Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Just about every newspaper, blog, and cable news show has commentary today about last night's Season Premiere of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." For those who have been under a rock or have managed to avoid grocery stores for the last month, Jon & Kate Gosselin and their 8 children (a set of twins and a set of sextuplets - all conceived using fertility drugs) are the stars of a reality show on TLC all about the struggles of an otherwise "normal" family raising 8 children.

Well...that's what it USED to be about. NOW it's all about the struggles of the marriage between Jon & Kate amidst rumors of infidelity on both partners. On the season premiere, Jon apologized for his "actions" though he did not make clear just what those "actions" entailed. Kate flat out denied rumors that she had been unfaithful. Jon may have just been cavorting around bars with a young college woman, but honestly, if that's all there was to it I think he would've just came out and said, "No I did not cheat on my wife" instead of being oh so coy about his "actions."

Sounds like a nighttime soap opera and definitely not a great environment for 8 young kids to be around, right? Right. So amongst all the hoopla, commentary, and snarky analysis many people are asking "Why continue the show if it is such a strain on your marriage and your family?"

I have read that the show is exploitative, the Gosselin's care more about being celebrities than they do about their children, and I have read some particularly nasty comments geared mostly towards Kate because "she's the one who wants to keep doing the show."

Yet none of the commentary I have read addresses WHY they chose to do the show in the first place and WHY they may be choosing to continue it (other than being obsessed with fame, of course). Perhaps it is because their family's entire financial well being rests upon the money they get from the show, the free stuff they get from sponsors, not having to worry about medical and dental care for 10 people, etc.??

Before the show Jon was an IT analyst and Kate was a nurse. Respectable positions for sure, but definitely not rollin' in the dough. Plus with 8 kids, obviously one parent is probably going to quit working thus cutting the family income in half. And for 8 kids under the age of 5, I'm pretty sure you need a lot of dough. Just ask "Octomom" who of course is a menace to society because she has birthed multiples while poor and unmarried. Unlike Kate Gosselin who prior to "Jon and Kate Gate" (I made that one up myself!) was the picture perfect mom - married and able to financially support her multiple bundles of joy.

But now that bitch is paying the price for being so money hungry and of course also for "emasculating" her husband. (You know, like asking him to do stuff...) but whatever. Maybe this conversation should be centered around what it takes to raise kids and possibly questioning whether it's a good idea for ANYONE to have multiple children at one time through fertility drugs. I'm generally not a fan of restricting women's reproductive choices if you know what I mean, but perhaps there should be some sort of regulation of fertility drugs? I ask the question because I really don't know. But it can't be normal or good for a woman's body to give birth to more than 3 babies at one time. OUCH. (I use the number 3 because triplets have been known to happen naturally but I haven't heard of quadruplets or more happening without fertility drugs). I guess I should stop to point out that getting pregnant through fertility drugs increases your chances of having "multiples" BY A LOT.

A lot of times women will do an "embryo reduction" if more than two embryos were implanted through the drugs, but that is also controversial because some consider it abortion.

But regardless of what I think about someone using fertility drugs and choosing to have 8 children, the fact is that the Gosselin's have 8 children who need their parents to try to work things out, and that would probably be more likely to happen without a camera crew following them around every day and without tabloids circulating rumors on a daily basis.

The problem lies in the fact that without the show, the books, the free stuff, the money... it's near impossible for the family to take care of all of those kids. Yes there are families who do it, but most of those families have older kids who can help with the younger kids (like the Duggers, don't get me started on them) but the average person just cannot financially support a family of 10.

I don't really care about Jon and Kate's extramarital affairs, and after watching part of the Season Premiere, I'm not all that interested in watching "the drama unfold." I do hope that Jon and Kate do what's best for their kids no matter what they decide to do with the show and whether or not they decide to stay together. It seems to me like they both really do love their kids and want what's best for them, like any other normal parents. But I do hope that when we talk about raising kids and especially about raising multiples, that class issues are brought to the forefront. Raising 8 kids is hard, but it's even harder when you are poor. I just find it very interesting that one woman chooses to have 8 kids (okay 14) and she is a national disgrace. But yet other women like Kate Gosselin and Michelle Dugger choose to have 8-18 kids and they get their own shows that make them look like super moms and get collective "awws" from society. Well, Kate may not be getting the "awws" anymore but her 8 kids sure are. Can't say the same for "Octokids." (sorry I couldn't resist)


  1. I absolutely love watching Jon and Kate Plus 8, but I don't think I can watch the drama unfold anymore. I feel like she treated him like absolute crap and that she is the one that wants to keep this up. Last season, in the final episode, Jon said he didn't know what was next and he didn't seem like he wanted to do this anymore, but Kate did.

    I feel really bad for their children. They will someday watch these episodes and see the whole drama unfold. It is sad.

    If it is for the kids, then they need to stop doing the show and work on their marriage and protect their kids from all of the drama as well.

  2. I don't agree that the (seemingly) failed marriage is all her fault. I feel like they are both at fault, and at the same time I feel bad for both of them because it seems like they both had the best of intentions when they signed up for the show.

    If Jon wanted to stop doing the show he could've said "I'm not going to do the show anymore." I'm sure they are both under contract now though. And of lot of the reactions could be producer-induced. I think we all know "reality" shows don't always reflect reality.

    I do agree with you though that the kids are the ones who are going to suffer most through all of this. I guess the point of the post was that I feel they should stop doing the show, but then where do they go from there and how are they going to support 8 kids?