Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Say it!

A bitch just watched an interview by Ann Curry on The Today Show of the mother of those eight babies from California.

And…well, it seemed as if Curry was trying to say something but unsure of how to say.


Recent revelations that the mother of those eight babies...at one time...is single, unemployed and was already the mother of six have presented morning television with a challenge.

On one hand, shows like the Today Show have made a habit of showcasing multiples and the families of multiples and the television shows that feature those multiples and their families.

On the other hand, this mother of multiples isn’t cooperating with them by producing a husband as part of a sanctified man on woman marriage or crispy and clean chil’ren, a gleefully supportive family and a super organized made-for-television (for real, I think they get the house as part of their contract) house…you know, so that Meredith and Ann can gasp at how well they are all getting on even as they offer token gifts of disposable diapers.

As I watched Ann’s interview this morning I found myself waiting for her to say it…just say it…FUCKING SAY IT!

Say the words that will jump start something...anything...more than a glossy bullshit discussion of how amazing (insert mother of multiples here) is and how you can’t imagine taking care of (insert number here) but damn it to hell if she doesn’t look GREAT.

Because this multiple birth opens up all kinds of topics that a bitch thinks are long overdue for discussion.

Who "gets" to be a parent?

Who "gets" to seek fertility treatments and what, if any, limits are there on those treatments?

Why are morning television shows allergic to family planning discussions yet addicted to stories of multiple births?


And where the hell was Matt Lauer going with that “You know, she looks a lot like Angelina Jolie!” statement?


***cue crickets***

Lawd, give me strength…


xobekim said...

Your question is whether Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 (1942) really overturned Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200(1927).

In the Buck case the Supreme Court said it was okay to sterilize mentally retarded persons for the good of society. The Skinner Court said that Oklahoma couldn't sterilize convicted persons for eugenic reasons, that would be those evil criminal DNA traits.

In Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972) the Court said that the "rights to conceive and to raise one's children have been deemed 'essential.'"

So everyone gets to be a parent, that is a fundamental right.

Your next question about doing it the old fashioned way versus tinkering with science opens up another discussion.

Who sets the limits? Is it for the rich only? What about a couple of lesbian ladies or the single woman who agrees that she needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle? Do we treat the putative parents differently if she or they conceived the old fashioned way, or through artificial insemination, or by in vitro.

It's back to Mr. Mason saying to Mr. Dixon: "You've gotta draw that line somewhere!"

Anonymous said...

Good point,Shark Fu! This reproduction as entertainment cycle has been played out. First there was the woman who gave birth to so many children,all with names starting with the same letter.Now this...
I am equally repulsed by both. Whatever happened to the best interests of the child?
The outrage seems to be centered around economics not raising whole,well rounded children.

dinthebeast said...

OK I'm gonna stick my neck out a little and ask whether the fact that there are already way way too many people gets to count in this discussion? As to who gets to have children, and how that decision gets made, even my most radical take on the issue still knows that there is no good way to answer. Laws? I can't get behind laws that try to tell people not to do things we all know they are going to do anyway. We have lots of those, and how are they working out for us? Regulations on the fertility industry? Fine, but who gets to make them? On the personal level, I'm just glad I'm not one of the fourteen siblings being discussed here, but for my own reasons. I'm not saying she can't successfully raise all of those kids, maybe she can; I know women who have done more with less (not very many, though, fourteen is a lot). But I am getting a message from your post about birth-as-an-event to be covered in the media for a week then forgotten vs. eight lives to be lived by those resulting from the event. I'm not saying that the media CAUSES women to seek multiple pregnancies, but they probably do encourage some who were leaning that way anyway. So I guess it comes back to whether you view eight births as miraculous or problematic, and that looks like a culture war issue to me.
-Doug in Oakland

billie said...

i guess i wonder why this woman is getting absolutely skewered in the press and other places- but the duggars- 'parents' of 18 are revered with corporate sponsors because they are white, evangelical and republican. i guess i wonder why the doctor implanted so many embryos without maybe doing some research first. lots of questions- like why the hell in the land where we have contraceptives and a planet that is off the charts with population- why are we still birthing children?

why- when we have a choice and so many women on this planet don't- are we so arrogant that we think that we deserve a child? what is it that you have that you believe you can offer a child? and personally, 'because i want one' isn't a good enough answer. children in the western countries are little more than accessories to a lifestyle these days and it's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Increased population + Lack of resources = ?!#@!

Ms. Sulemon long ago may have benefitted from psychiatric evaluation. That is now rather moot. She apparently has an education yet she proves that that is also moot.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

Pam was nominated as one of the top political/feminist bloggers in the 2009 Lezzy Awards. I hope everyone will go vote for her starting Wed. morning at 9 am CST. You can do so here: http://www.thelesbianlifestyle.com

The 3rd annual awards had over 4,000 nominations, but ABB was voted one of the top 3 finalists.

Infuriated Faggot said...

Okay, I'm late on this one. I watched the interview last night and let me say that it is completely RIDICULOUS that this woman used "God selected these babies" rhetoric to avoid selectively aborting some of the underdeveloped fetuses. Especially when we know God's will had NOTHING to do with the harvesting and ex-vivo fertilization of the eggs resulting in embryo formation and subsequent implantation of the embryos.

That bitch is stupid, selfish, and misusing "God's law" to serve her own interests. In other words, she would have served the Bush administration well!


Miss DQ said...

I too was waiting for the hard hitting questions only to be disappointed.

While I am not for regulating who gets to be a parent and how many children one shall have, this woman's situation is wrong to me on so many levels. It even infuriated me more when I saw the interview of the woman's mother and their current living situation with first 6 children.

Both the Dugger family and the media coverage on past multiple births glamorizes having larger families and at times are rewarded. (I even heard that this woman is lining up interview after interview now) Now I am not a fan of the Dugger family but I am more concerned with Suleman’s situation. Financial and ethnic differences aside, I question who will be charged with the task of taking care of these children, physically, financially and emotionally? Even though I question the Dugger’s emotional availability for their kids, at least they are fed and healthy (and I say that loosely.) With Suleman’s case those questions have not been addressed and even Suleman’s own mother, who is currently taking care of the first 6, questions what Suleman will will do. This are the questions most mothers think about and really I wonder if this crossed her mind..
Honestly I don't think it ever has.


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