FEMRAM members publish special issue on critical perspectives on “parental alienation”

Professors Elizabeth Sheehy and Simon Lapierre co-edited a special issue of Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law on critical perspectives on “parental alienation” published on 07 January 2020.

The special issue features work by FEMRAM members Sheehy and LaPierre, Professor Vivienne Elizabeth and Professor Joan Meier.

The issue includes interdisciplinary articles by leading international scholars on developments in Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, England, Wales, and the United States:

Elizabeth, V. (2020). The affective burden of separated mothers in PA(S) inflected custody law systems: A New Zealand case study. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2020.1701943

Feresin, M. (2020). Parental alienation (syndrome) in child custody cases: Survivors’ experiences and the logic of psychosocial and legal services in Italy. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2019.1701924

Lapierre, S., Ladouceur, P., Frenette, M., & Côté, I. (2020). The legitimization and institutionalization of ‘parental alienation’ in the Province of Quebec. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2019.1701922

Mackenzie, D., Herbert, R., & Robertson, N. (2020). ‘It’s Not OK’, but ‘It’ never happened: Parental alienation accusations undermine children’s safety in the New Zealand Family Court. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2020.1701942

Meier, J. S. (2020). U.S. child custody outcomes in cases involving parental alienation and abuse allegations: What do the data show? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2020.1701941

Sheehy, E., & Lapierre, S. (2020). Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2020.1702409

Vila, G. C. (2020). Parental Alienation Syndrome in Spain: Opposed by the Government but accepted in the Courts. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Online first, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/09649069.2019.1701923

Elizabeth Sheehy is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.

Simon LaPierre is Professor of Social Work at the University of Ottawa.

Joan Meier is Professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University.

Vivienne Elizabeth is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland.

FemRAM member Francis Dupuis-Déri publishes new book

Professor Dupuis-Déri

Professor Francis Dupuis-Déri has published a new book Antiféminismes et masculinismes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui with co-authors Christine Bard and Mélissa Blais.

Francis Dupuis-Déri is Professor in the Political Science Department at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

The book draws connections between historical and contemporary antifeminist mobilisations, highlighting the intersection of antifeminism, racism, and homophobia in the past and today. This book is especially important in the context of contemporary right-wing radicalisation and the rise of neo-fascist threats to democracy.

New book from FemRAM member Ana Jordan

Dr Ana Jordan

FemRAM member Ana Jordan recently published The New Politics of Fatherhood: €”Men’s Movements and Masculinities.

The book makes a unique contribution to contemporary research into masculinities, men’s movements, and fathers’ rights groups. It examines the role of changing masculinities in creating equality and/or reinforcing inequality by analysing diverse men’s movements, their politics, and the identities they (re)construct. Jordan advances a typology for categorising men’s movements (‘feminist’, ‘postfeminist’, and ‘backlash’ movements) and addresses debates over the construction of ‘masculinity-in-crisis’, arguing that ‘crisis’ is frequently invoked in problematic ways.

These themes are further explored through original analyses of material produced by ‘feminist’, ‘postfeminist’, and ‘backlash’ men’s groups. The main empirical contribution of the book draws on interviews with fathers’ rights activists to explore the (gendered) implications of the ‘new’ politics of fatherhood. The nuanced examination of fathers’ rights perspectives reveals multiple, complex narratives of masculinity, fatherhood, and gender politics. The cumulative effect of these is, at best, postfeminist and depoliticising, and, at worst, another vitriolic ‘backlash’.
The New Politics of Fatherhood expands scholarly understandings of gender, masculinities, and social movements in the under-researched UK context, and will appeal to readers with interests in these areas.

Dr Jordan is Senior Lecturer & Programme Leader in the School of Social and Political Sciences, College of Social Science at Lincoln University.

Dr Jordan’s research interests and expertise are in the areas of gender politics and feminist theory, with a particular focus on the politics of masculinity and men’s movements. She has published on men’s movements, including the construction of fatherhood(s) and masculinity/ies by fathers’ rights groups, the gender politics of men’s rights groups, and the relationship between backlash, postfeminism and men’s movements. She has also recently conducted research (along with co-investigators) into gender-based violence in universities. The ‘Stand Together’ action research project at the University of Lincoln was one of the first bystander intervention programmes designed to challenge gender-based violence in a UK university.

FemRAM member Joan Meier’s research featured in Washington Post

Professor Joan S. Meier

The Washington Post ran a feature article ‘A gendered trap’: When mothers allege child abuse by fathers, the mothers often lose custody, study show featuring new empirical research on gender bias against women in domestic violence cases in the family court by Fem RAM member Joan Meier, Professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University Law School.

Joan Meier is a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and the law, appellate litigation, and clinical law teaching. In her more than 20 years at GW, she has founded three interdisciplinary domestic violence clinical programs, two of which provided legal representation, advocacy, and counseling to victims of domestic violence and have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as leading national models. In addition to her years of litigation and teaching, Professor Meier has co-written several significant pieces of federal and state legislation, and frequently delivers presentations and trainings to attorneys, judges, and other professional organizations. She has published widely on domestic violence, and received the Cahn Award from the National Equal Justice Library for her article on domestic violence and welfare reform. Professor Meier’s scholarship focuses on custody and abuse litigation, in particular the misuse of psychological science in custody litigation.

Senator Marilou McPhedran podcast on sexual harassment, bullying and organisational culture


FEMRAM member Senator Marilou McPhedran was a guest at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary  on Nov. 13, 2018. She presented recent research on sexual harassment and spoke about unwanted sexual attention, bullying and the culture of medicine and science more generally. Listen to the podcast Sexual harassment, bullying and the culture of medicine: A conversation with Senator Marilou McPhedran.

Read the full news item from the University of Calgary here. Read the National Academies report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine here.

Senator McPhedran is a leading Canadian legal advocate for human rights for women and girls.

FEMRAM member Lise Gotell on UN panel



FEMRAM member Landrex Distinguished Professor Lise Gotell was featured on the UN Safe Cities forum. The panel also included Status of Women Minister Danielle Larivee, Purna Sen, Director of Policy at UN Women, and Muriel Stanley Venne, founder of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. CBC Edmonton covered the event in the October 16, 2018 event Edmonton exploring how to make public spaces safer for women.  Continue reading

FEMRAM members join 271 law professors opposing Kavanaugh nomination

angry Brett.jpg

FEMRAM members Professor Joan Meier and Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz were among 271 experts on violence and gender who signed a letter to the Judiciary Committee opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States without a full investigation of the reports of sexual assault and Kavanaugh’s reflections on the complex issue of violence against women which is one of the important issues considered by the court.

Kavanaugh has been reported by three women for three different sexual assaults. He displayed contempt for women and a belligerent demeanour during hearings before the Judiciary Committee last week.

The letter was delivered to committee members on Friday, September 28, 2018 and became a part of the hearing record.  An earlier version of the letter was posted to the NYT at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/27/opinion/letters/kavanaugh-hearing.html  & on SSRN at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3256446

Read the final letter and full list of signatories here

See Julie Goldscheid’s comments here

Ruth Halperin-Kaddari in the news


FEMRAM member Ruth Halperin-Kaddari was quoted in the 6 July 2018 article UN grills Australia on multiple failures to protect women against violence by Susan Hutchinson.

The article noted Australian cuts to domestic violence services such as women’s shelters, housing, financial, and legal services despite lip service to domestic violence reforms. It also criticised the abrupt decision to merge the Family Court with the Federal Circuit Court when a major review of family law system led by Professor Helen Rhoades is currently underway. The report from the Australian Law Review Commission is due to the Attorney-General by 31 March 2019. The committee backed calls for a Royal Commission into violence experienced by people with disabilities and implementation of the recommendations on violence experienced by Indigenous women and children.

Professor Halperin-Kaddari, an expert on family law and gendered violence, is Member, Chair of the Working Group on Inquiries and former Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). She teaches at Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law, and is the Director of the Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women at Bar-Ilan University.