"Gary's story is not an
unusual one. Under the Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, if a parent
takes a child to a new state, that new state
becomes the child's presumptive residence after
six months. Because a normal military deployment
is six months or more, if an unhappily married
military spouse moves to another state while
the other spouse is deployed, by the time the
deployed spouse returns the child's residence
has already been switched. Since courts lean
heavily in favor of a child's primary caregiver
when determining custody, the spouse who moved
the child is virtually certain to gain custody
through the divorce proceedings in that new
"Because of the strict
restrictions on travel by active military personnel,
the cost of legal representation, and the financial
hardships created by child support and spousal
support obligations, it is very difficult for
returning service personnel to fight for their
parental rights in another state. Many struggle
even to see their children, much less remain
a meaningful part of their lives, and the bond
between the children and their noncustodial
parent is often broken for years, if not permanently.
"Gary has not been able
to see his son, who now lives abroad, in nearly
nine months. When he calls he can sometimes
hear the three year-old ask 'when daddy come?'
and 'where's daddy?' in the background but he
is often prevented from speaking with him...
"Gary has lost nearly $100,000
so far fighting for his son and may soon be
forced to declare bankruptcy, which in turn
will destroy the top secret security clearance
he needs for his job. Worse yet is the emotional
devastation wrought by his separation from his
son and the knowledge that he may never see
him again. He says:
"'My love for my son cannot
simply be brushed aside as the courts seem to
believe it can. I can remember holding my little
son's hand like it was yesterday. I can remember
his cry. I hear it every time I hear another
"'Sometimes I wonder what
I risked my life [in Afghanistan] for. I went
to fight for freedom but what freedom and what
rights mean anything if a man doesn't have the
right to be a father to his own child?'
Gary's former wife abducted
his son to Israel while Gary was in Afghanistan
in November of 2001. Last year a California
court admitted that it erred in allowing this
injustice to occur and in permitting the jurisdiction
for the case to be moved to Israel. In the three
years since, Gary has waged a long, hard battle
to be allowed to visit his son and have his
son visit him in the US.
Gary has repeatedly received
excellent reviews from all relevant evaluators,
psychologists, and social workers. His ex-wife's
father is very wealthy and has used his fortune
to finance his daughter's attempts to eliminate
Gary from his son's life. Gary has had to finance
everything--including trips to Israel at $5,000
each--out of his Navy SEAL salary.
Last May an Israeli judge
agreed that Gary's son should visit him in the
US for Christmas. The ex-wife protested and
demanded a new psychological evaluation, which
the judge granted. The evaluation came back
firmly on Gary's side. Those familiar with our
family court system already know what I'm about
to write--the mom didn't allow the visit anyway.
Now Gary is fighting to
have his son spend two weeks with him over this
coming summer. The ex-wife is demanding that
Gary put up $100,000 bond for the visit, knowing
that Gary has nothing close to that amount of
money. (One of the reasons he doesn't is that
for many years he paid $2,150 a month in "child
support" to his ex-wife to help finance her
abduction of his son). In a classic case of
psychological projection, the woman who abducted
the child wants Gary to post the money so--guess
what--Gary won't keep the boy in the U.S.
Mom is also demanding that
she be allowed to come to the US to be with
her son while the boy is visiting his father
(so she can interfere and alienate) and (of
course) is demanding that Gary pay for it. Gary
is having to fight all of this out on limited
funds in Israeli courts in a language (Hebrew)
he doesn't speak.
Gary lost his son while
he was risking his life to help wipe out Al
Qaeda, the enemy of both the U.S. and Israel.
Yet neither the US nor Israel has lifted a finger
to help reunite Gary with the son who loves
him and needs him. Thanks, soldier...
One Positive Thing
One positive thing has
come out of this tragedy--after
I wrote about Gary in the Los Angeles
Daily News, California State Senator
Bill Morrow was so outraged by my column
that he began working with Sacramento lobbyist
Mike Robinson and the
California Alliance for Families and Children
to help military dads. The result was
SB 1082. The bill helps military dads, though
the original language to help abduction cases
like Gary's did not make it through. Schwarzenegger
signed the bill in August, and its success
helped give impetus to a
Michigan bill to help military parents with
their custody issues.
Learn More about Gary's Case
Gary has appeared
Side with Glenn Sacks twice--Two
Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to
Protect the Rights of Military Fathers (3/13/05)
A Hero's Service Costs Him His Right to be a
Father (4/6/03). To read "Sean's Song,"
the Navy lullaby Gary wrote and used to sing
to his little son, click
here. If you'd like to write to Gary, click
Last Father's Day I introduced
the term "hero father" to refer to fathers like
Gary in my co-authored column
Not the Era of the Deadbeat Dad but the Era
of the Hero Father (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram,
6/19/05). We wrote:
"Fatherhood has changed
dramatically in the era of divorce and out of
wedlock births, and much attention has been
paid to two unfortunate products of this era--the
absent father and the deadbeat dad. However,
there is another type of father this era has
produced, one which has received very little
attention--the hero father.
"According to the Children's
Rights Council, a Washington-based advocacy
group, more than five million American children
each year have their access to their noncustodial
parents interfered with or blocked by custodial
parents. Behind that statistic are legions of
heroic divorced or separated fathers who fight
a long, hard but generally unrecognized battle
to remain a meaningful part of the lives of
the children who love them and need them...
"Over the past several
decades the love and devotion of millions of
fathers has been tested in ways few in previous
generations experienced. This Father's Day,
let's honor the hero father."
Other Hero Fathers I've
Leroux. I also discussed the Hero
Father last year on Father's Day on
with Glenn Sacks--to listen, click
Leving's Divorce Magazine Now
The second edition of
Leving's Divorce Magazine, the
new magazine for the modern divorced
men, is now available online with articles
focusing on issues such as men's reproductive
rights (or lack thereof), Parental Alienation
Syndrome and child support. Visit now
and get a free subscription.
The Second Wives Club
The Second Wives Club is what women
in blended families are looking for:
Remarriage, divorce, child custody,
and step parenting discussed in a solution-oriented,
mature, and intelligent way; articles
and news written by thought-provoking
experts and journalists; personal accounts
and advice from some of life's most
A Father's Race to Reach
the Hospital Where His Daughter Lay Dying
Part of our movement's
problem is that some people don't seem to take
fathers' love for their children very seriously.
This is a result of several factors, including:
the small minority of fathers who really don't
care about their children; the claims of vindictive
mothers who try to push fathers out of their
children's lives; societal disregard for men's
sentiments on such issues; and misguided feminists'
misportrayals of fathers as uncaring and irresponsible.
I recently read a telling commentary on this issue--a father's
heart-wrenching account of the hours after his
daughter was fatally injured in an auto accident.
It was written by Jim Bouton, a star pitcher
for the New York Yankees during the 1960s who
wrote the controversial mega-best seller
Ball Four. I've always admired Bouton, and
I interviewed him for a business magazine I
was working for when I was in my early 20s.
Ball Four was written
in 1969 but every decade Bouton has added a
new epilogue--Ball Five, Ball Six and
then, in 1999, Ball Four: The Final Pitch.
Bouton's 31 year-old daughter Laurie was
killed in a car crash in 1997--here
is Bouton's account of his desperate attempt
to reach the hospital where his daughter laid
dying. If you can read it without a tear welling
up in your eye you're a better man than I.
My father always said the
worst part of seeing your kids grow up was the
thought of them driving cars around God knows
where. Bouton's story is every parent's worst
nightmare, and it reminded me of something my
father told me when I was 18 and had gone away
for my freshman year of college. My mother and
father received a call at 3 in the morning telling
them that my uncle died. My father later told
me "When the phone rang at that hour and I found
out your uncle had died I was happy--I thought
it was you."
The American Coalition
for Fathers and Children
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
is dedicated to creating a family law system
which promotes equal rights for all parties
affected by divorce. Contact the ACFC
at 1-800-978-3237 or visit them on the web at
Scott Launches RealFamilyLaw.com
Shared Parenting Advocate/Family Law Attorney
Lisa Scott has just launched
to expose the truth about what is happening
in our family law system. Lisa, the all-time
leader in appearances on His Side with Glenn
Sacks, says that she was "tired of having
her stuff rejected by elitist bar publications
and politically-correct newspapers" and decided
to start her own website.
Sackson Horde Bombards Sacks-bashing
I mentioned midway through the enewsletter that
prominent left-wing Salon blogger World O'Crap
criticized my co-authored column
Letterman Case Shows Problems with Restraining Orders
(Albuquerque Tribune, 1/17/06), saying that I
"can't actually write, although he tries really hard"
and that I "hate women."
My column had made the point that
the Letterman case "demonstrates a much larger though
rarely discussed problem--it is far too easy to get
a restraining order based on a false allegation...Many
if not most domestic violence restraining orders are
simply tactical maneuvers designed to gain advantage
in high stakes family law proceedings."
Apparently some of my readers didn't
take too kindly to World O'Crap's Sacks bashing. Dripping
with sarcasm, World O'Crap
"It seems that I wronged a great
American a few days ago when I poked fun at Glenn Sacks...[I've
been] flooded with emails telling me...that I am a jerk
for having wronged Glenn Sacks, who is the kindest,
bravest, warmest, most infallible human being they've
ever known in their lives."
What's interesting is that there
was all this furor and I had no idea that anybody had
even written to this blogger until I stumbled upon the
blog several days later. I guess the Horde has my back--thanks...
To write to World O'Crap, email
World O'Crap, Gender Politics and Partisan Politics
The discussion on World O'Crap
is an interesting illustration of the way gender politics
overlaps with partisan politics. I've long criticized
the Democrats for needlessly alienating the male vote
and driving men out of the party. In my column
Michael Moore, You Used to Be My Hero (Fredericksburg
Free Lance-Star, 2/8/04) I discussed my original
admiration for Moore:
"Back in the days of your pro-worker
documentary Roger & Me (1989), I was working
construction at a power plant in the South and you were
the one public figure who seemed to speak for working
men. The one who questioned the right of a business
to take what it wants from a community and then pull
out in search of cheaper labor, leaving a trail of unemployment
and broken lives behind. The one who opposed union busting
and corporate plunder.
"Spending every day hanging by my hook belt off the
side of a rebar skeleton 50 feet up in the air, my life
seemed to be out of a Michael Moore documentary..."
After listening to years of Moore's
relentless man-bashing (which I detail in the article)
I came to the following conclusion:
"More importantly, is it any wonder
that men, including working class men, spurn the political
party you shill for? According to a recently released
ABC/Washington Post poll, white men (pardon me, Michael,
stupid white men) preferred Bush over an unnamed
Democrat in 2004 by a staggering 33 points.
"...the biggest reason men have turned away from your
party is simple--why should men support a party which
doesn't support them? Why go to a party nobody invited
you to? Why go where you're clearly not welcome?
"Michael, it saddens me that the beleaguered men at
that power plant have lost a valuable friend and gained
one more enemy. It saddens me to watch you and your
party marginalize yourselves and slowly commit political
suicide by spitting on those who once admired and supported
you. And when your party gets trounced among male voters
in 2004, I know what explanation you'll give. In fact,
you've already written it in Stupid White Men:
'men are just not as smart as women.'"
My Daughter's Schoolyard Story
When I picked up my second grade
daughter from school the other day she announced she
was "crying a lot today." This is unusual, since my
daughter is an extremely happy, energetic child. I asked
her what happened and she said:
"I had a fight with my friend Daniela.
She wanted my place in line and started screaming at
me over and over. I cried about it during recess and
I was crying about it at lunch, too. Then Daniela came
over and apologized. She said she has been very upset
lately. She says her parents got divorced, she doesn't
get to see her dad much anymore and she misses her mom
because she has to work. She says she's very sad."
Resources for Dads
National Fathers' Resource Center is a division
Fathers For Equal Rights, Inc. (FER), located
in Dallas, Texas, with offices in both Dallas
and Houston. In existence for over three decades,
it has services and resources for dads nationwide
and is one of the largest and most active fathers'
rights organizations in the U.S.
The Secrets of Happily Married Men
How can a man achieve a long and happy marriage?
If you've been checking out advice columns
or seeing a therapist, you may have been looking
in the wrong place. Despite all the advances
in brain technology, and all of that we have
learned about developmental psychology--men
and women are given the same advice about solving
problems. But when we ask men what works for
them, we hear a different story.
Impact of Fathers on Teenage
Girls' Sexual Activity: Texas Sociologist, Chris
Rock Weigh In
Brad Wilcox of the Institute for
American Values posted the entry
Dads' Love Equals Girls Virginity on the Family
Scholars Blog. Wilcox writes:
"Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at
the University of Texas, finds that teenage girls who
have high-quality relationships with their fathers are
significantly more likely to remain virgins, in an
article published this month in the Journal of
Family Issues. Teenage boys' sexual activity, by
contrast, was not affected by the quality of the relationship
with their father. Mother-child relationships did not
affect either boys' or girls' sexual activity. I guess
those father-daughter dances really do pay off.
"His sample is teenagers with both
their biological parents in the home. I'd hazard a guess
that the results would have been even stronger had he
included children in stepfamilies and single-parent
"Bottom line: Dads appear to matter
more than mothers in promoting the virginity of teenage
It reminds me of a Chris Rock routine.
He's pushing his daughter in the baby stroller and realizes
that "I'm the man in her life...everything that happens
between her and men the rest of her life is going to
be colored by what happens between us." To listen, click
Before We All Go Jumping Into Bed Together...
Council president runs for Legislature--has been
getting a lot of play on men's and fathers' websites
and elists, and many are applauding. According to the
"Town Council president Dorothy
Snyder doesn't like a bill that would have forced out
officeholders who are behind in child support - including
her husband - so she is running against the state lawmaker
who proposed it.
"State Rep. Ryan Dvorak's bill
would have required officeholders who are more than
$15,000 in arrears to give up their offices. The Democrat
said he still supports the measure, which was never
given a committee hearing in the General Assembly.
"He said the idea was inspired
by David Snyder - Dorothy Snyder's husband and a Roseland
councilman - who in November owed more than $90,000
in child support, his ex-wife, Julianne Mayfield, told
the South Bend Tribune...
"Dorothy Snyder has filed her candidacy
for the Democratic nomination in Dvorak's northern Indiana
District 8...She said she wants to run because she is
troubled over treatment of noncustodial parents in Indiana.
"'My concern is about the civil
rights of noncustodial parents and the destructive effect
of demonizing any group of people which is not good
for children of divorce, and it is not good for families
in Indiana,' she said."
I love seeing a candidate run for
noncustodial parents' rights. However, the men's and
fathers' websites and elists promoting Dorothy Snyder
have ignored the fact that her husband owes $90,000
in back child support. I beg to differ--I think it is
appropriate to ask why the father is so far behind.
It would be wrong to assume--as
most people, including feminists and chivalrous males
will do--that David Snyder is a deadbeat who abandoned
his kids. This is unfair--as I've written on numerous
occasions, many so-called "deadbeat" parents are instead
simply dead broke. In my co-authored column
Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk
Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05), I wrote:
"A laborer. A cashier. A carnival
hired hand. A construction worker. All with children.
Are they the featured men and women in a newspaper article
about hard times in the state of Virginia? The hopefuls
for a local job training program? The applicants for
emergency relief? No--they are the 'deadbeat parents'
who top the list of Virginia's 'Most Wanted' for falling
behind on child support. These three men and one woman
together somehow owe well over a quarter of a million
dollars in back child support.
"Virginia's Division of Child Support Enforcement is
stepping up its campaign against low income non-custodial
parents like these by publishing newspaper ads with
their photos and mug-shot-like listings of their height,
weight, home city, and amount owed. Officials have justified
these humiliating tactics by their contention that Virginia's
unpaid child support currently totals $2.1 billion.
This claim is extremely misleading.
"Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement data shows
that two-thirds of those who owe child support nationwide
earned less than $10,000 in the previous year. According
to the largest federally funded study of divorced fathers
ever conducted, unemployment, not willful neglect, is
the largest cause of failure to pay child support...
"The driving force behind child support arrearages is
not bad parents, but instead rigid child support systems
which are mulishly impervious to the economic realities
noncustodial parents face, such as layoffs, wage cuts,
and work-related injuries. According to the Urban Institute,
less than one in 20 non-custodial parents who suffer
substantial income drops are able to get courts to reduce
their child support payments. In such cases, the amounts
owed mount quickly, as do interest and penalties.
"Compounding the problem is the fact that the federal
Bradley amendment bars judges from retroactively forgiving
child support arrearages, even when they determine that
the arrearage occurred through no fault of the obligor...
"The top 'wanted parents' lists put out by most states
are almost exclusively comprised of poor and working
class men who do low wage and often seasonal work, and
who owe fantastic sums of money which they could never
hope to pay off. A person with a college degree--not
to mention an accountant, lawyer, businessman or banker--is
a rare find on these lists. The pot of child support
gold which Virginia officials profess they'll find if
they get tough on deadbeats simply does not exist."
However, at the same time, it would also be wrong to
assume that David Snyder is simply a victim of the system.
There are fathers who behave irresponsibly towards their
children, and he might be one of them. I'd like a little
more information before we all go jumping into bed together.
informs fathers about their rights during
divorce litigation while providing them with
concrete, practical resources to get results
in the courtroom.
is a popular meeting place for fathers facing
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW
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to approximately 100,000 "influencers." Referred
to as "part CNN-part Variety-part Drudge Report"--to
sign up, send an email to
Did Andrea Yates Kill Her Kids
Because Russell Yates Wouldn't Allow Her to Put Them
in Day Care?
According to the
"Andrea Yates once advised a fellow
inmate that she could escape prosecution by pretending
to be mentally ill and persuading a psychiatrist she
suffered from serious disorders, according to court
documents filed Thursday by prosecutors.
"Felicia Doe, who spent four days in a jail block with
Yates in 2002, told prosecutors last year that Yates
instructed her not to eat, not to speak properly and
not to be friendly or open in front of people if she
wanted to 'beat her case.'
"Yates, who is awaiting a new trial in the drowning
of her young children, allegedly told Doe that if she
could get the jail psychiatrist on her side, they could
testify to her mental health, and they couldn't prosecute
her if she was sick, according to the documents, which
describe interviews with witnesses who could be called
during Yates' trial...
"Doe, who could not be reached for comment, also told
prosecutors that Yates disclosed details of the slayings,
explaining that she locked a door so her oldest son,
7-year-old Noah, could not escape the house and describing
him as crying so hard he vomited.
"'She hit his head against the bathtub several times
in an effort to incapacitate him,' Doe told prosecutors.
"Another inmate, Lynnette Licantino, told prosecutors
Yates said her children 'were just too much' and that
her husband at the time, Russell Yates, would not let
her put them in day care."
The defense disputes Roe's allegations. I don't know
what to make of them--I've always been skeptical of
the testimony of cellmates or jailhouse informants,
and I'm not sure if this testimony is any better.
For me, the saddest part of this
case was this: while a couple of the boys were being
drowned, they continued to try to fight their way to
the surface of the bathtub and kept saying "I'm sorry,
I'm sorry." The little boys' only understanding of why
their mother could do something like this to them was
that they had done something wrong. In their last living
moments they struggled to apologize.
In the aftermath of the decision
Russell Yates was widely blamed for the murders. I appeared
on numerous radio shows in Texas at the time defending
Russell and often felt afterwards as if I were defending
a murderer instead of a guy who's only "crime" was having
a mentally-disturbed wife and not knowing what to do
about it. The strange religious beliefs which both Russell
and Andrea shared also contributed to their problems.
At the time I wrote the only opinion
column to appear in a major US publication which defended
Defense of a Flawed but Decent Russell Yates (Houston
Chronicle, 3/11/02). I was drawn to the Yates case
through personal experience. I've never discussed this
publicly, but many years ago I lived with a mentally
ill woman to whom I was engaged to be married. I know
a little about the confusion, denial, frustration and
heartache that Russell Yates must have experienced.
It's a world of shadows, where nothing works and everything
you do is wrong. My experience was a trauma, his was
worse than any nightmare. In the column I wrote:
""It's a shame that there's no
law that can give Russell Yates his due,' writes syndicated
columnist Debra Saunders. 'Russell Yates ought to be
locked up instead of his wife,' says writer Cindy Hasz.
Creators Syndicate's Froma Harrop sneers that he probably
'misses the obedient drudge who bore and raised his
five children more than the five children.' Harsh words
for Russell Yates have come from many others, particularly
former O. J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.
"What these and others forget is that it's hard to make
the right decision when you don't have a lot of options.
According to Andrea Yates' brother, Andrew Kennedy,
Russell Yates 'did his best....He trusted the doctors
and he did everything they said to do. He made sure
she took her medication.'
"Psychiatrist Mohammed Saeed took Yates off the drug
Haldol on June 4. Russell Yates, worried about his wife,
brought her back to Dr. Saeed on June 18. The doctor
said he saw no sign of psychosis and sent her home.
"Two days later, she killed their five children.
"Instead of using 20-20 hindsight, let's look at the
situation as it must have appeared to Russell Yates
before June 20. Mental illness is difficult for untrained
people to cope with and to comprehend. Dr. Saeed had
indicated that he believed that Andrea Yates was getting
better, and Andrea herself has testified that she told
nobody, not even her husband, about the 'voices in her
head.' While Russell surely had doubts about leaving
the kids with her, he didn't have a lot of choices.
He couldn't quit his job to care for the kids--somebody
had to put food on the table. Ending the home-schooling,
a violation of both of their beliefs, might have been
a severe blow to his fragile wife's self-esteem, perhaps
pushing her over the edge.
"Instead, Russell made the one move he needed to make--he
had his mother come in to watch the kids every day.
He generally left for work at 9 am and his mother arrived
at 10 am, and he thought he had the situation under
"He also attributed much of his wife's distress to the
death of her father in March of last year. And he no
doubt was in some denial, as people who are trapped
in difficult situations often are. As he walked out
the door to go to work on June 20, should he really
have expected that his wife was waiting for him to leave
so she could kill their children?"
How Does Sex Discrimination
Affect Men and Boys?
of Free Men is a non-profit educational
& civil rights organization that looks at the
ways sex discrimination affects men and boys.
NCFM helps provide
men a unified voice on important political and
Help for Boston Dads
Boston family law attorney Nick Palermo
is a shared custody advocate who believes that
divorced dads are parents, not visitors. The
Law Offices of Nicholas Palermo is a dedicated
and committed trial law firm which has worked
to make shared custody for all fit parents the
law of the land.
LAW OFFICES OF NICHOLAS PALERMO
Business Journal Discusses Glenn's
Column on the 'Daddy Tax'
The Northeast Pennsylvania Business
Journal did a cover story based on the central idea
behind my column "The
Price of Fatherhood--a Father's Reply to Ann Crittenden's
'Mothers' Manifesto' (Los Angeles Daily Journal,
San Francisco Daily Journal, 1/10/02). In Dave Gardner's
Forget the 'mommy track,' men pay a heavy 'daddy tax'
as primary breadwinners (2/23/06) he writes:
"Glenn Sacks is among the voices
addressing the volatility of employment-related gender
issues. He cites Ann Crittenden's recent feminist classic
The Price of Motherhood: Why Motherhood is the Most
Important -and Least Valued-Job in America, as a
source of ideas worth debating. Crittenden's book identifies
a 'mommy tax,' which is being paid by many working women.
This toll includes reduced job opportunities, lower
salaries for mothers and a lack of appreciation.
"Sacks is among those who believe
men also are quietly suffering through payment of a
'daddy tax'...According to Sacks, American men work
the longest hours in the industrialized world, and account
for 90 percent of overtime. This devotion to professional
duty has created lost opportunities for family involvement,
with complex emotional repercussions."
There was one part of the article
which I could do without:
"Mary Bogart, owner of Bogart Engineering
in Moscow, a civil engineering firm, comments that traditional
roles played by men and women are now becoming intermixed.
"'As women, we have expected to
do a balancing act and make sacrifices for the well
being of our children, while men have traditionally
focused on their work,' says Bogart.
"'But, men are now becoming more
aware of the connection between their presence at home
and the well-being of their family. You'd have to be
in a cave not to see this happening.'"
In reality, men have always made
sacrifices for their families, often equal or more to
those made by women. When men work long hours at stressful
or hazardous jobs in order to support their families,
this isn't "men focusing on their work"--it's men focusing
on their families.
To write to Elizabeth Zygmunt,
the editor of the Northeast Pennsylvania Business
Journal, about the issues discussed in
Forget the 'mommy track,' men pay a heavy 'daddy tax'
as primary breadwinners, email
Summers Pushed Out of Harvard Job
Lawrence Summers has been ousted
as president of Harvard University after creating a
huge controversy last year in attempting to explain
why Harvard has few women math and science PhDs. To
learn more, see
Harvard Guessing Game to Replace Summers Brings Up Mostly
Women (Bloomberg, 2/22/06).
At the time of the controversy
last year, I wrote:
"Harvard president Lawrence Summers
is currently being
outraged feminists over his speculations as to why
there are more male PhDs in math and science than females.
Yet few eyebrows were raised when U.K. Member of Parliament
Barry Sheerman recently
disparaged efforts to address the boy crisis in education
by saying 'women are brighter than men...the brightest
kids are coming through and they happen to be women.'
Can one imagine the furor if a British MP or an American
senator said 'men are brighter than women?'
"I also believe that the debate
over Summers' remarks has been misframed. I'm no expert
on math or science--in fact, I must surreptitiously
study my 12 year-old son's math book in order to be
able to help him with his homework. As a former high
school teacher I would offer the uninformed guess that
if you took 100 of my History or Journalism students
and gave them a math test and then added up the scores,
the overall male and female averages would be about
"However, when discussing the number
of PhDs in math and science at Harvard, the relevant
question is not 'do males and females do equally well
at math?' but instead 'which gender tends to congregate
at the very top one half of one percent in math?'
"On most standardized tests men
and women score equally overall, but the score distribution
is tighter for women and wider for men. In other words,
there are more male geniuses and more male idiots. Thus
Summers has a point--because the distribution of male
abilities is wider than that of females, it makes sense
that the top one-half of one percent might be mostly
"Summers also speculated that part
of the reason for the disparity is the enormous time
commitment needed from Math and Engineering PhDs, and
that fewer women than men are willing to spend their
20s and 30s buried under a 70 or 80 hour workweek. This
also seems like a reasonable supposition.
"It is also noteworthy that an
academic's tepid remarks on women have set off an international
media storm, yet males are continually disparaged and
criticized in academia with hardly a protest. To learn
more about how Woman's Studies have turned our universities
into hostile environments for our young men, see my
Why Males Don't Go to College (She Thinks,
Hate My Father? No Ma'am! (World Net Daily,
New Study Finds Myths, Misrepresentations in Women's
Studies Textbooks (Cybercast News Service,
The Best Valentine's Day Gift for College Students:
Gender Reconciliation (She Thinks, 2/13/03);
and the His Side shows
Valentine's Day (2/1/04) and
Studies Professor Daphne Patai Slams Academic Feminism
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KNBC Los Angeles' Today in
LA Covers New Lawsuit on Behalf of Male DV Victims
KNBC Los Angeles' Today in LA
just did a nice piece on the new lawsuit filed against
the State of California for refusing to offer services
to male victims of domestic violence. I wrote about
this case in my recent co-authored column
Domestic Violence Lawsuit Will Help Secure Services
for All Abuse Victims (Los Angeles Daily Journal,
San Francisco Daily Journal, 12/28/05). My co-author,
Marc Angelucci, is the attorney in the lawsuit and he
appeared on the KNBC broadcast. We wrote:
"At the age of 11, Maegan Woods
tried to stop a domestic dispute between her parents.
She soon found herself staring down the barrel of her
father's shotgun. She watched helplessly as the trigger
was pulled. She is only alive today because the gun
didn't fire--the safety was on.
"Maegan was abused and witnessed
domestic violence in her home for most of her childhood.
By age seven there had been knife attacks, punches,
kicks, and more. It was hard to leave--the abuser was
the one who earned the money, and the victim was unable
to work because of a disability. On numerous occasions
they looked for help to escape the abuse but were refused.
"Because in Maegan's family, the
abused spouse was her father, and the battering and
child abuse were perpetrated by her mother.
"The California Battered Women
Protection Act of 1994, codified in Health & Safety
Codes Section 124250, et. seq., created funding for
domestic violence shelter-based services. However, by
defining domestic violence as something only experienced
by women, the statutes exclude male victims from receiving
state-funded domestic violence services, including shelter,
hotel arrangements, counseling and legal services.
"Meagan, now 21, and her father,
David Woods, are the lead plaintiffs in a new lawsuit
against the State of California and numerous state agencies
and state-funded domestic violence service providers.
Beginning in the mid-1980s, David was violently attacked
on numerous occasions by his wife Ruth, who suffers
from a bi-polar disorder which, in her case, creates
a propensity toward violence.
"On several occasions David decided
that he and Maegan should get out of the house to escape
Ruth's violence. However, with his disabling condition
and inability to work, David had no money to provide
for himself and his daughter. Numerous times he contacted
a Sacramento domestic violence agency he had heard of
in the media, WEAVE, but they always told him "we don't
help men," and never offered him a referral to another
facility. David tried churches and various programs,
but all they could offer for men were homeless shelters
with waiting lists. He found nothing for abused men
and their children. David gave up and sank into a heavy
In the KNBC piece Maegan said that
when she was in Elementary School she would tell her
teachers that her mom was hitting her dad and that she
was upset about it but they would just laugh it off.
Poor little girl.
Feminist attorney Marci Fukuroda
of the California Women's Law Center gave KNBC the usual
feminist line--that shelters are having to turn away
thousands of women and children every year and that
they operate on shoestring budgets and have no room
For anyone who wonders if the shelters
really do exclude male victims, I offer this: In 2002,
while researching my column
Baseball Player's Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates
How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes
(Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal,
8/8/02), I posed as a male victim of domestic violence
and called every domestic violence shelter in Los Angeles
and San Diego Counties in order to determine if men
really were denied services. My investigation found
only one facility that would accept a male victim--Valley
Oasis--and one other, in San Diego, which offered the
possibility of placement. Yet while domestic violence
leaders like Fukuroda deny there is a need for services
for male victims, several of the shelter directors and
workers I spoke with while posing as a DV victim
said that much more attention and resources needs to
be directed towards male victims, and expressed sympathy
for their plight.
Patricia Jones, the Assistant Director
of the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, CA., told
KNBC that "everybody here believes that a victim is
a victim. It's not about gender, it's about somebody
In the KNBC piece David Woods said
"I put up with the violence because I was trying to
keep her from taking the children and leaving." This
is a point I've emphasized on numerous occasions. In
the column on the Woods case we wrote:
"Domestic violence policies based
on the woman good/man bad model kept David trapped in
his violent marriage in a number of ways. The biggest
reason David didn't leave Ruth was Maegan. She was frequently
the target of Ruth's attacks, particularly when David
wasn't around to protect her and take Ruth's blows.
Domestic violence researcher Richard Gelles, whose groundbreaking
work on domestic violence in the late 1970s was instrumental
in bringing the issue to public consciousness, explains
that current policies often trap abused fathers like
David. They can't leave their wives because this would
leave their children unprotected in the hands of an
abuser. If they simply take their children, they can
be arrested for kidnapping. Moreover, they would probably
lose custody of their children in the divorce anyway,
again leaving their children in harm's way.
"These cases often have tragic
results. In the highly-publicized Socorro Caro murder
case, Socorro often abused her husband Xavier, a prominent
Northridge, California rheumatologist, and once assaulted
him so badly he had to have surgery to regain his sight
in one eye. Trapped and not knowing what to do or where
to go, Xavier endured the abuse, once telling his wife
'one day you are going to do something that cannot be
undone.' A short time later Socorro shot and killed
three of their four children. Their baby survived only
because Socorro ran out of bullets. She was later convicted
and sentenced to death for the murders."
To watch the KNBC video, click
New Column: California Supreme
Court Takes Step Backward on Children's Rights
My latest co-authored column,
California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's
Rights (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 2/9/06),
discusses the new California Supreme Court ruling in
the Brown vs. Yana move-away case. In that case
a custodial mother was allowed to move her then 12 year-old
son 400 miles away. Family law attorney Jeff Leving
and I wrote:
"The underlying problem is that
in California the legal presumption on relocations points
in the wrong direction. If a parent wants to move a
child far away, he or she should bear the burden of
showing that the move is not detrimental to the child.
In this way many frivolous, selfish, or vindictive moves
would be restricted, while still allowing for legitimate
ones, such as in cases of abuse, dire economic need
or when noncustodial parents show little interest in
"Brown vs. Yana is not an
outrageous ruling, and Yana had harmed his case with
slipshod legal work and erratic behavior. The decision
is, however, sadly illustrative of a common mentality
in family law which places a custodial parent's convenience
above a child's love for his mother and father."
To write a Letter to the Editor
of the Daily Breeze, a 100,000 circulation newspaper
based in the Los Angeles International Airport/Harbor
A wrong turn on children's rights (2/9/06), write
Boy in CA Supreme Court Case
Rebels Against Mom's Move-Away Plans, Refuses to Leave
In our column
California Supreme Court Takes Step Backward on Children's
Rights (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 2/9/06)
we also noted:
"After the move the boy rebelled
against his mother, at one point refusing to board a
plane to go back to Las Vegas after a visit with his
father. The mother, who had moved to Las Vegas because
her new husband was offered a new job there, has now
allowed the boy to live with his dad. Cameron told the
Santa Maria Times that the new Supreme Court
decision is 'bad for other kids like me who don't want
to move...It's hard to leave your friends. And my dad
missed all but one of my football games when I lived
in Las Vegas.'"
While this turn of events certainly
bolsters my view that move-aways are usually bad for
children, I'm not particularly happy about it either.
When mom decided to move it meant the boy would lose
his dad. Now he has lost his mom instead. It would have
been better for the child if mom had never moved. If
we had a proper presumption against moves (as we outlined
in the article), the whole situation could have been
To learn more about California
move-aways and the influential LaMusga case,
see my co-authored column
a Pool More Important than a Dad? (San Francisco
Chronicle, 5/4/04) and read my LaMusga radio
I discussed how this issue would
be viewed if we switched the genders in my column
California NOW Takes Stand Against Working Mothers
(Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2/23/04), and argued
in favor of a current Wisconsin move-away bill in my
AB 400 Will Help Wisconsin's Children of Divorce
(Wisconsin State Journal, 12/3/05). I clashed
with feminist law professor Carol Bruch, who authored
the mother's brief in LaMusga, on PBS's Los Angeles
affiliate KCET last year--to watch, click
How Common is Paternity Fraud?
Last week I had expressed some
doubts about the new World Net Daily article
Paternity fraud rampant in U.S.:
30% of those named as fathers bilked of child support
unjustly which has been circulated widely on men's
and fathers elists and websites. I wrote:
"Paternity fraud is a problem,
but I doubt it approaches the 30% level, and the basis
for the 30% claim in the article is unclear.
"There are two sources for '30%'
in the article. The admirable paternity fraud crusader
Carnell Smith is quoted as saying that 30 percent
of the cases he sampled proved negative. However,
I don't think Carnell is saying that '30%
of those named as fathers bilked of child support unjustly'--obviously
the people Carnell deals are those who already have
reason to be concerned over paternity issues.
"The WND article also said 'one
state that examined the problem found as many as 30
percent of those paying child support were, indeed,
not the biological fathers of the children being supported.
The most recent comprehensive study took place in New
Hampshire under the auspices of the Commission on the
Status of Men.' Perhaps the Commission studied
this properly and came up with 30%, but again that seems
high to me. In my co-authored column
Michigan Reform Plan Fights Rising Paternity Fraud
(Detroit News, 9/25/02) I wrote:
"'Michigan Family Independence
Agency statistics indicate that 30 percent of the nonmarital
paternity tests performed in Michigan exclude the tested
man from being the child's biological father. The American
Association of Blood Banks, which evaluated 280,000
paternity tests in 1999, found similar numbers.'
"However, again we have a preselected
sample--many of the people getting these paternity tests
are doing so because there is a paternity issue involved."
Both Michael J. Geanoulis of the
NH Commission on the Status of Men and Smith wrote to
me afterwards, and it appears that my skepticism about
the 30% figure was well-founded. Geanoulis writes:
"The WND article was incorrect.
The NH Commission on the Status of Men (CSM) did not
conduct a 'comprehensive study' as claimed in the article.
See page 22 of the CSM report
As you will see, the CSM merely echoed the findings
I think it important that the record be corrected to
reflect accuracy lest our efforts are compromised by
CSM enemies here...."
"I did not work with the people
who wrote the recent story. They must be grabbing information
from online sources. You are correct in that I am not
saying 30% of men
paying child support are not the
fathers. No one knows the answer to that question because
every man has not been tested.
"I disagree with the view that
the men tested were the ones that had a reason to be
concerned about paternity. Until a triggering event
takes place, many if not most men were like me--I had
no idea that I might not be the father.
"My family members and friends
prompted me to get tested based on their belief that
I was not the father. They were correct. The mother's
testimony of relations with her former boyfriend, while
in another state and admitting that she never revealed
this material information to me.
"The root cause of paternity fraud
is the mother's willful decision to be irresponsible
and choosing to hide rather than reveal the fact 'there
are multiple paternity candidates.'"
"I believe that more men would
take a legal paternity test just to be sure, if they
knew that the law rewards 'trick him by any means needed.'
Especially if he knew that the mother was having unprotected
relations with one or more men excluding him.
"Taking the legal DNA test is a
form of insurance against paternity fraud for duped
dads. Truth is a good thing and mothers should be required
to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
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Sacks/Leving in Houston Chronicle
on Gray Divorce
My co-authored column on the rise
in "Gray Divorce"--Sometimes
it's husbands getting dumped: Forget trophy wives, reality
is another matter for most men--appeared in the
Houston Chronicle Sunday. I co-authored the piece
with family law attorney Jeffery M. Leving. To voice
your opinion on the issue, write to the Houston Chronicle
Feel free to forward me copies of your letters.
Netscape: When Wives Cheat, It's OK
According to the Netscape article
You Won't Believe How Many Wives Cheat, "The modern
American or European woman is just as likely to cheat
on her husband as he is to cheat on her." They write:
"Those are the eyebrow-raising
findings of a team of German researchers from the Hamburg-based
GEWIS Institute for Social Research. Reuters reports
that in a survey of 1,427 men and women between the
ages of 25 and 35, fully 53 percent of women said they
had been unfaithful to their partner, compared with
59 percent of men.
"Unlike most men, the reason women
have affairs is primarily non-sexual. While sex is no
doubt the outcome, what women are seeking when they
first stray from their husbands is reassurance and understanding.
In other words, they are looking for emotional intimacy...
"Some women are serial cheaters.
Seventeen percent of women surveyed said they had cheated
two or three times, compared with 22 percent of men.
And get this: Eight percent of the women said they had
cheated four or five times in the course of their marriage,
but only 4 percent of men admitted to this."
I love the always present, built-in
excuse for bad female behavior--"the reason women have
affairs is primarily non-sexual...women [seek] reassurance
and understanding. In other words, they are looking
for emotional intimacy..." Their husbands aren't giving
them what they need so no wonder they cheat. I discussed
this phenomenon at length on the radio at
When Wives Cheat, It's OK (7/11/04).
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A&E Reprises 'Fatal Fathers'
Many of you have written to me
about the A&E cable network's rerun of its anti-father
"Fatal Fathers." The documentary originally aired
in September, 2004, and A&E is rebroadcasting it at
8 AM and 2 PM on February 21. The central claim
made by the film is that "Surprisingly, the leading
cause of death among pregnant women today is murder.
Their killers?--their own husbands or boyfriends."
Many of you have written to me
to ask me if the above claim is true. The answer is
no. To learn more, see my columns
New Report on Maternal Homicide Crisis: Myth-Making
and Manbashing (Lexington Herald-Leader,
'Fatal Fathers' Myth Promoted in Wake of Peterson, Hacking
Cases (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 9/17/04).
Since it's just a daytime rerun
and is not being promoted or hyped, I'm not going to
call the Sackson Horde to action over it. However, if
you'd like to comment on it to A&E, click
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