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June 29, 2006

Father's Rights Activists And Darren Mack - Let The Backpedaling Begin

I'm not surprised that since Wendy McElroy has engaged in damage control over what she likely knows are supportive comments regarding Darren Mack made by fathers' rights activists, that those activists are now backpedaling like crazy. Her article is here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,201251,00.html

Glenn Sacks also engaged in damage control. He mentioned the "not insubstanial lunatic fringe" to explain away those comments. In one of his newsletters, he wrote: "Darren Mack was angered by his divorce and custody case. Some on the not insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers' rights movement see Mack as some sort of freedom fighter. Most of the commentary by other fathers' rights advocates seem to be of the "he couldn't take it any more and snapped" variety." As I said in a previous post, Sacks had admitted there that there is a substantial number of fathers' rights activists who act in such a heinous manner. He tried to downplay that fact by calling them "not insubstantial." That means substantial.

These guys are not the lunatic fringe. They are the fathers' rights movement. They are the mainstream and most active and vocal members of the movement. Now, the public is getting a heavy dose of how angry and antagonistic the people in that movement can be.

I have already seen evidence of fathers' rights activists backpedaling on what their own kind have said in supporting Mack. Two of the guys from Stand Your Ground continue to post in my comments, saying they don't condone what Mack had done, yet they continue making excuses for Mack and blaming his ex-wife for her own murder. There are also other comments defending Mack in my comments, but I suspect that those are more trolls. I know that my blog has been targeted for trolling. It doesn't really matter that those people may be trolls. Their comments are heinous. They are defending Mack and blaming his ex-wife for Mack's rage.

I am not fooled.

Fathers' rights activists are on the record with their supportive statements. Some of them endorsed shooting Judge Weller. They can't backpedal on their previous comments just because Wendy McElroy and Glenn Sacks are doing damage control. Oh, I'm sure some will come here and will post elsewhere saying that those horrid people do not represent the fathers' rights movement. Some organizations and individuals will appear out of the woodwork to say that they don't condone what Mack had done. Some of them may make caveats saying that they understand what he did, because they believe "the system" works against fathers. That's just an excuse. They will try to distance themselves from the people and groups that made those comments, calling them the "lunatic fringe". Of course the people who made those comments represent the fathers' rights movement. They are at the heart of the fathers' rights movement. They are not fringe.

This whole business reminds me of when Fathers' Manifesto first went public about a decade ago. Father's Manifesto is a misogynistic web site that sought to repeal women's right to vote. It attacked feminism. It attacked women. It created the first "fatherlessness" statistics that denigrated single and divorced mother homes. It demanded sole father custody with no exceptions. It sought to end child support, alimony, and all transfer of assets to ex-wives. Fathers' rights activists had blasted John Knight, the founder of Father's Manifesto, on Usenet. However, backchannel they endorsed his Manifesto and participated in his mailing list. They wrote letters to him in support of his Manifesto. What they didn't expect was for John Knight to take all of that private backchannel information and e-mails, and to post them very publicly on an extensive web site. When that happened, fathers' rights activists were outed. They backpedaled like crazy. They insisted the never e-mailed John Knight. They insisted they never endorsed Fathers' Manifesto, even though their full names, organizations, addresses, and other information were included on the Manifesto web site. They claimed that John Knight had added their names without their permission. They demanded to be removed from the Manifesto signatory list.

I called bullshit then, and I call bullshit now.

They couldn't hide their involvement with Fathers' Manifesto. They were outed. In a similar manner, fathers' rights activists are now outed with their supportive comments about Darren Mack. They can't backpedal. They can't engage in damage control. They are on the record with their ugly and hostile comments. Fathers' rights activists in Internet forums have blamed "the system" for what Darren Mack had done. They can't dance around that fact.

Posted on June 29, 2006 at 04:55 PM | Permalink


Surely I can,t understand what your beef is about. Not all guys are the same. What's your problem with FRAs? You get your child support on time I guess and you pick on this on guy who went loopy.

Don't women ever do this? What's your beef?

Posted by: Stella at Jun 29, 2006 5:12:13 PM

"Surely I can,t understand what your beef is about."

We know you can't, dear.

Posted by: Helena at Jun 29, 2006 5:21:14 PM

We know you can't, dear.

So if you know why do you have a particular problem with one human?

Posted by: Stella at Jun 29, 2006 5:27:01 PM

Trish, I am fairly new to all these issues. I really hadn't heard of MRAs until I delved into the background of the proposed joint custody bill in NY. What I've learned about the "MRA" movement so far has been quite an education.

I don't know anything about the Father's Manifesto, but what you wrote about the "backchanneling" of support sounds very familiar. As an experiment, I recently sent an email to one of the big MRA heroes-- someone who pretends to be rational and pro-equality-- posing as a crazy woman-hater who wanted to keep "these bitches in their place." I wanted to see if he would ignore me or write back decrying my misogynistic words.

Hardly. He wrote back thanking me for my email and promised "more to come."

There may be some decent guys in the MRA movement... who knows. But I think you are right on target when you point out that what these guys say in public vs. what they say in private can be very, very different.

There may be a thin layer of civility on top, but there's a tremendous amount of hatred underneath.

Posted by: Helena at Jun 29, 2006 5:31:53 PM

Stella, please run along and let the adults talk.


Posted by: Helena at Jun 29, 2006 5:38:46 PM

Helena, do you still have that e-mail? I'm very interested in seeing it. Just e-mail it to me. There's a link to e-mail me on my left sidebar.

You might want to read my entire "Fathers' Rights" category. Just scroll down to the bottom of the left sidebar where my categories are listed. Click on the following links:

Family Law and Family Issues

Fathers' Rights


Lowell Jaks/ANCPR

You might also want to look at my category Women's and Children's Issues

Enjoy your reading!

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 29, 2006 6:12:47 PM

I suspect that Stella is a troll, possibly from Yahoo groups. Just ignore her.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 29, 2006 6:13:28 PM



sorry. Couldnt resist.

Though I did manage to avoid the " wheres the beef" comment.

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 29, 2006 6:17:40 PM

You beat me to it, Pheeno. I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Poor Stanley Kowalski... raped his wife's sister and wanted sympathy...

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 29, 2006 6:20:32 PM

Now I can't stop thinking of the Simpsons' musical version of Streetcar, "Oh! Streetcar!" and Ned Flanders' immortal characterisation of Kowalski: "Stella! STELLLAAAA! Can't you hear me YELLA! You're puttin' me through HELLA! Stella... STELLLAAAA!"

Posted by: Crys T at Jun 29, 2006 6:31:34 PM

I missed that one, Crys. Now I gotta see it. I remember the Simpson's spoof of "The X Files". Mulder's FBI ID had a picture of him wearing a Speedo. LOL

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 29, 2006 6:55:58 PM

"I missed that one, Crys. Now I gotta see it. "

It was a "show within a show" episode, about the town putting on a musical version of Streetcar. The opening number of the musical was a song about New Orleans which drew complaints from N.O. tourist authorities.

Posted by: Sheena at Jun 29, 2006 9:06:01 PM

father's rights groups have some scary activists in their camp

Posted by: jr at Jun 30, 2006 4:44:25 AM

"In one of his newsletters, he wrote: "Darren Mack was angered by his divorce and custody case. Some on the not insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers' rights movement see Mack as some sort of freedom fighter. Most of the commentary by other fathers' rights advocates seem to be of the "he couldn't take it any more and snapped" variety." "

I've seen you and others mention Sacks before, but I havent read anything he has written.

But your comment confuses me. How is he explaining away anything by stating that the lunatic fringe is not insubstantial.?

Posted by: will at Jun 30, 2006 9:12:03 AM

Trish, I am just now back online and I forwarded the e-mail to you.

Posted by: Helena at Jun 30, 2006 9:47:29 AM

I was looking at a NY Fathers Rights website this AM (something I virtually never do), and boy, it really isn't about gender per se! It's about wackos with serious thug complexes. Seriously! I was just looking through some of their postings re Randy Dickinson, and encountered a nc mother who was BRAGGING about her criminal trespassing charges! That was right after her nasty attack on gays, which especially targeted lesbians. As a survivor of an abusive marriage, I have pretty good radar when it comes to someone who walks and talks lke an abuser. And this gal is the real McCoy. Dang! If you're a decent dad who managed to get custody away from this piece of work, and is quietly trying to raise your kids, more power to ya.

The FR movement does not represent men. I hold men in higher regard than that, even if the FR movement doesn't. It represents abusers who are very often blatantly racist, anti-semitic and homophobic as well. Most members are men, but by no means are all of them. Some are clueless, enabler mommies and girlfriends and second wives. And a few are apparently non-custodial mothers who emulate the worst of the swaggering, ultra-macho, "playa" like non-custodial fathers who flock to these groups. Ick.

Posted by: silverside at Jun 30, 2006 9:51:58 AM

Alot of this is new to me. It seems to me that it shouldn't be a men vs. women or women vs. men issue.There are people who do bad things and make big mistakes in both sexes. Our society is set up to make it a male or female issue i guess. It is so hard to tell from the outside looking in, who is really to blame or responsible, or what a person is going through. One person may actually even be a real saint, and the other person a pathological liar, and the liar is going to be the one who is believed...short of divine intervention. I am a single mother and i raised my son alone without child support or alimony. The dad did not care about his child. On the other hand i am glad if that kept a bad influence away from my son...and kept my son from being hurt, and i never had to fight for custody. On the other hand i have men friends who did get custady of their child and have been wonderful devoted fathers. I feel so sorry for the people in these horrible battles to see and be part of their kids lives. I think the system was unfair to Darren Mack. Hey none of us know for a fact he is guilty. His lawyers haven't even begun his defense yet. It took alot of courage for him to turn himself in and return to reno . My adopted mother could be pretty abusive, and drive my adopted father czazy, only it was me he assualted. One time my mother then tried to defend me by taking a knife and almost stabbing him. They we people who everyone thought had it together. When i have been around her since the divorice she had abused me in unbelievable ways and is completely conscienceless about it. After a5 years of that, there even was a time when she came into my home and began to verbally and emotionally abuse me, and even though i wouldn't commit murdur, i felt it. I totally felt it, and i told her i felt it and thought she should leave. I know what it is like to experience such feelings, and even though i wouldn't kill anyone, i cannot judge someone like Darren Mack or Mary Winkler... because i know i am human, i know that we all have our breaking points... and i know given certain circumstances we are each capable of the same feelings and temptations, and do we all always just not give in to temptation we face? most of us give in alot and often. There is a big difference between a person committing a crime of passion, being pushed over the edge, snapping, breaking, and a person who premeditatedly plots it all and expects to manipulate themselves out of it by deception. Big difference! Unfortunately, no difference for the victim who has been killed.

Posted by: mary contrary at Jul 2, 2006 8:17:09 PM

Murder is wrong. I do not support the death penalty. However, as a man who believes in equal rights, I would not consider myself a "lunatic".

"These guys are not the lunatic fringe. They are the fathers' rights movement." I wouldn't say due process and the right to equal protection under the law are trivial matters.

The Father’s Rights movement clearly is addressing problems that stem from evils created by Domestic Courts across the country.

Posted by: Mike at Jul 17, 2006 1:59:06 AM

Why is it they only notice when it happens to them? (least often might I add?) When you only fight for the minority it happens to, and not the majority that get fucked over, the claim of righting wrongs or fighting evils falls pretty damn short of truthful.

Posted by: pheeno at Jul 17, 2006 11:07:34 AM