Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lots o kids, sore subject, brain not ready to debate yet though

I have flat out refused to talk about OctoMom. I have flat out refused to talk about The Duggars. I just havnt had the oomph, the rhetorical skills or the strength of heart in over a year now (will my brain EVER come back? Ever?) to really pump out the great posts....but this does a great job and I yelled "YES!" aloud tonight so heres a link to a great post that is right in line with my thoughts.

(I DO have drafts about family size and stuff...but Im still too--I dunno--not ready for this subject, not strong enough to hear the real ugly stuff....there was an article in the New York Times website that had HUNDREDS of people talking about how disgusting "large families" were--and the divide was almost exclusively religious folk who "let God decide" and single professionals who think no kids or maybe one is more than enough....the whole thing, the comments, were so so so ugly and hateful and extreme and it hit me hard, I was surprised at the voracity of the comments and I felt utterly unable to come up with anything cool or bold or different to say and hat scared me, what was wrong with my brain, where did Soapbox Joy go and who is this cowering crybaby? etc....anyhow....comment or not.....g'nite)

ps I currently have someone in my life who seems to really really insist that we talk about "Octo-Mom" every time we speak and the conversation is rife with not very subtle insults about the horrible people who want more than 2 kids and I am just grrrrrrrrrrrrr tired of it all.


Jennifer said...

Yeah, I don't really want to debate it either. Why debate it anyway? It is none of my business, how many kids people have. I worked at a drug & alcohol treatment center some years back and I learned this little tidbit that many of the patients used "...but for the grace of God go I...". So I don't judge.

I have two living children, and one in heaven (not ever willing to debate that either). I love kids; I would like to have 12 more, but according to one OBGYN--and this is a quote--"you have a very funky uterus, and really bad luck". I'm happy with what I have.

Instead of persecuting that poor woman, why not spend the same time and energy doing something nice for her. I like those shows with the big families, but then again, we are pretty family oreinted and socialize with our extended families all the time.

Happy late birthday! You share the day with my husband!

Stassja said...

I feel ya. The people that go super extreme either way (on their opinions of the big families) I just don't get. I go "well, I don't think that's for me, but they're happy/doing well with it so who gives a flip?". I don't understand the need to nose around other peoples lifestyle choices when there's obviously nothing overtly (or possibly even subtly) harmful going on.

Kneelingwoman said...

I view all of it as a big distraction. There are so many "real" problems in the world, so many children starving, abused, neglected, kidnapped, murdered--you name it--that I see no point whatsoever in allowing the media to hijack my energy wondering about something that makes no difference in my life. That said, it's also important to understand something about why the people who are directly involved allow themselves and their children to be exploited by the media and I have issues with that across the techno-board starting with birth stories and videos and on into telling "tales" about kids and family. Whatever happened to privacy? Whatever happened to family loyalty and being sensitive to the feelings/needs of others'?

I'm currently finishing up my post on reframing women's "Creation" ( birth ) stories and I really start with the contradictions that have been imposed by the Midwifery/Natural Birth Community ( and I played right along in my day and in my own way until I realized how manipulative it all was ) that tells women that their births are "sexual" and "natural" and "private" and that it's medicine that disrupts the sanctity of all of that while we/they concurrently encourage/endorse women telling every private and personal detail of their, and their families, birth stories plus video documentation--doesn't anyone see the bizarre contradiction inherent in that scenario? It's about exploitation and getting women to "advertise" a particular kind of birth and birth practionioner while displacing blame for birth "dysfunction" on medicine and the larger culture. I'm not saying the medicine and birth aren't having their own problems but I am also saying that the larger and more pernicious and damaging problem is the manipulation of women by midwifery, a far more devastating cruelty to my mind. Another way this plays out is in how responsibility is allocated for a "poor" outcome, or disappointment in the mother with her birth. If it happens in a medical setting, the woman's disappointment is considered merited and she will receive abundant sympathy and reassurance from the "natural birth" community. The blame will rest soley with "medicine" and those evil, birth rapists who torture women and hate babies and all the rest. Watch what happens, though, when a woman is unhappy with her midwife, or her homebirth. Attend any midwifery conference and you will hear the midwives suddenly determine that this unhappy woman has "issues". She will be subjected, in absentia, to the most vitriolic armchair psychology imaginable. She will be blamed for her disappointment and become a "problem" child to the midwifery community.

Women's births and privacy and family lives deserve better. There is a larger story, and deeper healing, that needs to happen around the whole notion of women, birth, babies, family size, and how women live it all out; the Duggars and Octomom are only symptoms of our collective confusion about the value of parenting and what we really believe "matters" to a good life.