Friday, February 04, 2011

Elitist Feminism

I find my best inspirations, here of late, in the blogs and comments of adopted people. Amanda's blog on 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?


Amanda said...

I love the sign idea!

Sunday Koffron Taylor said...

Thank you Robin for pointing out, yet another reason I maintain the "feminist" movement did the vast majority of us no favors.

Sometimes we just can't have it all; and we don't deserve it at the expense of others.

Anonymous said...


Those NOW women were busy fighting for the
rights of "women" themselves oh yeah and us. The right
to "choose"adoption and call it a right. So they can have
their reproductive right to take another woman's baby.

A reproductive right forr them. They are the ones that put off having babies to get their educations, to hold off till it's to late to get pregnant, then they decide it's our reproductive "right" to choose adoption like we had a choice.
Just llike the ACLU fighting for civil rights for everyone but when it comes to mothers of adoption loss they are protecting our rights to remain anonymous forever. Just who is protecting who between these two groups seems we fell in between the cracks. Along with grown adult adoptee's making sure we never get together because it might hurt someone else's feelings. Aren't we all adults and
able to decide who we want to find and associate with like
our blood.

Lori said...


You hit on something that ancient people knew without having to be taught.... women are the bringers of life. We should be sisters in that we are the ones that are attached to our child, from the very beginning....

Sadly, over time and with the onset of the belief that somehow God was a male, women have taken the art of womanhood and made it into the art of slavery.... with us as the slaves.

What happened to the true understanding of feminism? The women of the ancient Celts knew that they could be anything and a mother... there were warriors and priestess', wise women and teachers, mothers of all types and they were respected by men.... held in esteem for the things that they could really do -

What happened to our self esteem?

Lorraine Dusky said...

Oh, I could not agree more about how feminists just totally accepted that adoption was the answer to their fertility problems. The "feminist" manifesto could include improving the working conditions and pay for the blue-collar women, but it never went so far as to include first mothers. We were shunned by them just as the rest of society did.

The issue is greater than feminism--it encompasses all liberals who see adopting at as a "good thing," because there are all those otherwise starving children out there who need to be taken in. But the mothers...oh yeah, that's a sad thing but....not their problem. I have always been a feminist but their see-no-evil stance on giving up children galls me continually.

But I have to say, there is no way I can be a fan of Rickie Solilnger. In her own academic way, she looks down upon birth mothers too as "poor" and "uneducated."

Robin said...

I'm not sure that I read Solinger the same way, Lorraine. But, the fact is that I was "poor," fiancially dependent on parents who didn't have a lot of money. I was also "undereducated" in that I was not allowed to continue in school and had no way to support myself. That was the situation for many of us and I don't feel any condencension in that fact being noted. To-may-to, to-mah-to....