I don't want to go too much into this episode of The Dr. Phil Show because it certainly is complicated. A thirty seven year old alcoholic, drug addicted, man had 'sex' with a nineteen year old young woman. A pregnancy ensued. The man proceeded to stalk the young woman until she simply told him she had had an abortion so that he would leave her alone. After the baby was born the young woman placed her for adoption. When the father discovered this he decided that he wanted custody and began a lengthy legal battle for his rights despite a rather odd law that requires fathers to register with the state prior to birth if they wish to have any rights to the child after birth.
I will not suggest that this man doesn't have some rights. My problem with this episode is that the "expert" opinion that Dr. Phil solicited was that of Mel Feit, patriarchy-denier extraordinaire. Feit identifies himself as a Men's Rights Activist. Having recently studied at some length MRA movements I have to concur with one of my favorite feminist scholars, blogger Twisty Faster.
“Massively [W]rong Assholes, or ‘men’s rights activists’ are patriarchy-deniers. The ideologies of this violent and knobbish subset of the Male Dominion spring from male fear of women’s personal sovereignty, and manifest in practice as active misogyny. Men suffer, O how they suffer, at the hands of subhuman conniving bitches who seek world domination through insane women-are-human propaganda and the misguided attempt to claim their own internal organs as private property. The MRA imagines that women’s interests control and abuse him in an ever more feminized world; he erroneously sees himself as a battered victim of women’s agency, rather than what he actually is: a moron.”