Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tom Tells Katie to Can It

Holy Hell, Tomkat is back. In case you haven't heard, Joey is preggers. I bet Dawson is soooo pissed.

Anyway, I knew Scientologist had some, er, questionable ideas. So I wasn't surprised to find out that Katie will have to give birth sans pain killers. But I had no idea that scientologists are not allowed to SCREAM while giving birth.

From the New York Daily News:
Quit yellin', it's only childbirth

Katie Holmes' mission impossible will be giving birth without painkillers - or screaming.

That's because her fiancé, "Mission Impossible" star Tom Cruise, is a Scientologist.

Practitioners of Scientology are against drugs but insist on "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry.

"Maintain silence in the presence of birth to save the sanity of the mother and the child and safeguard the home to which they will go," church founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his best-selling "Dianetics."

That's easier to preach than practice.

Another famous Scientologist, actress Kelly Preston, told Redbook magazine in 2000 that she screamed for an epidural while giving birth at home to daughter Ella.

But her husband, actor John Travolta, who is also a Scientologist, didn't have time to drive Preston to the hospital.

"It got hard-core at the end because she was big," Preston said of her 13-hour ordeal.

Travolta later described it as a "beautiful, still experience that lovingly brings a child into the world without screaming or talking."

Of course, he didn't have the baby.

Scientologists also favor seven days of silence for newborns so their first week on Earth is trauma-free. But this has run afoul of state-mandated blood tests, which require at least a pinprick.

-- Corky Siemaszko

EW. This whole scientology thing is just starting to seem straight-up misogynistic. Women's voices are silenced, literally. Moreover, the mother's needs are made subordinate to the child's. And suppressing a scream seems like a bad way to maintain sanity. I've never had a baby, but screaming seemed to help me tolerate the pain when the doctor had to reset my broken ankle, and Serena and Venus are proof that vocal outbursts can help make exertion more effective. Never mind that whole postpartum depression thing. We got your back Brooke!

Katie should have mated the mantis way. I know Tom would have just grown another head, but perhaps the new one would have been on straight.

*BTW, there is a Buffy episode in which Xander falls for the substitute Biology teacher. She was a mantis (and a man-eater). Yum.

image courtesy aol celebrity


zp said...

(1) The article assumes that because Cruise is a scientologist, Katie is . .. I don't know if that is true.

(2) The article assumes that all scientologists successfully follow this silent birth practice. And of course, many religions and/or cults don't really acheive total control over their beleivers. Some people who consider themselves Catholics are divorced, get abortions, etc. People negotiate. The article actually suggests this . . .

I mean, this is gossip at its worst, drawing conclusions and making assumptions . . . there is no neccessary or inevitable corrolation between Cruise's beliefs (and that's assuming they match strict Scientologist practice) and Katie's practices. But enough about the article.

(3) Even if it were all true, this would be the tip of iceberg of Katie's participation in misogynist practices. While Dawson's Creek might be interpreted as liberating in various ways, it could as easily not be. That's its appeal, right? Katie's decisions about how she's gonna act in the delivery room will have a far narrower impact than her decisions about how she's gonna act on TV.

(4) However, I see Katie and Tom as a couple that really escapes traditional gender classifications. How is it that Tom manages to base an entire celebrity persona on being a closeted gay man? How can one man be so famously out and so famously in the closet and so famously straight at the same time? And what does young Katie's desire to enter into a romantic pairing with such a complexly gendered star say about her?

So rather than assume that these two celebrities identify with traditional gender categories and that the religion/cult they belong to reinforces them, might we not understand both religous practices and gender identities to be fluid and alway under negotiation, especially in such a wildly strange context as late capitalist US celebrity culture?

I find Katie and Tom unbearably touching, because they are so fuckin' indecipherable.

Jenny said...

I rarely feel bad for celebrities. But I feel really bad for Katie Holmes. She is so young and beautiful--she should be out having dinner and martinis with her girlfriends, enjoying the single life, shopping for expensive denim at Fred Segal. And I feel like she got brainwashed. And I'm not even joking. I think she was brainwashed. And I think that Tom Cruise is such a fucking asshole. He makes me want to puke. The idea of him telling Katie how she has to have her baby is gross. The idea of Tom having a child, a child that unlike his other two will not be protected and deprogrammed by Nicole Kidman, is sad. What an awful life. To grow up in that insane world of aliens and e-meters. Gross. Gross. Gross. And on top of that, to have a absolutely brainwashed flake of a mother. I'd rather be the spawn of Britany and Kevin. At least then you'd know that Kevin would never really be a part of your life. Your real dad would probably be the totally normal guy Britney marries five or six years from now, once Kevin has left her and she gets with someone normal.

Elka said...

When you say that his new head will grow on "straight," does that mean his weiner will be heterosexual, too??

femme feral said...

"So rather than assume that these two celebrities identify with traditional gender categories and that the religion/cult they belong to reinforces them, might we not understand both religous practices and gender identities to be fluid and alway under negotiation, especially in such a wildly strange context as late capitalist US celebrity culture?"

Yes!!!! Well put, zp.

Celebrity gossip of the tabloid variety is def. shaped by assumptions. The goal is not one of accuracy, but of entertainment. And entertainment of this sort translates into capital. It's ethics are dubious at best. And avid consumers of celebrity gossip seem to find pleasure in debating the accuracy of various reports -- just check out the comments box of any celebrity gossip blog.

I for one, barely believe that Katie is actually pregnant, but that is perhaps beside the point. And whether or not Katie is a scientologist, or whether or not TC will insist that she adhere to the prescriptions of its guru -- I really doubt some gossip rag journalsit is privy to that info.

But I do think it's interesting that what's been covered in the media recently and debated on these message boards relates to what male scientologists have said about practices / issues around childbirth. Tom's denoucement of Brooke Shield's use of anti-depressants was everywhere after his Today show appearance.

And that no screaming thing just really struck a chord with me. I scream my head off regularly.

And Dawson's Creek really sucked. I mean, I watched it occassionally, but I might have tuned in more often had one of the episodes been "the death of Dawson." That would have rocked.

porkmuffin said...

Tom Cruise continues to freak me out. Freak. Me. Out.