- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 2 edition (July 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1556529996
- ISBN-13: 978-1556529993
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody 2nd Edition
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Sure to inspire anger, understanding and action.” Gloria Steinem on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial
An essential work.” Erica Jong on the 1st edition of Mothers on Trial
About the Author
The author of thirteen books and thousands of articles and speeches, feminist icon Phyllis Chesler is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies at City University of New York, a psychotherapist, and an expert courtroom witness. She is cofounder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network, a charter member of the Women's Forum and the Veteran Feminists of America, a founder and board member of the International Committee for the Women of the Wall, and an affiliated professor with Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities. Her pioneering work, Women and Madness, is a long-standing classic. She lives in Manhattan.
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A used copy of Mothers on Trial found its way into my hands right around the time I was awaiting the court's final decision in my own child custody battle. When I first filed petitions for legal protection and child custody in the Albany County (New York) family court, I thought the evidence in my case was rock solid, if not overwhelming. I naively assumed that the court's orders would be based upon the evidence and the law. What I encountered, instead, was the convoluted system described by Dr. Chesler in MOT. I found a system driven by cronyism and the profit motive. I was confronted with a legal climate that seemed utterly obsessed with the rights of fathers, no matter how monstrously those fathers behaved toward their partner and children. I encountered legal professionals who dismissed my allegations, ignored the evidence I'd gathered, and gave little credence to my record of parenting. I witnessed legal professionals making nonsensical recommendations that barely masked their disdain for women in general and battered women like me in particular. I was subjected to court orders that not only failed to deliver the protections I was seeking but instead added to my own and my children's suffering.
But at the very least, reading Dr. Chesler's masterpiece at that particular juncture was immensely cathartic. The legal scenario described therein mirrored almost perfectly all that I'd just gone through during approximately three years of custody litigation. It assured me, in my traumatized state, that what I'd experienced was not about me personally, nor was it unique in the least. At the time, I was glad that I hadn't come across the book earlier on in the litigation process; my ignorance had actually protected me from the paralyzing fear I'm sure I would have felt if I had really known all along what was going on in the belly of the family court beast.
Having gone through this up-close-and-personal experience, I became active in the women's custody movement (often referred to as the protective mothers movement). Sitting here now, nearly a dozen years later, I can assure you that what MOT describes is, to this day, standard operating procedure. The custody courts continue to be infested with legal "experts" whose misuse of psychological tests and application of bogus psychological theories arenothing less than unethical and incompetent if not outright corrupt. The courts are led by judges who continue to issue outlandish custody and visitation orders that fly in the face of everything we'lve learned in the past several decades about the toxic effects of abuse on children and their development. Twenty five years later, mothers are still very much on trial.
As the new Mothers on Trial demonstrates, the legal landscape faced by protective mothers has only gotten darker. The nightmare facing them is even worse than the one their mothers and grandmothers faced in earlier decades. Don't let the fathers rights misogynists, or anyone else, tell you otherwise.
Sill not convinced? Do you still believe that mothers are favored in the child custody courts? Then read this book.
Reviewed by: Dr. Mo Therese Hannah, Chair, Battered Mothers Custody Conference firstname.lastname@example.org [...]
Most people turn a blind eye to what is really happening to good mothers.
This book highlights the belief that "mothers who lose their children must have done something awful" is a myth.
Another very personal story which also addresses this myth is: A Lioness from Judea Roars: A Lioness from Judea Cries
everyone working in the legal & welfare systems as well as all families must read this
I particularly like the academic nature of it; there are plenty of citations, etc., so hopefully people will start listening - particularly judges.
The most fundamental idea to grasp - is that a challenging a mother's custody of her children is a form of abuse. Everything falls into place, once you can view the litigation process in terms of abuse.