Just because CHER practiced good birth control doesn’t give her the right to say that octomom Nadya Suleman should lose her kids. CHER allegedly is calling for social services to take Nadya’s kids, or intervene in the situation in some major way–effectively divesting Nadya of her kids.
If, in fact, CHER is being judgmental about Nadya, I am disappointed. I understand why CHER feels the way she feels but even I have had a lot of time to think of the Nadya situation in a broader context, and I have evolved about it and I have said that it is far more complex than just saying “you are single and therefore you do not have the right to have this many children.” I almost think it is irresponsible to so conclusively and dismissively throw around the idea that a mother should lose her children just because in most people’s opinion, she has to many of them.
There is just something slightly off about this reasoning that makes me increasingly uncomfortable. I just think that it is very dangerous for us to come to that kind of conclusion, even though, as I said, the Nadya Suleman story is troubling. But there is a lot of subtext and there is a lot more to the story, and there are tons of other implications that dictates that we are more careful in casting judgment in this matter, and that we separate our issues, and that we are more measured in our pronouncements of what should happen to those kids, and what should happen to Nadya Suleman.
This is a country of laws. We are ruled by a Constitution which bestows to each citizen a certain “penumbra of rights.” For one thing, we all have a right to privacy. But it is more than just that. It’s about freedom of choice for women. It’s about custody laws and the best interest of the child doctrine. It’s about child welfare, parenthood, fundamental rights, abortion, single mothers by choice, discrimination in favor of married people. Medical ethics. Doctor/patient issues. It’s about class-ism, maybe even racism.
I mean, there are so many issues that have converged in this story which makes it VERY dangerous to advocate strongly in favor of any one position to the exclusion of the other issues. It is VERY dangerous to fail to see the underlying issues that abound in this case, to see the subtext, to see the hidden implications. I did not see all the issues initially either. I reacted very strongly at first. I was shocked and dismayed like everyone else. But I grew myself up. And I have shifted my opinion as I have had more time to think about this issue on a deeper, less emotional level.
Plus, as women, and to a greater extent, as single mothers, I think CHER and Nadya have more in common than CHER realizes. You know, this octomom situation is a very multi-tiered issue and requires a multi-tiered response and multi-leveled analysis–and I think CHER is very smart and I am surprised that she doesn’t seem to see that.
I see CHER as this very liberated woman who is all about women’s rights and all. I am slightly surprised by her statements, if in fact these are her statements, which, you know what? Maybe what I read on New York Post Pop Wrap (Yea, I’m back to the NY Post) is inaccurate. But if it is accurate, I’m surprised. I think at this point we have had a lot of time as a society to get past the initial shock of the 14 kids, and move to the next level which is to figure out a sensible solution to a challenge that this single mother will have and I don’t think influential public figures like CHER should say these things about this single mom.
I don’t think the easy solution of taking Nadya Suleman’s children is even remotely the right solution–unless they can come up with concrete reasons, other than the fact that she has a truck load of kids (and she’s single!) to take her children away. I just don’t see that as what this country is about. These young babies need to be cared for. The state and country have an interest. But that is going to mean parental assistance for Nadya Suleman. Not taking her kids just because we all think she had too many.
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