Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nadya Suleman Wears Black Flip Flops

...And other random shit that is none of our business.

Why does it seem the whole country is angry with this woman? I've been following the story since it broke because I love a good train wreck, but recently, I find myself outraged by the way our society views and treats those (read: women) who choose a lifestyle that deviates from the cookie cutter quasi-American family norm. As far as I can tell, her only offense is being poor, unmarried and of course, a woman.


1. If you are Pro-Life, she's cool.
2. If you are Pro-Choice and you understand that choice means the individuals' choice and NOT merely the choice you'd make, she's OK.
3. Unless upon accepting a contract/offer letter from any employer you were given a list of boxes to check indicating the specific causes you do NOT wish your tax dollars to fund and subsequently you checked the-"despondent children of women who: wear black flip-flops, give Dateline interviews, have plastic surgery rumored to liken them to other full-lipped fertile folks, bear 14 children sans husband and suitable financial means" box, sucks for you. No foul there either. I mean really would you have checked the give my money to Merrill Lynch and Bank of America box? The bailout box? The weapons of mass destruction box? The war based on ...why are we at war again? Pick a box, any box.

So beyond the belief that 14 children is too many for you; has she really done anything so unconscionable? Okay, so maybe her rhinoplasty/collagen work is not the best I've seen, but that is yet another matter for the AMA not the USA. What say you?


Kathy said...

I love kids and if people have the time and the money needed to raise them then more power to them...and I don't mean money to indulge them to to provide the necessities of life.

Unfortunately, she isn't able to do that. She is on food stamps.

I think large families are wonderful. I am one of 6 children. I do have to wonder how she can possibly provide everything all 14 of her children will need as a single mom with limited income. Three of them have some type of disability.

I'm just not sure what one woman can handle. Her basis for wanting so many children stems back to something about a difficult childhood. Is she emotionally capable of providing stability for 14 children?

I think there are more questions than answers...

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Understood Kathy. I guess what I have trouble with is differentiating between Ms. Suleman's circumstances and say...a random neighbor. When my neighbor returns home from giving birth-it never occurs to me to question her finances or sanity. At what point is the freedom to choose negated or overridden by the ability to pay? Again we can speculate, but vilifying this woman for having children is wrong.

Sherry Goodloe said...

Not that I'm not a caring woman, but I'm just too busy trying to raise my 17-year old manchild all by my lonesome to be worried about this woman with 14 to raise *sigh*. I will say THIS though - my heart and prayers go out to her! (another *sigh*)

Kwana said...

I have to admit I fall into the lot of being slightly obsessed with her, not with the flip-flips though, but with her mental state and how this all happened. I think her having so many children without ways to support them is terrible irresponsible. Also the fact than she said she knew she was taking "gamble" implanting 6 at one time but was willing to take that risk is horrible. You don't gamble with lives like that. Especially when you already have a child with special needs. The whole thing just gets under my skin. The doctor should have charges brought up against him. And yeah that is some bad Angelina surgery.

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

Tameka, on this one we are totally in disagreement. I have no particular problem with the woman herself, other than I suspect she is mentally ill. I have a mentally ill mother...I get that she has a right to be who she is.

What I have a real problem with is the doctor who took a woman in her circumstance -- and by that I mean someone who already had a large family -- and performed a medical procedure that is usually screened and reserved for extreme circumstances.

The medical community does not HAVE to perform requested, voluntary medical procedures. I believe that it was against AMA guidelines for this procedure to be performed, and I suspect the doctor will loose his license over it.

The biggest losers will undoubtedly be the children. Children with extremely low birth weight face a myriad of health and education issues that follow them their whole life.

I think the whole situation is very, very, very sad.

Jennifer said...

Very interesting reading. Great blog topic.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Actually Cecile, then we do agree...kinda. This is a matter for the AMA. Providing there is an ethical dilemma (Which I believe there is/was on the part of the physician who implanted the embryos) BEYOND financial means. She is however being villified for socio-economic irresponsibility. That is where I feel we have to make a stance as women for or against the freedom to choose what we do with our bodies and products thereof. Mental instability notwithstanding. It's a complex issue-which is why it intrigued me.

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I realized I sent my "real" response via email rather than this forum. Too long, too much to repeat.

Let's just agree that you raise the most interesting issues with great fearlessness on your blog and that's why you have so many loyal readers!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I'm very torn about this issue. This woman has had depression and says she has had issues in her childhood, which lead her to wanting a big family. I wonder if she is using her children for all the wrong reasons, to fill a void and to soothe a deep pain. She wouldn't be the first to do it, but it doesn't make her anymore right or wrong than a woman who has a child to keep a marriage together. Concerning her ability to take of the children financially, I think most parents who have multiples have a hard time financially, so she'll just jump on that bandwagon. I'll glad pay for her kids to eat and live, just I do for other children who live in poverty that need to eat and live. We as a society can shoulder it.

I also wonder if she is being judged because she is of Iraqi descent.

One other thing, I am of the belief that children choose their parents. Number 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 knew they would be part of a crowd and still chose her, so I think she has enough love to sustain them all. At the end of the day, this woman is going to be super rich because we are all so interested.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Jewelry Rockstar says:
One other thing, I am of the belief that children choose their parents. Number 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 knew they would be part of a crowd and still chose her, so I think she has enough love to sustain them all.

You couldn't be more right, Brooke!

Ms. Bar B: said...

AMEN!! I have been trying to figure out why "we" care so much about this woman and her status as a mother. I mean, each time I encounter her story I can't help but picture Michelle Duggar and her 18 children. Yes, Michelle IS married to a man who provides, thus she is better situated financially and she has a BUNCH of extra hands, but still, they have 18 children, which is 4 more than Nadya. And Michelle and Jim Bob don't really have any plans on closing up shop, so... Both women seem to love their children and have made the right decision for "them".

It really was outrageous. The media coverage I mean. They descended on this woman's life like flies to shit, and for what? Because she stepped outside the box? Aren't there more important matters that this society needs to be dealing with at the moment?

Great post.

::takes a deep breath::

fly tie said...

i hear ya and love # 3.

after a while all the talk about "i don't want my tax dollars supporting this woman and all her children" becomes rhetoric and cliché. i think people just want something to huff and grunt about.

hell, if anybody has the right to be mad with her it's her mother who she's living with (if i got the story right) and all the children in such a small space. but even in her piss-dom, she's probably still doing what she can as a mother and grandmother to help.

i mean....they're cute little babies for goodness sake. :-D

Nap Warden said...

Straight up, I'm a bit confused by the endless press this is getting. That said, I am shocked at the negligence of the fertility doctor. As someone who has been down the fertility road, where did her money come from for this?
That said, at the end of the day, I just hope for a good home for those little babies.

Wendy said...

Well, I'm the odd-one-out in this group, I guess. I read all of your comments and still feel completely bewildered about why everyone think what she did is nobody's business.

When you do something to attain "celebrity status" it comes with the territory. Everyone who has a television knows exactly what happens when you have octuplets. You get on TV. You get free stuff, you get lots and lots of attention. Nobody can say she didn't know what was coming. This is the risk you run when you do something newsworthy.

Regarding a woman's right to choose -- yes, I agree a woman should be able to chose when/how/if/how many/what size/what shape/what color kids she has. It's our basic human right. Nobody is "vilifying" her for "having children". This is the first time I've seen any octo-mom vilified. What everyone takes issue with is how irresponsible she is about it.

We can all agree that trying not to live off the system is better IF we have the choice. But if you're getting a free ride why is it okay to add additional burden to your neighbors?

If I have 20,000 in credit card debt that I can't pay or if I have to borrow money from my parents to make my house or car payment, is it right for me to go buy a new boat? It's RIGHT because it's my freedom as an American, but most rational people would say it's simply not a good decision. It's a selfish.

She already has 6 children that she can't feed without state assistance, why is it okay that she more than doubles that amount?

You say, "I feel we have to make a stance as women for or against the freedom to choose what we do with our bodies and products thereof." While I'm very pro-choice and very patriotic about the freedoms we are granted as U.S. Citizens, I have to disagree with the statement slightly. You can't just do anything you want with the "product". No, I think it's morally irresponsible to bring that many children into the world when you cannot meet their physical and emotional needs. Can you do it? Sure you can. Should you? Definitely not.

And the capper is that anyone who has been following the story gets the same feeling about it... that she's just not well and not making good choices.

One of the news stories I watched quoted her as saying one of her goals was to try to hold each of the babies 45 minutes each day. Are you kidding? Are any of you happy with that? Any of you who have been mothers of babies know how that's going to work out for the kids without me having to explain it to you.

Part of the beauty of the way our system works in America is that our freedom is protected and yet we have other ways of dealing with things we think are not right -- while nobody can tell her NOT to have more children we as a social force can guide the behavior of our community. This is what you're seeing -- social discipline.

When you agree with it, it's great. When you don't, it's crummy, but it's been at work since the beginning of time.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Welcome Wendy, I guess it could be construed as social discipline. To that end, where is the line drawn as to who is disciplined. It is not a decision I'd make for myself, but I still support her right to make that decision, it is one of a few perks still in place.

Anonymous said...

hmmm too much thinking for me in one coffee cup...

my simple cave man thought of the days is ...if this woman wants her donut glazed to produce 50 kids then F*ck IT ! Why worry about it ...

Live your own life party people ! To each his own .. history shows have been having tons of kids since the dawn of time and life goes on.


Favorite Guy :)

Pamela said...

Wow!What a breath of fresh air! I have been following this story and don't find it quite as bizarre as the media really wants to portray it. I live in an area of the country where having kids, mind you alot of them, seems more normal than many other places in the u.s. and i hear alot of what she is saying repeated by folks around here (way before she was in diapers herself) - folks here just aren't saying it on dateline.

thanks for the thoughts

Amy Bradstreet said...

I've been both weirdly fascinated and irritated with the coverage that villifies her, also. I don't think it's okay to pass judgement on her or even the doctor, for that matter, when our society says these prodedures are permissible, but we have no laws, let alone morals or ethics to guide us. Without the would-be laws, who does get to decide to incinerate the remainding embryos, for instance? Who gets to tell the mother she can't have them implanted? Who decides the qualifying socio-economic status of future parents? If, as a society that insists on pushing medical and ethical limits, says IVF is okay, then it's okay, regardless the circumstances. If we as a society are coming to the conclusion that maybe we're not that okay with it, all the time, then we have a lot of work and difficult examination of ourselves to do and we should rethink our pushing the envelope on this (IVF) and numerous other medical procedures.

Fascinating post, thanks for your insight. Happy to have found your blog, btw.

Shannon said...

I say it's nobody's business or problem!!! That being said... it seems to me like she is wanting society to step up and help her out a little... i don't know for sure, but it's "sounding" that way! Which I don't agree with either! I think everyone should leave her alone to figure it out!!!

But... also agree with others that there is something terribly wrong with the dr. who performed the procedure in the first place... wtf was he thinking!

Anonymous said...

As someone getting an IOU instead of my tax return from the State, I beg to differ. She can have a 100 kids if she can also be responsible for them. That includes love, time and money. I would loved to have several more kids but found it too irresponsible to do so for the reasons stated above.
To each their own but when it starts to tug at my pockets then it does become my problem....our problem. Trust me...California is PAYING for these babies.

***slowly stepping down from my pulpit***

Kim said...

People should have as many kids as they can carefore. I love the Duggars and their 18 kids.. No Debt -not a burden to taxpayers- no fertility treatments... The tax payers are already paying for her children who have disablities,now she is asking for donations which means she is not financially prepared to care for her children. Wisdom should have outweighed selfisness and want.

sherry said...

It's food for thought indeed, Tameka. But contrary to the person I used to be, I no long qustion nor judge the decisions of individual citizens, mass murderers not withstanding.

I reserve all judgment for our government and the world at large. It makes Sherry a much more peaceful and productive person.

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