Adoption, Surrogacy and Feminism should be a classic. It seems that protection of women and upholding the rights of women, including reproductive rights, seems to stop at these issues. Mothers with unplanned pregnancies are seen as incubators and surrogates are actively recruited as such. This is something that those of us who have been around the activism block knew but deserves retelling.
You would think that the use of women for breeding purposes for those who wish to adopt would be a Women's Issue, now wouldn't you? A movement that purports to uphold the reproductive rights and autonomy of all women should be up in arms when told our stories, shouldn't they?
NOW was approached, a long time ago, by activist mothers and they gave out the same kind of crap they give out now. They see adoption as a "reproductive right," but for WHOM? It is my observation that the right to adopt and to have a living incubator for a child is the exclusive, if unjustified, right of the women who wanted it all and didn't count on the biological clock and other factors. I have scary visions of a special class of incubator women who produce children for the elite faction of the so-called feminist movement. NOW is top-heavy with adopters as is the media and the entertainment industry. Margaret Atwood wasn't too far off the mark with "The Handmaid's Tale."
So, perhaps the feminist movement was so intent on proving that women were as capable as men that they forgot that there is one area where we are unique. The fact that we are the gender that brings life into the world is left in the dust of equal pay for equal work and the attempt to crash through that glass ceiling. That's where we start seeing, to quote my good friend, Celeste Billartz, "Woman's inhumanity to woman." Rather than seeing the need for more assistance and education to help women with unplanned pregnancies, they are falling back on the old "abort or surrender for adoption" garbage.
Just a bit of support would have been enough for most of us who truly wanted our children. An organization for women's rights should, in my mind, be in the forefront of the effort to provide ways for women and their infants to stay together and make a good life. Instead, they are putting on the steel-toed boots of the patriarchy and kicking us while we are down. Thanks for nothing, Sisters.
I really think that "Wake Up Little Suzie," by Rickie Solinger should be required reading for everyone who wants to become an advocate for the Natural Mothers of the BSE. If our children want to understand us, that book and Ann Fessler's, "The Girls Who Went Away," can help with that endeavor. To know how the same injustice has been carried into the present day, all we have to do is look around us and learn.
I am proud to be a woman. I think that I have intelligence and aptitudes that are the equal of any man. BUT, pregnancy and childbirth are exclusively issues of women. And the feminist movement has been so caught up in birth control and abortion rights that they have overlooked the multitude of women who have suffered a grievous injustice just because of their fertility. They seem to have very selective vision.
SMAAC will be joining the adoptees in San Antonio in August. I would love to have a sign that says, "Where are you when WE need you, NOW?" I wonder if they would notice?