I’ve always been annoyed at women giving birth to seven, eight kids at once. There are too many freakin’ people in the world, who do they think they are? But my annoyances is limited.

Other people in the past seem to have been less annoyed, and instead of being miffed they reward these baby factories. The family that has six or seven kids (or more) because of over-done fertility treatments (or some other mojo) gets free diapers, college funds are set up, and so on. They become heroes and society steps up to take care of their children.

I suppose that make sense for the sake of the innocent bystanders … the kids … but again, we are rewarding, at least to some extent, excess. Right?

Well, I was fascinated and even a bit shocked to read today that society is not stepping up to help the family that just bred a litter of octuplets. Here is an example of one of these stories, and an explanation (which I think is wrong) for this new phenomenon of shunning the litter bearers:

Where is the unlimited supply of diapers, formula and baby wipes? The free van? The brand-new house?

Women who give birth to six, seven or eight babies are often showered with dazzling gifts from big corporations, local businesses and strangers. But that is not happening with the Southern California mother who delivered octuplets last week.

The news that she is a single mother with six other children — and that all 14 were conceived by having embryos implanted — seems to have turned off many people, and companies are not exactly rushing to get publicity by piling on the freebies.

source

When I first heard about this without knowing any details at all, I figured that the recent downturn in the economy (The Bush Depression) had caused a shift in people’s opinions. Then I read the story further and discovered, as implied above and as demonstrated by other evidence, that this is probably a case of someone who is unhealthily obsessed with the act of popping out babies, and who may have inappropriately used fertility resources to produce a very large number of baby-popping experiences.

Then, I noticed the woman’s name and looked at pictures of her babies and discovered yet another reason why people might be mad at her: She, and/or one or more of the fathers, and certainly a sprinkling of the offspring, are NOT WHITE.

If this is a factor, then this situation is an example of the same kind of phenomenon we see with welfare stigma and similar social phenomena. We can celebrate the birth of babies, as long as they are more of us. But if someone is sprinkling the Fertility Mojo on a non-white woman to produce non-white babies, then that is cuckoldry, and there is nothing more infuriating than being cuckolded. In some legal systems of the recent past (and possibly present), if you killed someone who attempted to cuckold you, that would be a minor crime. Certainly, withholding a lifetime supply of free diapers is more sociall acceptable and not as severe, but similar.

So, which is it …

1) The economy, stupid?

2) OTT birthing is annoying?

3) The usual suspects feel cuckolded so they are mad at this mom and her hoard?

Comments

  1. #1 Virgil Samms
    February 4, 2009

    Octuplets mum ‘deluged by offers’

    Ms Joann Killeen said she was contacted by Ms Suleman to represent her and that hundreds of offers had been received. Many were for interviews but some have been to host TV shows or be a baby expert.

    “She’s the most sought-after mom in the world right now,” said her publicist.

  2. #2 Rev Matt
    February 4, 2009

    Are you really serious about this? I’ve talked to a few dozen people around here over the past few days. I was totally unaware that she and/or the father was not white (not that it would affect my opinion either way). I had in fact assumed she was white. And absurdly irresponsible. Someone who is living off the taxpayers, is massively in debt, and already has 6 kids should not be getting any sort of infertility treatment. And that has been the attitude of most people from what I’ve seen. I think the fact that she’s single is not as big a deal, though it’s without question harder to be a single parent.

    As my wife and I went through infertility treatments (successfully) we still follow the blogs and forums and have a lot of friends who do as well, some of whom are still trying. The overall instant reaction from most people has been that she chose to retain all the embryos in hopes of become famous and getting her own tv show like Jon and Kate.

  3. #3 Virgil Samms
    February 4, 2009

    The use of fertility enhancement makes this case less compelling as an unusual natural event. Finding out that the mother already had six children made her less sympathetic (and brings into question the screening process, if any, used by the clinic). Hearing that the family is on government support lessened the appeal still further. Trying to turn this into an example of racism is going to take quite a stretch.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    February 4, 2009

    I’m serious that these three explanations may be on the table. Of course, I do not know. It is true, however, that the non-whiteness of this case is novel, and the negative reaction is novel, so I feel it is worth proposing as a possibility. The economy may also be part of it. I doubt this is a simple thing (and I’m certainly not describing it as such).

    Frankly, the idea that people are suddenly reacting in a rational way does not seem likely.

  5. #5 chezjake
    February 4, 2009

    I’m a bit disturbed by the idea that she has already arranged for a publicist, who must be in line to get something out of the deal, but there’s been no indication that she has made any arrangement for getting help to actually care for her kids.

  6. #6 dean
    February 4, 2009

    Has it been confirmed she’s on welfare. This

    “Court records show Angela Suleman filed for bankruptcy last March, but after she failed to make required payments and appear at a creditors’ meeting, the case was dismissed. She reported liabilities of $981,371, mostly money owed on two houses she owns in Whittier.
    The births were a hot topic of conversation on the Internet, with many people incredulous that a woman with six children would try to have more — and that a doctor would help her do so. Some criticized the doctor and suggested that the mother would be overwhelmed trying to raise her brood and would end up relying on public support.
    Jessica Zepeda, who identified herself as a friend of the mother, said the woman and family would have enough money to raise 14 children. “She is not on welfare,” Zepeda said. “She is an awesome mom, and will be able to take care of her babies.”

    seems to contradict it, but I don’t know with certainty one way or the other.

    One other thought: I’ve seen a few news stories in which this woman has been described as being “maniacally obsessed with children”. I wonder whether the subtle, or not-so-subtle, hints at mental disorder could be another factor influencing general opinion about her.

    All other issues aside, I view this as a sad thing for all those involved.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    February 4, 2009

    I don’t know if she’s on welfare. I referred to welfare stigma as an analogy. Good point about the mental disorder. That would be a fourth possible criterion.

  8. #8 Rev Matt
    February 4, 2009

    “Frankly, the idea that people are suddenly reacting in a rational way does not seem likely. ”

    That’s pretty hard to argue with.

  9. #9 Kevin
    February 4, 2009

    I didn’t know she was not white until you mentioned it. It doesn’t matter to me. I have never understood the desire of people to shower praise and gifts on baby making machines. The Duggar family is a perfect example–they enjoyed more than their 15 minutes of fame just because the mother has a vagina like a clown car—the kids just keep coming out.

  10. #10 Lilian Nattel
    February 4, 2009

    I also didn’t know anything about the racial make-up of the people involved. I’d assumed they were white. It sounded like she had done this for the publicity & that she her marbles were rattling around in an odd way. She already had 6 young children she couldn’t support, financially or otherwise. I have 2 and I wonder how people with 4 or 5 kids manage to give them enough time. To voluntarily go for more via ivf just struck me as irresponsible. And it sounded like immediately after popping them out she was looking for publicity and freebies. My thought was poor kids. All of them.

  11. #11 Kate
    February 4, 2009

    Look, I don’t care what color she is. I don’t care that she’s single, or that she used a sperm donor. What bothers me is that she’s choosing to have more children than she can afford. This isn’t an ‘accident’. This isn’t “I got pregnant and believe abortion is murder”. It’s not “I am single and choosing to have children I can afford to care for.” This is “I’m a single mom who wants to have 12 kids and I hope I profit from it because I’m special.” It’s rather hard to see where a woman who’s going through college (even taking Child Development) can think that they can afford 14 children.

    This woman has more than a few screws loose. I can completely understand the public, and corporations, not wanting to be associated with this one, regardless of her name or her father’s place of origin.

    We know from the news and the woman’s mother that she is “obsessed” and that her mother consulted a specialist since the woman was ‘obsessed’ since being a teen, and that, this specialist had recommended that the mother put the woman out of her house. Sounds to me like there was a whole heck of a lot going on there.

    The other part of all this is that she’s not only housing all the kids, but her divorced mother and father who declared bankruptcy and lost their house… and that all this happened BEFORE she elected to have all those additional embryos implanted.

    This has nothing to do with race or the economy.

    Oh, and a lot of those companies who shower baby-making machines with gifts use them in advertising of some sort… but would you want your product associated with a woman who’s got this mess going on?

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    February 4, 2009

    Kate, you may be right, but you have not really made an argument that distinguishes among the three or four hypotheses we’ve got going here. (Although clearly there are loose screws in any event.)

  13. #13 Aaron Luchko
    February 4, 2009

    I think the biggest factor is the fact that it appears that she’s trying to exploit the publicity. Trying to exploit charity is essentially a form of theft and something that really turns people off.

    If the exploitation factor was absent I think the race factor would reduce the charitable giving (the non-white mother would be less identifiable to all the givers) but I don’t think it’s the cause of the general resentment and total absence of giving.

  14. #14 T. Bruce McNeely
    February 4, 2009

    What about the responsibility of the fertility clinic to say to the mother: “You’re nuts! Get the hell out of here!”?

  15. #15 catgirl
    February 4, 2009

    I think the biggest reason is that she is avoiding the media so much. Most of the other parents of litters were willing to be interviewed even before the birth. I remember one set of 6 was born in a hospital close to where I lived, and there were constant updates on the news about the mom even before the kids were born. BTW, this is the family that has a TV show on TLC now, and the father is not white. I think the feeling is that if we give away freebies, we want to be able to know every detail of the kids’ lives, and this lady is keeping it from us.

    Also, I think that the novelty has started to wear off. Having a litter of kids just isn’t as much news at it used to be, because it has been done so many times.

    I think all the above reasons also play a part it in, except the race one. I also had no idea that she is not white until I read it on a blog yesterday.

  16. #16 Andrew
    February 4, 2009

    T. Bruce McNeely: She apparently worked there. Maybe she was just dipping into the vault.

  17. #17 CyberLizard
    February 4, 2009

    I can’t see it being the non-white thing. I’ve read only a few accounts of the situation and I had no idea there was a racial angle to it. Usually, the media would be slipping that little fact into the stories. Just subtle little mentions of race that make you go, huh, why are they mentioning that?

    Economy? Maybe a little bit, but for a big company it’s a drop in the bucket to provide a little something for these people. Especially considering the marketing value of such an offer.

    Here’s what I went through as I heard more about the story:

    Oh, wow, octuplets! And they’re (relatively) healthy. That’s great. Obviously fertility treatments were involved, but that’s the risk you take.

    Then I heard that she had 6 other kids. OMFSM! WTF was she thinking? Now that’s just irresponsible. That’s messed up. What’s with these people and their need for more children?

    When the remarks from her mother came out, describing her as “obsessed” with having kids and how ALL of her children were conceived this way I was like, dude, this chick’s got a screw loose and her parents f-ed up by not dealing with it. They’re enabling it, fer cryin out loud. There are some serious mental health issues here.

    Most of the people I’ve talked to seem to have followed a similar pattern. I can easily imagine a corporate boardroom saying, woah, we don’t want to touch this one with a ten foot pole. She’s a whacko!

  18. #18 TheOtherOne
    February 4, 2009

    I was disturbed by an anonymous woman choosing to bear 8 babies to term – my immediate reaction was to question implanting so many embryos and not reducing them to a safer number. Then I heard she was unmarried (no father to help support them all) and had other kids. Then I heard one of her older kids is autistic. Somewhere around then, I first heard her name. I have yet to see photos. I didn’t realize she wasn’t white until you pointed it out.

    Given the way information trickled out, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there are plenty of others like me who disapproved before knowing anything about her ethnicity. I certainly haven’t heard/read anyone who was originally okay with it but who disapproved after getting a look at her or hearing her name.

  19. #19 the real cuckolded guy
    February 4, 2009

    It’s a huge leap to assume that race is a factor here, and follow your own instincts: yup, it is infuriating to be cuckolded, yet the feminist ‘women are always right’ lobby of the last decades made this madness possible. I chuckled when I first realized the madness and hypocrisy of that stance, and I laugh out loud now to see the fruits falling not far from the feminist tree.

    Then again, babies are good for the GNP, because men are forced into a quasi indentured servitude( taxable income) without the right to tax breaks every time one of these cows gives birth; the lawyers get paid to ‘protect’ this illusory ‘right’ of women to bear these fruits without social consequences; the doctors, judges, and the cops who have to watch thesae kids go through the system all get paid as well–more taxable incomes, and ‘jobs’.

    Even PalMD gets paid every time he lovingly pulls at the foreskins of these future wasted lives, and clips the skin off another babies dick–something like 250.00 per pecker–which is good for the “cut boys penises” lobby as well.( PalMD loves slicing little peckers)

  20. #20 RyanG
    February 4, 2009

    I know it won’t help to throw another anecdote on the pile, but I didn’t know she wasn’t white until you mentioned it. For that matter, I still don’t know what flavor of not white she is. I suspect your cuckolding hypothesis is way off base.

  21. #21 Soren
    February 5, 2009

    Wow your very own MRA troll.

    Yes it sure am a bad idea them women are allowed to make decisions demselves.

    Here’s the scoop. All people make stupid decisions. This mother has made some very stupid decisions, but the answer is not to take away every woman’s rights.

  22. #22 dean
    February 5, 2009

    “the real cuckolded guy”

    should be

    “the real moron who can’t be bothered to think logically”

  23. #23 "the real cuckolded guy"
    February 6, 2009

    Soren, and Dean: You dumbass feminiSS trained little doggy hickfucks.
    The problem (soren) is not that all people make stoopid decisions, but that people like me and others have to pay for it–every time one of these kids grows up needy, criminal, or just plain dysfunctional–and then perpetuates the cycle exponentially into generations to come.
    So this idea of rights, which we know from history is a transient one–is actually distorted logic. Do I have the right, Soren to shit on your lawn? Or worse, to piss behind your house?

    Think about it: my turd will consume less resources, make fewer bad decisions, and it will not procreate and make kids who make even more bad decisions.And it will fertilize your lawn. But me pissing in your back yard would likely get me two criminal charges: one for public urination, two for tresspassing, and three because the cops like to charge males with deviant sounding crimes, like “lurking” and “exposure”. But this douche of a woman who is raising all those kids on your tax dollar ( she is “disabled” and also depressed–imagine that: kids are the new prozac) and you yak about rights. Go crawl back up your mothers misinformed hole pal, it looks like you didn’t bake long enough.

    Dean: Logically?Please tell me, Mr. Hawking, about logic. Ferfucksake, even Hawking backed off of his black hole theory, and now you, explaining how this social drain of a woman is a logical equation.

    Hmmm..here’s the equation dipstick:
    One depressed mother, using kids for a hormone rush instead of Prozac; fourteen kids, supported by disability–my tax dollars at work. Logic? Dude, go back to school.

  24. #24 Soren
    February 7, 2009

    I am sorry mister cock, but you forgot to explain what is is that makes MEN indenture servants? You forgot to explain what this has to do with feminism?

    I will await your words of wisdom.

  25. #25 Greg Laden
    February 7, 2009

    Anyone see the interview????

  26. #26 jjn
    February 9, 2009

    Look. I am not white. I really don’t care about the race of this woman, and to make this an issue of race is complete BS. The simple fact is, she is broke, has been bilking the system for 6 years with some mysterious soft tissue back injury totalling $165,000 and counting. She had 6 previous children, and had the genius frame of mind to have 6 more embryos implanted fully knowing the risk of multiples. Her actions have put her parents in BK (bankrupty) court, and she doesn’t seem to care. If her want for children was so strong, why not do the right thing and buy your own home – preferably one with enough rooms for her 6 preexisting children – finish your eduation like you wanted, get an excellent job to pay for your 6-pack, and when you are financially secure, then implant the rest of your brood. Instead let’s just collect food stamps and disability for your injured back, while carrying 8 babies by the way, and how this was done is beyond me, and ask society to pay you for your brood. And, oh yeah, let’s give me a show because I am a child specialist. It takes more than popping in a bunch of embryos to make you a child specialist. That’s the easy part. Let’s start off by cleaning that pig pen of a house you’re living in right now with your parents, scrape the food off the walls and do some laundry. Greed (avarice) is king, isn’t it? She is a joke, and it’s not funny. How did she pay for the IVF anyway? The procedure runs 10-$15,000 a pop and that’s not at the Beverly Hills hospital. Multiply that by 2-3. We all know that BHills is more expensive than just about any other place out there. Where did this money come from? Disability checks? Medicaid? What scams were performed to pay for all of this?

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    February 10, 2009

    has been bilking the system for 6 years with some mysterious soft tissue back injury totalling $165,000 and counting.

    I noticed that. It could be fore real but like you I did not get that impression.

    let’s give me a show because I am a child specialist. It takes more than popping in a bunch of embryos to make you a child specialist.

    I predict that some day she’s going to be on Super Nanny. But not as the nanny.

  28. #28 the real cuckold
    February 11, 2009

    Soren: sorry fopr the late answer-I was busy counseling some young men on how to avoid paying child support to young women who use their bodies as man traps so that they can collect a check like your heroine up there.

    Soren: “what is is that makes MEN indenture servants?”
    Indentured as you know is a term of servitude usually doing menial labor; men, because once cuckolded by women like your heroine who use child bearing as a substitute for Prozac to make themselves feel good. I doubt you would know much about the baby making game that many women play, but suffice it to say that whereas women have the ‘right’ to do what this woman did, society as a whole only punishes men with the 18 years of indentured taxpayer punishment, as the courts have yet to recognize a mans right to say ‘if you want it, you pay for it’ to the women who choose the state assisted and subsidized baby farming occupation.

    Or in other words, go back in the history books–Howard Zinn does a great job discussing it-and watch how mens rights to the children they fathered were eroded by masters who held men and their children in bondage by forcing men to pay egregious sums of money in order to get their children off the plantation.

    So, your heroine, this particular baby farmer–is just a high profile example of the statistic “90% of single parent households are led by women” which is shorthand for “let’s agree not to discuss wage bondage, and the scapegoating of lower income males”.

  29. #29 Gio
    February 12, 2009

    Here is the difference between Nadya’s multiple births and the others:
    At the age of THIRTY-THREE, with SIX children, THREE with disabilities ALL UNDER NINE YEARS OLD, UNMARRIED, ON WELFARE, IN DEBT WITH STUDENT LOANS, UNPAID MORTGAGES, BASICALLY BANKRUPT, ON DISABILITY FOR “BACK PROBLEM”, sperminates herself with SIX MORE EGGS.
    Then HAS O B V I O U S PLASTIC SURGERY DONE IN TIME FOR HER “CLOSE-UP” 15 MINUTES OF FAME MOMENT, DENIES SHE IS ON WELFARE although the proof came out the next day she was and excuses it by saying “SHE doesn’t consider it welfare”, DENIES she has had plastic surgery, yet her ‘before’ pix show NORMAL lips and a bigger nose …
    No, sir, this is not a RACE issue AT ALL.
    This is a moral issue. This is a mental health issue. This is a fraud issue. And this is a child abuse issue.
    This woman is SELFISH.
    If you listen to her interviews, you will lose count of the ‘ME’S’ AND ‘I’S’ and notice how many times she mentions ANY of her children by name — maybe 3 times. I’d like someone to ask her to name all of her children without reading a cue card.

  30. #30 Not Nadya
    February 13, 2009

    She’s only the most sought after parent until I present my 14 clones….15 if I have to.

    I fully intend to clone myself 14 times and go on welfare.

    I’m entitled and you can’t stop me.

  31. #31 Courtney Stensvold
    February 17, 2009

    See related legal blog article on the California Octoplets by California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, attorney Marshall Waller at http://www.Thecaliforniafamilylawblog.com .

  32. #32 Ace of Sevens
    February 22, 2009

    I had read plenty of coverage and never got the impression she wasn’t white. I saw pictures and perceived as white, though now that you mention it, a bit dark completed, but that’s common in California.

    The outrage here as opposed to previous cases is largely because most cases of large multiple births like this, the parents didn’t do it on purpose. In most cases, they were getting fertility treatments and erred way to far on the side of makign sure at least oen embryo took, or at least it wasn’t reported that way. At least, they didn’t give the impression that the kids were a way to get on TV and they were expecting the public to help. i think rationally, it is quite sensible to distinguish between giving charity to peopel who unintentionally find themselves in need and those who create need on purpose and then count on charity to bail them out.

    From the soudn of it, the doctor was implanting embryos directly into the uterine lining, which should have a much higher success rate than the usual dropping them in loose to see if they implant, so he doesn’t have the excuse of not expecting this many to take. I hope the publicity results in attention on the ethics of this sort of thing.

  33. #33 Terri
    February 22, 2009

    The issue, as I see it, has nothing to do with race or multiple births and everything to do with a selfish woman burdening her family and everyone around her in order to satisfy her own desire for publicity and/or more children.

    Heck, I love children, too, and would love to have more – would the rest of you mind paying for IVF, oh and medical care for the delivery, and perhaps some food and housing costs after my triplets (I won’t need octuplets – triplets will suffice) are born?

  34. #34 pete
    February 27, 2009

    Of course she is white! Her mom is Lithuanian & her dad is Lebanese, both caucasoid ethnicities. I suppose you are one of those people who would say that Kim Kardashian isn’t white either. What’s up with people these days thinking that only Anglo-Saxons are white?

  35. #35 pete
    March 9, 2009

    Correction: Her dad is Iraqi, not Lebanese. She is an Assyrian Christian. About 3-5% of Iraqis are Christian. My original source, now corrected, apparently assumed they were Lebanese, as nearly 40% of Lebanese are Christians. (Mostly Eastern-rite Catholics.) Anyway, she is still Caucasian, as are the majority of Middle Easterners.

  36. #36 1st-Time Mommy
    January 17, 2011

    I think the reason people aren’t as bothered by the Gosselins is because their aim was not to have a litter of children; it is very common in fertility treatments to overshoot the number of embryos with the knowledge that most won’t implant successfully.

    And while I find the Duggars absolutely disgusting, they HAVE (even before the media blitz) always managed to support themselves entirely, subscribing to the ideology of “debt-free lifestyle” (and severe frugality). Also, their (admittedly insane) religious beliefs force them to abstain from all birth control and family planning.

    I believe most people’s distaste for Suleiman stems from the fact that it appears her sole motivation in having fourteen children she can’t support stems from her desire for fame. Considering how frequently her appearance is compared to that of Angelina Jolie, I’m having a hard time seeing how she is being discriminated against because of her race.

    Anyway, if anyone would like to read my MLK day article about race relations, you can find it here.

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