• The Power of the Vagina

    by Jesse Loren

    In California, a woman might get paid 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, but having a vagina wins when it comes to child custody.

    I used to think I lived in a progressive state. Things changed for me on Thursday when I found out my friend, a very dedicated father with a long track record of being a step-father to his non-biological son, lost custody of his daughter to his baby-momma.

    It’s not that they aren’t both good peeps. No drugs, no abuse, just friction in a momma-daddy-break-up-sex, whoops we’re raising a kid, kind of situation.

    Dad is golden, dedicated, committed, unwavering. Mom was nervous, short-tempered, but committed. Dad had a track record of commitment, caring and sobriety; was a home-owner with steady employment. Mom had a track record of having family in Texas. Mom got full physical custody and within about 24 hours from the judge’s orders, whisked the kid away from daddy’s arms to get on a plane.

    Does it sound harsh? Imagine being dad and planning lunch. What do you feed your child when she wakes from her nap, knowing that it’s the last lunch in the house she grew up in since birth? Would you cry? Would you sob uncontrollably? Would you think pancakes or cupcakes?

    Would you wonder about God?

    Momma got a job in Texas. Not that she didn’t have a job here. But she got a better one in Texas.

    What I wonder about is the power of the vagina. I know that you can’t hook a vacuum to it. I know it can’t do dishes. I know it doesn’t study well in college, and, in fact, it is a bit of a distraction. I know it lacks a GPS, well, at least mine does… I just wonder at the power of the vagina.

    I know, as the mother of three children, that they had to travel through my body to come into the world. They had to grow in me and crack out of me. Still, the capacity of love from dad is not lost on me.

    Just because my friend has a penis doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a heart. My friend having a penis doesn’t diminish his capacity to love. The fact that he has a penis and is not afraid to use it doesn’t mean that he is not a great father.

    Where was the need to keep father in the family? Some of my friends have raised questions about the role of the male in modern society. I scoffed at the oddity of the question, at least until Thursday. The role of the father has diminished due to a nebulous fear of not empowering the mother.

    For this one petite two year old, not having a father beside her was caused by the mother and blessed by the state. I know it is the first of many court battles, but it seems like the universe lost a bit of polish, while a small girl lost her daily dose of dad.

      • Ken Welton

      • July 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm
      • Reply

      Yup! So true. That’s the way it is in California. The ONLY way a dad will get full custody in California is if the mom refuses any custody. Not progressive. The Family Law Courts still live in the 50’s.

    • I know of lots of cases where the judge would not allow the mom to move to another state or the dad for that matter in custody cases. I wonder why this one didn’t go that way. Also, since 87& of all cases are settled before a trial it says something about these two parents not being able to settle the issues with mediation where it worked for everyone. Would love to hear the ruling behind the ruling as to why they let this mom leave the state.

    • I don’t know what that is so I’ll hold my judgement. I’ll bet that does not surprise you either.

      • Jesse

      • July 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm
      • Reply

      I think many cases these days rest on the idea that a parent doesn’t need a compelling reason to move out of state, and in the absence of an agreement, the judge gets to be the decider. It’s crappy squared.

      • Jesse

      • July 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm
      • Reply

      Another note… but the orders do say dad can visit anytime, for any duration, unrestricted, and mom has to pay half, and no child support from dad. Mom actually has to pay for tons of stuff, child care, flights, etc. I guess if she wanted to take the kid, she got the whole enchillada that comes with it. Emotionally, very hard on dad, but I guess I can see a little insight into the judge….

    • Seems like the shape of your genitals shouldn’t be a measure of your value as a parent. Sad story. But maybe there is solace in knowing that it won’t always be this way. As the child gets older, hopefully she will be able to spend more time with her father. And as she gets older than that, she may choose him over her mother. Life will march on, and what is today is not necessarily what is tomorrow.

      As for you column… FABULOUS! 🙂

      • Andrea

      • July 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm
      • Reply

      The whole situation just doesn’t make a lick of sense. You would think the judge would understand that strong families are good for children. I wonder whose well-being the judge was favoring most…

      • Jesse

      • July 23, 2011 at 8:02 am
      • Reply

      My take on the judge was that he had precedents set on not having to have a compelling reason to move a child, and also, the law saying that the child could stay if there was a compelling reason like a specific illness that could only be treated here or there. What doesn’t make any sense to me is that he didn’t seem to see the lies on the part of the mom. If he did, he would have ruled differently. I hope the whole thing changes over time. Judge made a crappy decision…. This just isn’t the first time the courts do not serve the public well.

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