A father in Ecuador who felt he was being discriminated against by the family court system in the fight for custody of his two daughters has taken advantage of the country’s gender self-identification law and changed his legal sex to female.
According to the feminist publication 4W, journalist René Salinas Ramos made the decision to change his sex because he claims that “justice benefits mothers to the detriment of men.”
Ecuadorian law states that in the event of a separation or divorce, parental authority is given to the mother. Ramos reportedly told the news outlet La Voz de Tomebamba that while he has no conflict regarding his sexuality or gender identity, he made the decision to change his legal sex to set a precedent in a system that privileges mothers because they are women.
“Now I am also a mother. That's how I consider myself. I am very sure of my sexuality. What I have sought is to give the love and protection that a mother can give her children,” said Ramos.
Ramos is taking advantage of the 2016 Ecuadorian Gender Identity Law which allows adults to change their legal sex simply by self-declaration at the Civil Registry office, without the need to undergo hormone therapy or surgery.
El Universo, an Ecuadorian news outlet, reports that Ramos claims he hasn’t seen his older daughter for a year and a half. He also alleges that his younger daughter “suffers constant physical abuse.” It is assumed that he means this abuse occurs at the hands of the child’s mother.
Ramos believes that family courts discriminate against men, and he is also a supporter of a “father’s rights” non-profit called Fundacion Padres por Justicia, a group that seeks “to make visible the obstruction of family ties and classify it as a crime.”
The father’s rights group also aims to raise awareness about “parental alienation” and “how it results in child abuse.”
According to 4W, psychiatrist Richard Gardner coined the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in the late 1980s to describe children who exhibited certain symptoms as the result of what he believed to be the manipulation by one parent against the other. One way this syndrome manifested itself was in false sexual abuse accusations against the father.
Such accusations were far more common at that time due to the now thoroughly debunked “recovered memory therapy” during which unethical therapists planted false memories of abuse into the minds of their vulnerable female patients.
However, Gardner himself had some questionable opinions on the subject of child sex abuse. In his 1992 book, True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse, he claimed that pedophilia was an “accepted practice among literally billions of people.” He also wrote that there is “a bit of pedophilia in every one of us” and suggested that “our society overreacts to it [pedophilia].”
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