Last of a Four
Batterers Intervention programs, such as Common Purpose, are still being used to change the psyche of straight fathers -- many fathers say it is much like the Communist methods that were used in Cambodia. They were started in the 1970s and are based on a feminist model.
They claim that our society places its highest value on male control and power. Because of that, this power structure automatically makes men into batterers. This claim is made despite the fact that the Department of Justice reports that similar numbers of men and women admit to violence toward their spouses.
Proponents of the feminist theory contend that batterers are usually not violent in other relationships in their lives, but they are violent with the women with whom they are expected to share power - their wives.
In order to stop the domestic violence, the men must be re-educated away from their current understanding of "men, women and power." Further, since this patriarchal understanding is ingrained into the minds of men, then any man is guilty and could confess to being a part of the patriarchy. The program's insistence on confession, even from the non-violent, comes directly from the theories upon which the program is built.
The feminist model employed by Common Purpose is "The Duluth Curriculum," which has not been shown to be an effective curriculum for making violent men less violent. Nor has it been shown to be an accurate portrait of why men abuse women. More and more information suggests that a portion of men who are batterers are violent in their other relationships, not simply with women. This suggests that the feminist model may not address the reason that some men commit domestic violence.
In the domestic violence industry, there are a number of competing theories about the roots of violence. Some suggest that the violence is a function of family dysfunction; others suggest that the violence stems from the batterer's psychological problems. Currently, it is the feminist model that dominates; which may explain why any man, regardless of his history, may be considered violent and asked to confess.
In the feminist model, the violence of men towards women is a part of our culture and hence men need to be re-educated. The confession is relevant for any man, because in the feminist view, all men are a part of the system of hierarchical relationships between men and women, the very existence of which constitutes abuse towards women.
It is interesting to see
that the Network claims that this same model about
control and power applies to both men and women
and we must all be "re-educated" according
to their beliefs.
APA Publishes Article with Feminist 'Political Agenda'
The American Psychological Association printed an article in its journal in the summer of 2000 which said that fathers are not "essential" for children.
Fathers may even be detrimental, according to the article, because of the male tendency to consume "resources in terms of gambling, purchasing alcohol, cigarettes, or other nonessential commodities," which "increase women's workload and stress."
The authors admitted they have a strong political agenda saying, "We acknowledge that our reading of the scientific literature supports our political agenda."
Their "agenda" is to create a socialist state, such as exists in Sweden. They also said that their concern is with the "backlash" against "the gay rights and feminist movements."
They oppose any attempts to reintroduce the father into the American culture through the use of marriage because it is, "an attempt to reassert the cultural hegemony traditional values, such as heterocentrism, Judeo-Christian marriage, and male power and privilege."
The article was the lead story in the American Psychologist, which is the only publication sent to every member of the organization and which is used routinely to espouse the viewpoint of the APA leadership.
It appeared immediately after the APA apologized for an earlier article in another magazine which stated that the sexual molestation of children could be beneficial to children in many cases.
The authors of the APA article even gave their "Blueprint for Social Change" which includes "large-scale government supports." Here's how they said it:
"Our final recommendation relates to an overall governmental family policy. The United States cultural ideology of rugged individualism continues to assume that individual families can and should balance the stress of work and family without the benefits of large-scale government supports. The United States remains one of the few industrialized countries without a comprehensive family policy that provides paid parental leave, governmentally financed day care, and economic subsidies for all families with children. Without these benefits, the responsibility for child care continues to fall largely on women."
They then said we should emulate Sweden. However, they failed to note that Sweden is having serious social problems as well as large debt burdens. Until 1970, that country had little public debt but by the early 1990s, their per capita debt was one of the largest in the world and nearly three times that of the United States. In 1990, the interest paid on public debt exceeded expenditures on family and child welfare, health costs, and old age pensions. In Norway, where the money from oil has provided revenues, the Chief Justice of its Supreme Court has told how the crime rate has quadrupled since 1960, with the doubling of divorce and youth suicide, large problems with alcoholism, and sharply rising rates of mental and eating disorders, particularly among women, etc.
The arguments in the article are not new to feminists. Their goal has always been to advocate socialism, which means that everyone, both men and women, would go to work with the children being taken care of by the government.
They were very blunt in the 1970's and the President of the New York chapter of NOW told the New York Times, "Any real change in the status of women would be a fundamental assault on marriage and the family." Betty Friedan was a little more circumspect, "Whether we will finally have to challenge the institutions, the concepts of marriage and the nuclear family -- I don't know. I just don't know."
What is new according to some observers is the obvious penetration of the APA by the feminist/lesbian thinkers.
One psychologist, Dr. Wade
Horn, President of the "National Fatherhood
"Just when I thought it was safe to admit I am a psychologist, the American Psychological Association goes and does something nutty yet again," he wrote, continuing:
"Over the past six years they [the authors] have studied the fathering experience of 200 -- yes, a whole 200! -- men. Now there's a representative sample for you....
"So there you have it. Dads don't matter. In fact, they are downright dangerous. And the only thing marriage does is promote domestic violence against women. Why? Because those two psychologists say so, that's why. After all, they have studied 200 fathers!"
Horn says that the authors missed "two decades of research attesting to the impact of father absence on the well-being of children, including increased risk for school failure, emotional and behavioral problems, juvenile crime, and teenage pregnancy."
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