The following article is by CrazyBuster, Micksbabe:
When I was a young woman in my twenties, the concept of burning my bra sounded glamorous. However, I never did get around to actually burning a bra. Bras are expensive.
I thought Gloria Steinem was a brave trailblazer and subscribed to New Woman magazine. I got a job and contributed my share to the household expenses. And I feigned all kinds of outrage at the social injustices inflicted against women, past and present.
There was a time, not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, when women were treated like second class citizens. The women who stood up against all of society, to the detriment of themselves, their families and sometimes their own lives, in protest of the mistreatment of women, are truly heroes.
But feminism has, in my opinion, carried the cross too far.
Women can vote. We can educate ourselves. We can control our own reproduction, and we have laws in place to protect us against discrimination in the workplace.
It seems to me that what many women want and expect from society is not equality, but rather a handicap. Having a handicap in life is not the same thing as having equality, and it makes the men who are suffering slights at our expense, resent us for it. It’s counter-intuitive.
And nowhere is this phenomenon more unjust than within our own justice system.
Witnessing the way the Family Courts work, from the viewpoint of my husband in dealing with his abusive, high-conflict (HCP) and potentially personality-disordered ex-wife, it’s not only unjust, but, in many cases, the “best interests of the children” are completely overlooked in favor of the best interest of the Golden Uterus.
There is an across-the-board presumption in divorces involving child custody, that the child(ren) should automatically be awarded into the primary custody and care of the mother, with the father paying child support and, in many cases, spousal support as well. In the rare instances where the father manages to retain primary custody of his children, there is usually no support of any kind mandated from the mother to the father.
I know of a man who has primary custody of his children, who is also still mandated to pay “child support” to his ex-wife, who has the option of seeing her children or not, and often chooses the latter. Yet, if this man were to miss a “child support” payment, he would find himself in court and quite possibly face jail time. The double standards in the family courts are disgusting.
If you are in this forum, you have likely been forced to or are facing the very strong reality of being forced to hand over primary custody of your child(ren) to a woman that you know first-hand, is capable of very malicious intent, against both you and your children, in retaliation for being abandoned by you.
As a person who was the child of a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, I can attest to the fact that Borderlines enjoy abusing their children, at least it seemed that way to me when I was on the receiving end of it with nowhere to escape. And if you are a child left in the primary “care” of one of these individuals, odds are life will be miserable.
Despite this fact, the courts fail to recognize or acknowledge that HCPs and abusive personality disordered individuals (APDIs) can be a danger to their own children. In fact, the courts view a diagnosed disordered parent as having a handicap or a disease, like cancer, where they should be pitied and their “rights” to be a parent protected at all costs. Never mind the “best interests of the children.”
As a woman who wants to be seen as an equal in society, I am embarrassed by the way the courts practice some unwritten kind of affirmative action plan to elevate women in divorces, to the point where divorce, for a high-conflict and/or abusive personality disordered woman, is profitable.
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thank you, Micksbabe. I, too, am a former feminist. At least, that’s how identified myself in high school and throughout most of my 20s. I took a couple women’s studies courses in college. The classes mostly amounted to a group of young women sitting around male bashing and I participated in it without a second thought.
Looking back, I marvel that the professor didn’t stop it. It would have been no different if we’d been bashing a minority group. That kind of discrimination, hate and sexism has no place on a college campus.
My perspective began to change the summer before the final year of my undergrad program. I was visiting with family and making jokes at the expense of men. One of my aunts interrupted my ill mannered vitriol (because that’s what it was) and very gently asked, “Do you really feel that way about your grandfather? What about your uncles and cousins?”
It was like a wave of icy cold water broke over me and I instantly felt ashamed of myself and remorse for having insulted these men whom I love and respect. That was the beginning of a major paradigm shift for me.
Like you, Micksbabe, it seems to me that many women are no longer interested in equal rights. These women seem to feel entitled to special rights for no other reason than their gender. And they want it at the expense, pain and suffering of half the population, which presumably includes their own fathers, grandfathers, uncles, sons and brothers. I’m not okay with that.
Exactly. Women who truly want equality must actually accept equality and that means not expecting special breaks or consideration just for being female. You can’t have equality if you expect special treatment. The two conditions can’t coexist.
Being married to my husband and seeing how his ex wife has exploited her position as mother and female has really made me re-think the fairness– or lack thereof– of feminism. I have to say, a lot of feminists turn me off. I’m all for women getting equal treatment and equal pay in the workplace, but I think we have to be willing to accept that men are equally capable of being nurturing parents. Simply having female parts does not automatically make someone a fit parent, just as having male parts does not necessarily make someone an inferior parent.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
The other bit of hypocrisy I’ve noticed in the feminism of today (an important distinction) is that many self-identified feminists claim to support female empowerment, prerogative and choice in all things.
That is, of course, unless you criticize today’s feminism or point out that all men are not potential child abusers, murderers and rapists. Do either of these things, and then you’re a labeled misogynist rather than an empowered woman who is exercising her freedom of choice and independent thought.
Criticizing a woman or criticizing bad female behaviors (especially when it’s accurate and merited) does not make a person a misogynist. Being labeled a misogynist, by the way, seems to be tantamount to being identified as a “heretic” during the Spanish Inquisition.
Paul Elam says
“Women who truly want equality must actually accept equality and that means not expecting special breaks or consideration just for being female. You can’t have equality if you expect special treatment. The two conditions can’t coexist.”
Your moxie is a turn on. 🙂
Thanks Dr. T, for letting me post content sure to draw daggers from the entitled sect. But I think it needs to be said, and ultimately, changed.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thank you for your contributions, MB.
Btw, anyone else who would like to submit articles, please email. It’s important that more people add their voices to the chorus.
good article but seiously @paul elam. “your moxie is a turn on” When did common sense become moxie and when did this become a dating site?
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Perhaps I can explain. Mr Elam’s comment is in response to a comment Micksbabe left on his website, avoiceformen, in which MB stated that Paul’s moxie is a turn-on.
The article that MB commented upon is one in which Mr Elam calls a spade a spade in a very honest and unvarnished way. In many ways, it is incredibly refreshing to see a spade being called a spade and is an intellectual turn-on — regardless of who the source of common sense is. Nevertheless, I can see how the comment might be misinterpreted. Personal or “inside” jokes/teasing can easily be misconstrued in a public forum.
I understand the confusion at what can be termed a personal joke. You’re correct. This is not a dating website. Sorry for any offense.
Btw, sometimes stating the truth and common sense does take a lot of moxie. I frequently get bashed for the information found on this website and there are times when I’ve hesitated before publishing some things because I know there’ll be a backlash. Honestly, I don’t think the views here are radical, but rather what I see as obvious and common sense.
Thanks for explaining that comment, Dr. T. I was a little confused, too!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
No problem. This is a great example of reality testing. 😉
Many misunderstandings are exactly that — misunderstandings — and can be easily resolved between reasonable individuals.
Like Orwell said, in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
The idea that the information here is considered revolutionary or radical is rather depressing. Nevertheless, I appreciate your comment.
Orwell has another great quote given the topic of MB’s post:
“Some animals are more equal than others.”
It’s too bad a lot of people are ruled by their “emotional common sense” and can’t actually be logical, rational, and understanding of others and how their behaviors affect their children.
I think it’s pretty obvious that this site and AVM are needed as seen through the massive amounts of support they receive.
I would be curious to know if there are any other sites out there that are the opposing point of view (i.e. the emotional reasoner) just so I could get inside their heads so I know better what I’m dealing with and how to combat it for myself and my child.
Dr. F says
If you don’t find any sites that satisfy you in this respect please be aware that the journey into this mind may well be one that has your SatNav exploding.
Put it this way Mr Thatguy if you will:
When you knock on the first door there’ll be no answer for a few minutes and when it does open slowly with a creak like Count Yorga’s coffin lid, the butler there will talk gibberish to you.
You’ll have no other option but to step past him into a lovely room decorated with the most delightful colours and tasteful lighting you’ve ever seen. Then someone will appear and briskly pat you down while they’re talking hurriedly about anything from ancient Peugoet coffee grinders to Soccer ball gloves. It all makes such sense even though you don’t understand a word because you’re being told all of this in the most happy and confident voice you have ever heard.
Then as you are being led to the next door of many you look down and see that your feet have turned to albatrosses and the din of the squawking is most distracting. You must press on you tell yourself, “I must understand this chaos.”
In the next room someone slaps your face and says, “I love you” and your wallet disappears only to be replaced with a tuft of wild flowers pressed into a slab of plasticine. “No problen
Dr. F says
I lost my comment but rewrote it to this:
If you don’t find what you’re looking for Thatguy I want you to know that if you go ahead with this journey anyway you will find that your SatNav will explode.
When you go up to the front door of this mind you’ll knock on it and wait for many minutes and when it opens there’ll be a creak that sounds like the lid of Count Yorga’s coffin opening.
The butler will present well but talks only gibberish and there’ll be no option but to walk past him into the house. There you will find wonderful furniture, tasteful lighting and a rug to die for. The only thing that seems a little strange is that the chandelier throws no light, just shadows, and someone wearing a moose head will walk through a wall and ask if you want to play ping pong with a melon and no bats.
You’ll tell yourself that this is strange alright but hey, you want to press on through one of the many doors their and find out more.
As you walk into the next room you look down and see that your feet have turned to albatrosses that are squawking at you to give them some privacy, and someone pats you down while talking confidently about the mission you’re on. At this point you’ll be asked for your I.D. And when you reach for your wallet all that’s there is a tuft of Siberian wild flowers pressed into a slab of frozen Vaseline.
Ok so this is really strange, but you just know that if you just can figure all of this out then maybe you can unravel this madness and give calmness, resolution and healthy rhythm here.
The next room seems pretty normal. A newspaper on a table dappled in soft sunlight, a row of books on a mantle piece above a well stocked fireplace waiting for cold weather and the smell of fresh bread lulls you back to times of real belonging. There’s only one problem. The room is the size of fridge on it’s side and all you can do is peer at it on your knees.
So on you go, room after room always looking for a book or scroll or any scribbling anywhere that will have you understanding and able to make it all right.
One room is filled with spinning mirrors and another is made of rubber. A few minutes ago an octopus showed you how to unwrap a bath covered in cellophane and in another a bouncer made of alabaster told you that you couldn’t enter his room unless you were outside the room and inside it at the same time.
Someone smeared mint jelly behind your ears and said it was “Angel Juice” and another gave you a cake that spoke to you, “ Hey! You looking at me.. you want a piece of me…? ”
Maybe it’s at this point you could say “ok I get it, this is never going to end.”
If you say this then you can start your clock that has a sign on it saying, “Life Begins”
I’m no expert for sure, not at all. I can however say that being in this room looking for answers that tell of a better way will never ever be forthcoming. Not ever. Genes never lie and DNA is a mule that never moves for anyone.
There is one other thing though and I ask this with all sincerity. If you do find a way in this mind that suggests that a change of relevance is possible I not only commend you, but I want to know what is is. I’m not kidding.
I appreciate the clarification. I stand corrected. My apology to mr elam.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
No worries and thank you for registering with S4M and joining the conversation.
Paul Elam says
Apology accepted but not necessary. It was thoughtless for me to make that post without an explanation. I think it came off as inappropriate for good reason. My apologies to micksbabe and Dr. T. I will be more careful with that.
I’m reminded of a feminist tee shirt I once saw. “We won’t settle for equality. We demand superiority!” sound familiar? These kind of half humorous snide jibes at men can be found all over today if one looks around. Like “For a woman to be considered equal to man she must do twice the work. Fortunately that’s not hard”. Nod others of that Ilk. Is it any wonder really that society feels that women are entitled above men? The message is driven home at every turn. Woman = good. Man = bad. Sorry I’m bitter here but I’ve put up with too much too long and it’s dragging out far longer than it should. My lawyer shows up for court hers docent case continued another two months. Fifth time in a row it’s happened.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Your frustration and bitterness is merited, alreadylost, but you know that.
As for not showing up prepared for court, that’s inexcusable. Divorce/custody attorneys should not be able to get away with that. Not ready? Too bad. Judge finds in favor of the party who is prepared.
Excellent topic, Micksbabe and Dr. T!!
Back in high school (in the ‘enlightened’ 80s), I would listen to girls sitting around bashing their boyfriends, and wondered to myself (too shy to speak up), “If you hate them so much, then why are you with them??” Never made much sense to me.
They tried to turn me into a femi-nazi back in state u. I remember one particular (female minority) social work professor who stated by quoting supposed statistics that married women are sicker and die earlier than unmarried women, but married men lived longer and were healthier in general than single men (the idea being that wives nagging their husbands to take better care of themselves was a good thing? And having kids and a husband meant a wife’s neglecting of her own health?). At the time, my prevailing thought was: Marriage is bad for women, but good for men. Huh.
Years later, I had one of those similar lightbulb moments like Dr. T: I was wasting mental energy hating on ‘all’ men (after two bad divorces with AXHs)…then asked myself, “Do I hate my friend B___?” “Or my brothers?” “My grandfather?” Nope. Lightbulb!
Micksbabe said: “As a person who was the child of a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder, I can attest to the fact that Borderlines enjoy abusing their children, at least it seemed that way to me when I was on the receiving end of it with nowhere to escape. And if you are a child left in the primary “care” of one of these individuals, odds are life will be miserable.”
Exactly. They all know how to put on an act for witnesses, but when the witnesses go to work / go home / leave for football camp, etc…behind closed door, the monster shows up. This is why my brother (the Golden Child) can look at our past with fond nostalgia while I (The Scapegoat) have very little positive to say about my upbringing and life in that house. Of course nobody believes me. It’s my word (the loser / bad seed) vs. hers (the poor, poor victim of our father, her own upbringing, and today’s villian du jour)…no one else was there. They didn’t see it.
BTW – People who ‘enjoy’ hurting anyone, especially children, ESPECIALLY their OWN children, are evil, PD / HCP / Cluster B or not.
Girl Inside, so much of what you say, resonates as true, in my experience, as well, thank you for sharing. 🙂 One of the major problems with Cluster B’s, and the whole Feminist/Equality movement I see, is that these children in women’s bodies express every negative stereotype of feminine behavior. The entire concept of personal accountability and respect from ability and competence has been hijacked by the Crazy. The underlying principles, and reasoning have been pre-empted by unreasoning, hyper emotive, high conflict and non- empathetic people. A reasoned thought debate and concept has been turned on it’s ear, and is now being used as a weapon against reasonable people. Sound familiar to anyone else who has ever tried to have a discussion with someone splitting, DARVO, gaslighting, etc?
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Even more disturbing is that they are elevating the negative stereotypes of women into the “norm.” A lack of accountability and empathy and competence and a preponderance of entitlement, pathological selfishness, childishness and emotional instability is not the norm or at least it shouldn’t be.
Sad that they are even more ‘normalized’ by shows like Jersey Shore (so I’ve heard) and (*supresses gag*) Bridezillas. I watched one episode (well 2 – it was a To Be Continued), with Trisha, an overweight, very abusive witch(used all the tricks in the ol’ NPD playbook) that just sickened me. She actually squeezed her finace’s B*lls on national TV so that he would hold still for her to clip his toenails. Got some control issues, maybe? Cried when he wouldn’t give her money – didn’t work that I could tell – called him psycho, idiot, told him, “I’m the best you’re ever gonna find,” etc (doesn’t that just sound like a woman in love?!?)
I kept watching in hopes he would wake up and realize the gaping portal to h*ll he was walking into…but alas, there he was, in tuxedo sitting next to his Mrs. Monster for the after-interview. Maybe he’ll show up here before kids are involved??
I will never understand why decent men go for wicked chicks like that.
Because they’re the only ones available.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
That’s not true, chem-geek. Part of breaking one’s attraction to unstable, abusive women is to learn to spot the stable and loving women and develop an attraction for them.
Could have fooled me, Doc.
funny, i read this as “decent men are the only ones available.” LOL.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I can relate to your comment. One of the other things that bothers me about the feminism of today is how they’ve elevated womankind to the status of autocratic professional victims.
I don’t see myself as a victim even when I have been actually victimized at different times of my life. It also makes no sense. How do they advocate for women’s empowerment while cloaking themselves in victimhood? Are women empowered victims? Oxymoron. If you’re empowered you’re not a victim.
Head hurts now.
“…the National Organization for Women (NOW) denounces Parental Alienation Syndrome and recommends that any professional whose mission involves the protection of the rights of women and children denounce its use as unethical, unconstitutional, and dangerous.”
This is where I really lost respect for NOW.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I agree, MB. NOW does, however, believe that men abuse women via their children and call it “abuse by proxy.” One could argue that parental alienation is also abuse by proxy, but NOW will have none of that.
I went to the NOW website once (years ago), and thought to myself back then, “Y’ll are crazy.” (*shakes head*)
“…the National Organization for Women (NOW) denounces [all men and women who exhibit] Parental Alienation Syndrome and recommends that |– any professional [all professionals] –| whose mission involves the protection of the rights of |– women and children [women, children, families, and fathers] –| denounce |– its use [exhibiting PAS] –| as unethical, unconstitutional, and dangerous.
–that’s what they “meant” right?
LOL! You just gave them their new T-Shirt slogan “National Organization of Professional, Empowered Victims. (NOPE-V)”
There is an article that a commenter posted here on another article some time ago that is relevant and worth a read.
It is about the daughter of feminist author/activist Alice Walker.
An ex-feminazi friend from college used to refer to me as her “feminist brother.” At the time, it seemed like a nice warm and fuzzy comment, but now I cringe at that label. She gave me a book written by Walker. At the time, I was receptive and thumbed through it. A couple years later it ended up at a yard sale I had, and shortly following, the waste receptacle.
The article that features her daughter is an interesting read.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I read that article not too long ago, gooberzzz. Definitely an interesting read.
I left my BPD ex nearly two years ago and frankly, am thoroughly disgusted with what passes for womanhood today. The vast majority of women are self-absorbed, manipulative and greedy. After a while I started dating and signed up for a dating site (big mistake!) believing that most women were friendly. Boy was I in for a surprise. Not only did they pretend to be nice (in some cases, it didn’t even last until after the first/blind date). But also, many could not see the conflict between their ‘feminist’ views and their romantic objectives.
I’ve asked those few who did question feminism why, if they felt this way, did they not speak out, and hold other women accountable (in the way that most men I know do with each other)?
In the last few months I’ve come to understand the reason. We are truly living what Orwell wrote about in 1984 – only the gender has changed: “Big Sister is watching you.”
Speaking out is one thing. But I would have as much luck forcing another person to hold themselves accountable, as you would have forcing your BPD Ex to hold herself accountable. Gender notwithstanding. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with women in other forums and came to the conclusion that it’s pointless. IMO, changes need to be affected within the judicial system.
Agreed, inasmuch as the judicial system is where entitlement, irresponsibility and hostile behavior are legally enforced and rewarded. This is also an issue of cultural sensibilities as well as one of the heart. If these attitudes and behaviors were treated as being shameful, instead of something to be celebrated, then I suspect there would be less running off to court to “get mine” in the first place. Just a thought, although removing the financial and legal incentives would certainly go a long way!
So do family lawyers actually argue this point? I know if I were to go to court I would definitely instruct my lawyer to pull all the punches and use everything to his/her disposal. This seems like an excellent argument to make in a court room.
I’ve often wondered why judges make the decisions they do. I had a friend who’s X basically kid napped their son and put him with his grandparents in another state. He sued to get his son back into the same city. It took several months to get him back. Now you would think that because of this episode with his X the judge would rule that custody would change right? Nope! Stayed the same with more alienation of their child. I mean really WTF? I figure if that’s the kind of thing that goes on in the family court room I’m doomed.. but damn it if I have the resources it’s worth fighting for rights and trying to change the system because IMO that’s what’s broken.
@Micksbabe, your comment reminds of a joke:
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
One. But only if the light bulb wants to change.
I’m not talking about ‘forcing’ other people to hold themselves accountable. I agree we need changes in our laws but I don’t agree the courts are the place to start. The law and our courts are part of society and represent the codification of the values we share in common. The values on which the West are based are slowly being eroded. This is why I believe it starts and ends with what you and I decide to do as individuals.
Women who label themselves as ‘feminist’ are coddled by society in the same way that some insecure parents coddle and won’t correct a misbehaving child. The result is now writ large: millions of women have become arrogant and drunk with power: the group acts like one tyrant on a societal scale.
It’s true you can’t make some act differently if they don’t want to. I’m talking about the rest of us having the courage to hold these people accountable for their words and actions in exactly the same way Dr. T and TheGirlInside family and friends did. The shame and guilt they rightly felt when confronted with their arrogance and disrespect was the turning point.
If more of us had the courage to speak up and pointed out the error, then the resistance these women would encounter would certainly have an effect on some of them.
“One man with courage is a majority.” Thomas Jefferson
The fact that the majority of Child Protection Services employees as well as Guardians assigned by the court to represent the children in Family Court are females not to mention the likelihood of the presiding judge and/or the State’s attorney and/or a court appointed attorney representing the father are females it’s no wonder father’s rights are overlooked or ignored.
There are no available statistics identifying the number of narcissistic/HCP/BPD females lurking among us and since they can blend in, adjust and mutate in order to adapt to their environment its impossible to identify them unless you’ve been through it before or until its too late.
Many of the above mentioned “professionals” in a family court situation could very well be this type of individual but there would be virtually no way to know it. At least the man-hating lesbians (no offense intended :-/)who work for the courts are too proud of their “individuality” to want to disguise it and are easier to prepare for.
One of the problems in attempting to make the judicial system more aware of the existence of these females and the harm they’re capable of is that many of the atrocities committed by them are so bad that the average person (even “professionals”) can’t and/or won’t believe what you’re telling them. If I hadn’t been battling with two of these creatures for the last 7 yrs I wouldn’t believe it either!
People think its an exaggeration or that they’re immune to something like that ever happening to them. Unfortunately I’ve had too many occasions where I just had to say, “I told you so!”…
I guess some of what irks me the most about “feminists” is best demonstrated by the following incident. A while ago I was entering a bank in Chicago and a young lady was a few steps behind me also entering the bank. As a courtesey I held the door open and allowed her to enter first. She let out a loud ” humph” and gave me a look that would freeze lava. Now I was raised that if you reach the door first you hold it for the next person regardless of age or gender. It’s just common courtesy. I would have expected her to hold it open for me had she been ahead of me and I certainly would not have been offended. If you get offended when I show you common gestures that I apply equally to everyone then you have the problem not me. Treat me like an equal and I will do the same to you – regardless of gender, age, income, perceived station in life, education, or employment. You would be amazed at the number of people who find this concept offensive. Just my 2 cents
Mr. E says
I also make a point to hold doors for everyone regardless of who they are. I’ve noticed, however, 98% of the time it’s only men who do this. I don’t expect people to actually open a door for me and let me go first, just hold it for a second so I can grab it before it slams shut again. Guys seem to do this as a matter of course. It’s surpremely rare for women to return the favor. (Before anyone defends themself, I’m sure all the women here hold doors for others. You’re the exceptions.)
I also make a point to thank anyone who holds a door for me. Most people also have enough class to thank me when I hold the door. Basic manners…
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I hold the door open for whomever is behind me, regardless of age, race or gender, too. Don’t recall any door incidents recently.
One of my pet peeves are women who walk 2-3-4 abreast on the sidewalk and refuse to merge into a single file formation to let other pedestrians pass. If you refuse to bow to their oblivious entitlement and walk around them on the street, lawn or mud puddle, they make that exasperated breath “how dare you not get out of MY way” noise that just makes me want to body slam them — not that I would engage in violence, but the fantasy image of it does flash through my mind every now and again.
It’s often times a damned if you and damned if you don’t situation. You would of gotten thrown attitude at you either way from this type of person.
Mike D says
The problem with generalizations is they’re generally wrong. When I last checked, thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had statutes that explicitly state joint custody as a presumption or strong preference. The old school sole custody / visitation scheme is neither “automatic” nor “across the board.”
The HCP-driven custody wars make up only a small percentage of all divorces with children. The fact is, the overwhelming majority of custody cases end with a negotiated parenting plan, not a custody arrangement imposed by the court. Fathers can and do get custody quite often, when they ask for it.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Approximately 30% or one-third of divorce/custody cases are high-conflict. While this is still the minority of cases, it’s still a high figure.
According to 2007 US Census Bureau statistics, 82.6% of custodial parents are women and 17.4% are men. This statistic is virtually unchanged since the last set of statistics from 1992. 34.2% of custodial mothers have never been married and 45.1% are divorced or separated. 19.0% of custodial mothers are divorced from the children’s biological father, but remarried.
“In 2007, custodial mothers received $18.6 billion of the $29.8 billion in support that was due (62.5 percent), and custodial fathers received $2.8 billion of the $4.3 billion that was due (63.8 percent).”
Here’s the PDF file link:
Mike D says
It’s hard to argue with the U.S. Government. Really. Clearly, what drives the percentage of custodial fathers down is unwed, single mothers. If you look at the numbers for women who are divorced from the biological father, 64.1% have custody. That leaves 35.9% of divorced biological fathers with primary physical custody. Correct? Fathers can and do get custody quite often, when they ask for it. The system, while not entirely fair, is not impossibly stacked against men. If you fight for it, you can win.
Thanks for the Princeton link, Tara. Reading Dr. Johnston’s article, this sentence jumped out: “In sum, using different measures (legal conflict, hostility, and conflicted co-parenting), Maccoby and Mnookin’s data indicated that one quarter of divorces were highly conflicted at an average of three and one-half years after the separation, by which time almost all couples had obtained their final decree.”
That’s sad. By the way, hat tip to you for your post on Co-Parenting With A High-Conflict Ex. As the article you linked points out, the best thing for the kids is to minimize contact between Mom and Dad and allow both parties to disengage.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I don’t know if one can make the inference that unwed mothers are the reason that figure is so high. Presumably, if they’re receiving child support, a man’s name is on the birth certificate as the father.
This is anecdotal, but I have 6 men I’m working with right now who never married the mothers of their children and are in extremely high-conflict custody battles — they dream of getting 50/50, but most would settle for EOWE.
We don’t know if the fathers of children who did not marry the mothers fought for custody or not. I imagine, if my practice is any indication, that many of them did or would have if they’d had the financial resources.
If a man’s spouse is a reasonable and overall healthy individual, yes, he can ask for 50/50 custody time and probably get it if she doesn’t fight it. If she is unstable, high-conflict, etc., it’s rarely a simple matter of “ask and ye shall receive.”
” If you look at the numbers for women who are divorced from the biological father, 64.1% have custody. That leaves 35.9% of divorced biological fathers with primary physical custody. Correct?”
Technically, no, I don’t think that is correct (and Dr.T made the same error), those numbers leave no room for the existence of shared (full 50/50) parenting. So if the numbers show 64% of mothers getting Custody , that leaves the remainder to be split up between joint custody and fathers getting custody. Also, are you talking about primary custody or sole custody? Canadian statistics play this game, claiming women only get custody about 60+% of the time, ignoring that is sole custody and mothers still get primary custody in joint arrangement’s a further 20ish% of the time. Fathers only get primary or sole custody about 9% of the time in Canada.
You also need to remember that “single mother” is, as Dr. T implied, unmarried. Co-habitating counts as being single for this purpose, and helps to deny fathers of a great many rights.
“When I last checked, thirty-five states and the District of Columbia had statutes that explicitly state joint custody as a presumption or strong preference.”
Last I checked there were penalties for purgery and violating court orders too. Laws that are ignored or not enforced need teeth put into them to make them work. There are also a great deal of loopholes that allow those laws to be ignored. Furthermore, there are other laws that are easily abused which over-rule the laws you mentioned. So yes, there are laws to promote “joint custody” (you are aware 1 day a month still counts as joint custody?), but they have no substance to them.
The worst part is, you even acknowledge that men have things stacked against them… that alone should prompt change. You can’t say “things aren’t equal, but if you can afford it financially (while supporting two households now), you can fight, and will sometimes get a fair deal”, and not expect people to want to fix that. You shouldn’t need to fight, and that’s what you seem to be missing.
Mike Davis says
Well said, and each point you mention is valid. We just have a difference of perception. Thanks, Kratch 🙂
” the overwhelming majority of custody cases end with a negotiated parenting plan,”
Negotiated with the understanding that mothers have the upper hand when going to trial, as even you later acknowledge. You don’t think that plays a significant role, with fathers “accepting” what is offered to them by the mothers rather then risking a LOT of money for even less (and bigger payments).
Closure at last says
Excellent article, Micksabe!
Boy,can I relate! And it was only in my late-20s that I ‘woke up’ and understood how warped and misconstrued a lot of the ‘nouveau-feminist’ ideologies were.
Having studied in an all-girls school, I did see female politics, but didn’t understand too well – being the introverted oddball who loved the logical Mr. Spock from Star Trek and couldn’t understand ’emotional reasoning’ too well. Mom (though not a radical feminist at all) still pushed me more to place ‘career before boyfriends’ which (un)fortunately made me a late bloomer in the dating scene. Also for 7 years during my late teens-early 20s I lived in a certain country in Asia which made me realize how lucky women in the West already were, since religious or social-based inequality among genders in social/relational settings occurred far more in parts of the eastern world than in the western world. (which is why I think I’ve often noticed eastern feminists do far more male-bashing sometimes in the west, in academia and politics, because they are carrying their anger over and male-bashing in the very countries that allow them the freedom to male-bash. With no objectivity or context.)
My first boyfriend’s mother in Canada was a well-known radical activist feminist – thrusting herself often in the news – she was a terror not only to her sons and her husband, but had irreversibly sickened the men in her family. And though I was a woman-working-in-a-male-field and should have won her accolades, instead she was relentlessly dagger-edged at me because I liked dressing and behaving in a soft, feminine way – and this made her feel I was a ‘betrayer to Feminism’. so odd! later I’d understand she had severe NPD. Only SHE had the right to be the center of attention, and no other woman could receive it in her family. That’s when I saw how many so called ‘feminists’ supported only a certain ‘type’ of women who fit their agenda yet were never supportive of those who stood alone or had individual personalities.
Shocker no. 2 in the feminist hypocrisy came when working in a predominantly ‘male’ profession (architecture/engineering) where a lot of ‘blame’ was placed on the men for being ‘sexist.’ Yes, to an extent this was true – as girls in the field did end up paying the price of stereotypes created by other women in those men’s lives or in the media. HOWEVER, if feminists had fought for equality in education and professions (and rightly so) why weren’t gazillions of girls still entering engineering? Was it really ‘sexism’, or was it that certain geeky professions simply attracted men more, and fewer women? At one point after having truly faced a valid case of sexism in the workplace (where a much lesser qualified man was placed as project head instead of me – because men would be placed to design ‘towers’ and women to design ‘interiors’) I quit to join a more graphic-design based all-woman firm, touting ‘feminism’! NEVER AGAIN!!! Shudder! The all-woman’s firm was an eye-opener. That’s when I realized it’s not men, but women themselves are the worst enemies of other women! The more insecure ones hate individualists, can bully and gang-up to vicious degrees and while touting ‘feminism’ are often craving for male attention from the ‘alpha-males’ while bashing the ‘beta-males’ as well as any women who they felt threatened by. It was an eye-opener. I quit that ‘woman-power’ firm in 6 months. Realized men’s jealousy in the work place when it happens is pretty unidirectional – only related to work performance, and is easier to deal with – but boy! Women’s jealousies can be multi-directional – you never know what can trigger it or from which direction it can come from! A 100 million reasons based on emotional reasoning and a vitriolic type of bullying that can put even the most sadistic man to shame!
I’d rather now bear the occasional innocent sexist remark from a macho guy at work and laugh it off (and that’s a much better scenario), or work around tons of both hetero and gay men, and secure women, than work around a huge number of insecure or APD women. I also heard so many sad tales of abuse by male colleagues from their female partners, I understood what an awful double standard western society has heaped on the kinder men here – who end up paying the price for some of the bad apples of their gender, AND the price of REAL misogynists in some forgotten countries they have nothing to do with, but still get lumped as society’s scapegoats just for being ‘men’. After doing a few tests and psychological assessments 3 years back, and finding my brain had always been more ‘wired’ like an analytic man’s than a woman’s – I feel more free to finally confess that I can relate much more to men and ‘thinking’ women, and am now able to ‘figure out’ emotional reasoning or illogical women just like some guys have to.
Stereotyping both men and women in sweeping generalizations like feminism does, is a huge flaw in social programming. Rather the more distinction and discernment of bad apples in BOTH genders EQUALLY is brought to the forefront, real human ‘equality’ can exist. I think that’s why Neuroscience and brain scans revealing sociopathy will do a far fairer service to Objectivity without gender bias in the future than Psychology ever could (except objective practitioners like Dr. T and some others).
Like you’ve written, I respect the rights some old-time feminists fought for. But I have little respect for the newer ‘types’ who claim that either sleeping around with 1000s is some ’empowerment’ or conversely ‘man-bashing’ is some liberating norm or glorifying victimhood and clamouring for ’emotional socialism’ to accept flaws, vices and horrendous senses of entitlement is some ‘given birth-right’ or the ‘V-pass’. I find it disgusting what a short end of the stick most good men have to deal with these days.
Plus if feminists care so much for female ‘equality’ why do they NEVER promote female engineers but try to pretend that some ‘women’s studies’ grad should deserve the same pay as a female (and male) electronics engineer? Our infrastructure cannot run without engineers, yet I find it amusing how the ‘artsy’ ones who write so much in journals and post online videos rant that their ‘contribution’ to the world is more important than that unmentioned, unacknowledged electronics/mechanical girl engineer who is working for some technology company? There is so much hypocrisy amongst ‘feminists’ – all I’ve understood is that many radical feminists today are attention seeking NPDs and many ‘slut-walk’ type ‘feminists’ have HPD or BPD. That’s why they look out for each other – yet, strangely bash, bully or gang up against the very women who SHOULD be admired, who have EARNED respect and are individualists or are truly authentic examples of empowered women….whatever their profession – be they like Dr. Tara or dignified, independent thinking writers, homemakers or working professionals. (The one anti-feminist feminist I do love though is Camile Paglia.)
I think – yes, there are parts of the world where women’s rights still have to go a long way, but truly – in liberal, free, democratic countries in the West, in the last several decades – women’s rights have been pushed to the point of ‘male abuse.’ It’s no wonder that after several last straws on the proverbial camel’s back, there are men who are justifiably fighting back for their rights. About time.
Thanks for the great post again, Micksabe!
never again says
c-a-t, one of the most feminine (and least feminist) women I know worked in a male-dominated field and gained the great respect of her peers, without invoking feminism. She’s since moved to another field and has achieved even greater accolades, including leading an all-male team that includes ex-special forces and other high acheivers.
Yes, she encountered obstacles along the way, but dealt with them with grace, dignity and the occasional head-knocking.
Closure at last says
I LOVE women like that! Why can’t there me more like them? A real woman is one who maintains grace, dignity, inner strength, knows how to take the knocks of life with a sense of humour and fortitude and without a sense of entitlement and without touting fake victimhood. Women who maintain a graceful feminine identity and still become successful in male-dominated field have amazing inner balance and strength…..The ones I know like that also never indulge in male-bashing like the way both feminists and floozies do, but treat their peers and other men with respect and dignity and receive the same in return.
CAL: You make a lot of good points. I have also been told that I have an analytical mind (but engineering bores me to tears…?).
I remember feeling like I took on a more ‘masculine’ demeanor in h.s. because I didn’t want to be ‘feminine’ like my mother (NPD), or like many of the other girls I knew back then. It was only in very recent years that I realized those traits I was defying were not feminine, but symptoms of a personality disorder.
I remember conciously thinking to myself sometime around my senior yr in college, “Maybe I should try acting more feminine.” I’m still learning what that means, so I guess sometimes I still act like a dude? Or maybe thinking logically and sometimes taking things too literally is not so much a gender-specific trait, but rather just healthy thinking???
Still not sure…
Closure at last says
“Or maybe thinking logically and sometimes taking things too literally is not so much a gender-specific trait, but rather just healthy thinking???” Bingo! I think you got it TGI 😉 It means you always think rationally first. And in a straightforward way, while connecting the dots.
I hear you – about the ‘traits’….can relate to an extent too. I’m very comfortable now coming to terms with my own paradoxes- though it took a while (a very ‘male’ brain under a very ‘feminine’ exterior) but back in h.s. and (to an extent even now inside) I was more an introverted-yet-geeky-yet-adventure-sports-loving ‘tomboy’ as the girly-girl of the family, who was very superficial and into clothes and shoes (yet not into kindness or empathy), was my very complicated NPD older sister. She would in fact encourage me to act more tomboyish so she could appear more attractive to the boys. I always saw the boys as my buddies because inside I felt like a boy too and didn’t figure out till in my 20s that they saw me as a girl. (I was very naive). But to quell my tomboyishness – my parents had put me into classical dance since an early age, so I walked and moved like a woman, but felt like a guy inside. Even today – when I see women walking by – I can’t help assessing/appreciating their dimensions and proportions inside my brain just like a guy does (though I’m not a lesbian) so I can see why some things are so evolutionary related to brain wiring, and really – normal – in the male brain, that to change certain things is like refusing to accept Evolution (no matter what some feminists would like to say or force as some ‘myth’.). But it was only in my early 20s that by fluke I found myself as a print model doing ads on the side, that the photographers really brought out my ‘feminine’ exterior and I started being comfortable dressing and grooming in a more ‘feminine’ way (though I never waste money behind expensive shoes or purses (can’t even see the point behind those ugly large idiotic designer purses) but know how to shop frugal but with style.) Plus, to me ‘femininity’ has different definitions. I’d like to think of ‘femininity’ as being more related to softness, grace, kindness, non-abrasive quiet strength and dignity and being aware of one’s feminine appearance – rather than relate it to the kitschy version of silly ways many women think being ‘girly’ means. Come to think of it, both ‘feminism’ and ‘femininity’ have very warped and misconstrued definitions in our world these days. More like slapstick.
I used to find that ‘people and psychology’ used to bore me to tears 😉 but engineering and architecture was always fun (loved trains, leggo, math, science etc. as a kid and taking things apart and figuring out how they work.) But then a truly good psychologist has to have a very analytical brain – which is why Dr. Tara is such a treat. The ‘aha’ moment came 3 years back on finding my Briggs-Meyers type and some tests by Simon Baron-Cohen and also a brain-scan by fluke for an experiment. You should do the B-M test too TGI – if you haven’t already. Finally found the minority of girls (INTJ/INTP) who thought more analytically and it came as a relief after many years of being an oddball.
Then Dr. Tara & Schriber’s sites helped immensely to finally ‘figure out’ crazy people and be able to help my male buddies. As well, Barbara Oakley’s book on Evil. And tons more books. Understood the hypocrisy of feminism too. Instead of what the media pushes women to look up to, I’ve searched for my own role models in real life since an early age who I greatly respected and learned from, and who balanced home, family, business, work, with amazing grace, responsibility, strength and dignity.
You are very straightforward, empathetic and good-hearted and it’s obvious when one reads your writings here TGI. I think finding one’s own individuality is the most important or the whole ‘Know Thyself’ dictum. Logical thinking of course does not come at the price of emotional empathy, except quieter women like us (and men) are better at expressing ’emotions’ through writing rather than verbally yakking non-stop. So I can see how you may in fact be more like a ‘logical man’ inside, but with the duality of womanly (a good woman’s) empathy inside. As the years go by, I realize it is this ‘balance’ or the Apollonian-Dionysian qualities or ‘logic-emotion’ balance that is more important rather than going from one extreme to another.
And finally, the objectivity of Science and Evolution makes the answers so much clearer….the reality of hormones, preferences, evolutionary instincts of men. One of my biggest peeve with radical feminists is how they try to go against science, evolution and discount the natural tendencies of men of what they find find attractive in a woman – both in behavior & physique, and try to bully men to suppress their own natural masculinity. If feminists had their ‘v-topia’ they’d convert all the men into ‘conscious men’ (like that moronic video), blindfold all straight men should they dare watch any Victoria Secret models, DEMAND that only the Dove fatties are empowered, self-esteemed women, INSIST that all women scientists should look like Jerry-Lewis-in-wigs, claim that all attractive women (except they themselves or the slut-walk histrionic activists)are dumb and stupid, that all women over the world of all shapes and sizes who do not follow their feminist ideology are ‘enemies’; change hormones, evolution, science, everything – and then wonder wistfully where the Clint Eastwoods with their raw masculinity have gone. And then bash the ‘Conscious men’ even more for now not being a Clint Eastwood (because they want to deny their own evolutionary instincts too, and at the end of the day find themselves still seeking approval, attention, and affection from the alpha-males, but by bashing them, or rather harnessing them.) It’s a weird reversal-of-cause-and-effect that most of them do. Doesn’t make sense to me. Honestly I just think they want media attention to themselves, rather than promote objective honesty or integrity.It’s like the smoke-and-mirrors of cult-leaders. Sorry – that came out long and very non-PC, but…whatever. I hope they get the humor. I’m a wee, wee bit quasi-Aspie – so sorry, I say the truth just bluntly 😉
You’re very right when you often write on these boards that it hasn’t to do so much with this and that, but at the end just the difference between Good and Evil. (which now as we know is related to brain wiring and the empathy connection.) I’d studied in a Catholic convent so it took years before I was able to discard the self-sacrificial attitudes these schools teach, and finally understand objectivity and was finally freed from all these ideology-crap by taking a long hard look at Reality based on facts, logic, evidence and the unfairness of the world we live in. Today I’m quite ok having lots of both very ‘traditionally male’ and very ‘traditionally female’ hobbies and traits within myself and finding a balance. And both building towers and baking cakes 😉 truth is, healthy men too have both sides – of Logic & Strength, Kindness & Softness – but ideologies try to change the balance and destroy healthy facts, biology and impose unfair extremities.
I also think the quieter, more analytical girls in past centuries were burnt off as witches, or didn’t mate enough, or became shy and hid themselves for self-protection so we have fewer of them in the evolutionary cycle. And NPDs and BPDs are ‘glorified’ as a norm by the media, mags, society and especially by women in marketing as well as nerdy scriptwriters who are magnets at attracting these types and then writing screenplays and songs as their own therapy after relations with them…..
C’est la vie.
While I am thankful that more courts are making joint custody the default, it still is grossly assumed that a child should live with the mother and the woman is the victim in any situation. If the man filed, he’s a bastard who is abandoning his family, if the woman filed, she’s the tortured repressed waif who wasn’t allowed to bloom in her marriage.
Heaven forbid a woman who demands equal rights be actually expected to support her own household, pay her own expenses and if she wants the child more, she should be expected to foot the bill of more. I get so tired of hearing women say “Timmy spends more time with me and I have to shell more out, so I should be paid more by his father.” You never hear those women say “I can’t afford to raise Timmy with my income, so I will let him spend more time at Dad’s house.Dad is his parent and loves him too and Dad wants him to live there as much as I do.” My husband would happily take on the additional expenses if it meant more time with his children. Sorry if that offends, but every woman I personally know who refers to herself as a ‘feminst’, is living off money from the state or her ex husband and her soapbox is that if society was perfect, she wouldn’t HAVE to depend on others/men.
I’m all for a good bra burning, but you’d better be prepared to hold your own boobs up if you do it.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Welcome to S4M! Also, your last sentence made me laugh out loud.
While more states may claim to support/endorse 50/50 parenting; that statistics reported in the US Census Bureau on custodial parents seem to indicate otherwise.
It’s impossible to draw inferences from the statistics. For example, did the fathers of the children in more than 82% custodial mother homes want the mothers of their children to be the CP? Did the fathers fight for 50/50? Could they afford to fight to be the CP? I, for one, would like to know more about how these women came to be the CP.
When I got divorced, we were low income and so the state agencies helped do the paperwork to ensure child support was being collected and not welfare.
At no point was joint custody even suggested to me or my ex. They told us what needed to be in the paperwork and we both just did what our appointed experts told us was the standard norm.
In assuming the uterus is the better parent for the kids and then having the custodial parent collect more child support because they have the child more, it encourages women to take away custody time from the father because it directly impacts her pocketbook. There is an actual financial incentive to get custody.
I understand in some cases, one parent isn’t able or willing to do their share of parenting and kids cost money, but I believe in most cases, the father wants the child just as much as the mother does and both homes are equally fit and the courts just assume the lions share of the time (and therefore the money to support the child) should go to the mother.
Women get away with saying that the father sues for more custody time because he is a deadbeat who doesn’t want to pay child support all of the time and those cries are rewarded. These are the same women who file for more child support every time they even suspect their ex got a raise or found a dollar on the floor.
Punch said: “I’m all for a good bra burning, but you’d better be prepared to hold your own boobs up if you do it.”
Good line – thought it needed a repeat. (and funny visual)
Oh how I wish I could get into the details of my own situation. What I can say is that I married a feminist who made sure I knew up front that she wanted to be equal partners. Just one problem here, she didn’t give me “her” definition of what equal meant until AFTER we were married.
I found out that “her” definition of equal meant that I had to work my butt off to provide the financial stability needed to have a house, then cars, and finally kids while she bounced around trying out many jobs none of which actually contributed much financially and all of which if she became bored of doing she would quit. Oh and did I mention it also meant she basically got to make all major decisions and if she did not get her way I was treated to the normal borderline threats and rants as well as her inevitable tirade about how I was a sexist because I did not allow her to be an equal partner. Funny thing how it always seemed that any decision I was not in agreement with her concerning always was made according to her dictates.
Suffice it to say she wanted to be neither equal nor a partner. It took me awhile to figure out that nothing I did was going to change things and in fact over time they got progressively worse, which led to divorce and my next experience with how equal women are treated to men.
During the divorce she has ignored repeated requests for documents and has only finally provided them when the judge asked her. She has ignored multiple court orders with not penalty or punishment. She has withheld requested documents telling the court she did not have them only to have it discovered later that she gave them to her expert prior to court and then had the expert testify about them all while we had still not received them. She has liquidated assets, disposed of property, and hidden cash. There are many more things she has done, which are both questionable and in some cases illegal and yet not one thing has been done by the Judge to punish or otherwise penalize her. In fact the Judge has created non-existent testimony to justify giving her spousal support, which will be correctly shortly because we caught it. It took over a year of constant work to get equal custody of the kids all while she did everything possible to alienate them and when I simply answered a single question one time asked by one of the kids concerning a lie their mother told them by simply letting them read a document proving the truth the Judge felt compelled to admonish me.
I could go on, but I am dangerously close to giving enough detail that she could identify it. Suffice it to say that I once asked my lawyer if the roles were reversed and I was the woman and she was the man and we acted the same way and did the same things what would have happened, he simply said it would have been over, she would be in jail for contempt and a few other things, and you would have all the money, the house, the cars, and the kids.
So darn if it doesn’t sound fair to me, as long as you are the woman……
Just my 2 cents and as always I could be wrong…..
Mike D says
On a related note …
Last month Gloria Steinem appeared on the Colbert Report to discuss gender equality. The take-away? Kids should grow up knowing that men can be as loving and nurturing as women.
The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cGloria Steinemhttp://www.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive
Dr Tara Palmatier says
That’s very charitable of Ms Steinem. Although, many men who frequent S4M are aware of this fact. They already perform the majority of the childcare, nurturing and housework in addition to working 40+ hours a week as the sole providers of their households.
If men take a year off to care for the children, as Ms Steinem seems to suggest, if their female partners will be the ones bringing in income while the fathers stay at home with the children. There are many men who would love to do this, but are not supported by their partners of their employers in doing so.
Mike Davis says
She is a charitable one, isn’t she. Sorry I broke the linkee for the video embed.
To your point “There are many men who would love to do this, but are not supported by their partners.”
That’s the Catch-22. Time Magazine recently reported that men who stay home to care for the kids are more likely to be divorced by their partners. Some bread-winning Moms seem to feel that the arrangement robs their men of masculine authority and self-respect. The men, on the other hand, report the arrangement interfered with the women’s sense of attraction to their husbands.
From my own experience, both are true. I wouldn’t encourage any man to stay home with the kids unless the couple has a strong, trusting relationship.
Hope you don’t mind my wandering a bit from the OP.
Great article and interesting discussion. I think the word ‘feminist’ has changed over the decades and keeps evolving. While I am wary of any generalizations about what the word means because so many people have different ideas about it, I do consider myself a feminist in the sense that I support *gender equality* in a culture that does still grant men a great deal of privilege.
My feminism involves absolutely zero man-bashing – it’s hardly equal to say women can bash men but men bashing women is misogyny. I think any bashing only keeps the basher in a victimized role. As my own kind of feminist, I don’t want a handicap (though I certainly recognize that many self-proclaimed feminists do). And it is completely in line with my feminism to be horrified that abusive women are favored in the court system. Gender equality means looking at each case as it is, not favoring the woman or the man.
My partner was married to a BPD woman for 15 years. It’s completely within my feminist views to acknowledge that her psychological abuse was as horrific as any psychological abuse any man might inflict – and because gender equality is the point, as a feminist, it horrifies me that she got away with it, that my man didn’t recognize it as abuse, and that his family won’t believe he was abused.
Maybe I should make up a new, non-polarized word or phrase. Maybe gender equalist.
Is the court system biased towards the mother? Yep. Is it impossible to over come it? Nope.
I would start out by saying that usually our problems, those of us in high conflict situations, aren’t that problematic in the court system. Our stories are difficult, time consuming and involved. The courts are over burdened and short on time. If a judge hears a case involving horrific abuse of a child right before yours, what are they to think? “You two need to grow up and learn to get along.”
That’s the fact of the matter.
Our situations are not bad enough.
Couple that with a the mindset of “How could you take a child away from their mother.” It’s a hard argument to overcome. But, it can be done.
Probably the biggest problem that I see over and over is the non-disordered parent mirrors the disordered parent. The disordered parent rages, screams, yells and the non-disordered parent escalates their verbiage. It may not be on the same level, but the severity is enough to leave an outsider confused.
Where women encountered the glass ceiling in the male dominated corporate domain, they found that they had to be better, more available, then their male counterparts. As more women succeeded in breaking the old boys club it became easier for subsequent women to follow their route.
I don’t see that fathers seeking custody as any different. Parenting, even today, is viewed as woman’s work. Men, to break this glass ceiling have to be better then their female counterparts. And, as more men succeed, it will be easier for those who follow.
In short, you have to have the documentation and evidence to bury the offending disordered parent. Documentation from a third party (schools, medical facilities, etc.) hold more weight than self-produced documentation.
Never, ever stoop to the level of the disordered person. NEVER.
Look, I live in a small rural town. We prevailed in obtaining sole legal custody with severely restricted time and contact. It was challenged 2 years later and we prevailed again. Did we take some small steps back? Yep. They gave her some rope to hang herself again. They do it every time.
There is hope, even with ancient judges with existing biases towards the mother.
Many of the unfavorable currents in feminism mentioned here are real and unjust. And they are the reason why certain (many!) people despise feminism.
I think it is misunderstood feminism and therefore would not consider myself a post-feminist. Feminism has fought for equality, too. It is not because some harpies think that it consists in giving men a hard time that justice, equality and mutual respect cease to be important.