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August 10, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

Often one of the best aspects of small-town newspapers is that they’re not so bent on promoting the usual narratives that we see daily in the large-circulation dailies like the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, etc. Noam Chomsky described those narratives as “manufacturing consent” for elite policies and perspectives, accomplished by repeating favored themes and eliding or marginalizing points of view deemed beyond the pale. News sources with large numbers of readers or viewers seem obliged to do the job Chomsky described while smaller outlets often appear to be free from the strictures of “keeping the rabble down.” So it’s not unusual to actually get a better perspective on the news from smaller, less prestigious news media than from the big names.

Sadly, such is not the case here (Rockland County Times, 8/6/14). The piece is written by someone named Stephanie Dolce and, to put it charitably, it’s a mess. We’d be inclined to take it more seriously if Dolce could spell and manage to get her subjects and verbs to agree, but still, hers is proof positive that, just because a person writes for a small paper, doesn’t mean she hasn’t been infected by radical feminist misandry and good old fashioned stupidity.

As is so often the case with extremists, Dolce doesn’t hesitate to lie or mislead, tell half-truths or simply render opinions based on nothing whatsoever. Indeed, fully half her piece consists of the last of that list. And, as is also often the case, she figures that, in some way, falsehoods, dogmatically stated, become facts. She’s writing, so she can’t shout, but much of her piece is the pen-and-ink version of just that.

When you touch a nerve talking about Feminism and the Men’s Movement centered against it, you’re going to get men who are going to tell you that you don’t know your behind from your elbow.

I guess that would be me.

Men still make more money than women. In 2011, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent.

Yes, men make more money than women because of two primary factors – they tend to work longer hours at paid employment and they tend to work at higher paying jobs. Those two factors explain all but about 5-7% of the difference in aggregate earnings between men and women who work for a living. Those are facts found by dozens of studies all analyzed by CONSAD on behalf of the United States Labor Department and admitted by none other than former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. The simple fact is that, when women change their work habits, they’ll start earning as much as men. Indeed, those who’ve done so already do.

Just 4% of cases actually go to trial. And mothers often get custody in large part because, on average, they’re still the primary caretakers of children. That’s not bias, and it’s not even necessarily a good thing. It’s just a fact.

No, actually bias is exactly what that is. It’s bias in favor of primary caregivers. The reason it’s bias, and inappropriate bias at that, is that the practice is so bad for children. If there were any evidence – even a little bit – that giving primary or sole custody of children to the parent who did the bulk of the hands-on care benefited children, Dolce, and the rest of the anti-dad crowd might have a point, but there isn’t. Indeed, when Canadian researcher Paul Millar was granted first-ever access to the raw data on families and child well-being by Stats Canada, his analysis revealed that there was literally no evidence for the proposition and some for the opposite one. The practice of giving custody to one parent while marginalizing the other in the life of the child is wrong and wrongheaded regardless of who the custodial parent turns out to be. The fact that, in the U.S. about 83% of custodial parents are mothers is bad for children, bad for fathers, bad for mothers, bad for society generally and the public purse. It’s indefensible on any level. Unsurprisingly, Dolce does nothing to change the fact.

Bad as it is so far, Dolce’s piece gets much worse.

When men do seek primary physical custody in a disputed divorce, about half, 50% get it.

Wrong again. Worse, it appears that Dolce is just making up figures.

Years ago, Eleanor Maccoby and Robert Mnookin performed what’s still the most authoritative study of, among other things, what parents want out of their custody case, what they ask for and what they actually receive. The chapter of their book on what parents want and what they get from the court is virtually an unbroken litany of pro-mother outcomes. Amazingly, for example, when a father requests sole custody and the mother agrees he should have it, he gets it in only about 75% of the cases. You’d think he’d get it every time, but no. But apart from that, again and again the authors find and report the pro-mother tendencies of courts.

So what happens when fathers want and request custody versus when mothers do? Maccoby and Mnookin’s answer directly contradicts Dolce. The authors analyzed 198 cases in which the parents made conflicting requests regarding custody. Of those, mothers got what they wanted in 117 cases (59.3%) and fathers in 52 cases (26.2%).

So Dolce is flat wrong, but Maccoby and Mnookin overlooked one thing that likely makes the outcome they found misleading. As countless fathers can tell us, the perception of family courts is that they’re anti-dad. That leads fathers to refrain from asking for the custody they actually want, a conclusion suggested by the two authors. But what that also means is that when the do ask for what they want it’s because there are unique facts suggesting to them and their lawyers that they can get it. So a dad who’s being divorced by a responsible wife and loving mother likely sees the writing on the wall and lets her have custody without an expensive and unproductive legal fight. But one who’s being divorced by a woman with a lot of maternal deficits – drug or alcohol abuse, a criminal record, a record of child abuse or neglect, etc. – is more likely to dare to ask for what he wants. In short, those 198 dads who asked for what they wanted almost certainly had exceptional reasons for doing so, but even then only 26% of them got what they asked for.

One interesting aspect of Dolce’s claim is that she seems to be working from Maccoby and Mnookin. Her statement “82% of mothers want sole custody for themselves, while 33% of fathers want sole custody” is lifted directly from the chart on the second page of the applicable chapter. So she seems to know about the book, but, instead of quoting the figures that don’t support her claim, she just makes stuff up that does.

But it gets worse.

Numbers are hard to pin down, but estimates converge at between 2 and 8% of allegations of rape being false. Remember though, there are many false accusations for many different crimes that are committed daily, not just rape.

Yes, numbers are slippery little things. Maybe that’s why Dolce decided to ignore those that don’t agree with her thesis. She doesn’t mention the Kanin study or the one done by the Air Force that respectively found 41% and 27% of rape claims to be false. Interestingly, both those studies set the bar for a claim to be found false extraordinarily high. Kanin required that the accuser voluntarily recant and that she pass a polygraph examination to make sure her recantation wasn’t false. The Air Force study required a recantation and a vote by a three-person independent panel that it was done voluntarily for an accusation to be considered false.

But whatever the rule of thumb for false rape claims should be, Dolce’s claim about false claims for other crimes doesn’t ring true and, predictably, she cites nothing to support it. The simple fact is that rape and sexual assault claims are virtually unique in the vast array of criminal behavior and that uniqueness is exactly what makes them far more likely than other crimes to have high rates of false allegations.

In almost all criminal activity, there’s some objective evidence a crime has occurred apart from the say-so of the complaining witness. If A steals B’s car, the police can verify that B’s car is missing and often that A has or had it. If the crime is murder, there’s a body. If it’s pot possession, there’s, well, pot and possession. If it’s insider trading, there are records of the trades and the trader’s access to non-public information.

Not so with sex crimes. Men get arrested every day on the word of women who say they’ve been assaulted and usually they have been. But our willingness to send men to prison on no evidence but the allegations of the complainant is an open invitation to women to engage in the behavior Dr. Kanin discovered in his study of false claims.

I know Dolce will never do it, but she might consider going to the website for the Innocence Project. At last count, there were 287 former prisoners, almost all of them men, who’d been found to be factually innocent of the crimes they’d been found guilty of committing. Of those, an astonishing 237 (83%) had been convicted of a sex offense. So not only are rape and sexual assault easy to falsely claim, they seem to be uniquely easy to get a conviction for.

But of course Dolce’s not interested. No. she’s speeding on to her next false statement.

Did you know that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims; not attackers.

No, actually they make up 50% or more. By now there’s plenty of data on this. It’s far past time special pleaders like Dolce stop singing the same old song. As but one example in an astonishingly long line of them, this 2013 study about which I blogged here, found the same thing.

Table I shows that women were significantly more physically and verbally aggressive to their partners than men were. Table I further shows that men used significantly more physical and verbal aggression towards non-intimate members of the same sex than women did. Table I further shows that women reported perpetrating significantly more controlling behavior overall than men did.

I’d urge someone to inform Dolce, but I suspect it wouldn’t make any difference. By the mid-point of her article, she’s already proven she has little interest in the realities of the issues she touches on.

But that’s all the good news. It really does get worse. In fact, she finally gets down to the nitty-gritty of letting her rather alarming misandry out to play unsupervised.

Men are more concerned about bruised egos. If you think about it, men take pride in being the top dog. They need the attention, the paycheck, they need to be the one to ask a girl out, and they need to be the one who “takes care” of a woman. Heaven Forbid, a woman wants to take care of a man!

Men are becoming increasingly upset about being rejected by women they had an interest in years ago ( or their recent ex’s) and continue to blame the entire gender for everything that has happned to them. Girls don’t reject you for their own amusement. Get over it. I know there are women out there who manipulate men and try to use them to their advantage but I am not that girl. Neither are my friends. So when you try to play games in order to avenge your broken heart, you’re hurting both of us. I have opened myself up to you and made myself vulnerable. I’ve put everything I value on the line, that doesn’t mean that I am never going to disagree with you or vice versa, but don’t blame me for your shortcomings in the relationship section of your life. All women are NOT the same!

Men are mad at women for being so damn superficial and they wish they would realize what an awesome person you are. I hate to break it to you, but men are more superfical than women. If you are getting mad at a girl for being picky, why don’t you try her less-fortunate looking friend sitting in the corner. You won’t because she isn’t “hot” enough for you.

Stop wanting to date a supermodel and base everything on looks. Look to what a woman can provide for you through her personality and how big her heart is. That is who is going to not only take care of you, but also maybe your future children.

I’d kvetch that Dolce needs to invest in a spell checker and possibly even an editor who can point out things like the fact that sentences need verbs. But the truth is, none of that would do any good. The dogs are in full cry and nothing’s bringing them to heel.

As usual, nonsense like Dolce’s reveals much about the writer and little-to-nothing about the issues. Has Dolce ever met a man? If so, it’s not obvious. The fact is that almost no men conform to the “top dog” stereotype imagined by her. A lot of those guys play in the NFL, are CEOs of corporations or reside in prison. Most of those top-dog guys aren’t very well liked by anyone, including men. The overwhelming majority of men come to understand early in adulthood that (a) that sort of behavior is too much work, (b) that sort of behavior doesn’t fit their personality and (c) as good as you are, as tough as you are, as smart as you are, there are plenty of people who outperform you in every category. So they wisely opt for greater contentment, more friends, a better family life, and less money and fame.

Dolce’s just trafficking in a caricature of men that’s become popular in recent decades mostly because it assists feminist discourse in marginalizing the male half of the population.

The rest of her screed is not only made-up but becomes increasingly incoherent. Claiming that “Men are becoming increasingly upset about being rejected by women they had an interest in years ago (or their recent ex’s) and continue to blame the entire gender for everything that has happned to them,” is as close to unhinged as it gets. What’s her evidence for the assertion that men in general are doing anything of the kind? None, of course. What men are blaming “the entire [female] gender” for anything? No one I’ve ever heard of. But again, Dolce has no real ideas, just personal beefs that, unsurprisingly, she goes right into as if they have anything to do with anything other than her own life.

All in all, it’s a shoddy a performance as I’ve seen in a long time outside of mainstream feminist publications like Slate’s XX blog and whatever Jessica Valenti’s come up with lately. You’d hope someone writing for a small publication could do better, but not Dolce.

Still, I think I know what she’s up to. My guess is she’s hoping for a gig at the New York Times. After all, they have editors who can fix those tricky things like grammar and punctuation that repeatedly elude Dolce’s grasp. But with attitudes like hers, I think the Times might not be far off for her.

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#misandry, #childcustody, #falseclaims, #domesticviolence

Comments   

+1 #3 A suggestionnpoab 2014-08-15 13:15
Quoting Kevin Purdy:
This is a great article. Thanks for providing substantial backup for what you are saying. (unlike Ms. Dolce)
I am so glad that someone is finally brave enough to take on all of the bias, prejudice & misinformation about men in general and divorced dads specifically.
I am extremely disappointed that our society preaches about the evils of stereotyping; yet our court system and society in general has absolutely no problem with all of the negative and hurtful stereotyping about men. It's okay that men have been the ones to fight & die so that we can enjoy our freedom. But we vilify these same men and blame them for all of societies ills.
Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Hello Kevin,
May I suggest that you make an appointment with your delegates to let them know how you feel about it?
0 #2 Thankskevin 2014-08-14 16:00
This is a great article. Thanks for providing substantial backup for what you are saying. (unlike Ms. Dolce)
I am so glad that someone is finally brave enough to take on all of the bias, prejudice & misinformation about men in general and divorced dads specifically.
I am extremely disappointed that our society preaches about the evils of stereotyping; yet our court system and society in general has absolutely no problem with all of the negative and hurtful stereotyping about men. It's okay that men have been the ones to fight & die so that we can enjoy our freedom. But we vilify these same men and blame them for all of societies ills.
Thanks again and keep up the good work.
+1 #1 Thank younpoab 2014-08-11 23:16
... for writing.

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