...when I heard Michelle Duggar was pregnant with her 18th, I thought, "Mmm, if that was a woman of color pregnant for the 15th time, I think the media coverage would be a little different." So I asked my mom and my sister for their input and we are sitting around thinking what might be different.
I don't think there'd be a website for her on the Discovery Channel site.
I don't think people would want to hear about her "excitement and anticipation." I think we'd hear more words like "overburdened taxpayers" and "expenses" and "irresponsible."
From my sister: They wouldn't receive any widespread financial or physical help with maintaining home and family.
From my mother: They'd be saying she needed her tubes tied or a hysterectomy.
My sister brought up the difference in the public reception of the (white) McCaughey septuplets and the (black) Thompson sextuplets.
My mom thinks it unfair to the older children, especially the girls.
While my mom was talking, she shared something her mother-in-law had told her long ago. My grandmother told her to be careful of tubal ligations and hysterectomies. According to my mom, her words were something like, "All these tube tyings and hysterectomies they making black women have aren't really needed. They trying to stop us from having babies, but letting white women have as many as they want."
And I am floored. Because my grandmother, a long time ago, understood and articulated why reproductive rights aren't just about not having babies or choosing when you do have them, but enjoying the right to have them at all.