The Blog LOL @ MRA is trying to debunk the MHRM. I have already looked at the main page of the blog and debunked the debunking. The Blog isn’t actually attacking MRAs or the MHRM. It is attacking a strawman. It was pointed out in the comments of my post that there is some truth to LOL @ MRAs claims. There are crazies that self identify as MRAs that are just nut jobs, just like there are nut jobs that self identify as feminists. While debunking claims that women are oppressing men is a worth while endeavor, it’s not debunking the bulk of the MHRM or most MRAs. Debunking these claims does as much to debunk Men’s Rights as debunking “All PIV is Rape” debunks feminism.
So lets see what LOL @ MRA has to say about Custody Issues.
This is a much longer post than the intro/overview. I won’t be able to break it down line by line, though it is so loaded that breaking it down line by line would be a better approach.
MRAs believe that the justice system is slanted against them when it comes to parenting disputes. They believe the courts are firmly “in the tank” for mothers and that fathers “have no rights.” Certainly, custody cases are incredibly difficult on all involved. Rarely does any party come out of these cases feeling they got the best deal. And if you suddenly have diminished access and relationship with your child, I cannot fathom how difficult that must be. I say this to make it clear that I am incredibly sensitive to custody issues and would never dismiss someone’s individual story of hardship in this area. Now let’s take a closer look at the idea that the courts are biased against fathers and how that fact is related to the “oppression” of men by women.
This is almost a fair representation of the MHRM view of the situation. There are a two problems. First is a minor problem. Fathers having NO Rights is a bit strongly worded. Fathers do have some rights, just less rights than Mothers. Just as “The War on Women” is hyperbolic language that I support, “Fathers have no rights” is hyperbolic language that is worthy of support.
The second is “The oppression of men by women”. While there may be a nut or two that thinks men are being oppressed by women, you will find more people that think we are being mind controlled by space aliens. Men face systematic oppression by the system. Women are not The System. Men are not The System. The system is the system. Being oppressed not by men or women but the system is what makes the oppression systematic.
Holding on to the outdated dogmatic regressive and repressive sexist stereotypes of both men and women informs how the people that make up the system view and understand the evidence that is presented to them. These sexist stereotypes affect and direct the decisions judges make.
I have been working as a paralegal in the field of family law for over six years. Divorce, custody and child support are my life; it’s what I do every day. While I will not claim to be an expert on this (or any) subject, I do think my extensive education and professional experience in this area allows me to speak with some authority.
Umm NO. You are words posted on the internet. You have NO authority. If your claims are true, then they will help you form better informed arguments on the matter. If you want me to recognize your authority I expect you to recognize my authority as the Emperor of the United States of South Carolina. If you want your argument to have authority, link to peer reviewed science that backs up your claims.
most states have moved away from the idea of “custody” and moved toward a model of “parental responsibilities,” which includes time with the children and decision-making.
I’m not going to take your word on this. Show me the evidence. Where is a link to a Divorce Law professional journal talking about how to better argue for your client in this shifting environment and model? If you can actually show me where and how this is happening then it would be a major step forward for Men’s Rights.
Judges do not just willy-nilly say “Well, moms are better parents, so dad gets his kids taken away. *bangs gavel and walks out*” That’s not the way it works.
No, Judges don’t just willy-nilly give exclusive custody to the mother. They do make choices based on outdated dogmatic regressive and repressive stereotypes of both men and women that leads them to make choices that gives greater time and authority to the mother while placing greater burdens of money and security on the father.
Some of the “statistics” I’ve seen from MRAs regarding this issue are completely disingenuous. Recently, I saw one that said fathers are “awarded primary custody only 10% of the time.” Even assuming that statistic is literally true (which is a faulty assumption when it comes to MRAs), it is still incredibly misleading. They want the reader to think that 90% of the time, women get full custody of the children, but that’s blatantly false. They also want you to see it as a big conspiracy against men, and that’s even more incorrect.
So where is the link for the evidence that this is actually incorrect? Where is the link for the MRA making this claim? Such claims are rarely made in a vacuum. While I have no doubt at all that a MRA, a real MRA, made the claim that fathers only get primary custody 10% of the time. This isn’t a full claim. That Fathers get custody only 10% of the time does NOTHING to show discrimination or gender differences since there is no point of contrast. Feminists often make claims of female victimization with out a point of contrast or reference, and this pisses MRAs off. We very intentionally try not to do it.
Most of their “10%” figure comes from what I discussed earlier – that courts are loathe to “award primary custody” at all anymore. But even if women are awarded more parenting time and/or primary custodial responsibilities, say, twice as often as men (this statistic is not accurate – just an example), there are still legitimate, non-misandrist reasons why that might be the case.
Certainly, the American family is changing, and the division of labor is no longer rigidly defined, with men always working and women always staying home with the kids. But note that “changing” doesn’t mean “changed.” Statistically, women are still much more likely to be stay-at-home parents than men.
So You don’t bother to actually confirm if the claim is true or how true. If you want to debunk MRAs how about trying to do it with actual evidence?
Also what is your argument here? Outdated sexist stereotypes of women place them in the home with children more often than the outdated sexist stereotypes of men Therefore we should reinforce the outdated sexist stereotypes of both women and men by placing more unpaid child care obligations upon the women? We need to be working at breaking the outdated sexist stereotypes for both men and women, not reinforcing them.
No. Judges may not be perfect, but there are dozens of things they must consider to make these decisions, and the decision is never going to boil down to “man = bad.”
I never boils down to ONLY “man = bad”, but if the decisions are infuanced even lightly by “man = bad” this is evidence of systemic discrimination against men.
But, as a mental exercise, let’s for a moment say that this bias exists. Let’s say courts really do favor moms to the detriment of dads. MRAs would have you believe that is part of some overarching plot by women to keep men down in some unspecified way.
Strawman. There is no overarching plot by women to keep men down. There is a system that holds onto outdated sexist stereotypes of both men and women. The system is systematically oppressing both women and men by creating legal enforcements of outdated sexist stereotypes for both men and women. Feminism is advocating to end the systematic oppressions of women, they’ve got that covered. MRAs are arguing to end the systematic oppressions of men. Simply put Women CAN NOT be the equals of Men if men are not also the Equals of Women.
Men can have all the consequence-free sex they want, but women get stuck with the result of those actions.
Bull shit, Horse shit, Cow Manure. Women are much freer to have consequence free sex than men. Women have hormonal contraception, men don’t. Women can take “The Morning After” pill, men can’t. Women can get an abortion, men can’t. Women can refuse to name a father and unilaterally put the child up for adoption. A woman only has a child if she chooses to have a child. She IS NOT stuck with the results of sex, men are.
Note: The only one of these options I do not argue in favor of women having is the option for unilateral adoption. I see no sound way to argue against this practice, but I don’t argue in favor of it.
So, if this bias (which doesn’t exist, but I’m playing along) is the result of patriarchal ideas about the capabilities and “place” of women, combined with the very real facts and figures that say men are more likely to hurt and/or abandon their children, how can this bias be part of some scheme on the part of women to oppress men? It would be based on ideas that men have created and things that men have done. Again, the bias is not real, but if it were, it would be men oppressing men, not women oppressing men. Or, more accurately, it would be men (judges) using stereotypes created by men and statistics of negative behavior by men to decide that men are likely to be worse parents, and ruling in favor of the best interests of the child (which is what they are legally obligated to do.)
One question, where are women in all of this? Are women just furniture and window dressings? Have women done nothing at all though all of human history to affect or manipulate gender stereotypes? Are women nothing more than helpless objects waiting to be acted upon by “The Patriarchy”?
I say that the out dated dogmatic regressive and repressive gender roles where not created by “MEN” but by the society and culture. Society and Culture that is 50% women, and women are accountable for 50% of society and culture. Women are people.