Sunday, September 20, 2009

Casting Stones


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The Today Show likes to talk about families, and babies, and pregnancy and parenting A LOT. They spend lots of air time promoting and glorifying parenthood - just one of the thousands of voices in the deafening chorus of media pronatalists singing the praises of having children and providing endless support and encouragement for people who choose that lifestyle. I challenge you to find one 30-minute slot on The Today Show in which you will not be subjected to a piece on motherhood, or babies, or parenting techniques, or infertility treatments, or mid-life mothering, or debates over innoculations, or child discipline, or child health issues and the list goes on adfinitum. The pro-parenthood propoganda never stops...

EXCEPT when it comes to the Octomom. I guess even the parenthood-obsessed Today Show has to draw a line somewhere. Watch the above clip and listen to Dr. Almighty Snyderman (a Today Show regular) cast her judgment on Nadya Suleman, Suleman's doctors and our culture's obsession with multiple births and bad parenting, a.k.a. "bad parent porn."

I agree with Dr. Almighty, but here's the rub: The Today Show is one of the very outlets that relentlessly feeds our culture's breeding obsession, and fuels the attention-seeking, baby-obsessed psychosis of human breeding machines like Nadya Suleman. This in turn ramps up the demand for unethical doctors who will do whatever they can to service women like Octomom, yet now The Today Show stands in judgement of the very monster it helped to create.

The Today Show may cast all the stones it likes, but today I am casting some stones right back at it.

11 comments:

CFVixen said...

OMG, the clips from that show just had my skin crawling. I wanted to cry right along with the kids! That's insane!!

And I agree with the premise of your post. These people are casting stones based basically on the number of children. What is the correct number?

Schrodinger's Kittens said...

This is a horrible precedent. Unfortunately there will always be unethical doctors willing to bend the rules and desperate patients who will try anything to have that baby. For all the "bad parent porn" talk surrounding Octomom, she has gotten plenty of material and personnel assistance.

And now I have to go have a repulsion convulsion--between that mouthy two year old and the nonstop crying, OMG, that video has given me a true glimpse into hell.

Childfreeeee said...

You know - another thing I just noticed. If you look at the screen for that video, the title of the piece is: "The Octuplet Mom: why we can't look away".

Um, we can't look away because media outlets like the Today Show keep running features on her! (and then I write about it, so I guess I am part of the problem too. I guess I should shut up).

CFVixen said...

What I did find kind of funny was when Octomom criticized Kate Gosslin's body and then said she looked better than her! LOL! Is she trying to get a Playboy or Penthouse deal or something? I hope she keeps her stretched out vajayjay to herself!

Michi said...

Yeesh! If it wasn't for the fact that my tubes have already tied themselves into a triple knot after a weekend at Disneyworld (an unavoidable event), this would do it. If the Today Show is supposed to present information that's of use to viewers, why not include information on being childfree? It is a valid life choice, or would it too much to ask them to do a profile without any condescension, hand-wringing or condemnation? I agree with CFVixen - where do you draw the line? What's the acceptable number of kids according to the Today Show?

I will share a soundbite from a male friend with kids of his own when I asked him how many kids he & his wife wanted. He was pretty pro-parenthood and I was afraid he was going to be one of those relentless breeding parents, but luckily I was wrong. He said: "Once they start outnumbering you and the wife, then you're in trouble." So far, they're turning out to be pretty cool parents, although technically he's already screwed because they're both girls and he's now outnumbered 3-1 at home.

easy-removal.co.uk said...

good luck to her, i certainly would not want the stress she will endure! Just with the one 21month old i have now is enough for me!!!!

AlexisHidell said...

I love how the Today show is decrying the Octomom, yet when Michelle Duggar announced her 18th and 19th pregnancies, where did she do it? On the Today show, of course!

Childfreeeee said...

Michi, the Today Show's audience is MOMS, so the only way they will do a spot on childfreedom is if they can somehow twist it into a pro-parenthood piece. There were 2 pieces they did in the past year (I blogged about them) which could have been featured as pro-childfree. One was a piece on research showing that the marital satisfaction declines after a couple has children. The other was about research that shows that those without children are happier than those with children. Instead of using these segments to highlight the childfree lifestyle and discuss it as a viable and appealing lifestyle option, the Today Show instead managed to turn the pieces into more pro-parenthood propaganda.

Here are the blog posts about these spots:

http://tinyurl.com/TodayShow1

http://tinyurl.com/TodayShow2

Childfreeeee said...

Alexis, Good observation! There really isn't that much difference between the Duggars and Octomom. The Duggars may be married but there is no way ANYONE can care for 18 or 19 children and give them the attention and nurturing they need. Yet, you don't see Almight Snyderman wagging her fingers at the Duggars do you?

Luasol said...

Precisely why I don't watch the Today Show, very pro-natal.

Childfreeeee said...

Luasol,

Know of a morning show that isn't? If so, please tell.