My epiphany this morning is that contrary to what I have so far been believing to be the factor that is stopping us in our society/culture from recognizing that great harm is being done to infants and children at the hands of their mothers is NOT our taboos against infant abuse. It is our cultural taboo against recognizing that WOMEN – within the mythical sanctity of the mythical perfect home – are not only capable of committing crimes against helpless, dependent, innocent little ones, they ARE committing these crimes.
If these crimes remain hidden not only from our sight but also from the sight of our clear thinking, we are responsible for allowing these crimes to continue.
I am understanding that what is stopping us from changing what most needs to be changed in order to improve everyone’s quality of life is GENDER BIAS. (Isn’t this the reason why in recent memory wives were property who could not own property, nor could women vote?)
The ‘European’ belief as it has been passed to America from ‘old times’ is that women are pure and INNOCENT children. That myth tells us as it perpetrates itself throughout the fabric of our culture on every level that WOMEN NEVER GROW UP! Because we never grow up we are no more accountable for our actions than children are.
What a deadly two-edged sword this is! If we believe that women are (1) innocent children that never grow up and therefore, (2) are not accountable for our actions, then (3) it must mean that women ‘really’ never commit crimes because (4) we refuse to see them!
This is cultural MADNESS!!!
WOMEN! Put on your prettiest petticoat-dress-hat-gloves, grab a frilly parasol, don your dainty shoes and delicately trip down the sidewalk with your handy-dandy macho male on your arm as he walks along the outside near the curb to catch the mucky wet splashes of horse dung flung from those carriages passing you by!!
And on warm and sunny afternoons you can take your little ones with you as you perambulate around a perfect park with your frilly-bonneted baby in its pram. Don’t forget your parasol!!!!
And in the home you prepare yourself, your children, and a meal (if you have no servants) so that when your macho hero man comes home at night after his long day’s work you can pamper and spoil him with this perfect home life he so richly deserves — and you so perfectly offer to him!
Times have changed, you say?
Need I mention at the very least Medea, the ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides that was based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC.? Beautiful charming Mother Medea was perfectly capable of slaughtering her helpless children with a butcher knife while EVERYONE stood by and let her. Times have NOT changed in the ways that matter most.
(More accurately, in this play Medea told ‘everyone’ exactly what she was going to do. She enters the four walls of a house with the butcher knife. ‘Everyone’ outside the house hears her chasing down her screaming children as she slaughters them one by one. Because the crime took place hidden inside the walls of the house — it didn’t happen?)
Because of the cultural taboo against believing that women ever grow up — let alone ever grow up to commit heinous crimes through ignorance, neglect and abuse against their own children in their mythical perfect home — let alone that anyone SEE these crimes and hold the women accountable while they intervene to SAVE THE CHILDREN — the entire grimmest of plays plays itself out over and over again right under our very proverbial noses.
I know this because it happened to me. I recently heard the report back from my friend who read all 7 of the volumes (being published in the Mildred’s Mountain series) of my severely abusive severely mentally ill (Borderline Personality Disorder with abusive psychosis) mother. My friend said that not only can none of the abuse be detected in my mother’s 500,000 words — but that the mental illness does not appear either!!
No, Mother Mildred was entirely capable of hiding her abuse, her mental illness and her psychosis from view — even all these years after her 2003 death as people read her words — because NOBODY wants to know the truth about women!
Women ARE not blithering blathering gorgeous little helpless innocent toys!! We ARE not innocents! We do commit crimes against our children because in most cases we CAN! My mother committed her crimes against me because her madness made her do it, nobody recognized any part of the truth about what was going on, and she was allowed to continue down her merry path. Did her madness and its corresponding horrific abuse of me NOT exist?
Not exist — why? Because nobody wanted to break the cultural taboo that continues to tell us that women are PERFECT in the sphere we must still believe is their perfect kingdom – their home?
We better start asking some different kinds of questions or we are not going to solve these invisible, deadly crimes mothers can and do commit from the start of their offspring’s life. It is those crimes that create MADMEN and MADWOMEN. I know this as fact. (Interesting. WordPress blog’s spellcheck accepts MADMEN and does not accept MADWOMEN. That tells me a LOT right there!)
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