Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mothers Must be Careful NOT to Allow New Rules in Military Sneaked in Under the Radar

Combat Ban Wrong Move, NOW President Says
May 12, 2005

NOW President Kim Gandy criticized a House Military Personnel Subcommittee action on Tuesday that would prohibit women from serving in support units that assist in direct ground combat. With little prior notice, the measure was brought up as an amendment to the 2006 defense spending bill by House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and passed along party lines.

"We are not fooled by this Republican-led effort that supposedly would 'protect' women in the military — it is just another poorly veiled attempt to keep servicewomen from advancing to higher positions in the military," Gandy said.

Although NOW opposes the ill-advised war in Iraq, and urges the Congress to act quickly to bring home both our daughters and our sons, this ban is not a positive development for women. This broad prohibition would deny women access to thousands of positions currently open to them and would constrain their promotion to higher ranks.

Army leaders sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday criticizing the legislation, stressing that women are serving magnificently in a wide range of roles and noting that armed conflict now often has no clear front lines. According to the Washington Post, Gen. Richard A. Cody, Army vice chief of staff, said that such a prohibition "will cause confusion in the ranks and send the wrong signal to the brave young men and women fighting the Global War on terrorism."

A reorganization of the Army, beginning last year, established new "mixed-sex" forward support companies designed to be placed with combat battalions in order to more efficiently provide supplies and perform maintenance duties. Congressional Republicans assert that this change violates a 1994 military policy that bans from women from being in contact with direct ground combat units, but Army sources say that they have adjusted the re-organization to comply with the policy.

Democrats, including Reps. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) and Cynthia McKinney (Ga.), were critical of the amendment, saying that it could worsen recruitment at a critical time for the Army and that it amounted to discrimination to bar women from serving the battlefield.

As always, feminists have totally misstated the issue here, just as they did when they managed to sneak gender neutral custody laws under the radar of most mothers and now hundreds of thousands of mothers have lost our children because of this. The bottom line here is to permit the few women who really care about this issue to be allowed further access to the front lines would mean EVERY women, including pregnant women and mothers, would be giving up her right to NOT have to register for future military service.

Of course, this is feminism’s ultimate goal here: a totally gender neutralized society where 50% of the armed forces is female, 50% (or more) of mothers to NOT have our children, 50% of all deathrow inmates to be women, etc. Coincidentally this is ALSO the goal of men/fathers’ rights advocates, so these supposedly arch enemies are, in fact, frequently working towards common goals; albeit, unwittingly, or so they both claim.

Anyway, a basic misunderstanding appears to come into play here when people frame the women in combat issue as an issue of each individual women’s choice or of women being “held back” from career opportunities (which by the way was the same reasoning used when feminists first framed gender neutral custody, they postulated it as a good thing for mothers as we would no longer have the burden of the ‘shit’ work of raising our own children, as they referred to it, and instead be allowed more time to build important careers).

Needless to say, ONLY a men’s/fathers’ rights advocate or a childfree feminist would think there was anything more important to a mother then her own children. So that’s another one of their commonalities.

Nevertheless, my basic point remains that women must be wary of the choices other women make regarding front line combat for it can come back to haunt all women, especially those of us who are mothers. The problem that most of us NEED to understand is that the ONLY reason women are exempt from having to register for military service is because we are NOT allowed into combat. So ANY women deciding to forego their rights in this area, puts every other women at risk of having to register in the future. OR of having our daughters forced into registration and compulsory military service at some future date.

This, of course, is feminism ultimate goal and, of course, anything harmful to women is lauded by men/fathers rights advocates; so thousands of women being killed or captured would not bother EITHER of these two groups in the least.

Anyway back to the history, the issue of women in combat (and thus, indirectly of women having to register for military service at all) was supposedly settled over 20 years ago when the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces released their findings. The Commission was originally formed in an attempt by the Clinton administration catering to its feminist allies to find reasons to ALLOW women into combat. Unfortunately for these gender-neutralized groups of social engineers (but lucky for mothers and our children), their finding ultimately supported just the opposite conclusion.

It appeared that the best women, even with special forces training, were just barely able to hold their own with the weakest men (which are the men, btw, that the military is usually trying to screen OUT of the services) Thus, Les Aspin ruled (quite sensibly) that based upon these findings of the limits of women’s physical strength, we could not be allowed into the front lines nor into any of the special forces units, such as the Navy Seals, Rangers, etc.,.*

Of course, various men (probably jealous of womens exemption) immediately started filing lawsuits in the Supreme Court to try and force women into having to register, at least, just as they are made to do. I often wonder if women could petition the Supreme Court to ‘force’ men to go through the inconvenience, suffering and sheer bloody mess of the whole childbearing situation, how many of them would actually then chose to be fathers…Anyway their ultimate goal was to get ALL women forced into compulsory military service, including being placed into the front lines.

The Supreme Court ruled that since registration was for the purpose of a possible draft with the ultimate goal being to fight in a war and women were NOT allowed to go into front line combat, our exemption from registration was legal. You can see, however, where this whole line of legal reasoning could be overturned in a matter of months if a limited number of women decided to experiment with their own lives and enter into front line combat. These women would undercut the primary underpinnings of the decision that exempted ALL women from having to register and ultimately could force women to have to serve in the military at some future date. AND please do NOT say this won't happen as people said the same crap about gender neutral custody vis-a-vis babies and now mothers routinely lose newborn babies and never even see them again.

So let'e not say what's possible here, as anything is...

Of course, realistically speaking women might have to accept compulsory military service someday, but I’m not sure that this should require women being on the front lines. We might discuss this and decide it is our duty. But one thing I am sure of, is that MOTHERS need to have this debate with our eyes wide open, not be tricked into it the way feminists and mens/fathers’ rights advocates did to us with gender neutral custody. Let’s understand ALL the options here and where this could ultimately lead with us, as well as what it could mean for our daughters in the future.

Furthermore let's ensure that there are NO exemptions allowed for professional women here, especially attorneys, as many of these childfree feminist women go into the legal field where they do much damage to mothers with spiteful rulings and bias against us when they become Judges, GALs, family law attorneys, etc.,. We need to make damn sure they don't manage to get themselves exempt from military service the way they've mananged to remain childfree; and thus protect themselves from the gender neutral custody laws they've inflicted on other women and their children.

This is a MUST as these childfree feminists will surely look to include an exception within the law for themselves; so they can be exempt from military service while the rest of us are forced to serve...

One way to handle it, for instance, might be to agree to the registration and front line combat, but strictly limit the exemptions allowable. Maybe just allowing exemptions for two categories of women, 1) handicapped women (which pregnant women would fall under); and, 2) an exemption for mothers. After all women going through childbirth should be considered having already fulfilled their obligatory suffering/duty quotient for their society that serving in the military provides for men. Some societies, such as the ancient Greeks even considered women bearing children to be the physical equivalent of front line military duty for men and even Sparta exempted women from military service with that as the reasoning.

This would have the advantage of leaving the military option for child-free feminists who give NOTHING back to their society by either having children OR serving in the military (now they can pick one or the other); instead of sitting around all day pontificating about other women who actually do contribute something. Thus, the future Cathy Youngs, Wendy McElroys, Judge Arlene Goldbergs of the world can finally do something useful for the countries that have given them so much; instead of what they currently do denigrating the mothers of the next generation, who make a more valuable contribution to society then they do…

After all, it seems only fitting that the childfree supporters of NOW and ifeminist, who are the mothers of the mens/fathers rights movement in so many ways, should be the first to reap the full advantage of a major victory against bias…which they helped engineer.

*Certain of this information from an online article "What Kind of Nation Sends Women into Combat" by syndicated columnist R. Cort Kirkwood who served on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. April 16, 2003.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Memorial Post for Little Jerica and Her Mother Lisa Mason

When tomorrow starts without me and I'm not there to see, if the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me.

I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today, while thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me, as much as I love you, and each time that you think of me I know you'll miss me too.

When tomorrow starts without me please try to understand, that an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.

It said my place was ready in heaven far above, and that I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye, for all my life, I'd always thought I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for, so much yet to do, it seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad, I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday just even for awhile, I'd say good bye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized that this could never be, for emptiness and memories would take the place of me.

When I thought of worldly things I might miss tomorrow I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.

When I walked through heaven's gates I felt so much at home, when God looked down and smiled at me from His golden throne.

He said, "This is eternity, and all I've promised you, for life on earth is past but here it starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow but today will always last, and since each day's the same day, there's no longing for the past.

So when tomorrow starts without me don't think we're far apart, for every time you think of me I'm right here in your heart

Thanks to an anonymous poster for giving me this...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Domestic Violence is a Red Herring...the Real Problem is Inherent Unfairness to Women in Feminism Supporting Gender Neutral Custody


May 15, 2005

A "mother of the year" is in jail because she peppered a divorce judge with harsh questions and objections in court.

Seven-months pregnant Genia Shockome's out-of-work and allegedly abusive husband Timothy then moved to Texas, taking the couple's son Alexander, 10, and daughter Victoria, 8.

The ruling on May 5 by Poughkeepsie Family Court judge Damian Amodeo sent Russian-born Shockome, a 33-year-old IBM software engineer, to prison over Mother's Day...

"I was objecting," Shockome said in a teary jailhouse interview with The Post after she and Amodeo went toe-to-toe in a wild clash straight from Al Pacino's "And Justice For All."

"He was saying, this is what the mother did, this is what was said. It wasn't true.

So I said, 'That's a lie.' "

Shockome at first asked to know what the proceeding was about and for time to get a court-appointed lawyer, which the judge denied, saying she had not filled out the right form.

But she set off fireworks when she accused him of misrepresenting the record.

"If you open your mouth once more, you are going to jail," the judge warned.

"Already heard that before," she snapped back.

He warned her several more times, she continued to object, and he sent her to prison for 30 days without bail.

His decision outraged women's-rights groups.

"The judge always sided with the father's lawyer," said Jennifer Shagan, who heads the Dutchess County chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women, and has followed the case for three years.

"Why would he take this woman's children away — and give them to a man who is abusive and has no money? It makes no sense."

Shockome is well liked in Poughkeepsie, where she was named mother of the year by two victim-advocacy groups in 2003 after battling in court with her husband, a native Texan she met in Moscow and married there in 1996.

Genia Shockome, an IBM employee earning $65,000 a year, also won three gold medals in the pentathlon at last year's Empire State Games and is expecting a child with her current boyfriend, a track coach.

During the interview, Shockome said the judge had threatened to jail her dozens of times in the past — and said the case turned against her after she fired Michael Kranis, a politically connected lawyer and friend of the judge.

She said she grew fed up with Kranis after paying him $17,000 and watching her divorce case drag on for years without resolution. She's now suing Kranis and the judge in federal court.

Neither Kranis nor Amodeo returned calls seeking comment.

Amodeo at first gave her the kids, but awarded full custody to the father in 2003, limiting her to strictly supervised visits.

His ruling was based on his belief that she lied about her husband's abuse — although another judge issued an order of protection against Timothy Shockome for harassing her and the husband spent two days in jail for violating the order in 2001.

Amodeo also said she repeatedly bad-mouthed the father to the kids, an act that allows judges to take away custody under the state's "parental alienation" provision.

But he also said she "provided them with good, wholesome and beneficial care," and noted contradictions in the father's statements and an outburst of anger in which he pounded on her door and shouted expletives.

Court spokesman David Bookstaver said Amodeo acted properly, was "extremely patient," and used jail "only as a last resort."

"She threw herself into jail," he said. "If you make a mockery of the system, the system falls apart."

Information courtesy of New York Post.

After receiving numerous emails and news clips regarding this women’s pitiful story from people requesting for me to sign a petition, I decided NOT to sign it since there wasn’t a bit of evidence that domestic abuse was involved in this case; and to be honest, I probably would not have signed it even if I thought there was.

For the bottom line is that NO MOTHER deserves this kind of treatment, NONE…a mother’s right to her children should NOT be a special privilege reserved for her victimhood status as defined by a bunch of gender neutralized feminists, many who never had any children of their own and whose best friend is probably their cat. I don’t WANT these feminists pretending to speak for mothers. It’s that simple. Or allowing them any special status to decide which mothers amongst us are worthy of keeping our own kids. Who decided these feminists had the right to speak for ALL MOTHERS anyway…

I sure never did.

This appeared to be one of those increasingly common situation where a distraught mother trying to keep from losing her children tried to do an end round around the usual suspects in our family court system: mens/fathers rights advocates and their gender neutralized brain-addled feminist supporters.

Actually it’s Bridget Marks all over again, with the same cast of characters from the spiteful Judge, to the biased evaluators, GALS, other assorted court leeches and the usual media whores looking for any attention they can generate from this mother’s nightmare.

Clearly even the move-away ruling allowing this father to relocate as far as Texas, (like if he moved any further away he would have fallen off the continent) was NOT in the best interest of the 10 and 8 year old children involved here, who now might never see their mother again; but it’s just another example of how our family court system is becoming ever further removed from what they claim is their primary reason for existence, aiding children. This, instead, was a spite-driven ruling, very common today in our family court system.

The basic problem appears to be that feminists after getting courts to accept their gender-neutralized view of the world have apparently realized that MOST mothers are not willing to go quietly into that good night.

Abductions have skyrocketed as more and more fit mothers are being forced to hand over their kids for no other good reasons usually, then some jackoff doesn’t feel like paying child support. The FBI has actually constructed its own website now dedicated to locating parents who abduct their own children, most of them mothers. Even the Amber Alert System was altered from its’ original intent and focus to include parental abductions within it’s aegis and I predict in a few years time MOST of the people the Amber Alert System will be tracking will be mothers whose crime will be ‘abducting’ their own children.

Additionally, every day sees more and more mothers dragged into money-draining custody fights as everybody and his grandmother (many grandparents really functioning as a front to get custody for a father who’s either a criminal, an addict or unfit in some other way) is allowed to challenge her in court for the care, custody and control of her children.

Anyway, since MOST women will eventually become mothers, feminists were faced with their support of gender neutral custody eventually alienating most of the women they claim as their power base. Thus, they have been faced with a dilemma since the outlines of the problem became clear to them. Either feminists have to backtrack from their original support of gender neutral custody by addressing the inherent unfairness of this custody to mothers, who obviously invest more in children overall, and, of course, unless unfit, should be the primary custodian of children. Or somehow secretly undermine it, while pretending to support it at the same time.

Sadly instead of addressing the problem openly and honestly, feminists chose door #2.

This is how we’ve arrived at our current state of affairs with the domestic violence industry ‘explosion’ along with rapid rise in accusations of sex abuse. As in most of these situations you only need follow the money to connect the dots.

Basically feminists have managed, through their excessive focus on issues of domestic violence, to continue their support on a superficial level of gender neutral custody, not alienate their power base, and also get a lock hold on millions of dollars in resources to allocate to this base.

BTW, I’m not just talking about shelters here, but in some states, even free LEGAL ASSISTANCE for mothers who convince the courts they’re been abused…The average women walking in these places can’t get through the courthouse door without an attorney; but convince someone you’re been abused and you’ve got a free one…Additionally many states have laws that give the victim of domestic violence an advantage in a custody fight over and above the other parent…

So, of course, some desperate woman, running out of money, about to lose her children, God only knows if and when she’ll see them again is going to look to claim abuse. She’s be a god-damn fool if she didn’t…

Instead of feminists focusing on the real source of the problem here which is the inherent unfairness to women and children of gender neutral custody, they’ve decided to keep paying lip service to this abomination, while busily working on the sidelines to ensure as many women as possible still manage to keep custody of their children anyway by enabling them to claim abuse.

Oh what a tangled web we weave…

The bottom line is that Bridget Marks, Genia Shockome and the hundreds of thousands of other nameless mothers like them are and should be, through law both natural and man-made, entitled to the custody of their children. PERIOD It makes no difference whether or not these women were victims of abuse or not, as it’s a moot issue.

Mothers commit more in bringing forth life, invest more of themselves in their children, simply risk more. Men and women don’t stand before the court with equal contribution in this area, nor should they, as men invest little in the process, yet expect the same legal and moral rights after the fact. This is wrong and takes away from the more important claimant here, the mother, and could eventually even cause women not to want to take the leap of faith in even having any more children. Then what. Male jealousy of womans’ life-giving force and the mother/child bond will wind up destroying our civilization, if it continues.

These false accusations, if they are that, come about because mothers have been put in this position by feminism and mens/fathers rights advocates. These mothers were so desperate that the only thing left for them to do was to make these false accusations. As every mother is and should be entitled to her children, this should not be a gift they receive as a politically correct award for claiming abuse, but the natural right that exists for any mother to her children.

This is why even though I support Genia Shockome 1000% in her righteous cause as a mother to get her children returned to her, I still refuse to sign the petition.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Media Continues Trying to Airbrush Mothers out of The Lives of Their Children

Sadly it seems that once again the media has chosen to relegate the important issues women in their role as mothers are facing (and on Mothers' Day no less) and put fathers issues front and center.

Women need to begin taking strong action against various media (including economic boycotts)when they discount our concerns in this manner; otherwise, it will get a lot worse for mothers and their children before it gets better.

Once again we can see how men (with the aid of their gender neutralized female allies in the courts and media) continue trying to hold our children hostage for economic gain...Clearly the supporters of gender neutralized custody have given men another club to use against mothers threatening to render moot every one of the rights women as mothers THOUGHT we won over the last 40 years for so....Every one of them is up for grabs right now, from access to birth control, choice of career, to being able to freely divorce; as what right is guaranteed a mother if someone holds her children hostage each time she attempts to exercise it?

Answer, there is no right guaranteed women who are mothers at this point, no right...

Additionally, as far as I'm concerned men who attempt to get custody of children to avoid paying child support or to negotiate a better financial deal for themselves are the very definition of deadbeat dads, the very definition.

Furthermore, those who falsely claim their childrens' mothers are unfit to enable their custody cases should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, up to and including jail time (as should the attorneys who advises them to do it).

"Losing Custody of My Hope

[This story appeared in, of all places, the New York Times "Fashion" section! It deserved full press attention like another article favoring the fathers' rights movement that appeared in the New York Times Magazine on the same day. It shouldn't have been relegated to the "women's" section.]

May 8, 2005

I'm a good mother. This is not an idle boast; I have a signed certificate that says so. I earned this de facto mothering license by successfully completing four weeks of court-ordered parent classes.

Why did a judge order me to do this? Was I a child abuser? Did I leave my children alone and go out to a bar? Was I on crack?

No, I got a divorce. After 12 years of marriage and three children, ages 11, 7 and 4, my college sweetheart and I broke up. In my view this was due to his chronic infidelity. In our first year of marriage he slept with one of my bridesmaids; in our last, he took up with our daughter's former Waldorf preschool teacher. If you asked him, he would recite a litany of my failings (none involving adultery).

His lawyer actually once told the judge my primary fault was that I hadn't been a very good housekeeper. The reality is we are both responsible for the unraveling of our marriage.

In the wake of our separation, I felt as if I might keel over and die from heartbreak. I rarely ate, slept or ventured out. Eventually, however, I began to pull myself together, thinking the worst was surely over. But I was wrong.

Seven months into the separation I received a call from my lawyer. "Are you sitting down?" she asked. My husband, she explained, was seeking full custody of our children on the grounds that I was an "unfit mother."

An unfit mother?

I was flabbergasted.

For the past 11 years I'd taken care of our three healthy children without any complaint from my husband. But the oddity of the accusation also stung, because, as a writer specializing in topics for parents, I consider fit mothering to be the core of my professional work. My articles on discipline and breast-feeding regularly appear in magazines, and I'm the author of a popular book on parent-child bonding and a frequent speaker on these issues.

My husband, a civil engineer, spent far less time with our children, which was fine: that was our deal. I understood the reality, even as I wished he'd been able to do more. That's why I was pleasantly surprised when, during our separation, he began devoting more time to the children.

We agreed they would spend one night a week and every other weekend at his new place, a small house he'd rented 10 miles from mine. For the first time since becoming a mother at 23, I could regularly have a child-free night out with friends, and I began to think his stepped-up fathering might be the silver lining in the dark clouds that had taken up residence over our family. But the children didn't want to stay overnight with Daddy in an unfamiliar house. They love their father and enjoyed going to his house for the day, but our two youngest children in particular balked at sleeping there.

Despite my assurances that it would be fun to go with Daddy, and ultimately, my firm insistence that they had to go, there were heart-wrenching scenes with the children clinging to me like baby monkeys as their father attempted to peel them off. Once, as I drove away, I looked in my mirror to see our 7-year-old chasing my car down the street wearing only her Hello Kitty nightgown.

My husband was understandably hurt by their behavior, and frankly it was hard on me, too. No mother feels good about leaving her children where they don't want to be, even if that place is their father's house. Still, I did what I had to do, and we were finding our way, or so I thought. I never saw the custody suit coming.

After recovering somewhat from the shock of my lawyer's call, I drove to my husband's office.

"Say it to my face," I demanded.

He just looked at me.

"Tell me to my face that you believe I'm a bad mother."

He looked away and said he didn't think I was a bad mother per se, just that he believed he could do a better job as the "primary caregiver."

I blinked. Primary caregiver? Turns out this was just the start of his new vocabulary.

The children were "too attached" to me, he went on, claiming that it was my fault our two youngest children weren't comfortable staying with him. He'd been reading up on "parental alienation syndrome," which he believed might apply in his case.

But finally, after more outraged prodding from me, he got to the bottom line.

His lawyer had advised him that to get what he wanted in the divorce, he would need to take a hard line on custody because that's what mattered most to me.

"Fathers have rights too, you know," he added, apropos of nothing as I'd never suggested that they didn't.

For the next year my husband's bid for custody tore through my life, shredding most of what I thought I'd known about the man I'd loved for so long. To him everything I did to retain custody was somehow part of my plot to interfere with his rights as a father, and even the most mundane aspects of my life became evidence of my alleged shortcomings as a mother.

Terrified that I would mess up and lose my children, I began to censor what I said to them, afraid they'd accidentally say something to their father that might prove damaging when taken out of context. I stopped drinking the occasional beer, lest I be labeled an alcoholic. I ceased having dinner dates with male friends to avoid being branded a child-neglecting slut.

But the more I struggled to prove I was a good mother, the worse I became. I snapped at my children for little things, and I became hypercritical of his fathering, which wasn't fair to him or good for the children. I'd always been happy to send the children to a friend's house overnight; now I couldn't bear their absence. I'd pace the house and often fall asleep across one of their beds, wrapped in their blankets. You want to see a mother become "too attached" to her children? Threaten to take them away.

My husband insisted that we undergo an independent custody evaluation, which would involve interviews and testing of me, him and the children. Fearing this would further traumatize the children, I fought and lost that battle, and I had to cough up $1,500 - my half of the evaluation retainer - to allow a stranger to evaluate my parental skills.

Just about anyone can call himself a custody evaluator. Most are psychologists or social workers, but many are simply professional custody evaluators with some background in one of the helping professions.

As the date of my first evaluation neared, I pondered how I could prove I was a good mother. I don't spank my children, but one divorced friend told me that her failure to use corporal punishment was noted in her evaluation, incredibly, as a "failure to assume an appropriate parental role."

I was a stay-at-home mother until the divorce pushed me into the full-time work force, but in the court decisions I read, stay-at-home mothers were often described as "smothering" and "without boundaries" while working mothers lacked sufficient "quality time" with their children.

It seemed there was no winning.

Then the day was upon me. How to dress, I wondered, to show I was neither smothering nor distant, maternal yet not frumpy? I settled on a pink twin set, pumps and, yes, pearls.

Whether my choices made any impression on my evaluator, I couldn't tell. He was polite and professional as he administered the interminable Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and then the Rorschach test, in which I tried to stay away from seeing anything dark, violent or sexual in the patterns. I figured trees, flowers and butterflies would be safe bets, but when I looked to my evaluator for signs of approval he maintained a poker face.

Next stop on the custody-battle tour: the court-ordered child-rearing classes, required of all divorcing parents in my jurisdiction. I'd put off taking them even while my husband completed his, proudly waving his certificate at the judge, who admonished me to take the classes before our next hearing.

Not long after, I found myself in a dingy meeting room at our local family services agency with dozens of other women (and a few men). Leading us were two young social workers who would offer pearls of post-divorce wisdom like "Always use 'I statements' when talking with your ex-spouse."

One skeptical mother finally asked, "Are either of you a parent?"

"Have you ever been divorced?" another asked.

"Has your husband ever beaten you?" a third wondered.

In each case the unsurprising answer was no.

A month later I was able to wave my "parenting diploma" at the judge. And afterward, eager to test out my new skills in using "I statements," I approached my soon-to-be-ex outside the court and said, "I feel very upset with you when you sue for full custody of our children and claim I'm a bad mother."

He turned on his heel and walked away.

My story doesn't yet have an ending, much less a happy one.

Only days before our children were to be tested and interviewed by the custody evaluator, my ex and I agreed in court-ordered mediation to a plan in which he would take the kids exactly 37 percent of the time and I'd have them 63 percent.

But only a few weeks into this arrangement he said he couldn't live with it, and now, six months later, he's considering taking the issue back to court.

After two years of hearings, mediation, classes, evaluations, counseling sessions and thousands of dollars in legal fees, I no longer have faith that I'll ever be relieved of the fear of losing custody of my children.

Instead I realize I must treat the situation like a chronic disease, something I must learn to live with and manage rather than get past.

And I've gone back to drinking.

Katie Allison Granju, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., is the author of "Attachment Parenting" (Simon & Schuster)."

Information courtesy of "

Just as this woman properly surmisses, her and the childrens' ordeal is far from over.

This is something she (and, btw, every other mother in Western society) has to expect (and to prepare our daughters to expect) as this will happen on a more or less continuous basis to us now.

Another club, as I said earlier, has been added to the male arsenal to assist them in their ongoing attempts to undermine every one of the rights women have won. For at ANY time, for ANY reason or NO reason at all, any mother can expect to be dragged back into court at anytime and prepare to defend her right to mother her own children...the only women who are safe are the ones who forego having children to protect themselves and this is no small number.

This is the unexpected legacy which the feminist idea of gender neutralized custody has left to all mothers...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Media Airbrushing Mothers Out of the Lives of Their Children

"We spent thousands of dollars trying to find him, thousands of dollars to prosecute him and now we're spending thousands of dollars trying to keep him alive?" said John Denis of Jewett City, where Ross lived. "They were our girls. Most locals don't care about him living."

Edwin Shelley, father of 14-year-old victim Leslie Shelley, says any sympathy for Ross is misplaced. "If you recall what he did to eight young women, it's hard to have sympathy for a man like that," he said. "I don't care how he dies, as long as he does."

Reverend Lou Harper wrote a letter on behalf of the First Congregational Church of Griswold.

F. Whalen Stetson, Griswold, says,"In the church services Sunday morning and there were people crying. Now that's too much."

Emotions ran high when the congregation learned the Conference to which it belongs filed a lawsuit seeking to postpone Michael Ross's execution. Two members of this congregation were murdered by Ross. The state Supreme Court tossed out the appeal on Monday.

Rev. Lou Harper, pastor, says,"It makes it sound like they're doing it on our behalf and that is not the case."

Has anyone noticed how women in their roles as mothers have been totally airbrushed out of the media recently? In the case above, for instance, which discusses Michael Ross, serial killer of eight young girls and women in Connecticut, I find it hard to believe that NOT even ONE mother of any of the victims could be located to ask about her opinion on whether or not this guy should be executed. Or to talk about how her entire world had been devastated by the lost of what many mothers and daughters (when we get a chance to be heard that is) frequently describe as being their ‘best friend’…

Obviously the opinion of a mother on what should become of the person who murdered her daughter (and in a time of small families, sometimes her only child) SHOULD be significant but clearly isn’t.

I don’t think we have to look very far to find the reasons why.

This is another attempt by the media, dominated by males and their gender neutralized female allies, to paint mothers as insignificant in the lives of their children, their opinion of no relevance. Actually three totally strangers, in no way related to any of the young women murdered, obviously carry more weight then the mother of any of the victims when the media is looking for someone to interview on this story.

This is not the first time I have noticed this reluctance to allow the voice of a child’s mother to be heard. I noticed it in the case of Jerica Rhodes as well as Jessica Lundsford, two young girls, alienated from their mothers during their brief lifetime and then after their death as well. We have not heard even ONE interview from these mothers on their pain. I’m sure losing custody of their children (one when still a nursing infant) and then NOT being allowed contact with their daughters was bad enough, but at least there was some hope that once the children reached their majority, there could be a reconciliation. Now, even that slim hope has come to nothing and both of these mothers are only left with faint memories.

It’s a sad commentary on our times that mothers could be treated as such…

One final irony: I’ve also recently taken note of how male jealousy has even managed to get the military to distort a simple fact of our history. During previous wars, it was oftentimes said that the last words MOST soldiers dying on the field uttered would be a call for their mothers. The jealousy of men, however, could not allow this simple fact to be left alone. NOW, they have changed this to: a dying soldiers’ last words are a call for their wives. This has the subtle effect of degrading the role of women in their role as mothers. Nevertheless I believe this to be a lie anyway, for a number of reasons, the main one being that MOST combat veterans are too young to even be married. Thus, I don’t believe for a minute that their last words are calling for their wives…in fact, I believe their last words are, what they have always been, a call for their mothers.

As I said before but it bears repeating, this trend of ignoring women in their role as mothers’ voices is more of the ongoing attempts by men to place themselves in charge of everything again. This silence from and about mothers proclaims that, men (and their brain-addled female allies) are in fact winning their media propaganda campaign against women in our roles as mothers, and we must begin playing catch up fairly quickly to stop their insidious jihad against us.