men, masculinities and gender politics

Authors

Who truly speaks for Australian fathers?

More articles about:

In September of 2007, I began writing on the Internet about the injustices committed in Australian family courts. The response from men on the boards was revealing. One responder said that Australian men have “figured out long ago that women are bitches, and breed them out of that attitude.” Two justified wife-killing, one saying that a man who kills his wife “does not murder her, he corrects her existence” and another saying that some wives deserve to be killed. One respondent kept claiming that I was a Lesbian from Women’s Electoral Lobby while claiming my identity as someone I don’t know and undoubtedly violating that person’s privacy rights in the process. A representative of Fathers4Equality began posting injunctions for people to “have strength in numbers” and vote in the upcoming election for their candidates.

As I started exploring, I found laws and institutions designed to perpetuate violence. The people are forbidden to talk in the media about what goes on in the family court system, keeping the abuses in family system outside the scrutiny of free speech. Many women have lost their children because they had the courage to report in court the abuse that their children received from their exes. Women who flee from violence are being treated as criminals. Men who have put their children in hospitals with their brutality are still allowed equal access, while women reporting abuse are denied access to children because they have the integrity to puncture the lie that is the basis of the family court system - the lie that marriages and family life in Australia is everything other than what it is.

Before all else, let’s start with the wrongs that are the most blatant. The Australian family court system employs a racket known as Parental Alienation Syndrome. The concept was invented in 1980s by Richard Gardner, an American conman who also condoned pedophilia, and was quickly discredited in United States as a result of studies that showed explicitly that out of children’s abuse allegations against their fathers, the vast bulk (up to 98%) were true. In Australia however it is used by the family court system. The racket claims that a woman who speaks up about her ex-partner abusing the children is mentally ill and fabricating the accusations, and if the children make accusations as well then she has manipulated them into doing so. Out of that consideration Australian courts make a policy of taking away the children from any woman who has the courage to leave an abusive relationship and whose children have courage to tell the truth to the court about what happened behind closed doors.

The recent changes in legislation, passed in 2005, aimed at giving both parents the chance to have meaningful role in the lives of the children. But the Parental Alienation Syndrome racket aims to eliminate the mother from children’s lives when the abuse is being brought to the court. Not only is abuse not dealt with, but the abuser is rewarded with a full custody while the person confronting it loses the children. I doubt I am the only man who believes this is an outrage.

The rights that these men take away are, most of all, those of their daughters. They seek advantage in court over wives they brutalize, break, beat down and degrade; but in enshrining them in the law they are doing the same to their daughters. And a man who would sacrifice his daughter’s rights, in order that he have court privileges that he does not deserve, is not worthy to be a father. Any more than a man who would sacrifice the rights of 50% of the population is not worthy of having rights himself.

The attitude of claiming women to be “bitches” who are to be “bred out” of that attitude is very revealing. It reveals a mechanism identified by Eric Berne as racket anger, in which a person invents false reasons to be angry at someone in order to justify wanting to mistreat them, and then treats them in such a manner as to bring forth the reaction that appears to justify the abuse. The men running anger racket come into relationships expecting to be somehow betrayed and mistreated - and injure, wear down, beat and abuse the women until she either suffers so much that she does something (in which case the man claims he was right from the beginning), or is completely destroyed and accepts the abuse as a way of life. At which point many of the abused, either believing this to be the natural lot of women or feeling that no woman is allowed to have better than they have, go on and abuse, destroy and entrap other women in their communities into lives of brutality and degradation. In either case, the racket continues, and the lie gets bigger and bigger and breaks and strangles more people into a world of self-perpetuating injustice, atrocity and deceit.

Which then becomes the true character of the arrangement and the formative core of all its claimed values, attitudes and ways.
Which then markets itself as tradition, common sense, sanity, reality or religion and thus profanes all these concepts by using them for perpetuation of ways whose true character is one of atrocity and deceit.

The Father’s Lobby is stating statistics that claim that one in seven Australian men commit suicide. As is to be expected from men who would not take responsibility for their actions, they blame it on the women, precisely upon feminism. Let me get this straight. A woman who’s isolated, disempowered, beaten down, and subject to ongoing brutality and destruction that ruins her health, lives in hell, but goes on to take care of her children, while irresponsible men opt for suicide when they do not get what they want. And these people want to speak for men? For fathers? For family? For Australia?

They don’t. They speak for the lowest in men, the lowest in fathers, and the lowest in humankind.

The same men claim that a “genocide” is being committed against Australian men by “feminist terror.” This is extremely revealing. The people who intend to commit a large-scale atrocity, frequently start it by claiming that the group they intend to wipe out or to subjugate is committing the atrocity against them. Thus, Nazis claimed that Jews wanted to do to Germans what Nazis wanted to do to the Jews. And what we are seeing now, being prepared and in many cases caried out, is terror against Australian women that in many cases is worse than genocide.

It is a terror intended to subjugate not only their wives, but also the women of future generations.

And no man and no woman worth being a parent, would participate in such a thing or allow it to be committed.

They also site statistics that claim that 60% of marriages in Australia end in divorce. Given the attitudes these people have shown, it is no wonder that women leave them at first opportunity. And I don’t blame them. What woman worth knowing would accept her daughter being seen as a “bitch” and “bred out” of that “attitude”? What woman worth knowing would allow her children to stay in a home run by someone who thinks wife-killing is justified and have that same person role-model marriage and family life for them? What woman worth knowing would allow for perpetuation of racket anger upon her and then on through her children and into the following generations? The women who have courage to leave abusive husbands in order that their children have chance to grow up free of violence and degradation, does her sacred duty as a mother and as a citizen.

And it is only when the Australian men stop abusing their wives and children that they will have earned the right to have their wives and children stay with them.

The same people likewise claim that children have need for a father. And yet they want to take children away from the mother, who bore them for 9 months in her body, weaned them, and has been their primary source of nourishment, love and comfort. Need for a father? Need for a mother first. And a man who would deny the children their rights to a mother - who would sacrifice that basic necessity of their children in order that he have control over the children - does not deserve to be a father himself, having put his interest in control over their children over their children’s most primary psychological and personal need. When two women came to Solomon claiming the child to be theirs, he figured out which was the real mother by threatening to kill the child. The real mother was willing to let the child go to the other woman in order that the child can live. The same applies for men who have valid prerogative for fatherhood. A real father cares about the child more than he cares about his own interests over the child. And a father who would take away the child’s right to a mother, cannot be trusted to do anything right by or for the child.

Especially if the child is his daughter.

As for fathers, children have need for a father or stepfather who’s not abusive. Children have need for a father or stepfather who’s good to their mother and to them. Children have need for a father or stepfather who models for them a real, genuine, loving, respectful relationship. And while many people I know whose mothers have left their fathers at first hated them for that decision, many of them have realized that their mothers have made the correct decision when they figured out what their fathers were like.

The Father’s Lobby claims to be speaking for family. In fact they are speaking for this and this only: Abuse, control and deceit. The person who truly is worthy father and truly has values treats the partner in such a manner that she does not want to leave him, not create laws and social institutions that make it difficult for her to leave. And a man who truly cares about his family, cares about his daughter’s rights, as well as about the children’s rights to be with their mothers. The only person who wants the protection of such institution, is the person who wants to abuse the partner and for the partner to have no recourse.

It is the person who wants to brutalize, degrade, undermine and mistreat the partner - and have the institution of marriage, or institution of family, or institution of community, to keep the partner from leaving.

It is the person who wants to commit crimes in the privacy of the household, and let the social institution of househod to keep these crimes from getting redressed.

It is the person who wants to appeal to a borrowed virtue to cover for his own lack of virtue.

And this - appeal to borrowed virtue to cover for own lack of virtue - is the essence of Australian father’s lobby.

The people who want the protection of tradition to keep their relationships, are ones who do not want to do what it takes to keep a relationship going. What they want, is license to commit disgusting crimes against their partner and children behind closed doors and under the guise of tradition and family. As such, they use appeal to ethics to hide ethically damnable behavior. Which profanes the ethics they appeal to as much as it profanes themselves, but far more importantly the fathers, the men, the family, for which they claim to speak.

As man and father I tell the Australian father’s lobby explicitly: YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

Appealing to fallacious ethical arguments, the men involved are blaming everything on women. At Current Affair, there was a story about a woman who has six children by six different men. Even though the woman is working hard and keeping her children well-fed and well-cared for, she has been singled out as an example of women’s immorality. An obvious question to ask is, What about the men? Where are their ethics? Where is their responsibility? It takes two to have a child, and if the woman is prosecuted - but man is not - then one group has an immoral free ride at the expense of the other. Which ruins whatever claims of ethics or responsibility or morality that they may assert. I once ran into a man who called himself “a producer” because he “produced” eight children by eight different women and did not take care of any of them. Immorality to be blamed on women? What about their partners who impregnate them and then leave them or batter them and the kids?

What about you, Australian father’s lobby? Where is your responsibility?

So, some among men would say, how can I as a man be going against my own gender. My response to that is, if you see life in terms of battle of men against women, then you have no chance of being good to anyone you’re with and should not be getting married or having children at all. Others would say, how can I be so stupid as to deny having privileges as a man against my wife. My response to that is that I do not need such privileges; I seek to treat her in such a manner as to make these unnecessary. My far greater concern is with the rights of my daughter, who will have to live in the world created by these movements. And if you do not want your daughters to have rights in the world in order that you can have short-term advantage against your wives in the court of law, then you are too selfish and too short-sighted to be adequate material for parenting and do not deserve to have that privilege.

The people who would employ a concept, like Parental Alienation Syndrome, that has been soundly discredited in the place it originated have no regard for the truth. And that 98% of the children are forced to be with the people who have abused them, and denied a right to be with their mothers, is an outrage of cosmic proportions. Not only does this prevent children a right to be with their mothers - it does that. Not only does it give children to abusers - it does that. But worse than all that, it tells people they can’t be honest; they can’t be forthright; they can’t reveal crimes committed behind closed doors, in order that pretense of family and tradition not be violated by the scrutiny of the fact of what actually goes on behind the facade.

To teach people that they can’t tell the truth in court without facing disaster, is to teach them dishonesty as way of life. And that bodes horribly for the future society for Australia. It seeks to turn it into a society of abuse and brutality, but far worse a society of systemic venality and corruption. Which not only is abominable in itself, but becomes more abominable by using the concepts of family and tradition and morality to cloak itself. If people can’t tell the truth without losing their children, then the only thing they can do is lie and backstab each other. Go down this road, and you’ll find your country turn as venal and corrupt as Iran or former Soviet Union, where people likewise were not allowed to tell the truth without losing their freedoms or their lives. And which society turned into a snakepit of snitches, tattle-talers, crooks, black marketeers, and hypocrites screwing each other over for portions of ever-diminishing pie.

A facade of tradition and family values sustained by silencing those who tell the facts of what goes on behind the facade of tradition and family values leads to that exact set of conditions. The people become social onanists wearing a facade of decency in public while being monsters to people over whose lives they have the most power. The separation between fact and facade creates a schizophrenic civilization in which people lie, abuse and control as way of life, and where they quickly learn dishonesty at deepest levels as habit of mind and heart. Deception, venality, corruption, hypocrisy, become instilled in people since earliest ages and then perpetuate through the society to every level, turning it into an extrapolation upon the theme of deception - a growing, all-subsiming Big Lie. The ever greater dishonesty and insincerity of the society requires ever greater oppression, ever greater deception, ever greater system abuse and violence and personal destruction, to perpetuate the lie at its core, with the worst violence and gravest conmanship directed against the most naturally sincere. And then not only does honesty vanish from the civilization, but so do freedom and human rights, and what is created is the only thing that can be created based on a Big Lie: an effective totaltiarianism that requires extinction of all meaningful forms of honesty, freedom, and human rights.

The people who would do that to their country, are unworthy citizens. And the people who would inflict such a cesspool upon their children are also unworthy parents. To take away the rights of their children to be with their mothers - to take away the rights of their daughters to a country in which they have a chance - to take away from their children the right to a free and honest society - to inflict upon them a Big Lie at long last leading to effective totalitarianism - is a crime against one’s children and any generation that may come.

Make no mistake about it. Systemic dishonesty can only lead to effective totaltitarianism. And those who would inflict systemic dishonesty on Australia, have nothing less than effective totalitarianism in mind. And that makes them far worse than any supposed danger the Right conceives as coming from anywhere, either externally to Australia or within.

I believe that Australia is too good a country to have to go down this road. And I know I will not accept for my daughter to have to live in a snakepit. My concern is not only with the present; it is with the future as well. Which incidentally is the meaning of what it is to be a father.

The people who would employ a concept that has been soundly discredited where it has originated have no regard for the truth. And the people who would seek legal privileges that they do not merit, while in the process sacrificing their country, their daughters, and their children, are ones who are least worthy of them. Show me someone involved in Australia’s father’s lobby, and I’ll show you an abuser, a liar and a tyrant.

And that makes dirt-poor material for having the parenting rights that they seek.

 

Ilya Shambat