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samedi 30 août 2003
Children of divorce need our protection
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
When I look at the very good fathers I know - fathers who are emotionally engaged, responsible and loving - I marvel that fatherhood is represented on the national scene and even in legislation by a tiny, shrill minority who are their polar opposites. Good fathers would no more go to war with their ex-partners, inflicting permanent emotional damage on their children, than they would embezzle from their bosses.
Alas, the amendments to the Divorce Act which will be put forward in the fall have been dangerously influenced by a very vociferous fringe of fathers’ rights activists and their overbearing friends in the Senate and Parliament. Justice Minister Martin Cauchon will introduce Bill C-22 to eliminate the supposedly enraging "custody and access" language in favour of "parental responsibility." It’s so vague. What will happen to the child support guidelines ? What about protection for women and children fleeing violence ? What about enforcement of court orders ?
These ill-defined "parenting plans" will have more people, not fewer, rushing to slug it out in court. That’s been the experience in England and Australia, which have similar laws. (John Eekelaar, The Law Quarterly Review ’96 ; Rhoades, Graycar and Harrison, "The Family Law Reform Act 1995, The First Three Years," University of Sydney, 2000).
Yes, you’re right, it’s weird to see academic-style footnotes in a column. But every time I write about this issue, the fathers’ rights vigilantes leap into action, snapping and yelping at the heels of the Star’s ombud, demanding proof of every statistic and cooking up stats of their own.
So here it is. Skip the rest of this column if you have no interest in divorce. The fathers’ rights activists have shrewdly thrown up a fog of misstatement, false "anecdotes" and outright lies designed to elicit public sympathy. The first whopper : "Every child has a right to two parents" and "Kids need fathers." Clever, that, to disguise father’s prerogatives as "children’s rights."
But there’s absolutely no scientific evidence for this statement. A loving father, of course, is a boon to any child. But just any old father ? A drunk, a batterer, a tyrant, an infantile male supremacist ? A man who stalks his ex-wife through the courts ? I don’t think so. The fathers’ rights version of "essential fatherhood" is all about authority, rules, strict discipline and imposed heterosexuality. Extrapolating from conditions in inner-city U.S. ghettoes, they freely declaim that "fatherlessness" is the cause of everything from delinquency to girls’ promiscuity.
In fact, sociologists have long documented the fact that a context of poverty and hopelessness leads to more single-parent families, and their ever-deepening poverty is what does the damage. (McLoyd, V.C., Socioeconomic Disadvantages and Child Development, American Psychologist ,1998).
Judith Wallerstein, a leading U.S. authority on the impact of divorce on children, concludes from a 25-year study that, "There is no research evidence that either the frequency or amount of contact between noncustodial parent and child is related to good outcome in the child." Lack of conflict, she has written, is far more important. (Family and Conciliation Courts Review, ’98)
Unfortunately, it’s practically a religion for angry fathers’ rightists to insist on mandatory joint custody. Yet all the evidence says that these are precisely the people who, for the sake of the children, must not have it. High-conflict couples with joint or shared custody are the very ones who subject the child to constant warfare. California pioneered the joint custody laws and then had to change them when the evidence of harm began to surface. Children of the angry minority suffered from depression, withdrawal, physical illness and social failure (Janet R. Johnston, Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Oct. ’95).
The best custody arrangements for this "special subpopulation," wrote Johnston, is "to allow parents to disengage from each other" - strict separation with clear, specific visitation plans and an absolute minimum of shared decision-making.
Does anyone else sense a car crash about to happen ? Under Cauchon’s "parenting responsibility" plan, the best-adjusted divorcing couples will do just what they’ve always done, work out sensible custody arrangements on their own.
Meanwhile, the batterers and control freaks will be thrown into the muddle of parenting plans. Mothers will end up with all the physical care of the children (even in so-called shared custody, the mothers end up doing all the custodial care ; N. Marcil-Gratton and C. Le Bourdais, National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, 1999) while the fathers will have unprecedented legalpower to meddle in decisions about every aspect of the child’s daily life. Fathers’ rightists insist, furiously, that all courts are biased and automatically grant custody to mothers.
In an official report of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1990, the researchers admitted that they began by sharing this perception about court bias in favour of women. They found the opposite to be true. (New England Law Review, Spring, 1990). Most women have physical custody of their children post-divorce - not because of bias, but through mutual parental agreement. When men do actually fight through the courts to get custody, they are awarded sole or joint custody more than 70 per cent of the time.
It has long been the same story in Canada. Back in the ’90s, senior Justice Department counsel Glenn Rivard twice confirmed for me that, although official statistics are a mess and cannot accurately reflect all family courts decisions across the country, it was his informed perspective that "when fathers seek custody, they win about 50 per cent of the time."
Maybe fathers are being bamboozled by their own propaganda.
Nor is it true, despite the hair-raising stories, that most mothers maliciously impede men’s access to their children. Access denial is a serious problem in only 2 to 5 per cent of cases (D. Perry, Calgary, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 1992).
The bigger problem is the erratic or totally absent father who disappoints his children by not using his access rights. More than 40 per cent of parents with access rights see their children rarely or never (Evaluation of the Divorce Act, Department of Justice 1990). And all those horrific "false allegations" of sexual abuse that supposedly destroyed so many men’s lives, and that fathers’ rightists were sobbing and screaming about at the notorious Joint Senate House Committee on Custody and Access ? Call it junk testimony. Widespread studies show that between 8 and 16 per cent of abuse allegations are false (Prof. Susan Penfold, Canadian Journal of Family Law ’97). Bitter custody disputes give rise to these allegations only 2 per cent of the time (Penfold).
Revealingly, 21 per cent of abuse allegations made by fathers are deliberate lies, but only 1.3 per cent of the allegations made by mothers are intentionally false. ( Nicholas Bala, Canadian Family Law Quarterly, ’99)
I have tonnes more statistics, but hey, I’m as sick of them as you are.
Nevertheless, we can’t risk harming children by allowing the government to bow to the unfounded claims made by the vengeful fathers’ rights lobby.
Toronto Star, July 27, 2003
Authorized reproduction by Michele Landsberg
Mis en ligne sur Sisyphe, le 30 août 2003