May 30, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
‘As it Was and Ever Shall Be,’ NOW Opposes Equal Rights for Fathers
Sigh. The more things change, the more they remain the same. A reader sent me the below. It’s a resolution from the National Organization for Women’s national conference back in 1996. I may as well reprint it in its entirety.
NOW ACTION ALERT ON "FATHERS' RIGHTS"
WHEREAS organizations advocating "fathers' rights," whose members consist of non-custodial parents, their attorneys and their allies, are a growing force in our country; and
WHEREAS the objectives of these groups are to increase restrictions and limits on custodial parents' rights and to decrease child support obligations of non-custodial parents by using the abuse of power in order to control in the same fashion as do batterers; and
WHEREAS these groups are fulfilling their objectives by forming political alliances with conservative Republican legislators and others and by working for the adoption of legislation such as presumption of joint custody, penalties for "false reporting" of domestic and child abuse and mediation instead of court hearings; and
WHEREAS the success of these groups will be harmful to all women but especially harmful to battered and abused women and children; and
WHEREAS the efforts of well-financed "fathers' rights" groups are expanding from a few states into many more, sharing research and tactics state by state; and WHEREAS many judges and attorneys are still biased against women and fathers are awarded custody 70% of the time when they seek it per the Association of Child Enforcement Support (ACES);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) begin a national alert to inform members about these "fathers' rights" groups and their objectives through articles in the National Now Times (NNT); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a part of this alert, NOW establish a clearinghouse for related information by sharing with NOW state and local Chapters the available means to challenge such groups, including the current research on custody and support, sample legislation, expert witnesses, and work done by NOW and other groups in states where "fathers' rights" groups have been active; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local Chapters to conduct and coordinate divorce/custody court watch projects to facilitate removal of biased judges; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW report to the 1997 National Conference on the status and result of this national alert whereupon its continuation or expansion will be considered. The next time someone tells you that feminists are all about gender equality, remember this resolution. Its frank misandry, utter disregard for the truth and tone of hysteria would be funny if organizations like NOW didn’t wield such power in state legislatures. Put simply, to date no feminist organization anywhere in the world has ever supported a bill to establish a presumption of equal parenting. And in many cases they’ve gone to bat against those bills. Gender equality? Not for dads.
And, speaking of dads, NOW has not a single good word to say about them. If we searched the world over, could we find a decent, loving father? Not according to NOW. No, groups like the National Parents Organization are most closely akin to men who batter their wives/partners. I’ll have to let our Executive Director, Rita Fuerst Adams, know that.
And notice too that, according to paragraph two, efforts by the many organizations worldwide that seek equality in parental rights are “using an abuse of power” to do so. Care to guess what that means? I hope you can, because I have no clue. Power? Yes, we lobby state legislatures, sometimes successfully, in an attempt to right the countless wrongs done to fathers and children by existing laws. Doing so happens to be our Constitutional right, but to NOW, it’s just brutal men battering helpless women. I wonder what it is when NOW lobbies on behalf of bills it supports. Who are they battering?
Then of course there’s the conceit in paragraph three regarding false allegations of domestic abuse. The term ‘false allegations’ is put in quotation marks, the better to communicate the message that there are none. Strange, studies of those allegations find that up to 85% are found to be meritless by courts and family lawyers candidly admit that they’re routinely used to gain an advantage in custody matters.
But NOW’s having none of it. For them, facts only get in the way of a good narrative about the innocence of mothers and the corruption and brutality of fathers. Of course if fathers were able themselves to gain the upper hand by claiming abuse by their wives, wouldn’t NOW bemoan that? Surely it would, so its opposition to penalties for false reporting of abuse strongly indicates it supports abuse by women.
Paragraph five is my favorite. “Well-financed ‘fathers’ rights’” groups is just too much. We wish.
Paragraph six actually makes the claim that, when they ask for it, fathers “are awarded custody 70% of the time.” Their source for that non-fact is the “Association of Child Enforcement Support (ACES).” Well, there is no such organization. After all, who is it that touts “Child Enforcement?” It sounds like a group dedicated to child slavery.
Now, there is an organization that calls itself ACES, an acronym for the Association for Children for the Enforcement of Support. Its website has no information at all about custody awards. In fact, the entire organization seems to consist of its website which provides information about various public services in the northern area of Colorado. An email sent to ACES about NOW’s claim has so far remained unanswered.
But aside from NOW’s patently false assertion, what do we actually know about the minutiae of custody awards? Well, not much. That’s because only one state, Washington, keeps even minimally detailed records of outcomes in custody cases. Nebraska takes an informal stab at it, but only Washington provides meaningful details. And, needless to say, the idea that 70% of fathers who ask for custody get it, is just flat wrong. In fact, the Washington data suggest that a father’s vigorously contesting custody may have the opposite effect. The proverbial bottom line is that 70% of no group of fathers anywhere gets custody of their children.
It’s a curious thing, NOW’s knee-jerk rejection of the legitimate rights of children and fathers. Oh, I know it’s really just silly. Essentially every word of the resolution is either entirely made up or deliberately misleading, but we’ve come to expect that of the feminist lobby. The fact is that NOW and other gender feminist organizations have long eschewed science in favor of a fictional narrative. There, as in all fiction, the writer is free to create villains and heroes, and construct a plot in which Good wages a lonely and desperate fight against the vast and shadowy forces of Evil. Seen in that way, NOW’s nonsense becomes perfectly understandable. Their goal is not to convince by facts, rational argument and a sense of morality. It’s to recruit believers who need neither facts nor logic, but an ever flowing stream of villains to fear and heroines for whom to cheer.
And so, it comes as no surprise that groups seeking equality in family courts are portrayed as some of those villains. Never mind that, when we’re finally successful and equal parenting is the law of the land, mothers will be freer than they’ve ever been to pursue careers, to work, earn and save for a more comfortable retirement. We’re working for that very feminist outcome and NOW’s working against it.
Hey, it makes as much sense as anything in the upside-down world of gender feminism.
Thanks to Paul for the heads-up.
The National Parents Organization is a non-profit organization that is educating the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents and extended families. If you would like to get involved in our organization, you can do so several ways. First, we would love to have you as an official member of the National Parents Organization team. Second, the National Parents Organization is an organization that believes in the importance of using social media as a means to spread the word about shared parenting and other topics, and you can visit us on our Facebook Page to learn more about our efforts. Last, we hope you will share this article with other families using the many social networking sites so that we can bring about greater awareness of shared parenting. Thank you for your support.