Stereotying Women

Linda J Gottlieb

“Reaching Higher Ground”

Stereotyping the alienating parent as “Woman” only serves to alienate professional allies and co-victims.

I have been thinking about saying this for some time, and now I’m ready to post my thoughts.

I certainly understand the pain, helplessness, and the hopelessness of all of you dedicated, loving, supportive, and heroic fathers out there who have been victimized by the PAS—-as was my father. And I certainly understand that your former female partners initiated the chain of events that have led to your desperate situations, the undermining of your relationships with your children, and frequently the complete severing of those relationships. On the other hand, I believe that when inflammatory terms such as feminist pigs, fembots, or other derogatory references to women are employed, you have the potential to alienate women who are also victimized by the PAS as well as the professional women who are on your side and are fighting the PAS voraciously, often at great risks to their professional reputations.

The reality is that no one partner in either gender—without outside professional support—- is powerful enough to defeat, marginalize, and subvert the other. As I pointed out in my book, the alienating parent is successful ONLY because they have co-opted the professionals in the mental health, child protective, matrimonial, and judicial systems. It is the confluence of the support of these professionals who embolden and empower the alienator and thereby perpetuate and deepen the PAS. Shall I tell you how many of these professionals—-particularly the judges who adjourn these cases interminably and eventually end up granting custody to the mother—-are Males? Shall I tell you how many MALE matrimonial attorneys support their alienating female client in facilitating the PAS—-all for pecuniary motivations to increase their bottom line? Shall I tell you how many MALE mental health therapists determine to rescue their client-child from the alleged abusing father because such spurious stories stimulate the male’s instinctive need to be protective—-and sometimes because it also increases their bottom line?

When someone is suffering from such severe pain as the loss of a relationship with a child, there is the instinctive reaction to seek a receptacle for the anger, and the convenient and understandable receptacle is the other parent. It is harder, if not impossible, to place one’s anger in the system. Nevertheless, the SYSTEM IS THE PROBLEM. If we divert our focus and energy from where change must occur—-in an adversarial approach to child custody—-then the alienating parent will triumph. Anger serves a purpose; but I would prefer to be a change agent. It is hard to do and be both simultaneously.

And finally, I cannot conclude this post without emphasizing that more and more mothers are becoming victimized by the PAS, as were 8 of the 32 alienated parents my discussed in my book.

Alienated parents everywhere, regardless of gender, must unite and stand together to fight the scourge of the PAS. The alienators and their professional supporters outnumber us as it is. We cannot afford to alienate even one alienated parent of the female gender or even one female professional supporter.


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