The Huffington Post
July 18, 2011 - Are Men What They Used to Be?
by Peggy Drexler
New Hampshire Sentinel Source
July 18, 2011 - Fathers' rights are swept under the rug
Selected media on Father and Child Reunion and
Dr. Warren Farrell.
Dads On The Air
April 1st, 2008 - Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?
Click here to download and listen to the recorded interview of Dr. Warren Farrell
CNN's Aug 27, 2003 video Click here
Dr. Warren Farrell on Ballot for Governor of California as 'Children Need Both Parents' Candidate: Out-muscled by Arnold
Photo credit to
KFMB News 8 video featuring Warren Farrell's
Father and Child Reunion Click here
A vocal group of lawyers says the family courts reflect gender bias against fathers.By Bill Blum
Being a divorced dad doesn't necessarily make David C. Stone an effective advocate for fathers. But it certainly doesn't hurt. "I understand what they're going through," says the 57-year-old sole practitioner, whose family law practice caters almost exclusively to men. "I've been married three times; I've given away houses. I also had visitation rights with a son who had moved to Arizona. I realize how difficult and painful divorce can be. The only reason I pursue this line of work is that children need two actively engaged parents."
Stone is a trim, athletic-looking man with a neatly cropped beard. He employs two paralegals and a secretary in an 800-square-foot suite within sight of the superior court in downtown Orange. He also maintains a website (www.help4dad.com) and advertises on ESPN radio. Stone's ads tout his experience, effectiveness, and ethical standards; one includes the reminder to all dads listening that "Your kids deserve to have you in their lives."
As Grieco acknowledges, women are awarded primary physical custody more than 80 percent of the time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet she and other feminists charge that courts actually favor fathers in high-conflict custody battles-which often involve allegations of child or spousal abuse. "When I came to [California] NOW a decade ago," Grieco says, "I was overwhelmed by letters and calls from women about such cases." To address the concern, the state chapter of NOW set up a task force and sent out a 21-page questionnaire to concerned mothers who had been through the family-court process. Eighty-six percent of those who responded to both the questionnaire and a separate telephone survey reported domestic abuse by fathers. In 76 percent of those cases, according to Grieco, courts nonetheless awarded unsupervised visitation or some degree of unsupervised physical custody to fathers.
Grieco also cites a 1989 study by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which found that, despite perceptions to the contrary, "Fathers who actively seek custody obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70% of the time." This, in NOW's view, suggests that the system isn't working the way it should and that women are paying the price.
However, not everyone draws the same conclusions from the research. Consider the take of Warren Farrell, a Marin County social scientist who in the early 1970s served on the board of the New York City chapter of NOW before breaking with the organization.
"In the very early '70s," Warren Farrell recalls, "NOW leaders like Gloria Steinem used to say that the world needs less mothering and more fathering." But according to Warren Farrell, NOW abandoned that stance in large part for political reasons-to cater to its constituency's view that women should retain custody of their children following divorce if they want to. The shift, he charges, marked NOW's transition from an organization dedicated to gender equality to one devoted narrowly to the interests of women. Warren Farrell's views are detailed in his 2001 book, Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to the Children We Love (Putnam), a text often cited by fathers' rights activists.
Dr. Farrell also takes strong exception to the idea that fathers in Massachusetts or anywhere else get sole or shared physical custody 70 percent of the time. That statistic has been thoroughly debunked, he says. To underscore the point, he cites the work of Cynthia A. McNeely, a former Florida State University College of Law professor who, in a 1998 law review article, concluded that the statistic was flawed because it was based on phone interviews rather than hard data culled from court files. In fact, according to McNeely, the Massachusetts research found that fathers, as a group, received joint or primary physical custody less than 7 percent of the time and that fathers actively seeking physical custody received primary residency in less than 33 percent of cases. ( Lagging Behind the Times: Parenthood, Custody, and Gender Bias in the Family Court , 25 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 891 (1998).)
Without definitive data, charges of judicial bias are likely to persist. "Judges are basically good people," says Dr. Farrell. "And just about every judge believes that children do better with both parents in their lives." But in contested custody battles, Farrell believes, judges naturally favor residential stability, which usually means keeping the children in their mother's home. "Just conduct a random sampling of divorce lawyers," Dr. Farrell says. "Most will tell fathers, 'If your ex-wife is not a major endangerer, drug addict, or prostitute, and she's fighting custody, you face an uphill battle.' "
Not surprisingly, the view from the bench is quite different: "The idea that judicial officers are biased is a convenient rallying cry for people with an agenda, both women's groups and men's groups," says Judge Robert A. Schnider, who recently completed a three-year term supervising the family law courts in Los Angeles County. "I've dealt with all of them. But no one has been able to demonstrate with any consistency or by scientific evidence that such bias exists. And that's because it doesn't."
Judge Schnider concedes that gender neutrality wasn't always the rule. In the 19th century, he notes, children were considered the property of their fathers, who generally received custody in the rare event of divorce. Then, in the 1930s, courts shifted to the "tender years doctrine," which favored mothers-at least in cases involving younger children-on the theory that they made better parents. But since the 1970s, Schnider says, the pendulum has swung back to the middle. "The only guideline we have now in custody cases," he says, "is that orders should be made in the best interests of the child."
*These are excerpts, read full story here.
Juggling life as both Mr. Wallet and Mr. Mom *
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
February 28, 2008 at 8:46 AM EST
Deadbeat dads, ghost dads, Disneyland dads, Santa daddies: The divorce culture is rich in labels, especially ones that reduce men to negative stereotypes.
Some may be warranted, but the trouble with simplistic labels is that they rarely shed light on the complex truth of reality.
What is forgotten is that fathers have their own painful adjustment to divorce that is different than that faced by mothers.
I have heard some of that truth from men who write to me and agree to tell their stories.
If the stereotype is that men have a tendency to suffer in silence, the reality is that they no longer want to.
"Dads are tired of being overlooked, and they're fed up with the negative labels," says Alyson Schäfer, a psychotherapist, parenting coach, author ( Breaking the Good Mom Myth ) and host of Rogers TV's The Parenting Show . "They 're desperate to stay in touch with their children," she says of the fathers who seek her guidance.
Warren Farrell, a San Francisco-based researcher and author of several books, including Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to the Children We Love , says many fathers have to make a challenging adjustment when they enter the post-divorce landscape in which they are often the non-custodial parent.
Some of them grew up with the old-fashioned notion that a father's love is expressed solely through what he provides financially, he points out. But divorce puts an end to the division of labour between spouses.
Just as mothers have to make the transition to single household head, so do fathers, and for them, that often means an increased involvement as a parent on several levels - emotional, social and financial.
He becomes both Mr. Wallet and Mr. Mom.
The shift also causes some men to question themselves as parents, Dr. Farrell notes. "Dads are bad at explaining the value of what they are doing. They're just good at doing what they do," he says.
The involvement of fathers is key to the wellbeing of children, his research shows. "When a father understands that, he has a sense of mission."
The struggle in divorce is that parents are not always trying to help one another be the parents they want to be, and one becomes suspicious of the other.
Dr. Farrell talks about a situation in which a father may encourage a child to go to the park to play. If the child is hurt in some way by other children, a father may intuit that while it is not desirable, there is some valuable lesson in learning how to choose the right kind of friends. When the child returns to the mother on Sunday night, however, all she sees is injury. Blame is then placed on the father for letting something happen to the child while on his watch.
Experts will talk at length about the value of non-programmed, non-Disneyland-dad time. "Just hanging out with the kids is when things that are hard to talk about surface," Dr. Farrell says. "This doesn't happen at the zoo. It doesn't happen when the TV is on. That's just a distraction."
As Dr. Farrell explains, "If a father is made to feel like just a babysitter, then that feeds into his feelings about lack of value."
Still, there are many who learn to reduce conflict with their ex-spouse to ensure smooth parenting. They also learn to become less defensive about their parenting style. Many are more evolved, more philosophical, than many mothers I know, expressing spiritual principles of parenting that reminded me of something Eckhart Tolle, the Vancouver-based spiritual teacher and author, wrote in his book A New Earth.
*These are excerpts, read full story here.
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Posted February 22, 2008
If television reflects the state of the sexes, men are in trouble.
I've watched two episodes now of ABC's Cashmere Mafia and I see a gaggle of males who are insecure, dependent, jealous and damaged. I caught a few episodes of Big Shots , and I see stooges with money - self involved twits who endlessly discuss their sorry lives over Scotch and cigars. And on the first episode of HBO's In Treatment , a patient tells her therapist about her boyfriend crying because their relationship wasn't going anywhere and he wants to start a family. "Haven't you heard," she said, "men are the new women."
OK, I'm not talking heavyweight social commentary here. But collectively, these shows say something different is going on in the world of men. There is a new man out there. But is he the man we're seeing on television? Partly, yes. Mostly - and thankfully - no.
In the Cashmere Mafia there is no doubt about the women: smart, tough, poised, stylish, on top and in command. But the men are hazy - split among babies and bastards, not terrible as much weak. Granted, this is a show written for women. But it at least raises a question about experience and expectations.
Conversely, and interestingly, there is also a new woman on television. Pick a cop show, and the female partner is Dirty Harry - only nicely accessorized. On Law and Order SVU , Olivia even beats up an occasional perp.
It's confusing out there in the world of XY chromosomes. We need to sort a few things out.
I'm all for the newly-expressive male. But there is a fine line between a man who is in touch with his feelings and one that clutches them to his chest in a weepy embrace. At what point does a man unburdening his emotions make you wonder: "Did Steve McQueen ever do this?"
Now the good news. Studies show that men are, in fact, changing.
And one of the changes will have a lot to say about the next generation of kids: families have moved to the center of their lives. Maybe it's working wives; maybe it's the distance they felt from their own fathers whose sole responsibility was to sole provider; maybe it's another evolutionary click of the wheel away from the days when men went out in the morning to kill for food.
Whatever the combination of reasons, there is a new dad in the house. According to Dr. Warren Farrell, the author of the book Father and Child Reunion , the desire of dads to be involved with their children "is to the twenty-first century what women's desire to be in the workplace was to the twentieth century."
A 2007 survey by the employment Web site Monster.Com found that 70 percent of fathers would consider being a stay at home parent if money were no object. Almost 50 percent of dads of school aged children took paternity leave when their employer offered it.
It's also obvious in small moments. Men hug more, they help with homework, they listen more, they even leave early for soccer practice. Men have not become mothers; but they have come far from the distant, silent providers of the past.
I say welcome, new man. You have never been more important. And I know you're not the one I see on television.
Get a pedicure if it makes you feel good. Have your back waxed if you want to. And by all means continue your evolution into a, breathing, loving, contributing member of the family.
But, if possible, please:
Don't chatter about your feelings, tell us what you don't like about your bodies, botox your eye wrinkles, or order Appletinis. And outside of family tragedy, the end of Brian's Song or when they put down Barbaro, keep the tears to a minimum.
Media on Careers (Useful as a Guide for Parents)
from Warren Farrell's Why Men Earn More
with John Stossel, Warren Farrell and Hillary Clinton on
Why Men Earn More. May, 05.
ABC's 20/20 video (6 min)
with Tucker Carlson, on Why Men Earn More. April 05.
Click here to view video
's coverage of Warren's full audience- participation presentation to CATO on Why Men Earn More. Feb 05.
Click here for CATO's video of speech (1 hour).
For brief clips of CATO presentation, see 20/20 video .
Op Ed(on the pay gap, for attorneys and judges)
Sept. 5, 2005
Interview of Warren
Feb. 27, 2005
chooses Why Men Earn More as "One of 5 great career books to read in 2006" Jan. 4, 06
January 19, 2007
March 21, 2005
Now, a Masterpiece"Women in Business & Life" Dialogue with former Small Business Assoc.President
May 20, 2005
Feb. 20, 2005
video of Warren presenting on The Boy Crisis
Men's Equality Congress, Washington, DC
Filmed July 14, 2007
Click here to view video (9 minutes)
& - "Are Women Earning More Than Men?"
May 12, 06.
Click here to view article
's review of Why Men Earn More,
Feb 28, 06 Click here to view article Direct CNN link to article
Warren Farrell's Debate Book (Chapter on Shared Parenting): Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?
Oct. 21, 2007
The Dennis Prager Show: Feminism and the Modern Man
Oct. 18, 2007
Click here to hear the show