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Apr 12, 2024, 05:03:28 AM

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N.O.W.'s Position On "Father's Rights" Groups

This latest piece of NOW propaganda is rebutted by Anne Mitchell, an attorney in the Bay Area. She provided the following point-by-point rebuttal exposing the mendacity of the latest NOW Resolution.


WHEREAS organizations advocating "fathers' rights", whose members consist of non-custodial parents, their attorneys and their allies, are a growing force in our country; and

WHEREAS the objectives of these groups are to increase restrictions and limits on custodial parents' rights and to decrease child support obligations of non-custodial parents by using the abuse of power in order to control in the same fashion as do batterers; and

{NOTE: It is absolutely untrue that credible and legitimate fathers' groups and advocates want to "increase restrictions and limits on custodial parents". These groups and individuals advocate for fathers who wish to be able to become reinvolved, and more fully involved, in the lives of their children. How can NOW advocate against that, and then still decry "absent fathers"?}

WHEREAS these groups are fulfilling their objectives by forming political alliances with conservative Republican legislators and others and by working for the adoption of legislation such as presumption of joint custody, penalties for "false reporting" of domestic and child abuse and mediation instead of court hearings; and

(NOTE: This may be the most astonishing proclamation of all! Does NOW really hold that falsely accusing someone of such horrible acts as domestic violence and child abuse is ok? And does NOW really advocate that litigation is better than mediation, agreement, and settlement? And, it would seem, they do advocate that sole (mother) custody is better than the child having a full relationship with both parents.)

WHEREAS the success of these groups will be harmful to all women but especially harmful to battered and abused women and children; and

WHEREAS the efforts of well-financed "fathers' rights" groups are expanding from a few states into many more, sharing research and tactics state by state; and

{NOTE: This is sadly laughable; there are no well-financed fathers' groups. What is ironic is that NOW is probably receiving even more contributions to their burgeoning coffers as a result of their putting forth this alarmist misinformation.)

WHEREAS many judges and attorneys are still biased against women and fathers are awarded custody 70% of the time when they seek it per the Association of Child Enforcement Support (ACES);

{NOTE: This is absolutely untrue. "Contested" custody results in an award of father-custody in less than 10% of the cases. See "Dividing the Child", Harvard Press.)

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) begin a national alert to inform members about these "fathers' rights" groups and their objectives through articles in the National Now Times (NNT); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a part of this alert, NOW establish a clearinghouse for related information by sharing with NOW state and local Chapters the available means to challenge such groups, including the current research on custody and support, sample legislation, expert witnesses, and work done by NOW and other groups in states where "fathers' rights" groups have been active; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local Chapters to conduct and coordinate divorce/custody court watch projects to facilitate removal of biased judges; and

{NOTE: This sounds an awful lot like "furthering our agenda by intimidation".)

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW report to the 1997 National Conference on the status and result of this national alert whereupon its continuation or expansion will be considered.

(Just in case anybody didn't know, NOW receives over $12 million annually in federal funds. There is not a single "fathers group" that receives one penny in federal funding. That $12 million is out of our pockets as tax dollars to help NOW destroy our families and our children. It financies their flawed studies and phony statistics.)

Additional notes (not by Anne Mitchell)

It seems pretty clear that N.O.W. wants to totally squash any possible opposition to their position, namely that divorced fathers do not deserve custody, and should not be allowed to take an active role in their childrens lives. Attempts to change the status-quo via legal means are labeled an "abuse of power" and equated with wife-battering. N.O.W. also opposes the idea of any penalties for falsely reporting child abuse, because it is primarily women who commit this offense. N.O.W. states that the success of these groups "will be harmful to all women", but they don't bother to say how "all women" would be harmed.

Is it just me, or do the folks at N.O.W. seem a bit strident, paranoid and defensive? It seems they feel threatened by the growing realization that a man can be every bit as good a parent as a woman... and that more and more men are willing to fight for the right to be single parents.

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