FATHERS RIGHTS INFILTRATION OF
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
By Trish Wilson, © 1999
All rights reserved by author
INSTITUTE FOR AMERICAN VALUES
IAV Founder and President
Former Chairman of the Board of the National Fatherhood Initiative
The William H. Donner Foundation, the JM Foundation, and the Philip M.
McKenna Foundation; financed by contributions from foundations,
corporations, and individuals, as well as fees from the sale of
IAV's Link to the Scaife Family Foundation
The Scaife Family Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Carthage
Foundation, and the Alleghany Foundation, also known as the Four
Sisters, are amongst the largest conservative family foundations in
America. They provide funding for ultra-conservative and anti-feminist
organizations and causes, including The American Enterprise Institute,
the American Family Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Independent
Women's Forum, the Women's Freedom Network, the Center for Individual
Rights, the National Fatherhood Initiative
and the Heritage Foundation. Scaife provided a great deal of funding
towards organizations and media which supported and promoted the
impeachment of President Clinton.
The Scaife Family Foundation has provided the following amounts in grants to IAV since 1997:
1997 -- $55,000
1998 -- $70,000
Read about the Envy
expressed by fathers' and men's rights advocates on the Fathers'
Manifesto mailing list. These people did not get the kind of funding
that IAV and NFI get because IAV and NFI couch their rhetoric in
family-friendly terms. The reason Blankenhorn, IAV, and NFI get so much
press is due primarily to Scaife funding.
David Blankenhorn endorses marriage as a cure for domestic violence!
By correlating the higher rates of reported domestic violence between
non-married couples, such as those living together and those dating,
with the lower rates of reported domestic violence within the bonds of
matrimony, Blankenhorn has erroneously concluded that marriage acts as
a buffer against abuse. How absurd! Correlation does not equal
causation. Domestic violence is about power and control, not the victim
and perpetrator's marital status. Of course, Blankenhorn does not
mention the power and control dynamic at all. To do so would squash his
Non-married couples have not been together as long as married couples.
Married couples have more access to each other due to living in the
same home as well as sharing expenses. A married woman's actions are
under much more scrutiny due to the intimate nature of marriage itself.
Also, married couples are much more likely to have children than
non-married couples. The fear of losing custody of children, of harm
coming to themselves and their children, a realistic concern that she
may not be able to financially support herself and her children, and
the greater ease with which a married man may control finances and
constantly check on the whereabouts of the spouse with whom he lives
are only four reasons married women are more reluctant to report abuse.
All of these reasons have to do with the power and control the abuser
hoists over the victim, not the victim's marital status.
From Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem, by David Blankenhorn. 1995. pgs. 32-39.
"...[O]ur public discussion of domestic violence almost never
acknowledges, much less analyzes, differences in marital status among
men who assault women. Indeed, to avoid making these distinctions,
certain rules of language are widely observed. Almost without
exception, journlaists, legislators, academics, and advocates for
battered women adhere to the convention of calling perpetrators of
domestic violence "husbands" or "partners," or sometimes, even more
elliptically, "husbands and boyfriends." As a result, the public
repeatedly hears that men who batter women are either husabnds, or
well, we would prefer to to be precise."
"Male violence is rooted in families is rooted in, and sustained by, male marital privilege. Because of the causal link between marriage and violence,
and because husbands are the principle victimizers of women, "wife
beating" properly emerges as a generic term for male violence against a
female sex partner."
"...[M]arried fatherhood emerges as the primary inhibitor of male domestic violence. By
reducing the likelihood of sexual jealousy and paternal uncertainty,
and by directing the male's aggression towards the support of his child
and the mother of his child, married fatherhood dramatically restricts
the tendency among men toward violent behavior."
From the KidsCampaign website page for Institute for American Values:
Among the beliefs of the Council regarding the declining well-being of children in the U.S. are:
"The current disintegration of the well-functioning, two-parent family is a central cause of rising individual and social pathology."
"A major cultural imperative for our time is to increase the
proportion of children who grow up with their two married parents in
supportive communities and to decrease the proportion of children who
do not." (Family Affairs, Winter 1994)
On child support
In his book, Fatherless America, Blankenhorn argues that it
is unlikely that the child support collection system will ever function
well enough to keep pace with the caseload. For this reason, we should
not expect to meet the needs of children through improved child support
enforcement. Blankenhorn believes that the emphasis on child support
collection and "deadbeat dads" over the past twenty years has been
misguided. He writes that the government efforts to ensure that
children get at least financial support from fathers simply point to a
larger problem--the diminished societal expectation that marriages will
succeed and fathers will remain connected to their children.
"Every child deserves a father. At a minimum, for example, all
levels of our society must insist that no father, regardless of his
circumstances, can ignore his financial obligation to his child. More
broadly, we should expand efforts such as Cleveland's National
Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development, which
powerfully conveys to young unmarried fathers the meaning and
importance of effective fatherhood."
"In about 75% of out-of-wedlock births, the father is never legally
identified. States should approach this issue with more seriousness.
For example, perhaps fathers who do not acknowledge their paternity, as
well as mothers who do not identify the fathers of their children,
should be denied eligibility for public assistance." (Blankenhorn, Family Affairs, Winter 1994)
Blankenhorn's ideas on reversing the trend of fatherlessness include:
"Reform marriage laws to emphasize the social importance of
marriages that endure. In cases of divorce, we should establish
'children first' legislation. To help remove child custody as a
bargaining chip for divorcing couples, legislatures should adopt the
'primary caretaker' rule: a presumption in favor of granting custody to
the parent who is already providing most of the day-to-day child care.
Finally, legislatures should consider moving away from easy, no-fault
divorce, especially when the divorce is contested and minor children
are involved." (Blankenhorn, Family Affairs, Winter 1994)