Ordered Sexism: The Child Custody Battle Rages On"
The following comments, written by NCFM,
GNY member Werner R. Stutz, are in response to an article about
discrimination against fathers by the courts. Please view
the article "COURT-ORDERED SEXISM" by Robyn E.
Blumner, Times Perspective Columnist, St. Petersburg Times
Response by Werner R. Stutz:
Dear Ms. Blumner:
As the father and legal custodian of my son and my daughter
following some extremely protracted divorce proceedings, I would
like to thank and congratulate you for your GREAT article
published in the St. Petersburg Times on May 16, 2004.
It is indeed gratifying to notice that you dared to publish and
disclose against formidable opposition the legally enforced
sexism in our court system. Currently, most custody decisions
are primarily decided for the personal and financial benefit of
the mothers rather than following the hollow theory *in the best
interest of the child*. In todayís political and tainted
domestic relations climate, it seems to be more convenient for
the judges to award child custody to the mothers. It will avoid
controversy. There will be no outcries and tears.
Letís hope that your article will lead to further discussions
and eventually result in positive, remedial actions. What are
needed are corrective legal provisions, mandatory interpretation
guidelines and accountability for EQUAL justice that is
applicable to both parents in the procedure for awarding child
custody. In reality, the activist groups protecting the
mothersí interests will fight any such efforts. Clearly, they
do not want equality.
I can personally confirm the distinct bias and blatant aversion
in the entire court system against fathers seeking custody of
their children. This open and freely admitted discrimination is
expressed in all facets of the divorce and child custody
proceedings, by the courts, the social services, other
government agencies, including the police, and the psychiatric
profession. Despite the apparently toothless legal statutes and
likely following some unwritten guidelines fueled by outside
pressure applied by radical feminist interest groups, most
judges like and prefer to award child custody to the mother in
the vast majority of cases rather than to the better parent.
If these lost fathers behave, shut up and pay up any amount that
is dictated to them (who cares how and where they live?), the
empowered mothers may possibly but reluctantly permit these
fathers to see their own children. The location and hours for
such (sometimes supervised) visitations by the fathers are often
dictated and curtailed, should they be unable for whatever
reasons to pay all of their support obligations at any given
Worse, our society, the entire legal system and even the
extended family structure treat and sneer at these non-custodial
fathers as jerks and losers. Everyone seems to be against these
*bums*. Surely, they are guilty and the cause of their divorce
mess. Further, it is not unheard that mothers often influence
their children against their banned fathers and nourish the
burning flame to blame and hate the very same fathers for not
being around in the family home.
The new generation of lawyers is apparently still trained to
advise their male clients to forget seeking custody of their
children. The attorneys generally seem to counsel them in effect
to be content in becoming the relegated absentee parent.
As a prelude, it is quite often the divorce lawyers who urge
fathers to move out of the marital home for the *benefit and
peace of the children*. Once this goal is accomplished, these
reluctant fathers are *cooked and done*. After all, HE left the
house and, therefore, he abandoned his family and marital
residence Ö resulting upon application in a quick *temporary
custody* arrangement for the benefit of the mother. Needless to
say that the *temporary* soon becomes permanent, probably
coupled with a sanctioned court order that prevents the father
from entering his own house.
If this does not work, some women are known to be encouraged by
their peers to fabricate charges of child molestation against
the fathers, or perhaps spousal abuse or marital rape against
the husbands. Such concerted actions of unsubstantiated
accusations, lack of proof and witnesses, will at once make a
court date available for obtaining temporary restraining orders
etc. Obviously, in one way or the other, these men had it, not
to speak of their personal suffering, mental torture,
humiliation and loss of trust and respect these targeted fathers
must go through.
We can easily argue that the legal profession is largely to
blame for (promoting or ignoring) these traps for fathers. In
fact, many judges and the lawyers on both sides favor this
expedited outcome. There is less to do to conclude each case.
A fatherís worth? In the final analysis, the monetary size of
his checkbook and the regularity of his support payments is all
What a scheme! What a cruel punishment and detriment for the
children, since many fathers are often the better parents, the
primary caregivers and the steady, good adult influence on their
Werner R. Stutz
Brewster, New York
What's Your Point of View?
Please include your name, e-mail,
phone number, and/or other contact info to receive a response. Views and responses
may be reprinted at the discretion of the site
Please limit your response to under 100 words (about 500