NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

October 1, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This past week, Australian Attorney General George Brandis announced that a thorough review of family law will be conducted. Now, to many, that may sound like good news. After all, Australia is one of the least father-friendly countries in the English-speaking world, so changes to family law are much needed. The question arises, however, whether the upcoming review will improve matters or be a fig leaf to hide the fact that nothing for the better is in fact being done. Alas, I fear the latter to be the case.

The estimable Corrine Barraclough agrees (Mark Latham Outsiders, 9/29/17). Why?

We need to be very clear that there are three sides to this debate:

1)  Fierce feminist ideologues: will try to push hard on the anti-men domestic violence narrative, in doing so ensuring children remain under the care of their mother.

2)  Equalists: will speak about ‘shared care’. That is, a division of care between the two parents.

3)  Stakeholders: get used to hearing this word in this debate. Family law is big business and huge dollars. There are many with a vested interest in steering the outcome of this review.

That raises yet another question: Why are “fierce feminist ideologues” part of the review? After all, they’ve proven beyond doubt over many decades that they doggedly oppose appropriate family law reform and support anti-father policies and use the most shameful intellectual dishonesty with which to do so. The upshot with those feminists is that they’re part of the problem – a big part in Australia – not part of the solution.

Let’s be clear. Around the world, feminist organizations have never supported an equal parenting bill or even one that would incrementally improve a child’s chances of maintaining a real relationship with its father post-divorce. Never. In fact, they routinely oppose those bills as we’ve seen in just the last two years here in the United States in Florida and North Dakota. And while we’re being clear, let’s remember what one former German feminist said at the shared parenting conference in Boston organized and funded by the National Parents Organization. She said that, back in the early 80s, feminist organizations jettisoned the notion that men and women should share paid and domestic work equally in favor of men transferring wealth to women in the form of alimony and child support.

Equality of paid and unpaid work in a relationship, it was feared, might lead male and female partners to remain together, while cash incentives would encourage women to divorce men. The history of gender feminism is littered with paeans to the destruction of the family and how better to promote exactly that than by offering women money (and custody of the kids) to leave?

In short, the gender ideologues Barraclough mentions are the very last people Australia should consult on how to improve family courts. They’re on record, in word and deed, as not only opposed to the family, but to men being part of it and children maintaining real relationships with their fathers. What about that recommends them to the process of family court reform?

Unsurprisingly, one of those Australian feminist ideologues, Professor Helen Rhoades, makes the matter clear.

She has a clear history of repeatedly pushing back against shared care…

She snubs shared parenting, writing “… This view is based on a belief that shared parenting is so intrinsically beneficial to children that it should be supported even when parents are not able to cooperate or communicate with each other.” …

She has taken exception to reform sparked by “extensive lobbying by fathers groups”. The very fact they exist underlines the real issue here, but again, a feminist ideologue sees fathers, and in fact, the family as the enemy…

She frequently quotes discredited Jennifer MacIntosh who has previously directed several research projects for the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department and the Family Court of Australia. She is entrenched in the system. She led research that said shared care was a source of “psychological strain” for children “in her sample”…

This is far too important for someone with a known anti-father, anti-shared care agenda to come in and likely make this system worse…

Such a staunch opponent of fathers, children and shared parenting has no business having a say in family court reform. She, like her fellow travelers, has a resume rich in everything Australians don’t need from their family courts. It’s like appointing Torquemada to assess the legitimacy of the Spanish Inquisition.

Rhoades’s presence among the reviewers leads me to believe that the fix is in, that a great show of concern for children and family law will be made, but that the final product will be little or no better than what now exists. Expect an emphasis on speeding up the divorce process and none on child custody or parenting time.

And that is a system that ensures that over 25% of Australian fathers have no access to their children. Again, Barraclough seems to agree.

Who wants to guess what this “review” will find? 

Why has he appointed someone who wants to give fathers a harsher deal to the detriment of their children? 

Brandis has given the public the impression of being family centred for the right of the party, but ensured that it won’t actually reform things for the left leaning progressives who are anti-family. 

Nice try Brandis. Unfortunately, we’ve seen straight through your tactic. What else does an ex-lawyer do when confronted by public outrage over abuse of family law while simultaneously needing to keep the legal gravy train flowing?

Advocates for shared parenting need to force everyone involved in the review to read the literature on the benefits of shared parenting to children. Every point made by Rhoades and other anti-father/anti-child enthusiasts is answered by the science that demonstrates beyond doubt that equal parenting should be the default arrangement post-divorce. As they should be, the Jennifer McIntoshes of the world are in full retreat, their shoddy “research” laid bare, their anti-father bias clear for all to see. And there is nothing and no one else to oppose shared parenting. The scientific war has been won.

The only obstacle remaining between children and their fathers is the system of entrenched interests, like family lawyers, whose only argument against shared parenting is their own loss of income that would be occasioned thereby.

Like feminists, those entrenched interests will have a seat at the table when Australia examines its family law system. We’ll soon know if their anti-father bigotry and naked self-interest will prove, yet again, superior to children’s best interests and gender equality in family courts.

If someone’s taking bets, I know where my money would go.




National Parents Organization is a Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#sharedparenting, #feminism, #misandry, #Australia

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