Stacey Campfield Feels for Assholes

Let us talk frankly (no, not about how hilarious the double entendre in the title of this post is) about divorce.

Listen, I do think that the courts tend to be biased towards mothers when it comes to awarding custody and I do think that one of the unintended positive consequences of our divorcing culture is that men have become more nurturing.  So, I don’t think that, all things being equal, women should be automatically granted sole custody of their kids.

Men are more than capable of raising and nurturing children and the courts should take that into account.

That being said, when Stacey Campfield starts sponsoring legislation designed to make that happen, you can bet I get uneasy.

Let’s take a look at his latest post:

Shared parenting has been an issue that I have been passionate about for some time. The thought is, that in worse case senerio when a couples get divorced, that with all things being equal and with the best interest of the child always in mind that both parents be given equal say and where possible equal time in their child’s life.

Many times, in courts across the state, this has not been the case. Many times good fathers have to fight long, hard and at great expense to just get close to equal footing when they walk into court. Many times they walk out of court disgruntled at the unbalanced decision and walk out of the child’s life.

See what I mean?

On the surface, it seems like a good idea–guaranteeing that women aren’t automatically awarded custody as if they are the best parent when they might not be.  But you don’t have to dig down very deeply to see some troubling problems here.

First, if the best interest of the child is always in mind, how easy is it to work “equal time”?  Is it really in the best interest of the child to spend 26 weeks one place and 26 weeks another, divvied up in smaller portions throughout the year?  What if one parent gets a better job in another town?  Isn’t it in the child’s best interest for the parent to take that job?  Would the other parent have to move there as well?  Would the courts forbid the first parent from accepting the job if it interfered with the custody arrangement?

Second, I’m sure there are some divorces that are civil enough that two folks can hash out every single detail in a kid’s life without it turning into a battle, but most of the divorces I’ve seen, especially the fresh ones, aren’t that way.  If both parents have an equal say in the kid’s life how does that not put the parents at constant impasses?  One wants to send him to private school (perhaps with the money from his new job).  The other wants him to go to public school because it’s closer to her house and easier for her when she has custody.  Do they take that to the judge to sort out?  What if one wants him to go to the Baptist church and the other wants him to only attend the Seventh Day Adventist?  Back to the judge?  What if the father wants him to be an ovo-pesca-vegetarian and the mother thinks he needs steak and eggs for breakfast most days?  Back to the judge?  What if the kid has a fever and it’s right around 103 degrees and the doctor says “Bring him in in the morning for sure, but take him to the emergency room if he gets worse.”  What if the mom decides that a cough isn’t that much worse but the dad thinks it’s best to take him to the emergency room?  Are they going to call the judge to settle that?

I mean, really, at the end of the day, someone’s got to be able to make the final call on what’s going on with the kid.  And it makes sense that the someone who can do that is the person who has custody of him.   It’s hard enough for two people who are married and get along and share goals to always make decisions together.  Divorced couples?  Even worse.

And also, you’re divorced.  It’s commendable if you want to play a major roll in your kid’s life.  It is an asshole move if you are looking to use your kids as a way to retain some control over your ex, to use the courts as a way to throw your weight around when it comes to her.

Which kinds of guys is Stacey Campfield watching out for?  Look no further than these two sentences–“Many times good fathers have to fight long, hard and at great expense to just get close to equal footing when they walk into court. Many times they walk out of court disgruntled at the unbalanced decision and walk out of the child’s life.”

Are Campfield’s constituents emotionally four years old?  Come on, divorced dads who see themselves in those two sentences.  These are your kids.

If you would walk out of your child’s life because you don’t like the decision the Court made–a decision, need I remind you, your kids had nothing to do with–you are not a “good” father, you are an asshole.

No, it’s not fair that the courts appear stacked against you.

But you know what’s really not fair?  Having to suffer through your parents’ divorce only to have your dad ditch you at the end of it because he’s busy throwing a giant temper tantrum at the Court.  That’s really not fair and that really sucks and the fact that Campfield would help you blackmail the State (“Give us what we want or we’ll fuck over our kids as hard as we can”) is, sadly, not surprising.

Random Things–I Have Pissed Off the Bridal-Industrial Complex

1.  My girly parts name is “Breakfast of Champions.”  I defy any of you to come up with one more awesome.

1a.  On a side note, doesn’t “Rachel Walden, MLIS” sound like it should be the name of a TV show?

2.  Could there be any more clear cut a case of the pot calling the kettle black?  Shoot, I’d spring for beers with Liz Garrigan if there were a corncob up her butt removal procedure at some point in the evening.

3.  Bridgett brings us news of a new Viking horde discovery.  When, America, am I going to win the lottery so that I can go see these places in person?

4.  The Bridal-Industrial Complex has taken umbridge at my musings on marriage.  Seriously, over the course of my life, I’ve probably spent over $2,000, if not more, being in weddings, traveling to weddings, buying dresses for weddings, etc.  It’s never enough for the BIC.  No, not until you’ve shelled out $75,000 for a wedding complete with koi pond in the shape of your mom and dad is it satisfied. 

Well, ha ha, BIC!  I’m stroking one ample breast as a hot woman wearing nothing but a wicked smile enjoys the “Breakfast of Champions” while the illegal immigrant I’m exploiting as my meal ticket/other lover strolls around the living room in nothing but his boxer drawers, sweat glistening off his manly shoulders, as he gets ready for work.

You’re going to tell me you spent your morning doing something more fulfilling than basking in the glow of being the center of attention all night long as two fine folks competed to see who could bring you more pleasure?

I thought not.

Ha, I kid.  I actually spent my morning eating breakfast and walking the dog.

My point is this: clearly people who oppose gay marriage feel that, if gays were allowed to marry, it would somehow impact their own marriage.  From my perspective, try as I might, I cannot understand how allowing gays to marry in any way has any affect on straight marriage, as I understand straight marriages to work best (love, trust, mutual admiration, etc.).

Therefore, folks who oppose gay marriage must have some different notion of how straight marriage works, if, indeed, gay marriage can threaten it.

I proposed, then, that those folks might not marry primarily for love, trust, etc., but because that was what was expected of them.  If you’re marrying first and foremost because that’s what’s expected of you, being faced with people who are so committed to love, trust, etc. that they’re willing to redefind marriage to be first and foremost about that, would indeed threated your ideas about marriage.  It may even feel like a direct threat to your marriage.

That seems like an easy enough point.

But I could be wrong.