I’m avid blog reader and I notice feminist domestic violence blogs repeat the same rhetoric– and appear to not really understand the substance of what they are talking about. (These blogs primarily cite their own horror story which I believe to be true and then quote the NOW propaganda.) You can go to the current NOW webpage and find the same information. While interesting and sickening to read, the National Organization of Women are not putting out consensus or universally agreed upon facts, they are putting out gender biased opinion and irresponsibly stirring up hurt women.
(With regard to stirring up hurt women, I think about hitting a hornets nest and the 2008 Presidential election. Some of you will remember when Hillary Clinton was about to lose the nomination, she pulled the dirty trick–she tried to harness the anger of a generation of older women to win. You may recall when Clinton’s surrogates, for example Salon Magazine, starting quoting the same line over and over–”I want to see a woman President before I die.” Many older women across America cried over this because many older women lived through a time of institution bias against women. It was irresponsible and dirty for Hillary to attempt to harness this force against Obama–but she was desperate. So this desperate act of 2008, is what NOW has been doing for many years with regard to parental alienation–but this time they are harnessing women hurt by domestic violence–using them to further their gender biased agenda.)
(I should add that I think many in NOW are genuinely interested in equality, but the most active and influential who live and breathe equality are like Gloria Steinem–unable to move on with a new world and enjoying the power of being a victim.)
So back to parental alienation–I won’t go into what it is–because there are many excellent blogs and books. But I would caution you to not assume you can infer the meaning from the words because it is so much more than two words can describe–so I added the words child abuse to make PACA–but even four words do not describe it. Read the blogs and books if you are a father with ex-wife who is hurt and angry from the divorce process. I made the mistake that I understood PACA from the words, but reading the long explanations made me understand.
Back to one step from the meat of the two flaws in the NOW propaganda. First, every father should know there is a game words–PACA at its core requires denigration of one parent. Basically, one parent bad mouthing the other parent until the child is put into a dark corner. Well this bad mouthing is prohibited by all Courts including the Solano Family Courts–so if the fucking Superior Court of Solano County would do its job and enforce its own orders I would not be here writing about PACA. (Ask any lawyer and they will tell you this part of the Court order–not to bad mouth the other parent–is not enforceable with the Solano County Courts. So why do the Courts issue the orders? I assume because the Judges live in an ivory tower and feel good being theoretically right.) So if you are in a corner, don’t use the term parental alienation as it is loaded with propaganda–just go to the bad mouthing being prohibited part. You won’t get any further but at least you don’t have to listen to the flawed NOW propaganda.
So the fundamental flaws. Number one is stating parental alienation is “junk science.” Well, this relates to rules of evidence and factors such as credibility and reliability. And guess what, these rules are very different between the Federal Courts and State Courts. The State Courts have a much lower standard in general. So when NOW says PA is “Junk Science” what does that mean? They never explicitly state the standard–only offer the opinion of credential people who are on the periphery of PA. The fact is the debate centers of the DSM–a diagnostic manual that is not in of itself a standard. It is made a standard in some cases by State Laws. The DSM has historically not had a rigorous standard for what is NOT junk science. It is more or less a vote of professionals who belong to the APA. You can split hairs and debate for ever about what is a standard, but you need only note that many DSM accepted disorders/problems are nothing more than speculation–for example, not long ago homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in the DSM. Some think it is, some not. This is really the heart of the DSM–consensus opinion among experts to form a GUIDE not standard. Lawyers abuse this distinction and lay people are confused, and the laws that specify something that is only a guide to be a standard, well, screws everything up. So the heart of the flaw is that NOW wants to hold PA to a high standard (as from hard sciences–but they never provide details just testimonials) whereas psychology is a soft science field. If you accept the NOW standard, you must reject most of the DSM because it does not meet the standards of hard science.
What do I mean by hard science versus soft? Hard science is one where you can write rules and do experiments to verify things. You do not have this luxury with psychology. Psychologist use experience, judgment, and speculation–i.e. soft science is a little more than taking the best guess supported by available information and no proof is necessary.
The second fundamental flaw the NOW propaganda is that they assume domestic violence and PA are mutually exclusive–its one or the other. Father’s rights blogs have gotten into this track. This creates polarization and works to the advantage of NOW. Father’s blogs need to acknowledge that both domestic violence and parental alienation occur–just as NOW and other gender biased organization need to do. The need for credibility is important because NOW has one natural advantage–people believe what they can see. Pictures of a black-eyed woman with cuts gets more votes in legislatures than something people have to read and analyze. Our fault–we elect dumb politicians–and we let the lawyers run the show. (Why do you have to be a lawyer to understand the law if the law was meant as a guide for all people? Job security–family law is big business and the money grubbing lawyers have little value added but they ensure the process includes them more than is necessary.)
The Superior Court of Solano County has gone down the mutually exclusive track as a result of our elected officials. The Courts screen every case for domestic violence and when they are done–there is little time for anything else. This is why false domestic violence allegations get so much traction and waste so much time. (Can you imaging the Solano District Attorney prosecuting false domestic violence allegations? It will not happen. The operating doctrine by NOW–and through their political support– is that prosecuting false allegations will deter women from filing truthful violations. At this point, there may be more false than truthful allegations–and NOW has taken society in a direction that does not help women but is done because of short-sighted gender bias that does not have equality as a goal.)
So as trivia (because even thought I tried to write in a lively fashion, I probably failed), what is true junk science and the roots of evidence for Courts? It derives from the 1920 to 1930s deep South where they used science to prosecute rapists — almost exclusively black males. It worked like this: they stripped the black male and showed him erotic photos and did other things to get a reaction. At first visual reactions were identified and if none, electrodes were attached to the penis; if an electrical signal was detected in response to erotic stimulus it was recorded. This was considered presumptive evidence that a black male was a rapist. Now are the lawyers of the deep South any different today–in essence have the same motivations and use the same short cuts today. People are people and the actions and motivations of the past are often repeated in a different way. Most certainly the lawyering business has always attracted many unethical and greedy people (not all lawyers, just most are this way). Federal rules of evidence started originally as a response to this true junk science and many other practices across the US at the time. In 50 years the stupid lawyers will be talking about how domestic violence programs prosecuted innocent people and how the NOW furthered gender bias in America.