Neanderthals: Did they really die off?


Whilst scientists are debating over the time of their death and what they died of, a mens rights crusader has nearly won a lawsuit against the Oakland A over not giving him a mothers day hat. The judge has approved a settlement of $510,000. Rava has already won more than 40 discrimination law suits in America including Club Med for having a ladies only promotion, the angels for not giving him a tote bag and many other venues for similar occurrences. Even the reporterRick Reilly described him as,

"He's a greasy manipulator who has found a small leak in American law and stuck an open wallet under it. When they wrote California's Unruh Civil Rights Act in 1959 -- the act Rava cites in his suits -- they never thought soulless creatures like him would someday slink about the earth." Read morehere.

Reports of harassment circulate from domestic violence shelter owners, mothers group owners, politicians and researchers of similar types of abuse. It was as if an engorged adult claimed discrimination against world vision for providing food to starving children. Rava is not the only mens rights crusader that is opening up a loophole in the law and catching it with his wallet. Dads in distress have managed to cypher a million dollars in funding over a statistic that they don't even cater for. The highest suicide rate in the population is young aboriginal men. The largest aboriginal population is in the Northern Territory and dads in distress only provide a service in New South Wales and Victoria. There have been so many mens programs that they now out number the women and if you take out the programs for young women; there is nothing.

The aim of dads in distress is to provide support through family law issues, yet there are no specific services for women going through the family court. Shelters and domestic violence counseling services are overloaded and are restricted in being able to support them through the family court. Some workers are restrained by funding or capacity and others are afraid of stepping on legal toes post shared parenting campaigns. Not only have these men attacked women accessing the family court, they have trampled on domestic violence victims and access to a much needed service. Richard Hillman, another mens rights campaigner tried to sue a child counsellor for taking protective action towards a child. The judge pointed out that he was asking him to put his duty of care above a child.

They have gnawed away at our systems and protections that give women and children the opportunity to be free from violence. When some of them died as a result of their influence, they justified their deaths and some even tried to use it as a reason to push more of their laws. The logic was, "Dad was angry and suicidal, I can understand that, just give him the child and control and it wont happen again".

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, young women die for speaking to another man or going out on their own - some die because they were raped. There might be a huge difference between the silent bloodshed that goes on within the home to the brutal public honor kills, but the rhetoric is no different and each egg the other on. It is the hate towards women, their autonomy and envy towards their ability to create life that drives these neanderthals towards acts of brutality and clearing all obstacles to commit those acts is their true agenda. There are many men like Rick, who refuse to be apart of such hypocrisy and very much a reason why survivors of domestic violence can and have loved again.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Stuart Showalter Neo Nazi-Fathers Rights Advocate-Abusers Rights Advocate Glenn Sacks-Abusers Advocate,Right Wing Terrorist- Fathers Rights. Warren Farrell, Mike J Murphy, Jeremy Swanson, Mark K Godbey, Donald Tenn, Stan Rains, Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome

WordPress Tags: Neanderthals,Whilst,death,rights,crusader,lawsuit,Oakland,settlement,Rava,discrimination,America,Club,promotion,reporter,Rick,American,wallet,California,Unruh,Civil,earth,Read,Reports,harassment,violence,world,vision,food,children,loophole,Dads,statistic,population,Northern,Territory,South,Wales,Victoria,services,Some,workers,victims,Richard,Hillman,campaigner,action,result,logic,difference,rhetoric,autonomy,life,agenda,hypocrisy,Parental,Alienation,Syndrome,Stuart,Showalter,Nazi,Advocate,Abusers,Glenn,Terror,Warren,Farrell,Mike,Murphy,Jeremy,Swanson,Mark,Godbey,Donald,Tenn,Stan,Gardner,angels,venues,occurrences,creatures,owners,systems,protections,deaths,obstacles,Fathers,mens,women,towards


Man kills infant, points gun at state troopers · Double murder in Bath sheds light on domestic violence · Death of children raises questions ...(NY State)

Death of children raises questions

By: Bill Carey

Three children dead in just four days. All victims of violence. YNN's Bill Carey says we may ask why and may never get an answer.


NEW YORK STATE -- A two-year-old girl, found unresponsive at her home in Oneida County. A victim of sexual abuse and then blunt force trauma, allegedly at the hands of a 13-year-old babysitter

"She deserves justice," said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara.

Then, Steuben County. Late Sunday night. A 25-year-old woman and her three-month-old son, stabbed to death.

"To have something like this happen is just unreal," one neighbor said.

Then, again, Oneida County. Tuesday morning. A man shoots and kills a three-month-old boy.

"Why does this happen? We don't know," said New York State Police Captain Francis Coots.

A murder is a murder. Any victim is a victim. But still, society recoils when that victim is a child and asks what type of person could carry out such an act.

"I've prosecuted enough bad people to know that there's just some evil in the world," said Rick Trunfio, First Chief Assistant Onondaga County District Attorney.

Trunfio has spent 19 years as a prosecutor. He says that while some cases might be explained by neglect or uncontrolled frustration, other cases are just beyond explanation.

"When you get to the cases where a child is beaten to death or killed in a horrific way, then you're talking about a different mindset, in terms of the person. You're talking about a socio-pathic personality," Trunfio said.

Julie Cecile works full-time with victims of child abuse. In a nation where four children die each day from abuse, she still cannot explain what happens in the mind of an adult that would allow them to viciously attack a baby.

"They don't value these, I consider them blessings. I mean, these children are vulnerable. They can't speak up for themselves. There are adults who don't value how wonderful these children are and the need for them to be protected," Cecile said.

Many will call now for the toughest sentences in these cases. There is no death penalty in New York, but there is life imprisonment without parole.

"I believe that there are certain circumstances where somebody who kills a child should never even have the possibility of getting out," Trunfio said.

Two accused men may grow old behind bars for the deaths of two children who barely had tasted life.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Stuart Showalter Neo Nazi-Fathers Rights Advocate-Abusers Rights Advocate Glenn Sacks-Abusers Advocate,Right Wing Terrorist- Fathers Rights. Warren Farrell, Mike J Murphy, Jeremy Swanson, Mark K Godbey, Donald Tenn, Stan Rains, Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome

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(LOUISBURG, Kan.) Timothy Lomax shot his wife, Danielle, and then turned the gun on himself

Shooting Victim Leaves Haunting Facebook Message

LOUISBURG, Kan. -- An unsettling Facebook message could reveal new information about what led up to a gruesome scene that left an area mother and father dead.

Authorities said Timothy Lomax shot his wife, Danielle, and then turned the gun on himself on Wednesday morning in their Louisburg home.

Neighbors told KCTV5 that the couple that was found dead inside the house had a rocky relationship. Police said they believe it ended with a murder-suicide.

Louisburg police evacuated the neighborhood just after 7:30 a.m. when they got a call about shots being fired inside the house at 219 N. Fifth Terrace. Officers from the SWAT team entered the house and found the man and woman in their 20s dead.

"They told me to evacuate and leave the house through the back door and officers were waiting back there," said neighbor Josh Loffler.

"Once we finally made entry, we found one male and one female dead," said Police Chief Ron Anderson.

On Danielle's Facebook page, someone posted a message on June 2 saying, "I missing being a little kid, because there was never any drama, fights and the only man in your life was your Daddy."

Just before the shooting, someone in the house sent a text message to a baby sitter that said, "Come get the kids right away. Don't want them to see what happens next."

The baby sitter managed to get the two children out of the house before the gunfire erupted.

Neighbors said they are sad for the sorrow the children must face.

"I'm a nurse, and any loss of life is tragic, but now two children are left with no parents," said neighbor Jeri Grove. "To lose both at once is not right."

Police said just a few weeks ago, they went to the house because one of the parents was concerned the other was going to take the children and not return.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Stuart Showalter Neo Nazi-Fathers Rights Advocate-Abusers Rights Advocate Glenn Sacks-Abusers Advocate,Right Wing Terrorist- Fathers Rights. Warren Farrell, Mike J Murphy, Jeremy Swanson, Mark K Godbey, Donald Tenn, Stan Rains, Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome

NM Father who killed his two sons and self had Order against him for ‘excessive anger’

NM man in murder-suicide had order against him

SANTA FE, N.M.—A northern New Mexico man who authorities say killed his two sons and himself had "excessive anger," his former wife wrote in a request for a restraining order 4 1/2 years ago.

Paula Martinez said in her Dec. 27, 2005, application for a restraining order against Melvin Martinez that he was threatening to take the boys away.

State police have said all evidence at the La Puebla home where the bodies were found Monday shows the 44-year-old father shot 12-year-old Derek and 10-year-old Devin with a handgun, then killed himself.

In a restraining order petition section asking what threats caused her to fear she might be injured, Paula Martinez listed "excessive anger, obsessiveness, threats, belittling (and) bad mouthing."

State District Judge Raymond Ortiz granted the restraining order on Jan. 10, 2006. He later extended it to January 2008, but a motion filed in November 2007 canceled it.

Paula Martinez also told the court that "Melvin suffers from severe depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. He obsesses about everything. He makes mountains out of mole hills."

Her petition said Martinez continuously belittled her, and once created a scene during a meeting with the older boy's principal in which he was "full of anger" and "making comments on how stupid I was."

Paula and Melvin Martinez were married Aug. 25, 1992, and divorced in October 2005, according to court records. The custody agreement over their sons had the boys spending time at both parents' homes.

State police Lt. Eric Garcia said Wednesday autopsy results on the father and sons are expected Friday or Monday.

He said all three bodies were found lying on the same bed, with the father between the boys.

A next-door neighbor, Flossie Montoya, told the Santa Fe New Mexican she saw Melvin Martinez mowing his lawn and getting rid of tree branches Sunday afternoon, Father's Day.

She said she wondered the next morning why he did not leave at his usual time for his job with the state Department of Transportation.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Stuart Showalter Neo Nazi-Fathers Rights Advocate-Abusers Rights Advocate Glenn Sacks-Abusers Advocate,Right Wing Terrorist- Fathers Rights. Warren Farrell, Mike J Murphy, Jeremy Swanson, Mark K Godbey, Donald Tenn, Stan Rains, Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome





As I was reading the words of a young mother in Washington state who recently committed suicide, I was reminded of an essay a British mum wrote and I wanted to rerun it.  Kodi Hawthorne had her nine month old daughter taken from her in a horrific battle instigated by her ex-boyfriend Travis.  It was a hateful campaign to completely destroy her, and it did.  (Please moms, get help before considering suicide.  This hurts so many people including the children and it lets the bastard win.)

Back to the British mum…Marie is incredible at expressing the horrifying experience of children being ripped from their mothers by fathers out of spite.  Her blog is Kids Need Mums.

If I were a ghost, I could spend more time with my children – yet another nightmare dream

I woke up crying from a dream I had last night. The tears started during my dream: my dream-self was crying and as I woke up, I was still crying.

I had dreamt that I had become a ghost. My ghost-self was able to be anywhere that my children were – it felt wonderful. If they were asleep in their room, I could sit on the end of the bed and just watch them sleeping. If they were sitting quietly reading a book, I could sit next to them mouthing the words alongside them and watch the expressions changing on their faces when they read a funny piece or a puzzling piece or simply watch them becoming drawn into a fantasy world. A world where I was too. I could run outside and play with them, chasing after a ball or just cheering them on…

Nobody would notice, so nobody could stop me. No-one could tell me that I shouldn’t be near my children. I could spend all day and all night with them. If I was lucky, they might become aware of my presence in a positive way and just feel comforted that their mum was with them then they could sleep soundly, assured in the knowledge that my love was all around them even when I was not physically able to hold them and cuddle them.

No wonder I awoke crying…..it’s simply a dream and not a possibility…..

[Don't worry - I'm not suicidal. Far from it, I would never do that to my kids and I feel no reason to do it since making a full recovery]

I dread going to sleep nowadays. Most nights I dream about missing my children, about them being taken away, about them being in trouble and not being able to help them, about having to witness their tears and not be able to wipe them away, about them growing up without me, forgetting that they had a mum. I can only sleep with a sleeping tablet and then I still wake up fretting with a dread in my stomach and memories of the dreams I’ve had floating in and out in the early hours.

I never tell the children I have these dreams. When they tell me of their own bad nightmares, they tell of dreams of me having my head chopped off or about being eaten by a giant spider or about being kidnapped and me not coming to rescue them. My youngest wakes up scared that I really have had my head chopped off and is constantly scared that her dream will come true. She’s fretting about whether I’m safe and whether I will die. No matter how much reassurance I give her, she’s not convinced that I’m alright. She’s often telling me that she loves me “to the moon, and all the way around the universe and every atom in the universe!…..” but then goes on to ask how much I love her, seeking constant reassurance that I do.

My son is being teased at school for the fact that his mum doesn’t live with him; they tease him in front of other boys saying “your mum doesn’t live with you” in a taunt, repeating it until my son has to walk away. What does he tell them? How does he explain? He can’t; he simply has to walk away, hurting. No other boy in the whole school has a mother who doesn’t live with her son. He has to nurse that hurt on his own. Unlike other children with divorced parents who can share their hurt, he can’t; his family story is different from everyone else’s. It’s acceptable to have a father living away, but there is no other mother who is……How does he explain that even to himself, let alone to anyone else….

No wonder we are all having nightmares; it is a nightmare, whether you are awake or asleep and there is no end in sight….this is not a dream, but a harsh reality that my children and I are living in and we won’t wake up to find that it’s just a dream…..it’s horribly real.

WordPress Tags: GHOST,COULD,SPEND,TIME,CHILDREN,RightsForMothers,DADS,CHILD,CUSTODY,BATTLE,KIDS,MUMS,KODI,HAWTHORNE,MOTHER,RELATIONSHIP,SUICIDE,words,Washington,essay,British,daughter,Travis,Back,Marie,spite,tears,self,room,expressions,piece,fantasy,world,ball,Nobody,knowledge,recovery,Most,tablet,memories,dreams,reassurance,universe,atom,fact,father,FATHERS,nightmares,whether,doesn

Family Law Act aids abusive fathers, imperils children


Act aids abusive fathers, imperils children


June 24, 2010

THE Family Law Act is failing to protect children from ongoing trauma at the hands of abusive and violent fathers, a study has found.

The act's aims of protecting children from violence and giving them ''meaningful involvement'' with both parents was being resolved in favour of contact even in cases of severe domestic violence, the study reveals.

Sydney University education and social work senior lecturer Lesley Laing, the report's author, said more thought needed to be given to what formed a ''meaningful relationship'' when a parent had traumatised a child through domestic violence. ''There is no requirement that a parent who has harmed a child in this way must demonstrate they can offer a safe and meaningful relationship,'' she said.

The report is based on interviews with 22 women, contacted through domestic violence services, who were negotiating parenting arrangements in the family law system. It is the first study that has allowed women experiencing domestic violence to speak about the impact of the 2006 legal changes that put greater emphasis on shared parenting while still maintaining protection in cases of violence.

The women describe a situation where they are discouraged by legal advisers and others from raising violence issues in the Family Court for fear of being seen as an ''unfriendly'' or ''alienating'' parent unwilling to support contact with the father.

''Anything that you do to try and advocate for your children is somehow twisted into being high conflict and parental alienation,'' one woman said. ''So you are basically silenced. And the children are silenced.''

Another said she had agreed to the children having sleepovers at their father's place because she felt she had no choice. Her lawyer had convinced her that if she objected the judge would give the father even more contact.

Dr Laing said some women felt guilty they had escaped violent men but their children had not. ''Forty years ago some women could only escape domestic violence by leaving the children behind, and they were pilloried,'' she said. ''Now there is a new form of child abandonment, at least part time. It's a terrible thing we are asking women to do.''

The report shows the women are battling a complex and unco-ordinated system that often sees state child protection services shunting matters to the Family Court though the court with no powers of investigation.

As well, the women battled community attitudes that regarded them as liars who misused the system. Professionals constantly stressed to the women the importance of fathering, without regard to its quality. It was commonly assumed that at least some contact was inevitable, no matter what violence had occurred, and that supervised contact would eventually move to unsupervised contact.

The study, No Way to Live, will put further pressure on federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland to amend the Family Law Act. An earlier review he commissioned recommended amendments to provide greater protection.

No way to live Women’s experiences of negotiating the family law system in the context of domestic violence June 2010


June 2010 Report:No way to live Women’s experiences of negotiating the family law system in the context of ...

Amber Huggins, Lauren McConniel's mother, spent six months trying to find daughters- Father was given Custody and killed her


Here is more details, (Arkansas):

http://www.thestarp ress.com/ article/20100618 /NEWS01/6180307/ Amber-Huggins- Lauren-McConniel -s-mother- spent-six- months-trying- to-find-daughter s

Amber Huggins, Lauren McConniel's mother, spent six months trying to find daughters

MUNCIE -- The biological mother of Lauren McConniel says she lost custody of the girl because she couldn't afford an attorney.

She also says she pleaded unsuccessfully with the girl's father and stepmother -- via e-mail -- to tell her where they were living in the months before Lauren's death.

"I was kept from my daughter for six months," said Amber Huggins, a Marion native now living in Knoxville, Tenn. "I looked everywhere for them (Lauren and her 9-year-old sister) for six months."

Five-year-old Lauren's father, Ryan McConniel, and stepmother, Brittany McConniel, have been charged with felony neglect of a dependent resulting in Lauren's death on March 9.


Amber and Ryan's divorce decree in White County, Ark., granted Ryan custody of both girls in 2007.

"I did not have the financial resources to have an attorney," Amber said this week in a telephone interview. "Ryan had an attorney and I did not. There was no other reason he got custody. I was not an unfit mother. I never hurt my children."

Ryan kept the older daughter, but let Amber have Lauren starting at Christmas of 2008 after Amber filed a complaint of child abuse.

"She had bruises on her," Amber said. "I asked her what happened and she said she didn't know. I took pictures of the bruises but they were old and not good quality pictures. Child protective services in White County said it was not enough."

Amber had Lauren until August 2009 when Ryan took her back. He gave Knoxville police an address in Winchester where he said he would be living.

But Amber later traveled to Winchester, and, accompanied by the police, went to the address Ryan had provided to Knoxville police.

Nobody had lived at the address in a long time.

"I sent numerous e-mails begging them to give me their address," Amber said. "I was told they were living in Winchester. I heard they were living in Farmland. I heard Fort Wayne. I heard Muncie. I heard everything."

Amber said Ryan and Brittany responded by e-mail that she could see the girls when they got old enough to decide for themselves if they wanted to see her.

http://www.thestarp ress.com/ section/videonet work?bctid= 96669528001# /Woman%20plans% 20vigil%20for% 20deceased% 20girl%20% 2806.16.10% 29/96669528001

This is the little girl that died in Muncie.  The mother couldn't find her, dad and stepmom kept her from her.  Mom couldn't afford lawyer, mom lost custody.

WordPress Tags: Amber,Huggins,Lauren,McConniel,Video,Here,Arkansas,article,daughter,MUNCIE,custody,girl,attorney,father,death,Marion,Knoxville,Tenn,Five,Ryan,Brittany,felony,March,woman,plans,White,children,Christmas,complaint,pictures,Child,services,August,Winchester,Nobody,Farmland,Fort,Wayne,lawyer,months,daughters,thestarp,couldn,stepmother,girls


Cops: Man kills baby in standoff with NY troopers



BLOSSVALE, N.Y. (AP) — New York state police say a man who shot a 3-month-old baby to death in front of troopers during a standoff has been shot by officers and wounded.

Police say the armed man was outside a home in the upstate town of Blossvale when troopers arrived after getting a 911 call about a domestic dispute at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Troopers say they shot the man after he used a long gun to shoot the baby and open fire on officers.

The gunman survived and was taken by helicopter to a local hospital. The baby was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The names and relationships of the people involved haven't been released.

Blossvale is about 30 miles east of Syracuse.

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Mother, Infant Stabbed to Death, Baby's Father Arrested

 Suspect Arrested in Double Shooting on Father's Day


Bath, NY - Police in Steuben County released the names of a 25-year old woman and her three-month old son who were stabbed to death late Sunday night.

Officers were sent to a home on Mount View Road just after 10:30 p.m. Sunday after someone called 911 but did not speak. Shortly after that, Trieste Clayton, 25, and three-month old Xavier Michael Ashline were found stabbed to death.

Police say it appears to be related to a domestic incident.

The suspect is 23-year-old Bryan Ashline, the father of the infant.

Police said just after 5:00 a.m. Monday, On-Star notified state police that Ashline’s vehicle was located at a rest stop in Otsego County.  He was found sleeping in the vehicle and taken into police custody.

Authorities say Ashline and Clayton were involved in a domestic incident in August 2009 which resulted in Ashline being charged with 3rd degree assault. An Order of Protection was issued on behalf of Clayton.

Ashline was arraigned in Bath Village Court Monday and sent to Steuben County Jail without bail.

He'll be back in court Monday, June 28.

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The National Fatherhood Initiative: Supporting a Misogynistic Agenda

Note: Cross posted from [NikitasJustice] American Mothers Political Party.


In Re: The National Fatherhood Initiative: supporting a misogynistic agenda with "politically correct" jock straps. Also read this important article on the National Fatherhood agenda on theSilver Rights blogspot.

liz responds to Wade Horn's
The Importance of Being Father.

HORN: Despite conventional wisdom, which has held -- and in many quarters still does -- that children do not pay a price when fathers are absent from their lives, research data depict a much different reality.  Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers, including 60 percent of America's rapists, 72 percent of adolescent murderers and 70 percent of long term prison inmates.  Children living in a father-absent home are also more likely to be suspended or expelled from school, or to drop out; require treatment for an emotional or behavioral problem; commit suicide as adolescents; and be victims of child abuse or neglect.

LIZ: Let's stop right here.  Research on widowed homes, and research which has been done on divorced mother-headed homes which are financially comfortable and unstressed indicates that there is virtually no difference in child rearing outcomes between these children and children raised in intact homes with a mother and father present.

Moreover, the research does not indicate that these percentages of violent criminals, et al. grew up through their entire childhoods (as implied) sans a father in the household, but rather, that they grew up in homes in which that father was absent for some period of their childhood. So right in the first paragraph, you perpetuate two blatant misrepresentations. Your argument, Wade, also misleads in another way: the overwhelming MOST of single mother households do NOT exhibit these childrearing problems.

If children tend to pay any price at all when the father is absent, that price is largely in their standard of living. It's financial. But growing up poor in and of itself also does not necessitate a bad child rearing outcome. The actual causes of negative child rearing problems correlating with the disparate and nonhomogeneous classification of "fatherless homes" (or "single mother households") are disguised and distorted by statistics which lump into that category, not only demographic groups which do NOT exhibit these bad child-rearing outcomes, but also all those homes which are "fatherless" precisely because of the very same factors which down the road affected the children. These factors include: adultery, wife and child abuse; addictions to alcohol, sex, and drugs, other personality dysfunctions; conflict, and plain old abandonment, financial irresponsibility and failure to support (emotionally or financially.) The other primary and telling difference between "fatherless homes" which do and do not have problems is the relative financial stability, educational level, and comfort of the mother.

It is true that a disproportionate number of violent criminals have been shown to have hailed from homes where the biological father was indeed absent at some point, but this ignores that he also was present at some point, and during those periods preceding his abandonment of the family, or the family's flight from him, often left the legacy of his criminality, addiction, abuse, and/or character flaws, as well as his genes.  There is a generational dysfunction that is usually ignored by these studies.  The absent dad of that violent criminal might have been merely alcoholic, rather than a criminal himself, but he was unlikely to have been an absent Ward Cleaver.

HORN: Why are fathers so important for the well-being of children? The answer is embedded in the larger question of why families are important. The family's importance is nothing short of ensuring the continuity of civilization. The family does this in two ways: first, by propagating the species, and second, by socializing children.

LIZ: Having failed to establish the first premise as true, Wade, you throw out a nonsequitor, a gratuitous plea for reinstatement of the patriarchal "family," which ostensibly is important because fathers are important, because, apparently, if a father is not there, it's not a "family." It's a circular argument: fathers are important because when fathers are there, there is a family (you don't think so, otherwise), and the family is important because (this is a stretch) it is necessary to "propagate the species" and "socialize children."

Well, first off, it's pretty obvious that families (in the Wade Horn sense) are not necessary at all to "propagate the species." Rather, a "family" is what nature creates when a mother bears young, father-presence or not. That leaves us with your argument that the father-headed family is necessary to "socialize children." Obviously, it's not, since MOST single mother-headed households have perfectly well socialized children.Claiming that "most criminals come from fatherless homes" is a far cry from claiming that most "fatherless homes" produce criminals. Clearly, they do not.

It's also well-established that there is plenty of generational dysfunction in male-female two-parent families, but it's of the sort that's more easily disguised under the umbrella of circumstances that mirror "normality" in the society in which this sort of family is considered ideal: e.g. alcoholism, abuse, sex perversion, overeating, secret-keeping.

Your argument goes on to explain why "fatherless" children, presumably being improperly "socialized," are at risk of some sort (you hope) even though research into causation (versus bean-counting) indicates that father-presence or absence in and of itself is not a factor in childrearing outcomes. Father involvement hasn't been shown to have effect to correct the statistics in joint custody situations post-divorce, no matter how high that involvement (in fact, the reverse has been correlated.)

HORN: Proper socialization requires the development of self-control in order to follow the rules of society. Well-socialized children have learned not to strike out at others to get what they want; under-socialized children often have not. Well-socialized children have learned to listen to and obey the directions of legitimate authority figures, such as parents and teachers; under-socialized children often have not. Well-socialized children have learned to cooperate and share with others; under-socialized children many times have not. In short, well-socialized children have developed the ability to self-regulate impulse gratification; under-socialized children often have not.

LIZ: You claim that what's wrong with juvenile delinquents is a lack of proper "socialization, i.e. "self-control." This is a quite pat answer to why we have juvenile criminals. Of course, we could beg the question, and say: well if children turn into juvenile delinquents then they have not been properly socialized by definition, and therefore lack of proper socialization has caused them to become juvenile delinquents, i.e., they are what they are because of what they are. But this doesn't actually work to make a point. Gang members in certain cultures are quite well socialized into their culture; it happens to be one antagonistic to the culture in control, however.

What is the telling factor causing juvenile crime? There are many, not just one. And primary among them, when we look at differences among the various demographic groups comprised in the umbrella of "fatherless" homes, and compare them to "intact" homes, is, not the father, but themother, and not all mothers are alike, or are situated alike.

The singlemost important contribution that a loving father may make to an intact household is to the emotional and financial comfort and happiness of the mother -- and THIS, the mother's personality and situation, has been shown to be the singlemost common common denominator across the board affecting child rearing outcomes. No study has indicated any benefit to the mere presence of the father, where that contribution is factored out. Widowed homes, which typically are without continued post-divorce stress or custody/visitation issues, which are financially more comfortable than never-married or divorced households, which benefit from increased extended family and community support, and in which the mothers have buck-stops-here parental authority, simply do not share these touted "fatherless home" negatives.

HORN: A civil society is totally dependent upon most of its adult citizenry having developed self-control. Absent a significant majority of such well-socialized adults, storekeepers would have to post armed guards in front of every display counter; every woman would live in constant fear of being raped by roaming bands of marauding men; and, children would be largely left to fend for themselves or be exploited for the gratification of their parents.

LIZ: Apparently, in your world, women don't naturally feel protective or loving of their infants -- they only care for their children out of some disciplined sense of "self-control." Or are you implying a natural male lack of parental feelings? To extend your argument, it further would appear that in your world, men must exert learned self-control over themselves in order to suppress a natural drive to gang-rape.

[I thought he was a psychologist. Or is this merely the propagandist's argument ad consequentiam ploy -- disagree with the "father-family values" agenda, and children will starve and women will be gang-raped...?]

Self-control. The something supposedly lacking in the teaching of children in single mother households, according to Horn. Would this be the sort of self-control exhibited by the sires of all those unwed teenage households, most of them adults and most of them involved with or married to other women? Or would this be the sort of self-control exhibited by fathers in many of the divorced households who were wife beaters, alcoholics, cheaters, drug addicts, or spent a few years in jail, and that's why the household is now "fatherless?"

Wade, you imply that there is something about having a man -- any man, so long as he is bio-dad -- being in the family which creates civilisation and self-control. The corollary is that women simply don't have this sort of self-control, civilization, or ability to impart it. This is as ridiculous a notion as it sounds. (And you don't agree with it yourself, below.)

MOST single mother households don't have bad childrearing outcomes. MOST are successful. So, it's not father presence or absence, but the presence or absence of some other factor or factors in SOME of those "fatherless homes" which is key -- not the presence or absence of the father. What are those factors? There are loads to choose from, none of which require the strained sort of argument you have to make in order to "explain" the ostensible importance of the "father factor." Here's the preface to that strained argument:

HORN: Parents socialize children through two mechanisms. Most obviously, children learn through direct tuition reinforced by a combination of rewards and punishments for acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Children are first told how they should behave and then reinforced for following the rules and punished for disobedience to the rules. But children also learn by observing others. Of the two processes, observing others is by far the more important. In fact, most complex human behavior is acquired not through direct instruction, but through observational learning. Children are much more likely to do as a parent does than what the parent says. This is why parents who lie and cheat invariably have children who lie and cheat, despite any direct instruction to the contrary.

LIZ: How true. All of this buildup is simply a reiteration of generally accepted child development theory (although I would argue with the superior placement of "punishment" in the paragraph.) Children learn mostly by modeling themselves after example.

Stating truisms is the best way to pave the way for a con: the best cons mix truth in with false conclusions. Remember that right at the beginning statement of this article was a whopper of a subtle lie: that most violent criminals et al. hail from "fatherless homes," the implication being that there was an absence of a necessary paternal role model. No, they don't hail from "fatherless homes," not if we properly count the numbers to reflect "fatherless" -- as it implies -- as not having that father around during those early and impressionable years. There was indeed a role model of a biological father for part of the time in most of these homes breeding our future criminals, and it was a bad one. And, moreover, most "fatherless" homes do not rear criminals of any sort, violent or otherwise. Do some children require a paternal role model and others not?

The FR movement conveniently describes as "hailing from a fatherless" home, any individual who spent any portion of childhood outside of the traditional patriarchal intact family. In doing so, the FR movement also conveniently gets to leave the impression that "dad's" genes or role modeling or abuse could not possibly have been responsible for any bad trait, genetic or modeled, that has affected the children in these homes. Rather, it was his "absence."

That's ridiculous. The ploy ignores the glaringly obvious: that there likely were some pretty dysfunctional things going on all around, and they likely involved that biological father, which is why the homes are "fatherless" in the first place. And it conveniently ignores all the other factors, from the stress of divorce itself, to the difficulty our social and employment constructs unnecessarily present for women with children, and so forth, which also contribute negatively, but in and of themselves, are irrelevant to father presence or absence. And most of all, it ignoresthe most important factor, and the ONLY one which holds steady through all kinds of studies and groups as affecting childrearing outcomes: the personality, education, situation and overall happiness and comfort of the children's primary caregiver, usually their mother.

HORN: The socialization of children simply does not get done as well when fathers are absent from the home. When fathers are absent, boys often develop conduct problems -- they act out aggressively and sometimes quite violently toward others. Girls also act out when fathers are absent, but in a different way -- they often become sexually promiscuous. In short, the presence of involved fathers is absolutely critical if we are to successfully socialize children.

LIZ: Isn't this a misogynistic load of crap! Widowed homes don't have these childrearing problems. Neither do most other single mother homes. All that build-up and your argument comes right back to the oft-repeated false correlation between negative childrearing outcomes and "fatherless" homes. The correlation is not true except as to a subset group within "fatherless" homes, and in none of them is father presence or absence per se the causative factor of anything. The blathering about "socialization" and "self-control," as nowhere as it goes, is really just the obfuscating precursor to a theory which, in essence, is "a difference in search of a purpose," below:

WADE: There appear to be at least three reasons for this. First, mothers and fathers tend to parent different. Beginning at the birth of a child, mothers tend to be more verbal with their children, whereas fathers are more physical. Mothers also tend to encourage caution, whereas fathers are more challenging of achievement and independence. But most importantly, mothers tend to be more powerful nurturant figures and fathers stronger disciplinarians. Why should this difference in parenting style make such a difference for children?

LIZ: Gender stereotyping? I suppose we are to ignore all the homes in which Daddy is the indulgent parent and Mom is the disciplinarian -- the majority of them! Apparently we also are to ignore that talk about fathers' early contributions just doesn't fly as an argument regarding outcomes in divorced homes, because all those divorced "fatherless homes" you are talking about become "fatherless" on average, well after the infancy of the children. As for the ones that start out that way -- well take a look at the biological fathers. These men certainly are no disciplinarians, not even of themselves. Abusers, maybe. And apparently, we also are to supposed to suspend belief in your earlier hypothesis, above, that lacking appropriate "self-control," the promiscuous unwed teenage mother, being improperly socialized herself, will be "leaving her children to fend for themselves," not exhibiting warm, overly concerned caution.

What fathers are like, and the function they may serve in homes where the fathers are loving, mature, appreciated, and involved -- well that's what these fathers may indeed be and do in these particular homes. But these are the particular fathers they are, and they are in the successful intact homes they are in, precisely because they DO have attributes which fathers from fatherless homes are far more likely to Just Not Have.

Other than having male reproductive facility in common, there is just no reason to assume that the biological sires of children who hail from fatherless homes share character or parenting attributes in common with the men who also have the sort of personalities and functionality which have enabled them to succeed at maintaining a loving intact marriage.

It's more likely that the fathers from "fatherless" homes just don't have the same talent for maintaining a relationship, or a loving marriage. Quite likely they are not as desirable to have around for a number of reasons, if only for the reason that they do not have a satisfactory level of love and respect for the mother in question, and this in turn affects all sorts of other things.And look at how you completely denigrate and ignore differences in women: heck, they're all the same, whether a 15-year-old teenage girl with an 8th grade education or a divorced 40-year-old college professor.

HORN: We used to believe that families socialize children best when parents demonstrate high levels of love and relatively low levels of control. Research has shown, however, that when children are reared with high levels of warmth and low levels of control there are very predictable results -- they act-out, both aggressively and sexually. In contrast to these 1960's ideas of how to parent children, research has consistently shown that families socialize children best when they use a combination of nurturance and control.

LIZ: On the contrary: we have known for years that the best parent is one who is both loving and authoritative (that's authoritative, not authoritarian.) Even the fleeting trend of "permissive parenting" never actually was about parents relinquishing "control" or letting their households run amuck. Convenient as it has been for a few decades now to blame that straw man for parenting "failures" (it was supposedly the reason for the hippy generation), it never actually caught on with any widespread popularity, particularly among homes with less education and lower socioeconomic status. These homes, which were least likely to have adopted the 1960s "permissive parenting" pseudo-trend (largely a hallmark of the intellectual and financial elite), still yielded the least successful childrearing outcomes.

One of the reasons for negative child-rearing outcomes in divorced homes in which there is something other than sole authority in the custodial parent, e.g. the variety of joint custody "solutions," is precisely that at every turn, the authority of the head of the children's household IS in fact undermined. That is one reason widowed homes, and homes in which one parent is completely absent actually do so much BETTER than every situation of shared, joint, split, switched, and otherwise flipflopped and mixed-up custody.

Additionally, and debunking theories steeped in the presumption of male "discipline" in intact homes, Shere Hite has written extensively on how women as parents are authoritatively undermined in the patriarchal system such that where two parents are present, the constant subtle messages of second class woman status along with father-figure exaltation ultimately (by adolescence) diminish the mother's authority in the eyes of children of both sexes. This is an artificially-created "problem" with mother-parenting. Introduce a higher boss, and then blame her for not "being authoritative" or able to command adequate respect.

By contrast, the children of women who are on their own as parents, and LEFT alone -- those who have no divorce stress or custody hassles undermining authority, and no financial problems or social pariah status or social worker meddling (compare widowed mothers versus welfare mothers versus struggling working single mother with young children) -- do just fine. These mothers are in fact authoritative as well as loving. In fact, in these households, the child rearingoutcomes are comparable to those from intact homes. [Also see liznotes on the problems with joint custody.]

Even with the patriarchal systemic status boost, it remains purely a myth that fathers are the disciplinarians in most households. Studies of parents' interactions and roles in intact households instead indicate that most time spent by fathers with their children is in the areas of play, and in most households, the modeling of self-control, the primary nurturing AND the discipline all are tasks befalling the primary caregiver -- most of the time, the mother.

So why do violent inner city boys hailing from those "fatherless" homes appear to exhibit lack of socialization?  It's not because they don't have the half hour evening at home of father around or the paternal "discipline" (as the term is misused to mean an occasional whop with a belt.)  It's because they are in fact "socialized" quite well, actually, into a culture that doesn't fit in with our civilized notions, and into an outside surrounding world of poverty, drugs (blame the war on drugs for a lot of this), gangs and violence.

Is this new, stemming from the last three decades of feminism?  Heck no. Take a look at what we were "socializing" in the inner cities quite similarly earlier in this century during Prohibition.

As for girls' "acting out" sexually (not boys -- or is that not a problem?): how is this really different from the obsessing over coupling we as a culture continually have encouraged in young girls vis a vis their appearance, their popularity, and their "success" with the opposite sex? This is nothing new. Girls have forever in our culture sought attention from boys -- the patriarchal culture demands it, and measures girls' worth by their sexual attractiveness, which in turn is measured by numbers of "conquests." Girls are not engaging in sex for love and attention -- they are engaging in sex because it's become pervasively "out there" in the culture. There are many reasons for that, including a loosening of sexual attitudes generally, and the pervasive sexual messages in the media on television, etc. But it's the same psychological dynamics and behaviors simply carried to a somewhat higher degree. The pregnancies?

Young teenage girls who both eschew marriage and continue their pregnancies are not looking for male love, but babies, and possibly a rite of passage into an adult world that otherwise holds little in the way of potential milestones and achievements for them. They are choosing to not terminate their pregnancies. And according to the Guttmacher Institute, MOST (71%) of unwed "teenage" pregnancies involve males who are not teenagers at all, but men over the age of majority, so perhaps we ought to look harder at male adult, not girl child behaviors here.

Most odd, is that most of the same pro-patriarchy politicos and propagandists who point to teenage pregnancies as a peculiar problem stemming from "fatherlessness" -- a difficult and complex concept to define, let alone solve as a "problem" -- if indeed it is one at all -- are against the simple solution: against sex education, contraceptives, and abortion. The problem for these men isn't the emotional well-being of teenage girls at all. It's the age-old abhorrence of the sexual freedom of women. It's the perception of their OWN lack of control, which is threatening to them.

There are fewer teenage girls having babies today (1998) than there were forty years ago (1958.) The difference is that in 1958 they were married. Were teenage girls in the 1950s getting married so young because they were obsessively looking for father-love they didn't get in their intact homes?

HORN: Given that mothers tend toward nurturance and fathers toward control, children reared in single mother households are likely to experience high levels of warmth, but low control. Conversely, children reared in single father households are likely to be exposed to lower levels of warmth and higher control. Either way, socialization does not go as well compared to when children experience both high warmth and moderately high control.

LIZ: You not only spout a false stereotype here, but then speculate from it. Women soft and sweet and warm, fathers sensible and objective and in control. The speculation is neither true nor rational. Your attempt to assign to women all that is weak and hesitant, and to men all that is strong and brave, breeds an inconsistency and oversimplification in your thesis. As you know yourself, where control is tight, children are LESS likely to develop an internal sense of self-control. And high control is the essence of overtly discouraging risk-taking and exerting undue amounts of caution. Depending upon balance and degree, a controlling parent can cultivate either effect in children: fear and underachieving, or reckless irresponsibility. So which is it. Neither. It's not this simple at all. This is all gender-biased poppycock.

Men and women are equally likely to have either kind of personality, controlling or nurturing, or a combination of both or a lack of both, and the childrearing outcome also depends upon the innate temperament of the child. Aside from all this, and back to the stereotyping: where would we ever be able to observe and compare mothers' and fathers' parenting styles side by side under similar circumstances except in the context of an intact home. (See Shere Hite, above.) There indeed may be some observable reversion to expected role-playing in most intact homes, where male and female parents tend to fall into artificially heightened socially expected gender roles. But, then again, how do we explain the persistence of the father = disciplinarian myth?

And, this still says nothing at all about single parent homes. In fact, a study released last summer (1997) indicated that children reared in sole single mother households compare favorably to children reared in intact homes, and, interestingly, FAR better than children reared in single father homes and other familial arrangements.

HORN: The point here is not to denigrate the parenting style of either mothers or fathers. But contrary to the claims of some, gender differences in parental behavior do not need to be minimized for parents to raise well-adjusted and well-socialized children. Indeed, what children need to grow up to become well-adjusted adults is the combination of parenting styles that mothers and fathers provide.

LIZ: Nonsense. These parenting "gender differences" are myth in the first place. And the point is precisely to denigrate the parenting styles of "women," and render them -- the natural parent of children -- artificially incapable of rearing their own young sans male leadership.

The motivation for this blather really isn't that fathers are needed; it's that patriarchists perceive fathers as needing a special status to be accorded within a patriarchal family system, including the right to control women's reproductive capabilities and lives. (See, e.g. Daniel Amneus's The War Against Patriarchy. ) It's not about children, but about some men's fears that their pro-male, comfortably organized world is crumbling. (Ibid.) Any excuse which sounds more altruistic and benign, however, such as the well-being of children, or "society" (!) and less like what it really is, an attempt to fulfill the needs and wants of the adult men in question, will do as ostensible rationale.

HORN: The second reason why fathers are so critical in the socialization of children is that children -- and boys in particular -- learn to keep their aggressive impulses in check through the observation of a male figure in the home who consistently and regularly controls himself. It is through a boy's observation of the way his father deals with frustration, anger and sadness that boys learn how men cope with such emotions. It is also through a boy's observation of the way his father treats the boy's mother that he learns how to treat women. If the father treats the mother with respect and dignity, than it is likely that his son will grow up to treat women with dignity and respect. If the father treats the mother with disdain and cruelty, then -- unfortunately -- his son is likely to grow up to do the same.

LIZ: Well, dang if this doesn't shoot your entire thesis! So if the father treats the mother with disdain and cruelty... a "fatherless" home would be better, would it not? And women cannot be aggressive, do not ever have anger to be controlled, and cannot role model human (not gender-specific) emotions and reactions?

Bunk. It's the primary parent whose behavior is that primarily observed by the children, balancing all the little tedious chores of the day, organizing, planning, doing, and so forth. Your comments about the significance of role modeling in and of themselves are unassailable. But self-control is hardly a genderized trait that requires role modeling by a specific gender. And peppering a false argument with true statements about child development does not render misogyny more credible and less despicable.

No, this is woman-defamation surfacing: those hussy single mothers, wild and wanton, who have no self-control; the never-married whore who has child out-of-wedlock; the hot-to-trot divorcee; the sweet, soft-spoken, helpless-little-woman mother, etc. The fathers rights arguments don't have to make sense. They only need repeat the buzz-words and phrases often enough to leave the intended impression. It's part and parcel of the pervasive backlash theme that women are out of control, and we need to clamp down on them and clip their wings via traditional patriarchy, marry them off where they can be properly "husbanded."

[And note the classic progression of Horn's claims here: from "children pay a price" to "fathers are important" to "fathers are critical" to "fathers are absolutely critical." Propaganda.]

Wade, according to your comments in your June 1998 Father's Day newspaper essay, you would agree with me that paternal role modeling simply cannot be duplicated via joint custody and visitation schemes post-divorce, or other schemes of sometime father presence. It's all about intact homes. And GOOD fathers; not just any fathers.

Even so, it bears pointing out the inherent contradictions in the male role modeling argument: nothing about it explains the insistence that fatherNESS requires biological paternity; only (we might surmise) a permanent and consistent from-the-beginning father-figure presence. (Where this is an adoptive father or step-father, however, the lesson will be undermined by the irregular, conflicting and confusing occasional presence of the biological father.)

Regardless of the difficulties, touting continuing marriage to the bio-dad come-hell-or-high-water just makes absolutely no sense where that biological father is NOT an admirable role model, does not comport himself appropriately, does not love and respect the children's mother, or has other dysfunctions. And encouraging hissometime presence in an unwed or divorce situation simply does not achieve this particular role modeling.

Ignored through all of the father-necessary arguments is any recognition that failure of the father in question to be the sort of father you describe as "critical" to a child's well-being is a primary reason for the existence of the "fatherless homes" in the first place.

HORN: Finally, for girls, fathers are critical for learning mastery of their sexuality. Indeed, one of the predictable results of father absence for girls is early and promiscuous sexual activity. In contrast, if a girl experiences the love of a father who places her well-being above his own and who acts as a natural protector, than the girl is likely to delay sexual relations until she finds such a man herself. If she is denied such fatherly love, then the girl is likely to try to seek it elsewhere -- often inappropriately and often at very young ages.

LIZ: What unbelievable woman-denigrating arrogance! Boys must have men to learn to be men, but young women also must have men to learn how to be women, rather than older women? This obnoxious claim -- that absent father guidance, girls will be prematurely sexual -- falls apart completely when one looks at the ages of marriage in "intact family times." Delayed sexual relations in the patriarchal society?  Nope. Take a look at the relative ages of marriages of women in the most patriarchal familial systems, and the average ages of marriages in the past in the United States.

And, of course, this men-train-girl's sexuality thesis glosses over the issue of fathers who are no longer in "fatherless homes" precisely because they are just not the sort of men who will provide healthy other-centered parenting, and likely have quite harmful and damaging outlooks and attitudes about women and women's sexuality. There's a big "if" in there: "if a girl experiences..." We are, it appears to ignore the significant portion of not-there fathers, perhaps the majority of absent fathers, who are not because they are the cheaters, the pornography users, the abusers, the denigrators and degraders, and the ones who lacked respect and love for the child's mother. No girl's budding sexuality needs to be influenced by this. [liznote]

HORN: Given this understanding of what happens in individual families when fathers are absent due to divorce or abandonment, what should we expect as a society when father absence becomes, not the exception, but the norm? Answer: increasing violence and increasing sexual acting-out. That is precisely what we are seeing.

Children are the fastest growing segment of the criminal population in the United States. Between 1982 and 1991, the rate juveniles were arrested for murder increased 93 percent, for aggravated assault 72 percent, for forcible rape 24 percent and for car theft 97 percent. And although homicide rates have increased for all ages, those for teenagers have increased more rapidly than those of adults.

LIZ: Take a look at the "war on drugs" and its effects here, as well as shifts in the economy, the rise in the population, the rise of media violence and pornography since the inception of television and later, television itself, video games, the relative decrease in per capita student spending on academics in the schools, and the increase in gun ownership and availability. In fact, in the last thirty years in the United States we also haven't had a war to speak of, something which tends to focus young men on getting more serious about their responsibilities, their studies and their futures. Correlation is not causation. (By the way, what about all the children raised by their mothers alone during all those periods in history in which men were off to war, at sea, trapping in the frontier wilds, emigrated to another country...?) [liznote]

HORN: We also know that each and every day: 7,700 teenagers become sexually active; 1,100 teenagers have abortions; 600 teenagers get syphilis or gonorrhea; 2,500 children are born out of wedlock; and 6 teenagers commit suicide.

LIZ: And how many children get tuberculosis or rickets, drop out of school at age 12 or 13 (as in past decades), or attend at least some college, compared with previous decades? There were more teenage pregnancies in past decades -- along with younger marriages -- and far fewer girls who attended college! Floating numbers and "problems" completely out of context is ridiculous.The problem is the father's rightster perception of "fatherless homes." On balance, does society have more problems than in the past? It all depends upon what one chooses to focus, what one personally thinks is important when comparing uncomparable "ills," and the weight one chooses to accord value-wise to the factors and circumstances arbitrarily focused on.

Which is worse: more teenage girls having unwed sex, or more teenage girls getting married, having babies and not getting educated? 600 cases of syphillis or gonorrhea, curable with penicillin, or 6000 cases of polio, incurable? Some young men (often homosexual boys, by the way, shamed and devasted by patriarchal "family values" attitudes) committing suicide, or young men proudly enlisting in (or sent off by old men to) a war which kills or maims them?

HORN: Father absence may not be the sole cause of each of these social ills -- but it certainly makes each one worse. Americans need to remember the important work that fathers do in helping to rear children successfully. We must resolve to restore the institution of good and responsible fatherhood in America. The well-being of our children -- and ultimately our nation -- depends upon us rediscovering the importance of being father.

Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., is director of The National Fatherhood Initiative.

I don't think so, Wade. "Father-absence" may not only not be the sole cause of "social ills"; it's likely not the cause of any social ills at all. If it's anything; if it's even about "social ills" at all, it is as a symptom, versus an arbitrary definition of what is "social wellness," i.e. "normal."

"The institution of good and responsible fatherhood in America" is what yielded centuries of woman-slavery, denied women the right to autonomy over their very bodies and lives, and prevented or restricted women from being educated, from participating in the economy, from being able to support themselves, from owning property, and from having the right to vote.

The "fatherhood movement" around the world now -- and it is a trend, usually couched in religious fundamentalist rubric --can be seen carried to its logical ends in the Taliban in Afghanistan, in the Middle East, and in other horrid, tyrranical and repressive regimes that are rising to power.

How far back, and to which decade shall we return to in the United States in forcing women as individuals once again to kowtow to the dictates of "society" -- men -- regarding when they may have sex, how they may use their own bodies, and how they may live their lives, all for a theory of social welfare?

It's easy to say (as these "fathers" like to say) that all the ills of the brief last three decades are attributable to "fatherlessness" and feminism. Men such as yourself, Horn, with pleasant-sounding, but specious pap, fuel the fires of fundamentalist tyrants. This is an old refrain, from Old Testament Biblical days onward. Change hardly is going to happen instantaneously such that all the pieces fit perfectly at once, and change always has some measure of discomfort. It's not a very smart idea to judge a pudding before it's finished, is it.

And lawyers and legislators take note: these theories do not support post-divorce sometime "fathering." The statistics freely comprise and decry those households as "fatherless." This is all about (see HORN, second paragraph, above) the importance of FAMILIES (as defined to include the father.)

What's this stuff really all about? Behind this movement is not just divorce reform or "getting fathers involved," as the ostensibly harmless, even beneficent, but farcical rhetoric of the National Fatherhood Initiative puts it.. It's a first step in an agenda to get those women back under "control." A patriarchal backlash.

Consider this: even if everything Horn and his ilk claim about intact homes were true, it still wouldn't present a viable argument. This is a "problem" without an acceptable solution. We also could violate individual rights and autonomy in all kinds of nasty and intrusive ways in order to create a society which appears more seemly, neat, utopian, homogeneous, orderly.

We could make the argument that turning another segment of the population, e.g. "blacks," back into slaves would enhance production and the economy (as that argument was made in the old south) and the standard of living for everyone else. We could make an argument for castration of any male caught having sex out of wedlock -- now THAT would solve some of the fatherless family problem, wouldn't it. Similarly, we could pass laws preventing women from exiting marriages, punishing adultery, requiring father custody or control of households. (And if these didn't accomplish a thing for the welfare of children, well at least they would please some self-and-other-controlling men, wouldn't they.) We could pass all manner of oppressive and draconian laws which would prevent and eliminate all kinds of perceived social "ills" and unseemliness. How about sterilizing lesbians? Some of this fathers-rights-anti-woman agenda is succeeding because of the willingness of most to simply presume as a belief that into which they have been inculcated in this father-loving society since childhood: the necessity of having a "father." All we need is a claimed compelling reason, specious or otherwise, to trample again on women's lives, such as a purported "need" of children for two parents, one of each sex.

Most of us have fathers; most of us adore our daddies. But that's not proof of a thing. When it's about willingness to sacrifice one individual's welfare for the sake of another's, the crucial threshhold questions mustbe examined and answered first. In general, with regard to father's rights rhetoric, that has not been done. It makes for great political soundbites.

By contrast, the position that children may NOT "need" two parents, and that this really may be all about what MEN need, elicits high emotion and shocked horror. It is just too upsetting a thought for many to contemplate -- oh my, who would posit such a terrible idea, I love MY daddy, etc. That children "need" two parents, one of each sex, has been presumed, and it's the reason why over the past few years, many of the fathers rights groups have added "children" into the names of their organizations. Being fooled by that is not good scholarship and it's not intelligent.

But to the point: if "fatherlessness" is a problem, then how is it supposed to be cured?With the feel-good prattle of the National Fatherhood Initiative et al. giving lipservice to ineffectual programs, child support collections and such things as the innocuous-sounding "working with men to get them 're-involved' in 'broken homes?' "

Please. Traditionally, patriarchy has cured "fatherlessness" with restrictions (not placed on men) regarding on how women may live their adult lives, and use their very own bodies. This is, when all is said and done, what is implied to follow the yammering about the "problem" of "fatherlessness." Next come the solutions.

First are the "step ones," such as restrictions on divorce, requirements that women name fathers on birth certificates or name their children after the men, the imposition of the accutrements of marriage and "normal family structure" onto the families created by women out of wedlock. After that come the "step twos," a la Father's Manifesto, that women and women's sexuality further be controlled, restricted, and reined in again in all kinds of other ways, legal and social: from restricting entry into jobs, to ending their suffrage, eliminating their right to own and manage property, and otherwise going back the panoply of historical measures that traditionally have been used to "encourage" women to get into marriages and remain married. Pandering to Judaic and Christian religious notions -- completely inappropriate as a basis for law in the United States -- also plays a major role here, as these religions essentially are about the exaltation of "fatherhood" and patriarchy, and originally came about for the purpose of institutionalizing this social ordering scheme.

Fathers are not in the home? Those who are concerned about this, and think it important, should work on making living with men more attractive to women. Obviously, some marriages succeed, and I doubt that many of those in this age of readily available divorce are enduring merely out of altruistic misery and abstract social commitment on the part of the persons in them.

A little cessation of the silly and counterproductive talk about how fathers "parent differently," are "important," are the "authoritative" ones, are the "spiritual leaders," and are "critical" to rearing children, and a little more talk about how men ought to get off that high horse, role up their sleeves, cut the superiority drivel, and pitch in with the housework, might go a lot further toward restoring marriage as a viable and enduring institution. Sorry, guys: your way didn't work for the majority of the population, and the clock is just not going back.


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

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