Slate writer: Stop lionizing violent fathers

Newsweek has published an essay by Slate senior writer Dahlia Lithwick critical of the glorification of violent fathers like Reno’s Darren Mack.

Lithwick, who once worked for a law firm that represented Mack in a divorce action, said men’s rights groups “continue to pick the wrong poster boys to highlight the problems of fathers’ rights.” She cites Clark Rockefeller, the millionaire who allegedly kidnapped his daughter while on a visitation in Boston. He was later arrested in Baltimore and his claims of prestigious friendships and high level positions were exposed as fraudulent.

“Before Clark Rockefeller, there was Darren Mack, the Reno, Nev., father serving a life in prison for stabbing his estranged wife to death in his garage in 2006 as their young daughter watched TV upstairs. He then attempted to kill, sniper-style, the family court judge overseeing his custody dispute.”

Lithwick argues that there are legitimate claims of men mistreated by the courts—"dozens of nonviolent fathers who believe that the mere fact of their divorce should not result in an arrangement in which they pay for the right to see their kids on alternating Sundays. If the family court system is ever going to improve, we need to hear their stories, not tales of kidnapping and murder.”