February 25, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Yesterday I posted a piece about an article by Maurice Fisher who calls himself a “mental health professional,” whatever that may mean. His article is so bad I had to spend two posts on debunking it (Roanoke Times, 2/21/19). From the looks of that article, Fisher could be one of those off-the-shelf know-nothings who’ve absorbed the all-too-common narrative of male corruption and female – what? – perfection, perhaps.
And yet previous pieces by Fisher are nothing of the kind. Indeed, in one, he rightly bemoans the marginalization (as through the use of medication) of what was once understood to be normal, rambunctious boy behavior. Reading it, no one would get a hint of the ignorance and antipathy for fathers Fisher displays in the piece about which I posted yesterday and post today.
What’s up with this guy? In the former article, he clearly knows his stuff. In the current one he’s taken not the briefest glance at readily available, easy to understand information, all of which rebuts his thesis. Who knows? I can’t figure him out.
What I do know though is what he writes and the linked-to article is a hatchet job on fathers and almost completely uninformed. Time and again, he allows his fleeting thoughts to pass as facts.
[T]here is a case of a “loser” committing major felonies and being sentenced to state or federal prison for multiple years, but wants to have a voice in his children’s lives. This is typically because the “loser” wants to control and manipulate the biologic mother, not because he has any real interest in the child.
Citation? Again there’s none. Who’s studied this phenomenon Fisher is so certain exists? I’ve never seen anything and Fisher offers nothing.
Then there’s this:
[T]here is a case where a “loser” has a lengthy history of domestic abuse toward the mother of his children, the children, and/or both. Eventually, the female attempts to get away from her tormentor and get a protective order which the “loser” consistently violates. Once the children’s mother finds safety elsewhere, the “loser” desires continued contact with the children in the form of ongoing visitation, joint legal custody and/or physical custody so as to continue to abuse the children’s mother.
I’m sure that happens on occasion, but I suspect it’s rare. Again, Fisher offers nothing on the prevalence of the described behavior, so we’re left to guess.
The real problem is his entire failure to balance his negative description of “loser” (his word, not mine) dads with “loser” moms. Will he do so in a future article? I’m betting he won’t. Mothers commit about twice the abuse and neglect of their kids as do fathers. Is Fisher aware? If he’s not, it’s inexcusable to write an article criticizing fathers, given that the website for the Administration for Children and Families is just a couple of clicks away.
And, as I said yesterday, non-custodial mothers pay far less in child support than do non-custodial fathers, are less likely to pay all of what they owe and when they do pay, they pay a smaller percentage even though they’re ordered to pay less.
And of course women commit as much domestic violence as do men and initiate more.
What about parental abduction of children, a practice that appears to be more a Mom than a Dad thing?
What about refusing or interfering with Dad’s visitation, a not uncommon phenomenon?
What about paternity fraud?
What about parental alienation?
What about maternal gatekeeping?
Anyone with the desire to do so could make every bit as good a case for an article on “loser” mothers as for “loser” dads. But somehow we never see the former, only the latter.
The simple fact is that we should rarely, if ever, see either. The huge majority of fathers are fit and caring. So are the huge majority of mothers. Why not stand up to the gales of the cultural zeitgeist and run a piece on the irreplaceable value of fathers to children? There’s an astonishing amount to say on that subject and, if he were to do so, Fisher would be striking a blow against one of the most pernicious problems we face – anti-father bias.
Instead he chose to do the opposite. He chose to, in his small way, make a bad situation worse. He chose to abet the bias against fathers that’s such a regular part of the news media, popular culture and, worst of all, family courts.
And that, my friends, is a scurrilous act, irrespective of what he’s done in the past.