Are We Women or Wusses?
By Alicia Colon
August 22, 2001
-I can rub and scrub till this old house is shining like a dime
feed the baby, grease the car and powder my face at the same time
Ö..From the song, "Iím a woman"
When I first heard Maria Muldaur sing this song at the Schaeffer Festival in Central Park back in the sixties,
my heart swelled with pride even though I knew wishful-thinking men probably wrote the song. The lyrics
were a paean to my sex and to women who had been performing like unsung superwomen for centuries. Itís
been a long, long time since Iíve felt a similar pride for my gender represented now by an assortment of
amoral talking heads on cable TV. Thus Andrea Yates decides to drown her five young children and is turned
into a victim of post-partum depression by like Rosie OíDonnell and Kathy Couric. I am woman, hear me
To protest the growing sympathy for this contemporary Medea, I wrote a column urging a more common
sense perspective to this tragedy and posted it on a common sense site - rightgrrl.com. Well, itís not every day
one is asked to be interviewed on a network news program and when Rick Folbaum Of FoxNews emailed me requesting just that, I immediately refused. No way. Nope. Nosiree. He had read my column and wanted me to
comment on the growing sympathy campaign. I do not belong on TV but Rick was so charming and the issue
so important that I eventually relented. My fifteen minute interview was eventually cut down to a minute when
it aired or so Iím told since I was at the ball park watching El Duque pitch for the Staten Island Yankees and
missed the whole thing. But what was even more interesting was the few minutes I spent in the makeup room at
the Fox studio.
Mr. Folbaum had mentioned to the two makeup women on duty that I was there to talk about the Yates case.
He did not mention what my position was and perhaps if he had, they might have chosen to shut up. Instead,
both of them launched into what has become the mantra of the modern American woman. "Well, I can
understand what she did. I suffer from PMS." One woman actually nodded her head vigorously as if to
indicate that she too had suffered from post partum depression and could understand why Andrea Yates took
each of her children and held their struggling bodies underwater until they were dead. Oh puleeze!
The much admired Anna Quindlen, formerly of the New York Times and now an essayist at Newsweek had
written similar sentiments in a column that spurred me to write one for the opposition. Essentially, what I
wrote was that as a mother who at one time had five children aged six and under I had a better idea of what
Andrea Yates had to deal with than best-selling authoress Ms. Quindlen. On my deepest, darkest days (and
there were many) my most unspeakable urge was to run away from it all, not to drown my children. We
women may scream and yell but for a mother to do what Andrea Yates did was a whole different ballgame.
Either she was psychotic due to medication prescribed by incompetent doctors or she was one very, very
For all the talk about how far weíve come since our liberation, Iíve come to the conclusion that the modern
American woman is a wimp. She continually whines about tasks that our mothers and grandmothers could do
in their sleep. Yes, we have more opportunities and choices but it seems that even when we choose what we
consider an alternate career path, we canít seem to cope with everyday life without succumbing to a syndrome
like PMS. What on earth did women blame bad days on before our great revolution?
I think of this as the decline and fall of the American womanís brain and it started sometime in the sixties when
we ceded our many variant voices over to an organization that promised to speak for us all. Ha! The National
Organization of Women is a colossal joke on us all. Its spokespersons decide what we feel and think and thus
we no longer have to ponder too deeply into serious matters because they have it all covered. They tell us
whom we should vote for. They tell us what positions we should take on major issues and we no longer have
to wonder if our facts are right or not. Their talking heads are on TV explaining it all.
Thus, we have the two women in the makeup room mouthing simplistic comments about what was an enormous tragedy and an anomaly, not a result, of a syndrome like post-partum depression. We have become
mindless idiots who vote for men with no principles as long as they vote for a womanís right to choose. We
wear thong bathing suits that are about as comfortable as the old sanitary belts we were burdened with eons
ago because misogynistic designers deem them stylish.
Worst of all, in our quest for equality with men, we have lost our supremacy in what matters most in life-the
care of the young entrusted to the sex that was designed to bear them. Deny it all you want, ladies, but thatís
the truth. Our physiology is specifically designed for the protection of the future civilization. Thatís why after
giving birth, a motherís anxiety level rises so that she can provide complete vigilance over her baby. This
awesome responsibility was granted to us but we no longer deserve that honor. We canít handle it. We canít
give up our careers for 24/7 babysitting. We canít give up our conspicuous consumption life styles. We canít
handle it. We are wusses. Of course, there are exceptions, namely, any regular reader of rightgrrl.com.
Sad to say, but the hand that rocks the cradle no longer rules the world because it belongs to the nanny.
Alicia's column archives can be found at www.aliciacolon.com
Copyright 2001 by Alicia Colon. Not to be reproduced in any fashion,
in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All