The XX Factor

Octomom Documentary Revives Public Vitriol

Kerry, though married heterosexuals without children seem to have caused much Canadian ire, octomom Nadya Suleman, back in the press because of a documentary about her that aired last night, inspires even more furious levels of vitriol. But in Suleman’s case, the vitriol seems at least somewhat warranted. According to Ginia Bellafante’s write-up of Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage in the New York Times :

Throughout, Ms. Suleman-who allowed Radar’s cameras into the birthing room, trademarked the name Octomom and plans to appear in a reality show-idiotically aims to convince us that she loves her privacy and wishes the paparazzi would go away, proclaiming at one point: “I’m just a mother!”

Indeed, at this point it’s not Ms. Suleman’s fertility decisions that rankle, it’s her hypocritical fame-seeking. Broadsheet’s Mary Elizabeth Williams thinks that Bellafante’s write-up was unnecessarily bitchy, and scolds Suleman’s critics for being overly, well, critical: “Only her children will ever be able to truly judge Suleman’s performance as a mother. But as an observer of human behavior and psychological projection, I’d say she does a hell of a better job than a whole lot of her critics.”

Veterans of the mommy wars can all agree that the minutia of the average woman’s mothering choices shouldn’t be subject to endless public picking over. But Suleman continues to dangle herself and her entire family in front of the country like judgment catnip. During the documentary, Suleman giggled about how she once locked her mother in a car trunk, for god’s sake! If Saint Mary Elizabeth can refrain from having critical thoughts about Suleman after that admission, then she’s a better woman than I am.