As a villifed Dad, I can tell you that this is the text to come back to--time and again--to reinforce the positive skills that we need to challenge the feminist, domestic violence, family-court industry.
Warren Farrell, PhD, is a Father Advocate. He is, so far, the most effective advocate of men's issues to women. But, more importantly, he frames the importance of Dads and Moms in the social-psychological development of every child.
Check out these chapter titles:
- Why Dad is Crucial
- Is there a Mothering Instinct? Fathering Instinct?
- What Prevents Dads from Being Involved?
- Does Divorce make Women Poorer and Men Richer?
- "Visitation" is for Criminals
- Political Consequences of Ignoring Fathers
I'm not one to mangle or mark books, but here are two excerpts:
- Both parents have Constitutionally guaranteed rights to see their children. Depending on the period in history and the context, it has been protected by their right of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"; by the Fourth Amendment's "unreasonable seizure" clause (in which a child cannot be taken from a parent without "due process"); or by the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The problem for fathers has been that tradition runs thicker than equality. When the law must choose between the tradition of motherhood or equality, tradition wins. Tradition ignores equality, runs around equality, creates conflicting laws, and depletes incentive to enforce judgements that favor equality if they are in tension with tradition.
- How a charge of child abuse creates twelve guarantees of child abuse
- The child's image of his or her parent is transformed--from parent as trusted loved one and protector to parent as possibly untrustworty criminal and abuser;
- There is a loss of innocence;
- A filter of suspicion and mistrust is created through which that child will view all men (or women)--often for years.
- The child undergoes repeated interrogations by police, psychologists, and welfare agencies, in which a child saying she or he was not abused is seen as in the "denial phase" or being " unaware that 'touching like that is abuse.'" The child feels caught between parents and "authorities," unable to please both;
- The child is given a never-to-be-forgotten image of his or her mother and father as each other's enemy;
- The child is played off by one parent against the other;
- The child feels personally responsible for driving the family apart, and lives with the image of being someone who not only cannot be loved, but who destroys love;
- The child's dad and / or mom spend aproximately $75,000 for lawyer, psychological testing, and expert witnesses, this can lead to anything from money conflicts to poverty, and often Dad is fired;
- The child feels powerless to prevent his or her own stability from being undermined;
- The child's dad or mom, who used to provide touching, now deprives the child of touching, responding to the child more with fear than love;
- The child feels that neighbors and schoolmates think of his or her mom or dad as a criminal, often at a time in the child's life when peer-group pressure rules; and
- The child is given a sense that she or he can get the parent into legal trouble any time the parent does something the child does not like, which undermines the ability of the parent to discipline, thus depriving the child of a real parent.