Anne Hawn Smith's Reviews > Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family

Taken Into Custody by Stephen Baskerville
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Feb 27, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from October 28 to November 02, 2010, read count: 1

This book was a real eye opener. I had the idea that it was the men who ran off with "Tiffany" and left the women and children behind. Both this book and my experience is that there are so many more women who are leaving with the kids and the husband is left behind, often forced to leave his home, get an expensive lawyer and fight to see his kids.

This book also presented the idea that "No Fault Divorce" is the only contract where one person can break the contract and force the other person to pay. The left behind spouse has to get a lawyer, divide his or her income, be faced with hardly seeing his/her own children and often forced out of the house he/she has paid for. There is something seriously wrong here.

So often, the person who leaves has an unrealistic idea of what the future is going to hold. They see themselves as getting on in a new life and building a life with someone eles, leaving the old problems behind. Unfortunately, when that dream is crashed it is too late. They end up with vastly reduced circumstances, a more demmanding job to pay the additional expenses and children who are unhappy and very frequently having behavioral problems which take their lives in a totally different direction.

This book is important for all fathers involved in a divorce to read. It is not just "the other side", it is a cost that society pays as well as the involved parties. No one would sign a business contract in which one partner could leave and not pay a penalty; and especially leaving the other partner holding the bag and paying for the default while loosing most of the assets. Divorce is costing everyone and society has a right to limit the behavior of people whose actions are going to impact it. This book doesn't say that there should be no divorce, but that "no fault" does not serve society or the children of these marriages.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I pretty strongly disagree with this. Having seen this from both sides, I don't agree that divorce should be made harder. It's necessary to protect the rights of fathers IF they're good fathers--but not all fathers are. The same applies, by the way, to mothers. An important part of the problem is the dissevering of the extended family. Nobody's welfare should depend on just two people. Nobody should be impoverished by losing parents--'orphan' is a term that shows how fractured our families have become. In The Grey Mane of Morning the hero Mor'anh is horrified to learn that the phrase 'he is kind to widows and orphans does not mean he grieves for their griefs, but that he keeps them from starving.

On the other hand, there's too much of a tendency to value bad marriages over peaceful divorces. An atmosphere of perpetual conflict is a really terrible environment to grow up in, no matter what material advantages there might be. A life lived in dread and the fruitless hope of developing an earlid that can be closed like an eyelid to screen out constant bickering is no kind of start for a child's life.

I can't speak of business contracts--I've never entered into one, and never mean to. But I don't think much of a society that makes everything a basis for 'penalties'. If a business fails, there should be ways to get out with a minimum of loss. The same applies if a marriage fails.

But these artificial 'nuclear' families shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of ANYBODY's life. We put too much importance on marriages, and too little on families and communities.

Anne Hawn Smith I think you might find this book very informative:

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study

message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I doubt it. I have far too much data about the consequences of the breakdown of the extended family in my own family.

If I could steel myeslf to examining these offensive books dispassionately, refiguring their sums, exposing their manipulation of assumptions and data, I might do so, as Lifton interviewed the Nazi doctors and exposed the process by which ordinary doctors were turned into accessories to genocide.

I admire Lifton, but I can't emulater him. I made a rule early on to avoid reading that made me murderously angry at those who were trying to shore up the institutions that tortured an scarred me and those I knew. It's been a good rule, overall. There are more than enough stimuli that are likely to evoke vengeful fury in my environment--I don't need to seek out others. I'm trying to KEEP from being enslaved by anger, after all.

I will note, however, that those who DID analyze this book concluded that the supposed detrimental effects of divorce were almost all effects of material poverty, and that if divorce were not productive of poverty, most of the effects would be diminished or completely eliminated.

On the other hand, the consequences and sequelae of forcing minor children to remain in poisonous and physically and emotionally violent exclusive households are not, it's true, sufficiently dealt with by divorce. As Margaret Mead pointed out in ...And Keep Your Powder Dry, 'American' society, in colluding with the breakdown of extended families, has created a situation in which generations of children are raised by novice and untrained caretakers--and this processs hasn't reversed since the book was first published in 1942.

It's always best to read the paragraph of 'authors' biases', if the authors are honest enough to include such a paragraph. The attempt to pretend an impossible objectivity is bad enough in cases like Mendel (who probably did not consciously fudge the results of his studies in genetics). In human relations, it's potentially (and too often actually) disastrous. Always suspect anybody who offers to tell you 'objective scientific truth'. Particularly when they cloak it in statistics.

I remember Jakob Bronowski taking a handful of mud from a pond at Auschwitz (impregnated with the ashes of thousands, among them some of his own relatives), and saying "THIS is the result of turning people into numbers." Any 'study' that doesn't deal with HUMAN BEINGS on a 'one, by one, by one' scale CANNOT deal with what actually happens to Ardeen or Neil--or their in-laws, cousins, children...

Trying to enforce a fraudulent 'family of four' model on people is one of the primary tools of those who attempt to industrialize and mass produce people. There ARE no 'families of four'. A family is hundreds of people, and includes kith as well as kin. This fraud has been going on for too many centuries, and it's time people began calling the con artists on their scams.

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