Friday, November 21, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury

Does anyone find this picture offensive? Well gee, that's just someone having "Her BM."

There are those who adopt who whine and rail at being called "adopters," a perfectly good word, yet bitch about us calling ourselves "natural mothers," and think nothing of referring to the mother of the child they adopted as "our BM." I find THAT offensive for more than just the obvious reasons. I also don't think that this degrading designation is just used without thought for how it sounds. I see purpose behind that insult. I had one adopter refer to the use of "BM' as "just a shortcut that has an unfortunate reference." Ya think?

First of all, no natural mother is YOURS. To refer to the mother of the child as "ours" or "my" indicates ownership, or, like "my doctor" or "my landscaper" makes her sound like a mere provider of a service. And I don't have to tell you what "BM' sounds like. That is the result of adequate fiber in the diet..not a person who has been prodded into losing her child.

"Birthmother" is also offensive. You might as well call us brood mares or disposable wombs. I know that there are those among us who don't see the connection, but this is the industry's and the adopters' way of separating us and our emotions from our child. It negates our deep and abiding connection to the flesh of our flesh and tries to negate the truth, that we are the mothers of our children.

Someone on a mother's support list came up with a thought that is catching on...that we call adopters "non-birthmothers" or "UN-birthmothers." Gosh, do you think they might find that as offensive as we find the "BM" label? I can't help but hope so.

The industry and the adoption-philes came up with what they called "Respectful Adoption Language." We countered with the truth..."HONEST Adoption Language." BSERI has a very good article that describes and defines that honest language. SMAAC also supports this honest use of language in adoption. Words are powerful and language is used to exalt and demean. The majority of us find "birthmother" and "BM" to be as offensive as an African-American would find the "n" word.

Get used to this, adopters and facilitators. We are tired of thinly veiled insults, being treated like objects and production units. We have struggled against the obtuse, erroneous and mis-defined onus of shame that you placed on our young and vulnerable shoulders and have found self-respect. Now, it is time that YOU learned to treat us and to speak of us with respect. After all, we, not you, are the genes, heritage, features and talents that are in the child you adopted "as if born to." When these adoptees have children, it is OUR genes, our talents, our heritage that moves into the future...not yours.

I am NO ONE'S bowel movement. But I will say that adoption mythology is a lot of crap.


Sandy Young said...

Thanks for this Robin. I am sick to death of this month and at the risk of making a really bad pun, I am sick of this Crap!!! You, as ever, rock, My Sister!!!

elizabeth said...

I couldn't agree more. I actually had to tell my mother to stop calling herself "birthmother", it greatly offends me.

maybe said...

They can bitch their hearts out, I'm a mother, plain and simple.