With permission we are pleased to bring you the transcript of the speech delivered by Karen Straughan to the New York State Libertarian Convention of 2013. It should be noted, however, that the publishing of this article does not reflect an endorsement of Libertarian politics or the Libertarian Party., PE
Hi, everyone. Firstly, I want to thank Gary for inviting me to speak here, and thank all of you for being open to the different perspective I’m hoping to present to you.
The simple answer is this: Gender influences everything. Including the size, scope and decisions of government.
And now, to complicate things a little.
On the microscale, gender affects the way men and women think, how they feel, how they process their interactions with the world, what motivates them, what influences them, what is important to them, what incentives are going to affect their behavior, and how. It affects how we perceive other people depending on whether they are male or female. It impacts on what we feel is appropriate, regarding both the behaviors, responsibilities and roles we expect of others, and the behaviors, responsibilities and roles we feel are appropriate for ourselves. It affects what roles and vocations, on average, a given person will find themselves suited to or interested in.
On the macroscale, gender affects the way society feels about people, depending on whether they’re male or female, what expectations society has of them, what obligations society is prepared to place on them, how, and how much, society cares about them. It influences whose voices society is prepared to trust on what issues and in what situations. It affects society’s willingness to punish or forgive, who society is interested in holding responsible and accountable for wrongs done, who society is prepared to devote resources to help or protect, and who society is prepared to cut loose.
So gender is kind of a shortcut societies and governments use when sorting priorities. Who is deserving of our help, support and protection–socially, legally and governmentally–and who is less deserving, or perhaps not deserving at all? How should that help be implemented, and how should it not, how much are we willing to spend, and how much institutional power and scope should government have to involve itself in the lives of citizens?
To demonstrate these effects of gender I’m talking about, I’m going to make a few statements, and I want you all to pay attention to how you feel when I say them. They’re statements I’ve culled from published books, newspapers, or the speeches of politicians, though you’ll notice I’ve flipped the genders for effect:
Men can do anything women can. And do it better. And do it with one hand tied behind their backs. –Barack Obama
When a woman strikes a man, she strikes all of society. –Hillary Clinton said exactly that about violence against women.
Women CAN stop false allegations of abuse and rape. –The “Men can stop rape” poster campaign is making an appearance on campuses across the US and Canada.
It cannot be assumed that women are bound to be an asset to family life, or that the presence of mothers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion. –This gem, about how unnecessary fathers are, is from UK equalities minister Harriet Harman. She might be forgiven this sentiment if it wasn’t grossly inaccurate.
A mall roof caved in yesterday, killing 23 people and injuring more than 100. Tragically 4 men and one child were among the dead. –all right, that’s from any newspaper story about any tragedy. We hear about women and children because that makes a tragedy more tragic.
I want to see a woman beaten to a bloody pulp with a workboot shoved into her mouth like an apple in the mouth of a pig. –Change woman to man and workboot to high heel, and you’ve got second wave feminist Andrea Dworkin’s attitude.
Or even this: “It is an amazing thing to see in our city the husband of a laundress, or a fishwife, or a housemaid dressed in velvet with chains of gold at the throat, with silver buckles and boots of good value….and then in contrast to see his wife washing the clothes, chapped and bedraggled from the day’s labor, poorly dressed…. but whosoever considers this carefully will find it reasonable, because it is necessary that the gentleman, even if low born and humble, be arrayed in such fine form for his natural excellence and dignity, and the woman be less adorned as if a slave, or a little ass, born to his service.” –And this is perhaps the most interesting of all, since a gender-flipped version of it was written by Lucrezia Marinella, and published in her book “The nobility and excellence of woman and the defects and vices of men” in the year 1600.
Feels kind of weird, doesn’t it? These are statements you would NEVER hear or read in mainstream culture as I changed them–not even in the year 1600–some of them because they’d be repulsive to us, and others because it would just never occur to us to think or feel in those ways. All because of the way we as humans perceive, and have always perceived, men and women.
And while feminism claims to have worked very hard to dismantle all of these individual and society-wide assumptions about men and women, if you scratch the surface of their ideologies and their efforts, what you find is all of those assumptions human societies have always held, dialed up to 11. Not only has feminist activism manipulated and exploited all of these age-old perceptions about gender, for political, legal, economic and social gain, it has only amplified them in the cultural zeitgeist.
It is very much a case of, “Say hello to the new boss, even more sexist than the old boss.”
I’ve been asked before to describe what exactly I’m doing with my blogging and video lectures and it’s a difficult question to answer. I’m an advocate for the issues of men and boys, certainly, but first and foremost, I’m an anti-feminist. My task, as I see it, is to try to uncover the nature of things, and then deprogram as many people as I can. To encourage people to think from a different angle, to entertain thoughts that are forbidden in our politically correct culture, to educate as many as I can about the hidden nature of society, gender and ideological feminism.
Among those of us who talk about these issues, it’s called “taking the red pill”.
As for why I’m here, hoping to convince libertarians to think from that different angle? Well, there’s a strong libertarian streak that runs right through the center of the men’s movement, and there’s definitely a reason for that.
Canadian libertarian philosopher Stefan Molyneux once described feminism as “socialism in panties.”
As I’m sure any of the men here will attest to, anything, no matter how destructive or unprincipled, is probably going to look more appealing and less sinister if it has a female face and you put it in a pair of panties.
I’m not going to bore you with a detailed history of the marriage of feminism and marxism. For that, I’ll refer any who are interested to a lengthy but fascinating lecture by Soviet ex-patriot Valdas Anelauskas, who describes a courtship between two ideologies that began in the mid-1800s and has now become the foundation of feminist thought. I will simply note that Karl Marx, in his communist manifesto, emphasized how very important women would be to any communist revolution, and that the best way to secure the support of women would be to convince them of the plural nature of their oppression–as workers, they were oppressed by the elites, and as women, they were oppressed by their husbands, fathers and even sons. In essence, he posited that if a system that respected the concept of property rights oppressed the male worker, this same system that placed economic authority in the hands of men doubly oppressed the wives and daughters of those male workers.
Though radical feminism has never severed its ties with communism, as early as the 1920s, feminism had essentially co-opted and repurposed Marxist theory to describe the structure of society relating to the interaction of the sexes. The intellectual backlash against feminism that began within the marxist community around the turn of the 20th century, with E Belfort Bax and Robert Briffault, was quashed through intimidation, censorship and skilful use of emotionally charged propaganda.
By the 1960s, when the western world’s love affair with communism had begun to fizzle, communism’s red-headed stepdaughter, feminism, was only growing in popularity. The sexier, less threatening, more benign-seeming Trojan Mare upon which Marxists had relied to sneak their ideology past the gates of the western world had outgrown its help meet role, and taken on a life of its own.
By this era, a discrete and quintessentially Marxist theoretical model of gender had become entrenched in the intellectual sphere, a model based on class conflict theory and postmodern discourse. While communist thought was confined to a small pocket of what the mainstream mostly thought of as misguided weirdos, feminist thought, slapped together from the exact same bricks and mortar, became not only fashionable, but had spawned its own branch of academia, sponsored and enabled by unwitting democratic governments across the west.
While historical views on the sexes had maintained that men and women were distinctly different but complementary partners–role mates, as Dr Warren Farrell has described it–this new feminist model cast all aspects of society as oppressive and exploitative systems wherein men embodied the Bourgeoisie, and women the Proletariat.
Most of this model–The Patriarchy–and its sub-theories are little more than post hoc rationalizations based on emotional reasoning, easily swallowed by the well-meaning public because of the evidence that stands out most starkly to us given our natural, evolved views of gender. Humans have always been more emotionally reactive to the harms, injuries, injustices, complaints and perils affecting women, and more likely to see women as nurturing, benign, kind, well-meaning and deserving of protection. We have always been more likely to see men as strong, sturdy, capable of self-sufficiency, potent and potentially threatening, and these perceptions inform our reactions when men suffer harms, injuries, injustices and dangers, and when they dare to complain about them.
Because of these innate perceptions, when feminists pointed up toward the top of society and showed us mostly men, we didn’t bother to direct our attention down to the bottom of society so we could see the mostly men there, as well. We all saw a glass ceiling, but not a glass cellar, and allowed feminists to convince us that all aspects of society, the formalized and the informal, were male-dominated and male-controlled, and that women, as a class, were utterly powerless and subjugated under this system.
Marriage was redefined under this model, from a partnership where both parties contributed and benefitted, to a form of sexual slavery and unpaid drudgery for women where wives were subjugated and exploited for their husbands’ express benefit. Under second wave feminism, family was reinterpreted as an institution based on exploitation–instead of all members working together for the benefit and shared success of all members, women were recast as powerless subordinates, providing unreciprocated labor toward the raising of HIS children, and the keeping of HIS house, labor that freed husbands to pursue economic and social power outside the home.
It didn’t matter that most men had little more access to economic and social power than most women, or that what power men achieved they were expected to share equitably with their families. Feminists were too busy pointing upward at the congressmen, bank managers and CEOs and crying injustice, to show us the taxi drivers, garbage men, plumbers, loggers, fishermen, miners, construction workers, factory laborers, field workers, roughnecks and janitors. They envied the power of generals and statesmen, but spared no thought for the thousands of young footsoldiers dead in the trenches. They were jealous of the self-determination that made an industrialist rich beyond dreaming, but when that self-determination produced a different outcome for the mostly male population of tramps, beggars and hobos it was invisible to them.
They focus solely on the men above and don’t even notice the men below.
The 23 cent average, apples to oranges, annual wage gap is STILL, in their minds, the height of sexist injustice, but the greater than 90% workplace death gap is…well, who cares?
Traditional ways of providing for and protecting women that were necessary in the pre-industrial past, were reinterpreted by feminism as male oppressors keeping women down all through history, for men’s benefit. Domestic violence–a social problem that has ALWAYS been gender-symmetrical–became synonymous with violence against women. A husband’s historical right to conjugal relations was redefined as marital rape, while a wife’s *identical right*–one that for centuries if denied was legal grounds for divorce and could even get a man excommunicated from his church–that part of history was essentially erased from modern scholarship, even as it is upheld and reinforced by feminist activism. In fact, according to current feminist theories on domestic violence, a man withholding sex or affection from his female partner, whatever the reason, is a form of domestic abuse, and a man in France was recently required by a judge to pay his ex-wife over $10,000 in punitive damages because he didn’t give her enough sex during the marriage.
The traditional obligation of a woman to defer to her husband’s authority was defined as “oppression”, but her husband’s obligation to die in a trench to protect his country and family…that became “male privilege” and when enough people protested the hubris of that assertion, it became “Patriarchy hurts men too.”
Under The Patriarchy, all men are privileged by their maleness, and all women oppressed by their femaleness. And if men are, as a class, the privileged Bourgeoisie, if men hold collective power over society, then all men are culpable for the oppression and exploitation of all members of the female Proletariat, and any discrimination a man might face in society is just his own privilege backfiring on him.
According to radical feminists, the drastic technological and economic changes that occurred during the last century–medical advances that virtually eliminated deaths in childbirth and drastically decreased infant and child mortality rates, changes that rendered the workplace as comfortable and safe as your living room, safe and reliable birth control, industrialization, automation, prosperity, plenty and an unprecedented level of individual security–none of this has anything to do with anything. Even prior to those changes, during a history in which a woman might spend half her adult life pregnant or nursing children, where most labor was gruelling, dangerous and simply beyond the physical capabilities of women, where life was often brutal and brief, and where men bore a legally enforceable obligation to provide for the material needs of all family members, the fact that men bore the economic authority as well as all the economic burdens of a family was a system specifically designed to disempower women.
According to radical feminists, your grandfathers and great grandfathers were rapists and slave-masters who exploited, subjugated and violated the women who were nearest and dearest to them–their own mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. According to radical feminists, every atrocity ever committed throughout all of history can be laid at the door of normative masculinity, but every male-generated advance–calculus, alternating current, the telegraph, the transistor, radio, penicillin, the number system, hydro-electricity, microwaves, fiberglass, the theory of relativity, the periodic table, trigonometry, insulin, canned foods, vaccines, fire retardant, teflon, wireless communications, the microchip, the birth control pill and even tampons–is a result of men intentionally holding women back, keeping women down, refusing to allow women to achieve, and hogging all the power and glory.
You see how this all works? All the evils of history, admittedly committed mostly by men are evidence of men’s oppressive natures. And all the advances of civilization, because they were generated almost exclusively by men, are equally evidence of men’s oppressive natures. Even the exceptional and wonderful things men achieved that have benefitted all of us, are not evidence that men embody anything good. In fact, they demonstrate the opposite. They are evidence that the “old boys’ club” modern feminists complain about today dates all the way back to the pleistocene, when women would have eagerly hunted mastodon with babies strapped to their breasts, and carved back a jungle filled with leopards and bears, if only men had not enslaved them and thereby deprived them of the opportunity to do so.
This is what they believe. This is what ideological feminism IS. It describes women’s experience through all of history as identical to the experience of blacks under slavery. You know, actual oppression, subordination and exploitation without any compensatory benefit.
To clarify, what were the “upsides” to being black in America during slavery? Can anyone here name a single white slave owner who ever died to save the lives of his black slaves? Who ever gave up a space in a lifeboat to his black slave and chose himself to go down with a ship? Who ever stood with a rifle between his black slaves and an enemy to defend their lives, rather than his right to own them?
Can anyone even imagine a white slave owner working 16 hours in a field while his black slave stayed inside most of the day and kept his house tidy, then coming home and sharing the fruits of his labors with his black slave?
Did a black woman who was the sexual partner of a white slave owner have any expectation of respect, lifelong provision or shelter, or of sharing the benefits of his quality of life and his social status? Or was she just an object of the moment, free to be used and cast aside at will? Did a black man who was obligated to obey his owner’s wife have any legal right or recourse when she pointed a finger and claimed he raped her? Or was he swinging from a tree within hours?
Can anyone imagine a reality where a white slave owner would perform physically grueling or dangerous work because his black slave was incapable of it? Or would he simply set more slaves to the task, or work his slave to his death, or discard his used-up slave and buy a better one? If women were truly oppressed by men, would they have been spared the most onerous and dangerous work because they were less physically capable of it, or would men have simply assigned more women to the task?
Can anyone here name a single black person, man or woman, who rose to a state-sanctioned position of serious political power during slavery? Off the top of my head, I can name a ton of women who have been heads of state, going as far back as Ancient Egypt. The greatest and most notable black leaders emerging from Jim Crow America and apartheid South Africa rose to influence by opposing the government, not rising within it, because they had no avenue to power within a system that oppressed them.
Slavery and oppression are defined as obligation and disadvantage without compensatory benefit. Does anyone here think women, who were a tiny minority, tenths of a percent, among the 10 million military personnel who died during WWI, derived no benefit from the traditional system? Heck, one of the few ways a man could duck conscription was to be married–a man could literally avoid mandatory military service if his wife would be inconvenienced by it. And yet this system existed to benefit men at the expense of women?A system of top-down oppression, according to feminists, that is no different from the experience of blacks under slavery?
If you perceive the history of gender relations as being remotely similar to the history of slavery in the US, it’s no shock to hear feminist Robin Morgan, editor of Ms. Magazine, claim, “Man-hating is an honorable and viable political act. The oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
Yet as childish, simplistic and absurd as this model was, it wasn’t long before it had become firmly entrenched in academia, in the humanities and the arts–in sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, women’s studies and gender studies, the very faculties and programs associated with education, social work, journalism, the law and political science. The very branches of society most able to influence public perception. And because of all those things I was talking about at the beginning of this presentation, public perception was vulnerable to the half-truths presented to it, disguised as the whole picture.
And the really awesome thing about this model is that as long as enough people believe it, even just a little, as long as enough people can be convinced to see men as the Bourgeoisie who have always unjustly benefitted from their exploitation of women, and women as the Proletariat who have always been forced to toil and slave without benefit under the boot-heel of those privileged men, you can justify anything.
If men are believed to have always collectively held power and economic privilege through the enslavement of women, if all of men’s authority since the dawn of time was ill-gotten through the unreciprocated exploitation and violation of women, then women are entirely justified in stealing it back, and the state is justified in assisting them. It becomes acceptable, justified and appropriate for women to expropriate men’s undeserved and unearned power by any means necessary, including state coercion.
And this attitude is not confined to family law, domestic violence law and sexual assault law–the primary areas where men’s interests conflict with women’s interests, and where the state has been quietly at work, eroding due process protections and equal treatment under the law, and building bloated and ravenous mechanisms that suck up dollars and power while curtailing civil liberties. It’s everywhere. It informs economic and employment policy, health spending, criminal law, everything.
According to Dr Warren Farrell, the government has passed more laws to protect women in the workplace from dirty jokes than it has to protect men from injury and death due to faulty rafters on construction sites. And nearly everyone in society, especially women, seems to feel this is an appropriate allocation of resources.
One need only watch the Life of Julia, Obama’s most naked and blatant appeal to the natures of women–especially young, single women. Julia has no father, and no husband–she needs neither of those things. The state will take care of her needs from birth to death, and will support her when she decides to have a child of her own–a child that, in Obama’s narrative, is also fatherless. The man in Julia’s life, the one who will perform the roles–provision, protection, support–historically performed by husbands, brothers and fathers, is more powerful than any man she’ll ever meet, more able to provide for her, and one she need make no compromises with.
Julia will never have to pick up this man’s dirty socks, or put up with him snoring or farting in bed, or consider his needs, or provide him with respect, love or affection. He is the ultimate provider and the ultimate protector, and he will ask nothing of her in return but her vote.
And he’ll give her all those benefits through a system that coerces net taxpayers and net tax-generators, of whom a disproportionate number are men, to surrender their productivity while offering them neither mutual benefit nor voluntary association. This feels right and just to feminists, because the state is merely assisting Julia in stealing back what was wrongfully taken from women, as a class, by men, as a class. This feels like a great deal to Julia, since all she has done is replace a man with whom she would be required to bargain freely, with a state that provides her all the same benefits without the messy business of having to trade anything valuable for them.
If women today in the west can be said to be married to the state, in a very real sense, men are married to it as well, and the obligations expected of them are the same as they always have been. In this marriage, men pay at least 75% of the tax revenue into the system, and reap a disproportionately tiny percentage of its protections and benefits. In this marriage, the state enforces the obligations of husbandhood after divorce, and the obligations of fatherhood even when men did not consent to become fathers, and even when they are allowed no meaningful role in the lives of their children.
In this marriage, the resources men put in are diverted toward the additional protection of women through the erosion of men’s legal protections and civil rights. In this marriage, men are expected to pay for a system that not only does not serve them, that not only offers nothing back to them, that has not only made a mockery of due process protections for them, but one that even handicaps their ability to perform these obligations by favoring women in the prioritization of education and employment, and by facilitating the removal of fathers from the lives of children who need them.
The state is, essentially, forcing men to finance a system that disenfranchises them. And the state is, essentially, paying women to disenfranchise men, and handicap their own children. Social responsibility is enforced on men through penalty of imprisonment, while for women, social irresponsibility means a check in the mail every month.
A lot of people have wondered aloud why there aren’t more female libertarians. If there’s a reason, it might lie in a lack of incentive. Big government costs the vast majority of men–their wealth, their civil liberties, their autonomy, sometimes their freedom–but for most women, big government represents an insurance policy and a perpetual subsidy of their personal choices, good or bad. Men pay, women benefit.
If women sprinted down the aisle to offer their hands in marriage to the state, for men, it was a shotgun wedding, coercive by its very nature. And the influence of radical ideological feminism on government and legal policy has ensured that this marriage is as abusive as they come.
When Gary told me about his experiences with family court and its affiliated agencies, I told him, “If you weren’t a libertarian before all of this, I can certainly see why you’re one now.” What used to be a voluntarily accepted obligation on the part of men, is now extracted from them at the point of a gun, and often there is no way for them, no matter how well they comply, to avoid being shot.
One example of what men’s tax dollars disproportionately support, which lies in direct opposition to the interests and rights of men, would be the institutionalization of the Duluth Model of Domestic Violence.
This model is the feminist conceptual framework of family violence, and it is one that has been discredited by hundreds of studies across cultures–from the most modern western democracies to countries like Jordan and Namibia. According to Duluth, family violence is overwhelmingly male-perpetrated, and is motivated by men’s and women’s relative positions in society–by male social and political dominance and the expectation of female subordination. A man who batters his wife is not just asserting his dominance over her, he is expressing normalized masculinity. Abuse and coercive control of women, according to this model, is a not a pathology, but a natural function of male identity within a Patriarchal culture. Simply put, it’s just what men do.
Every piece of legislation, every government policy and every publicly funded treatment program in the US regarding family violence, and the vast majority of them worldwide, employs this conceptual model.
Too bad it’s bunk. As hundreds of studies demonstrate, in at least half of cases, partner violence is reciprocal. It involves men and women hitting each other, and what motivates men and women is pretty much the same: anger, poor conflict resolution skills, jealousy, a desire to control or discipline a partner, drug and alcohol problems, and external stress such as poverty. Women are as likely as men to report abusing their partners for all these reasons, and are more likely to engage in coercive control of a partner. More than that, they are more likely to be the one to initiate physical violence, and in cases of severe unilateral abuse against a non-violent partner, women are the perpetrators up to 70% of the time.
For every 8 women seriously injured by domestic violence, at least 5 men are also seriously injured. And perhaps most damningly, considering feminism’s unwillingness to address women’s perpetration of violence, the number one predictor of serious domestic violence injury in women is their own initiation of violence. It is when men are hitting them BACK that women are most likely to be hurt.
What all this means is that patriarchal terrorism–the Duluth model of intimate partner violence–is the most rare form of all–and yet the patriarchal terrorism paradigm informs all of our government funded mechanisms for intervention and treatment.
But it doesn’t end there.
At least 35% of spousal murders are men murdered by their female partners. I say at least, because if a woman engages a hitman, boyfriend or relative to assist her in murdering her male partner, it is classified statistically not as spousal homicide, but as multiple-perpetrator homicide. Because of this, there is no way to know how many men are killed by their female partners each year.
More than this, women are the most likely demographic to perpetrate child abuse and neglect, even controlling for time spent with children, and the majority of young children murdered are murdered by their mothers. Biological fathers are, in contrast, the least likely demographic to abuse or kill young children, less likely than both biological mothers and stepfathers.
Statistically, the environment in which a woman is MOST safe from violence is in a stable marriage, and the environment in which children are the MOST safe from violence is one in which their parents are in a stable marriage.
Yet our entire system of family law, and our entire response to domestic violence, from the VAWA to local police department policies, is designed to encourage and facilitate divorce, to favor sole maternal custody arrangements, and to protect children from the very people least likely to abuse them.
Mandatory arrest policies coupled with predominant aggressor policies based on Duluth, ensure that 1) somebody gets arrested in any domestic violence incident, and 2) that regardless of who was assaulting whom, the person arrested will almost always be the larger, stronger, male partner.
A judge in Florida recently estimated that 80% of all temporary restraining orders granted in the context of divorce or child custody cases, requested almost entirely by women, are either fraudulent or unfounded. Divorce lawyers have called false allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse of children, and the abuse of TROs merely part of the “gamesmanship” of divorce–a method by which a wife can secure automatic custody of both the children and the marital home, and leave an ex-partner scrambling to defend himself often without access to necessary documents or even a change of clothes. The average length of time it takes for a woman to obtain a TRO in an ex parte hearing is under 3 minutes. She need provide no evidence of prior abuse. All she has to tell the judge is that she feels afraid of her husband. The first any man might hear that such an order has been issued is when the police arrive to remove him from his home.
The advantages to a woman of abusing the system are many and myriad, and the disadvantages virtually nil. By the time a man has cleared his name, the children are often completely alienated from him. Family court judges will go so far as to admit that a mother has abused her own children through her abuse of process, but will hesitate to penalize her in any way. She will almost always retain custody because it would harm the children to place them in the care of a man they’ve been wrongly taught to hate and fear. Because she retains custody, if she’s prosecuted, the children will suffer. If she’s financially penalized in the divorce settlement, the children will suffer. If she’s forced to pay him damages, the children will suffer. In some extreme cases, judges have completely, permanently stripped a man’s rights and access to his children, explaining that the mother’s persistent combativeness, false accusations and abuse of process had made it so that upholding that man’s parental rights would only subject the children to more of their mother’s abuse.
And while not every woman is going to take advantage of a system weaponized specifically for her use, the ex-wife of a friend of mine recently told him she was proud that she’d never availed herself of such measures during their divorce, despite three court-appointed officials encouraging her to make a false claim of domestic violence and thereby gain the upper hand in the process.
Feminist models of gender and domestic violence have institutionalized the assumption that all men are batterers or potential batterers, that dominating, controlling and abusing their female partners and their children is just part of what it means to be a man. They’ve institutionalized an assumption of non-culpability on the part of women even when they openly abuse their husbands, ex-husbands and children, and even when they use the court system to do it.
In 85% of divorce cases in the US, mothers receive primary physical custody. The remaining 15% represent sole paternal, and shared physical custody arrangements. The average cost to a man in a contested custody battle in the US is over $200, 000. It can take up to six years of expensive court battles for a man to secure even regular access or shared custody, let alone primary physical custody. He may be required to pay his ex-partner’s legal bills in addition to his own, and pay for the court-ordered assessments and services required for his case. Through this battle, he will also be required to pay maintenance to his ex-partner in the form of alimony and/or child support, and in some cases, even pay the fees of the third party required for supervised visitation with his children.
Is it any wonder that in the year following a family break-up, men are 11 times more likely to commit suicide than women?
According to the Michigan chapter of NOW, fathers’ rights groups are an “abuser’s lobby”, and the official stance of the chapter is to oppose reforms that would normalize equal or near-equal shared custody after divorce if neither parent is unfit. They oppose these measures in part because it would put women and children in danger from abusive and controlling former spouses, and in part because it would have an unintended negative impact on child support awards. This, despite the oft-stated feminist claim that cultural assumptions that women are automatically better caregivers are sexist against women, and despite the fact that the environment in which a child is at the highest risk of suffering abuse is in the care of a single mother.
This is the influence of politicized ideological feminism in the areas of domestic violence and family law. And while society has always placed a greater priority on protecting women than men from violence and abuse, feminists have managed to rewrite history and public perception of human interaction, in order to justify ever more intrusive government mechanisms that protect women from even their own criminal behavior, and curtail the rights and civil liberties of the men who find themselves at the mercy of the system after having done nothing wrong.
Over the last 40 years, a growing number of researchers have challenged feminism’s theory of gender conflict and the conceptual framework of Duluth. These researchers have been subjected to blacklisting, career sabotage, intimidation, professional shunning and even death threats. Family violence researcher Suzanne Steinmetz had a bomb threat called into her daughter’s wedding. Erin Pizzey, the woman who established the first battered women’s refuge in the world, lived for years under police protection due to threats to herself, her children and grandchildren, and finally fled the UK after her family dog was killed. All for daring to say that women are as violent as men within relationships, and that partner abuse is not a natural function of masculine identity, but a gender neutral social problem primarily caused by experience of abuse during childhood.
To prove women are not violent, feminists have engaged in campaigns of violence and threats, and to prove society is male-dominated, feminists have engaged in a pattern of malfeasance that has silenced all other voices, allowing feminism to remain the dominant authority in all gendered issues. And they evidently see no irony in any of that.
The fiscal, social and human costs of these policies are staggering. We treat every domestic violence accusation, indeed even the hint that a woman is afraid of her partner, with a better safe than sorry strategy that engages multiple bureaucracies. Taxpayers and beleaguered men pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for investigations, assessments, psychiatric evaluations, lawyers, expensive legal proceedings, incarcerations and prosecutions, a growing number of which end with the discovery that a woman was lying for revenge or for personal gain. Children are mercilessly fragged by combative mothers, deprived, often permanently, of what may be their only stable parent. Fathers are ground into the dust.
Intervention programs, run by government funded agencies, apply a single, ideologically tainted treatment to a multifaceted problem, “curing” citizens of diseases they don’t have, while allowing their actual problems to fester untreated. Cumbersome legal procedures, no-drop policies, predominant aggressor policies, institutional, legal and informal biases, all contribute to a bill that is increasingly impossible for taxpayers to afford, and that is handicapping the ability of children–those future taxpayers who will be stuck with the growing mass of red ink generated by this system–to shoulder the debt.
Fatherless children–an epidemic of whom we are creating with these policies–are more prone to a whole host of social maladies. They are at two to ten times the risk of being physically or sexually abused, becoming teenage parents, dropping out of school, being behaviorally disordered, becoming involved in gangs, being addicted to alcohol or drugs, being expelled from school, committing suicide, not going to college, committing crimes, being incarcerated, requiring welfare or food stamps, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and being victims of violence. In fact, if you control for fatherlessness, the race disparity in the US prison system all but vanishes.
If we’re expecting our children to bail us out of the fiscal and human mess we’re creating, we’re in for a nasty surprise.
This is a problem of snowballing costs that will only worsen with each generation, as government gets more bloated and top-heavy while simultaneously crippling the ability of future generations to support it. It is a system where we examine the reading scores of 8 year old boys not to determine how to help boys stop falling behind in education, but to determine how many new prisons we need to build. It is a system wherein a man who is laid off and temporarily unable to pay his child support is systematically stripped of his driver’s license and professional licenses, thrown in debtors’ prison and saddled with a criminal record, rendering him permanently unable to pay it. Where we will metaphorically chop a man’s arms off, and then tell him he’d better still shovel for all he’s worth or he’ll be sorry.
And behind all of this, you will find radical feminist lobbyists pushing for further “reforms” for women to undo millennia of oppression of women that never existed as they believe it did, and regardless of the collateral damage to other members of society. They do this in the name of “liberating” women from the oppression of their historical dependence on men, by constructing enormous government bureaucracies, ever-growing in power and scope, funded disproportionately by men, and upon which women in general have become just as dependent a they ever were on any man.
All for the purpose of “ending oppression”, because, as we all know, no government anywhere has ever oppressed anyone.