It’s about time we talk about what happens when all these false allegations get our kids into Depp shit
Now, before you accuse me of being the kind of post-modern man to write a somewhat satirically slanted critique of radical feminism – and how its current unhealthy, unhelpful, and damn right unethical narrative is actually resulting in a child protection issue of epic proportions – I’ll have you know I wouldn’t bother, I’m guilty as charged, your Honour.
Please, before you deny me my trauma before you become bored of my calls for fairness in the ironically named ‘family justice system’, and before you give in to temptation and judge me as being just another deadbeat dad – who’s supposedly only ever a couple of drinks away from death and should just move on and leave his kids alone to get on with their lives without him – all I ask is that you afford me the same time and compassion you would afford any other survivor of abuse you deem worthy of your time. Whenever people hear my story, I’m often asked why more male victims of abuse don’t come forward. Beats me.
Hold on a Misogynistic Minute!
In our ridiculously litigious, easily offended, and overly sensitive society, where offence is taken at the drop of a culturally misappropriated hat, it can be incredibly difficult to question popular beliefs irrespective of how helpful or unhelpful they may well be to society as a whole, so before we proceed any further I’d just like to make a few things clear.
First of all, as a dialectical-thinking, Zen-living vegan that views all life — regardless of species, race, gender and other such overly amplified differences — as being equal, I tend to stay away from the machinations of such things as gender politics and the like, where the soapbox jostling for victimhood muddies the waters of an already murky lake of cultural complexity that actually requires nothing more than societal cohesion — not division — to be crossed effectively. I mean, just because I sometimes misgender geese doesn’t mean I’m transphobic, I’m just getting confused about their gander identity, that’s all.
To those that have never read me before, I’m a male survivor of domestic abuse and I haven’t seen my 3 kids since 2016 due to the ‘toxic masculinity’ card being played against me. I also happen to be a qualified psychiatric nurse, and a recently trained DBT therapist (a therapy specifically designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder). And in the near on ten years I’ve worked in acute psychiatry I’ve got to see society at its lowest and its most manic, at its most insightless and its most enlightened, and of course, at its most sound and its most flawed, and such a privileged perspective has invariably influenced my take on the world and in turn, my writing. Talking of madness, I once worked with a psychiatrist who told me I must be experiencing delusions of grandeur if I expected, as a father, to get shared custody of the kids following my divorce. I was so enraged at the inequality I immediately asked for a second opinion, “okay,” she says, “you’re ugly too.”
As for my own flaws, underneath the self-deprecating silliness, devil-may-care dad jokes and unwitty wordplay that is this slightly unconventional writing style of mine, I actually take accountability for my flaws, I own them, I write about them, and most importantly, instead of denying them, I learn from them. In fact, you really don’t need to read much of my writing to realise that I’m really not afraid to be vulnerable.
While on the subject of vulnerability, I’m acutely aware that I come at this story from a very emotionally vulnerable place. I mean, let’s be honest now, who in their right mind gets married, has kids, starts building a life for their beloved children to live, grow and prosper and then suddenly thinks, “note to self, I mustn’t forget to formulate a contingency plan just in case the mother of my children chooses to turn the kids against me with every opportunity afforded her by a biased and outdated system that has become driven not by evidence-based practice but by politically driven ideology and discrimination.” Talking of unplanned actions, and as a writer who’s partial to a pun or two, I quite often find myself saying the word ‘nope’ by accident. Nope unintended.
Please take note that, silly one-liners aside, my aim is not to criticise any campaigning that fights for the equality of the sexes, but to simply start a conversation about the damaging discourse and questionable behaviours of the radical feminist camp that appears to be attempting to hijack the whole feminist movement for nothing less than political gain, self-interest and other such unacceptable follies, and how such questionable tactics have now created a major child protection issue that the public really does need to know about.
I know what you’re thinking — “Lee, you’ll definitely never make it as a writer trying to start such a contentious conversation as this.”
Worry not my dear reader, I’d rather be an unknown writer of the truth, than a known writer of falsities.
“The Problem With the Patriarchy Argument Is That if a Man Steals Viagra From His Local Chemist He’s Automatically Seen as a Hardened Criminal”
At the core of radical feminist ideology is the idea that Western society is essentially a patriarchy in which men dominate and oppress women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a social revolution or two, particularly when it comes to challenging any kind of oppression, but ask yourself this — how many men in your life dominate, oppress, and exploit women?
I don’t know about anyone else, but whenever I hear talk of this supposed patriarchy I’m left feeling confused, the kind of confusion that reminds me of that one time I got the words ‘jacuzzi’ and ‘yakuza’ mixed up and ended up in hot water with the Japanese mafia.
You see, I’m as confused as I am for many reasons. One of which is, if our Western society is indeed a patriarchy, how come here in the UK 85% of rough sleepers are men⁽¹⁾, how come one in three victims of domestic abuse are male⁽²⁾, and how come the biggest killer of men⁽³⁾ is suicide? Another reason I’m confused is that if we do live in a patriarchy, how come we continually see Government policies, police strategies, public funding and social media campaigns that focus on promoting behaviours that men can do to make women feel safer? Also, what kind of patriarchy spends the last fifty years publishing nearly ten times more research on women’s health, than it does on men’s health? Talking about research articles, I’m sure I read somewhere the other day that as much as 20% of women said that they had used vibrators, while the other 80% said that they preferred to buy them new.
And so folks, let me introduce you to the apex fallacy of the patriarchy argument. For the uninitiated, an apex fallacy occurs when a whole group is judged by its most successful or visible members, instead of by a balanced cross-section of its entire group. Talking of discrimination, only the other day I was in my local second-hand bookshop when I saw this dwarf come in and ask if they had any books on the social model of discrimination – “yes, of course” says the shop assistant, “up that spiral staircase, and then top shelf on the left.”
Yes, many positions of power are held by men, yes, most billionaires are men, and yes, most CEOs are men too. But, ask yourself this, if not every man is a billionaire businessman, and in fact, if, compared to women, men are actually less likely to be educated⁽⁴⁾, far more likely to die at work⁽⁵⁾, far more likely to be assaulted on the street⁽⁶⁾, more likely to be homeless⁽⁷⁾, more likely to experience drug addiction⁽⁸⁾, more likely to be imprisoned for longer than women for the very same crime⁽⁹⁾, and far more likely to die by suicide⁽¹⁰⁾ – and with the men of power at the top clearly not giving a shit about the vast number of men at the bottom – can we still continue to call this post-modern, capitalist society of ours a patriarchy? I mean seriously now, how can a patriarchy be anything less than beneficial for men? Talking of pretending to be something that you’re not, I used to have this really weird neighbour who would run across my lawn and pretend to be a soldier getting blown up by explosives. He used to try and play mine games with me.
Sadly, the pushing of this so-called patriarchy narrative requires the teaching of our women and girls that their opportunities in life are restricted not by the mere limitations of their own dreams and ambitions but by a patriarchal society in which they are universally oppressed and passive, where men hold all the power, a society in which their very own husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons, grandfathers, and cousins not only benefit from but also engage in its supposed sexist, misogynistic oppression of females. Now, you haven’t got to be a behavioural scientist to figure out that this ideologically driven, politically-led, media-spread transference of emotions onto our women and girls promotes nothing but misinformation, resentment and fear.
“Does ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Even Really Exist, or Is It Just Some Guys Behaving Too Egotesticle?”
The term ‘toxic masculinity ‘ was originally coined by the late 20th century’s New Age men’s movement as one of two labels in a yin-yang type way of seeing, and ultimately better understanding masculinity. And then, in 2013, it was adopted by the radical feminist movement and presented as a catch-all phrase for referring to masculinity in its supposed inherently toxic entirety, a label that pushes the idea that the problems men face are not complex and multifaceted, not systemic within our society but merely in their heads.
I know what the reasonably minded amongst you are thinking— “Lee, doesn’t such a politically led labelling of a whole gender promote a black and white thinking that prevents us from seeing the men behind the issues, such as the socially awkward guy who was raped as a boy, the broke, depressed, and socially excluded father losing contact with his kids in family court, and the suicidal man seeking non-existent help as a survivor of domestic violence, and also, isn’t such an approach unkind, uncompassionate and uncalled for?”
Yep, I’d agree with that. But, let’s remember folks, when it comes to radical feminism, what we’re talking about here is far from some kind of evidence-based policy-making mission that’s striving for equality of the sexes across all strata of society, but instead, and, rather concerningly, a politically led ideology that promotes misinformation, misunderstanding and mistrust of men.
And so, one minute I’m a hard-working hands-on father of three, and the next thing I know I’m suddenly homeless, bankrupt, clinically depressed, falsely accused, and suicidal. You see, as a way of punishing me for leaving what had become an abusive relationship, my ex has been coaching our children since 2016 to hate me, reject me, and smear me. She used to say to me, “if you ever leave me I’ll make sure you never see the kids again.” Now, credit where credit’s due, she may well be an absolute raving lunatic – now, that may sound harsh, but think about it, what kind of parent brainwashes their own children to totally reject a safe, loving, and very effective other parent just to meet their own emotional needs? – but she certainly says what she does and does what she says.
And so, despite having proven myself to be a safe and loving father time and time again, despite court orders for direct contact, sleepovers, weekends and much much more, and despite having spent in excess of £35,000 on legal fees, and all to no avail, the ‘toxic-masculinity’ narrative would still have me believe that these obstacles that continue to prevent me from simply being a father to my kids are not systemic within our society, nor are they because of an outdated, broken, biased system that prioritises politics and profits over child protection, nor are they even because Children’s Services buy into the discriminatory belief that domestic violence is gendered, but instead, the solutions to my problems lie in a mere change of my male mindset.
Is it not time to toss the term ‘toxic masculinity’ aside and call it out as the cultural gaslighting of men that it is? After all, masculinity isn’t toxic, it is toxic individuals who are toxic.
“Tell the World, Johnny, Tell Them, Johnny Depp, I Johnny Depp, a Man, I’m a Victim Too of Domestic Violence!”
With every radical feminist’s least favourite sentence of the century still fresh in most people’s minds, you’d be forgiven for thinking Heard’s undeniable admission of guilt would perhaps have challenged even the most ardent of advocates of the idea that violence is gendered. I mean, from both an ethical and legal point of view what kind of fool would argue against the overwhelming evidence of Heard’s assaultive behaviours towards Depp? Well, according to the UK’s Dr Charlotte Proudman – who brands herself as a patriarchy-smashing feminist barrister, and regularly tweets what can only be described as disparaging and discriminatory comments about men – “the evidence has nothing to do with this case, it says something about the deeply entrenched misogyny in our society.” Yes, this individual – who practices law at the highest level of the system, influences the making of policies that affect us all, and is even regarded as an ‘expert’ by the most popular of news and media outlets on all things ‘anti-patriarchy’ – did just say that the Depp/Heard case should not be judged on the evidence. Sadly, you couldn’t make this kind of shit up when it comes to the most vocal and influential members of the radical feminist camp casually dismissing any and all evidence that dares to challenge the narrative that women are only ever victims and men only ever perpetrators.
Sadly the likes of Proudman are not at all interested in the statistics, the evidence or even the facts on the ground, like Proudman says, evidence has nothing to do with it, despite there being over 200 studies over a 30-year period that show that men and women perpetrate domestic violence at equal rates⁽¹¹⁾.
However untrue, unkind, and unwarranted such opinions by Proudman and her like may well be, and despite a bucket load of evidence going back 30+ years that inform us of such, society doesn’t yet appear ready to accept that violence is not gendered, but actually transgenerational.
I get it that the lack of scrutiny around the questionable views of radical feminist ideology leads society to not see men as being possible victims, ever, but do we have to view the men who make up 26%⁽¹²⁾ of reported domestic abuse crimes as victims before we help them, do we have to view the men who make up 75%⁽¹³⁾ of suicides as victims before we help them, do we have to view the murdered men that make up 80%⁽¹⁴⁾ of global homicides as victims before we help them?
I know what you’re thinking – “Lee, the problem is that men simply don’t ask for help, and it’s the patriarchy that’s to blame for that.”
Such a statement would be helpful if that were actually the case. However, the sad truth is that a 2021 study found that 91%⁽¹⁵⁾ of men who committed suicide did actually ask for help from at least one service or agency. The same study also found that 82% asked for help from primary care providers, 50% asked for help from mental health services, 33% asked for help from emergency departments, and 38% had sought help in the week prior to their death.
Sadly, the above statistics are very much reflective of my own clinical practice, where I’ve known too many men that have killed themselves due to not being believed, not being helped, and not even being listened to. And in terms of the radical feminist narrative that it is only men that are abusive, not women, my colleagues and I – both male and female – have all been assaulted far more by female patients than males.
And so, what is it that’s preventing us from doing the right thing and treating all victims of abuse equally?
Dear Rad Fems, We Need to Talk: Part I
I know what you’re thinking – “Lee, surely you can’t be saying that this radical feminist ideology – that we live in a patriarchal society where women are only ever the victims of abuse, and men only ever the perpetrators – is actually causing children harm, can you? I mean, only a fool with nothing left to lose but his sanity would try and raise awareness of such an inconvenient truth.”
Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Now, before you call me a misogynistic maniac, please bear with me, this is one hell of a heavy subject, and as such, I’m going to take my time when it comes to unpacking such a complex, misrepresented, and distorted social issue, that at its heart is not a gendered crime at all, but plain and simply a child protection issue.
Now, let me tell you a story. In 2016 my wife and I separated, and since then, I’ve not had any meaningful contact with my kids. My ex-wife certainly held true to her promise to turn the kids against me if I ever left her. Now, she may well be the kind of lunatic to abuse an outdated, biased system for the sole purpose of punishing me – and subsequently psychologically damaging our children in the process – but credit where credit’s due, she’s one hell of a narcissist.
And so, as punishment for me leaving what had become an abusive relationship, my ex-wife thought it would be a good idea to make allegations of child abuse against me. As is the protocol with any such accusations, the court immediately ordered no contact between me and the kids.
Unsurprisingly, the subsequent court-ordered Cafcass-written fact-finding report found no safeguarding issues or concerns around my ability to effectively parent my own kids, or anyone else’s for that matter. On the contrary, it highlighted the fact that despite clearly being coached by their very own mother to reject me, the children, at that point in proceedings, still held me in high regard, still talked of me lovingly and still described me as a “10 out of 10 dad.” The report summarised its findings with the kids “reporting that they miss their dad very much and just want to know when they can see him again.”
As if readers of said report were in any doubt, it concluded with the following – “…mum is exhibiting alienating behaviours in that she is weaponising the children against dad, and in the eyes of the children, she is presenting dad as an ogre. Such behaviours by mum, if unchallenged, will cause irreparable damage to the children’s relationship with their father, and will, in my professional opinion, cause both short and long-term issues for their overall mental wellbeing. Therefore, I recommend the court takes an immediate and robust approach before any further psychological damage is inflicted on the children.”
Now, as straightforward as my case may well appear to be to those unfamiliar with the questionable behaviours of the family court, sadly, to those in the know, a case such as mine is even more common than a breakout of Covid at a Nosepickers Anonymous support group.
Due to the complexity of the case, Children’s Services then became involved, and no sooner had they given the case notes the most cursory of glances was I unceremoniously informed that all the past Cafcass reports, witness statements from friends, family, teachers, contact centre staff and the like, and even a psychological assessment undertaken on the whole family – that had concluded that “the children are being exposed to a significant level of psychological abuse by mum” – were now all suddenly being deemed uncredible, unverifiable, and ultimately unbelievable pieces of evidence. I was told things like, “come on Lee, you can’t tell me a child psychologist can sit with mum and within an hour and a half think she’s got some kind of personality disorder and that she’s now suddenly abusing the kids?” “Lee, I think you just need to accept the fact your kids don’t want to see you anymore,” and I was even told, “Lee, you can’t be the victim in this, men aren’t victims.” Seriously now, how much evidence does a male victim of abuse need in order to be taken seriously?
As if Children’s Services hadn’t come along and caused enough damage to my case, the decision was then made to reinvestigate all past allegations made against me by my ex, regardless of the fact that Cafcass had already deemed them to be false and fabricated in their very first fact-finding report. And as far as anyone I ever came into contact with from Children’s Services was concerned, I was no longer viewed as the victim, but now, I was very much seen as the aggressor. You see, as useless as Cafcass was when it came to managing my case, at least they only treated me with indifference and disrespect. Children’s Services, on the other hand, treated me with complete contempt and disdain, and ultimately viewed me as the archetypal toxic-masculinity-infected kind of man that should be immediately cast aside from society, regardless of any such evidence that says otherwise. The Children’s Services appointed social worker who managed the case once told me – in front of other professionals involved in the case, I might add – “Lee, even if I wanted to, I can’t make her let you see the kids, plus, in all the cases I manage, most of the kids live with their mums, have very little contact with their real dads and that’s just how it is. Like I’ve told you before Lee, it’s unrealistic for you to think you’ll get shared custody of the kids.”
Dear Rad Fems, We Need to Talk: Part II
This particular form of abuse – where a child’s unjustified rejection of a safe and loving parent is caused by repeated negative psychological manipulation by the other parent to the point that it becomes a grave and enduring danger to the long-term mental health of the child – is far from uncommon⁽¹⁶⁾, and appears to account for a lot of society’s current challenges, struggles, and overall woes⁽¹⁷⁾. and with this type of abuse accounting for 80%⁽¹⁸⁾ of the most intransigent cases that find their way to family court, I think it’s safe to say that this shitstorm of a situation isn’t just common, but fucking rife.
The findings of the largest UK survey sample⁽¹⁹⁾ (2020) ever undertaken on this much misunderstood, particular form of child abuse give us further insight:
- Almost half of the survey respondents had not seen their child(ren) for more than 6 months.
- 58% of respondents have had court orders breached.
- 80% of respondents had health concerns including poor mental health.
- 56% of survey respondents were male, and 43% were female.
And as for the psychologically abused children who are coerced into rejecting a safe and loving parent, they’re not just at a much higher risk of not being able to effectively sustain
healthy relationships through their adult life⁽²⁰⁾, but there is also an increased risk of developing serious and chronic mental health disorders⁽²¹⁾⁽²²⁾ and substance dependency issues⁽²³⁾.
And the radical feminist perspective on this form of abuse – which would be farcical if it weren’t so devastating for the children concerned – is driven by false claims that domestic abuse is a gendered crime and that we all live in a patriarchy. You see, the radical feminist camp would have us believe that when claims of this form of abuse are made by fathers against mothers it is a mere tactic used by fathers to regain access to the children to reabuse them, but when such claims are made by mothers against fathers, the allegations should be believed, taken seriously and any contact between father and children be immediately stopped. This warped view is further explained by Dr Adrienne Barnett, Cafcass Research Advisory Committee, “perpetrators intentionally try to undermine, distort and disrupt this relationship and turn children against their mothers by demeaning, belittling criticising and insulting women to and in front of children, encouraging children to participate in the abuse of their mothers and treating children to expensive gifts and days out, which can continue to be perpetrated through child contact. The ‘alienating’ behaviour I would suggest, be called out for what it is – a strategy of domestic abuse.”
I know what the reasonably minded amongst you are thinking – “Lee, the idea that any response to such claims of this kind of abuse is determined solely by the gender of the parent making the allegations, is absolute fucking madness! I mean, whatever happened to an evidence-based approach to responding to child abuse?”
If only child protection was that simple.
Dear Rad Fems, We Need to Talk: Part III
And so, dear radical feminists, it concerns me – not just as a father going through this abuse, not just as a son of elderly parents who are being denied a relationship with their beloved grandchildren due to the vengeful actions of my ex, and not just as a frontline clinician in the NHS who sees the tragic consequences of this abuse every single day – that you’re not just being collectively ignorant of this child protection issue, but actually going to great lengths to dismiss, deny, and ultimately bury it.
First of all, I think it’s about time we had a public discussion about your unethical promotion of manipulated facts – such as the much-promoted report by Women’s Aid, ‘Child First – 19 Homicides⁽²²⁾’, that referenced ten years of Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) between 2005-2015 and identified twelve cases where children had been killed by their fathers whilst ‘on contact’, but chose not to mention⁽²³⁾ that there were also fifteen children killed by their nine mothers, and also conveniently forgot to include the Samira Lupidi⁽²⁴⁾ case where a mother stabbed her two young children to death in a refuge, just a couple of months before the report’s publication – and how such behaviours are indicative of the lengths you will go to in pushing this fucked up narrative that women are only ever victims and men only ever perpetrators, while unashamedly disregarding the truth that SCR data from child homicides actually informs us that more mothers have killed their children than biological fathers and male partners combined.
I also think it’s high time we talk about your relentless discrediting of the child psychiatrist Richard Gardner and how your false claims of him being a paedophile (which of course, he wasn’t⁽²⁵⁾) clearly help you in arguing that this form of abuse (when experienced by fathers, not by mothers, of course) is nothing more than ‘junk-science’, and how these behaviours of yours are nothing less than shameful.
We also need to talk about your continued pushing of the Duluth Model, and its resulting continued use in practice – despite it having been debunked by its own author, Ellen Pence⁽²⁶⁾, “somewhere we shifted from understanding violence as rooted in a sense of entitlement to rooted in a desire for power. We created a conceptual framework that did not fit the lived experience of the men and women we were working with. We engaged in ideological practices and claimed them to be neutral observations” – and how such behaviours prevent us from protecting all victims of abuse.
We should also talk about your recent involvement in the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary ‘Torn Apart – Family Courts Uncovered’, and its unforgivable portrayal of this form of abuse as being nothing more than a tactic used by abusive fathers to reabuse their children. With the ominous involvement of not just Proudman and Barnett, but also Claire Waxman, (Victim’s Commissioner for London) – and with no testimonies whatsoever from victim parents of this abuse (mothers and fathers), or even former child victims for that matter – the programme certainly did what it set out to do, it muddied the waters of understanding around this complex, and easily misunderstood form of abuse, it fanned the fires of the gender wars by ‘reminding’ its viewers that violence is not in fact, transgenerational, but actually gendered, and also, no doubt it helped prioritise personal gains over child protection. Those that knowingly engage in such unethical endeavours are plain and simply complicit in this child abuse, no more, no less.
And so, dear radical feminists, what concerns me the most about your questionable behaviours and tactics is not just the shocking misrepresentations of the facts on the ground, not just the unconscionable way in which you keep taxpayers’ money away from helping all other victims of abuse that don’t fit in your twisted narrative, and not just the way in which you flagrantly demonise men and boys, but what really concerns me and many many others is your total disregard for the wellbeing and ultimate safety of an incalculable number of children that remain unprotected from abuse due to your objectives, goals and ambitions.
Dear radical feminists, if not for the parent victims, please, for the sake of our children, we really need to talk.