Thursday, April 30, 2009

What about the girls? What about the women? Recognition, Discrimination, and Warfare


What about the girls? What about the women? Recognition, Discrimination, and Warfare

[the above image is from here]
Common issues that dovetail with matters of oppression are the definition of harm and the matter of whose pain is seen and responded to as if the ones in pain were human? In the dominant society in which I live, words are sometimes seen as acts that can do harm, but often are not. I grew up with the saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me". Uhhh, bullshit.

We are now, in this first decade of a new Christian calendar century, just realising that homophobic speech is a harmful act, harmful the way physical assault is harmful: injurious to the being of another; inducing shame; causing pain; changing who a person is so that they henceforth have lower self-esteem and are more prone to being self-destructive. We can now begin to collectively see, in the dominant media--between the latest fashion news, mid- and small-sized automobile crash-test results, Hollywood gossip, sports scores, weather reports, and kitchen recipes that can be cooked in less than twenty minutes--that harm through speech acts can and does cost some young and older people their lives. Witness the cases of the two boys, Carl and Jaheem, who committed suicide due to repeated anti-gay harassment. The speech acts alone, without adding in physical bullying, without these children also being punched or hit while being called those misogynist/homophobic names, are, in some cases deadly. Will those among us who use such terms repeatedly against one or more individuals be considered murderers, should the tormented child take their own life? If not, why not? (If I drink and drive, I might face a fine if caught, as long as I'm not in a car accident along the way from point A to point B. If I hit a vehicle and kill someone, serious charges can be, and ought to be, brought against me. Regardless of my intentions, if I get into a car while drunk, and end up hitting another person and killing them, I have committed, at the very least "(hu)man-slaughter".

I think of this also when I consider how, post-"9/11" it became a much more serious matter for white males, particularly non-Nordic looking ones, to "joke" about having a bomb while waiting on line to board an airplane. This has everything to do with a society's shared experience of threat or harm. Usually, only those who are in oppressor classes (whites, Christians, men, the rich, Westerners, the non-disabled, etc.) are understood by the media to have experienced a single act of harm or threat that was VERY SIGNIFICANT. I was deeply saddened, and at times angry, after "9/11" because it became extremely clear to me that only some people's pain matters. White folks' pain matters. Men's pain matters. Westerners' pain matters. The pain of those with wealth matters. The pain of those in nations bombed by our missiles don't matter, in our media.

The harm of grossly intensified discrimination against anyone who looks "Middle Eastern" or who is categorised, often stupidly, as "Muslim"* is not really registered in the hearts and minds of the oppressor-class masses as real harm. (*For example, Sikhs wearing a turban with a chunni, or one or the other, is part of traditional Sikh attire, and is not a form of religious dress connected with any branch at all of Muslim attire.) "Their" pain becomes "our" pain, if "we're" white and not Muslim or Middle Eastern, only when "one of our own"--a middle aged "clean cut" (read: not swarthy) white male, an elderly white woman with grey and white hair, is detained and frisked at the airport because they happened to be the seventeenth person randomly chosen to be detained and frisked before being allowed to board a plane that day.

Only when that happens does discrimination against a non-dominant group, in recent years particularly against Muslims and Middle Eastern people, globally, become remotely real. Derogatory language and other violence against anyone who looks Muslim or Middle Eastern*, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or region of family origin, is experienced in the form of harassment, threats, taunts, physical shoves, misogynist slurs, and other forms of violence against women, girls, men, boys, property, and land. (*Only about 20% of the total world Muslim population live in Arab countries.)

So when "our" economy, for example, takes what's termed a "downturn" (as opposed, say, to naming it a necessary step in the ending of capitalism), suddenly the media is aware of "people's distress and anxieties" about money and property. This "new concern" more deeply invisibilises the anxiety, distress, and pain many feel who were already not economically secure, inside and outside the U.S.

Whole classes of people only know economic distress; they never experience the "comeback". Some of my family falls into that category, of the permanently poor. Others in my family fall into the category of those who have "wealthy white folks' blues", which is to say, they are upset, worried, anxious, or distressed about whether the value of their half-million dollar home has gone down by 20%, or what's happening to their financial investments. Wealthy white folks speak to one another about "the market" and the condition of their stock portfolio often in earshot of people who will never own a stock portfolio, or a home. I say all of this because if you are wealthy, but are less wealthy now due to the downturn in the economy, please don't expect poor and working class people to offer you a back rub or foot massage if they overhear you being so rude as to discuss such matters in mixed class spaces. For example, telling your corporate colleague, over breakfast at a nearby diner, about "how much your stock fund has taken a hit" in front of the woman who is serving you eggs, bacon, and toast with extra butter, please, may be experienced by her as both of you being "jerks", at least. For good reason.

What we experience is often determined, if only partly, by past experience. Because, where I live, what happens to white men in certain kinds of off-shore wars is viewed as some kind of "standard" for what we comprehend as "traumatic" and "disablingly distressing", we can commonly refer to the U.S. white male war vet as having "post-traumatic stress disorder". Rarely do those of us who are white and male in the U.S. see the civilian war survivor--usually of color, often female as a likely sufferer of "post-traumatic stress disorder". Rarely do white men, as a group, see women and girls as "survivors" of a gender war. Someone "fighting as military personnel" counts as being a human being, often a hero, especially if you are white and male and from a white-majority country. Such a man is understood immediately as "probably having gone through something that has been so awful that he may never be the same". Note how invisibilised the civilian war survivor is, and women and girls across region and race, when we express only this amount of concern about "those impacted by men's military wars".

If we understand both the military war veteran and the civilian military war survivor to have varying forms of PTSD, we might appreciate and be sensitive to the fact that sudden loud noises might have a different effect on "them" than they do on "us", unless we're also survivors of trauma that involved sudden noise. It is not for "us" to tell "them" they are "over-reacting". What constitutes "over-reaction", in other words, is contextual, and depends, in part, on what someone's life has been up to the current moment. My experience of white men, generally, is that we "under-react" to most things, except when a woman doesn't coddle and care for us.
The experiences of the disabled and the oppressed are usually invisibilised by dominant media. Rarely does popular media show us what it means to be oppressed or disabled, in a way that registers viscerally as well as cognitively. And obviously there are a great number of ways to experience oppression: defiantly, depressively, aggressively, hopelessly, etc.

In the U.S. during the last forty years, the general population, including the oppressor classes, have been sensitised, to varying degrees, to the reality of sexual violence by men against women. What has yet to make the mainstream press, on any consistent basis, is an understanding of this violence, both endemic and systematic (not "accidental" or "anecdotal") as a form of warfare. That guns and knives are often used against women when men do their misogynistic harm, does not suffice to make it "count" as warfare. That men maim and kill women routinely does not warrant the phrase "war against a group of people by an aggressive enemy" being uttered.

I think this means dominant society and its media is in huge denial about men's war against women and girls.
One of most common liberal issues I see use up a lot of people's time and energy is when someone who is experiencing being oppressed by someone--verbally, states that is the case, the verbal oppressor states "You're just taking that the wrong way" or "You are too sensitive" or "You are over-reacting--chill out!" or "Why do you take offense to so many things!!"

Each of these responses is not only insensitive, but is another layer of emotional harm to the one being oppressed. Personally, as a white gay Jewish man, I don't need any white non-Jew telling me what is and is not "anti-Semitic" in speech. My gut tells me just fine, thank you very much. And if I'm speaking or behaving in a way that is condescending or threatening to a woman, and don't realise it or intend it, that doesn't mean my actions are not what the hearer says they are.

Oppressors historically define reality, including what constitutes fair and reasonable treatment of those they oppress. Inside many white Christian communities, for example, even those that are not "fundamentalist" there is a notion, an idea, promulgated, that women and men are "compliments" not "equals". This argument is used to spiritually support up all manner of misogyny and sexism, and many forms of male supremacist behavior and attitudes. If a man sees women as "his compliment", I'd assume the man has some serious sexism issues he hasn't bothered to check at the doorway of his social world.

What I think about whenever I hear about the media's presentation of human pain and atrocity, is "who else is suffering in this or other ways"? We know that the pain and suffering of males, whether they are males in only-oppressor classes or not, is real. We understand, for example, that boys who have been and are being molested by Catholic priests and other Christian preachers, are being harmed, irreparably. A great deal of media attention was brought to bear, critically, if also exploitively, on the horrid matter of priests sexually abusing boys.

And white men suffer too, of course. I have suffered as an adult, as has my brother, and other white male relatives in my family of origin. Our suffering, or dimensions of it, at least, is registered as real and is also transformed, as Andrea Dworkin once noted, into great theatre, visual art, and literature. We assume, here in the U.S., at least, if not also in the U.K., that Shakespeare writes of "human" suffering, even while he writes of a specific kind that is very gendered and raced. Which students are being taught that Shakespeare wrote colloquial ethnically specific stories primarily about the inner and outer worlds of those with gender and sexuality privilege?

I do not wish to minimise anyone's pain, except when its expression is grossly insensitive to those who are suffering far more.
When I hear the stories of the abused, including of white male military war veterans, and of white Catholic boys I feel sadness and sometimes rage at the unchecked harm produced by white male supremacist societies. This is the case whether stories are of young males being bullied, teased, taunted, exposed to homophobic and female-hating slander or slurs, enduring spiritual and physical and psychic betrayal at the hands of those entrusted to spiritually care for young people, or of boys neglected and abused in other ways.
And, mixed in with that sadness and rage, I often wonder: what about the girls? Is their pain also being recognised? Are there as many reports about girls who kill themselves because of lesbophobia and heterosexism?

If a woman who knows her sexuality not to be "hetero" becomes the spouse of a man and has children with him, and also becomes increasingly depressed and despondent, does her depression and despair count as being caused by homophobia and heterosexism? If she has committed suicide, is her death registered as "in the same category" as those others who have taken their lives due to these forms of oppression and discrimination? If women are "never the same" after being raped and battered by a father, boyfriend, or husband, or due to growing up impoverished, or because they were given up for adoption because they are female, or were not given up for adoption but knew, very clearly, that their care-givers value boys more than girls, is their pain registered in the dominant society's psyche and told in its media, accurately and honestly, not exploitively and sensationally? Does it, too, become great art?

The question I want the answer to, if there is one, is this:
What else has to happen to girls and women for the dominant media to regularly report on what happens to them as "part of men's war against women"? We in the U.S. seem to barely grasp economic class warfare, although elsewhere in the world Leftists seem quite clear about it: capitalism kills, not just when a caught, criminal corporate executive shoots himself in the head. We seem to barely grasp racist warfare, the war of whites against all people of color, although at least some anti-racists are clear about that.

The plights and plans of those of us who are Indigenous are never spoken of it dominant society, and the destruction of Aboriginal people is rarely seen as "genocide".

To this list of grievances I add one more: what of this endemic and systematic violence against girls and women by men? Why doesn't that count as "warfare" too?

Posted by Julian Real at 4:42 PM

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Use of Parental Alienation Syndrome Soon to Be Outlawed in California….


Family Court Crisis; Our Children at Risk

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.817865&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis/GH) Testifies About Personal Ordeal

By Michele Dargan | Monday, April 27, 2009, 10:46 PM

An interesting press release arrived today that I thought I’d share with you.

When I saw Nancy Lee Grahn’s name in the headline, it immediately got my attention.

And as I read on, it became even more interesting.

As a soap fan, I have - for years - enjoyed Nancy Lee Grahn’s portrayal of the strong, smart, ever-so-efficient attorney Alexis Davis.

But I had no idea that she was involved in a court battle regarding her child.

According to this release, Grahn is testifying Tuesday at the California Assembly Judiciary Committee Hearing on behalf of Bill AB 612. If passed, the bill would outlaw the use of Parental Alienation Syndrome to gain custody of children in divorce situations.

The syndrome describes behavior where one parent turns a child against the other by convincing the child the parent has treated him or her badly, even when they have not. Many call it “junk science” and are trying to get it banned from being used to gain custody in divorce cases.

Below is the press release which describes Grahn’s participation in these hearings and her support for this bill.

T.V. Star Nancy Lee Grahn to Join Dozens of Family Court Victims to Urge Passage of Assemblyman Jim Beall’s AB 612

What: Pre-Hearing Press Conference

Who: Daytime TV Celebrity Nancy Lee Grahn & dozens of family court victims & court reform advocates

When: 8:30AM on Tuesday, April 28 - Press Conference; 9:00AM Hearing in Room 4202

Where: State Capitol- Room 444

Acclaimed television star Nancy Lee Grahn will address reporters tomorrow about her personal family court ordeal before she testifies on behalf of AB 612 at the California Assembly Judiciary Committee Hearing. Grahn will join dozens of parents and children to speak about the ravages of Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, on their lives, and the desperate need for family court reform.

Like thousands of parents in California’s family courts, Grahn was falsely accused of alienating her child against her father, yet she eventually prevailed in her protecting her child. AB 612 would outlaw the use of this unscientific theory that is typically responsible for placing more than 58,000 children per year in the U.S. into dangerous homes with parents the children have identified as their molesters and abusers (Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence). Beall’s bill is just one of a handful of measures addressing the need for family court reform in California this year.

PAS is a controversial, unscientific theory that does not meet legal evidentiary standards, yet it is commonly used in family courts everywhere. PAS and related alienation theories are not accepted or endorsed by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, American Psychological Association, American Prosecutors Research Institute, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, and nearly all credible researchers on the subject.

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Rape. It is about power, not sex.

Sometimes, You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Rape. It is about power, not sex. Supposedly the hardest crime to prove because it is she said and he said. We know these things.
Men's groups will have you thinking that women are just running around reporting false rapes just to get their panties wet. Denial. Do they know what it is like to file a rape report? Not any more than a male gynecologist knows what a pap smear feels like.
I don't know who is believed less, women or children? 
I suppose sometimes, women must take things into their own hands...until people start listening.

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Protesters say NJ court denies justice to women

Protesters say NJ court denies justice to women

Participants allege ‘bias’ in decisions involving abuse


Women picket outside the family court building in Newark, demanding justice for women and children who allege abuse.

Photo by Robert Wiene

by Robert Wiener
NJJN Staff Writer

April 30, 2009

More than 100 women, many active in several local and national Jewish organizations, picketed outside the family courts in downtown Newark Monday, demanding that its judges give more equitable treatment to alleged victims of physical and mental abuse.

Organizers charged that male judges often side with their fellow men and tend to disbelieve women’s allegations that they and their children have been physically and sometimes sexually abused by former husbands.

“We are very concerned that custody is given to abusive parents, especially fathers who abuse their children. There are judges who are biased, and terrible things are happening. Women are not believed when they or their children are abused,” said Sylvia Steiner of West Orange, a principal organizer of the demonstration.

In an interview after the rally, Irene Weiser, executive director of a website called, told NJ Jewish News that “New Jersey is no better or worse than other states” when it comes to judges’ gender bias.

Citing national studies, she said “there is a history of domestic violence involved in child custody disputes in a majority of high-conflict divorce cases….”

“When abusive men contest and fight for custody, too often they get it. Judges ignore evidence of family violence and sexual abuse, decide mothers are lying, and order children into the hands of an abuser. It defies all logic and any semblance of justice,” she said.

IMPORTANT: The following audiovisual piece includes real-life interviews featuring disturbing verbal content and statements on child abuse and domestic violence. Viewer discretion is advised.


Prof. Garland Waller produced "Small Justice: Little Justice in America's Family Courts" which is an independent documentary that explores the relationship between domestic violence, child sexual abuse and custody laws in America. To learn more about the stories of the women seen in this 10 minute clip, please go to


Weiser urged that independent panels be appointed to investigate abuse allegations to avoid judicial bias.

Gathering on Washington Street shortly after 11 a.m. and rallying through the lunch hour, the demonstrators chanted, “We demand justice for battered women and children.”

Among those at the rally was “Rebecca,” who did not wish to be identified because her case is still pending in family court.

She identified herself as a suburban Jewish woman with a professional career. She alleged that her ex-husband sexually abused their two children.

After a custody battle lasting three years, Rebecca said, she lost her home and most of her assets. She and her husband currently take turns caring for their two young girls.

“I have not been given a fair trial in family court,” she told NJJN. “I am trying to protect my daughters. I believed they were harmed. I am so scared of retaliation.

“I have invested every resource I’ve had and fought long and hard within the system. I do believe there was a lot of evidence in support of our allegations of abuse and violence, but it was swept under the rug.”

Many in the crowd said they had joined the rally to demand fair treatment for Rebecca and her children.

Shelli Brosh of West Orange, an organizer of Mothers for Legal Justice, told her sidewalk audience that the judge in Rebecca’s case denied an independent investigation of the child molestation charges, which were confirmed by six of seven experts who examined the children. The seventh said the evidence was inconclusive.

“Citizens of New Jersey have a right to demand higher standards for our judges,” Brosh said, “particularly when the lives of a mother and two little girls hang in the balance.”

Others who carried signs demanding greater justice for women and children told NJJN they had faced their own problems in family court.

“I’ve seen, as a school teacher, children who have suffered from the injustice of court decisions that are tearing them apart,” said Elaine Brown of Florham Park, a former director of education at Temple B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills. “We should take a look at the justice system so that we can have a more impartial, unbiased system. The focus should be on what is best for the children without judicial bias” or reference to “money or influence.”

Following the rally, Superior Court assignment judge Patricia Costello told The Star-Ledger that family court judges are fair-minded people who make “tough decisions.”

“All judges are bound by the rules of evidence, and their rulings must be based on careful consideration and backed by detailed documentation,” she said. “All the while, the family court judge must remain dispassionate during proceedings that are often highly emotional.”

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Father got custody; mother's sex abuse claims vindicated 6 years later when other children come forward


Father got custody; mother's sex abuse claims vindicated 6 years later when other children come forward

La Jolla, California -- Henry Parson's behavior turned from initially charming to more and more aggressive and perverted through the marriage, but the child protective services and the courts refused to believe Joyce Murphy, who ran with her daughter to Florida and then served time for kidnapping. Court therapist Marilyn Marshall said that neither the 6-year-old girl nor anyone else was at risk from the man. Like she had any basis to know. Too late, of course, to recoup the forever-lost years in the lives of this mother and her daughter that Marshall fucked up.


Apr 29, 2009

Read more: "Father got custody; mother's sex abuse claims vindicated 6 years later when other children come forward - justice's posterous" -
Read more: "Father got custody; mother's sex abuse claims vindicated 6 years later when other children come forward - justice's posterous" -

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Abusers Awareness Day!


Happy Abusers Awareness Day!

Filed under: Activism, Alec Baldwin, CSPAS, Child Abuse, Child Custody Battle, Child custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, Children's rights, Custody Evaluators, Domestic Violence, Dr. Richard Gardner, Family Courts, Fatherhood groups, Fathers Rights, Getting Screwed by the Whores of the Court, Getting screwed by the Family Courts, Getting screwed by the politicians, Help for Victims of Domestic Violence, Judicial Immunity, Legal abuse, Maternal Deprivation, Mother Child Relationship, Noncustodial Mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Protect yourself from FR groups, Psychologists, Rachel Foundation, Raving lunatics, Speak Out, Violence against women, fathers fighting for custody


Thanks Anonymums for the great graphic!

Father’s Rights groups ran wild trying to get our governors to proclaim today “Parental Alienation Awareness Day.”  Of the few governors that signed, I believe most were duped about this claim often used by abusive parents, being such an easy online process for the most part.  One state even states on their website when applying for a proclamation:

“Issuance of a proclamation does not constitute an endorsement by the Governor.”

Good try guys.  People are learning the truth of the “Parental Alienation” scam meant to support the Whores of the Court by the abusers who hire them.  Your cult even had to run to Canada to hold a conference on this.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges discredited the theory.  It stated:

The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.

Yes, they really did report this.  Family court judges should be made to read this!  See Page 24 of the report below.

Navigating Custody & Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide by Clare Dalton LLM,, please click here.

Are good fathers sucked in by this?  You betcha.  With all due respect to several fathers who respectfully comment here, you guys have been duped too.  Call it what it is….if your child has been turned from you, don’t allow someone to label it parental alienation, call it what it is….parental kidnapping, parent-bashing, whatever.  Call it what it is.

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I am not a victim- but your worst nightmare come true-‘I am TRUTH’- WE ARE THE WORLD

From the Kansas Family Court Reform site

I am not a victim- but your worst nightmare come true-




I have assumed complete control and ownership over this site ( as well as others globally). I am 'many'.. I am every where. No more will your crimes against society go unoted, no more silence, you can beg borrow and steal but, I garan-fucking-t- you NOTHING is silent anymore... the sins of the judiciary- the players- the court whores- and even the GOOD guys....

hear OUR  message loud and clear- WE ARE THE WORLD- and we will be oppressed no more.. no more silent cries for justice- no more raped babies no more dead mothers, children-  entire fucking generations-


whatever 'god' you kneel before, whatever color broomstick you ride, whatever your sex, gender or political fucking affiliation...

now is the time, to confess your sins... 'purge'.. before your own higher power- ride whatever wind storm you choose..!

knowing you did nothing,

makes YOU just as guilty.

abstaining is NOT A FUCKING OPTION

(the latex has holes-so the condom companies say)



We are the ones..........


-WE are NOW-

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Houston we have a problem-The shooters are all men

Published on Saturday, April 18, 2009 by

Denormalizing the Signs of Impending Disaster

by Michael Schwalbe

Warning signs can go unheeded because we normalize them. According to some analysts, this is what happened in the case of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. On January 28, 1986, less than two minutes after taking off, the shuttle's solid rocket boosters exploded, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
In her book The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, sociologist Diane Vaughan asks why NASA managers decided to launch the shuttle, despite warnings from engineers that the mission should be delayed because of potential problems with the solid rocket boosters in the below-normal January cold.

Vaughan's answer points to what was normal in the social world of NASA at that time: minor compromises in design and performance; equipment that deviated slightly from specifications; and pushing ahead with flight schedules, despite engineers' worries over seemingly small technical anomalies.

According to Vaughan, the recommendation to delay the flight was ignored because having problems and anomalies on the shuttle were taken-for-granted aspects of NASA culture. So was the tendency for engineers to worry. Against this backdrop, Vaughan says, signals of danger appeared mixed, weak, and routine, and thus were not taken seriously enough.

So far this year, eight mass shootings have resulted in nearly 60 deaths. As at NASA in the case of the Challenger, there have been ample warning signs. But because these signs are so commonplace in our culture, we have either ignored or failed to see them.

After each shooting, the question has been asked, Why do people do this sort of thing? The experts typically consulted are psychologists, who cite depression, social isolation, anger, and shame as causes. The most often mentioned contextual factor is the easy availability of guns.

But to ask, Why do people do this sort of thing?, is already to ignore the obvious pattern. It is not people of all kinds who kill because they are depressed, isolated, despairing, angry, or feeling shame. The shooters are all men. So the question we should be asking is, Why do men do this sort of thing?

One reason this question is seldom asked is that violence and manhood in U.S. culture are thoroughly normalized. As anti-violence educator Jackson Katz documents in his film "Tough Guise," over the past twenty years violence has come to be the defining feature of manhood in America. Violence and masculinity have become nearly synonymous.

This is not to say that all men are violent, or even that all men go around pretending to be Rambo just beneath the surface. Of course not. Yet all men are judged by a cultural standard that says a real man -- one who deserves all the privileges of being a member of the dominant gender group -- should have a capacity for violence and a willingness to use it when necessary.

The same cultural standard says that real men are able to exert control over the environment, over others, and over themselves. To be a victim of external forces is thus nearly the opposite of what it means to be a man in U.S. culture. It is hard to feel put upon, demeaned, or controlled by others, and still feel worthy of respect as a man.

The great contradiction, however, is that in a capitalist society most men don't have much power. A relative handful of men control vast economic resources, make laws, control the police, and command armies. These men can indeed make decisions, backed by force, that deny most other men and nearly all women control over their own lives.

On the one hand, then, real men are expected to be able to exert control; on the other hand, they lack the resources -- wealth, status, institutional authority -- to do so. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that some men try to compensate for their lack of power by displaying a capacity for violence, or a lack of fear of other men's violence.

Most of the time, most men are not overtly violent. But when a man tries to exert control and then rages against people and circumstances that frustrate these efforts, we are not necessarily alarmed. We are not alarmed because he is doing what we expect men to do.

Fortunately, such frustration does not usually lead to mass killing. Yet this is simply the logical extreme to which violent masculinity leads. When the burden of shame for failing to meet the cultural standards of manhood becomes unbearable, and a man feels there is nothing left to lose, mass killing may be a perverse attempt to restore, with irreversible finality, a sense of control.

As at NASA, the warning signs today are abundant. But they are mixed, weak, and routine.

Not all men are violent. Nor are men who occasionally commit acts of violence always violent; they can often be kind and gentle, too. And because it is possible to point to rare instances when women are violent, we can be misled into thinking there is nothing special about men that should compel our attention.

But the most serious problem is that we normalize the relationship between manhood and violence, and thus we take for granted what should be clear warnings about the potential for violence that our society instills in every man. When men learn to stake their self-worth on having power and being in control, and yet live under conditions that frustrate and humiliate them, we should not be surprised when explosions occur.

It may be strangely comforting to see the problem of mass shootings as a psychological one. If the problem stems from psychopathology, then we don't have to look critically at our culture of manhood or at how our society concentrates power in a few hands. Certainly, men suffering from depression and excessive anger may benefit from support and therapy. But therapy will never solve our collective violence problem.

If we understand the problem in cultural terms, we can see that the dangers go beyond being the victim of a "random" shooting. The logic of violent masculinity puts the whole planet at risk. By this logic, the natural world has no value in itself, but exists mainly to provide resources for expanding one's power. By the same logic, which is also the logic of U.S. imperialism, it is better to destroy the world than to fail to dominate it.

What we need is a cultural shift away from defining manhood and nationhood in terms of a capacity to dominate. We need to reject the worship of power and of "commanders-in-chief," and instead make democracy the primary value by which we judge our social institutions. The warning signs are all around, writ small in every mass shooting and writ large in every war. Our survival depends on denormalizing these signs and heeding them soon.

Michael Schwalbe is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State University.  He can be reached at   

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grandparent Alienation’ New Syndrome? Janelle Burrill is back in the House

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Remember that California Whore of the Court (who happens to have a JD also…gag, gag, gag).  She was featured in a story from California about a large group of mothers losing their children to their abusers because of her recommendations (Mothers Interrupted).  Why this Whore of the Court hasn’t had every license pulled, I don’t know…those people just love to protect each other.  From The Sacramento Press:

My granddaughter was stolen from our family. And I’ve been named an accomplice.

Local therapist Dr. Janelle Burrill, who wrote a book on ‘parental alienation syndrome,’ known as PAS, has struck again, only this time she has labeled me, a grandmother and social worker of 25 years in Sacramento County, of being an accomplice ‘alienator.’ 

You may remember her from the News & Review article, ‘Mothers Interrupted‘ back in ’02 about mothers whose children had been taken based on Janelle Burrill’s PAS diagnosis.  I wish I had read it, but instead my daughter agreed to use her at the father’s request for ‘reconnection therapy,’ not knowing the diagnosis was in the bag before it was ever opened. My 8-year-old granddaughter didn’t play the game – she said she didn’t want to see her father, so after a 15-minute visit, I was an alienator, and there was no more need for therapy. The child didn’t know what she was saying.  Her mother and I told her what to say. 

PAS, which is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and is considered ‘junk science’ by many is the only syndrome which gives the mediator in Family Court Services and the judge the power to flip custody 180 degrees if they believe it is occurring. It’s the same bashing divorced parents have done for 100 years, but it became a ’syndrome’ in the ’80s. The child’s best interest is put at the back of the line to give the custodial parent (usually the mother) a lesson, and without warning, the child is thrown into a new living environment, leaving his or her previous life behind.

I said goodbye to my 8-year-old Blaire as she cried, fearful her father would ’spank her,’ and watched her mother’s heart pulled out of her chest. Mine went with it, but Ms. Burrill, as I prefer to refer to her, despite her many impressive degrees, is on many abused mother’s ‘Hall of Shame’ website lists for her numerous findings of… you guessed it… Parental alienation and ripping their kids away.  Now, without any evidence, I, too, have become a grandparent alienator, defamed in public records without the slightest shred of evidence. The mother is a poster child for soccer mom… another reason to see alienation, as Burrill sees it anytime a father wants to stop paying child support.

Well, I’m a real-life part of that story now, and I’m getting the word out.  My granddaughter has had no contact with our family and will not, according to the judge, who is a new judge and new to Family Court, who, against the child’s pediatrician’s recommendation, took Burrill’s report as gospel and gave her to the father as my daughter pleaded without counsel, who was on another trial, and the judge refused to wait six days.  She acknowledged how traumatic it would be, but said, “It’s been long enough.” End of story.

I watched Blaire say goodbye to her dog, Tesla (yes, the band) and all our family, finally hitting denial, simply stating, “I’m not going.”   Her mother packed her up, and she said goodbye to her ’mama,’ who had devoted her life to her only child.  End of story?  Oh no.  Not until this sham is exposed and children’s rights are regained.  Not until Blaire comes home.

Editor’s Note: The Sacramento Press editorial staff edited this article after it was published primarily for grammar and formatting, the edited version was approved by the author.

I am a BADASS: Bloggers Against Deprivation, Alienation Syndromes, & junk Science

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Why is Illinois Judge Stuttley Giving a Symposium on So-called “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Taking Children from Moms?


Jeffery Leving, well known Father’s Rights pimp lawyer in Chicago (I gag when I hear his “dad’s rights” commercials on WBBM-AM at night), has a video of a judge giving a “symposium” on the so-called “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”

Mr. Leving’s tags on his video really tell all: Chief Judge Stuttley PAS brainwashing fathers rights fathers’ rights child custody

Chief Judge Michael Stuttley, Cook County Circuit Court, 6th Municipal District/Markham, concludes his lecture on Parental Alienation Syndrome on his video. Judge Stuttley seems very proud to be taking kids from mothers and giving them to fathers. In reviewing the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct, it appears that Judge Stuttley is in violation with several canons associated with the code. If you have lost your children in his court due to claims of so-called “parental alienation”, you are definitely not alone.  Consider pursuing  a judicial complaint through the appropriate channels, a motion to disqualify him from your case, and an appeal of his decision against you.

If Judge Stuttley REALLY had a clue about “parental alienation” he would know about these statements:

2003 – The National District Attorneys Association’s Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse discredited the theory.  It stated:

Although PAS may be hailed as a “syndrome” . . . in fact it is the product of anecdotal evidence gathered from Dr. Gardner’s own practice. [...] PAS is based primarily upon two notions, neither of which has a foundation in empirical research. […] PAS is an untested theory that, unchallenged, can have far-reaching consequences for children seeking protection and legal vindication in courts of law.”

2006 – The American Bar Association’s Children’s Legal Rights Journal discredited the theory.  It stated:

PAS’s twenty-year run in American courts is an embarrassing chapter in the history of evidentiary law. It reflects the wholesale failure of legal professionals entrusted with evidentiary gate-keeping intended to guard legal processes from the taint of pseudo-science…. As a matter of science, law, and policy PAS should remain inadmissible in American courts.

2006 – The
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also discredited the theory.  It stated:

The discredited “diagnosis” of “PAS” (or allegation of “parental alienation”), quite apart from its scientific invalidity, inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent.

The jig is finally up for these Father’s Rights advocates…other states are realizing that claims of “parental alienation” typically come from abusive spouses, and have no scientific basis.  See Tennessee Knows It: PAS means “Perpetrators Aligning Strategically” and California Knows It Too: Ban “Unscientific Theories” in Court Such as So-called “Parental Alientation Syndrome”.

Hey, Jeffery, what is wrong with parent’s rights???  Just because you know where the money is doesn’t mean a mother should be erased from a child’s life.

From The LA Times:

Parental Alienation Syndrome, which has no scientific basis whatsoever, is most often used against women in custody cases including by ex-husbands with documented histories of domestic violence against their ex-wife and/or children.  It does not mean “alienated parent” as the author above implies, it means that a parent, usually a mother, is being accused in court of alienating her child or children from their father by being truthful about the danger they pose to their child’s physical safety or the mother’s safety.  Courts seem to love the made up syndrome as an excuse to give custody rights or shared custody to men who have abused their wives and/or children, but until now there has been no official status for this made up syndrome.  If it makes it into the DSM’s next version, divorce lawyers and abusive divorcing spouses will have even more ability to continue to abuse their exes through the courts and to put their children in danger in some cases(More business for Jeffery). Women will continue to be labelled hysterical for reacting normally to horrible experiences such as discovering their children have been sexually abused by their father but now there will be so called scientific backing for these made up claims in court. 

Up for inclusion again is making women’s menstrual cycles into a psychiatric condition also(WTF!) We now have many more women psychiatrists than we did when the first DSM came out, why do women continue to be the target of sexist and destructive labelling by the American Psychiatric Association behind closed doors even so?  While there is a dearth of concern about psychiatry and its destructive effect on women over the ages today, nothing like the great work that was done in the ’70’s and 80’s is out there now and in fact many feminist blogs are guilty of the same continuation of prejudice against people with psychiatric labels as the rest of society, forgetting their history altogether in my personal opinion, maybe the threat to custody of children will start to wake feminists up to the destructive and continuing sexist power of psychiatry over the lives of women in the United States.


 BADASS: Bloggers Against Deprivation, Alienation Syndromes, & junk Science


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