Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dodecahemoms in the 21st Century

Recent television, TLC in particular, seems to be in l-u-v looove with people who have more than the recommended number of children. 18 Kids and Counting, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Table for 12, even the infamously whacked Octomom supposedly has a new show coming out.

And here's the thing. The world human population reached 6 billion in 1999. That's ten years ago, before most of these glorified litters were born. We're living in a world in which the environment weeps openly at the walloping footprint we leave, and TLC, you know, THE LEARNING CHANNEL, can't think to program anything more helpful than "have more kids because then you get a reality show." And to me, purposely bringing 10 times the number of people in the world as are going to leave it just seems incredibly narcissistic, and flat out mean. Because your 10 or 20 progeny are going to have to live in a world that is more crowded and more strapped for natural resources than your generation could ever have imagined. And it's your fault. Yours, and others like you.

And I'm not talking about all people who have multiples, or people who have a few surprises along the way, those are both pretty hard to plan. I'm talking specifically about people who purposely set out to procreate as much as humanly possible, the reality shows that follow, and the people who encourage them.
There are just so many children already in the world who could use a loving family that it seems ludicrous to be so fascinated with people who are bringing more and more and more people onto the packed earth. Do they have a special DNA strain that needs repeating? Will human society be irrevocably damaged if they DON'T unleash their seed onto the world? I know of some people(/cults) who do actually believe that, and it derives from the same concept of "if we don't get more people just like us in the world we will die out and our lives will be for naught." Because I get that about biological children; they ensure that a physical piece of you will live on after you die. It's a comforting thought. But twenty just seems a little bit of overkill.

All I'm saying is, if you have so much love in your heart for children and that's what you want to do with your life, then that's great. We need more people like you. But maybe adopt at some point, or foster a kid. Do something to help heal this broken world, instead of simply filling it with new people because the last ones didn't work out. Leave more than just your DNA.

And TLC, stop. Just stop. Take a good, long look at your life, and your programming schedule, and STOP IT.

Author's Note: This post was written a week before Max Nova's most recent post on kids, and really has nothing to do with it, but it is interesting that progeny was separately on our minds. Maybe it's The Age.

1 comment:

nevie said...

i pretty much hate the duggars.
they're 90% of the reason i decided to adopt kids and not birth my own.
the other 10% being my environmental science class.