Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Male Heterosupremacy Outrage in Octuplets Case?

When I first saw the story of Nadya Suleman I was just fascinated by the medical science of multiple birth pregancies. Also particularly interesting was the mother's adamant prior refusal to "reduce" the number of fetuses during pregancy. Eight was enough, and she wasn't going to settle for less.

But then the Los Angeles Times ran
some stories on the background of of the mother and the reproductive ethics of the case, and it's all turned out to be something of a tragedy of social commentary. Ms. Suleman is by no means a typical candidate for the aggressive fertilization she received, and her personal life - including six children already - has raised all kinds of questions of impropriety, to say the least.

I wasn't hip on the feminist angle, however. Via
Robert Stacy McCain, it turns out the radical feminists have been silent on the ethics of Ms. Suleman's case, what Darleen Click calls "an unethical abdication of responsibility."

On Jan 26 when Kaiser Permanente announced the arrival of surviving octuplets the story has run from increasingly creepy details and outrage about the mother to sudden articles about ethical concerns. It has been interesting to note what, or who, has been fairly quiet on this event.

The radical feminist (aka Vagina Warrior) blogsphere.

Ace noted the lack of commentary, figuring since there was no male villain in the piece there was little for the VW’s to focus on.

But hints of what is really the core issue for VW’s - who have no problem with nasty mockery of Michelle Duggar - can be found with series of entries on Slate’s XX (as in female chromosome) blog space and then confirmed by Salon’s Judy Berman who curiously posits …

Meanwhile, feminists are asking serious questions about what Suleman and her octuplets mean for the future of women’s health.

… then immediately focuses on law and questions of racism.

Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women — “What I would check if I had the time is the extent to which coverage of this story — whether negative or positive — is framed as a question of ethics. When the pregnant woman is not brown or black and the drugs/technologies are provided by big pharma, the discussion focuses on questions of ethics. But if the issue is childbearing by low-income women of color, and the drug is homegrown/ illegal then the debate is a question of punishment through the criminal justice or civil child welfare system.”
Darleen links to Amanda Marcotte's post at Pandagon, "Not a Biological Clock Gone Haywire," which is worth reading for insight into the mindset of today's feminism. Even better, though, is this essay on Michelle Duggar (a mother of 18 and the subject of a reality show on TLC) over at Women’s Space, "Why is Michelle Duggar Fair Game?":

I think it might be a worthwhile exercise to do some thinking on why it is that Michelle Duggar seems to be fair game for pretty much everyone, including for feminists. It’s open season on the woman – mock her, make fun of her hair, her appearance, her clothes, her body, her reproductive organs, other of her internal organs, her vagina, attack her, depict her as a pig, call her brainwashed. (If you haven’t seen this, then look here for the latest, also here, here, here, and sadly, here and be sure to read the comments.) ...
Long discussion of other cultures, with pictures, then ...

Instead of scapegoating this one woman and targeting her as though she is the enemy, why not make it our business to critique the real enemy – systems and institutions of male heterosupremacy which make the choices Duggar and women like her have made the best deal they feel they can cut?
I thought I kept up with this stuff ... whew!


Grace Explosion said...

Duggar is like my hero. I would have loved to have a life like hers. There was nothing I've enjoyed more than being a mom. I would have been thrilled to have more and more and more and more children. Palin is a great woman with 5 children and being a frontier woman and politician. But Duggar is no less a great woman. Duggar is an exceptional role model and would that I could have had 17 children.

People try really hard to get other careers to appeal to me. I didn't even want to answer my calling until the Lord showed me that my role is like being a spiritual (not emotional or mothering smothering - but purely spiritual) mother to the body of Christ. Then I accepted the job.

So, guess I'll be a mother, in a manner of speaking, to the nations.

Being a mom is the best job ever. I had a prof at university who wanted me to run for Senate, I've had people want me to do this that and the other. There's no job better than being a mother. There's nothing in the whole wide world like a mother's love.

These feminists would pass over a diamond to value a rusting piece of tin. They don't love children and they don't love motherhood and they are the most despicable in how they behave as wicked witches and hags.

Anonymous said...

Nadya Suleman went on workers compensation disability back in 1999 (at age 23) due to a work-related back injury (in which she filed 2 different workers compensation claims, one of which netted her $168,000). For the past 10 years though she’s been receiving disability payments and unable to work, she’s been able to undergo several IVF treatments and have 14 children. Since disability payments generally aren’t counted as income (or taxed), she’s also likely been able to receive welfare for each of her 6 children.

This woman has been living off the system for most of her adult life and will continue to do so at taxpayer’s expense.

Anonymous said...

Why should the taxpayer subsidize stupidity like the litter of 8? This is tampering with nature, not a "miracle". SOME fertility doc needs to hand over his license! That same doc already IVF'd her previous SIX kids!

What's next? A woman giving birth to a platoon of Michael Phelps clones? A battalion of Michael Jordan clones? Where does this mass production of kids by IVF end?