Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Typical Schizophrenia Ruling from Family Court Judge

Well here we go again...another Judge giving a totally inconsistent custody ruling that makes absolutely no sense. Worse it sets the stage for another trip back to court in Texas when the mother finally gets there...if she can ever get together the means to relocate from California to Texas.

This Judges gives the mother and father Joint Custody (they both live in California) but then rules the father can move to Texas to follow his second wife. Probably setting the stage for him to start harassing his second wife now (and her newly adoptive child). His second wife is an actress. Obviously California is the place for her to live; but she's probably moving to Texas to get rid of this idiot and now the court lets him follow her.

Just great, now he can alternate between aggravating his 6 year old child's mother with a moveaway, while at the same time step up harassment of his second wife and her newly adopted son...

A double-header.

One of his excuses for moving to follow his second wife to Texas was: so his children can continue to maintain their 'close' relationship with their stepmother. Meanwhile she was the one who moved out and filed for divorce taking none of those kids with her. The youngest was 6 years old, she claimed she was like a mother to that child at the custody hearing to help her then husband get formal custody. Yet she had no problem dumping the child at a moment's notice when she wanted a divorce.

Hold the pail while I puke.

BTW, if she was so interested in her stepchildren, she could have filed a custody petition at the same time she filed for the divorce.

Yes, Virgina a step parent does have standing to file for custody.

Yet this second wife dba stepmother chose to just abandon the whole family (husband and stepkids) and just get a quickie divorce from her then husband.

So it's pretty clear she has little interest in any of those kids.

She has an adopted child now and like I said, probably moved to Texas so she could raise that kid in peace w/o this a-hole harassing her everytime she turns around as what single mother/actress moves from California to Texas w/o a good reason?

We really need to start changing the laws here that let Judges continue making these sorts of inconsistent rulings. Now the mother of this six year old probably has no money to appeal, she just got out of jail on tax evasion charges. Anyway we need to set up a system whereby Judges who gives these sorts of inconsistent custody rulings eventually get their employment terminated.

A new version of the 'Three Strikes and You're Out' rule in California.

BTW, I want to see if the authorities are as strict about enforcing a mother's visitation who was in jail for tax evasion, (probably her ex helped turn her into the IRS) as they were about enforcing the visitation of that rapist in Arizona.

Jesse James may take daughter to Texas
By Eunice Oh,
July 21, 2010 9:49 a.m. EDT
A court ruled Tuesday that Jesse James may take his 6-year-old daughter to Texas to a home near Sandra Bullock.


* James and Lindemulder faced off in a week-long trial over his move to Austin
* Lindemulder accused him of moving to simply try to win Bullock back
* James testified that Lindemulder still has unresolved personal issues

( -- Jesse James scored a victory in his custody battle with ex-wife Janine Lindemulder when a court ruled Tuesday he may take their 6-year-old daughter to Texas to a home near his other ex, Sandra Bullock.

Lindemulder, a former porn star who lives in California, wailed when the Orange County, California, judge announced the decision. "I'll move! I'll move!" she cried. "I can't get attached and let her go!"

James, 41, and Lindemulder, also 41, faced off in a week-long trial over his move to Austin, which he testified was for business purposes. He was quoted in an online interview that another reason was so his three children can maintain a close relationship with stepmom Bullock.

Lindemulder accused him of moving to simply try to win Bullock back at the expense of Lindemulder's relationship with Sunny. Bullock had helped raise Sunny during the actress's marriage to James and has said she is still close to the child.

The judge said that James and Lindemulder will have joint custody but James can take Sunny to Texas at the start of her new school calendar, which should be around mid-August. Until then, Sunny will be with her mom.

The motorcycle mogul testified Lindemulder, a recovering addict, still has unresolved personal issues and feared that if she "hit rock bottom" it would involve Sunny. Lindemulder says she has been sober for several years and wants to improve trust and communication with her ex.

See full article at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Once again it has come to my attention how gay women and their children are being used as a modern day "Trojan Horse" in order to extinguish the natural rights of all mothers. Women have to be wary whenever courts attempt to usurp the natural rights of any mothers to make the decisions in the best interest of the children they alone bear.

As I often said it's the difference between a mother deciding to relinquish her parental rights to another person in a legal adoption vs losing her parental rights due to an abduction (court sanctioned or otherwise).

It is always in the best interest of men to try to litigate and use the courts to give themselves artificial rights and privileges which they are no more entitled to then the man in the moon. Women are the persons who bear life, while the male contribution is negligible. Thus men have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by a change in the historic venue where these decisions were originally made which took into account human biology. natural law and common sense.

Men gain when mothers and children are forced into the legal venue of the courts to decide their fate. Men gain, while women, children and society loses. As I believe that these custody wars men have incited is the reason for the drastic drop in the birth rates of the western world.

Denigrating the mother/child bond and the obvious physical link established by women with the children they bear benefits each man individually, but society loses overall when our birth rates drop due to these ongoing custody battles, which could involve any woman and her child now at any time, any time.

There is no logic, rhyme or reason to them.

Previously a woman was relatively safe with her children as long as she was a fit mother and could provide her child with a reasonable standard of living. As long as the child wasn't an heir or heiress to any sizable estate, no one except the child's mother had any interest in obtaining custody. So by default most mothers were allowed to raise their own children.

Today this is no guarantee that you will be allowed to raise your children since at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all some recreational sperm donor or one of his relatives can decide it would be cheaper to raise a child themselves then to pay child support or they might need a little companion in their lives; and, boom, you are thrust into the middle of a custody hearing.

It's that simple.

Allowing courts to usurp a mother's right to make these decisions regarding our children's best interests plays into the hands of men and has the potential to undermine all the rights women won over the last few decades while men are enabled to hold our children hostage to manipulate our behavior. Of course the courts should and must step in due to a mother's abuse or neglect; but the average mother should never be allowed to be dragged into a custody battle unless abuse or neglect are an issue and these events are rare in spite of the media's attempt to paint every single mother as an abusive, unfit, drug-using, guttersnipe.

The article below shows where we are heading and how the path is being paved (which will ultimately benefit men, not women) by using lesbian relationships to overturn settled case law on custody. Furthermore many states are passing laws that anonymous sperm donors can no longer be used for women, either gay or straight, to facilitate single or lesbian motherhood. So lesbians, in the future, will be forced into using identifiable sperm donors and open at any time to a custody fight by said sperm donors. So these are short-term victories for a small group of women, whereas all of the precedents being set will be with us and impacting all mothers for decades to come.

The primary underpinnings of both of these rulings was an attack on the biological connection every mother has with her children and a devaluing of the natural mother and child bond.

One note: each partner had the right to adopt the child who was the subject of the court rulings and neither was allowed to adopt by the natural mother. Sorry, but for whatever reason those mothers decided not to facilitate adoptions of their children by their partners they were within their rights. Just as every stepfather is not permitted to adopt a stepchild, whatever the reason. These mothers made the decision that it was not in their child's best interest to be adopted by their partners and that should have been the end of it. No court had the right to overrule that decision. Final note: one of these relationships only lasted four months...

So once again, we have Judges overturning established case law and making new laws for a small group of women which will have enormous impact on all mothers...
Narrow Rulings in Co-Parent Cases
New York's highest court opens door only slightly on question of legal standing
Published: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 1:49 PM CDT

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest bench, issued opinions on May 4 in two cases involving the break-up of lesbian couples raising children together.

In both, the legal standing of co-parents was recognized, to different degrees, but the rulings were narrow and their ultimate impact uncertain.

Each of the two couples had a child through donor insemination, and in neither case did the non-biological mother adopt the child.

In Debra H. v. Janice R., the court unanimously ruled that because the couple entered into a Vermont civil union shortly before their child was born, both women would be recognized as legal parents in New York for purposes of determining custody and visitation rights.

In H.M. v. E.T., a sharply divided court ruled that the Family Court has jurisdiction to consider H.M.’s lawsuit to compel E.T. to provide financial support for their child, even though, under New York law, her ex-partner would not be considered a parent of the child.

Both cases presented the court with a vehicle to reconsider its notorious 1991 ruling in Alison D. v. Virginia M. In that case, the court ruled that a biological mother’s same-sex partner was a “legal stranger” to the child whom they had been raising together, so the partner could not bring a lawsuit seeking custody or visitation.

Courts in some other states have adopted tests weighing a number of factors in determining whether to treat co-parents as legal parents, but the New York Court of Appeals held in Alison D. that it was bound by the state’s domestic relations law to limit legal standing to biological or adoptive parents.

In the Debra H. case, though the ruling was unanimous, the seven judges issued several opinions reflecting different legal perspectives. Judge Susan Read devoted most of her opinion to explaining why the four-member majority did not overrule Alison D. She argued that it was up to the Legislature whether to overturn the high court’s earlier decision.

The ruling was heavily foreshadowed by the judges’ questioning during oral argument, which came back again and again to the need they perceived for a bright-line rule that could be applied in simple fashion to determine parental status without the need for detailed factual inquiries. Under the bright-line approach, parental rights are easily ascertained based on biological or adoptive ties or, as in the Debra H. case, by relying on the law of another state that governs the co-parent’s legal status.

Read’s opinion rejected any multi-factor approach that requires a court to hear witnesses, listen to testimony, and exercise subjective judgment, which she argued would leave parental status indeterminate until a judicial proceeding is concluded.

“While Debra H. and various amici in this case complain that Alison D. is formulaic, or too rigid, or out of step with the times,” Read wrote, “we remain convinced that the predictability of parental identity fostered by Alison D. benefits children and the adults in their lives.”

The approach advocated by Debra H., the judge wrote, was “a complicated and non-objective test for determining so-called functional or de facto parentage” that would result in court proceedings “likely often to be contentious, costly, and lengthy.” That prospect, she argued, “threatens to trap single biological and adoptive parents and their children in a limbo of doubt.”

Just four years after Alison D., Read noted, the state’s high court ruled that the adoption statute could be construed to allow a co-parent to adopt their partner’s children. For some period of time following birth, the child would have only one legal parent, but a second-parent adoption proceeding could be initiated quickly.

Judges Victoria Graffeo, Eugene Pigott, and Theodore Jones concurred in the majority opinion, with Graffeo writing a separate opinion echoing Read’s arguments.

Having refused to overrule Alison D., the court took up the issue of the couple’s Vermont civil union. Janice R. was eight months pregnant when the women went to Vermont to enter into a civil union, and they have never legally dissolved that union. Under Vermont law, a child born to one member in a civil union is considered the child of both partners.

The New York court used the “comity” doctrine to reach its result. New York’s rule of thumb in extending comity to legal relationships formed in other jurisdictions is to consider whether doing so would violate the state’s public policy.

“New York will accord comity to recognize parentage created by an adoption in a foreign nation,” wrote Read. “We see no reason to withhold equivalent recognition where someone is a parent under a sister state’s law.”

The court acknowledged that Janice had not agreed to let Debra adopt the child, but the availability of that option in this state convinced the court that recognizing Debra’s parental rights under Vermont law was not contrary to New York’s public policy. And the fact of a Vermont civil union “is as determinable as whether there has been a second-parent adoption” –– thus the court’s insistence that there be a bright line was satisfied.

While agreeing with the court’s ruling, Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote separately to argue that the Alison D. should be overturned as “outmoded and unworkable.” That ruling, she said, “has never been good legal precedent… fixing biology over all else as the key to determining parentage and thereby foreclosing any examination of a child’s best interests.”

She quoted liberally from then-Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s dissent in Alison D., which emphasized that multi-factor tests have proven workable. Ciparick’s opinion was joined by the high court’s current chief judge, Jonathan Lippman.

Judge Robert S. Smith wrote a separate opinion, speaking only for himself, joining the majority’s result but on a totally different ground. He argued that Alison D. should be overruled and replaced with a bright-line rule for lesbian couples, based on the common law principle that every child is born with two parents.

Smith argued that when lesbian couples plan for the birth of a child through artificial insemination whom they will raise together in a family, they should both be treated by the law as legal parents of the child. Applying this concept specifically to lesbian couples, he argued that such an approach would sidestep more complicated multi-factor analysis that encourages litigation.

Debra H., now acknowledged as one of their child’s legal parents as a matter of Vermont law recognized by New York, has the opportunity to demonstrate that it is in their child’s best interest that she be awarded custody or at least visitation rights.

The Alison D. precedent, however, under which same-sex co-parents will generally have no legal relationship to their children unless they adopt them, remains intact.

In the other decision, H.M. v. E.T., the tables were turned, with the biological mother, H.M., suing her ex-partner, E.T., for child support. The couple had a relationship from 1989 through 1995, during which time H.M. became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to a child that the couple planned to raise as a sibling to children E.T. had earlier given birth to. E.T.. performed the insemination procedure and cut the new child’s umbilical cord at birth.

Four months later, however, the couple broke up and H.M., a citizen of Canada, took the child to her parents’ home there. In 1997, after a failed reconciliation, she sued for support in Canadian court, but the case was transferred to Rockland County Family Court in New York to establish jurisdiction over E.T.

After conflicting Family Court rulings, the state’s Appellate division ruled that the Rockland court did not have jurisdiction in the case.

Judge Ciparick’s decision for the Court of Appeals focused narrowly on the jurisdiction issue. Confronted by a motion to dismiss a case, courts assume the truth of a plaintiff’s claim and determine whether such a claim would be legally valid. H.M. alleged that E.T. was a parent of their son, and that was enough for Ciparick, who noted that under state law, the Family Court has jurisdiction when one parent seeks to compel another to provide financial support for their child.

Judge Smith, concurring, submitted exactly the same opinion that he had filed in the Debra H. case, arguing that when a lesbian couple has a child through donor insemination, both partners should be considered parents of the resulting child for legal purposes.

Judge Jones dissented, joined by Judges Read and Graffeo, arguing that the Family Court could not have jurisdiction over a support case against “a woman with no biological or other legal connection to the child.” Jones objected to the usual practice of assuming that a plaintiff’s allegations are true, since the high court’s precedents meant that even if true, H.M.’s factual allegations did not make E.T. a legal parent.

The court, then, by a slim 4-3 vote, ruled that the Family Court has jurisdiction, but when the case is returned to Rockland County, H.M. will surely lose unless she can show that E.T. had adopted the child or demonstrate a legal relationship from another jurisdiction, such as a civil union or marriage, that would make both women legal parents. H.M. has made no such claim, so this is a rather odd victory for her.

These two narrowly focused rulings have left the legal terrain for same-sex couples in New York raising children together pretty much where it was before, with one notable exception. Now, the court recognizes the legal standing of a co-parent not only through a second-parent adoption, but also when a couple has entered into a civil union, marriage, or some other arrangement outside New York that confers parental rights on the second, non-biological partner prior to the child’s birth.

Significantly, the high court’s use of the comity doctrine in evaluating the Vermont civil union bodes well for any future case that reaches it in which the validity of same-sex marriage from other jurisdictions under New York law is tested. It should be noted, though, that the Court of Appeals limited its discussion here to comity in the context of parental rights, nothing broader. A more comprehensive application of the principle to civil unions and marriages from out of state remains an open question at New York’s highest court.

In the Debra H. case, Lambda Legal represented the plaintiff, with Susan Sommer arguing at the Court of Appeals. Jennifer Colyer of Fried Frank argued on behalf of the child’s interest, and Sherri L. Eisenpress of Manhattan’s Reiss Eisenpress LLC represented Janice R., the respondent. In the H.M. case, Peter J.W. Sherwin of the Proskauer law firm represented the plaintiff and David H. Tennant of Nixon Peabody represented the respondent. Both cases drew a variety of amicus briefs, reflecting the significance of the underlying issues for the development of LGBT family law in New York.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Another "unusual' Situation...

One thing I want to say at the onset of writing this, is that this situation is not unusual at all. What's unusual is that the public is hearing about this happening, that's all. Mother are forced all the time to send their kids into prisons or other dangerous places to visit these so-called 'fathers'. Many of these men, btw, nothing more then recreational sperm donors who decide they want to claim the title of father once they are in jail, as it allows them access to more privileges and attention.

Even when they get paroled (and many of them won't hesitate to use the fact that they are 'fathers' to get early release), if they manage to wrestle custody of these kids from their mothers, it's estimated they can claim up to $10,000 in benefits from the state. From food stamps to subsidized rents it's all dependent upon custody of a child.

AND I can understand exactly why this woman didn't return to court as she probably would have been subject to more vicious verbal and emotional abuse from this Judge, who was the one who forced her into the original visitation arrangement...

Think Judge Judy folks, if you want to visualize what this woman might have been subject to. Judge Judy was a New York family court judge for over 20 years. Can you imagine what mothers went through who winded up in front of that Judge Judy in family court???

It's terrifying really...

I also understand why she didn't want to let the courts know where her son went to school as they might have easily decided to pick her son up from school and place him in foster care (or worse as they are many far-flung youth residential facilities scattered around NY state) and then made her son do the visitation from there. Maybe even transferred her son into foster care in Arizona to facilitate this since that is where they were originally from and where the father was in prison for 27 years for rape.

Actually there have been numerous newspaper stories of children forced into mental hospitals (again or worse) for not wanting to visit their fathers. I, personally, have never heard of a case where the court was this rigorous with enforcement of a mother's visitation rights. It's just the opposite. In New York state a few years ago, they terminated a mother's visitation because she was smoking (not in front of the child or around the child but the custodial father claimed the child could 'smell' the smoke) so they just terminated this mother's visitation for that...

Again I wanted to preface this article with this information so I could make it clear that this is NOT an unusual situation at all. Mothers are forced ALL THE TIME into sending their kids off to visitation with dangerous men or into dangerous situations and there is not a damn thing they can do about it...

It reminds me of that story I put up a few months back about a mother losing custody of her son and losing her house (after the son was with her for years)...she was actually homeless and couldn't even see him for Christmas as she had no home to bring him to...and she didn't even know her ex had filed court papers until they showed up to toss her out of the house and take her son. The attorney in that article who was being interviewed kept saying what an 'unusual' situation that was as well. Since courts NEVER do exparte custody decisions w/o the other party being informed. This only happens in rare instances where a child is in some sort of imminent danger or something...

Again complete and utter baloney.

Many mothers I communicated with lost their children in exactly this manner, not even knowing that court papers had been FILED by these characters until their children were picked up at school or daycare. They were informed after going to the police to try and get their children back that they had lost custody of them a week or so ago. That was their notification.

Actually that is how I got custody of my youngest daughter. My ex-husband went and filed for divorce and temporary custody of our child but he stipulated he wanted ME to get custody of our infant daughter. This was back in the day before high-child support orders incited the ongoing 'custody wars' raging through our family court system today...and my notification was when he came to my job and served me with the paperwork. So I could have easily lost custody of my infant (three months old at the time) and I never would have been informed that an action was being filed until it was over...

Of course, the usual suspects always say "Well it was only temporary custody" you could have hired an attorney and fought that; but unless you are an ax-murderer temporary custody generally morphs into permanent custody and just like that some a$$hole has taken your child from you and destroyed your life...

Once again, thanks to Dastardy Dads for this info.

This woman is on-point with many of these stories...


Mom who objected to visitation with convicted rapist dad released from solitary confinement (Brooklyn, New York)

According to Jaya Saxena at the Gothamist, the mother thrown into solitary confinement at Rikers has been released. The mother's big crime? She objected to sending her 9-year-old son to visit his father, a convicted serial rapist currently serving time at an Arizona prison. Gee, and I thought objecting to something like that was good mothering. Silly me.

I hope Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares continues to catch hell from the public for her thoroughly unprofessional behavior and this outrageous miscarriage of justice.

"Unusual" Case of Mom, Rapist Dad and Visitation Rights

After what Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver called a "highly unusual" incarceration, a Brooklyn mom has been freed from Rikers. She was originally thrown in on June 10th for refusing to let her 9-year-old son visit his father, a convicted rapist, in prison.

The father, 31, was convicted in 2003 of raping three women in Phoenix and is serving 27 years in an Arizona state prison. A court order mandated that his son, Seon Jones, have twice-a-year visits with his father, and mother Sukhwant Herb originally agreed to the visitation rights in September. However, she later changed her mind. She told the Daily News, "I don't want my son in that environment, seeing the prisoners in jumpers, and the slamming of gates, the noise. My son is 9, and it's horrible, horrific." Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares had Herb arrested for the violation, and sent her to Rikers for 50 days.

Bookstaver, the court spokesman, says she was arrested because she missed five court appearances, and that she "was given numerous opportunities to answer simple questions to avoid incarceration." She reportedly could not provide proof of where her son was attending school. But Herb says Sheares was unrelenting, saying "I don't believe you" when she explained she wanted to move to Ohio with her children and fiance Dwayne Waithe. But now, after 18 days in solitary confinement, Sheares changed his mind and ordered her release.

After hearing of the sentencing, High Court officials were reportedly shocked at Sheares' decision to lock up Herb without a chance to post bail. Herb's lawyer, Dale Frederick, said, "No bail in a case like this is really shocking. My client has not been charged with a crime, has never been charged with a crime—and even felons get bail." The judge also made some questionable comments during the sentencing, saying, "Shame, shame, shame, you see how shameful she [Herb] is. She's gonna get arrested and her kids are not gonna know where she is." Sheares released Herb into her lawyer's custody yesterday. There is no word on how her son handled his mother's imprisonment.

By Jaya Saxena in News on June 29, 2010 3:02 PM

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interesting contrast in how this case was handled versus the Caylee Anthony case

I don’t understand why this case didn’t get the coverage by the media that the Caylee Anthony murder case is getting? To be honest, I believe that the media is largely responsible for the pressure on the Florida courts to give her mother, Casey Anthony, the death penalty…I, of course, am against the death penalty for either man or woman but some crimes are so heinous I don’t see anyway justice can be served without the death penalty.

So I’m conflicted on this one.

The other issue for me is also that I hate giving those groups of fathers rights nuts and self-righteous gender neutral feminists the satisfaction of seeing a mother executed.

This is like a two-fer for that bunch.

The only thing they love more is if a mother loses custody of a newborn…

Again, another shout-out to Dastardly Dads for this article.

Monday, May 10, 2010
Dad pleads guilty to murder for mixing drugs in child's drink (Charlestown, Pennsylvania)

Dad IAN KOHN has pleaded guilty to 3rd-degree murder charges in the death of his 23-month-old son. Seems Daddy mixed methadone and Ambien with Gatorade, and put it in the child's bottle. Sick stuff. And don't tell me he just wanted to help the child sleep. That's ridiculous. Not a word here on the mother.

Father pleads guilty to murder for mixing drugs in child's drink Published: Monday, May 10, 2010

By Michael P. Rellahan Special to The Mercury

WEST CHESTER – The Charlestown man who police said killed his 23-month-old son by mixing drugs in his baby bottle and feeding them to him with Gatorade pleaded guilty to third-degree murder charges Monday.

Ian Kohn, 29, was sentenced to a total of 20-to-40 years in state prison as part of a plea agreement between the prosecution and Kohn’s attorney.

Kohn’s son, Joseph Clayton Kohn, was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital on March 17, 2009. An autopsy determined that he had extremely high levels of methadone and Ambien in his system at the time. Kohn later confessed to police he had been feeding the child those drugs to help him sleep.

Kohn asked forgiveness for his crime before sentencing by Judge Thomas Gavin.

“Joey was such and incredible little boy,” he said, reading from a statement he wrote beforehand. “I never thought death could happen to my little beautiful baby boy.”
Posted by silverside at 11:40 AM
Labels: child death, child murder, drugs/alcohol, murder, Pennsylvania

NYMOM said...
How is this different from the Casey Anthony case where she is facing the death penalty????
May 11, 2010 1:49 PM

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well another thank you to Dastardly Dads for this article highlighting a mother losing custody through a default ruling

This is another example of a “spot-on” article from the blog Dastardly Dads and in spite of some unnamed divorce attorney’s claim that this sort of situation was “not common,” in fact, it happens all the time. Default custody rulings (without a mother being aware that an action has even been FILED) happen every day in courtrooms all across the US and obviously across the world.

Actually that’s how I got named custodial parent of my own infant over 25 years ago, (that shows how long this game has been going on). My now ex-husband (with no notification to me whatsoever) went down to the courthouse and filed for divorce. He also managed to get a temporary court order which named ME as temporary custodial parent of our baby.

I didn’t get so much as a phone call from the courts asking me what was going on.

The first I found out about it was when my husband turned up at my job to serve me the paperwork for the divorce and I noticed the form said “temporary custody of infant issue awarded to mother”…This, of course, was back in the days before high child support caused men to begin using all kinds of legal trickery to get custody of children away from their mothers.

So I and my baby got lucky.

Today I’m sure that default judgment would have stripped me of my baby (by naming my ex-husband as temporary custodial parent) and I would have had to scrap up a retainer and hire a lawyer to even get visitation. Who knows if and when I would have seen my child again? These default judgments are the equivalent of a judicially sanctioned kidnapping, as a mother has no recourse whatsoever to overturn it until the next scheduled court hearing. Which, by the way, can take weeks or months to arrange. Clearly once custody is ‘temporarily’ awarded it is now in the interest of everyone else involved (including your own attorney who gets paid by the hour) to delay a hearing on it indefinitely.

Now I don’t know the details of this particular case. Perhaps the custody decision made by the courts was the correct one, only the principals know for certain. But what I do know is that these default custody decisions (even temporary ones) should be made a violation of a mother and child’s human rights. As a child can be damaged psychologically (I won’t mention the emotional damage to a mother, as I know they don’t give a damn about those poor women) that can take place when men, trying to negotiate a better financial deal for themselves, are allowed to take our children hostage.

BTW, this can happen to single mothers as well, it’s not just married woman who can face this situation. You can have a recreational sperm donor, who has been out of your life for years, suddenly take it into his head that he wants ‘custody’ and he can get one of these default custody judgments as well. The first you hear of it can be when he shows up with the police to take your child or even has them removed from daycare or school without your knowledge.

Our own FBI statistics on abducted children show that men are more likely to abduct children BEFORE a custody order is established and that these abductions instigated by men end sooner then abductions by women (not that I recognize any law that makes it a crime for a mother to have her own children living with her without a court order. I consider these laws to be a violation of not just natural law, but a violation of the human rights of women and children as well). Anyway, I believe these abductions by men come to an end sooner because many of them result in default temporary custody orders (which usually morph into permanent custody orders at some point) and thus, the abduction is wiped from the official record.

This article is not about a fluke but highlights a steadily growing trend that mothers, especially of young children, need to be made aware of and protect themselves and their children against…Reading between the lines of the story: "Despite his lucrative business in the medical field, I did not want money other than help with our son's maintenance. All I wanted was my child and to close that chapter in my life," she says. I am guessing that it’s the common situation of disinterested father morphing into concerned father as soon as the possibility of a child support order rears its head. He appeared fine with their son living with his mother for years it sounds like (from the article) and then the possibility of ‘child maintenance’ suddenly changed his mind.


Anyway, thanks to Dastardly Dads at for this story.

Court decision turns woman into 'gypsy', as abusive father takes custody of her son (Malta)

These days, stories like this are heard all over the world, as abusive fathers become increasingly adept at stripping protective mothers of their children. The corruption and secrecy accompanying the family court proceedings also goes hand in hand with all this. This story is from the little island nation of Malta.

Monday, 10th May 2010

Court decision turns woman into 'gypsy'
Woman spends lonely Mother's Day

Claudia Calleja

Lara* could not spend Mother's Day with her son yesterday because the court granted her child's temporary care and custody to the father who had walked out of their lives some years ago.

"I feel as though the court stripped me of my motherhood by allowing my child to live with his father and his lover. A part of me also feels betrayed by my son for accepting to be with him after I did so much for the child, including living in a violent marriage for years to keep our family together," she says, battling to hold back tears.

Lara explains how, throughout their marriage, she filed several police reports after her husband beat her. Policemen often turned up at her door, following her desperate phone calls, but she never followed up the reports in court because she ended up forgiving him.

"I wanted to protect my young son and wanted our family together," she says. As the boy started growing up, Lara realized she could not take the abuse any longer and the road to separation began. The introduction of domestic violence legislation helped her pluck up the courage she needed to say "stop".

According to court documents, the Family Court heard how, some years ago, Lara's husband left the matrimonial house and showed little interest in their son. Eventually, after producing her police reports against her husband in court, she got a temporary court ruling giving her care and custody of her son and allowing her to stay in the matrimonial home.

As mediation proceedings dragged on for years, the couple moved to separation proceedings.

"Despite his lucrative business in the medical field, I did not want money other than help with our son's maintenance. All I wanted was my child and to close that chapter in my life," she says. All seemed to be going well until the father started showing interest in the child again and demanding to spend more time with him. The boy's attitude towards his mother started changing as he spent more time with his father.

Then, a few weeks ago, court officials knocked at Lara's door to inform her she would have to leave the matrimonial house following a temporary judgment handed down in the separation proceedings. Her husband had filed an application asking for the house and custody of their son. Both requests were temporarily granted.

Lara has now appealed the court decision and is protesting about the fact she was not informed about the father's application. She is claiming the court gave its ruling without listening to her after the application was filed.

A separation lawyer explained that it was not common for this to happen adding that one had to keep in mind that the court may have decided on previously submitted documents and evidence.

"Suddenly, I ended up without a roof over my head and my son was taken away... I can only see him for a few hours on the weekend... Right now I'm so hurt and traumatized by the court decision that I'm unable to see my son. I have no place where I can take him because I'm living like a gypsy... But I know how easily my husband can manipulate people, so am not surprised that he managed to also manipulate my own flesh and blood against me," she says.

*Names and personal details have been changed to protect identities.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Visitation of men more important then safety of children while in their care

I came across this article while I was reading something else and thought I would post it on my blog since the comments were so interesting.

Now, I don’t generally post this sort of article on my blog since I understand that statistics show mothers abuse and/or neglect kids more then fathers. Although I do believe that this is because, until fairly recently, men ignored their children most of the time. However, now that high child support awards are being rigorously enforced and visitation can cut down on the amount of those awards, men have finally started paying attention again. Thus, mothers being over-represented in the abuse statistics will eventually be balanced out as more men get visitation (who have absolutely no interest whatsoever in these kids, many are just basically accidental and/or recreational sperm donors).

Anyway, overtime we will start seeing male abuse/neglect numbers increase as they start spending more unsupervised time around children.

But that’s another debate for another day.

The really interesting thing about the article was the recognition of the people commenting that, without a doubt, some judge would swiftly reinstate this father(s) visitation and put these children right back at risk again. Probably within 30 days or so someone commented.

AND this is all due to political correctness trying to enforce gender neutral norming, the jealousy of men and their continuing attempts to undermine the mother/child bond, and lastly, the growing strength of various mens/fathers rights advocates putting the interest of men ahead of the interest of all others…

Cops: Men Left Kids During 2-Day Binge

Kids Told Police They Were Hungry
POSTED: Monday, April 5, 2010

UPDATED: 1:50 pm EDT April 5,2010

JACKSON, Mich. -- Two Hillsdale County men who left two hungry children in a vehicle during a two-day drinking and partying binge face child abandonment charges, according to authorities.

Jackson County Sheriff's deputies arrested the children's 28-year-old father and 27-year-old uncle about 12:30 a.m. Sunday inside of a bowling alley in Summit Township. Deputies said the men were intoxicated when they were arrested.

Deputies were called to the Summit Lanes Bowling Alley to check on a report of abandoned children in a vehicle. When deputies arrived, they found the 4- and 6-year-old children were found locked inside a vehicle in the parking lot. The children told deputies they had not eaten in two days while their father and uncle drove around drinking and partying.

Police said the children were living in "unsanitary conditions" and that there were beer bottles inside of the vehicle.

Both men face child abandonment charges. They are expected to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

A Department of Human Services investigation is ongoing.

Jackson County Lt. Brad Piros said the children have been returned their mother.
"This was actually part of his visitation. He actually had the children for the weekend," said Piros.

Copyright 2010 by
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Showing 7 of 7 comments
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Guest 11 minutes ago
Where was the mother?

JoyceShane 14 minutes ago
Were was the mother?

katie2982 8 minutes ago
Father had visitation for the weekend- so the mother was not in contact with the children for that weekend. It clearly says so in the article.

pct84 16 minutes ago
He'll get his kids back in a month or so. He'll probably kill them while driving drunk and we'll all be saying, "Why did the judge give visitation back!". It's like a broken record in this coutry. What's easiest for the Judge is whats best for the kids.

soulardguys 16 minutes ago
Should have brought the baby sitter with them.

laurieda 33 minutes ago
This guy is the definiton of a LOSER DAD. Him and the Uncle should both have any visiting rights taken away for many years. At least until the kids are old enough to get the keys back and drive away and leave the 2 losers where they are partying.

laurieda 34 minutes ago
What a couple of animals these 2 guys are. The father should never get to see those kids again. I live in Canada and unfortunately here, the guy would probably have his kids back for weekends in about a month.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shout-out to Dastardy Dads website for hitting the nail on the head with this post

This is an interesting post from the "Dastardly Dads" website.

I agree 1000% with everything she saids. Many mothers lose custody of their children for being 'unstable'.

To be honest this is the biggest factor, I believe, in the growing number of mothers losing custody of their children. States save money by doing this as public benefits are based on the income of the recipient. No or low income and public benefits are at the maximum.

So there is a lot of incentive for states to support mothers who are 'unstable' lose custody of their children. Actually many mothers ONLY have custody by 'default' because no one with standing has challenged their custodial rights in court.

This case is a sad example of what mothers and children have to look forward to in the future...

Homeless custodial dad retains custody (Orlando, Florida)
UPDATE: Note that this homeless dad has "sole custody." Why? You tell me.

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. I DO NOT favor abducting children by force. It almost always leads to disaster, and seldom takes the best interest of the child into account.

But this is a very curious case. Despite all the confusing rhetoric to the contrary, this custodial UNNAMED DAD is HOMELESS. By any federal definition of the word. Drifting from "place to place" may not be living on the streets, but it is still homeless.

So how the heck did this father get custody to start with? Why are the Florida authorities letting him retain custody? They say the child has been "safely reunited" with Dad. Really? So he can continue drifting from one place to another? The child obviously has no room of his own. No place for friends to visit. No stability. Is this child even in school?

Interesting how low the bar is set for an apparently custodial dad in the State of Florida. If the child isn't (obviously) malnourished and is (apparently) is in "good spirits," then all is well.

Mom, who is out of state, figures that having two male friends of hers just "take the boy" apparently made more sense than trying to go to court in Florida. That's a very frightening idea, but based on what many, many Florida mothers tell me, this is the "new normal." As a protective mother, you will get little to no traction by going through the Florida court system.

And if mothers are really so"favored" by the courts, then why did this desperate mother resort to this sort of tactic? Maybe because it's becoming increasingly evident that the pendulum, in reality, has swung the other way. Note than Mom may be facing charges. Because she was upset that her 8-year-old son was living on the streets. This is what we have come to, folks.

Police: Mom Had Friends Take Boy From Father
Posted: 7:43 am EST March 5,2010
Updated: 10:51 am EST March 5,2010

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An 8-year-old boy was safely reunited with his father Friday morning and two men are facing felony charges after, Orlando police said, they took the boy away from his father without permission.

Investigators said the child's mother, who lives in Seattle, Washington, heard that her son and estranged husband were living on the streets in poor conditions. They said that is when she called two friends who live in Orlando and convinced them to go get her son.

Police told Eyewitness News the father and his son were staying at a Motel 6 on International Drive in Orlando where the two men intimidated the father into turning over the boy.

Police arrested 21-year-old Christopher Stokes and 23-year-old Richard Douglas (read affidavits). Both were charged with the felony of interfering with child custody.

Eyewitness News asked a police spokesperson if the boy was being neglected or living on the street as the child's mother claimed.

"No, not at all," said Lt. Randy Groetch, Orlando Police Department. "They might not be living in their own home. From what I understand they were living with friends and relatives, maybe going from place to place. They always had a roof over their heads. The child seemed to be in somewhat good spirits for what actually happened and we don't see any physical malnutrition or anything. He seems to be fine."

Meanwhile, police continued to speak with the boy's mother in Seattle. They said it is likely she could also face charges in the case. Her name has not been released.
Posted by silverside at 8:22 AM
Labels: child abduction/kidnapping, child custody, custodial dad, custodial father, custody/visitation, Florida, Washington

NYMOM said...
One word: ridiculous...

A woman going from place to place would have lost her child in a heartbeat (even to grandparents) in many states...

Actually many non-custodial mothers that I know have lost custody for exactly that reason being deemed unstable because they had no place to live.

Actually this is the cause of many women being afraid to leave abusive relationships since if they try to leave they'll lose their children unless they already have a home and a job to support that home...
March 7, 2010 11:36 AM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New rules...

I just wanted to let people know that I don't have the time I would like for this blog, so I will be erasing comments faster now. It's either that or I'll have to just shut comments down...

I'm not going to waste time arguing with people, as I did in the past.

So any disruptive comments just thrown out there to generate controversy, will be immediately erased.

Of course real questions and genuine discussion will still be welcome.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Women who wish to become mothers need to plan their lives/careers differently

This article came to my attention and it's a good example of what I often talk about here: that women are different from men and that they need to plan their lives differently if they wish to become mothers. Since I believe most women do wish to become mothers, this article is relevant to most women no matter their profession...


The Chronicle Review

February 7, 2010
Women, Birth, Death, and Mathematics

Jon Krause, for The Chronicle Review

By Susan D'Agostino

When I decided to become a mathematician, I assumed that my greatest challenge would be intellectual. That was before the Christmas Eve my father made shrimp scampi in a Pyrex dish under the broiler. When he opened the oven and added cold lemon juice to the sizzling prawns, shards of glass flew 15 feet in every direction. Normally a fastidious cook, he had been distracted by my mother, who, at that moment, was telling my very young children—because none of the adults would listen—what she wanted for Christmas: for the family to acknowledge that it was time for her to die.

Nothing in my graduate program had trained me for this. I am a doctor, but not that kind of doctor. Not that being an oncologist would have helped at that point. With Stage 4 kidney cancer, my mother had no more than months to live. I was not at all surprised when my father picked up the shrimp and ate it; it was an earnest, if dangerous, attempt to show the power of mind over matter.

The message was that none of this was happening: The shrimp was not infused with glass, and my mother was not dying. At the time, I might have added that, in spite of my decision to take time away from formal employment to care for my babies and mother, my intelligence and training still had currency in the world of academe.

The day of the exploding shrimp seems like ages ago. My children are now in grade school, my mother has passed away, and I am an assistant math professor at an institution that makes me extremely happy. Still, I can remember the confusion that resulted from following my heart rather than toeing the feminist line.

Discussing this topic does not come easy. Having earned my doctorate right on schedule—with a baby on my hip, no less—and landing an assistant professorship in the geographic region of my choice, I could easily portray myself as some sort of mathematical, feminist superhero. In particular, I could gloss over the fact that there was a period in which I took time away from academe to change a lot of diapers and serve as a nurse to my terminally ill mother.

But just as I tell my daughter that she has more options than "witch" or "princess" for Halloween, I want to exist somewhere between "nun for science" and "stay-at-home mom." I have tremendous gratitude for the feminists who blazed the path before me. However, I respectfully reject the notion that my desire to engage in these so-called female activities is a 1950s-era can of worms that is better left unopened.

I am compelled to write because when I was thinking about family planning and end-of-life issues, it was the rare woman in math who revealed any ambivalence about how personal choices affected her professional life. Were there women who, in the absence of maternity leave or affordable child care, dropped out of their math graduate programs upon the births of their children? Or women who delayed childbearing only to struggle later with age-related infertility? Or women who were racked with guilt when a parent died alone in a hospital bed because they could not afford the time away from research?

As a math graduate student, I attended many women-in-math conferences, but those were not the stories I heard. There was casual mention of finding a "work-life balance," but most of the discussion concerned achieving equity. And when it came to equity, the messages converged around a central theme: "Work more," "Hire a nanny," or, my favorite, "That's what hospice volunteers are for."

Something changed for me during my hiatus from academe. No, I did not, as some had either feared or predicted, lose my ambition. Yet I am no longer the woman who, as a graduate student, took pride in the fact that I returned to work just days after having given birth. Of course, with no formal maternity leave, I felt that I had little choice. Still, my former self happily spun my postpartum math research as proof that I was making it in the old boys' network. My present self, on the other hand, is no longer concerned with the old boys' network. Rather, my present self strives to live the life that I want, which includes both family and work.

During my time away from academe, I realized that the world is much bigger than those in academe would lead you to believe. I came to realize that if academe did not see my merits, then I could still find work that was both stimulating and satisfying outside of it. As my mother's early death poignantly illustrates, life is fleeting. Too fleeting, in fact, to have only one definition of success.

This change of heart has made all of the difference in my life. Like businesswomen who ultimately rejected oversized shoulder pads as a superficial, not to mention odd, attempt to mimic their male counterparts, I am no longer trying to be the archetypal male mathematician who has a wife to birth his babies and a sister to care for his dying mother.

Today I am a mathematician who willingly participates in the nurturing surrounding birth and death. The fact that I can state that proudly is not just good for me but is also good for math. Just as biodiversity is vital to an ecosystem, diversity of experience and perspective is crucial in academic research. Research involves asking questions, and the kinds of questions an individual is predisposed to ask are constrained by his or her gender, language, and cultural background.

The Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Barbara McClintock described the uniquely feminine and, at the time, revolutionary approach that motivated her research in Evelyn Fox Keller's biography of her, A Feeling for the Organism. McClintock treated individual corn plants as if they were distinct children she had reared from birth. She used words like "patience" and "listening" as she gained an "intimate" knowledge of what distinguished one corn plant from another. In doing so, she cultivated what she referred to as a "feeling for the organism" that most people develop only with humans or pets.

And Dian Fossey's groundbreaking research methods were decidedly feminine, writes Sy Montgomery in Walking With the Great Apes, because of her intense focus on nurturing relationships with individual gorillas. Fossey broke the previously undisputed rule of maintaining a distance from her subjects, much to the benefit of science.

Who is to say that any marginalization I experienced as a woman or mother in math did not influence my decision to study nonlinear codes as opposed to the more mainstream linear codes? Only later did I learn of a connection between nonlinear codes and the hot topic of quantum error-correcting codes.

When the math community recognizes that some women not only pace their careers differently from the archetypal man but may want to allow room for some (dare I say it?) stereotypically female endeavors, the groundwork will be laid for equity. In the meantime, if you are a young woman establishing yourself as a mathematician while at the same time contemplating family planning or elder care, take heart. Being a woman attempting to combine birth, death, and mathematics is a great challenge—greater, I think, than doing math in a vacuum. However, there is nothing I would change about the path I have followed. And if I ever run into you at a conference, I will very likely tell you as much.

Susan D'Agostino is an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern New Hampshire University

Friday, February 05, 2010

Another little warning for mothers of young children

NYMOM, here's a kidnapping that happened during the Savoie kidnapping, but it was pretty much ignored. Here Jean Paul Lacombe is kidnapped by his dad for THE SECOND TIME:

I just thought this comment was important enough to make a whole separate post out of it.

Women do not realize that many of these situations where a custody dispute leads to calling the police end in exactly this fashion. It all depends upon the response of the police officer in the field and/or the policy of the county you live in and/or if the officer on the scene knows it and/or wishes to enforce it...

I have had women tell me they lost their children through exactly the above situation. Infants especially are vulnerable to abduction in this scenario. AND since possession is often nine tenths of the law, it's nothing for an abducted infant's father to turn up in court the next day filing a petition for temporary custody. Which, as I said many times before, usually leads to permanent custody unless the father is an ax murderer or something.

Actually I had a woman, who I met on a blog, contact me at work one night (just before 5:00) telling me her ex just pulled a similar stunt on their four year old taking her from school and just bringing her to his house. He was refusing to pick up the telephone as well. She asked me if she should to the police that night or to court the next morning. I asked her if she had paperwork documenting her as the custodial parent, she said no. So I told her to go to family court on Monday, (that's how tricky this guy was he showed up at the school on a Friday, so she had to spend an entire weekend w/o even being able to talk to her child).

Anyway, she did go to the police that night and just as I had warned her they did nothing but sent her home. They did a safe-child checkup themselves later that night and called her and told her the child was fine at least. So she spent the whole weekend looking at this project for Halloween she had setup on her coffee table to do with her child that weekend...

Can you imagine.

This woman was a corporate lawyer herself by the way...and didn't know these things could happen.

Long story shorter she ran into her ex on the courthouse steps Monday morning with her daughter in his possession.


So mothers, particularly of very young children, have to be aware of this possibility. If they have not filed their paperwork to name themselves as custodial or at least joint custodial clearly outlining the visitation (so you can show a police officer that the other party is in violation, if he hasn't returned the child by such and such a time according to the court papers) there is NOTHING to stop the other party from going down to court and getting themselves temporary custody...

I don't care how long that child has lived with you or how much your ex might have ignored the child previously. Without that legal document stating you are custodial parent, the past means nothing. The police officer won't even listen to you.

I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this...


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Doing Good Versus Looking Good (Another oldie but goodie)

I found this in my archives Richard and it's a good example of what I was talking about in our previous discussion.

Also it surprised me how many other issues I had forgotten about that are touched upon in my should lead to many interesting comments...

Doing Good Versus Looking Good

This was an interesting article about the genesis of young girls acting out like brain dead, boy-crazy idiots from about the age of 10 or so (and continuing right through well into their adult years as evidenced by Brittany Spears, Jessica Simpson, ALL of the women on Sex in the City and many others whose names escape me right now).

On how most of the media (as well as many of the adults these young girls come in contact with) instill the insidious idea that the ONLY time girls are doing anything worthwhile is when they are either chasing after a boy or having a boy chase after them.

This starts early as the article notes and has the effect of young girls wasting ALL of the time they should be putting into their education and future career for instance; instead focusing on what they should wear that can attract some boy’s attention to them, how they should ‘play dumb’ as that works to attract boys, when is the right time to lose your virginity and even pitching the outmoded idea that every boy who wants to have sex with a girl is in love with her.

How can you say, “leading to a lot of early sex, disappointment and low self-esteem” in their young lives.

The author was located in Australia but this could be found throughout the western world. Even Disney, which is supposed to be a family entertainment channel has many childrens’ series where the ONLY apparent thing girls focus on in school or home is boys.

How to meet one they like (usually the captain of some sports team), how to dress to be in the right crowd of girls (again, the entire goal being to meet boys). How to get that after school job: again, the central goal usually to raise money for more shopping, of course, the reoccurring theme to get the attention of a boy.

Many of the main story lines focus on parties, who gets invited versus who doesn’t.

Again the whole reason for the party is ALWAYS to meet boys. The most significant thing that ever appears to happen to the girls is not whether or not they get into the school of their choice to get a science scholarship or something that mundane, but who tried out for the cheerleaders squad and either made it or didn’t. But never any discussion about any educational goals or focus on ANYTHING other then how to meet boys.

Well is it any wonder that girls grow up with the idea that the ONLY thing of substance they will EVER accomplish will be meeting Mr. Right with everything else being secondary until Mr. Right comes along. Well, Shades of Sex in the City where even the most professionally successful women is doing nothing (at least in that series) but marking time until they meet the man of their dreams.

Well you want to know where that attitude starts, read below.

Frankly I even find that attitude throughout the blogosphere.

Where most of the womens' blogs (even the supposedly more serious ones) function as little more then places for women to post snarky remarks, along with their picture, the main function obviously being to attract the attention and approval of men.

Meanwhile the mens' site are taking care of serious business.

Someone posted a survey a while back that stated MOST bloggers were blogging in order to meet someone. Or as they delicately put it to get laid.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think a male blogger or commenter on one of the mens' sites would turn down a decent opportunity to get laid if it was presented by a young woman, but yet I don't see their sites as allowing any untoward focus on women to distract them from their stated mission.

That's why personally I'm in favor of the two-lane highway concept that Congress has been debating for the internet.

This way people who have serious blogs can pay the extra fees and get the public access; while the ones who are using the free blog service as an enhanced dating mechanism can instead join one of those internet dating services.

AND we won't be bogged down with hundreds of women cluttering up the blogosphere when their main purpose is just to meet a guy.

Sorry there are better and more efficient ways to do that.

Why should serious women bloggers lose what is a newly forming and potentially wide reaching forum for us to get our ideas out to the public, so that some of you can keep your dance card filled.

The Age

What is your daughter reading?August 10, 2004

The emphasis in Australian magazines aimed at teenage girls is on sex, writes Christopher Bantick.

For many parents, seeing their daughter curled up with Dolly or some other teenage magazine seems innocent enough. But perhaps parents should take a look inside these glossies to see what is on offer.

The emphasis in most magazines directed at teenage girls is on sex. Articles in the August editions of the four market leaders - Cosmopolitan, Girlfriend, Dolly and Cleo - advise how to do it, get it and have more of it.

Magazines for girls are aimed at the 12 to 18-year-olds. But the readership is often far younger. Children on the cusp of adolescence regularly read up, not down. Parenting expert Michael Grose has described this shrinking childhood as "adolescent creep".

Dolly declares that its core readership is 16-year-olds; Girlfriend's is 13 to 14-year-olds. Cleo and Cosmopolitan aim for the 16 to 20-year-olds. But the readership of such magazines by those between 10 and 14-years-old is growing - something that the American Psychological Association has warned is dangerous.

In February, the APA attacked American advertisers for pitching to and exploiting the under-14 market, saying these readers "inherently lack the cognitive capability to effectively recognise and defend against commercial persuasion".

A casual thumb through the August editions of Australia's top four girl glossies is revealing.

Girlfriend advises in a response to a correspondent who is asking about a boyfriend insistent on having sex: "I am sure he really does care for you. It's pity you don't believe him coz maybe he really does love you. Negotiating sex is so much easier with your clothes on."

A casual thumb through the August editions of Australia's top four girl glossies is revealing.

Dolly, in a lead story titled "Losing Your Virginity" offers 11 helpful ideas based on real-life accounts. These range from "It's Totally Nerve-Racking" to "It's Messy" and "You Might Bleed".

Both Cleo and Cosmopolitan are in an altogether different league. Both have sealed sections. Cleo this month teases: "Bizarro sex habits that will freak you out"; Cosmo, not to be outdone, offers: "Cosmo's Sex-Fantasy Decoder", where girls can explore their fantasies of being a "Sex Slave" or perhaps a "Naughty Nymph-O".

But besides the heavy emphasis on sex - and problematic sex at that - teenage girls' magazines capitalise on adolescent insecurity. Cosmo offers, "Your Erotic Thoughts Explained" and tips on "Surviving a Sex Drought". Dolly examines, "Bad Boys: Good Fun or Heartbreak?" Girlfriend asks, "Do You Really Want a Boyfriend?" Meanwhile Cleo explores "Ex Sex. Would you? Should you? Will it work?"

Still, as much as girl teenage magazines might be questioned in their emphasis on sex, they may still fulfil a need. In so far as sex education is taught at school, research has shown that this largely fails.

Teenage girl magazines are seen by their market as sources to trust. This is worrying. The information can lead girls to doubt themselves if they are not sexual beings at a young age.

A British study published last month found that teenage girls benefit from being taught about sex and contraception by their peers. The source of the information is largely through magazines. Thirty-five per cent of girls taught by their peers are less likely to have sex before 16, compared with 41 per cent if taught by their teachers.

Another British study, by the girl teenage magazine Sugar and published last month, found that 78 per cent of the 500 13 to 18-year-olds surveyed said that sex tutoring from teen magazines offered "information they were unable to get at school".

Apart from the heavy stress on sex in teenage girl magazines, there is also an unwavering reinforcement that self-esteem and identity is inexorably linked to having a boyfriend.

This dependence on male attitudes to women should be strongly challenged by magazine editors. But instead, they are complicit in presenting girls as dependent on boys for approval and success.

Cleo covergirl Jessica Simpson declares: "I've played dumb all my life. Guys love it." Cosmopolitan, in a section called "Man Manual", tells "What Guys Want in a Girlfriend". What they want includes: "Fill his car with petrol", "Be ready when he rings the bell" and, at the video store, "suggest you rent Bad Boys II instead of Chicago".

The problem with teenage girl magazines is that they give highly suspect information, they create misconceptions about sexuality, they reinforce stereotypes about male and female behavour and they show craven irresponsibility in their disregard for the emotional maturity of their readers.

Do you know what your daughters are reading?

Christopher Bantick is a Melbourne writer.

posted by NYMOM | Saturday, June 17, 2006
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