A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Thursday Thought — Father’s rights organizations or Father’s supremacy organizations?

FRM

This is an excerpt from the Lundy Bancroft pt7 on DV in Popular Culture youtube video.  The following quote is Lundy’s response when asked to speak about the impact of fathers’ rights groups.

 In the late 70’s and early 80’s as the whole atmosphere towards child support enforcement completed changed and suddenly you actually had to pay your child support the abusers bonded together and formed these father supremacy organizations.

First of all they’re not fathers’ rights organizations.  That’s what they’re called, that is what they call themselves, but why should we let them decide what to call themselves?  Father’s rights are a good thing, as are mother’s rights and children’s rights.  Those are all positive things.  These organizations are not devoted to fathers’ rights.  I spent so much time — gag me with a spoon — reading their literature for over a decade. . .What’s in their literature is anti-mother, anti-female stuff.  It’s a deluge.  And it’s saying that women are out to use false allegations of domestic violence and false allegations of sexual abuse to cut caring fathers off from their children and it’s constant, constant, constant complains about child support — ‘We are here to show how much we deeply care about our children and get our child support reduced.’ [sarcasm intended]

And I’ve also had the experience of arguing with these guys cause they tend to get up into my face at conferences and they say that they’re about equality between mothers and fathers [but then] just worm into an argument and within five minutes — no, usually within about two minutes — they’re arguing about why fathers are more important to children than mothers are.  And why fathers are a positive influence while mothers are a destructive influence.

Guys who aren’t abusers don’t like these groups.  I had an experience.  I use to do a bunch of training with state troopers in Massachusetts.  And I started explaining once. . .about what the so-called fathers’ rights organizations are about and this trooper came up to me during a break.  He seemed like he was maybe mid-30’s and he said, ‘. . .I went to one of these fathers’ rights meetings cause I thought that’s where you’re suppose to go if you were getting jerked around on your visitation.  [And you know what] they were all batterers in there!’  And he [the trooper] continued, ‘At one point they asked for a show of hands of whoever had ever had a restraining order against them, and I was the only guy in the room that didn’t raise his hand!’

So I [Lundy] thought, ‘Well, that’s from the mouth of the state trooper — that’s very helpful.’

. . .the key point to understand now is that they’ve developed mainstream influence, they’re considered the voice of fathers even though, again, they get no support from fathers except abusive fathers, and their stands are very extreme. They keep claiming in public that they’re moderate, but again you go looking at what they actually stand for and their stands are extreme.  So, calling them fathers’ rights organizations, to me, is like calling the KKK an equal rights for white people organization.

There was a judge that was shot in Nevada about a year ago through the courthouse window by a father that was angry about what the judge was doing with his custody case and you should have seen what these fathers’ rights organizations were writing on the websites about this.  They weren’t rapidly distancing themselves from this act, they was saying things like, ‘Well, see what fathers are being driven to by how the court is treating them,’ and on and on and on.  So that’s how they show their true colors by what supporters of violence they are.

. . .[So] I refer to them [fathers’ rights organizations] as father supremacy organizations because when you really pursue their arguments with them that’s actually what they are promoting.  To me that’s not name calling, that’s an accurate description of what they’re actually arguing for.  Especially because they are saying that domestic violence and children abuse perpetuation should not in any way effect your access to children.  They complain all this time about false allegations but you should also see their reactions to allegations even after they are admitted to be true.  Because there aren’t that many false allegations.  Obviously there are going to be some but there’s not tons of them, but they make it sound like there are just tons and tons and tons of false allegations.  But you see their reactions to allegations that are true.  And they’re still arguing that ‘well, that’s not a reason why fathers shouldn’t have any contact with his child.’

***IMPORTANT NOTE:  While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns. 

12 Comments

  1. Chilling. Just chilling.

  2. Yep, men’s rights activism as a movement is pretty much toxic to the core. I’ve been doing a lot more digging lately into their garbage, and the little-known stuff is honestly even worse than the major talking points that get out to more mainstream sources. Things like marital rape bans being anti-marriage, Paul Elam’s “Slap a Violent B**** Month”, and the Duluth Power and Control Wheel being tweeted as a good source of dating tips. (!) This might be the only subject on earth that actually makes me physically angry (heart rate rises, face flushes, etc.). There may be a valid point scattered here and there among the MRA garbage, but even when that happens, they always misidentify the source of the problem and propose exactly the wrong solution.

    If you guys have been harassed behind the scenes by any of these types – and I’d be surprised if you haven’t, anti-DV organizations almost always are – hang in there and don’t let them get you down!

    • Thanks Hester
      yes we’ve had a few lone-cowboy types harrassing us and claiming that they have the backing of Fathers Rights Groups. We didn’t let them get to us. 🙂

  3. Ann

    When looking for an attorney I stayed clear of all that advertised proudly: “fathers’ rights” supporters.

  4. Not Too Late

    What’s most disturbing is the way they worm their way into Christian organizations. Churches are family focussed, so fathers rights groups easily find an ear among church leaders. Their bent ideology is presented in a way that is palatable to Christians – you know the deal, the kind that says something like “Fatherlessness is the cause of brokenness in society”. They also influence politicians and policymaking, often supporting laws that strengthen fathers extremist agenda and weaken support for victims.

    Christian family associations buy into the lie that fathers are alienated from their kids by the droves, that they get the raw end of the deal in custody cases, that they are made bankrupt from child support, and that women – no, femiNazis – make up domestic violence allegations. Christians, who are rarely encouraged to practice critical thinking, swallow the propaganda, making it hard for victims to get any support from the church. If readers are not convinced, write Family Focus or any other Christian family association, ask them what position they support every time Congress is debating these issues.

    • I give resouding agreement to every thing you said here, Not Too Late.

      Here in Oz I am personally aware of a number of men who are domestic abusers who are influencing or active in ‘c’hristian political groups. Some are actually standing for parliament. It makes me sick to my stomach. I know their victims, their former wives. . . I know the inside story. And the ‘c’hristian political parties love them because they are ‘so enthusiastic’ and ‘such hard workers for the cause’.

  5. KayE

    In my country there’s a remarkable similarity between the rhetoric of so called christian “family values” groups and that of men’s rights groups.Too similar to be coincidence.
    This is exactly why it is so hard for Christian victims to escape from an abusive marriage.
    The true nature of these particular men’s groups is shown by the way they will even defend a known psychopathic convicted pedophile and murderer.These are the kind of beliefs that influence the majority of evangelical Christians in my country.
    It is a very great evil.

    • If any or our regular readers want to write something comparing the rhetoric of so called “Christian family values” groups and the rhetoric of Men’s Rights Groups, to show the similaries between them, we might be able to turn that into a post. In order to protect the ID of our readers, it would be best if we had several readers send us material/examples from several countries. That way, in our published post we could state which country each example came from, but not in such a way that the public readership of this blog (and abusers who may lurk here reading) could identify their particular victims as contributors to the post.

      If any of you want to contribute to such a post, please compile your examples and material into a draft article (does not have to be very long), and sent it to TWBTC. She can then cobble it all together into a composite draft and I’ll do the final editing of it.

      • Funny, I’m in the process of putting together a post with a similar theme for Scarlet Letters. It’s focus isn’t precisely on abuse though – it’s more about how MRAs and the Christian gender role police portray men as inherently dangerous, sex-crazed and untrustworthy, but then turn around and accuse their opponents of hating men – so it probably wouldn’t qualify for an actual ACFJ post.

  6. Anonymous

    I was resisting a comment but after reading what others have said… I am most appalled at the number of elderly women within ‘the church’ that are very supportive of Men’s Rights. Of course many of them are in support of their abusive sons:-( And then the leaders have the gall to wonder why some women don’t feel safe? Yes, there are legitimate situations where the woman is not a good mother but quite often I have witnessed far too many sons play the victim by seeming so forlorn at the circumstances ‘he is enduring’ and then receiving the support of their mothers and their friends. Many of these women belong to “good works” organizations or influential positions within a community; the gossip flows and …. well, you get the picture!!

    • Anonymous —- that reminds me of the day I took a small group of women who were domestic abuse survivors, to speak at the Morning Coffee Ladies Group of my church. The survivors each briefly gave their stories. Then the Ladies Group women responded. Their responses were cold, dismissive, and judgmental. It cut me to the quick — made me feel like I’d been run over — it took me some days to recover my equanimity.

      Almost every one of those Ladies had an adult son who ‘had been abused by his ex-wife’.

      When someone in the church pointed that out to me, it started to all make sense. . .

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for sharing that incident, Barbara. How sad for everyone involved and I feel empathy for the women whom you say the son’s were abused. No wonder there was a nip in the air! Must have been an emotional meeting for everyone.

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