of if/ but when the tide will turn.
Shoulder to shoulder they stand in defense of their human rights and those of their children. History will see them as heroes not as "deadbeats". Against all the odds they have shown remarkable bravery, great courage and strength of character. This is in sharp contrast to their persecutors who, motivated by greed, power and malice, think nothing of abusing the human rights of other members of the human family. Separated fathers are caught between a rock and a hard place when they are denied contact with their children: If they stand and fight for their human rights and those of their children, they are labeled as an Angry, Abusive, and Dangerous Thug or unstable hysterical nutter, not worthy of contact with his children. If they walk away they are labeled, as an Uncaring, Deadbeat who Abandoned his kids, and is therefore not worthy of contact with his children.
The worse human rights abuses in history were all once legal, the one currently waged against fathers is no exception. Separated fathers are not hysterical nutters or odd, it is the distorted community perceptions of reality that are odd. I thank you for your interest and hope this information is of some help in clarifying the position that modern day separated fathers unfortunately find themselves in. May it never happen to you 4.Debunking the ‘Myth of the Male Beast’ Re: Fact versus Fiction (aka When the Data doesn’t support the Derision) Compiled by Vern Mills, F4J Georgia & NPRA "One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."
Mark Twain. So why do the lies persist? Because they’re popular (and never underestimate the influence of a popular lie… for it may result in a Federal Law!) What expose of cultural fallacy (ie POPULAR LIE) would be proper without first broaching: “The Tragedy of Neglect, Abuse and Murder of our Precious Children”? Dispensing with popular fallacious rhetoric, let’s look at the data. Per the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (not exactly supermarket tabloid journalism here, wouldn’t you say?), the perpetrators of Child Maltreatment…
Male Perpetrators of maltreatment upon children: 169,430 Female Perpetrators of Maltreatment upon children: 285,196 (over 50% more) In virtually EVERY classification of maltreatment, neglect, abuse and homicide of children, the childs mother was far and away the MOST likely perpetrator of maltreatment of children, with the father being the LEAST likely perpetrator of maltreatment of children. “61 percent of all murdered children are killed by women!”
If M/FRAs were like the ‘Pop-Feminist’ organizations, who use domestic violence as a vehicle to increase their social, political and legal power by attacking men, we would denounce all women for this and demand mandatory anger management courses to teach women how to control their tempers and curb their violent tendencies toward children... We would demonize all women on the basis of the murderous few. While we’re on the topic of Myth Busting:
The Myth: “More women are killed by Domestic Violence than any other cause in America!”. Yes this one, that you see in DV ‘Crisis Center’ brochures and plastered on the wall at your local county health agency. The Fact: The simple truth is that in EVERY nationality grouping, and in EVERY age grouping… more women are killed by accidents (ie unintentional injuries) than die as a result of ANY violence – Domestic (ie DV/IPV fatalities also called Homicide) or otherwise.
To whit: Per the US CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control) NVSR (National Vital Statistics Report), Vol. 56, No. 5, November 20, 2007 Table 1. (Deaths, percentage of total deaths, and death rates per 100,000 for the 10 leading causes of death in selected age groups, by race and sex) for the year 2004 (not the high year, nor the low year… merely the year I pulled the data from): Age Group Deaths A/H Deaths A/H Causative ranking A/H ( A = Accidental Deaths, H = Homicide ) Note: In EVERY nationality and in EVERY age group, ‘Death by Accidents’ (ie unintentional injuries) exceed ‘Deaths by Assault’ (ie homicide) and in fact ‘Deaths by Assault’ (ie homicide) fail to even rank in the ten leading causes of death from age 44 onward. Nowhere, on ANY part of Table 1, does it indicate that more women are killed by violence (domestic or otherwise) than die in accidents!!! So… let’s discuss ‘injuries’… shall we? The myth: We’ve all heard the infamous “Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined”*** The Fact: This is not merely untrue, it is so patently untrue that to allege it is an outright malicious lie.
Here’s the data on the leading causes of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States in 1996 (again, not the 'high year' nor the 'low year', merely the year I pulled the data on): Event type / Number / Per Cent 1) Motor Vehicle Accidents / 1,504,119 / 21.2% 2) Accidental Falls / 1,243,538 / 17.5% 3) Other and unspecified environmental and accidental causes / 1,162,272 / 16.4% 4) Accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments or objects / 515,986 / 7.3% 5) Sports injuries / 483,223 / 6.8% 6) Injuries purposefully inflicted by other than spouse or intimate / 399,240 / 5.6% 7) Overexertion and strenuous movements / 339,014 / 4.8% 8) Drugs, medicinal and biological substances, in therapeutic use / 166,687 / 2.3% *9) Injuries purposefully inflicted by spouse or other intimate / 153,555 / 2.2%* 10) Injuries caused by animals / 137,639 / 1.9% 11) Accidental poisoning by drugs / 131,928 / 1.9% 12) Misadventures during surgical and medical care / 124,230 / 1.7% 13) Suicide and self-inflicted injuries / 102,392 / 1.4% 14) Struck accidentally by falling object / 87,485 / 1.2% 14) Caught accidentally in or between objects / 74,995 / 1.1% 15) Foreign body accidentally entering orifice other than eye / 69,590 / 1.0% 16) Accidental poisoning by other solid and liquid substances, gases, and vapors / 57,846 / 0.8% 17) Non-transport machinery accidents / 56,455 / 0.8% 18) Venomous animals and plants / 50,111 / 0.7% 19) Accident caused by hot substance or object / 49,766 / 0.7% 20) Foreign body accidentally entering eye and adnexa / 47,788 / 0.7% This data is taken from the 1996 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Data File, which can be downloaded via ftp from the ‘National Center for Health Statistics’.
Domestic Violence, referred to in the table as "Injury purposefully inflicted by spouse or other intimate", accounts for ONLY 2.2% of injuries to women in this age group. Rather than being a ‘greater cause of injury than car accidents and other things combined’, Domestic Violence results in only one-tenth as many injuries to women as motor vehicle accidents alone … and a paltry zero decimal one percent ahead of injuries caused by 18) Venomous animals and plants, 19) Accident caused by hot substance or object and 20) Foreign body accidentally entering eye and adnexa ... COMBINED!!!. : This quote is sourced to a 1994 ‘ Parents ‘ magazine article claiming "in 1992 the Surgeon General announced that domestic abuse was the leading cause of injuries to women between the ages of 15 and 44". In truth, then-Surgeon General Antonia Novello (14th US Surgeon General, served 1990 to 1993) wrote a letter in which she said "one study found violence to be... the leading cause of injury to women ages 15 through 44 years"… note the use of the word ‘violence’… rather than ‘domestic violence’. The study Novello referred to was a study of extremely poor, crime-ridden, inner- city African-American women in Philadelphia… a population not even vaguely representative of the rest of the country. In a 1995 phone interview,
Dr. Jeane Ann Grisso, the study's lead researcher, said that even if her study had concluded that ‘domestic violence’ was the leading cause of injury, she would "never apply that conclusion to the total population of American women" . Now let’s review some more ‘blast from the past’ data shall we? Per the 1985 Family Violence Research Survey (FVRS): as reported by women, the FVRS data indicated the following percentage of spouses who engaged in domestic violence toward their mates : Perpetrator of Violence “Minor” “Severe” “None” Male 4.9% 88.1% 6.9% Female 4.4% 87.9% 7.7% As reported by men, the FVRS data indicated the following percentage of spouses who engaged in domestic violence toward their mates : Perpetrator of Violence “Minor” “Severe” “None” Male 1.3% 89.5% 9.2% Female 4.7% 87.8% 7.5% Further, the FVRS reported the following results regarding who initiated the violence : Gender Reporting Male Initiator Female Initiator No Memory Male 43.7% 44.1% 12.2% Female 42.6% 52.7% 4.7% This is equality??? Hitch up yer knickers and take a look at some more
“HERE’S THE DATA”. The United States Department of Justice NCJ (this is the National Crime Journal) 174508 Table 1 fairly clearly spells it out: Table 1. Number and rates of violent victimizations, by sex of victim, in 1994. Total All violent crimes: 11,605,300 Female Male Female % Male % 5,026,500 6,578,800 43.4 56.7 Here are some more FACTS (vice popular rhetoric) about child support in the United States (for those who think men are inherently ‘deadbeat’ parents): 29.9% of custodial fathers and 76.9% of custodial mothers receive a support award. 26.9% and 46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support payments. 61.0% of non-custodial fathers and 20.0% non-custodial mothers pay support at some level. 10.2% of single custodial fathers and 66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full time. 24.5% of single custodial fathers and 7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly. 20.8% of single custodial fathers and 46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance. Source: [Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 – US Dept. of Health and Human Services – Office of Income Security Policy]. Further: 90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due. 79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due. 44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due. 37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation. This is equality??? And read this one real carefully, it’s pertinent: 66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is die to the inability to pay. Source: [1988 Census “Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series” P-60, No. 173 p, 6-7, and “US General Accounting Office Report GAO/HRD-92-39FS Jan 1992] This is equality??? Not a freakin chance!!!
But it does serve handily to qualify [It’s For The Children!!!] Child Support Enforcement programs for hundreds of millions of yours, mine and ours tax dollars in federal funding. In conclusion: 40% of mothers reported they had interfered with the fathers visitation… to punish the ex-spouse. [“Frequency of Visitation” by Sanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry]. 50% of mothers see no value in the fathers continued contact with his children. [“Surviving the Breakup” by Joan Berlin Kelly] This is equality??? Briefly touching on Lenore Weitzmans wildly exaggerated claim discussing the divorced mothers ‘76% reduction in post-divorce standard of living’: suffice it to say even Ms Weitzman herself now concedes her math was… errrrrrrrrrr… “inaccurate”.
Edward Greers ‘Legal Dominance Feminism’ http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v33-issue3/greer.pdf papers clearly explains the origin of Susan Brownmillers “2% of rape claims are false” mythos, tracing this Canard to an interview in 1975 that was 1- based on nothing more than interviews with NYPD detectives and 2- taken out of context and repeated ad nauseum until the ‘Woozle Effect’ applied. This infamous “Super Bowl Sunday Mythos” that “men batter women 40% more on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year” (that you Sheila Kuehl, for this line of BS). Good Criminy this one is so completely bogus … even Snopes has a page on it: http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/superbowl.asp Anyone want to discuss the infamous “1 in 4 women will be raped in college!!!” mythos?
Or are we truly expected to believe 25% of men on college campuses (or else there’s like one or two guys out there who are REALLY busy running around raping women) are rapists? I mean come on… one in four?!?!… get real will ya??? Hey… here’s a thought: take a moment and look at the expanded definition of “rape” as the surveyors (who came up with this “1 in 4” figure) applied it to their questionnaires? But, yet again such wild claims very nicely justify the billions of yours, mine and ours tax dollars in funding for the [OMG! IT’S A RAPE CRISIS!] female victimization industry. (are you seeing a commonality here… Y E T ?) Wake up people: this is a multi-BILLION dollar a year special interest sanctioned - federally funded [OMG It’s a CRISIS!!!] industry justifying these programs by viciously scape-goating men at every turn with lies that have been disproved! It’s NOT about abused, raped or murdered women… It’s NOT about abused or molested children… It’s NOT even about crime… *** IT’S ABOUT MONEY***
Billions and billions of YOUR TAX DOLLARS financing a vicious Misandric industry… preying on innocent men with impunity! This is authoritative research data spanning beyond the PAST TWENTY YEARS, consistently citing NO MAJOR DISPARITY in M v f vs F v m DV/IPV ( ie male perpetrated vs female perpetrated )… while at the same time citing female perpetrators of maltreatment of children exceed male perpetrators of maltreatment of children… by a wide margin… as well as a substantially higher incidence of violent crimes and homicides against men!
Hi Claire, My name is Peter van de Voorde from the Australian radio program DADS ON THE AIR
, www.dadsontheair.net I understand you would like to find out more about fathers groups. I am a little curious as to which fathers groups you are referring to when you refer to them as "odd"? With a little searching, you will note that almost every fathers group in the world, fits into your "angry fathers group" category. Why is this so, you might ask? The answer is very simple. With few exceptions, they are responsible fathers who strongly resist the forcible removal of their children from their love, care and protection, by State sponsored agencies, institutions and bureaucracies against their will.
Most have not only lost their children, but also their homes and are emotionally and economically ruined by the experience. They are not just angry, they are absolutely outraged and wouldn't be human if they weren't. Not if/but when the community finally learns of the horrific ramifications of these Government sponsored human rights abuses, they will be horrified and heads will certainly roll. However it will be too late for the many millions of helpless children and their non-custodial parents around the world, whose lives have been destroyed by the current draconian family laws, which belong to the Orwellian State. If these atrocities were committed against any other minority group, there would be a universal outcry, yet we hear very little from those that are in a position of power, to bring relief to the victims.
A multi million dollar industry flourishes unchallenged, while our communities bleed and are torn apart. I have yet to find one responsible person, who has had their children forcibly removed from their care, speak out against shared parenting. Yet I have found many who have never had this traumatic experience forced upon them, yet are ready to join in and espouse the diatribe against fathers and shared parenting. With a little searching however, you will find that most of those that engage in persecuting these unfortunate fathers and their children, have/or are in fact profiteering from the human misery they are inflicting. What they fail to realize is the fact that these persecuted and stereo typed fathers, have mothers, sisters, daughters, and many new partners who are also horrified at what is happening to their loved ones.
Many are starting to speak out in support, and it is no longer a question of if/ but when the tide will turn. Shoulder to shoulder they stand in defense of their human rights and those of their children. History will see them as heroes not as "deadbeats". Against all the odds they have shown remarkable bravery, great courage and strength of character. This is in sharp contrast to their persecutors who, motivated by greed, power and malice, think nothing of abusing the human rights of other members of the human family. Separated fathers are caught between a rock and a hard place when they are denied contact with their children: If they stand and fight for their human rights, they are labeled as an Angry, Abusive, and Dangerous Thug, not worthy of contact with his children. If they walk away they are labeled, as an Uncaring, Deadbeat who Abandoned his kids, and is therefore not worthy of contact with his children.
The worse human rights abuses in history were all once legal, the one currently waged against fathers is no exception. Fathers are not odd, it is the distorted community perceptions that are odd. I hope this information is of some help in clarifying the position that modern day fathers unfortunately find themselves in. 5“The last thing we need in America is yet another victim group,” writes columnist John Leo, “this one made up of seriously aggrieved males.” Yet he devotes the column to the dangers of male-bashing. Men seldom complain about negative “stereotypes,” from fear of appearing petty. So Kathleen Parker has performed a valuable service in her fine book about the increasingly male-hostile culture created by extreme feminism. The relentless venom against males and masculinity – and its impact on women and girls is presented in readable prose with vivid, often humorous anecdotes. In popular culture, men are portrayed as bumblers, deadbeats, pedophiles, rapists, and batterers. Even boys are deprecated beyond a joke, with feminist teachers declaring “I don’t like boys” and feminist curricula trying to make them girls, plus T-shirts urging that they be pelted with rocks.
The consequences reach beyond New Age Men in aprons and Lamaze classes. By far the most serious fallout is the systematic destruction of fatherhood – “patriarchy” in feminist jargon. Single motherhood is more than celebrated in the popular culture; it is enforced in the courts. Public ridicule may be sufficient for public figures like former Vice President Dan Quayle, who do not subscribe to the fashionable orthodoxy that children can be raised just fine without fathers, but handcuffs and jail cells are available for private men who refuse to accept that their own children are just fine without them. Parker shows how families with fathers are more than a cultural ideal and social necessity:
They also “keep government in its place.” She exposes repressive measures against “deadbeat dads,” including privacy and constitutional rights violations of “Americans accused of nothing,” and how this dishonest campaign is actually causing the problem it is supposed to be addressing. While Parker’s emphasis is on culture, she transcends the trendy but superficial “he said/she said” approach and highlights government power: How easily “stereotypes” result in not merely unfairness but incarceration. To appreciate why this book is more than the mirror image of feminist “whining” requires recognizing a fundamental distinction between unfairness and injustice. It may be unfair that a woman can decide to abort a child or not and that a man with no “choice” about the child he fathered must then pay child support.
But (even aside from the immorality of abortion) it is not necessarily unjust, and it does not in itself threaten a free society. Criminalizing innocent fathers by seizing and holding their children through divorce laws that allow them to the “treated like criminals by family court,” leveling false charges of ill-defined “abuse,” confiscating their homes, gagging their voices, forcing them to confess to crimes they did not commit, demanding that they pay for it all under the guise of “child support” – and all this on pain of incarceration without trial – constitutes government repression. It threatens not only the families and social order but the privacy and freedom of us all. Though sugar-coated on Oprah and Dr. Phil, what this book exposes are the consequences of a political ideology that, like most ideologies, promotes hate.
Not only has this permeated every corner of our society and culture; its ideologues are now set to assume unprecedented political power. Save the Males offers an important contribution to understanding what we may expect. Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House, 2007). 6.Why Did Feminists Attack the Family? The contemporary cultural and political war against the family has several causes, of which feminism is by far the most significant. Monday, August 27, 2007 http://hereticalsex.blogspot.com/2007/08/why-did-feminists-attack-family.html 'First-wave' feminists in the early Twentieth Century were not at all anti-family. Indeed, one of their demands was that control of hearth and home should be the domain of women. Reference. It was only as a result of second-wave feminism, in the late 1960s, that the feminist attack on the family began. Neil Lyndon, in his 1992 book 'No More Sex War', was perhaps the first to trace the origins of second-wave feminist ideology to Marxism. There had been a spate of high-profile assassinations in the US during the 1960s: The Kennedy's, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and so on.
These events, as Lyndon points out, stank of corruption and conspiracy. Yet the political establishment shrugged its shoulders and did nothing. Those who were concerned therefore realised that the political Right was not interested; they were in effect driven to the Left in a search for solutions. As Lyndon puts it, “We had nowhere to go but East”. The Cold War was in full swing at this time, and the middle-class young in the Western world became politically engaged with issues such as Vietnam, and the US black civil rights movement. There was a radical generation gap between these youth and their parents, amounting almost to a state of mutual incomprehension. The youth found nothing in the political culture of their parents which provided them with the kind of answers they sought; indeed the political culture of their parents was often deemed to be the cause of the problem. The popular songs of the time often reflected these sentiments.
The David Bowie song ‘Changes’ includes the lines “What a mess. You’ve left us up to our necks in it”. The young generation of the 1960s, whom Lyndon refers to as the 'New Left', looked for inspiration to China and the USSR, and adopted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Marxism was to become the preferred political world-view of many young radicals, feminists included, and Lyndon attempts to trace how this came about. In brief, Karl Marx described society in terms of a struggle between different economic classes; the powerful factory-owning ‘bourgeoisie’, and the disenfranchised labouring classes of the ‘proletariat’. Marx stated that ‘all history is the history of political struggle’. Thus he saw human society as being essentially characterised by constant conflict between irreconcilable interest groups. The binary class analysis offered by Marx was framed in terms of economic classes, but this, Lyndon claims, was adapted by the Black Panther movement to become framed in terms of race. Instead of society being a struggle of class against class, the Black Panthers saw it in terms of a struggle of race against race, and this claims Lyndon, was the origin of the fascistic character of New Leftist thinking.
This thinking, in turn, became adopted by the feminist movement of the time. Society was represented by them in quasi-Marxist terms as being an endless historical struggle of sex against sex, in which men are given the role of the powerful bourgeoisie, and women, that of the downtrodden ‘proletariat’. So Lyndon claims that the feminists of the late 1960s and early 1970s were heavily influenced by the US struggle for black civil rights. Many feminist historians would agree. It is interesting to note that John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote a song at this time called ‘Woman is the nigger of the world’. The slogan ‘The Personal is Political’ is most usually associated with feminism, and Lyndon claims that it originated with the Black Panthers. Interestingly, Jung Chang in Wild Swans attributes it to Mao himself, from whom it was no doubt taken up by the Black Panthers, and then eventually from there, by the feminists.
This final mutation of Marxist theory into the arena of sexual politics was the last such major paradigm shift in the thinking of the New Left, and consequently, that is the ideological heritage we are living with today. This adoption of Marxist theory was undoubtedly the most significant reason for the feminist attack on the family. It must be noted that by this time the contraceptive pill and safe legal abortion were available, which meant that for the first time, women were able to control their own fertility. Prior to that, having sex meant running the risk of caring for a child; dismantling the family was not an option in those circumstances. In part, it was the pill that made the attack on the family thinkable.
In order to understand the feminist attack on the family, it is necessary to understand Marxist thinking on the subject. Marx lived during the industrial revolution, and was impressed by the ideas of machine production. He regarded people as simply one component in a system of political economy, and he believed that we are 'blank slates' at birth - our minds are determined by our environment, not by anything internal. He saw the family as a remnant of an earlier age of pastoral village life, which was no longer appropriate for the machine age. Why not industrialise child production as well? Marx's collaborator Engels wrote 'The origins of the family, private property and the State' in the 1840s. In it, Engels argued that the male factory worker serves the needs of capital, and his wife serves the needs of the worker. Just as he is a slave to the factory machine, she is a slave to him.
She is an unpaid drudge who ensures that the worker is able to get to work. She also has to breed more workers. In this way, she services the needs of capitalism. Thus, Engels paints a picture of the family as dehumanising and highly politicised. This book became very influential among feminists in the late 1960s, and is one of the main reasons why the family has been under attack since then. The idea of industrialised child production was taken to its logical conclusion - and satirised - by Aldous Huxley in his classic novel Brave New World. Dominic Lawson, in his essay You can blame it all on Karl Marx, describes how these ideas were tried - and abandoned - in the Soviet Union: In the early years of the Soviet Union, there was a genuine attempt, best described in Ferdinand Mount's The Subversive Family, to apply Marxist thinking on the family. Lunacharski, the Commissar of Education, declared that "Our problem now is to do away with the household and to free women from the care of children ... the terms 'my parents', 'our children' will gradually fall out of usage.'
This, claimed Lunacharski, would enable the transition to "that broad public society which will replace the domestic hearth, yes, that stagnant family unit which separates itself off from society. A genuine Communist would avoid such a permanent pairing marriage and would seek to satisfy his needs by a freedom of mutual relations ... so that you can't tell who is related to whom and how closely. That is social construction." The consequences of this policy were exactly as they have been in the "social construction" we now see in parts of our own inner cities: social chaos, abandoned children and a rapid rise in venereal diseases. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union soon began to abandon the Marxist approach to family life. New laws were introduced to compel divorced parents, not the state, to contribute towards the maintenance of their children. Divorce itself was made more difficult and expensive. The feminists of the early 1970s were obviously unaware of the Soviet experiments in family re-engineering, or they chose to ignore them. Erin Pizzey describes her experience of joining the feminist movement in 1971. “My first meeting filled me with doubts. It was held in a very middle-class home in Chiswick and I gazed at the Mao posters on the wall of the drawing-room.
When asked why I was there by the hostess, I replied that my husband was a television reporter and was very rarely home and I felt lonely and isolated with my two children. 'Your problem is not your isolation but your husband. He oppresses you and he is a capitalist.' I pointed out that she too had a mortgage so she therefore was a capitalist, and far from oppressing me my husband was baby-sitting so that I could attend this meeting… I was given Mao's little red book and SHREW magazine. I took it home and was horrified at the hatred it spewed against men”. Pizzey was eventually expelled because she refused to condemn men and the family. “I realized through reading the Women's Movement literature that those thousands of women working in all caring fields, the journalists, the television makers, were determined to destroy family life in England. 'Make the personal political,' was one of their many banners. So thousands of violent and very disturbed women attacked normal happily married women and our traditional way of life. Secret meetings were held (everything was done in secret) and I received a letter '… you should no longer work in the office or attend meetings of any of the collectives.'” Marxist-Feminists came to believe that as the family was an aspect of capitalism, capitalism cannot be destroyed without destroying the family.
This is a nonsense argument even to orthodox Marxists. In Marxist terms, the Capitalist mode of production is the 'underlying economic base' of society, and the family is part of the 'ideological superstructure'. The economic base determines the ideological superstructure. Thus, the argument that one cannot destroy capitalism without destroying the family is the wrong way round; to a Marxist, one cannot destroy the family without destroying capitalism; if capitalism creates the family, then once capitalism disappears, the family will disappear with it. The reverse is not the case. The Soviets no doubt understood this, but the feminists of the 1970s either hadn't read their Marx properly, or were intellectually corrupt. French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, in a 1976 interview with Betty Friedan, stated that “no woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children…because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.” Many others were of the same mind. "The nuclear family must be destroyed... Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process."
Linda Gordon "We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." Robin Morgan "Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women.... We must work to destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men ... All of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft" (from "The Declaration of Feminism," November, 1971). To summarise, the second-wave feminist attack on the family was post-Pill, and based upon a misreading of Marxist theory. While Marxism was eventually defeated on the international stage, the Marxist attack on the family has never even been addressed.
It is only now that some are beginning to articulate the problems. In trying to trace the origins of the War Against Families, another important factor to consider is the rise of the radical gay lobby. In the early 1970s, a coup d'etat took place within the feminist movement in Britain and the US. The Lavender Menace was an informal group of lesbian radical feminists formed to protest the exclusion of lesbians and lesbian issues from the feminist movement. The phrase "Lavender Menace" was first used in 1969 by Betty Friedan, president of NOW, to describe the threat that she believed associations with lesbianism posed to NOW and the emerging women's movement. Friedan, and some other straight feminists as well, worried that the association would hamstring feminists' ability to achieve serious political change, and that stereotypes of "mannish" and "man-hating" lesbians would provide an easy way to dismiss the movement. Reference However, eventually the lesbian lobby won the day, and lesbians came to dominate NOW, and much of the feminist movement. As Rene Denfeld comments in her excellent book “The New Victorians”,
“This is a bit like the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People] deciding to prioritise gay issues just because some black people happen to be gay”. It was very soon decided that heterosexuality itself was a socially constructed instrument of capitalism. Therefore, the only really liberated woman – and the only ‘real’ feminist - was a lesbian. In a very enlightening article, My crime against the lesbian state, the actress Jackie Clune describes how she became a lesbian at university: There were growing numbers of working-class students like me who got involved in student politics. There were weekly demos, rallies, anti-government motions passed at UGMs. We were angry about most things Mrs Thatcher instigated...Alongside my growing political awareness came a burgeoning interest in feminist politics...It was at about this time that I happened upon an essay by Adrienne Rich entitled Compulsory Heterosexuality And Lesbian Existence. In it, Rich posits that most women are capable of making the choice to be lesbian if they can overturn the internalised homophobia - the "cluster of forces" - they experience with regard to same-sex union. She argues that the heterosexual hegemony is a subtle yet forceful psychological prison from which most women could break free by force of will. Lesbianism, it seemed to me then, was a logical extension of my feminist thinking, and a radical way to overthrow the capitalist prescription for womankind.
Taking that next step came fairly easily to me: 1988 saw fierce resistance from the gay community to the government white paper on local authority "promotion" of homosexuality in schools and colleges. Clune's essay is a good example of that political tendency which taught that you must be gay in order to be a good radical; you can't be straight and be a good Socialist or Feminist. Young people were urged to engage in gay relationships in order to demonstrate their left-wing credentials. Hanif Kureishi, in his novel The Buddha of Suburbia, touches on this in the scene when the young bisexual Indian actor asks his Socialist friend to kiss him to prove his commitment to the Socialist cause. This strand of thinking eventually developed into an attempt to completely demonise heterosexuality. This was the climate which produced insane-sounding statements such as these: "Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women's bodies." Andrea Dworkin "In a patriarchal society, all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent." Catharine MacKinnon, quoted in Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies. "The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist". Ti-Grace Atkinson, Amazon Odyssey (p. 86). "(Rape) is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear". Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will p.6. "When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression..." Sheila Jeffrys. In her essay, Feminism's Third Wave, Angela Fiori describes endemic heterophobia on US campuses in the 1990s. The campus date-rape campaigns of the early 1990s weren't motivated by a genuine concern for the well-being of women. They were part of an ongoing attempt to delegitimize heterosexuality to young, impressionable women by demonizing men as rapists.
Daphne Patai and Christina Hoff Sommers have described how academic feminists, particularly in Women’s Studies, have created an environment very similar to a religious cult. "If the classroom situation is very heteropatriarchal--a large beginning class of 50 to 60 students, say, with few feminist students--I am likely to define my task as largely one of recruitment...of persuading students that women are oppressed." said Professor Joyce Trebilcot of Washington University, as quoted in Who Stole Feminism The satanic child-abuse witch-hunts of the 1990s were, similarly, another attempt to demonise men, the family and heterosexuality, and to forcibly break-up existing happy families, in order to provide more fuel for the divorce and 'child-protection' industries. This was perhaps the peak of the Marxist-inspired feminist anti-family movement. These, in brief, have been the ideological origins of the war against families and fathers. The consequences of this social revolution are now becoming clear. In his excellent essay ‘Divorce as Revolution’, Steven Baskerville describes the wider political and economic implications of the situation. Virtually every major personal and social pathology can be traced to fatherlessness more than to any other single factor: violent crime, substance abuse, unwed pregnancy, truancy, suicide, and more. Fatherlessness far surpasses both poverty and race as a predictor of social deviance. The result of three decades of unrestrained divorce is that huge numbers of people – many of them government officials – now have a vested professional and financial interest in encouraging it. Divorce today is not simply a phenomenon; it is a regime – a vast bureaucratic empire that permeates national and local governments, with hangers-on in the private sector… Whatever pieties they may voice about the plight of fatherless, poor, and violent children, the fact remains that these practitioners have a vested interest in creating as many such children as possible. The way to do it is to remove the fathers… So long as fathers remain with their families, the divorce practitioners earn nothing. Once the father is eliminated, the state functionally replaces him as protector and provider.
By removing the father, the state also creates a host of problems for itself to solve: child poverty, child abuse, juvenile crime, and other problems associated with single-parent homes. In this way, the divorce machinery is self-perpetuating and self-expanding. Involuntary divorce is a marvelous tool that allows for the infinite expansion of government power. The swelling hysteria over ‘domestic violence’ appears fomented largely for similar ends. ‘All of this domestic violence industry is about trying to take children away from their fathers,’ writes Irish Times columnist John Waters. ‘When they've taken away the fathers, they'll take away the mothers.’ Donna Laframboise of Canada’s National Post investigated battered women’s shelters and concluded they constituted ‘one stop divorce shops’, whose purpose was not to protect women but to promote divorce. These shelters, often federally funded, issue affidavits against fathers sight-unseen that are accepted without corroborating evidence by judges to justify removing their children. Fathers are further criminalised through child-support burdens, which constitute the financial fuel of the divorce machinery, underwriting unilateral divorce and giving everyone involved further incentives to remove children from their fathers.
Last summer Liberty magazine published documentary evidence that ‘deadbeat dads’ are largely the creation of civil servants and law-enforcement agents with an interest in giving themselves criminals to prosecute. Drawing all of these elements together, what began as an off-shoot of Communist-era radicalism has grown, a generation later, into an international multi-billion dollar men-hating industry, a monster which exists purely to employ people to destroy families. This is what we are up against. To most women (and men) around the world, the idea that they would be better off without their families would seem absolutely absurd. The fact that the feminist movement took this particular tack is a quirk of history. If it had not been for the influence of Marxism and the emergence of a radical gay rights agenda, it would almost certainly never have happened. These ideas are allowed to fester unchallenged, because, as Pizzey commented, everything is done in secret. There is no reality check, with the result that the unreasonable very quickly comes to seem reasonable. Combine this with the arrogant contempt for democracy and individual choice exhibited by people like de Beauvoir, and we have a mechanism for foisting insane policies onto those who don't want them. It is only now that the symptoms of the malaise have become publicly visible in the form of dead children, that we have to sit up and take notice. The feminist movement is due for some long-neglected scrutiny. As an American judge once said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".