Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eight Thoughts on the Octuplets

Given my obsession with The Duggars, I guess it's no surprise that I cannot get enough of this octuplets story (for those of you with other obsessions - lame! - the short story is a woman, Nadya Suleman, recently gave birth to octuplets thanks to fertility treatments and she already has six children under the age of seven at home), and I have many, sometimes conflicted, feelings about the whole thing. But I'll keep the list to 8:

1. It is irresponsible to have so many goddmaned kids! Children are amazing. I know, I have one. But it is unnecessary to have so many children. It's impossible or one adult to give fourteen children adequate attention and love, especially when they're all so close in age and some of them are medically fragile.

2. Uh, Adoption anyone?
There are millions of unwanted, neglected, and at-risk children throughout the world who would love to have a family. And, instead, you go get pumped full of embryos? For what, so you can have kids that look like you? Get over your damned self!

3. Why is this country so obsessed with women's reproductive choices?
(Oh, and before you say anything, I don't count because a) I am a woman and b) I'm a Feminist). Whether it's old dudes on the floor of Congress bemoaning the number of abortions in the United States, or old dudes gripping their rosaries in front of clinics, railing against "baby-killers," or the a-holes at Fox calling this woman a bad mother - mainly because, as it turns out, she's *gasp* unmarried - I have had enough of people's opinions about what women do with their own wombs! If you are so concerned about what happens in a woman's womb, get one of your own to worry about.

4. Why does this woman seem to see her value only in her capacity to reproduce?
Nadya Suleman is only thirty-three years old, yet she's gone to great lengths to mother 14 children in less than a decade. Why? Part of me thinks that it's mental illness or a fucked-up childhood, but another part of me thinks that Suleman has fallen prey to the backwards, anti-feminist rhetoric that values women and their contributions to society only vis-a-vis their reproduction. Suleman apparently has a degree in early childhood education, yet she's put further academic and professional goals on hold to add to her baby-harem. Perhaps it's because she only feels like she has purpose and value when she's baby-making.

5. $2 million.
Much has been made in the press of the fact that Suleman has hired an agent and is looking for book and television deals in order to make some cash. First of all, let me say, this broad could use some cash. But, let's look at who some of the millionaires in this country are . . . Basketball players are paid millions to throw a ball in a net, baseball players make millions to occasionally hit a ball with a stick, and Tiger Woods knocks a ball in a hole and gets not just a big, gold trophy, but multi-millions. What do they all have in common? Hmmm, let me think. Oh yeah, they're dudes.

Now this woman, who doesn't have the option of being a professional sports player, is being harangued for trying to get paid for doing the very thing conservatives in this country think she ought to doing - being a mother. Oh, that's right, there's something icky when women try to make money for doing what god put them on earth for, whereas running around in a circle real fast is an appropriately compensatable activity. Gag.

6. Have you not heard of the environmental crisis?*
More people means more environmental degradation. More people use more energy, contribute more to suburban sprawl, drink more water out of more plastic bottles, and eat more animals pumped full of more hormones than small families. Case closed.

7. She's a Single Mom!
Here we are again. Reporters have been talking a lot about the fact that Suleman is unmarried and that all of her children were conceived through in vitro fertilization.
"Why would a single woman want to have multiple children?"
"She doesn't have any support at home!"
"Who will pay for them?"

It's almost as if U.S. society has gotten all China-y on single moms. Turns out there's a limit. So listen ladies, if you're a single mom by choice, which is bad enough, Society called and he'd like you to keep it to one kid. Two at the absolute max! Don't be such greedy bitches.

8. It's Nunya - or my - Business
Look, if she wants to get freaky and sell it on the weekend, it's nunya business. If she wants to take a guy home with her tonight . . . Wait, what am I talking about? Oh, octuplets. Right. Ultimately, what this woman does with her uterus is up to her, not me. I may think she needs a shrink (she does) or a new hobby, but women's decisions about their reproduction belong to them. It's easy to be pro-choice when advocating for a woman's right to abortion, but sometimes it's a bit trickier when you see women like Nadya Suleman who have gone overboard on the other side. But it's her choice. And as long as she can love and care for her kids, we should learn to get over it (I'm trying).

*I stole this question from my buddy who responded to shock over her choice to use cotton diapers


FIRST DUDE said...

Yeah, feminist blah blah blah, pro-choice blah blah blah, womens rights blah blah blah. For starters, there should be a law on how many fertilized embryos a doctor can put in a woman. I'm sure as you know, delivering more than 2 or 3 kids is incredibly dangerous for the mother and the kids, etc, etc. You would hope a doctor wouldn't be so unethical to implant so many but there's always one out there. One little scumbag looking to make some $$. So, yes there should be a law limiting how many you can implant.
Secondly, it sounds more like this woman had eight kids intentionally so she could have a show on TLC. I'm happy for any woman who makes herself some money, but not by intentionally having 8 kids so she can have a tv show. That is fucked up. Period. No pro-choice argument, feminist, whatever, that is fucked up. Maybe you think God put her on Earth to have 8 kids and a show on TLC, but I don't. So yes it is icky. Sure a woman can legally drink a 12pack of beer followed by 10 shots of vodka and 4packs of Lucky Strikes everyday while pregnant if she wants to, but that is also fucked up. She could even throw herself down a flight of stairs, huff some paint thinner and then eat a bowl of her own feces but that is fucked up too. Nunya business how she has fun.

Rain said...

Thank you so much, you've made my day, and even made me laugh. The moral outrage around this story has been unbelievably vicious.