Alec Baldwin made a promise to cherish his marriage until death.
He broke that promise, and then made another: to protect his daughter from the tumult of his divorce. And then he broke that promise, too.
An alpha male conspicuously privileged by God, Baldwin would seem to have no need of “father’s rights” or “men’s rights”, or any part of the baggage of human wreckage that goes along with those dangerous terms.
But Alec Baldwin made a promise, and this time he kept his word.
A surprising number of men in America would be familiar with his story: a man, a husband, a father, is summarily removed from the life of his child with the first bang of the Court’s gavel. Suddenly and to his utmost surprise, he is re-assigned as a minor stakeholder in the family unit. Virtually disposable, he is invited to fade away quietly, while still providing a significant portion of his taxable income to be spent by his ex-spouse at her sole discretion.
Like Kafka’s Josef K, Baldwin was burdened for years with uncounted court dates and appearances, made to jump through hoops, and forced into official relationships with a parade of judges, lawyers, social workers, and psychological specialists. And all the while pleading for the only thing that really mattered as it slipped away before his very eyes: a stable, ongoing relationship with his only daughter.
|“The American Family law system has degenerated into a disgraceful mess for far too many fathers, mothers, and children.”
The child’s mother and Baldwin’s former spouse, actress Kim Bassinger, expresses her anger through hired proxies and formal declarations. Blinded by her own emotions and empowered by new legal customs, their child becomes her weapon.
She is encouraged to use the legal process to vent her frustration and rage.
And so someone’s childhood is robbed and a family’s fortune is spent, while lawyers, mediators, and court-appointed specialists play their parts at equity rates until the money’s all gone. It’s an old and ugly story that no one wants to hear again, and everyone wants to forget.
But the fleece goes endlessly on. Baldwin put it succinctly: ”Family law is a racket.”
Under the right circumstances, Parental Alienation is a predictable outcome of any prolonged contest heard under the U.S. Family Law system. But, if a mother in a Family Law proceeding raises objections over the father,Ã‚Â his parental rights are likely to be curtailed while an investigation ensues. A series of well-timed allegations made by the mother during a custody proceeding could take years to unwind. Fathers must wait on mother’s due process, while childhoods are stolen in spite.
Outside of the self-interest attributable to those employed by the Family Court industry, what could be the cause of such a gross, widespread and systematic miscarriage of justice ?
According to Alec Baldwin, the answer lies in the frills of feminism’s new and unprecedented supremacy across US civil and criminal law: Governance Feminism.
In the course of researching the book, Baldwin visited Harvard Law School and interviewed Jeannie Suk, a professor of family and criminal law. The full interview is published in Chapter 14.
Professor Suk said the term “Governance Feminism” was first coined by her colleague, Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley. The following is an excerpt from Baldwin’s interview with Professor Suk:
JS: … [Governance Feminism is] the idea that feminism, which once criticized the law from the outside, is today actually in charge in many places in the law — among police, prosecutors, lawmakers, judges, and other legal actors. The feminism that often “governs” today is that strand developed by the legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon and that focuses on the subordination of women by men, particularly in intimate sexual relationships. Her influence on our legal system’s understandings of men and women cannot be overstated. If you talk to police, prosecutors, law-makers, and judges about domestic violence, perhaps they have not read MacKinnon, but they often subscribe to the premise that men subordinate women through sex and violence.
AB: And what are some of the results of that?
JS: The rise of this powerful theory has been accompanied by the legal embrace of uniformity, mandatory protocols, and the disfavoring of discretion. … The definition of violence itself has expanded to include a lot of conduct that is not physical violence. ….The theory of subordination makes it likely that any man/woman pair who comes into the criminal system will be viewed in these terms.
In short, Male Fault is now assumed automatically in any case where gender is a factor. As Baldwin discovered, the practical effect of Governance Feminism on Family Law is that the father-child bond has become collateral damage in the quest to protect the rights of women against possible subjugation by men.
Observing that “Men have fewer rights in a family law courtroom than women do,” Baldwin is careful to fix the blame on a self-serving and self-perpetuating legal system, not the women and men who are subject to it. So, while blowing the whistle on Governance Feminism, Baldwin pulls his punches at the appropriate moments, arguing that the blame must be shared with violent men and with family law professionals who have misused the intentions of the law to exploit families at their most vulnerable moment.
Besides exposing the origins of the legal crisis we face under the assumptions of Governance Feminism, the book also provided a much needed context for a man I have only seen as a movie actor. I admit readily dissing actors who proclaim their politics like self-righteous cheerleaders, but in this case I have found that Alec Baldwin is a most informed and able fellow with a genuine thirst for justice. Despite his politics and the taint of Hollywood, his sense of duty is obvious, and the man is a born activist.
The book is highly recommended.