Over at Shakesville they are ripping a movie promo about father's rights. Now, admittedly, the trailer is awful. The acting is bad, there's too much gratuitous sex and violence, and the whole thing just looks bad.
The problem, though, is not with the trailer. It is the non-nonchalance with which The Sister herself trivializes the very real problem facing parents who enter family court; especially stand-up fathers. Here is McEwan:
A word of warning to anyone considering the old "my cousin's best friend's brother's wife is a crazy bitch who won't let him see his kid and he's honestly a good guy I swear and his kid is dying to see him but she's totally a crazy bitch and did I mention she's a crazy bitch?" routine: Great. Good for him and shame on her, if it's true [emphasis mine].Remember the shit Hillary got when she said Obama was not a Muslim, as far as she knew?
Well, here we have McEwan doing the same thing to good fathers. According to her post, McEwan seems to think the notion of a good father is nearly impossible; so nearly impossible that anyone claiming to know a good father (who is also the victim of a bat-shit crazy female partner) should be derided, blown-off, and doubted.
I have had the pleasure of commenting on the blog over there, and let me tell you, that is one intolerant community. I check them out weekly, and usually find something interesting. This one today though, struck a cord. Probably because I am one of those men who had to fight for every second I got with my son, who now lives mostly with me (not because his mom is a crazy bitch, but because the judge realized that my son deserved BOTH parents, and due to our schedules, that's how it worked out--which should be the default setting for conciliation/family courts, but it's not).
The courts are not family friendly. They deal with the worst of society, and that is how they are set up to run. The courts make assumptions about the population it serves, and, apparently, it serves a population of crappy fathers. The only problem is, we are not all crappy fathers. In fact, some of us good fathers, whose children have good mothers, are frequently sold short in court by requiring we pay for all attorney's fees (because we are men?), pay for a long-cause hearing, pay for psychological evaluations (to rule out "?") and be happy with visitation. VISITATION? You want me to VISIT my child?
Look shakers, you have your niche where you point out every misogynist, sexist, ...ist thing you can find. Great. How about you do a little digging into this father's rights thing and see, if just maybe, we are not all trying to get custody of our children so we can beat them. Douchebags!
(Maybe The Frustrated Lawyer will chime in?)
UPDATE: Here is what I think is a comment representative of Shakesville. It is from the thread about the above mentioned item:
Molly, NYCThen came a levelheaded comment that was met with derision:
" . . . she's totally a crazy bitch and did I mention she's a crazy bitch?" routine: Great. Good for him and shame on her, if it's true.
Rule of thumb: In any he-said-she-said argument, unless she's clearly in the aluminum-foil-hat brigade, if he starts impugning her sanity, he's lying through his teeth.
closetteBut Starfoxy couldn't agree with such sense-making gibberish:
Bad acting, bad script from what I can tell, and I've no idea who the intended audience is meant to be (unless they're imprisoned in some kind of right-wing Christian compound and not allowed outside).
But it doesn't mean that there is no systemic bias against fathers in Family Court, unless you really believe that MOST fathers are undeserving of more than a few days a month with their children. Yes, that is the norm (otherwise why caution against too many anecdotes?). Also you'll find a selection effect in groups - more women screwed over among feminists, and more men screwed over among MRAs. No surprise there.
Conversely, the few cases where a real (i.e. not just alleged) 'bad dad" gets custody seem to be anomalies due to the system's incompetence, nepotism and cronyism. All the same, they are signs that the whole system needs to be reformed way from perpetuating itself by its "winner takes all" approach.
By the way, I suspect that its balding male judges, not "feminists", who are hardest on fathers, combining a toxic mix of political correctness and good old-fashioned chivalry to "help the [helpless, childlike] woman". It will be interesting to see how they handle lesbian custody battles in the future.
StarfoxyNotice how Starfoxy phrases that; its as if there is some sort of competition, and therefore some handicapping should come into play, regardless of anything outside the time-I-spent-as-opposed-to-the-time-you-spent giving care. That is the only measure. Giving care. Dare I say how do we define that? I wonder how long it will take to bring up breast feeding? Lawn mowing? Money earning? Dish washing? Driving to school? Shall I go on? I think Starfoxy's rubric is a bit nebulous.But it doesn't mean that there is no systemic bias against fathers in Family Court, unless you really believe that MOST fathers are undeserving of more than a few days a month with their children.This assumes that custody is awarded based on what the parents 'deserve' which isn't and should not be the case. Custody should be awarded in ways that best meet the needs of the kids, and in a divorce kids do best with continuity. That means that if mom was doing 90% of the caregiving then she should get [emphasis mine] 90% of the custody because that is what the kid is used to. This is true even if dad is a great guy and totally deserves to spend time with his kids. If fathers want to spend time with their kids after a divorce then they should start the habit before a divorce.
Kids deserve their parents. Up until a few years ago in California the law was such that a custodial parent could move to Timbuktu. They changed that and now the custodial parent has to do what the court says is in the best interest of the child. I think it changed in 2004, not sure though. But at least the court recognized that kids deserve their parents, and one parent could not do whatever he/she wants just because there is a custody arrangement. These arrangements are made for myriad reasons, having nothing to do with abuse, or neglect, or not giving the right/equitable amount of care in someone else's eyes. The court now assumes both parents, as opposed to assuming only the mother, will participate in the raising and care giving of their child. Over at Shakesville, they are of the mind that fathers suck, and probably wish the court had not set a new precedent a few years back. Well, my son just asked for dessert, and I don't have any. What do I do?
Here's hoping we get over our stereotypes!