In 1984, George Orwell’s fucking depressing novel, one of the slogans by the Party that people were required to believe was that 2+2=5. Obviously, this is a blatant rejection of reality. But through total mindfucks and abject torture, the main character of the novel was made to believe. From Wikipedia:
Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, uses the phrase to wonder if the State might declare “two plus two equals five” as a fact; he ponders whether, if everybody believes it, that makes it true. The Inner Party interrogator of thought-criminals, O’Brien, says of the mathematically false statement that control over physical reality is unimportant; so long as one controls one’s own perceptions to what the Party wills, then any corporeal act is possible, in accordance with the principles of doublethink (“Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once”).
My friend today wrote me and told me her ex husband, who is a pathological liar and a sociopath, had filed contempt charges against her regarding events that never happened. Nevertheless, she was found in contempt for not doing the right thing, even though there was no way for her to do the right thing for something that never happened. It felt as if I’d walked right into Orwellian “justice.”
Another friend posted of her custody battle, “my child is being stolen.” I don’t even know her entire situation but I know she is being set up to fail. No woman can match an angry man in power of manipulation, in physical resources, or in culturally embedded entitlement.
In my situation, I have more documented education regarding teaching, parenting, and psychology, more parenting experience, more years’ experience working with children, and more child development knowledge than the five people working on my case combined. Despite this, I am not allowed to claim my children on my taxes or make educational or medical decisions. And a man who is an untreated narcissist is allowed to run free with his emotional and financial harm to everyone.
The “doublethink” of family court turns women into “thought criminals.” Everyone in our world might know us as kind and loving mothers, as fierce and compassionate protectors, as human and generous in our approach to raising our children. We are knowledgeable. We are strong. We are exceptionally qualified because we had the guts to leave an abuser.
We are also narrated-by our culture and by family court. The courts do not seek evidence that we are reasonable and responsible. They seek minute phrases or attributes that fits their narrative of women as lying, vindictive, money-grabbers. No matter how upright we are, or how much we are put in our place by having our sphere of influence reduced to nearly nothing, no matter how effectively we walk in the eggshells offered to us, we are constantly disempowered and oppressed.
The court system highly praises fatherhood to the exclusion of motherhood. In fact, with the presumption of 50/50, you don’t get to be a mother; you are simply a Not-Father. There is Father and Not-Father. It’s sexist and fucked up and I pray it creates a huge hunger in our children so they seek us out when they understand their pitiful fathers.
Pitiful fathers. The Story sang in their song, “When Two and Two Are Five,”
“And in the darkest corners between conscience and faith
(Lord, get my room ready, nothing is adding up)
We’ll meet the terrible angel
Straddling our pitiful fathers”
I always wondered what this meant but for me, today, after hearing reminders that standing in glory as the Golden Gods in family court are men who are narcissists, sociopaths, and flat out abusers, I understood. The “terrible angels” are their enablers. Fathers are sanctified and protected from the consequences of their sins. They are spray painted silver when their lies become obvious enough to be toxic. The worshippers in the pews chant and believe, “bad man, good father, it’s all her fault.”
In family court, 2+2=5. And the mindfucked wholeheartedly believe it. And they are the ones making decisions about our children.