Sunday, May 17, 2009

You're So Lame Award of Shame - Kate Gosselin

What is with these women who CHOOSE to get pregnant, conduct expensive experiments with their fertility, have multiple births and beg for public attention and financial recompense? There is no "motherhood gene"!!! It's all a choice and if you chose it don't make a career complaining about it!! Nadya Suleman has only now just taken a small backseat while the original Octo-Mom, Kate Gosselin tries to keep her family's gravy train from running out. In case you don't watch tv or have cable or care, there's a reality tv show called Jon & Kate Plus 8 about a couple with 2 sets of kids who were multi-births. 

They claim to have no outside help and to be completely financially self-sufficient. Now their network signed another family with 12 kids. So between all the press shared by Suleman and these other people, their new season was in jeopardy of being DOA. So what do you do when you think you might become irrelevant? You create controversy! As if that's something that should be rewarded. 

An article from US magazine as featured on the OMG! site paints a slightly different picture: 
The Gosselins make up to $75,000 per episode on their TLC hit, Jon & Kate Plus 8, for a 20-episode season -- and that's not even counting all their freebies! For the Gosselin clan, it's not just their show -- but their lifestyle -- that hang in the balance. Kate, who grew up in a trailer park and didn't go on her first airplane ride until her honeymoon to Disney World, now flies only first class for speaking engagements (mostly paid for by churches), sells signed photos of her kids for $20 a pop at appearances, and received a free tummy tuck after giving birth (Jon received a free hair transplant). Jon, now a stay-at-home dad, was fired from his job at Style Craft Corp in 2004 after "spending much more time" on a "quest" for freebies than working, the company's owner, David Rothermel, tells Us.
Having children is expensive, time-consuming and difficult - which is why I don't have any. Being a parent should be held in high regard and carefully considered. Often it is not. The Gosselins have been on a media blitz amid allegations they're both having extra-marital relations and hawking Kate's new book. This is being given the same amount and more coverage than the President's negotiations for health care in certain media circles. This further proves corporate media is a joke. 

I was deciding whether to give out an Award of Shame this week at all. It was going to go the Republicans for obfuscating the torture they allowed but that will be an ongoing saga. I think parents who exploit their race and class privileges for further financial reward and attention deserve to be smacked down. 

I was going to add the husband to this, but I have a funny feeling this is being led at the discretion of the wife. He deserves some blame of course but again, I think she's calling the shots. If your husband was cheating on you would you deny it while using it for media coverage? To me this is just more of the usual display and reinforcement of white woman privilege. There's even discussion about whether feminists and moms can be one in the same. For if this had been about a woman who wasn't young, thin, white and blond she would've been completely eviscerated or laughed at - not celebrated in gossip weeklies and given blanket legitimacy. 

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Renee said...

First off unlike Suleman the method of fertility that Kate uses did not allow her to make a decision before hand as to whether or not she would conceive of 6 children at the same time. She made the decision not to have an abortion after being told that she was pregnant with 6 kids and if we believe in a womans right to choose then we need to support her decision to give birth.

I take issue with your article stating that she is exploiting her children. Raising 8 kids is not an easy financial task and socially though we parrot a love of family we do very little to support them in any way shape or form. Would you prefer to see the family living on food stamps because that is exactly what would happen should they ever become reduced to living on Jon's income.

I simply do not believe that this controversy was manufactured. Their show is still TLC's #1 rated show. They like many couples who are undergoing far less stress are having difficulties in their marriage. Adultery while never pleasant for those involved is no ones business but those in the relationship and we only feel that we have the right to comment because of their show.

I do agree that if Kate were a woman of color she would have received harsher treatment from the media, in fact they probably would not have gotten a show to begin with but that does not mean the genderized attacks that she has had to withstand is in the least bit acceptable. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that Jons alleged adultery is understandable because she is a harpy. I would point out that you yourself appointed control of their marriage to her though you are not privy to their private conversations. It is only in the end that you begin to attribute some blame to Jon. Kate is taking the fall because she is the woman in that relationship and no matter what she says or does people will always find a reason to demonize her because that is what society does to women.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Renee: I appreciate your opinion but we will agree to disagree. IVF is expensive and not guaranteed. Reduction often occurs because these doctors try to produce as many viable eggs as possible. As I stated, it is a CHOICE and not something you do to get a cookie afterward. If they couldn't afford to care for their children as the all-hallowed hetero male/female union then they should NOT HAVE HAD ANY MORE KIDS.

Of course both parents are exploiting their children. They have a reality show that somehow elevates their status as something special. I have no idea whether the rumors of the cheating is true or not but it is being used to promote the show. That's called having a good PR campaign. I think you need to be reminded these people are on tv BY CHOICE and getting paid a LOT OF MONEY.

To deny that greed is not in part a motivation for their behavior is ridiculous. I've watched the show and was not impressed. It is a reinforcement of hetero. middle class white privilege. Jon does NOT WORK by the way. They've been living off the income of the show.

Just because other people are demonizing Kate for whatever reason THEY decide to does not mean I cannot offer an analysis or critique of this farce. From where I sit, they are using this to get rich and famous. If they had no kids there'd be no interest and NO SHOW.

I just don't see the husband in this scenario calling the shots. Perhaps he plays a much larger role than I give him credit for but as I stated I believe Kate is the one with the bigger motivation and drive to keep this cash cow going.

She gets to operate due to her race privilege and the uplift of white motherhood. Regardless of what you or I think they are laughing all the way to the bank, but it has not gone w/o notice their ability to do so is predicated on them being deemed "normal" and "ideal". If they can have the benefit of one they should have the scrutiny and inconvenience of the other. Besides as you stated their show is #1. So it has worked in their (financial and ratings) favor - WHICH WAS MY ENTIRE POINT!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

I also wanted to add that I hadn't accused them of exploiting their children...but upon further thought as I indicated in my response...isn't the very idea of them trading a personal lifestyle choice that involves their kids who are too young to make any legal decisions exploitation? They are getting paid MILLIONS after all.

Miriam said...

Extra marital affairs? HOW????? Aren't they exhausted? lol

Unknown said...

I will say that as a married father of four, i don't have time to even think about cheating.

I felt like i ran a marathon last night after bathing my two boys and I am in shape!

I have watched the show quite often but missed this last season. I dug it. As a parent, I understand the frustration. To be honest, if it was me, i will get it where I can. Money is tight with one income.

Exploitation? I have to say yes. But from here, 75K per ep does not sound bad at all.

Would we (our family) get a chance? hell no. What bothers me is that, like you said, promotes white middle class values particular white privilege.

On who runs the show in that family? I don't know. I would like to say Kate does but i am only going by who runs the show in my house: my wife.