fathers' rights on fathers' day

Sarah Buttenwieser has a very well-written, long feature on the "father's rights movement" in MMO today. I helped her with some of the research and she references my recent NYT piece.

She's more than fair in her assessment of this social movement.

Then Judith Stadtman Tucker, MMO editor weighs in with an Op-Ed piece on the same topic, titled What's Wrong With the Fathers' Rights Movement? (a lot).

You should check out both pieces.


Anonymous said...

So do you just think fathers don't matter at all to children?

Anonymous said...

Nice. Really nice. On Father's Day, you elect to link to stories which, either subtly, or overtly, view men as unreformed abusers. What a grotesque cheap shot.

Without commenting on the legitimacy of the "Father's Rights" movement, and any concomitant nutjobs that go along with that specific tagline, there can be little dispute the the court system in modern America, generally speaking, favors mothers, and ignores fathers. The automatic presumption, most of the time, is that Mom gets custody, and Dad writes a check. Dad's "rights," like scheduling and visitation, are ceded to Mom.

Feel free to disagree, as I'm sure you will. But I will simply say, that as an involved, committed divorced dad for over seven years, the court system is biased against me. Period.

It would probably be simpler for the FemiNazi wing if all men were drunken abusers - then it would be quite simple to pigeonhole the entire concept of a more level playing field for Dads in divorce as the product of a collective testosterone-induced control mania. Instead, guys who go about their business of regular vistiation, involvement (yes, parent-teacher conferences) often in spite of Mom's best efforts to the contrary (with a battery of legal support) and paying the biweekly child support checks,are unfortunate complications, "casualties of war" in a broader struggle to marginalize men in every way.

Not that I'm bitter.

katie allison granju said...

I am sure, DC, that you are an excellent father. My children's father is a very involved, excellent father. My own father was, in many ways, my primary parent. I am also very close to my grandfather, Uncle John (whom you know) and brother and cousin, both of whom are great Dads. And I even remain close to my father-in-law, who is a terrific grandfather to my children.

So if you think I am anti-father, you are flat wrong. Just dead wrong.

Presumptive joint custody, however, is a bad legal theory. It may make it easier for judges, but PRESUMPTIVE anything isn't best for children.

If joint custody is the best choice for a particular divorcing couple, that will become clear in the negotiations/evaluations/trial. But presuming it's best is no more reasonable than presuming the mothershould always get sole custody, as used to be the case. Each family's circumstances are different.

And there are many BAD fathers out there, some of whom try to harass and stalk the mothers of their children via the family courts. To deny this is naive.

You can be a great father while acknowledging their are some crazy and bad fathers out there. You can also be a great mother while acknowledging their are some crazy and bad mothers out there.

Many ofthe craziest, angriest bad fathers are involved in this "fathers' rights" movement.


Anonymous said...

So why point that out on Father's Day? Why not mention crazy bad mothers on Father's day? I can easily acknowledge that there are nutjobs who have hijacked almost any movement - the fringe often defines the public perception of almost any political effort, ofetn to its detriment. I am sure that there are entirely reasonable people in almost every faction of American politics that wish the nutjob element of their crew would just shut up. And for the record, I not only didn't deny that bad fathers had hijacked this movement (so I am not naive), I explicitly acknowledge it. Pointing out bad fathers misbehaving on Father's Day is not very nice.

And as for what the case today is, it's still Presumptively Mom (there has to be a starting point - it's either presumptively Mom, presumptively Dad or presumptively joint - there has to be a baseline). Mom's get custody, period, unless Dad fights for it. It's one of the unfortunate developments (an unintended consequence) of an entirely reasonable backlash against centuries of legal prejudice in favor of men and against women, including in family disputes. Now, in order for a father to have any other outcome other the standard presumptive case (mom gets custody, dad writes check), he must contest some aspect of the divorce. It means a trial, with all of its associated nastiness (primarily of the lawyer variety) becomes more likely. Lawyers are trained to WIN, not mediate, to defend their client, not the kids. That's how our legal system works. So, again, if a Dad wants any other outcome than the current "norm", a fight will ensue. That's too bad.

Anonymous said...

gosh, I am glad I had to get back to listening to Toby Keith and hooking fish by the eyeballs for my dinner....or I would have deprived these folks of the chance to make their point because they said it better than I.
what an incredibly cheap shot on fathers day....
to be honest I read one of the links, the other one did not work...and I then read the article by a Trish something or another that is a rebuttal to the "mothers rights, anti fathers rights" folks...that was linked to the first anti fathers right piece to be honest, I tried to read iwth an open mind but the fathers rights woman made a lot more clear points..whereas Katies person she linked to just seemed to say one thing and I was like OK and what is the point of this....she seemed to be a very scared frightened woman, afraid that if she allowed that SOME of the men involved in the fathers rights movement have very valid points, then she is opening the door to allow all women to be taken advantage of in the worst way.
I have read quite a bit of fathers rights stuff and while I think there is plenty of room for someone to use the movement for nefarious purposes, if you dont think WOMEN do the same thing with people who are inclined to automatically see them as the wronged party, you are sadly mistaken.(no one gets asked questions by battered womens advocates to see if they are telling the truth or just trying to ruin their exes names..and how many women have called teh police as a trump card in an argument only to find that they now have an unwanted guest..the state..ion thier marraige) unfortunately when you get custody issues going on a lot of times its who can lie better and not appear that they are lying ...sad but true....
despite Katies claims to like seems that she mainly likes those she can push around. most of the stuff she links too, whether it be fathers rights, breastfeeding, etc etc..are just all about that big ole bad male conspiracy to keep down women that she thinks exists everywhere. if this day and shots at men are allowed and even encouraged (anyone seen those "Boys are stupid" T shirts..can you IMAGINE the outcry if preteen boys took to carrying notebooks and wearing clothing imprinted with "Girls are stupid"???? Ms magazine would be going right for their BALLS) while men can recieve all kinds of harrassment and suspensions if they fail to remember that telling a female coworker that she looks nice today is victimization.
so, belatedly...a BIG happy fathers day to all the guys who are good spite of our culture that tells you that you are not important...that women are all a child needs and that little boys would be sooo much better off if they just acted more like little girls.

Anonymous said...

one thing you need to remember about Katie is that she was steeped in Ms magazine and feminazi training since the womb. therefore, no matter how many nice men she personally knows...they are probably exceptions to the larger reality of male domination and nastiness. and to the feminazi, the only "nice" man is one who agrees with certain political points..a man who, say, believes it is wrong to allow women the right to murder their own pre born automatically an unfeeling brute because he has failed to go along with the agenda. a man who might want a woman to, say, learn to cook so everyone can stop eating chinese takeout, definately has some issues with misogyny. he can learn to cook his OWN damn dinner...right..thats the feminist battlecry....

Anonymous said...

Speaking of fringe elements hijacking one's argument...I don't recall so much as hinting at abortion, or any other hot-button issues.

And despite the implication (my bad), I did not mean to sugest that Katie was a FemiNazi, only that there are fringe elements in the women's movement that are anti-male and anti-father (and by pointing that out, it doesn't make me anti-woman or anti-mom).

I did not intend a personal attack here, only to point out that I thought it unfortunate, and not very nice, to bring up the "men are bad" link on Father's Day.

Anonymous said...

no, I was simply pointing out that it is so like a feminist to hi jack a pro male holiday to point out men that suck. ditto on the hijacking of valentines day (although I think its a stupid holiday, loved mostly by hallmark, the REAL valentines day story rarely surfaces and its only an occasion to feel like shit if you are single.... I digress) for "the vagina monologues"..