A visiting FRA

Father’s Rights Activist, that is. He’s commenting over at the old place, in a post from a few months ago where I referenced another blogger’s longer commentary:

Kevin T. Keith at Sufficient Scruples examines how fathers’ rights organisations attract pseudoscientists making up mental illnesses that their harpy ex-wives must be suffering from that both explain why they’re being difficult about visiting rights and why the courts should just take those kids away from the bitches

It’s worth noting now, which I failed to do in that original post, that these pseudoscientists make a really good living from the FRA groups in the USA, by persuading them that these (expensive) expert witnesses appearing in court can make a difference in the neverending custody dispute. Many of these court cases seem to be much more about punishing the mother than genuinely from regard for the children, as withholding child-support payments is horrendously common.

Anyway, he’s an angry man but arguing civilly with respect to me (but not to the crazy bitches). Anyone who wants to come and play nicely but firmly is welcome to join in.



Categories: gender & feminism, Sociology

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6 replies

  1. There is also the matter of non-custodial grandparents.
    In my case there was a death not divorce but the new step-parent really doesn’t encourage contact. This doesn’t quite go with the subject which is why I’m posting it here. In my case I felt I had given the girls enough when they were young to be able to step back and wait for them to come to me, which they do. The visits might be few and far between but they haven’t forgotten me and I didn’t cause any further trauma by insisting on ‘grandparental’ rights.

  2. Not the Mad Dads. I got kyboshed by them when I wrote a feminist thing for online opinion last year. They totally railroaded the discussion.

  3. JahTeh, the grandparent position can be very difficult. I’m glad you have been able to reestablish a relationship, but not surprised that someone like you would manage to be there for them without getting hostile.
    He’s kinda boring me now. Obviously there are situations where custodial parents are truly vindictive and the NCPs get shafted. My sibs have both worked through custody situations where the ex played financial games to some degree, but thankfully never had to deal with false accusations against them.
    I still don’t see how medicalising instances of assholery actually helps anyone except the pseudoscientists peddling the diagnosis though.

  4. I have a problem – I’d like to discuss MRAs and FRAs more on my blog, but because they use the words rights in those descriptions, I’m worried it will make me look like I’m against fathers, or men, having rights.
    Which of course is a brilliant piece of framing, pity they aren’t so astute in everything else.
    The Elephant in the Room (I wanted to work that one in cos I’ve heard it’s the internet cliche du jour) is the second dwelling. Despite all the uproar from MRAs and FRAs about child support leaving them in poverty, it’s the requirement to have two houses, or apartments, instead of one, who leaves everyone poor. Any dad worth a pinch of shit is spending more than the amount that would be mandated as Child Support, on their children, while they’re in the marriage. Just ask my SO – all our money pretty much goes on raising kids. It’s the second household which makes the difference.

  5. Good points, Helen.
    Have you read any of The Countess’ MRA/FRA stuff? She’s pretty much the go-to blogger for USA based stuff, which is where most of our local MRA/FRA groups are getting their playbooks.

  6. I’m worried it will make me look like I’m against fathers, or men, having rights.
    interestingly, I was talking to a Legal Aid solicitor about just this not very long ago.
    she said you have to look at it the other way around. the parents have no automatic rights: the children have the rights. every time someone goes off about their ‘rights’, they forget that it’s actually the child’s right to have contact with both parents as long as there’s no chance of harm. not the parent’s right.
    I would tentatively add that I think children have the right, while parents have the responsibility to be worthy of the contact, and to maintain contact and civility. again, as long as there is no chance of harm, to parent or child.
    but we are all flawed. that’s human nature.
    there was an instance recently of the main caregiver being refused the right to move with her children interstate because then the children couldn’t maintain meaningful contact with the dad. I guess there must be extenuating circumstances, but that’s a sucky situation to be in. for everyone.
    as was said on 2BL a day or two ago, there should be some consideration of the mental wellbeing of the parent who is the main caregiver. they are the ones who must be the consistency in their children’s lives, be it by court order or no. I’ve had family friends of both sexes who have been done over by their ex-spouses.
    as a copper friend of mine said – there is no winner. there is no victory. even the person who appears to have an upper hand is usually suffering from the stress of it all.

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