Halle Berry is petitioning the court to ban her daughter’s father from having any contact whatsoever with their child. She has already accused Gabriel Aubry, a Canadian model, of abuse, and had the judge order supervised visitation with a nanny of her choice and under her employ. Inevitably, some problems have arisen between Mr. Aubry and the nanny, who is now accusing him of assault and child abuse. If the judge who went along with this ill-conceived plan didn’t see this coming from a mile away, I’d be highly surprised. Almost looks as though the judge collaborated in setting Mr. Aubry up, which is beyond the pale even in the sordid realm of family law.
Sadly, Berry’s vindictiveness is common amongst women following breakups with their child’s father. But in this case, the racial angle is contributing to tension. Although it isn’t a well-known fact, white fathers of children with black women face even worse odds than your typical father. The traditional “one-drop rule” that posits that all Americans with black African ancestry are strictly black tends to put a barrier between the father and child, because people assume that children should be raised amongst their own. This may be why one of the main points of contention between Aubry and Berry has been over whether their daughter is “black.” If so, as the tradition goes, then he has no real claim to the child. The reason white mothers of mixed-race children don’t have to deal with this problem is that default mother custody prevents it from arising in the first place.
Although it’s unlikely Berry will succeed in cutting Aubry off from all contact with his daughter (even prisoners convicted of violent crimes have some visitation rights), she will probably have little trouble making it difficult for him to maintain a normal relationship with her. Additionally, she’ll be able to force him to spend a great deal of money, and she’s far wealthier than he is. This case will be a good test of whether California judges have any respect at all for fathers’ rights. In a just world, a woman who tries to cut her children off from their father entirely out of vindictiveness should lose majority custody, but because that will never happen here, we can at least hope the judge tells Ms. Berry to back off.
Halle Berry may win a few rounds here and there, and she may ultimately be able to shove Gabriel Aubry largely out of his daughter’s life, but cases like these are seen in a different light today, and she runs the risk of permanently tarnishing her reputation. The photos of a handsome Gabriel Aubry caring for his cute, happy daughter don’t exactly jibe with the feminist stereotype, which casts fathers as vicious, brutal troglodytes. As comments below the Daily Mail article indicate, even women think Halle is out of line.