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Murder: A New Feminist View of Motherhood

What is most fascinating about the Yates case is that it took NO time for
the media to cook this "postpartum depression" nonsense up.  The story
came out, immediately, as a postpartum depression case -- a "knee jerk"
conclusion that took place at first viewing (I saw the first stories that came
out on CNN).  This demonstrates the power and depth of radical feminist
thinking within and all across the media.
One would think that it would have first come out as a murder story and it
would have taken them a few days to come up with a psychological excuse
or "diagnosis".  The fact that the excuse / diagnosis was literally in the very
first story tells us that this is a huge public deception.
I also find it interesting that nobody ever talks about the problems men go
through when a child is born.  Men often feel "overly responsible", work
too hard to pay the crush of anticipated bills, abandon their friendships,
and stay up all night watching mom breastfeed the child so they feel
I recall feeling quite nervous about all the changes in my life -- having a
child really
is a life-changing event that runs over into all areas of one's life.  It
appears to me
that Mr. Yates fell into the "overly responsible" mode, in which he also felt
responsible for all of his wife's feelings, and was so engaged in walking on
eggshells around her that he couldn't even think about the possibility that she
actually murdered the kids.  It appears to me that she ran that household on
feelings, and they were used to manipulate him every step of the way.  This, of
course, is what radical feminists do in the larger scheme of things --
every situation to "run on feelings" so as to revolve around women.
Murder: A New Feminist View of Motherhood
By Wendy McElroy
Fox News,2933,28668,00.html
July 03, 2001
Andrea Pia Yates - the Houston woman who drowned her five children - has prompted
stunned and public discussion of how a mother could possibly kill her own
offspring.  It has also inspired a particularly vicious new feminist line of reasoning.
It has been well documented for years that mothers are responsible for much, if
not most, fatal child abuse in North America. A Bureau of Justice report entitled Murder
in Families (NCJ 143498) surveyed murder cases tried in 1988 and discovered 55 percent of
defendants charged with killing their own children were women. The Third National Incidence
Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-3, 1996) from the Department of Health and Human
Services reported that mothers perpetrate 78 percent of fatal child abuse.
Even granting that women are usually the primary caregivers, these figures are
high. So high that alarm bells should be ringing.
Instead, there is silence or worse. The "worse" is political correctness, which
views women as victims, never as victimizers.
The mainstream media has accepted this feminist myth so completely it is
scrambling to somehow soften the unmitigated evil of a mother murdering her five young
children. Evil is not too strong a word.
Yates' videotaped confession to the police described drowning Mary, the
6-month-old, in the bathtub. As Yates was doing so, Noah, the eldest child at 7 years old,
wandered into the bathroom and asked, "What's wrong with Mary?" Yates ran after the fleeing boy
and drowned him next.
Yet, in newsprint and on airwaves, there are compassionate discussions of Yates'
mental state. Blame is already shifting onto the shoulders of her husband and society
for not recognizing the depth of her psychosis.
There are calls for greater funding of women's health issues. Yates is fast
becoming a poster woman for post-partum depression.
Consider how a popular feminist news site, Women's Enews, is handling the story.
On June 27, the site featured an article by Cheryl Meyer, co-author of the upcoming
book, Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Mothers From Susan Smith to
the Prom Mom (August 2001, New York University Press).
Meyer begins by inferring that society is responsible for the murders. "People
... didn't pay attention when Andrea repeatedly voiced her symptoms of depression," Meyer
writes. She concludes that, if Yates were in England instead of "relatively barbaric"
America, she would be in a hospital receiving medical treatment instead of in jail.
In what seems to be the "moral message" section, Meyer discusses having
researched several thousand cases of mothers killing their children in '90s, with approximately 10
percent of the cases involving the death of more than one child. She has made a startling
discovery. These murderous moms are a sort of Every Woman because many mothers "almost snap."
Meyer appeals to us not to distance ourselves from Yates. "It frightens us that
Andrea Yates could be any mother," she explains, so we focus on "making her different from us
or ... on the legal technicalities of her case."
Instead, we should be focusing on the culpability of the medical community for
not sufficiently recognizing post-partum syndromes. "Like many women's health issues and
particularly women's mental health issues, they are discounted."
So goes the new PC feminist line. Even a woman who viciously murders babies is
the true victim, a casualty of white male culture's indifference to the plight of women. Yates
deserves our understanding, not distance.
The new feminist wrinkle, in part, is the myth that women are somehow superior
to men and yet,  strangely, not responsible for their own actions. Instead, Meyer asks us to
consider "the responsibility we have toward our fellow human beings." A responsibility not to
kill the weak and innocent doesn't seem to rank high.
There is one sense in which the Yates case is a step in the right direction. At
least, PC feminists are acknowledging that women in the home are as violent as men.
They are being forced to admit what studies and governmental statistics have
made obvious for years. But a unique spin is being applied to the information: Women's violence
is the fault of men and male culture; the Amercian Medical Association doesn't listen; motherhood is
conducted in a social isolation that makes women snap; the average mother empathizes with
Yates must not be used to construct a psychological model of American
motherhood. Statements such as Meyer's must be challenged. She writes, "Most mothers just seem to
understand how a woman could kill her child." She concludes, "When we target certain cases and
try to ascertain how this particular mother could have killed her child, we mask the more
important question, why don't more mothers do this?"
Feminist sites are fond of reprinting a famous speech by the ex-slave Sojourner
Truth, "Ain't I a Woman." There, Sojourner cried from a mother's heart, "I have borne 13 children
and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but
Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?"
Where is the voice within PC feminism that cries out, "Wasn't baby Mary a
female?" Where are the non-political tears over Noah, John, Paul, and Luke?
McElroy is the editor of She also edited Freedom, Feminism,
and the State (Independent Institute, 1999) and Sexual Correctness: The Gender Feminist Attack
on Women (McFarland, 1996). She lives with her husband in Canada.
Get free ifeminist insiderUpdates once a week by e-mail. is edited by Wendy McElroy; it is part of The Freedom Network,
made possible by support from members like you.
FoxNews Home: Home:
John Hand writes:

BTW:  Here is a disgusting example of sexism in media.  We have MSNBC
using "postpartum depression" to excuse-away the horrifying killing of five
children, simply because the fatal child abuser is a woman.  These people
are walking on psychological eggshells to excuse-away a most sad situation.
There is NO empathy for the children, and none whatsoever for this husband
who apparently was struggling with a psychological basket case for some
time.  Lets not bother to envision what the front page would look like if the
husband had done this.
If Congress had simply passed a gender neutral Domestic Violence Act,
geared towards getting the troubled spouse into treatment, then there is
a pretty decent chance that five children would still be alive today.
But no.  The only thing that counts is radical feminist agitprop spewed
by femifreudians at the A.P.A, a.k.a the "psychology of convenience",
of which this story begs for a sanity check.
In most cases, insanity is an optional illness.  In this case, the A.P.A
has jumped into bed with a murderess.  Data on fatal child abuse
demonstrates that the natural mother is a greater risk than husbands
and boyfriends combined.This is a very serious situation, which to this
very day remains a serious mental health problem that is totally
unaddressed by the A.P.A and Congress.
When folks  get sick and tired of fatal child abuse, and finally decide it
is better to help women and children before all hell breaks loose, VAWA
will be replaced with a gender-neutral family violence act that would put
the husband in a position to seek interventive help.  Let no one forget
that the way VAWA functions, it is actually surprising that this husband
had not been thrown out of the home by his wife -- leaving the children
with no protection whatsoever.



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