Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Favor of Reproductive Choice...Except for the Choice to Have Multiple Children

With the recent birth of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's 19th child, feminists and advocates for reproductive choice are working themselves up into a tizzy once again. The target of their disdain? Michelle and Jim Bob's reproductive decision to have multiple children and a large family.

Many of their responses show a double standard of many in the "Reproductive Rights" movement. If a woman decides she wants to have multiple children and a large family, based on a fully informed decision, made between her and her husband, and based on their personal convictions and beliefs, she is looked down upon with a patronizing attitude that she must of been coerced or brainwashed, or mentally ill; her very real feelings and experiences are challenged and questioned (with the viewer or reader presuming to know what she must be experiencing and feeling); jokes and  insults regarding the possible state of Michelle's genitalia are made at her expense; and she is called condescending and belittling names such as  "brood mare," "breeder," and "clown car." In the same breath they shame and berate the Duggars for reproductive choices they've made, these advocates would expect others to respect their own reproductive rights, to limit their family size using birth control or having an abortion. Those who have a large family, whether by circumstance or choice, are looked down upon as misguided, lacking intelligence, irresponsbile breeders, and contributors to the problems of overpopulation, overall a burden, while women who use birth control and carefully limits her family are viewed as good girls, empowered and intellegent, making good choices. With an obvious amount of disdain, many feminists turn their matriarchal noses up and away with an air of disgust towards those with multiple children.

As for the various comments and pot-shots towards the Duggar's belief system, while I don't personally agree with their belief system, I don't see the Duggars trying to push their beliefs onto others, or presumably wanting everyone to live their lives this way. Rather, the Duggars are living their life to their beliefs, as they see fit. While many of their family practices are quite questionable and while I must disagree with their practices, it's not of anyone's business to tell them how to raise their children, so as long as the children are receiving adequite food, shelter, clothing, and education. While you may agree or disagree, how many children they have, what religion they practice, and how they raise their kids is their business, as long as they're not abusing their children and are within the confines of the law. And regardless of their decision to appear on public television, by no means should Michelle Duggar's body or her personal beliefs, be subject to public judgement. Leave them be. As mom always has said, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment