Per's MANifesto: A newsletter of news and opinion on
man-bashing, anti-male stereotypes and other great moral principles.
WELCOME READERS, to the newsletter that brings you the
information you can use to debunk feminist propaganda and stereotypes.
In this issue we take pride in giving you the goods on two treasured
feminist beliefs: the legends of "amazons," and feminist
finger-pointing over the breast-implant controversy. Plus good news on
the justice system occasionally coming to its senses before it chews
up innocent lives at the behest of extreme feminism, and more. So
we'll title this issue "Amazon, Schmamazon." Enjoy! And if you know
other people interested in the issues of man-bashing and anti-male
stereotypes, pass this issue on them. Spread the word.
NOTE: There's been a small change in the MANifesto web page address
that hopefully will make the page load faster. It now is
http://idt.net/~per2/manifest.htm (The only difference is that the old
URL had "shell." after the http://) Both the old and the new URL still
call the page up, but be sure to bookmark the new one!
I. AMAZON, SCHMAMAZON
II. BREAST IMPLANTS -- WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?
III. DELIVER US FROM CLITORIS
IV. THE RIGHT TO BASH MEN
V. BE PREPARED ... FOR FEMINIST "EQUALITY"
VI. BATTERED WOMAN'S DEFENSE: LICENSE TO KILL
VII. CHILDREN BELONG WITH THEIR MOTHERS?
VIII. THE FORMER ACLU, PART DEUX
IX. DIRTY TRICKS
X. SPEAKING OF DIRTY TRICKS
The legend of the Amazons is cherished by feminism -- from the
depiction of the comic-book Amazon "Wonder Woman" on the cover of the
first Ms. Magazine to the TV character Xena. If you're on the Internet
for any length of time, you're bound to run into some feminist with a
net name of "Amazon" or "Xena" or some such.
But were Amazons more than a figment of the imagination? And
why do they hold such a fascination for feminists?
Some feminists claim they are only interested in the concept
of "strong women," though it's hard to miss the anti-male sentiments
running through the mythology. Amazons, so the old story goes, lived
separately from men, using men simply as sperm donors and often
killing them after conception.
If feminists were merely interested in "strong women," one
wonders why the imaginary Amazons appeal to them far more than
real-life women who were both strong and allied with men. There are
hardy pioneer women, women of Celtic or Germanic tribes who followed
their men into war, and other such historically examples. But none of
them have the same appeal as the group that supposedly cast out all
men and killed their male infants. But, of course, feminists are
merely interested in Amazons as "strong women."
It's interesting that so many feminists should idolize a group
depicted as practicing rigid sexual segregation. Many feminists look
on The Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute as evil because
they excluded women. Then they idolize a group that killed male
We can only imagine the outrage feminists would express if a
good many men today expressed so much admiration for an ancient group
of men who were believed to have murdered every single female born
into their society. Such a society would be ranked with Nazism as the
embodiment of evil. But when feminists do it, well, that's different
We've seen feminists work themselves into a rage over ancient
tales of families that supposedly abandoned infant girls to die,
because they wanted only boys who could do heavy manual labor. We've
wondered how many of these feminist, amid their outrage, had some
picture or statue of an Amazon in their offices, or key chains with
Wonder Woman, or a videotape of Xena.
But, as we asked before, were Amazons real?
Our concepts of the Amazons trace back to the ancient Greeks.
In the 5th century B.C., the historian Herodotus wrote tales of Greeks
soldiers who battled fierce warrior women around the Black Sea, in
what is now southern Russia. The Greeks supposedly defeated the
Amazons at the battle of Thermodon and brought back some captives. But
Herodotus admitted that he had never seen an Amazon and based his
entire account on hearsay.
How reliable was that hearsay? Well, it's about as credible as
many Women's Studies courses -- which is to say, not very credible at
all. The Amazon legend has been larded up with all sorts of quaint
notions, including the idea that these women were so bad that they cut
off or burned off their right breasts to improve their aim with the
bow and arrow. That sounds like a tall tale that would certainly amaze
the yokels. But picture women cutting off an entire breast in an era
before sterile surgery, before people even understood the concept of
germs. Not many of *this* tribe would survive. Perhaps the idea of
cutting off the breasts appeals to those who are unhappy with their
gender. At any rate, historians now believe that this fanciful legend
might be traced to a mistaken belief that the Greek name "Amazon"
meant "without one breast." They now think it more likely meant "those
who are not breast fed." (See "Amazons: The Ms. Behind the Myth?" by
Kathy Sawyer, the Washington Post, May 12 1997; Page A03.)
Which brings us to modern research into the Amazon legend.
Archaeologists digging in a remote area of Russia near the
Kazakhstan border say they have evidence of warrior women who lived
about the same time as the supposed Amazons. They speculate that these
warrior women -- or contemporary women similar to them -- might have
given rise to the myth of the Amazons. But there's a catch: they
weren't a feminist, utopian society that barred men and exercised
their "right to choose" against helpless male infants. They were women
living in tribes in which many of the men were warriors -- and most of
the women were not.
From the Washington Post article cited above: "The latest
evidence came from archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball and Russian
colleagues, who spent five years excavating more than 150 burial
mounds of 5th century B.C. nomads near Pokrovka, Russia. They found
that 14 percent of the graves were those of women buried with bronze
daggers, arrowheads, swords, whetstones for sharpening, and/or other
suggestive artifacts and signs of a warrior status. 'These finds
suggest that Greek tales of Amazon warriors may have had some basis in
fact,' Davis-Kimball writes in the January/February issue of
Archaeology magazine, where 50 of the burial sites are described.
Director of the Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads in Berkeley,
Calif., Davis-Kimball outlines the findings in more detail in an
upcoming issue of the Journal of Indo-European Studies. Though the
Pokrovka nomads were not the Amazons of myth, she concludes, they
could have inspired the legends."
Davis-Kimball also notes: "In addition to the significant
minority that held weapons, dozens of other female graves contained
domestic items such as spindlewhorls (for weaving), fragments of
broken mirrors, and stone and glass beads. A handful included clay or
stone altars, bone spoons and seashells, apparently denoting
So how much did such women resemble the Amazons whose legend
they might have inspired? "Neither man-killing Amazons nor conquerors
in the mold of the more recent Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan, these
women were probably sheepherders who carried weapons to defend
themselves against thieving or rapacious marauders, she said. When
threatened, they 'took to their saddles, bows and arrows ready, to
defend their animals, pastures and clan.' "
So much for the "romantic" notion of an anti-male warrior
class. These women were working alongside men, not against them. They
could accomplish much -- not by taking an anti-male path, but by
joining with men. Those women who fought would probably have done so
to *protect* their society and their families, rather than tearing
them apart. And it appears they would have been willing to bear
burdens, face danger and even sacrifice their lives to protect others.
What a difference compared to those feminists who demand instant
"equality" without equal sacrifice, who demand that society protect
their rights and freedoms, even their sensitive natures, while they
protect and respect the rights of no one.
We certainly hope this research continues. It's enough to make
some feminists turn against the idea of Amazons.
BREAST IMPLANTS -- WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?
Ever since a number of women began complaining of mysterious
symptoms they blamed on their silicone gel breast implants, the search
has been on for someone to blame -- someone who would have to pay
They blamed the manufacturers of implants, of course. And
along the way, they accused the manufacturers of playing games with
women's health. Of course, most of the executives in charge of these
corporations happened to be male. So the implant issue became a
lightning rod for all sorts of unresolved resentments against men.
Feminists were not far behind.
Soon we were awash in male-bashing. It was the fault of greed
manufacturers who were waging war on women's bodies. It was the fault
of shallow men who forced women into "the beauty trap." It was the
fault of men in the entertainment industry who glorified physical
Lawyers have garnered staggering awards and managed to
bankrupt one manufacturer of the implants -- in turn making it more
difficult to get silicone for the many other surgical devices needed
by other patients. All this despite an astounding lack of evidence
that silicone implants caused these mysterious problems.
The breast implant controversy certainly gave the anti-male
forces a lot of ammunition to throw at men.
So it is noted with irony that the people who might really be
responsible for these mysterious medical maladies are -- the women who
get breast implants.
While complaining about mysterious damage to their immune
systems, these women have been curiously immune to scrutiny
But now a new study has shown that women who get implants also
are more likely to engage in a number of risky activities that
increase the danger of something going wrong. Such women tend to drink
more, have more sex partners, get pregnant at younger ages and have
abortions. They are more likely to use the pill. And -- as you might
expect from people interested in their appearance -- they are more
likely to dye their hair. Hair dye, for example, could increase the
risk of connective tissue diseases.
The study, done by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
in Seattle, appeared in the May 28 issue of The Journal of the
American Medical Association. Linda S. Cook of the Hutchinson Center
said the study was undertaken to show the importance of assessing
other risk factors before giving women implants.
According to a May 28 Associated Press story by reporter Mike
Robinson: "Cook found women with enlargements were nearly three times
more likely to drink seven or more alcoholic beverages a week, more
than 1.5 times as likely to be pregnant before age 20 and twice as
likely to have had an abortion. She found they were more than twice as
likely to have used oral contraceptives, about 4.5 times more likely
to dye their hair, nearly nine times as likely to have had at least 14
Although the study appeared in one of the most respected
medical journals in the world, breast implant "activists" have moved
to quash it. The tack they are taking is that the study will be used
to "slander" women who have implants.
Sure. And noting a connection between alcohol and liver
cirrhosis might slander people who drink a lot. But there's the facts.
Here's what one of these "activists" said: "We believe it
would be an insult not only to these women but to the authors of the
JAMA study as well if self-serving parties were to use the JAMA study
as a means for character assassination," said Sybil Goldrich, head of
Los Angeles-based Command Trust Network, which represents women suing
breast implant manufacturers.
This is a truly bizarre turnaround. Here we have an activist
who is supposedly concerned about the health of women. And then when
warning flags go up all over the place about the risky behavior of
these women, she wants it swept under the rug. Sometimes we wonder why
the people who talk the loudest about the health, rights, equality,
and safety of women seem to abandon those goals when the "enemy" is no
longer some convenient bogeyman -- emphasis on the *man.*
One of the sideshows of the implant controversy has been women
complaining about "the beauty trap" -- the male-dominated conspiracy
that somehow forces them to do things like lose weight, die their
hair, or get implants. But we know of no roving goon squad that throws
women down onto the floor and forces implants on them.
However, we're willing to listen to what feminists say about
implants. In fact, one is writing about them in the latest issue of
Playboy -- the one that says "A Feminist Goes for Big Gazongas" on the
cover. (We think it's the June issue. Don't ask us -- we read about
this in the June 24th Washington Post, page B7. And yes, you can stop
In the article "Stacked Like Me," Jan Breslauer tells of her
decision to have implants. What makes this whole episode all the more
delightful is that Ms. Breslauer is a former teacher of feminist
theory at Yale's divinity school, no less.
"Sure, I know the party line on breast augmentation -- that
women who have the surgery are the oppressed victims of a patriarchal
culture," she writes. But that "moldy notion" is now obsolete. "Today,
it stands more as a sign that women have gained power, that they've
become subjects rather than objects of history. Some men pride
themselves on being self-made. Now women are free to become self-made.
The boob job has become the latest expression of the American love of
And her article is certainly an expression of the American
love of tacking noble motives onto the things we do.
We commend Ms. Breslauer for dispensing with the feminist
propaganda. Eighty percent of implants are for so-called cosmetic
reasons -- meaning they were not needed medically, after mastectomy,
for instance. Some women have implants to please a certain man, some
have them to improve their chances in the dating game. Some have them
for reasons that Breslauer hints at -- "empowerment" and "confidence."
In other words, they know darn well they can use sex (and sexual
manipulation) in their schemes to get ahead. That has been a tactic of
women throughout the ages. It's time for them to stop claiming to be
victims and start taking responsibility.
DELIVER US FROM CLITORIS
Well, we didn't set out to write a concept issue about body
parts, but they've been in the news lately. So let's take a look at
dispatches from the wild and wacky world of gender warfare in the
You may remember Kevin Gillson from the April issue of Per's
MANifesto. Gillson is an 18-year-old Wisconsin resident who was
arrested after trying to marry his pregnant girlfriend. When he found
out she was pregnant, he did the responsible thing -- trying to get a
job, get married, and support his family.
However, his girlfriend was 15 at the time. This makes this
cleancut, responsible young man into a "sexual predator," at least in
the nearsighted eyes of the law in Port Washington, Wisconsin.
His girlfriend pleaded with prosecutors that the sex was
consensual. The jurors themselves said they hated to convict him but
felt that the statutory-rape law gave them no choice. Gillson could
have faced up to 40 years in prison.
But the good news, we're glad to relate, is that he was
sentenced to two year's probation. (The absurdity of it is that he
has to register with local police as a "sex offender," and that means
he's barred from things such as coaching youth baseball. Also, he must
provide authorities with a DNA sample. We wonder what the outrage of
feminists would be if this were a woman -- that her privacy is invaded
and her body violated, etc., etc.)
Besides the decision for probation, here is also more good
news to this cause. Namely, the prosecutor who brought these charges
was booed outside the courthouse, and apparently a lot of people are
upset with her absurd prosecution of the case.
District Attorney Sandy Williams was up for re-election when
she decided to press this case. If she thought she could boost her
re-election chances by nailing a "sexual predator," it backfired.
We've seen a lot of people try to ride anti-male sentiment
into office. We've seen activists in social-service agencies and
prosecutors offices decide to go after whatever "epidemic" is being
blamed on men this week.
If that was Williams' intent, then we hope the voters register
their displeasure at election time -- and in doing so, maybe they can
make their hometown a bit less of a national laughingstock.
Meanwhile, at least seven jurors signed a letter asking Gov.
Tommy Thompson to pardon Gillson. We'll be interested in seeing what
the governor does. Governors have pardoned women who killed men in
cold blood and claimed the "battered women" defense. So if women can
get pardons when they murder men, we'll see if a man can get a pardon
when he loves a woman.
And in Arlington, Virginia, we have another case of sexual
harassment laws trying to make criminals out of little boys. In this
case, a 9-year-old boy was accused of pressing his crotch against a
girl who was ahead of him in a lunch line at Glebe Elementary School.
His lawyer -- yes, the boy had to get a lawyer -- said the boy was
reaching for an apple and brushed against the girl.
Making sure that common sense didn't have a snowball's chance,
school officials then called police to investigate. So police had to
file a report. Then, according to the Associated Press, "a juvenile
court office decided the case could not legally be handled
informally." So the 9-year-old boy was scheduled to go on trial July 8
on a charge of "aggravated sexual battery."
That meant he could have been sent to a youth home until he
was 21. (Which means he would have served far more time than Tracy
Ribitch, a 19-year-old Macomb County, Michigan, woman who pleaded
guilty to killing her newborn child and was sentenced to lecturing
teenagers about safe sex. See the March 1997 issue of MANifesto.)
The Associated Press is not identifying the mutton-head in the
juvenile court office who made this decision. When a public official
is responsible for a decision this misguided, we ought to be told.
It's not a minor detail. And the official who made the decision is
left on the job.
Fortunately, this is one of those cases where sanity
prevailed. Prosecutors decided to drop the charges.
We're reminded of feminists' claims that girls are somehow
"disadvantaged" in school. The boy in this case is diagnosed as having
attention deficit disorder -- which is much higher among boys -- and
he was in a special education class. In addition to this problem he
was already coping with, he found himself facing felony charges and
had to hire a lawyer. Also, he has had to transfer to a different
school, which probably won't help his education any. This, apparently,
is all part of all those advantages that boys enjoy over girls.
When feminists decide they are going to "level the playing
field," that often translates into leveling whatever unfortunate males
wander into their gun sights.
After the charges were dropped, the boy's lawyer told him:
"Congratulations. You are not a criminal."
Sure. But he's born male, and that seems to make him a
criminal in the eyes of many feminists who created this sort of
And next up, we'd like to tell you about the woman who needs
protection from the word "clitoris."
It involves a "sexual harassment" complaint brought against
Jerold Mackenzie, a former executive with the Miller Brewing company.
Former, because he was fired in 1993 for telling a woman about an
episode of the "Seinfeld" show that mentioned the word "clitoris."
(The story is in the news now because he is suing the company.)
Company officials claim that Mr. Mackenzie was fired because
this incident was "the last straw" in a series of harassment
complaints. But if the word "clitoris" is the straw that breaks the
camel's back, that's one awfully weak camel.
Mackenzie said he brought up the episode because Miller is a
sponsor of the "Seinfeld" show. In discussing it, he never actually
said the word himself, but pointed it out in a dictionary. He said he
was discussing the show because he didn't know how the word got
through the censors.
(We know how the word got by the censors. If a TV show had
been censored for saying it, there would have been a massive outcry
over censorship. Newspapers, TV shows, the ACLU and other
self-appointed guardians of free speech would have mounted a huge
campaign to protect the right to say that word -- and to ridicule the
people who tried to censor it. But now, the crackdown on free speech
is coming from the politically correct side of the debate. So Mr.
Mackenzie is fired, and the usual guardians of free speech have merely
clicked their remotes so they don't have to address the issue. The
people who would not have stood for it if a TV show had been censored
for using the word don't seem to be very upset that a private citizen
can be fired for pointing to it in a dictionary. Apparently, TV shows
have more rights than private citizens.)
Company officials say that Mackenzie had been lectured about
inappropriate behavior after his secretary accused him of sexual
harassment in 1989. Then he was fired four years later over the
"clitoris" incident. It happened when a woman, Patricia Best, claimed
that she was "uncomfortable" with the discussion. So she told a
superior, and Mackenzie was fired within a week.
We don't know how valid the other claims of sexual harassment
are in this case. But it's interesting that a man could be fired
because a woman claimed she was "uncomfortable." We've re-read the
First Amendment and didn't find any exemption for female discomfort.
But we suspect that the company was afraid of getting trashed
if it didn't fire Mackenzie. We suspect that this Patricia Best could
have gone to the news media and gotten all the publicity and support
she wanted. It was simply easier to fire Mackenzie than face the
public-relations disaster that feminist would have been able to
So that means that your rights to free speech and your right
to a job are considerably less if a woman is "uncomfortable."
For us, one of the most notable aspects of this case is that a
woman had to be protected from speech that made her "uncomfortable."
This is the "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" era. Feminists want women to be
Marines and combat fighter pilots. They cultivate an image of "strong
women" and accuse society of "oppressing" women if society has seemed
too protective. They accuse society of "socializing" women to be timid
and seek protection. And then feminist policy dictates that a woman
has to be protected from the word "clitoris."
Another irony is that Ms. Best probably could have called
every man in that office a "prick" and never faced similar discipline.
Why? Well, harassment laws draw on the idea of whether a
"reasonable woman" would feel harassed in a given situation. A
"reasonable woman" can object to actions that a "reasonable man" would
be expected to shrug off. "Reasonable men" are expected to handle such
abuse, and they would be laughed at if they complained. Not so
But if men are expected to handle such abuse with aplomb,
doesn't that reveal an underlying belief that men are stronger, more
resilient? If women need protection from words, doesn't that reveal an
underlying belief that women are more fragile? We raise these
questions because it's feminism itself that keeps saying that women
need protection from words.
THE RIGHT TO BASH MEN
Recently a feminist on a Usenet group posted another one of
those messages about how feminism is about equality and inclusivity,
about valuing men and women equality, about moral and ethical behavior
that is for the good of everyone, and so on.
Too bad they rarely match the actions.
For example, here's a story out of West Palm Beach, Florida,
where two men who are teachers have been subjected to the hostile
working environments created by man-bashers. Oh, we know that
feminists claim they oppose hostile working environments. But we have
seen first-hand just how hostile they can be -- and how they can get
away with it when the system protects only them and punishes only
Hopefully the tide might be turning. An English teacher, Nick
Nowak, recently was awarded $102,688 by a Palm Beach County jury after
suing over the hostile working environment at Wellington High School.
He taught there for twelve years.
Unfortunately, the jury did not find that Nowak had been
subjected to a hostile working environment. But they did find that
school administrators retaliated against him for complaining about it.
Mr. Nowak tried talking to officials to get the man-bashing to
stop. That seems reasonable. Doesn't feminism object to gender bashing
and hostile working environments? Doesn't feminism say people should
be protected from them?
Well, not in Palm Beach County, apparently. After Nowak asked
that the man-bashing stop, he was subject to repeated retaliation.
Apparently these people think that they not only have the right to
bash men, they also have the right to silence those who object to
their special privilege.
"I asked the school board to investigate this three years ago
and nobody helped me," Nowak said in a June 6 Associated Press story.
He resigned last year.
Another teacher, Tim Adamchik also filed suit. He also says he
was harassed and forced out of his job at Wellington.
Per's MANifesto is proud to bring you news items like these --
when the national news media keeps burying them in the back pages. If
there was a school where two women had been forced out because of such
a hostile working environment, you can bet it would be receiving a lot
William Riker, a lawyer for Nowak, put it this way: "There is
a glass ceiling over there, but now women are in power."
And if you've been on the Usenet for any length of time, you
know there are feminists who are cheering in delight at the thought of
Where are the ones who are objecting to it? Oh, well, they
probably had more important things to do than to object to sexism,
gender hatred, sexual discrimination and hostile working environments.
BE PREPARED ... FOR FEMINIST "EQUALITY"
A California state appeals court recently ruled that the Boy
Scouts do not have to admit a girl.
(The lawsuit was brought by -- who else -- Gloria Allred, the
feminist lawyer who believes in "recovered memories" but can't seem to
recover a memory that someone else was killed that night with Nicole
Simpson. But anyway ...)
"The Boy Scouts of America stands alone among scouting
organizations in English-speaking countries in attempting to defend
gender apartheid and gender segregation," Allred said.
Sorry, Gloria, the Boy Scouts are not alone on "gender
apartheid and gender segregation." Maybe you forgot about the 80-some
women-only colleges in the United States. Colleges that receive state
support in some form or another. If you forgot about those women-only
institutions -- or women's sports teams, Women's Studies departments,
mentoring programs for women only, not to mention the Brownies and the
Campfire Girls, etc., we're glad to remind you. Surely your commitment
to ending "gender apartheid" will cause you to sue some of those
Currently, boys have higher rates of learning disorders,
higher rates of dropouts, higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse, and
higher rates of suicide. The number of boys growing up without fathers
has skyrocketed, in large part due to the feminist divorce revolution,
feminism's antipathy toward men, and feminism's dogged preservation of
a woman's traditional gender role of getting sole custody. And studies
show that boys growing up without fathers are vulnerable to a host of
ills, including higher involvement in drugs and criminal activity.
Boys without the structure and sense of direction provided by a
two-parent family often get mixed up in the structure of street gangs.
Yet when boys actually get a chance to form positive
relationships with other boys and male leaders in the Boy Scouts,
there's the feminist, demanding "equality." This case underscores once
again that men deserve an equal voice in determining was sexual
As for the June 4 ruling, by the 3rd District Court of Appeal,
saying that the Boy Scouts did not have to admit the girl, it was
based on the idea that the Boy Scouts are not a business.
Darn. We hoped the ruling was based on a return to reality.
BATTERED WOMAN'S DEFENSE: LICENSE TO KILL
As we mentioned before, there are feminists who want women to
get away with murder by simply claiming the "battered woman" defense.
It just happened again in Florida.
Maria Garcilazo of Miami confessed to killing her husband,
Carlos. So, did she kill him while defending herself from some
Nope. She shot him in the head in their bedroom and then tried
to cover up the evidence. As the Associated Press reported: "She tied
the body to the family truck and dragged it a few blocks away from
their house. She removed his wedding ring and other jewelry and filed
a missing persons report."
When caught, she began telling tales of being "raped" every
day and beaten. Of course Carlos is not here to give his version of
The "battered woman's defense" was instrumental in getting
Garcia acquitted. The "battered woman's defense" has become a license
So why would she kill him if she wasn't afraid for her life?
It was revealed during the trial that she was afraid that she
was about to be dumped by her husband for another woman.
Hmm. Then all of a sudden he becomes a rapist-abuser and has
to be shot. What a coincidence.
CHILDREN BELONG WITH THEIR MOTHER?
Fathers face enormous bias from society and the courts when
they seek custody and visitation. The attitude of many people,
including many social workers and judges, is that the children not
only belong with the mother, they belong to the mother.
That's why we see absurd decisions like the one involving
Sayeh and Arash Rivazfar, two kids living with their father in the
town of Greece, New York. Their mother lives in Florida. She got a
judge to order a transfer in custody and have the kids shipped to
But the father, Ahmad Rivazfar, says the kids are terrified of
their mother and of returning to her home in Florida.
The kids have good reason. One of them was raped there. And
their sister was murdered by a man their mother knew.
With all the emphasis on what's good for the children, it
would seem like it's a no-brainer not to send these kids back to a
place where they don't feel safe -- a place of so much horror and
trauma for them.
But a Florida court ordered a custody transfer.
However, the case is on appeal in the New York Court of
Appeals over which state has jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the national news media have a field day playing up
the case of the so-called "Harvard Mom" who feared she would lose
custody because she was a single mother going to college. This case
got reams of publicity. But the Rivazfar custody case has been mostly
ignored. Why is that, if we're so interested in the welfare of
children? Is it because the Rivazfar case doesn't look so good for
those who believe that children belong with their mothers?
THE FORMER ACLU, PART DEUX
Last issue, we told you about the American Civil Liberty
Union's unfortunate policy of supporting the "right" to partial birth
abortion. Their support for this questionable procedure is disturbing
enough. But the material they publish in support of partial-birth
abortion displays a cavalier attitude toward the lies that have been
put forth to defend the procedure.
Our disenchantment with this once-noble organization is only
intensifying. The ACLU has failed to support the rights of people
whose lives are being destroyed by false accusations of abuse -- in
particular those arising from the modern witch hunts over "satanic
cults" in daycare centers, false memories arising from the so-called
"recovered memory therapy," and the new forms that these hysterias
take once the old forms are disproven.
It used to be that entire communities could be thrown into
hysteria -- neighbor spying on neighbor, relatives informing on
relatives -- by rumors of "satanic cults" operating in daycare
centers. The most notorious case happened, of course, at McMartin
Preschool in California. There, the hysteria was touched off by a
woman named Judy Johnson, later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
Her ravings -- now quite absurd in retrospect -- might have been
dismissed for the delusions they were. But her bizarre accusations
were championed by sets of social workers whose attitude was
essentially that anyone who is accused is guilty and any child who
denies being abused is in "denial." These social workers interrogated
the young, suggestible children in obviously flawed ways -- asking
leading questions, refusing to believe them when they said they hadn't
been touched, badgering and yelling at them until they gave the
Jurors who saw tapes of these social workers in action
realized that the children were being led and coerced.
And yet the fundamentally flawed techniques used to get such
"accusations" from children continue to be used, and innocent people
have gone to prison because of them. Social workers discovered that
getting accusations of "satanic cults" from little children often hurt
their cases. So they changed their techniques and started looking for
"sex rings." That sounds a bit more believable than satanic cults,
even though the questioning process has all the same flawed, leading
tactics and abuses.
If such a biased, flawed system was being used to send people
to jail on suspicions of being subversives or anarchists, we might
expect the ACLU to get involved. This is, after all, a new form of
McCarthyism, where false accusations are motivated by personal
revenge, people are considered guilty by association, and many good
people are too frightened to speak up for fear of being labeled one of
the bad guys. The ACLU -- let's call them the *former* American Civil
Liberties Union -- has sat on the sidelines while this goes on.
Nat Hentoff, a vocal supporter of civil liberties, recently
took the ACLU to task over their lack of support for innocent people
accused of such questionable charges. In his syndicated column, he
notes "the absence of the ACLU and its more than 300 chapters from an
epidemic of civil liberties disasters that have taken place in a
number of states, and still do. With no physical evidence and the sole
testimony of very young children who have been coached by therapists
and police investigators, many workers in day-care centers have been
charged with sexual abuse of those children. Some of the defendants
have been imprisoned for long periods. Months ago, I asked Nadine
Strossen, president of the ACLU, why it has not become involved in at
least some of these many cases."
He received no answer.
(See his column, "Two Cheers for the ACLU, " Saturday, June
7, 1997; Page A23, The Washington Post.)
In particular, Hentoff notes the latest panic over "sex rings"
in Wenatchee, Washington. In this case, "those defendants who were on
welfare could not afford experienced lawyers and wound up in prison.
Defendants who could pay for seasoned lawyers were acquitted. If the
ACLU had been involved, defendants without money and without due
process might never have gone to prison.
"It's too bad the ACLU doesn't have some competition --
nationally and locally. On some issues, the ACLU's thinking has
stopped and there are only rehearsed responses -- or none at all."
Hentoff's criticism is on target, but a little background will
help us understand why the ACLU so drastically abandoned its
commitments to rights. Namely, a great number of feminists were
affirmatively advanced to high positions in the ACLU and have changed
its focus. It used to be a group that said everyone had the same
rights, no matter how unpopular, poor, or disenfranchised they were.
It has changed into a group where many chapters now believe that your
rights depend on what group you belong to -- some groups have to have
their rights protected more, and some rights are equaller than others.
Some people are going to say "There goes Per, blaming the
feminists again." Yes, I am, because in this case they deserve the
credit. The types of witch hunts at McMartin and the Little Rascals
daycare centers, in Wenatchee, in Bakersfield, California, and
elsewhere grew out of feminist activism in the area of sexual abuse.
They worked to overturn protections for the accused, and to make it
possible to convict people based solely on an accusation lacking any
physical evidence. They convinced Congress and other public bodies
that there was an "epidemic" of abuse going on, and that we had to
adopt these flawed, misleading investigative techniques to extract
accusations from children. They instituted "recovered memory therapy"
and other pseudo-scientific quackery. All these developments arose out
of the sphere of feminist activism on sexual issues.
And while feminist activists were working to change the
justice system to make the witch hunts possible, major feminists were
in front of the cameras spreading the hysteria. The hysteria involving
McMartin Preschool and "satanic cults" in daycare centers has been
fomented by such major feminists as Gloria Steinem and Ms. Magazine.
Gloria Allred, the feminist attorney, supports "recovered memory
therapy," even though it produces false accusations of child abuse.
These witch hunts grew in the fertile soil of feminism -- the
"Believe the Children" movement, feminism's cries that there were
"epidemics" of rape, Andrea Dworkin's claim that fathers rape their
daughters as a form of socialization -- these and other feminist
beliefs spiraled out of control into the witch hunt that destroys
innocent lives. Feminism deserves credit and praise for launching a
campaign to bring incest into the open and punish the abusers. But at
some point, just as with Judy Johnson and McMartin Preschool, the
accusations left the realm of reality. The people looking for incest
began to rely on a pseudo-science called "recovered memory therapy."
This is the same process used by people who "recover memories" of
being abducted by flying saucers or of living "past lives." Patients
are bombarded with drugs, hypnosis, social isolation, sleep
deprivation, and cult-like reinforcement until they "recover" whatever
memories the therapist wants. Some therapists have an eye on the fat
paychecks from insurance premiums. Others have an agenda. They haven't
let the innocence of the accused get in their way.
The tide may be turning. George Franklin -- who was convicted
of murder based on his daughter's "recovered memories -- is now a free
man. This is the case that kicked off the current hysteria over
"recovered memories." But he was freed after the evidence became
undeniable that the trial judge had erred in several points -- and
that the accuser had lied numerous times.
Yet still the ACLU is not defending innocent people accused of
running "sex rings" and "satanic cults." Why? Could it be because the
modern ACLU has so many feminists and feminist sympathizers? After
all, if the ACLU fought for the rights of these often-helpless people,
it would be angering the major feminists who support "recovered memory
therapy" and other witch hunts. Perhaps the ACLU isn't willing to
embarrass these feminists. Moreover, perhaps many feminists within the
ACLU really believe all the mumbo-jumbo about satanic cults and
Or maybe they are afraid that by defending innocent people
against witch hunts, they will discredit the feminists who have for so
long pushed the ideas behind these witch hunts. These feminists would
be forced to admit they are wrong. But they don't. Apparently they
would rather bury their mistakes -- and bury innocent people in
It is sad that the ACLU would rather stand by and see innocent
people destroyed rather than irritate some of their allies -- people
who doubtlessly could make trouble for the ACLU.
And so the former ACLU goes about its course. It defends
partial birth abortion, and ignores innocent people being crushed by
runaway hysteria. The ACLU defends the "right" to jam scissors into
the skull of a practically-born infant -- yet won't defend the rights
of people who have done nothing to deserve prison.
If the ACLU is afraid to defend people who are falsely
accused, there are feminists who certainly aren't afraid to make false
accusations. Recently on the Usenet, the subject came up of false
accusations made during divorce proceedings. It prompted this reply
from a feminist:
On 16 Jun 1997 11:09:52 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Marg
>And filing true allegations of child abuse/molestation is a
>necessity for the safety of the children or would you prefer that
>child molestors/abusers get off and be able to continue. I didn't
>know that you were an advocate for child abuse/molestation now, Per.
>Pity about that.
This trick, while dirty, is not rare -- if someone objects to
false accusations, you smear them as "pro abuse." It was just this
sort of tactic that helped the McMartin case and other hysterias
spiral out of control.
The "pity" here is that this feminist sees nothing wrong with
false accusations. And, for the record, she has often painted herself
as a fair, ethical and moral feminist.
For those who have been falsely accused during custody
disputes, we highly recommend the books of Dean Tong, who went through
that ordeal himself and has much valuable information to share. You
can read about his books "ASHES to ASHES... Families to Dust" and
"Don't Blame ME, Daddy" on his web site,
http://www.emrkt.com/books/dbmd.html. His books are available to order
online, or by calling (800) 987-7771. And you can e-mail him at
SPEAKING OF DIRTY TRICKS
June 17th marked The 25th anniversary of the break-in at
Democratic headquarters at the Watergate. It's fitting that we
remember the above-the-law mentality that lead to the abuses of
Richard Nixon and his cohorts.
Sam Dash, who was the chief lawyer for the Senate committee on
Watergate, said Nixon "was the only president who took seriously the
concept imperial presidency' ... actually thought that a president
was above the law." Nixon and his aides "saw themselves as the
guardians of America as they saw it, and therefore anybody who
disagreed with that theory of America had to be an enemy, had to be
destroyed," Dash said. "That is so incompatible with our concept of
American democracy and separation of powers. ... Unless we understand
it and (understand it) well, it could happen again."
Those are wise words. And we should understand them, because
it is happening again. Extremist feminists believe they are above the
law -- that women should be able to get away with murder by making the
flimsiest claims of "abuse." They have defended women who use cocaine
or drink alcohol while pregnant -- on the grounds that it's "her body,
her choice" -- never mind the horrible damage done to the children.
Extremist feminism has treated human life as a "privacy" issue for
women, so that when mothers throw their inconvenient newborns into
trash cans, they see it as just another "choice." And they want such
killers to be sentenced to nothing more than probation or therapy.
They have lost sight of the value of any life except their own.
To paraphrase Mr. Dash, extreme feminists see themselves as
the guardians of womenhood as they see it, and therefore anybody who
disagrees with them has to be an enemy, has to be destroyed. If you
disagree with these feminists, you are a backlasher, a sexist, a
misogynist, and so on -- and they will use smear tactics, rumors,
false accusations and guilt-by-association to ruin you. They will not
let ethics get in the way of destroying someone who disagrees with
these "guardians." The previous item showed one feminist willing to
toss around false claims of abuse -- to try to destroy the "enemy" or
silence the opposition through fear of being labeled an abuser.
Already feminists have succeeded in making countless people reluctant
to speak up for fear of being labeled "misogynist" and so on.
But if we let an intolerant group succeed, we have not escaped
a momentary unpleasantness. We have set ourselves up for more
unpleasantness -- and more serious unpleasantness. If extreme
feminists are allowed to shout people down and silence them with smear
tactics, why should we expect them to gain a moral conscience once
they are solidly in power? Why do we assume that a group that has no
respect for any rights except their own will abruptly switch about and
defend the rights of all?
It's unrealistic to expect that. And so as we recall the words
of Mr. Dash, we remember how much they apply today.
THE FINE PRINT
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