I just read an article on ForbesWoman that compares Kate Gosselin the now infamous mother of 8 to the UK’s Susan Boyle. Ok, I admit it – the gossip title to the article caught my attention (I was reading a work related article on Forbes) and I couldn’t resist reading it. I though I was partaking in good old celebrity rubbernecking — but instead I became very intrigued by the article, and the analysis of why this woman has become America’s gossip scapegoat. I feel like you have to live in a cave not to know who Jon and Kate are, because they are plastered on every tabloid magazine, and have been for months. The very interesting question this article raises is why the focus is on Kate, and not on the philandering husband who caused all the ruckus to begin with. An trend expert interviewed for the article has a fascinating take:
…there’s probably some pent-up envy over Kate making tens of thousands of dollars per episode for what most women are doing for free: “Women are kind of resentful because Kate is getting paid a fortune to do what a lot of them are doing anyway: raising a family. She’s become a scapegoat for every woman who is frustrated, at home raising kids.”
The same expert points out that woman are the main target audience for tabloids, and that they are more likely to buy the magazine about the b*tchy woman, than the schmuck husband. So here we are again. The reason Kate is everywhere is that women are still engaging in mommy wars. Women want to judge others, and see every flaw. It must make people feel better. And now this woman, who is clearly not a Stay at Home Mom, but a Work at Home Mom, is getting slaughtered for every move she makes. Someone in the paparazzi hears one of her children say “Mommy you are mean” and bam she is a horrible, mean mother. Thank goodness I don’t have that sort of scrutiny. These days when I say no to my 5-year-old — about ANYTHING he turns to me, very emotional, and very upset, and says I am a “Bad Mommy.” This of course being a response to me saying something as totally acceptable as he can only watch one PBS show in the morning. God knows what totally normal thing Kate did to provoke her 5-year-old to say “Mommy you are mean.” Seriously, imagine having 6 5-year-olds to deal with all the time? I am sure once in a while your voice would be raised, you would be frustrated, and you would do something “not perfect.”
Don’t get me wrong — I am not necessarily in favor of using your family as a method to make money, and putting your children on TV like the Gosselins did. But I do know this, it is their right and her right to choose. Her children have 2 parents who obviously love them very much, a nice house to live in, vacations they go on, and exposure to all kinds of things — that probably would not have been possible for this family before this show. Is it a compromise? Of course. Is it a compromise I would take? I have no idea. One 5-year-old, and one 3-year-old is overwhelming enough — I can’t imagine what choices I would make if I had sextuplets. I am not a big fan of children on reality TV — so maybe I would not have gone down that route. But this is a choice that is not mine to make.
People who don’t agree with this choice — it’s easy for you. Just don’t watch the show. The show continues because it gets an audience. Obviously there are millions of people who do enjoy the show and are OK with this choice. So for those of you who are not — its perfectly OK, but don’t watch the show and don’t buy the magazines, and don’t support something you don’t believe in. And for those of you who are resentful because Kate gets “paid” to be a mom, understand all the compromises this woman has made in her life. I say that if she figured out how to support her 8 children, and still be a mom, and even get paid to be with her kids, then she will live with the compromises that go along with that. I just wish that we gave women the benefit of the doubt — and realized that we don’t really know what goes on in that household, and how she and her husband raise those kids. All we know is what you see on TV and read in the tabloids — and honestly folks — aren’t we all smart off enough to know that most of that stuff is made to be entertainment, and not real life?