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Thursday, February 7, 2008



Having lived in the US all my life I have observed the drastic transition of American women from nurturing wives and mothers to beings whom are difficult to distinguish from their male counterparts. At one time women were satisfied in their what I will call more natural and traditional role in the family, as perhaps contrasted to what is becoming the 20th century female, a women who is being seen more as living the traditional role of the male.

I grew up in a different family situation: my father from the Puglia Region of Italy, my mother from Siracusa, Sicily. Although my mother worked later after the children grew up – and a hard worker she was doing a man’s job in a leather factory in Peabody Massachusetts -- our family was a rather traditional immigrant family in America.

However in the rest of the US, a transition was occurring, especially in the role of the American women. Families were disintegrating. The family was breaking up resulting in calamity in my opinion. Women were no longer tolerating infidelity in their husbands and divorce was becoming a consequence of such infidelity. It was not long before we began to see the so-called “liberated” women cheating on their husbands to the same magnitude that men were doing from time immemorial. Although recent studies have shown that, as many women have cheated on their husbands as husbands on their wives, more marriages break up because women want to end the marriage contract. Some believe that this may be stimulated by women wanting to get their half of the shared assets and custody of the children with the ensuing child support money. Being in the practice of Pediatrics, I counseled many people. I have known many women who want more out of life than just being housewives. They watch TV and think life should be like the soap operas.

I used to counsel many couples about to break up. I eventually gave it up because it was so frustrating. It was my custom of interviewing the wife and after hearing her story concluded that the husband was in the wrong. After hearing the husband for 20 minuted, I concluded the wife was to blame. Each was telling me a story of the relationship each truly believed to be correct. And these were honest individuals. They just saw the same situation differently.

I tell a story in my book How to Benefit from Stress about watching my three children playing at the other end of the room while I was sitting on the sofa reading. Over a period of about 5 minutes they were all fighting. I asked each to line up before me and tell me what had happened. Each told me a most convincing story and asked me to punish the others. Each had a completely different story which each sincerely believed to be true. But get this, what each child told me did not jive with what I thought I saw. I decided to put them all in the same room. I asked them to solve their problems amongst themselves and, if they had not after 20 minutes, I would return and punish them all.

Three quarters of an hour went by and I did not hear from them. I went to the room and peeked in. They were all playing appearing to be happy and having fun. I am telling this story to emphasize the fact that each of us comes away from a life event being confronted with the same situation but experiencing something quite differently. I gave up counseling leaving it to people better than I to do the job.

I know many will not agree with my analysis of the situation, probably, at least, 50% of my readers. As a Pediatrician for many years, it is the children of these broken homes about which I am concerned for it is the children who suffer. They are more frequently than not used as pawns in the battle between the sexes. We see in the news almost daily in the lives of some celebrities, because they are the ones being paraded before the TV, the situation between the antagonists of a broken marriage where the father has suffered from the antics of the mother. This is as I see it from where I stand today. The children suffer; only the lawyers benefit.

Here in Panama the women are different. Many do not like Panamanian men who like to give their women babies and they are never seen after that. This is a macho male driven society. The women like non-Panamanian men, especially those from the US who appear to them to be more caring. Besides they also have more money. Prostitution is rampant and many US, Canadian, and European men come here for the cheap sex. Prostitution is legal here; pimping is illegal. Perhaps much of what I write is skewed from what I learn from my friends. Being medical man trained in contagious and infectious diseases, I am always concerned about the potential hazards of such casual encounters and, unlike many of my friends and although very tempting, have steered away from this aspect of Panamanian life.

I do not judge the women who sell themselves. Promiscuity in the US is accepted in legal age individuals. It is occurring every day in high school although not as acceptable. Wives and husbands cheat on each other every day. I owned a Four-Star Italian restaurant for 20 years and saw it all happen. But in the US to get paid for sex is somehow considered horrible. You can get paid in kind like a dinner or a night out but let there not be a transfer of cold cash. This is a crime which will put both the prostitute and the John in jail. Oh, come on, give me a break.

Panama is a very poor country. Many women who have babies given to them by the long gone Panamanian men resort to selling some of their assets to feed the family. You have got to like “the selling of some of their assets.” If you wish to judge this, go ahead. I surely am not.

But let me tell you of many of the other Panamanian women whom I know from the experience of men who have married them. Panamanian women are very caring individuals. There is a Spanish word, carinosa, which translates to loving/caring. Panamanian women like to treat their men like kings. In return they expect their men not to share their affections with other women. To do so might result in tragedy. I guess there is that balance in life which must be maintained.

Many American women whom I know are not happy. I believe it is because they have abandoned their natural role of being true companions. I am not suggesting they give up their jobs because in the US in order to enjoy the life style most want, both adult members of a family need to work.

I truly believe that, if men become more like men and women more like women, they might like each other again. Relationships are secure when they are complementary and not supplementary. It has got to do with the attraction which comes when positive and negative charges come together. We know that with a magnet the similar charged ends repel each other. But when positive and negative meet, now there is the lightening spark from which true love can generate.

I realize I do not have all the answers, but I might have a few.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic

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