January 25, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Sigh. Sometimes I start thinking that the public discourse on children, fathers, mothers, families, etc. is getting better, that basic facts are coming to be known and accepted and that, as a natural result, more reasonable ideas about reform of family courts and issues regarding kids are coming to the fore.
But it seems like every time I start thinking that a tide of good sense is starting to swell, something like this comes along (Babble, 1/21/16). The article is so mind-numbingly stupid, so utterly at odds with basic facts, so ignorant of well-known information that I just have to pause and let the disappointment wash over me. I’ve been trying for a long time to improve the public debate on these subjects. Is this what it’s come to?
The piece seems to have been occasioned by the latest kerfuffle in the Palin family. As many readers will recall, Bristol “Abstinence for Thee but not for Me” Palin recently gave birth to yet another child by yet another man. This time the dad is Dakota Meyer, a Marine Corps veteran with two tours of duty in Afghanistan under his belt and a Medal of Honor.
Meyer, on learning of his daughter’s birth, filed suit demanding custody of the child and child support from Palin. In other words, he did what countless divorcing or separating parents do every day; he filed motions in court to preserve his parental rights. Few people with the least knowledge of family law and family courts expect Meyer to get custody or an order for Palin to pay support. The simple fact is that courts overwhelmingly give custody to mothers and there’s no reason to believe anything different will happen this time. My guess is that Meyer doesn’t believe he’ll get primary custody, but he wants to make sure the court understands that he’s serious about asserting his parental rights.
Whatever the case, the Palin clan erupted in fury, with Sarah claiming that Meyer has never had anything to do with his child and therefore shouldn’t in the future. Of course she never mentioned just why he’s not been a part of the baby’s life and the news media have been too incurious to ask. Was he informed he was the father? Did he know Bristol was pregnant? Did he attempt to take part but was rebuffed? We won’t know the answers to those questions for a while yet, but his court filings ensure that, at some point, we will.
All that is pretty much standard mainstream media ignorance on issues related to children, parents and family law. Knowing the truth is apparently too difficult for much of the MSM, so they just go with the usual anti-dad stereotypes and let it go at that.
But the Babble article offers more – so much more! – abysmal ignorance, stupidity and misandry than we could ever hope to find in sources like, say, Time or USA Today. Just imagine:
But this poses an interesting question — should fathers have the right to ask for child support?
No, actually it doesn’t. That’s for a number of reasons, foremost among which is the fact that fathers do have that right. It’s not a question (interesting or otherwise) because there is no issue. Custodial parents of either sex are entitled to receive child support from the non-custodial parent. Period. It’s right there in the law and in the regulations enforcing the law.
And it’s right there in common sense too, which is probably the main reason Babble writer Chaunie Brusie didn’t notice it. Child support is supposed to be for children and every kid needs support from someone. Custodial parents provide support every day by virtue of the fact that the child lives with them. So, in theory at least, it makes sense that the non-custodial parent should kick in money as their share of what the child needs. Ideally, each parent should end up footing half the bill. That’s not how it works in practice, but the theory makes sense as long as we have one primary parent and one who’s something else. What’s interesting about the article is that those basic concepts are nowhere to be found.
But the Babble piece isn’t content with mere ignorance. Brusie’s actual aim is to radically transform family law based on her ignorance of just about everything relating to child support and her natural antipathy for men, fathers especially.
As a pro forma exercise, she asked her editor about the article she’s writing and received this feedback:
“[T]rue equality starts by removing gender and acknowledging that the same standards should be in place for both genders on every issue.”
That seems fair. If Dad’s the better parent, then, under our absurd system of primary parenting, he should get custody and, since he’s paying for the child’s everyday needs, Mom should pay support. Makes sense.
But the whole gender-equality thing doesn’t sit well with Brusie. She prefers gender inequality in which fathers pay child support when they’re the non-custodial parent, but, when they play the same role, mothers pay nothing. How does she reach such an unequl, patently misandric and almost certainly unconstitutional conclusion? By quoting a social justice warrior, Philippe Morgese, that’s how.
Philippe Morgese, the single dad who went viral for starting classes to teach dads how to do their daughters’ hair, told me that he actually thinks “it’s a coward move” for dads to ask for child support.
See? Morgese’s a single father with custody of his daughter, so he’s part of the Brave New World of interchangeable gender roles. Except he’s not. He no more believes in that than the man in the moon. We know that because, at the same time he’s doing his daughter’s hair, he’s using standard “man up” rhetoric to shame men into not demanding child support from their non-custodial ex-wives. On one hand, he’s doing a traditionally female job while enforcing traditional notions of masculinity. That’s either genius – the ability to hold contradictory concepts in one’s mind at the same time - or hypocrisy, and I think I know which.
But Brusie’s article gets worse, about which, I’ll post more next time.
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