A Facebook friend shared this video on her wall and I was moved by it. As a female who grew up being the “chubby smart girl”, I can relate to the feelings of inadequacy alluded to in this video piece. My sisters were the beauties. I was not. I was reminded of that by my family and society – daily.
After viewing the video I shared it on my Facebook and now feel the need to share it here not only for its overarching message but for something that is said during it that reminded me, strongly, of adoption and how mothers who surrender their children are viewed by both the prospective adopters and later, their very own children.
View the video first and perhaps you will catch the words in question on your own. After doing so, read the rest of my post and see if you agree. When you finish viewing, you can click more below to see the rest of this post.
“… But turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person. We see this with racism, with homophobia, we see it with terrorism. It is always the same process. The person is dehumanized and violence then becomes inevitable” – Jean Kilbourne
I would offer, as many have before me, that we see this in adoption as well. Expectant mothers are dehumanized and as such agencies, prospective adopters, even the mothers own family members can look the other way when the actual dismembering of mother and child takes place. Mothers are not human beings with feelings and rights. They are objects, monsters even, from which their child must be saved.
And that point brings me to my next, sort of related, yet not, point.
Several mothers commented that they could relate to my experience outlined in the post About That Note. While I found comfort in that (I really did), I could not help but reflect on something that was once said to me years ago. An adoptive mother, with whom I had become fairly friendly with (she had adopted through Easter House) remarked during a conversation we had (wherein I was sharing some details mentioned in About That Note) that the fact that I could not speak up for myself “like most humans do” was proof that I was not capable of raising my daughter and therefore abandoning (my word not hers) her to strangers was a good thing and she was better off.
Yeah, really. She said that. I must admit at the time it stung (and things usually sting because I have some internal belief there is some truth to them) but nowadays I look back and say “WTF? Are you kidding me?”. That statement, that suggestion, to me is along the lines of telling a rape victim she deserved to be raped because was not strong enough to fight off her attacker.
Finally, another person informed me that I was not my daughters mother but rather I was the c–t (nasty word for female genitalia) that had pushed her into the world. Not a human, not a mother, not even a female. Just a c.
Nice, eh? Nice and dehumanizing for sure.