I may regret coming out of anonymity, I don't know. Here goes nothin':
I've wondered why this woman engenders so much hatred, and the only thing I can come up with is that she must represent something bigger than herself. The vitriolic reaction to her is sometimes so out of proportion to her actual "crimes". I find her disagreeable and annoying, and her choice to expose her children to the world seems to be a terrible mistake.
But I think it goes deeper than Kate's many foibles. I think she has become a lightning rod for some of the feelings that mothers in this country have to deal with. There is so much pressure on a woman to be (and look)perfect in our society.
Look at parenting books, parenting blogs, magazines, television, the message is clear: to be the ideal mother you have to breastfeed your children,and if for some reason you don't (you're probably too lazy and selfish) you must investigate every bottle nipple for toxic chemicals, though you probably won't be able to afford the safe ones. Thoroughly investigate immunizations, because if you don't your child will probably be autistic & it will be your fault. Organic baby food is the way to go, homemade preferably. Your child should be on a set schedule for sleeping (never on the stomach!) and eating. Wait, no, research shows attachment parenting is so much better, your kid needs to be with you 24/7. And that's just infancy.
In my opinion, (and it's just opinion) mothers are constantly sold a message of inadequacy, and Kate seems to have bought it hook, line, and sinker. Striving, striving, for perfection with her organic cooking, tummy-tuck, hyper-organization, crazy cleaning, rigid control. And she's proud of it. It's all designed to look great on the outside, but I promise you it's hollow and joyless on the inside. And it's all being brought to us via heavily edited phony "reality" TV footage that tries to make a character out of a real person. Yuck to all of it, I say!
Again, take all that for what it was worth...a very long-winded 2 cents.
I can understand where wigamer is coming from. I think that, among mothers, probably the single most polarizing topic -- even above religion and politics -- is parenting itself.
So many mothers stew in guilt and performance anxiety, causing so much emotional angst that they sublimate it anywhere they possibly can. And what better target than a woman with the audacity to live her life under a scrutiny far more acute than any of us would dream of agreeing to? Someone who could be seen as "just asking for it".
Then, add to that mixture, Kate's narcissistic personality that not only blinds her to her faults, but makes her believe she really is deserving of the idolatry that many hold for her.
I'm not saying that all critics of Kate fall into this category; it doesn't take being a parent or even suffering a bit of parental guilt to feel plenty of outrage for what Jon and Kate are dragging their children through and for how they are deceiving the public. It is one thing to admit that one has the occasional less than stellar parenting moment, but it is on a whole other level to orchestrate and keep alive the circus that is the Gosselin life.
And it seems like just when we think we've seen the worst, a new episode airs and Jon and Kate just dig their hole even deeper. These are people who will pursue any and every freebie, donation, or sponsorship with no compunction, no hesitation at the thought that in order to reap the benefits their children must be exploited and their public must be deceived. THAT complaint has nothing to do with maternal guilt and a convenient scapegoat.