Last night a Law & Order SVU was on where this girl had given birth secretly and thrown her baby in the trash. There were many references to ‘unnatural’ and ‘monster’ that reminded me of a something I learned in university. Yes I retained some knowledge. I told Jeremy and the gist of it was how society will view a mother killing a child as far more ghastly than another murder. Even a father or sibling doing the deed. Jeremy countered that legally a father would be charged with murder while a mother could get probation arguing postpartum depression. So legally and socially the views differ. Unless Jeremy pulled that information out of his ass. I found this interesting. I went on to tell him about a play I read while at the University of Guelph. It was written by a student (of the Prof I had for this class, I think it was playwright-script something or other). It’s called No More Medea and was written by Deborah Porter. I liked this play quite a bit because I’ve always felt that Medea got a bit of a bad rap. Well more so that Jason got off way too lightly. Bastard. Anyway the play has Medea meeting the Virgin Mary in the afterlife they discuss some interesting stuff. Apparently the play was inspired by an event that occurred in the city while she was attending Guelph. I couldn’t find anything online about it (boy, people are going to have some disturbing searches leading to their blogs) but I can relate the story as told by my Prof:
Some kids were playing in a parking lot behind an apartment building and they found this old suitcase piled by the dumpster. Inside they found the mummified remains of a child. After investigation it was discovered that a little old lady had passed away in the apartment building and, having no family, her belongings where simply thrown out. The building super said that the suitcase was under the bed and piled under newspapers and other household things. This woman had given birth in secret, killed her child, placed it in a suitcase and stored it under her bed. The woman slept over the corpse of her child for 50 years. Monster, insane, the most unnatural perversion? What thoughts must have been running through her head as she put her child in a case p? Or did she just forget about it after the first 20 years. I don’t think that’s possible but how will we ever know. I wonder if anyone ever suspected anything.
Now I'm not a mother and I can’t offer that perspective so I’m interested to know what you think - women, men, childless or childfull. Is it more heinous, just as awful or less so when a mother kills her infant, as opposed to the tragedy occurring by another’s hand? Heavy stuff I know but how I think society perceives it may not be the case. Perception, perception it’s all about perception.