It’s about time…
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It’s about time…
From The Telegraph…
The story made headlines last October. Left-field events like this happen so rarely that they almost always get onto the front page.
A High Court judge in London ordered that a 10 year-old girl should be removed from her mother’s care because the girl had been systematically estranged from her father by her mother’s “ranting” against the man.
Ruling that the mother’s conduct was manifestly harmful for the daughter and contrary to her long-term interests, Mrs Justice Parker observed that the child had been manipulated into believing that her father did not want her; and she ordered that the girl should be taken into the care of social services as a half-way measure towards placing her in her father’s care. The court heard that the girl was likely to be resistant to being reunited with her father without such interim measures.
To the national media, this story stood out as an extraordinary moment, reversing normal prejudiced assumptions that a mother will give children kindly care while a feckless father swaggers off over the horizon.
Men’s and fathers’ groups saw the case in a different light, however. To them, it reflected a phenomenon that they see all too frequently – the elimination of fathers from their children’s lives by unmitigated, unscrupulous demands on the children’s loyalty on the part of the mother with custody, along with the unremitting denigration and belittling of the father.
For those organisations, the only unusual feature of this case was that the harmful conduct of the mother was actually recognised by the court; and that, for once, officialdom did something about it.
As Ross Jones of Families Need Fathers put it: “We see lots of cases like this. Such conflicts of loyalty for the children do seem to be a common feature of high-conflict separations. It’s a huge problem for many users of our service and one which receives very little attention.”
Nine out of 10 children of separating or divorcing couples live most of the time with their mothers so the controlling parent is likely to be the woman and the estranged, undermined parent is likely to be the man. It is not unknown, however, for mothers to be on the receiving end of this process, where the children are living mostly with the father.
It is called “implacable hostility”. Some psychologists have written about “Parental Alienation Syndrome” but that designation is not recognised by the courts. The phenomenon is so broadly overlooked in the family law system that no official figures exist for the numbers of children it may affect.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
From the Los Angeles Times…
Two high school teachers in Southern California have been arrested on suspicion of having sexual relations with students on an overnight beach camping trip.
South Hills High School teacher Melody Lippert allegedly met a group of male students in November at the beach in San Clemente, where she gave them alcohol and “engaged in a sexual relationship with one of them,” according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
A few weeks later, Lippert allegedly set up an overnight camping trip to the same beach with some students along with Michelle Ghirelli, who had taught at South Hills before being assigned to work in the school district’s offices. The two women are suspected of having sexual relations with the students during that trip, which was not sponsored by the school.
Lippert, 38, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. Ghirelli, 30, faces possible charges of oral copulation and unlawful sex with a minor and has a $50,000 bail.
Both women had been released from custody by Sunday afternoon, according to an Orange County jail website. They are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
In a statement, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said it was not releasing any additional information about the students or the alleged sexual relationships. The department said it was first informed about the allegations Friday by the West Covina Police Department.
Covina-Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden said both women had been put on paid administrative leave and removed from the classroom as of Sunday.
“As soon as we found out about this, we contacted the Police Department. We’re taking the matter very, very seriously,” Van Der Linden said. A voice message from the South Hills High principal was sent to parents at the school Sunday to inform them of the developments, she added.
The arrests come less than two weeks after West Covina police arrested a part-time wrestling coach assigned to South Hills High on allegations of inappropriate contact with a 17-year-old student. Van Der Linden said 29-year-old Anthony Vidales was put on leave after his arrest.
From Ashe Schow at The Washington Examiner…
Nowadays, you can’t suggest that a woman watch her drink, avoid getting blackout drunk or to walk in well-lit areas without being accused of victim-blaming. But why is it okay to claim that students falsely accused of sex crimes somehow deserved to be falsely accused?
The most recent example of this form of victim-blaming, where the men who were falsely accused are the real victims, can be seen in the University of Virginia’s ham-handed response to an uncorroborated but explosive allegation of a brutal gang rape at one of its fraternities. U.Va. responded to the allegation by banning Greek social activities until Jan. 9, and only allowing fraternities and sororities to resume such activities if they sign new contracts. Those contracts are of course much more stringent for fraternities and have led to two campus organizations refusing to sign.
And remember, those new contracts were announced after the Washington Post discovered significant faults in the original rape allegation. The fact that the accuser made up a story about having a date or even being invited to a fraternity party by that fantasy date should have made U.Va. officials think twice about rushing to judgment and condemning Greek life on campus.
The university still wants fraternities to sign the agreements and accept punishment, even though local police found “no substantive basis” for the allegation that the rape in question occurred at Phi Kappa Psi. Instead of punishing just Phi Psi without evidence, U.Va. decided to punish all fraternities without evidence — the stated reason being that past behavior at fraternity parties warrants such restrictive punishment.
The implication is that even if no one at the fraternity actually raped a woman, they still deserve to be punished because the university doesn’t like fraternity parties. Imagine the outcry if women who had been sexually assaulted were punished en masse for underage drinking. Or consider the reaction when women are asked about their past sexual histories when testifying about their sexual assault.
The same thing happened in 2006 at Duke University. Despite not having all the facts, Duke President Richard Brodhead sent out a campus-wide email condemning the lacrosse players for throwing a party with a stripper (which was not against Duke rules), even if no rape had occurred.
“Just days after the scandal broke, Brodhead sent all Duke.edu e-mail accounts a message insisting that whether or not sexual violence had occurred at the party, the decision to hire strippers was ‘irresponsible,’ ‘dishonorable’ and indicative of ‘persistent problems involving the lacrosse team’ requiring ‘substantial corrective action,’” former Duke student Kristin Butler wrote in the campus newspaper two years after the accusation.
Brodhead also said in his first public statement following the accusation that the party was “inappropriate to a Duke team member” and approved of the school’s decision to forfeit two lacrosse games before canceling the season.
Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs, John Burness, would later tell the parent of a lacrosse member that the students never would have been accused if they hadn’t thrown that party. As Burness recounted the conversation to authors Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson for their book about the Duke lacrosse case:
“I do recall telling him at the end of the conversation words to the effect that it was worth remembering that the players and the university would not be in this mess had the party not been held and that part of the difficulty was that the team’s behavior over the years around alcohol had contributed to the storm we were in and also to people’s willingness to believe the events of 14 March could have occurred,” Burness said.
Get that? The players’ own behavior led to the false accusation. Perhaps there’s something to that — but imagine the outcry if Burness had been talking about a young woman accusing someone of sexual assault. Imagine if a university president had told her she never would have been assaulted if she had not gone to that drinking party.
Somewhere along the line, hysteria trumped logic and decided that some people have to be protected from common sense and others do not. But we have to remember that students falsely accused of sexual assault are also victims. If blaming a woman for her sexual assault is wrong, blaming a man for being falsely accused should also be wrong.
Imagine the following situation: You’re a 76-year-old man, happily married for nearly 30 years, with three children and two grandchildren. You’ve recently retired after 50 years of teaching at Harvard Law School. You have an unblemished personal record, though your legal and political views are controversial. You wake up on the day before New Year’s Eve to learn that two lawyers have filed a legal document that, in passing, asserts that 15 years ago you had sex on numerous occasions and in numerous locations with an underage female.
The accusation doesn’t mention the alleged victim’s name—she’s referred to as Jane Doe #3, and the court document includes no affidavit by her. But her name doesn’t really matter, because you have never had sex with anyone other than your wife during the relevant time period. The accusations against you are totally false, and you can prove it.
Well, that is my situation: I’m the one who has been falsely accused. But let’s continue to imagine it was you:
Your first instinct is to call your lawyer and have him file a denial to the court in which the accusation was made. But your lawyer informs you that you can’t do that because you’re not a party to the lawsuit (against the United States government seeking to vacate the plea bargain your client struck seven years earlier) and have no standing to file any papers.
Not to worry, you imagine, because the lawyers who accused you of these heinous crimes will certainly have to prove them in court, which they will be unable to do, because they’re not true.
No, your lawyer tells you. They didn’t ask for a hearing or any other opportunity to prove the truth of what they alleged. So the accusation will remain on the public record without anyone having to prove it or you having any opportunity to disprove it.
Well, at least you can sue for defamation the two lawyers and the woman who made the false charges. No, you can’t, your lawyer tells you. They leveled the accusation in a court document, which protects them against the defamation lawsuit as a result of the so-called litigation privilege.
How did the accusation get from a court filing in an obscure courthouse in Florida to the first page of many newspapers and the first item on many television broadcasts? Obviously, it was leaked; who is going to be checking court filings the day before New Year’s Eve. But the mere leak of a publicly filed court document cannot lead to a legal claim, your lawyer tells you.
You can’t just let the false story spread without responding. Moreover, you have documentary proof that you could not have been in the places and at the time Jane Doe #3 said she had sex with you. Can you at least respond in the media? Not without some risk of being sued for defamation, your lawyer tells you.
You have no choice but to take that risk, so you make your denials and counteraccusations on live television. You challenge the two lawyers who filed the court document to repeat the false charges in the media, so you can sue them. They remain silent. You challenge the woman, now 31-years-old, to bring rape charges against you and you offer to waive any statute of limitations, because the filing of a false rape charge is itself a serious crime—though it is rarely prosecuted. She doesn’t accept your challenge.
And then, sure enough, the lawyers who made the false accusation— Bradley Edwards and Paul Cassell —sue you for defaming them—though they claim you can’t sue them for falsely accusing you of a crime.
Welcome to the Kafkaesque world of American justice. But Kafka was writing fiction when he described the ordeal faced by Josef K in his famous novel, “The Trial.” What I have described is real. It is happening to me right now. And if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
I now stand accused of crimes I did not commit, by an unnamed woman who I don’t know and never met. I am also being sued for defaming my accusers. I still have no opportunity to respond in court to the false charges, though I am now seeking to intervene in the lawsuit in which the accusation was filed. I have submitted a sworn statement denying the accusations with great specificity. The court has not yet decided whether to accept my motion.
I feel like a victim of a drive-by shooting or the object of scribbled graffiti on the wall of a bathroom stall. I may never have the opportunity to prove my innocence, or to have my accusers prove the false charges, in any court of law. But because I am relatively well known—a double-edge sword in these situations—I can at least fight back in the court of public opinion, though at the very high cost—in legal fees, loss of insurance coverage and the possibility of a large monetary judgment against me.
Imagine the same thing happening to a person who did not have the resources to fight back.
There is a gaping hole in our legal system that allows lawyers to bring irrelevant accusations against innocent nonparties in court papers that insulate them from any consequences, and to deny the falsely accused any opportunity to respond.
The law must be changed to shatter this hall of mirrors I face and others might. There must be consequences for those who file accusations with no offer to prove them and no legal responsibility if they are categorically—and disprovably—false.
I will not rest until this gaping hole is filled with reasonable safeguards, so that what is happening to me can never happen to another innocent person.
WFM exists because of women like the one below, who, rather than face the music when feminism fails them, continue to screw up by dragging children into the equation. That Ms. Shelasky doesn’t even entertain the needs of her future child anywhere in this article, and that her parents evidently don’t either, speaks volumes.
Dear Ms. Shelasky: No, you don’t love men. If you did, you’d respect that they are, at the very least, indispensable in the lives of their children. You chose the losers you chose bc they confirmed for you what you really think of men: very little.
On the best days of my life, and the cruelest hours of the night, I have always had an inner-meditation: I am excited about the future. However, this summer, when I turned 37, while licking the wounds of yet another rough breakup, my mantra didn’t seem to be working. I suddenly felt a lot less poised about the one thing that had always mattered most: motherhood.
Nothing could change the fact that I would never be a young mom like my own — one of the million things I worshipped about her and had hoped to emulate; but, much more disturbing, as I took a relationship inventory I realized that as my longing for motherhood had grown over the years, my taste in men had apparently gone way off-script. None of my boyfriends had ever wanted children, or wanted children with me; they were often children themselves, or did not safely belong anywhere near innocence.
With the men I love and those who love me back — the artists, the exotic, the electric, guys my girlfriend refers to as “men with a high degree of difficulty” — any passive-aggressive, poorly communicated suggestion that we shift from “pull-and-pray” to “stay-and-pray” has only caused fighting and hysteria … even years into the relationships, even when I was engaged. Ultimately, my looming desire for motherhood factored into all the bad breakups, and I always regretted pushing so hard.
In between relationships, I developed a lot of baby shame. I convinced myself that wanting kids continually ruined everything; that I was luring these men in with promises of romance and recklessness, then sucker punching them with some whiny wannabe-housewife whom they didn’t recognize and couldn’t wait to shed. I hated her; she scared them all away. Although, I never figured out why — in their eyes — I wasn’t allowed to have sensuality, joie de vivre, AND ovaries and a biological clock. But it seemed like I had to choose: Be the girl who fucks or be the girl who breeds.
Obviously, none of these guys were meant to be, for reasons beyond baby-making. But wanting kids so damn badly also felt like a violation of cool-girl code. Smart, sexual, self-sufficient women aren’t supposed to have anxiety about these things! I mean, is there anything less Gloria Steinem than losing your shit over the ticking clock? Modern women are supposed to have well-hung lovers, exasperating girlfriends, and Saarinen tulip chairs (check, check, check); we’re not supposed to pray that our fibroids shrink, take prenatal vitamins like Valium, and work our Ovia app like a Carrie Mathison mission.
And yet: I can’t change who I am. I want to create life. I want to be someone’s mom. But which road do I take, at 37.5, with a history of falling for the sweet and vicious, to get there?
Click here to read the rest of the article.
From The Washington Post…
CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Phi Kappa Psi brothers sat together in a bedroom, turning the glossy magazine pages as they absorbed the account of a gang rape that allegedly took place within the brick walls around them.The University of Virginia students read the Rolling Stone article that November night in complete surprise. A U-Va. junior said she attended a date party at the fraternity house in 2012 and was lured to a bedroom, where a group of men raped her in what appeared to be a gruesome initiation rite. The students were disgusted, emotional and confused.
“Some people actually had to leave the room while they were reading it because they were so upset,” said Phi Psi President Stephen Scipione, 21, a junior from Richmond.
But within 24 hours of the article’s publication, the U-Va. students reviewed the fraternity’s records and confirmed their initial suspicions: The magazine’s account was deeply flawed.
“We knew that the Rolling Stone story was not true,” said David Fontenot, 22, a senior from McLean, Va. But they also knew “that we would only make things more difficult by fighting it in the media and that our best move was to stay quiet, let the police do their jobs and ride it out until the time was appropriate.”
Phi Psi members, speaking publicly for the first time since the allegations surfaced, told The Washington Post that they went into hiding for weeks after their home was vandalized with spray-painted messages calling them rapists and with bricks thrown through windows. They booked hotel rooms to avoid the swarm of protesters on their front lawn. They watched as their brotherhood was vilified, coming to symbolize the worst episode of collegiate sexual violence against women since the 2006 Duke University lacrosse team scandal — which also turned out to be false.
“That leads back to the bigger problem in that our society tends to rush to judge without the facts,” Scipione said. “They just see the headline and get upset, and they want to blame it on someone, and obviously we were the easiest targets for that.”
Scipione said members of Phi Psi learned about the general allegations in mid-September, when an executive from the fraternity’s national office called an emergency meeting. At the fraternity house, a Phi Psi official outlined what a university official had relayed about the alleged sexual assault.
“He basically asked if, one, we knew about [the allegations] and, two, if we had committed it,” said Scipione. “The look around the table was complete shock and awe.”
Click here to read the rest of the article.