Thursday, February 5, 2009

And Another Thing

(Because there are no published pics of the octs, here's a photo of the large team that was needed to deliver the babies.)

So, it's a week later and the media buzz around the octuplets has not faded.

I can't help but wonder, would things be different if the mother wasn't a woman of color? I asked my mother this question rhetorically, but she replied of course, media treatment has always differed for minorities.

I know that if all these babies survive it would be a first for octuplets. And that is a media-worthy event.

But, recalling other cases of multiple births, I feel as though the media has always hailed the mothers as some sort of heroes and spoken of the babies' survival as a miracle.

Now all of a sudden, this mother is an over-zealous baby-making machine. I can't exactly sympathize with her, but then I'm not very maternal and I never really can sympathize with mothers with multiples.

There are certainly other factors, the fact that she has no husband (they're going through a divorce and he's not the children's biological father), the fact that she has six other kids under the age of 10, and the fact that her father had to return to Iraq to make some money for the family.

No question this woman would get media attention regardless of her ethnic background but, are perceptions colored by her Iraqi ancestry? Women of color tend to receive more scrutiny in the news, especially Middle Eastern women. This could be a female version of the harem treatment. Opinions anyone?


Anonymous said...

Hey, I didn't even know she was a woman of color and I thought the woman was dumb to go for fertility treatments when already having six kids.

Michelle said...

When writing my other comment, I was only half thinking of this particular case. I thought about John and Kate, that other family on TV who have a billion kids who are ultra conservative (no clue what their name is or what the show is called) and I was thinking about Fundamentalist LDS folks. Having gone to high school in Utah, I saw modern-day polygamists. They lived in a compound a mile from my house with their massive amounts of children. (NOTE: The Fundamentalists separated from the main branch of the LDS church: these are not regular Mormons I am discussing.) For me, I just don't understand the reasoning regardless of race or ancestry. It just makes me feel like these people are kind of selfish to have this many children, believing that the world need them or something, when there are so many kids who are already here who need homes. I just don't understand why adoption never really enters people's minds.