Saturday, February 05, 2011

What Do We Want?

You know, FAQ bullet-point answers are all well and good, but when it comes to the question of what the Natural Mothers of SMAAC want, in my opinion it just can't be power-pointed into a nice little sentence or two. We do our best, but there is so much dangling over the sides that I keep wanting to expand the platform. I guess that is what these blogs are all about. Here, I can expand.

I remember when I was active in the early feminist movement of the late 60's -early 70's. I wrote a letter to the editor about something, I don't remember exactly what, and it was published. Of course, my name and location was also published.

I was appalled to receive a call from some strange man, the day after my letter appeared in the newspaper, asking me, in an exasperated tone, "just what do y'all want??" I told him I wanted the right to express my opinion without having a total stranger call my home and invade my privacy. He apologized, which surprised me, and said goodbye.

It's funny that now we are still trying, as Natural Mothers, to have the right to speak for ourselves and to educate others on the difference between privacy, confidentiality and anonymity. That's number one on my personal "I Want" list. I want other people to stop speaking for me. By other people, I mean anyone who supports adoption, benefits or profits from adoption and I do mean the likes of Adam Pertman, the NCFA, the ACLU and adopters. HOW DARE those entities speak for us?

I have to use the analogy of my friend, Musing Mother, who, in a discussion of the matter, said that a male adopter (Pertman) speaking for us is like a woman describing what it is like to pee standing up via a penis. It does not compute. WE know how we feel. For people like Pertman to presume to advocate for us (in a way that is sure to keep adoption a going concern) is more than just is insulting.

Now, let me warn some FB friends from the get-go. I consider anyone speaking on behalf of Pertman and in his defense to be violating my rules about no pro-adoption or pro-adopter rhetoric here. I am not one of those who believes that for us to succeed we need adopters on our side. That's like the flies inviting the spiders to dinner. I can not conceive of there ever being a proper addressing of the crimes against the mothers and equal access to information happening with the assistance of those who adopt. It certainly won't happen with the "help" of the NCFA or the EBDI.

More than anything, I would love to see all these people stop their jawing and ask US what we want and then LISTEN. They might be amazed to learn that we are not frail, fragile, ignorant, deviant, amoral, careless or without respectability. Those few fear-ruled, shame-infused, coward moms that protest open OBCs need to put on their big girl panties and deal. Those of us who are not afraid of our pasts, are not ashamed of our lives and who care about the children we lost to adoption are stronger and more plentiful than these few, pitiful, shallow women who are being used  by the industry.

Fast on the heels of wanting to be able to speak for ourselves and be heard, comes the wish that we could all come together, mothers and adopted people, without egos, rancor, stereotyping or arguments about trivia. If we could agree on one thing, that Natural Mothers and Adopted Adults deserve the human and civil right to know their origins or the welfare of their children without government, agency or any other institutional interference, that would be a start.

The ego thing, unfortunately, figures large and looming in the effort to organize and find common ground. There are a few that are so much more concerned with being the star of the show, more wounded than thou or leaving a legacy as the consummate experts on adoption that they draw back and unconsciously sabotage the rest of us...come to think of it, some of that sabotage has been pretty darn deliberate. There are a notable few who can disagree without being disagreeable. These folks can let others have their say, have their own and leave it at that.

Then there are the ones who hammer at a disagreement until they have alienated scores of people..people whose minds have not been changed one whit. That these people would shut the f*** up, is way,way up there on my Want List.

So, you see, when it comes to FAQ's, just getting past the first one..."What Do You Want?"....takes me a whole lot more than a couple of succinct sentences. But I am also a realist and know that attention spans are short and sound bites and Power Point presentations are the communication of the day. So SMAAC and ARD do a good and effective thing with the FAQ's.

But thank the Cosmos for blogs. Sometimes you just have to elaborate.


joy said...

Excellent post Robin.

Robin said...

Thank you, Joy.