Thursday, June 27, 2002

What Weren't We Discussing about Andrea Yates?
An article by that title in the current Free Inquiry's online version forces a look at "The elephant in the middle of the room to which no one paid attention in the Andrea Yates case..."

It's the issue of birth control, and the author goes on to say this:
What he could have done, of course, as is tragically apparent, was to wear a condom. But that wasn't enunciated in all the Monday-morning quarterbacking that went on after the verdict and sentencing. What no one seemed to discuss, perhaps because doing so would not be politically correct, was the exact nature of the religious ideas that Andrea and her husband had adopted. Russell Yates was seemingly a man of the nineties, if not the twenty-first century-a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) computer engineer at Houston's Johnson Space Center. But computers and engineering did not inform the couple's lifestyle. Until Andrea attempted suicide twice after the birth of their fourth son in 1999, the family lived in a converted bus. Russell then moved the family into a house, and it was decided that Andrea should home-school their children. He has been quoted as saying that they wanted to live "a simple traditional life" and that they wanted to avoid "social integration." (Neighbors who got him to bring the three oldest boys to a birthday party the weekend before the killing told a reporter that it was the first time they had met the Yateses since they moved into their house two years before.) The whole article is worth reading.

As blog conversations continue about gender issues at burningbird's and other sites, I just keep running across more and more situations where women are suffering under the partriarchal thumbs of clueless men. I think it's interesting that, although Frank Paynter has put out a call to interested men, challenging them to (as an email from Marek J. suggested) " a conversation behind the conversation" on men's attitudes toward women, only few male bloggers have demonstrated any interest in pursuing that topic. I find that very disappointing. If not you blogguys, than who?