What planet do these judges live on?

Posted Friday, December 10th, 2010 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Child Custody, Law and Culture, Of Interest to General Public, South Carolina Specific

Recently, while working on a blog on grandparent visitation and doing research for an upcoming lecture on the concept of “psychological parent,” I had the opportunity to reread the case of Marquez v. Caudill, 376 S.C. 229, 656 S.E.2d 737 (2008).  Marquez involved a custody and visitation dispute between stepfather and maternal grandmother in which mother had committed suicide and biological father of one of the children was a non-presence.

Both stepfather and grandmother had their “issues.”  In affirming the family court’s award of custody to stepfather the Supreme Court noted the family court’s finding that “Stepfather has shown poor judgment by … visiting pornographic websites.”  Despite stepfather’s pornography consumption, the Supreme Court affirmed the family court’s award of custody to him.

Nothing in the Marquez opinion would indicate that stepfather’s “visiting pornographic websites” was done with the children present or that the children were exposed to this media.  Nothing in the opinion indicates that stepfather was spending inordinate time visiting these websites and that his pornography consumption was interfering with his parenting responsibilities.  Instead, it appears, that stepfather’s mere consumption of pornography was considered noteworthy by our courts, as though watching pornography somehow made stepfather a suspect parent.

Which leads me to ask, what planet are these judges from?  One of my favorite Jon Stewart quips was a plug for a The Daily Show series devoted to evolution.  His tag line was, “Evolution! Man versus monkey: One’s a poo-flinging masturbator and the other’s a monkey.”  This quip shows keen insight into the male thought process when it’s unleashed from our culture’s “civilizing” influences.  As the Broadway musical Avenue Q celebrates, the internet was made for porn.

My experience as a family law attorney and as a male in our culture indicates that there are two types of men: those who admit to consuming pornography and those who lie about it.  Making online pornography consumption, in and of itself, a fitness issue isn’t going to stop men from consuming pornography; it’s simply going to turn male custody litigants into liars.

3 thoughts on What planet do these judges live on?

  1. American society is unable to live out its moral illusions and is thus committed to an every deeper and irrational immersion in hypocrisy. This has become so extreme in the area of sexual behavior, drug use and economics that our children can’t take their society seriously any longer. It undermines all moral conduct, since dishonesty makes the very issue of what people should do a sort of extended joke.

  2. I hope that C. Vance Stricklin Jr., Sheila McNair Robinson, and Judge Henry T. Woods all subscribe to this blog as this was one of the minor issues we had in a three day visitation case this week.

    I neither consume pornography nor lie about it, having cancelled my subsciption to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, because I do not consider sex to be a spectator sport.

    1. But do you read the Victoria Secrets catalog?

      All kidding aside, I am sure there are a few men who never consume pornography. However, given the rank hypocrisy this culture exhibits regarding eroticism, the use of substances to alter consciousness, and effusive displays of religious piety, my sympathies tend towards the professed sinners. Even if their sins are greater than those who hold themselves out as our moral exemplars-wanna bet?-they have my support, as there are few who are willing to stand up for pleasure unless they have something to sell us.

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