Hooked on antidepressants and boozing in the afternoon: Author on how yummy mummies in Brooklyn's Park Slope are the new Stepford Wives (and she should know – she is one)
16:15 GMT, 14 August 2012
16:51 GMT, 14 August 2012
A new generation of so-called Stepford Wives are living, and breeding, in New York's affluent Park Slope neighborhood according to one local writer.
Amy Sohn, an author who has penned new book Motherland, set in the Brooklyn locale, says that unhappy mothers in the area are addicted to antidepressants and drink alcohol from as early as three o'clock in the afternoon.
They also refuse to share their problems with local friends due to a risk of tarnishing the image of a perfect nuclear family.
Ms Sohn, 38, is well qualified to make such observations having raised her seven-year-old daughter in the neighborhood.
Perfect: New York's Park Slope is said to be filled with unwaveringly perky women, like Faith Hill (left) and Nicole Kidman (right) in The Stepford Wives
The author likened the behavior to that detailed in the 1972 satirical novel The Stepford Wives,
which presented women as submissive robots who were unwaveringly
perky while out in public.
The author, who grew up in Brooklyn Heights, told the New York Post: 'The woman who starts drinking at three
or four, people aren't necessarily going to know about that. And a lot of them are also on antidepressants – I think women turn to
antidepressants in larger numbers than men do. They're steered to Zoloft
after they have children.'
Stepford Wives, a term once used to describe Katie Holmes when she was married to Tom Cruise, was turned into popular culture through 2004's film adaptation starring Nicole Kidman.
Ms Sohn said the behavior is very similar to that seen in the film as well: 'One of the things that's weird about this neighborhood is there's very little interpersonal confession between mothers.'
Expert: Amy Sohn, 38, pictured, is the author of a new book that details the activity in Park Slope, the Brooklyn neighborhood where she resides with her family
The author continued: 'I don't hear people admitting to
problems very often. I mean, they'll make comments like, “Oh my God, I'm
going to kill my husband” and they'll say it lightly, but you can tell
by the tone of voice, the look, that they're pissed.'
New release: The book, above, aims to lift the lid on those mothers who surround Ms Sohn every day
Her book is a follow-up to 2009
best-seller Prospect Park West which offered an inside look into the
families who reside in Park Slope, located to the west side of the
sprawling Prospect Park.
It was a fictional story, based on true research.
Motherhood continues the story of three of the previous book's female characters as well as introducing readers to two new male characters.
Of course, Park Slope has built quite the reputation for its politically correct, granola-crunching parents in recent times.
Ms Sohn describes it in her own no-frills way, telling the newspaper: 'It's kind of the
worst of the Fifties – and none of the benefits, like kids going to bed at seven
and sex between the parents – combined with the worst of the Eighties.'
She labels the behavior an 'over-investment' in the family, particularly among Generation X mothers, the category she falls into, in her opinion.
'A lot of people in my generation really
think their parents messed it up for them [by divorcing], and so they
deify the family unit,' she said. 'It's very Fifties.'
'The woman who starts drinking at three or four, people aren't necessarily going to know about that'
The writer began as a dating columnist
for New York magazine and the New York Press before graduating to musing
about New York families after she began building her own.
She said that life seemed very different as a single woman living in Brooklyn.
I don't remember people being so sanctimonious when we were all single,' she said. 'It would be like, “I had the worst date! This guy was such an a**hole!” It was just this parade of total indignity, and so your relationships with other women were much deeper and richer.'