Nadya Suleman has become a reference point for much that contemporary pundits think is wrong with the world. The story of the world-breaking octupulets was speedily transformed from a celebratory reflection to a condemnation of "irresponsibility" and "greed."
It seems that whatever we discuss these days, the moralistic tone that inevitably emerges is one of disdain towards what we assume to be ignorant and selfish humans. In this instance, everyone from Green Crusaders to parenting "experts" have chimed in to warn of the dangers of Suleman's desires.
For sure many people, parents and otherwise, will be overwhelmed with even the thought of having 14 children -- but the principle of choice and decision making that each woman should have should not play second fiddle to a discussion about overpopulation, humanity's carbon footprint and ecological destruction.
Far too often these days, the morality police present us with Armageddon-like visions of destruction and then super-impose them on our everyday decisions as a way of preventing and shaping our behavior. The broader implication is that we need to stop, slow down, "sustain" our development, lower our horizons.
Inevitably this discussion has become sadly a rehash of who are the "correct type" of people to have children. Are only the organic-eating, recycling-attentive wealthy fit to be parents? Those that do not adhere to our temperance-like outlook are cast out as a new "great unwashed." "Those" people, when will they ever learn?
The demeaning nature of this outlook reflects our unfortunate decline in to recasting problems we see in society in the guise of the bad behavior of individuals. That is something that needs to be challenged -- alongside reminding ourselves that it is always a woman's choice, whether to have no children, 2 or twenty.
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