Saturday, April 11, 2009

Something That's Been Bothering Me

When I attended a two-day African-American literature conference in honor of Winston Napier a little over a month ago, one of the speakers addressed the issue of the portrayal of women of color in the media versus that of Caucasian woman. One of the points that struck me was about Nadya Suleman, a mother of 14, including a set of octuplets. At the time, I had no idea who she was, but after I had cycled through all the wonderfully trashy magazines at my university's gym, I had a pretty clear idea of who she was-- at least in the media's eyes.

Nadya Suleman is often referred to as "Octomom." Let's think about this for a moment. She is referred to with a word that makes me think of some kind of side-show oddity at the most disturbing, and simply as a slimy, bottom-dwelling animal at the least disturbing. This is disgusting, and I wanted to write about this when I saw the following caricature on Gallery of the Absurd:

This was the point where I got fed up about the whole thing. The woman has a ton of children, and not a ton of money, so she's receiving financial help to support them. I do think that this is incredibly irresponsible for someone to choose to continue having children when they cannot actually afford them. However, things like people protesting in such a rude way outside her home when she was away with her children at Disney is unacceptable:

*not actually a video; and yes, those are children holding signs that say "get ur tubes tied" and such. lovely.

I have a question for you. Has there been this kind of uproar over the White families that are getting the bulk of TLC's ratings lately? I have friends who get together to watch "John and Kate Plus Eight" on a weekly basis. Many families like the Gosselins are surely taking some handouts, if even just items from companies hoping they'll get some business from their strollers being on TV or something. I find it hard to believe that there are "regular" families nowadays making enough money to support so many children.

The above woman is pregnant with sextuplets. Her belly protudes. A lot. A lot more than one of a woman pregnant with the standard one or two babies would. She is shown wearing normal clothes, in front of her lovely doors, and with her cute daughter looking up lovingly at her.

Now the above woman is Nadya Suleman in a widely-circulated photo taken during her pregnancy. Her belly protudes. A lot. A lot more than one of a woman pregnant with the standard one or two babies would. She is shown in a dark photo with her shirt pulled up to show her abundant stretchmarks, and the two photos shown together make her appear to be in some sort of mugshot. Surely you see the difference. I have never seen photos of a pregnant woman look like Suleman's before. These photos were shown during the speaker's talk at the conference I mentioned. It shocked me because pregnancy is usually depicted so happily in the media. Suleman looks content, but it's obvious that whoever distributed these photographs wanted her to be seen in a decidedly negative light.

I don't know how much I want to delve into the race angle at this time, just because I'm not familiar with many other photographs of pregnant women of color in the media and how their stories were treated. All I'm saying is that even thouggh I don't know if there has been an official statement on Suleman's ethnicity, I've heard she's Assyrian. Hmm.

As I looked around the internet for people's opinions of multiple births, I saw that some people felt similarly about White parents as they do about Suleman; that is, that families that have multiple births shouldn't be "using" their babies to get money. This is true. You should not have children for the sake of handouts. However, I wish people would keep in mind that some families, like John and Kate and the Duggar family-- they have 18 kids, which is more than Suleman has-- are being watched for entertainment and getting paid for it, and no one is widely portraying them as unfit parents and monsters.

What is that stench I smell? Oh, yes: hypocrisy.


Nicole said...

i feel the same way.

amanda said...

Amen, sister woman.

At this point, I refuse to read the nasty "Octomom" gossip. Suleman obviously has mental health issues (I base this on the hearsay history her mother provided when the octuplets were born) making the media feeding frenzy just disgusting in my eyes.

Taking it back to the racial issue, I remember people were up in holier-than-thou arms over Suleman, saying they didn't want some "Latina" woman spending their tax money and it's just a case of minorities milking the hard-working white folk out of their money. My eyes rolled so hard I could barely form a coherent response. From what I've gathered, Suleman is Iraqi (or Arab) and Caucasian. She is a sick woman. There are a lot of children in that house, all of whom need love and attention.

Maverick Malone said...

WAit, wait...

DId she purposely have octuplets? When you get pregnant you don't CHOOSE to be pregnant with 8 kids, I think 99% of people just expect one kid. How is this her fault?

Vanessa said...

I think she may have had some kind of artificial insemination, which sometimes results in multiple births because they implant a lot of fertilized eggs (? I would look that up if you're really interested, 'cause I'm not expert), and I think that's part of where the uproar is coming from-- that maybe she was aware of the potential for something like this to happen/she should not have been trying to have more kids because of her financial situation.

chic said...

Although I find what she did very problematic and irresponsible, I totally agree with you that the media coverage has been heinous! Great post!

There was an interesting conversation about this very topic on Momversation recently:

Although I don't agree with all the things said in that discussion, they raise some very interesting points, especially what Dooce says about reproductive freedom.

I also like your point about the TLC families like the Duggers and the Gosselin's - although the situations are admittedly different, people are *celebrating* the fact that these families have so many kids and are making it work. And as you said, I know the Gosselin's are getting their fair share of monetary support from outside sources, but in their case the media has deemed it alright. It's interesting how different criteria for judging are applied to these various cases. S.

Anonymous said...

As that interestingly sounds

[url=]gry strategiczne[/url]
| [url=]gry zrecznosciowe[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello from Ministry of Fraudulently Affairs! My nickname is BlackSunEmpire, , administration - I am very sorry if I placed topic in wrong forum part

infraud blog top podcasts at today

PS- infrd , ufraud forum , fake passport, fake docs, carders forum, carders bbs, carders board, dump fullz, dumps carder, skimmer for sale, Fraud Money , fraud Maker , carders discussion

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Buy from australian [url=]ugg boots sale[/url], all our ugg boots sale now have 100% australian.
Discounts [url=]Gucci bags[/url] in gucci bags Online,Gucci Outlet and Gucci Handbags Outlet.Discount!
Welcome to [url=]Karen Millen outlet[/url] online store!Buy Karen Millen outlet from our cheap Karen Millen Dresses outlet online now!
Spyder Jackets Outlet [url=]spyder jackets[/url] Suit Online Store spyder jackets online for sale.
Our Burberry Outlet store Online Sale All the Burberry online at Low Price and Free Shiping.

Anonymous said...

ï»?Now how many pure love live on th[url=]Victor Cruz Limited Jersey[/url]
world[url=]Womens Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url]
people's eyes are m[url=]Womens Peyton Manning Jersey[/url]
sed by money Planning-Mei Xiou UEFA Champions League Crown last season cut the 14 King of ball chopping h[url=]Marshawn Lynch Jersey[/url]
tory media source: In accordance with Marka reported under of stat[url=]Sean Taylor Jersey[/url]
tics[url=]Womens Jason Pierre-Paul Jersey[/url]
apart from on inter and Chelsea[url=]Nike Clay Matthews Jersey[/url]
Massey in UEFA Champions League knockout in the on all opponents are has scored[url=]Andrew Luck Authentic Jersey[/url]
th[url=]Womens Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url]
Argentina people never hiding[url=]Womens Golden Tate Jersey[/url]
always in key competition in contribution scored[url=]Golden Tate Jersey[/url]
on AC Milan then into two ball Hou[url=]Nike Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url]
Massey not only ensure themselves in th[url=]Womens Peyton Manning Jersey[/url]
season UEFA Champions League shooter l[url=]Womens Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url]
t Shang of advantage[url=]Clay Matthews Jersey[/url]
also beyond Ruud van N[url=]Womens Marshawn Lynch Jersey[/url]
telrooy[url=]Jason Pierre-Paul Jersey[/url]
became has champion league h[url=]Authentic Clay Matthews Jersey[/url]
tory Shang single season are racing scored up to of players[url=]Womens Victor Cruz Jersey[/url]
and Barcelona th[url=]Victor Cruz Limited Jersey[/url]
season UEFA Champions League up to also has 3 field competition can playing
ï»?The goal posts in Canadian football [url=]Victor Cruz Jersey[/url]
placed on the front rather than behind the goal area[url=]Eli Manning Limited Jersey[/url]
which [url=]Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
also more deeply into Canadian and American football Th[url=]Marshawn Lynch Jersey[/url]
really [url=]Authentic Ryan Kerrigan Jersey[/url]
the right choice with regard to stamina sports athletes like athletes[url=]Aaron Rodgers Limited Jersey[/url]
bike riders[url=]Authentic Aaron Rodgers Jersey[/url]
rowers[url=]Official Clay Matthews Jersey[/url]
etc[url=]Authentic Peyton Manning Jersey[/url]
but can additionally apply to game sports activities as well

Anonymous said...

[url=]customizable team jerseys[/url]
[url=]sport jerseys[/url]
[url=]collegiate football jerseys[/url]
[url=]houston texans jerseys women[/url]
[url=]nfl authentic jerseys[/url]
[url=]cheap texans jerseys[/url]
[url=]custom make jerseys[/url]
[url=]houston texans hat[/url]

Anonymous said...

[url= ]online casino [/url]decorating it with gold or gaudy chaplets, the use of dressed wood for Beethoven. When the march was praised beyond measure Beethoven broke out gratis online casino games

Anonymous said...

Too many folks currently don't know the importance of maintaining fashion. In case you have been thinking of maintaining style for some time but haven't basically accomplished so then the time has come more than ever to keep up with fashion since you have this informative article for your guideline.

If you are going into a evening hours official celebration, a black match is a wonderful option.[url=]uggs on sale uk[/url] Nevertheless, a function within the morning or middle-working day calls for easier hues. Men and women sporting black in the daytime are often undertakers, priests, key agencies or burial attendees. Should you be not seeking at the persona then you must avoid dark matches within the daytime.

Accentuate the good. Look for pieces of apparel that demonstrate away your qualities.[url=]ugg boots outlet uk[/url] When you have a great stomach, seek out clothing that includes an adorned middle-series or include a beautiful buckle. If have a wonderful neckline, pull the attention in this direction using a elegant collar or exciting diamond necklace.

Read design publications at least once a month. If you wish to continue to be current about what is very hot and what is not you should do the research. Fashion magazines can keep you educated via every single season so when styles build.[url=]uk ugg boots sale[/url] If you find that you ate still at a disadvantage you will find tv shows focused on style too.

In today's corporate environment, it is actually vital that males be clothed.[url=]ugg boots clearance uk[/url] Consequently, it is recommended to search for top cabinet apparel when choosing garments for your next job interview. To start your quest, check out today's organization publications to guarantee your wardrobe fits the most notable management. Seek out no matter if males are sporting cuffed jeans or hemmed slacks, ties with patterns or sound ties as well as which kind of sneaker is presently in fashion.

As mentioned inside the introduction, experiencing great about you is simple whenever you seem your best. Which means using great styles as well as putting them on correct. This is a lot easier stated than actually doing it. Use the things that you figured out out of this report to dress your best and use it effectively.[url=]genuine ugg boots sale uk[/url]

Anonymous said...

We're a bunch [url=]cheap ugg boots[/url] of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. [url=]cheap ugg boots[/url] ,Your web site offered us with useful info to work on. You've done an impressive process and our whole neighborhood will probably be thankful to you.

Anonymous said...

Did you [url=]online casino[/url] cognizant of that you can do Drive Homeland possessions speedily from your mobile? We be sadness with a unambiguous little casino at joke's disposal against iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 and Smartphone users. With your gaming with you and be a watchman [url=]sex toys[/url] wherever you go.

Anonymous said...

We [url=]no deposit bonus[/url] have a ample library of unqualifiedly freed casino games championing you to challenge privilege here in your browser. Whether you appetite to unaccustomed a table game master plan or just sample out a few original slots in the presence of playing on the side of unfeigned filthy lucre, we procure you covered. These are the exact verbatim at the same time games that you can with at veritable online casinos and you can join in them all in requital for free.

Anonymous said...

Did you [url=]casino[/url] pinpoint that you can pull Depart bad Mansion speedily from your mobile? We comprise in the offing a situation transportable casino elbow against iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 and Smartphone users. Extract your gaming with you and be a champion [url=]vibrators[/url] wherever you go.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing in support of me to have a web page, which is beneficial for my knowledge. thanks admin

Also visit my blog post; hao123

Anonymous said...

A new cushion gives a lot comfort because it also brings in lots
more air. An alternative has been to buy an factory rebuilt Tri-Star.
Champs Sports offers shipping on orders involved with $75 or
more. Nike is one among the popular sporting exercise equipment manufacturers worldwide.

my web site ... air max premium

Anonymous said...


Look at my blog :: グッチ バッグ

Anonymous said...


Also visit my website グッチ 長財布

Anonymous said...


Here is my weblog: gucci バッグ

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to subscribe for this web site to obtain most recent updates, therefore
where can i do it please assist.

Review my homepage - karen millen black

Anonymous said...

It was actually the first operating shoe to comprise of a bag
air into i would say the sole. Walleye fishermen can attest for is the
truth of that experts claim. All car cars have impact absorbers that make a smooth be seated.
Equal wouldn?t think of that they purchased that much elective

Anonymous said...

I have been surfing online more than 3 hours
as of late, but I by no means discovered any interesting article
like yours. It is lovely worth enough for
me. Personally,
if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web will likely be
a lot more useful than ever before.

Feel free to surf to my webpage - dating sites for over 50

Anonymous said...

It's very effortless
to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this article at this site.

my web blog horse stall mats for Home Gym

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

Here is my web site: garage rubber floor tiles

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its pleasant discussion on the topic of this article at this place at this
webpage, I have read all
that, so at this time me also commenting here.

my blog ... blue cross tonik insurance

Anonymous said...

Hola! I've been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you
a shout out from Lubbock Tx!
Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic

My page: e discovery vendors

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been reading your site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you
a shout out from Houston Texas!
Just wanted to mention keep up the great

My blog post: microsoft knowledge base

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very useful advice within this
post! It is the little changes which will make the biggest changes.
Many thanks for sharing!

Feel free to surf to my page: online dating games ::


Related Posts with Thumbnails