Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Flavor Flav in the News

Within the nuclear family, there is a father, mother, and children living together in the blissful neighborhoods of the suburbs. The father acts as the chief breadwinner, and head of the family; he is worldlier than his female counterpart, more involved in serious matters while she is happy to spend her days caring for the children and running the household. The pantry is her office, the apron her power suit, and the vacuum her briefcase. Unfortunately for Americana ideals, there are very few families that fit the mold described above, so why, then, is it that the gendered roles of “mother” and “father” are so religiously adhered to in pop culture?

To remain on par with this topic of the reality show “Flavor of Love” and said spin-offs, soon after Deelishis was “grilled” winner, Flav’s manager Clifton Johnson announced that in between seasons one and two of his hit reality TV show, Flav had managed to impregnate an anonymous on again off again girlfriend. This child, born unceremoniously in January resulting in not a single news article, was his seventh. The author is unsure how many mothers the children belong to. In analyzing this article in the concept of gender, one must take note that Deelishis is “standing by her man.” If the situation had been reversed, and Deelishis had found herself pregnant by a former lover after entering the competition, would she have been as triumphant a competitor? In a society where it’s acceptable for a man to leave his family in pursuit of fame, Flavor Flav’s sexual transgressions are barely noteworthy.

Children define a woman, for a man, however, definition comes through accomplishment and persona. Fatherhood is not something celebrated or attacked; it’s just a side note. The mother, however, is solely responsible for being the caretaker of her children, women on reality television are penalized for leaving their children, whereas men aren’t even asked the question. In "Moms Don't Rock: The Popular Demonization of Courtney Love," attention is drawn to attacks on Courtney Love for her drug habits, with little mention of her husband’s addiction that played such a key roll in his suicide. Any psychologist would tell you that a parent's suicide would be a defining, damaging event to any child, no matter what age. But it’s not the father that Barbara Walters is concerned about, so let’s hope Flavor Flav isn’t holding his breath waiting for her call.