The End of Strife

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Divorce-related "Fulsome Father" Syndrome

As I noted earlier, it's difficult to talk about Parental Alienation Syndrome. Some feminists consider it to be an inherently anti-woman attribution which has been zealously adopted by the so-called "father's rights" groups in their attempts to disprove allegations of child abuse. I find the fathers' groups online and offline to be highly misogynistic, reactionary, and generally intolerant of many things I hold dear.

However, I also consider myself to be a feminist, and I believe that my children have been subjected to PAS, and that it describes perfectly what has happened to my daughter, and to my older son, as well.

That said, the Womansavers blog has a very interesting article, dated Monday, June 12, about what they are calling the "Divorce-Related 'Fulsome Father' Syndrome." It's a very good description of the kind of alienating behaviour fathers, like my ex-spouse, sometimes visit on their former partners and children. Kudos to liz for her energy and determination to name what she sees!

This is a very good site for anyone looking for information and resources about domestic abuse, divorce, custody, and related issues—the links list is terrific. I would be happier if their site design had better text-to-background contrast and avoided neon altogether, though! ;)

M.

2 comment(s):

Hi M,

Aren't you giving mixed messages here? The Womansavers blog article is very anti-PAS and yet you appear to be a bona fide target parent. What gives?

John

By Blogger John Doe, at 11:23 PM  

I did read much of the Fulsome Father Syndrome text. I wasn't impressed with the language or the reasoning behind this new syndrome.

PAS describes what occurs when one parent is particularly embittered towards another parent and then uses their children as a tool for hurt, revenge, and the avoidance of financial obligations. This Fulsome Father Syndrome looks to me like a tactic of avoiding the truth of PAS while giving it a name that makes embittered fathers look worse than embittered mothers.

An embittered spouse of either sex is capable of contributing to PAS and PAS is still PAS regardless of which parent is the most embittered and vengeful. Just MHO. But I REALLY dislike the language that is used to describe this Fulsome Father Syndrome.

It is the kind of language that takes away from an argument rather than adding anything credible to it. Why is another title needed for PAS? Just because the despised Gardner came up with the name and the description?

The fact is that PAS describes exactly what happens to the children of divorcing parents when one parent, of either sex, is embittered towards the other parent and puts the priority of the mental health and well being of their children at the bottom on the list.

Ginny

By Blogger Ginny, at 12:38 PM  

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