Earlier on the news, I heard that Andrea Yates (she who drowned her five children in Texas) had been granted a new trial. I’m not going to go into that topic specifically (I happen that the screwup in that first trial was atrocious, and heads should roll over whoever vetted Dr. Dietz), but it made me think of something odd I’ve noticed before.
There have been cases of parents killing their children before, and regardless of the sex of the murdering parent, the reaction is the same. When it’s the father, it’s expressions of disgust and outrage at the monstrous father, accompanied by sympathy for the mother. But when it’s the mother who kills the children, it’s the same: sympathy for the poor mother who must have been driven to this monstrous act, and outrage at the father for allowing/encouraging it to happen.
It was really driven home to me this time, though, when it came out that the National Organization for Women had raised the funds for the appeal. Does NOW really want to be associated with a woman who murdered all five of her children?
It goes even deeper than that. I happen to be pro-choice on the abortion issue, as is NOW, but do they really want to leave themselves open to charges that they favor the right of women to kill their children on a whole new front?
But back to my point. It seems regardless of which parent actually kills the children, the mother is seen as sympathetic and the father as monstrous. Why is this?
Maybe I’m just not as in-touch with this issue because I don’t have children of my own, and never will. But the trend seems, to me, to smack of a double standard.
And that’s why I’m tossing this out — I’d like to hear some calm, reasoned discussion of this matter. I’m asking folks to try and be civil about this — if you want to really get heated, please do down and chime in on Paul’s regularly scheduled “PC vs. Mac” wars.