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Glenn Attacks Raising Boys Without Men
in 4 Metro Dailies
September 12, 2005
Glenn Attacks Raising Boys Without Men in 4 Metro Dailies

My latest column, Are Boys Really Better off Without Fathers? (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/31/05), criticizes Peggy Drexler's new book Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men. In it Drexler asserts that father-absent homes--particularly "single mother by choice" and lesbian homes--are the best environments for boys.

In the column I pointed out the flaws in Drexler's work and warned that if her research remains unchallenged, it could become the underpinnings of a new trend in family law toward pushing fathers away from their children.

My column, which also appeared in the Seattle Post Intelligencer (9/6/05),  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (9/4/05), and the Omaha World-Herald (9/12/05), is the only criticism of Drexler's book yet to be published in major publications.

Hope I Didn't Spoil the Party...

Most of Drexler's research was conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area. The week Are Boys Really Better off Without Fathers? was published in the San Francisco Chronicle Peggy Drexler was in the Bay Area for a series of appearances, culminating in a "book release party at San Francisco City Hall to be attended by Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was raised by a divorced mom."  Newsom because famous last year when he ordered the issuance of gay marriage licenses to several thousand same-sex couples.

After the column came out Drexler was offered the opportunity to debate me on a major, nationally-syndicated show but declined.

Express Your Opinion on Raising Boys Without Men

To learn more about the book, see Research Psychologist Says 'Maverick Mothers' Are Raising Exceptional Men (Good Morning America/ABC News, 8/18/05), Interview: Five Questions for Peggy Drexler (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/28/05), Boys to men minus dad (Washington Times, 8/29/05), and Homer, make room for real dads (Dallas Morning News, 8/17/05), in which I'm also quoted.

If you have an opinion about Are Boys Really Better off Without Fathers? or Raising Boys Without Men, you can write a Letter to the Editor using the following:

Are boys really better off without fathers?
Seattle Post Intelligencer (9/6/05)

Are boys better off without fathers?
San Francisco Chronicle  (8/31/05)

Boys without fathers is not a logical new idea
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (9/4/05)
Letter to the editor

Fatherless boys aren't better off
Omaha World-Herald (9/12/05)

Michael Savage Praises Glenn's New Column

According to Terry, a reader in Cincinnati, nationally-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage praised my column Are Boys Really Better off Without Fathers? (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/31/05) on the air last week. According to Terry, Savage was complementary and said that I have a "clear understanding of the importance of male role models." Savage's show is heard on 450 stations nationwide and he is a best-selling author. 

The Savage Nation is broadcast on the same Southern California stations which have broadcast His Side with Glenn Sacks. I remember a couple of years ago complaining to one of the board operators that I was bleeped for saying the word "Goddamn" when Savage had just been on saying that the "Supreme Court is sodomizing America." I couldn't argue with the board operators' answer--"when you have an audience as large as his we'll let you say what you want, too."

Comedian Chris Rock on Fatherlessness

In my column I referenced Chris Rock on fatherlessness, writing "As comedian Chris Rock famously noted, yes, certainly women can raise children without men, but that doesn't make it a good idea."  I couldn't actually quote the Chris Rock routine on fatherlessness because of Rock's language. It's funny as hell, though, and straight to the point. To hear Chris Rock on fatherlessness, click here (Warning--explicit language). We once tried to splice it together to use as part of the intro to His Side but with the new, post-Janet Jackson FCC there was no way to get it on.

California NOW's Grieco Misinformed?

As I mentioned last week, Helen Grieco, Executive Director of the California National Organization for Women, has just launched an Internet radio show called  Her Side. Since Grieco had labeled me a "A women-bashing, backlash shock-jock radio host" in a newspaper article last year, I contacted her and offered her some pointers. She and I had a nice conversation, and she graciously thanked me on the air last week for my help.

Helen's next show, to be broadcast at 1 pm PST this Thursday (9/15) is called "Dads, Diapers and Divorce: Crisis in the Family Law Courts." The promo states:

"You've been your children's perfectly fit, primary caretaker. You get a divorce and the judge gives your ex full custody. Your ex didn't want to pay child support or just wanted to take the kids away to hurt you, and he was an unfit parent to boot. How was he able to use the family courts to get his way? Is this science fiction or reality TV? All over the country, courts are giving custody to fathers who are abusive and even have criminal histories. You go crazy and bankrupt trying to get your kids back. Meanwhile, some children commit suicide or run away; and, others are killed by fathers who they begged to not have to go with. The so-called fathers' rights movement is marching us back to the age when women and children were property of men. They do so under the guise of fighting for 'equality.' There has been no revolution in parenting in this country; fathers are still peripherally involved in most households before divorce. So, why are they fighting for equality in parenting after divorce? Why should we care and what can we do?"

Grieco's guests include Dr. Amy Neustein, co-author From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running from the Family Courts and What Can Be Done About It, and Bridget Marks. We've discussed many times the ways in which unscrupulous mothers use false charges of child sexual abuse as a way to win custody and drive fathers out of their children's lives. Neustein claims that she lost custody of her daughter because the courts were punishing her for revealing her ex-husband's sexual abuse of her daughter. She has become the ideological leader of a  movement which claims that family courts are biased against women and that mothers are punished for making accusations of child sexual abuse.

However, Neustein's adult daughter, Sherry Orbach, has publicly refuted Neustein's claims. In her article "Silent No Longer: The Other Side Of Abuse Allegations" (Jewish Press, 5/27/2005) Orbach writes:

"I remember my mother sitting with me on the plastic covered couch in my grandmother's country home at age five as if it were yesterday. We had been rehearsing for hours. She would begin by telling me a sordid - -and false-- story about my father, such as a detailed account about how he had molested me or about how he had thrown me violently against a wall. She then instructed me to repeat the story word for word until she was satisfied with my rendition...

"After my mother lost legal custody, I visited her once a week. During these visits, my mother used to tape-record me and pose me for pictures in order to gain material for her next media performance...

"For eighteen years [I am now 24]; I was silent as my mother spun lie upon lie about my father and me. According to her story, she is the victim of a conspiracy involving my father, Brooklyn Family Court, federal and state appellate courts, the Legal Aid Society, the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Ohel family services, and several leaders of the Jewish community. These co-conspirators, my mother insists, punished her for revealing that my father had sexually abused me by taking me away from her.

"The truth, however, is that my father never sexually abused me, and that reporters and alleged victims' advocates who supported my mother chose to retell her lies without adequately checking the facts.

"I, for one, owe my existence as a normal young adult to the family judges, Ohel foster care, and the Legal Aid Society attorney who helped me reunite with my father in the face of considerable opposition in the media.

"Most of all, I am grateful to my father for the sacrifices he has made for me over the years."

(The article is no longer available on the Jewish Press site but is posted on this feminist site. I have been in contact with Orbach and offered her the chance to come on His Side but she told me she longed to put the whole thing behind her and wanted her Jewish Press piece to be her only public statement on the issue).

Bridget Marks gained notoriety last summer when she lost custody of her twin four year-old daughters to John Aylsworth, her ex-boyfriend. Marks alleged that Aylsworth had sexually abused both daughters during a supervised visitation. The neutral experts appointed by the court concluded that Marks' allegations were false, and that Marks had coached the girls to make statements corroborating her charges. All three experts recommended to the court that custody be awarded to the father, and Family Court Judge Arlene Goldberg gave custody to Aylsworth.

Earlier this year a New York Appellate court ruled that Bridget Marks did in fact coach her 5 year-old twin girls to make false allegations of sexual molestation against their father--and then granted her sole custody of the girls! At the time I labeled it "one of the most stunning and unconscionable court rulings of our time." While Marks denies any wrong doing, every judge who has heard this case--all five--have concluded that Marks coached the girls to make the false allegations. The fact that Marks was still awarded sole custody of her daughters speaks volumes about the anti-father bias of the family court system.

To learn more, click here or see:

Father's Side in Bridget Marks Custody Case Speaks Publicly for First Time (His Side, 4/3/05)

Ruling in High-Profile Marks Custody Case: Painful but Correct (Men's News Daily, 9/14/04)

In Defense of Judge Arlene Goldberg (His Side, 6/13/04)

I like Grieco personally and believe that she is a fair person who, if fully informed, would not sanction the behavior of Marks and Neustein.

Grieco's show broadcasts live (with call-ins at 888-335-5204) on www.voiceamerica.com, an internet radio service, every Thursday at 1 PM PST. To listen to archives of Helen's show, click here.

Uniting the Fathers Movement and Fighting Fatalism 

While one often hears a lot of fatalism within the fatherhood and shared parenting movements, the reality is that we have made substantial progress over the past year. I noted some of these accomplishments in my Father's Day column This Year Daddy Began a Comeback (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/19/05).

However, one of the biggest problems the shared parenting movement faces is its seemingly endless factionalism. It is vitally important for fatherhood and shared parenting advocates to unite politically. The American Coalition for Fathers and Children has a solid program and is the largest and strongest force representing shared parenting.

At the "Healing Our Families Conference" in Detroit, Michigan in June, attendees unanimously designated the American Coalition for Fathers and Children as the national organization promoting Shared Parenting as the core mission. With 40,000 members nationwide and affiliated organizations in nearly two dozen states, the ACFC is working to creating a family law system which promotes equal rights for all parties affected by divorce.

Recent events show that we can win victories. I urge you to join the ACFC or, if you are already a member, to renew your membership. A list of ACFC affiliates can be found here. You can join or renew by clicking here.

More on Virginia's War on Deadbroke Dads

My co-authored column, Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05), was also published by the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star on September 7. To write a Letter to the Editor about Virginia is treating low-income parents like Public Enemy No. 1, click on letters@freelancestar.com. Our article criticizes the humiliating "wanted" lists of fathers behind on their child support being published in Virginia newspapers.

A Note from David Levy on 'Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads'

David Levy, president of the Children's Rights Council, writes:

"Glenn, please inform your readers that I will be presenting Virginia Declares War on Deadbroke Dads (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/05) to Margot Bean, the new federal Child Support Commissioner, when I meet with her on Monday, Sept. 12, in her office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.  The Child Support  Commissioner has a budget of $4 billion annually, and has more than 60,000 employees across the country responsible for child support issues.  Bean is the former child support director in New York State.  She is considered to be competent and a nice person.  I had already asked her to talk on  eight different topics, including the need for more downward child support modifications, the need for an ombudsman to explain rights to non-custodial parents, and more emphasis on access (visitation) across the country.  She will have four of her top aides at the meeting with me to discuss these various topics.  I think your column raises so many important and timely topics that I would be remiss if I did not give the column to her personally.  Thank you for all you do.

David L. Levy, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
The Children's Rights Council"     

Let's hope Levy, a dedicated and articulate advocate for shared parenting, finds receptive ears. To hear Levy on His Side, go to A Mother's Day Tribute to Mothers Who Co-Parent (5/9/04).

Victory: Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Military Parents' Bill!

Last week California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1082, a bill which will help military parents. The bill addresses the way parents who serve are often taken advantage of in custody and family law matters while they are deployed. Also, it will help resolve the child support nightmare many mobilized reservists face.

Lobbyist Michael Robinson has asked me to thank the Sackson Horde for all the calls and letters you made in support of the bill during our campaign back in April. Working through the Military Parents Alliance, your efforts helped build support for the bill. In fact, the Senate Judiciary Committee Analysis of SB 1082 made specific note of your calls and letters. To learn more about SB 1082, see my co-authored column California's Military Reservists Need SB 1082 (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/14/05).

Special credit goes to Robinson and Stan Diorio for their fantastic work in passing this bill. The bill was sponsored by Senators Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego) and Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside).

According to Robinson, Senator Morrow was first inspired to take up this cause after he read The Betrayal of the Military Father (Los Angeles Daily News, 5/4/03). It is the story of Gary S., a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL whose little boy was permanently moved from California to the Middle East against his will while he was deployed in Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks.  To hear an interview with Gary on His Side, go to Two Years into Iraq War, Little Has Been Done to Protect the Rights of Military Fathers (3/13/05).

This is a nice victory but there is much to be done and many more battles to fight. Working with the Military Parents Alliance we are pursuing action for military parents in several states (most notably Michigan), and also at the federal level.

Arnold Schwarzenegger & My Wife

I was asked to be a part of the signing ceremony for the bill, which made my wife--a huge Arnold fan--very jealous. She has made it clear she would leave me for him if she had the chance. I can't say I'd blame her. Last week I was all set to go to Sacramento and get a picture of Arnold and I grinning and shaking hands, but Schwarzenegger decided to dispense with the signing ceremony and went ahead and signed the bill. Damn--I was looking forward to rubbing that picture in my wife's face for at least a decade or two...

Child Support Injustice: Francis Borgia Speaks

In several of my newspapers columns and on His Side I have discussed the case of  Francis Borgia, a deadbroke dad who attempted suicide in a Kentucky courtroom after being sentenced to prison for two years for a fake $7,000 child support arrearage. Like so many so-called "deadbeat dads," Borgia's problem was not a refusal to pay, but instead his inability to get a downward modification on his child support after he was laid off of a good paying job. To learn more, read my co-authored column Persecuting Low Income Parents (Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, 8/26/05) and listen to my radio commentary on Borgia at Deadbeat Dad or Deadbroke Dad?

Borgia now works two jobs to pay his child support and fake arrearages. He leaves his home every day at 6:30 AM and returns at 11:30 PM--guaranteeing that he will have no family time, and not even enough time to get 7 hours of sleep. He says "I feel like a slave." His recent letter to me is below. Borgia can be reached at fborg65@hotmail.com.

"Dear Glenn,

Hello, First let me introduce myself. My name is Francis Borgia. I read your article on Persecuting Low Income Parents.

Will the courts ever relieve us of this torment? Probably not. I am still a 'deadbroke' Dad, only now I am dead tired. I am Dead Tired and exhausted of working 2 jobs trying to meet the courts obligations for child support. (The court ordered me to work 2 jobs or I will be put back in jail.)

I have asked to have my child support reduced because my son is now a grown man 18 years of age.  I am still waiting. I have been waiting since May. So how long does it take the state to make modifications to lower the obligations? They are real quick to point fingers and have somebody thrown in jail, but take their sweet time to make any changes when it comes to lowering the obligations. (That's the reason why I was behind in the first place.)  I have been jailed again after I got out of prison because of failure to pay child support again (mostly because I had no work). My new wife Karen bailed me out and it took everything we had to do it. A lot of the cause is my remarried ex-wife. She married a very wealthy man. She told me that she would do anything in her power to make sure that I never get to see my daughter again, and that she will do anything in her power to make sure that I live the rest of my life in prison or see me dead.

I don't know what I did to make her so bitter and angry. (Besides being broke all the time.) Now the only life I have is working 2 jobs every day and hardly ever seeing my family. What kind of life is that? I LOVE my children very much and miss them dearly. I am sure their mothers told them I don't care about them and don't love them.

I would like to see them again and be a part of their lives. (hard to do working 2 jobs. Believe me; If there is any way I could contact them I would. Well I have get to go get ready to go back to work. I wish all fathers that care for their children the best.

Francis Borgia

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Making things better with the woman in your life

Is this familiar? No matter how hard you try to please the woman in your life, she's not happy and you don't feel appreciated or respected. You're not alone. Many people are realizing current ideas about what a man should be are not working. Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants: Timeless wisdom on being a man
by Elliott Katz is the time-tested wisdom a man was taught on how to make things better with his wife in the days when marriages lasted a lifetime -- the wisdom that men learned from their fathers before the era of the "absent father." It's a fast read and available in bookstores, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com

Militant Grandmas Fight for Shared Parenting

Three Sides to Every Story is an organization set up by militant grandma Bessie Hudgins to help fathers in their fight to stay in their children's lives after divorce or separation. Hudgins has fought a 16-year battle to keep in touch with three of her granddaughters. Her son is a divorced dad who was pushed out of his daughters' lives. Bessie can be contacted at three3sides@aol.com or at 706-882-2897.

Are You Looking to Earn Money Working from Home?

If you're tired of working long hours away from home and are interested in starting a home based business, check out www.EntrepreneurfromHome.com. Many people are earning good incomes working from the comfort of their own homes, while also being there for those special moments with their children. To learn more, go to www.EntrepreneurfromHome.com or call 1-800-705-0528. Don't your kids deserve to have a happy parent at home?

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks

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