Today Show shows bias towards mothers and ignores domestic violence claims

The Today Show has featured several fathers who’ve had their kids “abducted.” Today they had Michael McCarty on. There was an allegation of domestic violence, but the Today Show blew right by it. Meanwhile, recent research shows most of these abductions DO involve domestic violence.

Here’s a Time Magazine article on it: Protecting kids: Rethinking the Hague convention 

Notice the comments by Christopher Savoie on the Time piece. (I think he was on the Today Show too). He keeps ranting about the “women are just as agressive as men” crap that the Men’s Rights Advocates and misogynist Fathers Rights guys use to paint women as violent and evil. They’re using cherry-picked data, of course, that even the researcher who finds mutual violence –  Gelles – warns against doing because it doesn’t represent the whole picture or the fact that women suffer the most.  A lot of these guys in the Fathers Rights movement have had charges/convictions against them (see XY Online; the Liz Library).

These guys are portraying themselves as innocent victims and the media is believing them, without question. Ignoring domestic violence claims is despicable. Please write to the Today Show 

6 comments on “Today Show shows bias towards mothers and ignores domestic violence claims

  1. Brian Prager says:

    Rigid gender roles ARE played out in Japan (and in varying degrees everywhere), and decoding that has only become more of a challenge as women obtain middling sorts of gains. Women are heavily discriminated against in economy and in gender stereotyping / sexualization in media in particular, and those in turn reinforce family law practices that treat men in rigid and ignorant stereotypical ways as well, and decide custody of children as a “family matter” beyond the reach of state enforcement, just as the rape laws used to do here, and still do nearly everywhere else. If negative assumptions and suspicion of motives are automatic, how will we intervene in the gaps between human rights advocates, feminists, defenders of children’s rights, & critics of parental alienation? I would embrace any progressives who want to break gender barriers that enslave men and women. As for the advice of lawyers, this firm is famous in Japan for acting BOTH as a primary voice in opposition to Japanese accession to the Hague Conventions, and in enticing women to use DV victim insinuations and charges as part of the politics of preventing adaptation of custody law to allow joint custody in a country in which only one parent is allowed to maintain a relationship with the child post-divorce. Perhaps you can make some sense of this poor translation, at least to the point of getting the gist:
    It is a topic worth exploring further, because future struggle will have to take place there, beyond legacy gender resentment.

    • miss j says:

      I’ve taught English abroad and recognize poor language skills. I just don’t get how you interpret it to mean they entice women to use DV allegations, particularly in a country where women often get custody – because men work in the public sphere and women in the domestic one. It would seem men need to put more effort into child-rearing and household responsibilities – and indeed some Japanese men are doing this – they are working towards keeping marriage intact. (I worked in Asia) Anyway, why would women need to raise DV if they often get custody? It doesn’t make sense & it’s what the Mens Rights activists say here too – it’s contradictory. Japan also has a problem with domestic violence and it’s pretty high in their cross-cultural marriages so shared custody wouldnt be advised in these cases. I believe I put a post/link on my blog about the Hague Convention – domestic violence is often overlooked in favor of access. Women flee domestic violence and then get the tables turned on them – instead of protecting their children, they get sent back to the abuser (happens in the US too). It’s a horrible injustice. (Again, I’m not addressing your case, I’m addressing the topic of DV)

      • Brian Prager says:

        “why would women need to raise DV if they often get custody? It doesn’t make sense & it’s what the Men’s Rights activists say here too”
        Men are dominant in the public sphere but everyone works there. This is part of a move to break / stop the development of potential consensus that would grant rights to both parents in Japan, which would require massive reforms of police practice, judicial processes, new civil codes, new enforcement mechanisms, all of which would make life more complicated in the judiciary bureaucracy. It’s not simple to explain the motivations that underlie a crime; but apparently there is a minority of lawyers who recognize that DV accusations can be used to preempt appearances of kidnapping charges and court orders from international or Non-Japanese agencies, to assure custody to the one in physical possession of the child after the child has been brought to Japan or away from the other parent, and to circumvent the conflict of having the father in the life of the family in a society that despite a divorce rate roughly or nearly equal to the US nonetheless stigmatizes women who divorce. It is terribly inconsistent, of course. It presupposes that child rearing is regarded as best left to women, while continuing to relegate it to a low status life occupation. We’re American; so we ought to know! This isn’t to deny the commonality of domestic violence in Japan or in international marriages. It is bad for feminism if it blankets the rise of domestic violence charges being used against innocent men to create or shift “blame” and attention from where an abduction is taking place. I’ve argued against gender hypocrisy and in support of feminism my whole life. But now special care has to be taken to see to it that feminism is not betrayed nor become rigidified to the point that we can’t see how the cause of right is being undermined by people with other, less seemly agendas: chauvinism, xenophobia, nationalist mythology, and, in the end, neo-traditional gender codes that say mothers can have exclusive control of kids without regard for 30 years of developmental psych research that states that children are damaged without access to both parents.
        I refuse to oppose feminism. And I refuse to support kidnapping of small children, alienating them from their first family, and causing them trauma and long-term emotional damage.The bigotry in the system leaves us insane, false alternatives.

  2. miss j says:

    Thanks for commenting. I was under the impression that most Japanese women gain custody due to the rigid gender roles in Japan? So I would wonder why attorneys would offer advice on ‘manufacturing a domestic violence claim.’ This sounds suspicious to me b/c it’s said in the US – yet the truth is, lawyers will tell women NOT to claim DV b/c it could harm her case (see the Leadership Council for more info). There are lots of myths in this area and the American Bar Association has a good fact sheet on myths in custody cases. In reality, deniers are more common that liars – it’s rare for someone to admit their use of violence or intimidation – or to even recognize it as such – so again, I wonder about “false” allegations. I am not talking about your case in particular but rather cases in general. I do hope you find support and comfort.


    • Christopher Savoie says:

      They claim DV because in Japan, there is no “no-fault” or “irreconcilable differences” divorce. One must find the other partner “at fault” and the statutory categories for fault are limited. This has led to the ridiculous result and legal fiction of practically anything being classified by the courts as DV. For example in a recently publicized case, as woman was awarded a divorce and sole custody because her former husband would not share a helping of pudding with her. The magistrate concurred that this was DV. So now it is case law. This kind of thing and the lack of any kind of real protections against violence or alimony or child support keep women who cannot afford to leave in violent, dangerous situations due to economic indenturetude to the males. The misogyny is ironically wired into the system as a means of preventing divorce in a “family friendly” manner that would put the Christian Right in the US to shame. Just like the single-income, “bad old days” in the U.S. Court decisions like the one I mentioned work in Japan with both genders. The one who kidnaps the kids first gets custody so the males use the same tactic. There are just fewer males who kidnap first or desire custody. In a country in which there is no enforceable support, it is perfect for deadbeats of both genders. Believe me, I am on the side of the Japanese women on this one and am working with women’s groups in Japan to affect change. That must be separated from my concerns about the sanctioning of kidnapping. If you want to understand the Japanese divorce system further, read Amy’s article in the Tennessean yesterday. Barbaric. For women, men and children alike.

  3. Brian Prager says:

    I discovered and read this post this evening with real sorrow. It’s so important to assess and push back against gender bias in media, politics, the judiciary, and business; and looking at each of these and exposing them is fundamental work. My concern at present is to also assert that the rights that women have fought and suffered so long for, protection against domestic abuse and violence, must be protected at all costs, and am horrified that in the divorce and custody “industries” as some call them, there is a rising rate of abuse of those protections, bringing pain and suffering to men, women and children. I can testify that real abuse of these precious protections is taking place in court systems more and more, which imperils the public credibility and usefulness of the protections themselves, a terrible turn in the history of this struggle. I am not trying to lecture, but to plead: for an example, take a look at Satsuki Law in Tokyo, a firm headed by a man, btw, that markets itself to women via twitter and other means as offering expert advice on how to manufacture a domestic violence case against a husband by provocation and exaggeration of the man’s expressions, tone, etc. to assert a claim of intimidation that supports granting one parent all custodial rights to a child they both love, and eliminate Daddy from the child’s life altogether. Once this advice has been followed for a period, the child can then be abducted and the Japanese court will issue rubber stamp rulings on the client’s behalf. This is a form of tragedy that is happening to me, and I’ve never intimidated or strong-armed anybody my whole life. It is a sad and urgently anxious experience. The way forward? There has to be a way for feminists, left-behind parents and men’s rights groups to find common ground in truth and real equality. As bell hooks wrote, we all want to be loved by men just as we want the love of women, whether that man is a husband, a boyfriend, a brother, or a father. The way to healing can only be through mutual accommodation and understanding that violence is violence, and abuse is abuse. Sometimes people who appear incapable of them turn into something else when their inner bad objects have been activated. I am pleading for justice for children, for women, and for men. That will take still more Courage in Journalism. Peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s