Saturday, June 26, 2010

Listening to Harsha Walia, Multi-Issue Activist, at the G20 Fence in Toronto, challenging the illegal borders and policies

Source: At the G20 Fence: Harsha Walia, No One is Illegal Vancouver

Harsha Walia is an activist, writer, researcher and facilitator who is formally trained in the law. She has been active in a variety of voluntary social justice issues over the past decade including feminist, anti racist, migrant justice, Palestine solidarity, Indigenous self-determination, anti capitalist, anti poverty, and South Asian diasporic movements. Her writings include commentaries as well as legal and policy analysis. [source: here]

Information from YouTube, under the video:

In the days leading up to the G8/G20 Summits, activists and community organizers have been co-ordinating events and actions around Themed Days of Resistance, which highlight different issues each day, as a build-up to the Days of Action that are scheduled for June 25-27.

The theme for June 24 was Indigenous Sovereignty and the streets of Toronto saw a First Nations led march of over 1500 people.

Later in the day a press conference was held, and members of Defenders of the Land and No One is Illegal (two groups involved in the march) spoke to reporters in front of the three kilometre, $5.5 million security fence that has encircled the area around the summit site in downtown Toronto.

In this video, Harsha Walia, of No One is Illegal Vancouver, addresses the media.

This video is part of a series at

Read more:

Halting the Legacy of Genocide in North America: listening to Leona Morgan, the Tewa Women United, and Beata Tsosie Pena

All that follows is cross-posted from here @ Censored News. Thank you, Brenda!

Indigenous Peoples at US Social Forum: Halting the Legacy of Genocide

By Brenda Norrell

Photos by Brita Brookes/US Social Forum Detroit

DETROIT -- Speaking out on environmental genocide, Indigenous Peoples describe the legacy of death and destruction from mining, power plants, toxic dumping and the nuclear industry, at the US Social Forum in Detroit. Indigenous Peoples are consulting and strategizing on energy and climate change, immigration, poverty, treaty rights, sacred sites, cultural preservation, and de-militarization.

Broadcast live on Earthcycles, Navajo Leona Morgan describes how new uranium mining targets Navajos living in Church Rock, N.M., where the nation's deadliest radioactive spill occurred in 1979. In June of 2010, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Hydro Resources Inc. of Texas, which if it proceeds, will poison the water supply of Navajos with new in-situ uranium mining, by drilling on land alongside Navajo land.

The Tewa Women United, on Earthcycles live, describe how the nuclear industry and Los Alamos National Laboratories have exposed Pueblos to generations of death and disease in northern New Mexico. Open air burning, burial of nuclear waste and detonations have poisoned the land, air and water for today's Pueblos and future generations.

Beata Tsosie Pena of Santa Clara Pueblo said, "We live in the desert and our water supply is very precious to us. Water is our life. I'm scared for my children. I'm scared for my grandchildren. I'm sacred for my elders."

Indigenous Peoples opened the US Social Forum on Tuesday with a march through Detroit. The local Native American community welcomed Indigenous Peoples with a water ceremony in the morning and feast of buffalo in the evening on Tuesday. During this week's Social Forum, there was a powwow and concert with John Trudell and Anne Humphrey, while workshops focused on environmental justice and ecology. The Native Peoples Assembly developed strategies to protect Mother Earth from corporate greed and destruction.

Casey Camp, Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, interviews Native Americans from across North America on Earthcycles, describing the fight to halt the destruction. Casey Camp interviews American Indians who describe broken treaties and the destruction of their homelands. Camp describes the Poncas fight for their land and sovereignty and the longterm devastating pollution from Continental Carbon Black, the huge Conoco Phillips Refinery.

The Indigenous Environmental Network said the US Social Forum provides a platform to produce solutions.

"A multi-generational delegation of Indigenous Peoples from North America have arrived in Detroit, Michigan this week to join other social justice movements at the United States Social Forum, a large gathering of diverse leaders developing powerful solutions to the economic and ecological crises we face," IEN said.

"The delegation is comprised of Native American, Alaskan Native, and First Nation activists and leaders from the communities most affected by climate change and fossil fuel development in North America. They represent many Nations including Cree, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Ojibwe, Kachiquel Mayan, Pasqua, Dakota, Navajo, Yup'ik, Swinomish, Mohawk, Oneida, Spokane, Colville, Couer d'Alene, Zuni, and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation."

The delegation, co-coordinated by the Indigenous Peoples' Working Group of the USSF, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Black Mesa Water Coalition, Alaska Big Village Network, and others, is attending the United States Social Forum to network and strengthen the various U.S. movements working on energy and climate change, immigration, poverty, treaty rights, sacred sites, cultural preservation, and de-militarization issues.

Meanwhile, thousands of Indigenous Peoples converged four hours away in Toronto, Canada to protest the G20 summit, a gathering of the world's industrial powers.

"The USSF movement provides an alternative vision for the people, one that is counter to the destructive neo-liberal agenda being discussed by the world's so-called leaders at the G20 summit in Toronto, who are talking about the destruction and commodification of every aspect of life. But another world is possible, one that is about the proliferation and health of this land we call Mother Earth, and we are manifesting that here, in the birthplace of the automobile. Detroit, US." says Clayton Thomas-Muller, Tar Sands Campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Photos and videos at Censored News:
Earthcycles live:
Free Speech TV: Live coverage USSF:
Indigenous Environmental Network
Navajos Oppose New Uranium Mining in New Mexico
Tewa Women United from Santa Clara Pueblo, N.M., at the US Social Forum:

US Social Forum Saturday:
DETROIT HEALING WALK, 9:30-4:00, Saturday. Meet at Cobo Hall lower level. Rides provided to Fort Wayne, a burial site of Indigenous Peoples. Ceremony and 5-mile walk for healing and sharing. Refreshments provided along walk. Closing ceremony back at Fort Wayne at 4pm. Transportation provided back to Cobo Hall.

Briefing by Bolivian Ambassador Pablo Solon 'Cochabamba to Cancun'
WHAT: Briefing by Ambassador Solon "From Cochabamba to Cancun"
WHEN: Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 12:00pm
WHERE: Detroit, MI Cobo Hall

"Indigenous People Are the First Ones Impacted" by Western-Driven Resource Extraction -- Arthur Manuel

[source for video and the rest of what is below is here @]

Indigenous Leader Art Manuel: "Indigenous People Are the First Ones Impacted" by Western-Driven Resource Extraction

Guest: Indigenous leader Arthur Manuel, former Chief of the Neskonlith Band in British Columbia and spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade, joins us to talk about the struggle for indigenous rights and sovereignty in the context of the G20 summit. [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: I’m joined here in Toronto by Arthur Manuel. He is the former chief of the Neskonlith Band in British Columbia and spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade.

Why are indigenous people coming out into the streets here in Toronto, Art?

ARTHUR MANUEL: Because basically indigenous people are the first ones that are impacted by the major sort of resource extraction-type industries that these big conferences actually, you know, engender in their strategies, you know? And so, we have to let—you know, we are part of the whole process, you know, in the sense that we’re the people that are hurt at the community level, in terms of hunting and fishing and food gathering that we depend on. It doesn’t matter if it’s just North America, but it could be anywhere, in Central, South America, in Asia, you know, all around the world. There’s like 370 million indigenous people globally, you know?

The United Nations on the—passed a declaration called the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. A hundred and forty-one nations voted in favor of it; four voted against it: you know, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. And those are very key players in the G8/G20 equation. And those are the people that indigenous people come to the streets to let the government know that you need to deal with indigenous issues, too, in your global plans, because it’s indigenous people that actually are the ones that fight against a lot of these big dams, you know, the tar sands. All these big issues that are happening out there is indigenous people. You know, in Canada, we’ve been to court constantly, you know, the Supreme Court, fighting against these things, big developments, more so than even some of the environmental groups, because our people really depend on the ecological biodiversity that is damaged by these kind of things. And we don’t want the G8 and the G20 to circumvent the rights that we’ve gotten recognized, like in the UN, you know, and through the colonial—I mean, the Convention on Biological Diversity.

AMY GOODMAN: Art Manuel, talk about your case against the WTO. When did it happen, and what happened?

ARTHUR MANUEL: Well, in our case, there was a dispute between Canada and the United States on Canada softwood lumber dispute, they called it. Canada exports about $10 billion worth of two-by-fours to the United States. And the small mill owners in the United States felt that Canada wasn’t charging fair market stumpage on timber being exported, so they initiated an action which resulted in the US Department of Commerce imposing a 27 percent countervailing duty on Canada two-by-fours. And Canada brought it to the World Trade Organization.

And so, we interceded with an amicus curiae submission. And our submission basically said, under WTO subsidy law, that the Canadian policy of not recognizing judicially recognized, constitutionally protected aboriginal treaty rights is a cash subsidy to the Canadian forest industry, and the World Trade Organization accepted it, you know? And so, basically it’s saying that indigenous people are subsidizing the Canadian economy through our rights not being recognized.

And we also had the same thing happen with regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada went there. We put in a submission. And Canada actually hired lawyers in Washington, DC to argue against us, and we won. The submissions were accepted, which basically means Canada, as a country, you know, has aboriginal treaty rights that have been recognized by the courts, protected by the Constitution, but they will not recognize it politically, and which makes indigenous people poorer, because our rights as indigenous people are not recognized in decision making with regard to access and benefit sharing with regard to our natural resources in this country, which means that that’s what’s being talked about here at G8, G20, is actually the land and the resources of indigenous people. But we’re totally left totally out of the picture at this level.

AMY GOODMAN: Given this is a global summit, G8/G20, are you having global meetings with other indigenous leaders and activists from around the world? And have they come here?

ARTHUR MANUEL: We have had—we do have meetings constantly, you know, like in terms of indigenous peoples’ caucuses and forums at the global level. We do have—annually, the United Nations has the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City, and the indigenous people do get together in the form of a global indigenous peoples’ caucus, and we do talk about these kinds of issues. The next big session that we’ll probably—well, that we will be having is in Nagoya in October, when the Convention on Biological Diversity will be happening. We will be having our global caucus there again. You know, so we do meet.

The Heart of Justice, for a wonderful woman, also a loving mother, fighting for justice for herself, her daughter, and women and children throughout Australia

 [image is from here]

This was written for a newsletter put forth by an organisation
working to make custody decisions in Australia 
centered on what is in the best interests for children, 
based on principles of justice and compassion, 
not in service to abusive husbands and fathers. 

Here is the link to that organisation:

The Heart of Justice
by Julian Real, copyrighted 2010. All rights reserved.

Men have asked over the centuries a question that, in their hands, ironically becomes abstract: "What is reality?" They have written complicated volumes on this question. The woman who was a battered wife and has escaped knows the answer: reality is when something is happening to you and you know it and can say it and when you say it other people understand what you mean and believe you. That is reality, and the battered wife, imprisoned alone in a nightmare that is happening to her, has lost it and cannot find it anywhere.
The issue concerning men's unearned rights and unjust male ownership of women and children is one which continues to exist not only in Australia, the US, and the UK but also the Scandinavian countries. Increasingly, there is a pernicious patriarchal myth that children must have regular contact with their violent fathers/stepfathers. Family court systems refuse to accept that the male partner who commits violence against the female partner cannot be viewed as an appropriate 'parent' when it concerns the welfare of the children. Male supremacist thinking is that issue of violent male partners is separate to the issue of 'the same violent men being granted contact/guardianship of the child/children.'
The dangerous and sometimes deadly belief is that in a household wherein the man commits violence against his female partner, this domination supposedly does not impact on the child's/children's welfare. This is partly due to the unquestioned presumption of public and private male dominance. Even worse, despite efforts to make international legislation concerning the rights of children more just and humane, this harmful impact is commonly ignored; the 'rights of the violent male partner' supersede the rights of the child/children not to be subjected to male violence. Contact with violent fathers is seen as vital because of this misogynist myth that children need the abusive 'male role model in their lives'. We must not question 'violent man's suitability' since mere fact he is male is prioritised over everything other factor. The effects of violence and the rights of children, hand in hand, go ignored. The mother--’the female role model in their lives’--is constantly subjected to the most minute, discriminating sexist male-centered scrutiny concerning their suitability to parent their child/children. Male sex right over children always trumps women's and children's right not to be forced to live or have contact with violent, manipulative, self-obsessed men.
-- Jennifer Drew, UK Feminist Activist and Researcher Challenging Male Violence Against Women

In countries which have national laws that impact people globally, across class, race, ethnicity, and gender what is the moral and political obligation of such a country’s legislative bodies and criminal justice systems to understand, empathically, the experiences of those most marginalised, most disempowered, and most harmed? If laws center the experiences of the most privileged and powerful, the people with the most financial access to those legal systems, and the people with the least likelihood of being arrested due to social position and political clout, what is the impact on those with the lowest social position and the least political clout?

Cases flash before my eyes. A mother appeals to the court to prevent the man who regularly raped her from having custody of the children he also sexually abuses. The court doesn’t believe her that he repeatedly raped her because she’s his wife and finds inconclusive evidence of him having abused his children. Because the court determines her to be a liar they award sole custody to the man who then goes on to sexually assault his children until they leave home. A woman fights for her children’s rights to be free of the man who has terrorised all of them, sometimes with fists, sometimes throwing objects, sometimes with verbal assaults that cut as swiftly as a sharp knife. Or, on the gentler side of things, a man seeks psychological control and power over his family and his spouse decides she wants more out of life for herself and her children than to be dominated in this way. She leaves, with her children. He sues her for custody because he wants her back. The children are less important to him. I knew this father who pretended to want custody to care for his children when all he really sought was to have more abusive access and control over the children’s mother. The mother told me that was his sole motivation. I wanted to believe he was more complex than that, more humane. He wasn’t. He lost his custody case and has done very little to keep in contact with his children, now grown, although he was not legally or otherwise restricted in his ability to contact or visit with them. He lost control of his first wife so he married another woman and had two more children. So much for his court-pleaded desire to raise the first two.

There are so many cases of men using the unjust while socially real power they have to oppressively regulate the lives of women they love, hate, or regard merely as a pawn in their sadistic mental chess game called life. (He may tout that she is The Queen who holds all the power. Sometimes he actually believes his own grand delusions of political impotence.) When seen collectively and compassionately the cases, sorted and stacked, cease being anecdotal and instead reveal patriarchal patterns of men terrorising women and children, using any and all means available to them to attempt to regain the forms of control and dominance that usually escalates with little to no intervention. Misogynist violence is minimised by society generally--or normalised, or naturalised. It is blamed on women; it is seen as a weakness in men, a cause for concern and pity. Perhaps therapy will help (him).

In most cases men’s sexual violence against women can and will be ignored altogether. Most battered women remain silent. Most raped women never speak about it. Most girls violated by their fathers are too afraid to say anything for years, if at all. In my own family of origin, virtually all the female members are survivors of abuse from men in the family. None of them prosecuted. None of them ever accused the perpetrator of assault. The lie is that women make false allegations against men about battery, rape, and incest. The truth is that most women are silent, sometimes due to being killed, sometimes due to taking their own lives to escape the present or past horror and pain. Those that survive and build up the courage to speak out, to confront, to challenge the wrongs of his rights and the legitimacy of his entitlements are seen as scornful and uppity. A woman who publicly challenges a man’s ability to do what he wants and not be accountable to anyone--which is usually how it goes--is presented socially as someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Confused. Irrational. She may speak; but being believed is another matter altogether. Remember: he defines and authors reality; she cannot. That’s how he wants it and that is, too often, how the courtroom sees it.

The reality presented before a judge or a jury is tightly bound to male supremacist beliefs and attitudes, values and practices that do to women what men do to women: make them seem incapable of telling the truth about their own experiences. He’ll do just fine with a misogynist attorney appealing to the court’s patriarchal sympathies. She will need extensive outside verification: corroboration, reports, findings. Compounding the problem is the reality that child welfare and social service agencies are often so underfunded and understaffed that they must pick and choose which cases they can investigate.

My hearts breaks when I learn of yet another case where men are allowed to abuse their children and torture their ex-wives. What I feel vacillates between despair and outrage. Girls and boys are being ordered by court into the homes of their abusive fathers rather than their caring mothers because the fathers have social status and political power, not because they are the best parents. Custody may be determined based on the father having economic stability when a mother is poor for having spent years raising children and finally leaving him without his blessing or access to the financial portfolio he filled because she took care of the family from home, out of love, not for money.

What is horrifying is learning what happens when a woman leaves an abusive man. A woman who worked in the medical field as a technician, assisting a male doctor I’d seen for years, suddenly wasn’t around. I inquired about her absence. Co-workers looked down. I felt dread. They quietly told me she’d been killed by her ex-boyfriend. I felt sick. Only a month or two ago she was with him and alive. Now she was away from him and dead. That’s quite a high price to pay for deciding to be single. The newspapers reported him saying “I realised she wouldn’t come back and I couldn’t bear the thought of her being with another man.” His lethally jealous, irrational rage betrays his truth claim; it’s not like she had the chance. Let’s be thankful they didn’t have children because they likely would have been raised by the man who murdered their mother.

This is more than wrong. It is immoral and unacceptable because it is preventable destruction of human life presented as acceptable and fair by men’s lawyers and patriarchal judiciaries allegedly empowered to protect the vulnerable and the harmed from such abuses. Instead laws and courtrooms conspire to do just the opposite--adding promise to a husband’s threats and force to his fist.

The fact that men dominate, control, and regulate every institution in society is somehow missed when the legal lens focuses in on particular cases argued with spurious logic by attorneys well-paid by selfish and sadistic men. With increasing vigor and determination, Father’s Rights groups are attempting to misuse questionable facts to make it appear that women have all the control and only want more and with that presumed power they only want one thing: to punish the men who hurt them. If that’s how the world really worked the medical technician would be alive today and her ex-boyfriend would be dead. Men’s capacity to project onto women what they themselves feel and do is astoundingly, acidly hallucinogenic and horrifyingly effective in accomplishing their goals of continued dominance.

Centuries of documented despicable patriarchal violence by men against women and children is conveniently kept out of view when the hostile fathers’ attorneys build bogus cases against the women who loved them and were compelled to leave them when unable to endure their hatred and hostility. Wicked is a word applied to step-mothers and women generally. Not to men who have demonstrated a willingness to be wicked in ways women have never been, not necessarily because they lacked the cause. But women’s rage is institutionally impotent while simultaneously demonised. Men’s rage, however, is systemically existent and institutionally enforced. His rage cannot be demonic because he’s always entitled to it as a human quality. Law tries to curb its uglier expressions, but for him to be enraged, in and of itself, is no crime at all. When women rage, they are portrayed as many things--none of them especially human.

Misogynistic Men's Rights Groups are organising to do what they do best: spread woman- and child-hating, utterly self-serving and self-centered portraits of themselves as the Fathers Who Always Know Best. Online and off, they distribute distortions about their own children's testimony against them and about the caricatured characters of their ex-wives, who are, after all, the mothers of their children. The pain she allegedly caused him, actually generated by his own commitment to control and conquest, is played up to epic proportions. He suffers; therefore he is victimised by her, not by inflicting his own inhumanity against her. Meanwhile, her pain, from his outbursts and his beatings, is downplayed, denied completely, or blamed on her decision to stay with him. When are men not socially responsible for their own violent behavior? When the recipient of them is a woman.

His abuses may be emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual. Some may be public but most are expressed privately against the wife and kids, intentionally hidden from public scrutiny so as to maintain his social standing as “a good man”. Because of a socially ingrained sexist assumption that men speak both with greater authority and more accuracy in society-at-large, fictional tales can be promulgated by these male supremacist men and their adoring attorneys who are never paid to be truthful, only convincing.

Consider the following assessments made by a loving father and husband I know who has been studying the contours and conceits of sexist men’s stories. What follows are excerpts on myths about domestic violence, researched and compiled by the sociological specialising on gender violence, Dr. Michael Flood, from Fact Sheet #2: The Myth of Women’s False Accusations of Domestic Violence and Rape and Misuse of Protection Orders.

Women routinely make up allegations of domestic violence and rape, including to gain advantage in family law cases. And women use protection orders to remove men from their homes or deny contact with children.

     The risk of domestic violence increases at the time of separation.
     Most allegations of domestic violence in the context of family law proceedings are made in good faith and with support and evidence for their claims.
     Rates of false accusations of rape are very low.
     Women living with domestic violence often do not take out protection orders and do so only as a last resort.
     Protection orders provide an effective means of reducing women’s vulnerability to violence.

Separated women are at elevated risk of violence by men, whether physical, sexual, or lethal,  relative to women in intact unions (Brownridge, 2006), and women are at risk of increasingly severe violence when separating from violent partners (Riggs et al., 2000). The risk of post-separation violence decreases with the passage of time since separation, and is greatest in the first two or three months after the commencement of the separation, at least from homicide data. [...]

Further situational variables influence post-separation violence. Leaving a marital or cohabiting relationship or trying to leave it increases women’s changes of being physically or sexually assaulted especially if they are connected to men with patriarchal and/or sexually proprietary attitudes (DeKeseredy et al., 2004). Women are at greater risk of post-separation violence if they are more ‘available’ for victimisation: if they live in the same city as their former partner, and at riskier times such as court appearances and exchanges of or visits to children (Brownridge, 2006). The presence of a new partner can be either a risk or a protective factor, as can children. For example, joint custody may become an opportunity for conflict and violence, may increase opportunities for violence at visitation and the exchange of children, and children may be used as tools for violence by abusive men (Brownridge, 2006). [...]

The Australian evidence is that protection orders provide an effective means of reducing women’s vulnerability to violence. An early study in New South Wales found that the vast majority of complainants experienced a reduction in violence and abuse from the defendant in the six months after the order was served on the defendant, and over 90 per cent reported that the order had produced benefits such as reduced contact with the defendant and increased personal safety and comfort (Trimboli & Bonney, 1997). Finally, research among young women aged 18 to 23 and subjected to violence by intimate partners found that “preventive strategies for young women at the early stage of a relationship can eliminate, or at least reduce, physical violence by a partner” (Young et al., 2000, p. 5). The severity of violence was reduced after legal protection, but the benefit was not as marked unless women sought help from the courts as well as the police.

Mothers are desperately awaiting the feel of their sons and daughters arms around them, finally out of the psychological and physical grip of their patriarchal parent. So let’s get to the heart of the matter. Women are socially and legally disadvantaged in life and in law due to men's jurisdiction over each. The sexist beliefs and attitudes that are foundational to men's violence against women and children are supported, not exposed, not challenged, not remedied, when judges and juries carry those same beliefs and attitudes into the courtroom. This effectively ensures that at the end of the day, male supremacists win, patriarchal power is bolstered, and abusive fathers and husband regain control and custody. Women lose credibility, if not courage. They lose faith that justice is fair and unbiased. Mothers and children lose trust and hope in systems that are supposed to protect and defend their human rights to not be dominated and violated. More heart-breaking still is the loss of mothers and children’s irreplaceable relationships to each other. They are legally and forcibly separated for months, years, and sometimes forever. This is not justice. This is the tyranny of unearned patriarchal privilege ruling justice systems.

Some of these fathers have controlled, dominated, manipulated, violated, subordinated, raped, and battered the children’s mothers secretly, others have done so in front of the children, also to them, but none of this is appreciably and appropriately factored into who gets custody when parents separate and divorce due to domestic violence. Why are men being given visitation rights to children they abuse? Why is a man who batters his children’s mother being given full custody when the children need to be safely with her, and they all need reliable protection from him? With official rulings such as these, one wonders: where is the heart in justice?

If our choices rest between a woman who has been harmed significantly by a husband’s abuse but who is still standing and speaking out, naming him as the perpetrator of that harm, the best parent available to the children ought never be the abuser. Even if he is rich and she is poor.

The fact of him being male ought not be reason to grant him access to family members he has terrified. Being male doesn’t preclude being a good parent but being an abusive husband and father always does--definitionally--if reality is allowed to be defined by the harmed, that is. Being an abusive husband in a home where there are children means you are unequivocally an abusive father also. To believe otherwise is to deny children have human feelings. To believe otherwise is to deny that everyone in a home with domestic violence is impacted negatively by that violence. We know this is the case with alcoholic homes. We know this about families where there is rampant drug abuse. The same is true in any home with children where misogyny is expressed by domineering men who psychologically control and terrorise women. Whether he appears kind or callous to his children, the fact of him systematically subordinating their mother to his will, regardless of how he directly treats the children, ought to be sufficiently substantiating evidence he ought not parent them.

Overwhelmingly, by all accounts, it is males, not females, who use brutal force, bone-breaking force causing bodies to bleed and faces to bruise beyond recognition. These male supremacist traumas are not only physical. Men humiliate and degrade women with sarcastic ridicule and caustic contempt. Men’s attitudes and entitlements, both interpersonal and institutional, reveal their behavior, their actions, are aimed at women because they are female.

No child is safe when home is a war zone. Ought the safety and care of children and the humanitarian well-being of women be more centrally valued in society and in law than preserving a detrimental father-child relationship when determining where and with whom children will best be raised? If a husband and father has demonstrated his ability to terrorise and dominate other human beings “in his care”, why doesn’t the courtroom see this as just cause to award sole custody of children to the mother, without visitation by the predator?

This would be an absurdly unnecessary thing to say except that it is not routinely believed: criminal terrorists ought not be made legal guardians of those they terrify. Findings of post-traumatic stress due to threats and violence, and symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome due to degradation and domination exacted against the wills and beings of mothers and children ought not be ignored, understated, or deemed irrelevant when custody rulings are rendered in any court of law that calls itself just and humane.

Sources for some of the content above:

Julian Real is a U.S. writer working to illuminate and eliminate men’s social and sexual domination of women. He has also been an activist in support of feminist campaigns for justice for thirty years, largely working out of public view due to death threats made against him by Men’s Rights Activists. He worked collaboratively with Nikki Craft to create feminist websites including the Andrea Dworkin Memorial, Hustling The Left, and The Nikki Wiki. He is the author of dozens of essays published many places online, including and Since the summer of 2008 he has hosted the blog, A Radical Profeminist, which spotlights and challenges white men’s violence against women of color.