Thursday, March 31, 2005

Human Rights Crimes Committed against Women

OGDEN, Utah - Weber State University's Honors Issues Forum will feature author and professor Valerie Hudson presenting "A Surplus of Sons." Hudson will explore the increasing abundance of males in some Asian countries and the possible consequences it may have on those nations and international stability.

The presentation will be held at 11 a.m. March 11 in Stewart Library Special Collections and is free to the public.

Hudson, who teaches political science at Brigham Young University, is the author of "Bare Branches, The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population." Historical and sociological evidence gathered for the book predicts that excess males in China, India and Pakistan portend instability and more authoritarian states.

According to a BYU press release, the root of the problem is a growing disparity between the number of boys and girls born in Asian societies, which place a special value on sons. It's estimated that by 2020, China will have 29 to 33 million surplus males between the ages of 15 and 34 and India will have 28 to 32 million. Historical research shows societies laden with surplus males were volatile and struggled with increases in crime, unrest and violence.

For more information about Hudson's book and research, visit

From the information above it appears that China and India have committed a crime of major proportions AGAINST women through the irresponsible use of sonargrams. This technology, which was sold to these societies in order to ascertain the health of the fetus inutero, was then abused to identify and abort female fetuses; thus, changing the numeric balance between males and females in Asia, possibly in the world considering the numbers we are talking about here, which are roughly between 57 and 65 million potential women deliberately destroyed for no other reason except that they were woman…

This is the same scenario, btw, replicated throughout Asia, but the numbers in China and India have overshadowed all these other situations, just by the sheer enormity of the scale involved here.

Asia appears to have embarked on an experiment in human social engineering that we haven’t seen the likes of since the Soviet Union of the 20th century. All of these ‘experiments’ put in place by the Soviet Union were an attempt to wipe out the age-old concepts of religious, ethnic and family loyalties and replace them with the state sponsored religion we know as communism. All were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempts; but left many of the countries these experiments were forced upon with their societies in ruin. The repercussions of which both East bloc and Western European countries are still dealing with to this day, completely uncertain as to when and even IF the effects are reversible. Or how long and expensive the process will be to reverse.

Like the Soviet Union, the situation in Asia, which changed the entire balance between men and women in both Chinese and Indian societies, appears to be an extreme example of ‘hubris’, again, on a grand scale. Nevertheless, we must accept our responsibility in enabling this to happen, as it would NOT have been possible but for Western Civilization selling them this technology to begin with. Thus, it remains our responsibility to correct this wrong we allowed to be perpetrated, if still possible, while at the same time punishing the offenders.

Any correction must include a ban on any and all MEDICAL technology being traded to either country. This should include pharmaceuticals as well as medical equipment unless and until all items have been ascertained for what use China or India has planned for them and how such use would impact women’s health and future reproduction strategy.

Additionally, all MILITARY technology should be denied to them for the foreseeable future, which would probably mean for the next generation or two. Their irresponsible behavior, on both a large and small scale, has caused them to reproduce a possible future threat to their neighbors and even each other as they have conducted wars amongst themselves in the past. Clearly they are not responsible enough to be trusted with modern weaponry. I would suggest even allowing a veto by their neighbors as to when sales could be allowed to resume, if ever.

The punishment aspect should include fines levied against both countries, as well as criminal charges for government officials, individual doctors, and lab technicians who helped perpetuate the original crimes.

I’m sure that others can think of other sorts of sanctions against the two main perpetrators once this process begins in earnest. But begin it must, as we cannot allow one half of humanity to commit a crime of such proportion against the other half and not be called to account by the rest of us. Over and above the actual disruptive threat they pose to their regions and maybe the world as the above presentation announcement highlights, we cannot allow them to just walk away with no sanctions for this crime against women.

For one thing, it will embolden other countries throughout Asia and elsewhere in the world to either begin or continue the same sorts of behavior that led to this imbalance in the first place. This could eventually cause an extreme threat to women in Western Civilization as many of the surplus men from these societies immigrate to our own regions and then refuse to accept our laws and social mores treating women equally. Many of them by their behavior undermine the very foundations of women’s safety in the west both from their countries of origin and now when they reside here amongst us as well.
Additionally they could eventually form coalitions or voting blocks with other malcontents in our own societies that seek to turn back all of the rights women have won over the last 50 years or so. We saw that with the increase in the Hispanic vote that helped put George Bush back in the White House. Most of the states that helped elect Bush were energized to bring out the conservative vote by putting other issues on the ballot to draw conservatives out, issues such as referendums on gays marriage or abortion issues. Thus Hispanics conservatives throughout the US helped Bush get in a position to continue his attacks against women’ s rights in a number of areas, not least of which is reproductive rights.

So the potential exists for these immigrants to be used against women to undermine our health and safety at any time, any time, by other conservative candidates as well. Even this nonsense with Laura Bush deciding she was ‘turning her gaze from girls’ now to focus on boys is another very good example of what I’m talking about. Frankly I don’t care about the gaze but, of course, with that gaze comes money, which now less will be spent on girls because her husband was put back in the White House.

Last but now least, any wars started by these unstable societies could result in the US having to reinstate the draft, this time with women included. Or concurrently the opposite could happen, as most society in wartime revert back to extremely traditional roles for women, thus effectively wiping out all of the hard won gains that women fought for over the last 50 years or so.

So there is much more at stake here then just the numbers. It’s called respect. Respect for women. Which obviously is clearly lacking in the rest of the world if they think they can just get away with these sorts of behaviors since there is no one to call them to account for them. We must ensure that they not only understand that a crime has been committed by one half of humanity against the other; but that forces exist that will punish those societies who engage in these crimes.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Terri Schiavo Dilemma: Marriage cum Mano Versus Marriage sin Mano

As many have been known to say, there is nothing new under the sun anymore. It’s all been said before, thought about and most likely acted upon, at least for a time. So generally speaking, we can look to our past for solutions to some of our modern day problems (with appropriate modifications for the modern age). Terri Schiavo’s dilemma is a case in point.

“The Schindler's fight for Terri...
"Take the money, let us have our daughter."

The Schindler's lost their daughter to a medical complication in 1990. Terri's heart stopped briefly. She has been in a coma for over a decade.

Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband, has fought the family for three and a half years to pull Terri's feeding tube. He believes she would want to die rather than live like she has these past years.

"We just want to feed her. We just want to bring her home. She's not on a respirator or, as she was portrayed, a vegetable or a houseplant" said Suzanne Carr, Terri's sister.

"The malpractice money was distributed to him to care for her," said Carr. "As soon as he got the money, he asked the judge to kill her."

The family does not care about the money. All they want is their daughter and sister to remain alive.

"We will sign any agreement you want, giving you all money related to Terri's collapse and any money that may be forthcoming" Mary and Bob Schindler, Terri's parents, stated in a written plea to Schiavo.

"You just take the money. We just want our daughter," they said.

Having to watch a loved one suffer is painful enough, but to have that person's life end short is even harder. Laws state that the guardian has the right to end a life, as Schiavo has done."

Information Courtesy of Article: Florida Family Fights to Keep Daughter Alive
Hannah Goodwyn - 10/24/03

Although it might appear that none of the ancestors of our own civilization, such as the Romans, could possibly have any guidance to offer us today, I think that we can still turn to the ancients from time to time for some ideas on how to handle certain situations. The Schiavo situation is a good example of what I’m taking about. For make no mistake about it, these are situations that will begin to appear more and more frequently as marriage continues its transformation from a lifetime commitment into the more or less temporary legal agreement between partners. The days when a wife or husband could be the final arbitrator of their spouse’s fate are probably over for most of us, as they should be.

I mean, let’s face it with a 50% divorce rate and many of this 50% taking place at the 5 year ‘watermark’, it’s unrealistic to think that the laws and social mores we’ve established for a society where marriage was ‘until death to us part’ are still relevant today.

This is not really a legal argument about the right to die so much as has been portrayed, but more realistically about which family member should have the right to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself along with the legal issue of who should have control of your property, again, when you’re unable to exercise any control yourself. Morally speaking a parental relationship of more then 20 years duration between Terry and her parents wins out (as it should) over a marriage of a few years duration. Particularly when the ‘husband’ has already re-married, in all but name, for almost 10 years now and has two children with his second wife.

The proper, decent and honorable thing for Michael Schiavo to have done was to divorce his wife ten years ago or whenever the burden became too much for him and his new family to face and allowed Terri’s parents to have reassumed the guardianship of their daughter; thus, we wouldn’t be facing this issue today. Nevertheless we are, so let’s return to how the Romans handled these sorts of tricky dilemmas and see if we can get any useful ideas from their wisdom…

Of course we know the Romans were not faced with issues of lingering death as medical technology had not advanced to the point we are at today, where someone can be kept alive indefinitely with little or no quality of life. Also since most Roman citizens were worth little or nothing anyway, many of the laws governing inheritance, dowry, custody of children, etc. probably were moot for most Roman citizens. Unlike our society today, where the laws apply equally to everyone because quite frankly just about everyone in the US is worth something as either an insurance policy/settlement, private pension or even government death benefits can be turned into assets for a beneficiary or dependent at the point of divorce, disability or death.

Even acknowledging the limited impact of Roman laws on most citizens, however, I think we can still extrapolate a few gems of wisdom from tracing the evolution of Roman laws regarding marriage and the handling of property before, during and after the fact.

For instance, one of the big issues for Roman elite society (just as it is for all levels of our society today) was the high divorce rate. Since women owned nothing of their own, a marriage was usually arranged with a dowry paid by the bride’s father to the groom. A dowry could be quite substantial in some cases maybe the size of a state or entire region with farms, orchards, herds, etc., throughout it, but generally was probably some working farms, orchards, or even small factories making goods for sale and run by slaves. As I noted above, the dowry was paid by a woman’s father to her husband, usually just before or right after the marriage took place. Generally the income-producing asset was NOT allowed to be sold, but instead the income from it was used to support the new wife’s household and any children she subsequently bore.

The original laws governing dowry was that, after divorce (which remember was frequent for the elite classes of ancient Rome), it was returned to the woman’s family (her father) from whence it originated. A portion, averaging about 5% or so was kept as income by the ex-husband for child support for any children his wife bore during the life of the marriage (since it was considered solely the responsibility of the wife and her family to provide for any of her childrens’ support; although said children were expected to reside within the husband’s household and husband was to direct their education using those funds)…but other then that 5%, MOST of the dowry was returned from whence it came, a woman’s family (her father).

Of course, as time passed, more and more ex-husbands tried to hand over less and less of the dowry and these situations eventually morphed into contested court cases that went on for years as various family members fought for the dowry’s return or the restoration of an intact asset that had either been sold or its value degraded in some way during the marriage. These sorts of cases sometimes dragged on for years and could even morph into full-fledged family feuds or mini-wars (very similar to an American divorce fight over marital assets today; but instead of just a fight between a man and wife, the fight between a man’s family and his wife’s entire family, most of the litigants men and everybody armed with a large sword or sharp dagger…PS a horror). Anyway to make a long story shorter, the Roman state could not have its small aristocracy generate such ill will amongst themselves with these squabbles, thus something had to be done.

Thus came the idea of the marriage sin mano versus the traditional idea of the marriage cum mano, roughly translated into marriage under the hand versus marriage without it. Marriage cum mano, which was the usual form of marriage up to this time, allowed both husband and wives’ property (dowry) to be under the husband’s control. The later form of marriages, marriage sin mano was supposedly fairer to women as it legally allowed her property to remain under the control of her father, as opposed to her husband. Of course, it still left a male guardian in charge of women’s property but presumably one with a lifetime relationship with her, as opposed to one of a few years’ duration.

We can see from the vague outlines of the two forms of marriage here how adoption of some aspects of these forms for use in modern western civilization could alleviate some of the more common problems associated with sudden death or disability within a short term marriage. For instance maybe every marriage performed could be ‘sin mano’ until the ten year mark was obtained and then the ‘cum mano’ form came into effect either automatically or upon request. The social security system has a similar waiting period before a person is eligible for a portion of their spouse's pension, a ten year waiting period, which seems adequate.

Of course, let’s keep in mind no system is perfect and whatever system we endorse will have some flaws, such as are the parents/family whose children chose the ‘sin mano’ forms of marriage responsible for their childrens’ debts or are they still the responsibility of their spouse? What about child support? Or even child custody? Does the ‘sin mano’ form of marriage also give an implied consent to grandparent custody or responsibility for child support as it could be construed to mean at some point down the road.

Still even with the uncertainty of what could happen under various scenarios, I think we need to begin looking into some new forms of marriage anyway, since these issues are sure to continue bedeviling us. As I said previously, marriage itself is changing from a long-term commitment into a short-term arrangement, which simply is no longer adequate to deal with the sorts of life and death issues that the Schavio situation presents.

Over the long term the bigger question for mothers obviously will become, will these changes be good for women in their role as mothers? I, personally think they will be, but only time will tell. For the short-term they will provide a bulkwork in women’s’ favor by legally empowering her family to act as a counterbalance against a husband (who is generally older, better educated and in a more secure financial position) and thereby prevent many of the sorts of legal shenanigans that were very evidently employed in the Schiavo case; as well as some more recent custody cases such as the Bridget Marks and Jerica Rhodes situations.

Information on Roman laws and mores obtained courtesy of Professor William Harris in his lectures: Family/Sexuality in Greece/Rome, Columbia University. Information on marriage customs in ancient Rome obtained courtesy of Professor Michael King in his lectures: Selections in Latin Literature, Columbia University…

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Caution Should be the Watchword Here...

“Prosecutors yesterday urged a judge to turn down a bail request by a Highland Falls man accused of stabbing a 7-year-old girl to death.

Defense lawyer Sol Lesser argued that if Christopher Rhodes is released on bail, he would be strictly supervised by his father, Linwood, who's "tougher than any ankle bracelet," like the kind probationers wear to monitor their movements.

Orange County Court Judge Jeffrey G. Berry said he'll issue a written decision on Rhodes' bail request and ordered him to return to court on April 5.

Rhodes, 28, is accused of stabbing Jerica Rhodes 16 times the morning of Jan. 27 and leaving her bloody corpse in a bathroom at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Highland Falls.

Rhodes believed Jerica was his daughter, but DNA testing after the homicide revealed that he wasn't her father.

Rhodes is charged with second-degree murder. Prosecutors argued that the seriousness of the charge, coupled with previous failures to appear in court in other cases over the years, made Rhodes a bad bail risk.

He's been held in Orange County Jail since he was arrested on the same day that Jerica's body was found. Rhodes maintains that he didn't kill her.”

Courtesy of anonymous email.

This was sent to me via an anonymous email this evening, obviously from someone concerned that this man would be allowed out on bail.

Just for the record, the mother of the seven year old victim lives just three hours away from this man and his family. Furthermore, she has FOUR other children ranging in age from ten years old to one year old which she is responsible for as well. I hope the Judge who is even entertaining the notion of releasing Christopher Rhodes on bail, after being charged with such a dastardly crime, takes this into account BEFORE he makes his decision.

Especially since the news coverage up there, which was supposed to be investigating Rhodes and his family, has done nothing but focus on negative things to write about the victim’s mother, Lisa Mason. This appears to be a twisted attempt to deflect blame from the defacto father of this child, unto her mother, who is also a victim here, let’s remember that.

Lisa Mason was the victim here thrice. First of a judicially-sanctioned kidnapping of her first-born daughter. Then secondly, of being alienated from her daughter’s life. Third and lastly of having to stand helplessly by while her daughter was murdered and then even having to struggle to be allowed to say goodbye to her own child in the casket.

Again, since it obviously needs to be reiterated: Lisa Mason is a victim here, a 19 year old young woman, whose infant was kidnapped from her, with the blessings of the court. According to Lisa Mason, the Judge in this custody case was duly informed that Christopher Rhodes was NOT Jerica’s father…but the Judge chose to ignore the information he received and to play God, instead of following the law.

Thus, paving the way for all the horrors that followed.

We will never know the complicated reasons for the decisions made by the various protagonists in this situation. They could run from spitefulness; hatred of women, attempts to experiment with other people’s children like little guinea pigs by placing them in all kinds of weird male-custody arrangements; or, even attempts by those who eventually wrangled legal custody of this infant as a way to ‘juice’ the state taxpayers for tax credits and other public benefits.

We will NEVER know. But one thing that should be clear is that LISA MASON IS A VICTIM HERE AS WELL…along with those four children who were NEVER allowed to know their sister and who are scarred as well for life by this dastardly crime that was committed again her. THIS was a CRIME committed against THOSE CHILDREN AS WELL AS THEIR MOTHER…

“Rhodes believed Jerica was his daughter, but DNA testing after the homicide revealed that he wasn't her father.”

Courtesy of anonymous email.

Excuse me but who said Christopher Rhodes didn’t know Jerica was NOT his daughter? Rhodes? Well guess what…I’m going to believe that little girl’s mother, who said he knew damn well that he wasn’t Jerica’s father, BEFORE I believe a guy who is accused of stabbing a seven year old 16 times.

Okay…it’s just common sense.

Not that it makes a damn bit of difference whether he knew or not because you don’t stab a seven year old 16 times, whether or NOT you’re her father or whether or not you knew it…


So what difference would it make to THAT ISSUE is the real question…The media keeps mentioning this like it’s a mitigating factor or something here. Well guess what it ain’t…I don’t care who her father was or whether or not Rhodes knew it wasn’t him…


For some reason the media up in that Godforsaken town of Highland Falls wishes to keep giving this guy the benefit of the doubt on every lie and half-truth he tells…Well he doesn’t have the right to spin the story anymore.


Every single thing he said must be investigated and verified by at least TWO other people, one of them being LISA MASON…BEFORE we assume it’s correct.


Quite frankly although not knowing either Christopher Rhodes or Lisa Mason personally, I still would say that, given the history between these families and the fact that NONE OF THEM HAVE EXPRESSED ANY REMORSE whatsoever to Lisa Mason or her children NONE, that this Judge Berry should think very carefully (I HOPE) before allowing bail for this man…and I don’t care what kind of arrangement is made for an electronic monitoring device put on him.

Nothing is fool-proof and I would hate to see another MISTAKE being made by a Judge in that town…AGAIN either underestimating or should I say overestimating the character of this Christopher Rhodes.

Let’s remember we don’t know the motivation yet behind either the judicially-sanctioned kidnapping, the alienation that went on for years OR most importantly the murder of a seven year old while in the care, custody and control of Christopher Rhodes…and there are other children involved here, the four siblings of Jerica…so we need to proceed cautiously until we know more about the why of this situation and not just let this guy run around loose up there before we have a few more facts…

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Allowing Divorce for Pregnant Mothers

The recent ruling in Washington State will not prove to be a good thing for mothers.

Allowing women to divorce while pregnant (the classical Trojan horse strategy) will eventually allow men, always looking for an excuse to dodge their responsibilities anyway, to take advantage of this loophole to divorce pregnant women leaving them without provisions for housing, food, medical care and other necessities.

Women are vulnerable when pregnant. It is NOT the time to be hit with divorce papers and have to prepare to relocate into a friend's or relatives' house or apartment, worry about bills being paid or being able to have medical coverage for routine prenatal care.

As many people know, the FIRST thing an attorney will advise a husband to do is to immediately empty ALL joint checking/savings accounts while at the same time to STOP paying all bills for the upkeep of the marital household from the mortgage or rent to the electric and phone bill, cut off ALL joint credit cards, and begin transferring as many joint balances to spouse's card as possible; thus using up all of pregnant mothers' available credit.

This is standard operating procedure, standard. It is an attempt to force the lesser income party (which is still usually women, pregnant mother, a given) to settle as quickly as possible with as few marital assets as possible.

Well, of course, now many will say, well Judge will eventually straighten it all out making allowances for these discrepancies. Sure, I say MAYBE in a couple of weeks or months, maybe it will be straightened out. Sadly, however, a pregnant womens' needs are immediate: housing, food, vitamins, ongoing medical care, etc., and these needs cannot always wait for the pace of American justice.

Then, of course, along with the threat of winding up virtually penniless out in the street, will be the usual emotional blackmail of a 'custody war' ensuing if this is not settled by the time infant is born.

Again, standard operating procedure today, very standard.

Overall this is an extremely stressful time for a pregnant woman anyway, thus the last thing she needs is to have to deal with a divorce.

In spite of the fact that it is two women featured this week as being the initiators of divorces while pregnant, mothers do NOT be fooled. The two women featured in the articles below, both classical Trojan horses'(asses), if I may say so myself, are not representative of most pregnant women.

Most of us dwell in the vast middle of the standard bell-shaped curve, but BOTH of these examples of mothers divorcing while pregnant are more representative of the small group of pregnant women who exist at either end of the spectrum.

The bottom line is that the people who overall have the most to gain from having the legal right to divorce while spouse is pregnant are husbands, not their pregnant wives. Allowing men to divorce while wife is pregnant will put them in the exact same legal position of a boyfriend, who after getting a woman pregnant, is responsible for NOTHING until after he is determined to be the father of child AFTER birth, so basically we will be allowing ALL men the potential to do the same thing.

Like I said, classical Trojan horses'(asses) strategy.

State House passes bills on DNA testing, divorce
OLYMPIA -- The state House on Monday passed a bill allowing convicted felons to request DNA testing that could exonerate them.

The House also passed a bill that would prevent judges from using a woman's pregnancy as the sole reason for denying a divorce.

The divorce bill was inspired by the real-life case of Shawnna Hughes. A Spokane County Superior Court judge ruled last year that because Hughes' ex-husband didn't know she was pregnant at the time the divorce was granted, the divorce was illegal and must be revoked.

Because Hughes was on public assistance, the state had objected to the divorce because it might leave the state unable to pursue a father for repayment of welfare money used to support the child.

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, said the Spokane ruling wasn't an isolated incident.

"There is no uniformity in the law nor in how judges view pregnancy in divorce proceedings," Dickerson said. "Similar rulings have been made on both sides of the Cascades."

The bill passed unanimously and now goes to the Senate.

Information courtesy of

Shawana Hughes is NOT representative of most pregnant women.

First of all she is already a self-contained economic unit (being supported on public assistance) depending upon nobody but the state to provide for all of her needs. Whether or not she divorces is immaterial, as her husband, as well as boyfriend of child she is carrying, are BOTH in prison 'BOTH' one a drug dealer, another a gang banger. Thus neither of these men are a factor in her life for providing any economic wherewithal whatsoever.

They simply are not relevant in this area.

Shawana Hughes has all of her economic needs taken care of from her rent to her medical care. Additionally she is assured of SOLE CUSTODY of this child, as well as the others, since BOTH of the fathers of her brood are in prison. Which is not a given for all mothers in a divorced while pregnant situation, as depending upon a number of variables a pregnant woman facing divorce could also shortly thereafter be face-to-face with losing her infant as well.

Shawna Hughes, divorcing while pregnant, will pretty much impact only her. She already has all of her financial and medical needs (as well as the needs of her children) cared for whether or not she's married. Thus, her decision to divorce while pregnant is not reflective of what is appropriate for the mainstream of pregnant mothers. Many of those mothers NEED their husbands to be married to them and legally responsible to provide all the material things that are required to maintain their lifestyle, while mother, herself, focuses on the most important job which should be bringing forth a normal, healthy, reasonably high-functioning infant.

Now we will examine the second case.


Model turned actress Denise Richards has filed for divorce from actor Charlie Sheen, her husband of 2 1/2 years, according to court papers made public on Thursday.

Richards, 34, who is six months pregnant, filed divorce papers in Los Angeles on Wednesday and asked for custody of the couple's year-old daughter as well as the baby she is expecting with Sheen.

Sheen, 39, whose film credits include "Wall Street" and "Platoon," is currently starring in the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men."

He met Richards in 2000 after a tumultuous decade that included convictions for drug abuse, an attack on his then girlfriend and an association with Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.

The court papers listed irreconcilable differences as the reason for seeking the divorce. There was no comment from spokesmen for the couple.

Information Courtesy of Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Once again mothers, let's not allow ourselves to be fooled by the surface disparities in the two situations between the pregnant women, Denise Richards, in this article and the pregnant woman in the previous one, Shawna Hughes.

Denise Richards, again, like Shawna Hughes, is really a self-contained economic unit. She was a model-actress BEFORE she met Charlie Sheen (and whether or not he gives her anything and I'm sure he'll give her something), nevertheless, she will be able to function financially quite well without him. Let's look at the example of Liz Hurley, for instance. Steven Bing, her child's father, gives her nothing, nada, zip (he's only a freakin billionaire after all) but he puts all the child support he's supposed to be giving her into a 'college fund' for their son. Which if you believe either Hurley or her kid is going to see a dime of that money, by the way, I have a lovely large bridge to sell you in Brooklyn, but that's another story.

Anyway, careers such as acting and modeling revolve around very independent schedules (not like most of us who need to be at a job from 9:00 to 5:00, five days a week) and if you are important enough, many of these studio heads will provide separate dressing rooms for you, which can be luxurious enough to function as a small luxury apartment on the set. Most women like this, make much MORE money then the average person. So Denise Richards is not just making more money, but has a place to bring her infants (with their nurse/caretaker), which is probably just steps away from where she will be working.

Actually it's the situation MOST mothers would LOVE to have, but except for the rare exceptions, never will.

Thus, Denise Richards, like Shawna Hughes, is really a self-contained economic unit independent of her husband, and yet still able to spend more time with her children then MOST OF THE REST OF US MOTHERS ever will (again, just like Shawna Hughes).

Now regarding custody issues, ironically enough both Denise Richards and Shawna Hughes are in very similar situations vis-à-vis custody.

Charlie Sheen has been one of those Hollywood 'badboys' now since he was in his mid-20s, I think, and is probably the legal equivalent of Shawna Hughes's husband and boyfriend. The only difference between the three being that Charlie Sheen is not in prison for his offenses. But he, like them, has a record as long as your arm involving drug offenses, drunken brawls, beating up his girlfriend, carrying on with his 'posse' of Hollywood idiots, in and out of trouble for the last decade or so.

Anyway, I think looking at the moral, legal and character issues here, Denise Richards is a shoo-in for custody as well.

I think even Charlie Sheen might agree with that one.

Thus I think it is fair to say that while Shawna Hughes exists at one end of the bell-shaped curve, Denise Richards exists at the other; neither of these women, however, very representative of the vast middle of the curve where many pregnant women reside.

To sum up, the idea of divorce while pregnant, although currently being painted as a good for women, is one of those ideas (like communism) that will hopefully enter the 'dustbin of history' sooner, rather then later.

It is not something the average pregnant mother should be made to deal with while in a vulnerable state emotionally, physically and often financially. Being in this state could result in homelessness for her while pregnant and might even eventually cost her custody of child at birth. Since no court will award custody to a homeless woman or someone doubling up with friends or relatives, or very few will anyway.

Stability is the key word here that pregnant women need to be focusing on and divorce is the polar opposite of stability for pregnant women and their children.

The people hawking this as a new 'right' for women are misguided (as per the example of the two women in the articles above) as both of these women are in unusual situations, which many pregnant women are not in. Many pregnant women work until either just before or after delivery and then wish to take the 3/6 months in maternity leave that is provided by most jobs today. Mother uses that time to recover from her ordeal, as well as to bond with her infant before having to return to the 'hurley-burley' of work.

Taking advantage of this leave, requires a stable home with a husband who is willing to provide the lion's share of income to maintain that stable home, until mother is back at work again.

I think it is fair to say that most pregnant women are not self-contained economic units who can just afford to divorce (or be divorced) while pregnant. Most pregnant women are not on public assistance where everything from rent money to medical coverage will be provided for them via a benevolent state; or a model-actress who is going to be given the equivalent of a luxury apartment on set to have someone watching the children within, while making millions of dollars just a few steps away.

I wish it could happen that way for most mothers, I really do, but planning the future on either of those two things happening is going to be a long shot for most pregnant women.

Thus, let's just say no right now and make it clear that we are against allowing divorce of a woman while pregnant.