I've only watched a couple episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8, the TLC reality TV show hit with the family raising 8 year old twins and 5 year old sextuplets, and should say upfront that I find it a hard show to watch because matriarch Kate is so mean to her husband Jon -- but is anyone else finding the tabloid coverage of Jon's shady behavior with an 18-year-old a little feministly troubling?
The coverage seems to have divided into two camps: either "Kate drove him to it, the harpy," or "who'd've thought pussywhipped Jon would be man enough to cheat on his wife?" True, Kate could be a little nicer -- but I always kind of respected that Kate does exactly what all the equal-partnership-marriage advice books say, which is to expect that your partner will perform half of the household duties and do so in an acceptable way. And I always respected that Jon, for all his passive-aggressive whining, pretty much was realistic enough to realize that he and Kate were going to have to split up the work in some equitable manner if they were going to survive raising that many kids in that short of a time. So what's with this weird storyline that Jon's somehow more of a man for embarrassing his family on the cover of Us Weekly?
It kind of makes me sad to see everyone being like, what kind of a man actually listens to his wife? What kind of a wife expects her husband to (gasp!) help out around the house? Obviously, that's such an unacceptable position for a male to be in if you're Jon that the only way to reassert your masculinity would be to drive three hours out of your way to drink and play beer pong with a bunch of college coeds, right, Jon? It kind of makes me want to be a little mean to Jon, just like Kate is