A Girl Like Her (and me)

Dont know how I missed this but thank you to Claude for posting on facebook.  I have the utmost respect for Ann and her work (even though I coined one of my most triggering emotional reactions “The Fessler Effect”).  I would very much like to see this when it is out and near me. Would even travel to Boston or NY or other to see it.

A Girl Like Her

From the movies site:

“A GIRL LIKE HER is the real story of “sex and the single girl”. It reveals the hidden history of tens of thousands of young women who became pregnant in the 1950s and 60s and were banished to maternity homes to give birth, surrender their child, and return home alone. They were told to keep their secret, move on and forget. But, does a woman forget her child?

A GIRL LIKE HER combines footage from films of the time period about dating, sex, “illegitimate” pregnancy, and adoption—that both reflected and shaped the public’s understanding of single pregnancy during that time—with the voices of these mothers as they speak today, with hindsight, about the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives.”

I would love to embed the trailer here but it doesnt seem possible. You will have to go over and peek at it yourself.

As this covers the adoption attrocites of the 50s and 60s  only, I would love to see a sequel that shows 70s to present day. I can attest that it did not stop as my experience in 1986 was not much different than what my mother friends experienced in the BSE. I joked to Claude that we need to do that sequel.

It wasn’t really a joke.

11 Thoughts.

  1. Yeah, it doesn’t seem that different than what I went through in 1984. I didn’t get sent AWAY, I lived at home, but I was taken out of my “gifted” program and sent to the school for “delinquents” until after my son was born. Then he was adopted and we pretty much never spoke of it, ever.

  2. Pingback: Girls like us. « cure for the common hair cancer

  3. The whole idea of a “baby scoop era” pre-legal abortion is a questionable and divisive concept. Yes, the numbers were higher, but the tactics and pressure on individual mothers stayed the same, right up until today.

    More mothers have been keeping their babies, more have had abortions, but for those from conservative religious homes and areas of the country, those vulnerable to pressure to surrender, things were much the same in the late 70s, 80s, and 90s and onward. The numbers were much less but the results were the same.

    My first son was born in 1968. I do not see the use in dividing us into eras, nor of declaring that overall pregnant women and girls had more choice later. Some individual women always had choice, and some pre-70s mothers were not coerced, although many were. Many mothers since then, due to their individual circumstances, has as little real choice as previous generations.

    I would love to get rid of the whole “BSE” concept and have us all work and dialogue together, no matter when we surrendered.

    • “I would love to get rid of the whole “BSE” concept and have us all work and dialogue together, no matter when we surrendered.”

      I understand your point and agree, in theory, as noted in other comments. My belief is that it depends on your agenda and personal goals. If you are a BSE mom clamoring to be seen, heard, acknowledged for your own personal loss first, you often focus on that era as a way to get the validation you crave for yourself. If you are a mother (BSE or not) that has a primary agenda of ceasing unnecessary adoptions as a whole, you look at the larger landscape. I stated this in another comment but my objection to BSE is when people say it “happened” as if what was done then stopped happening. It didn’t. We cannot forget that. We must not. (Well, I suppose you can if all you care about is yourself and your pain). To me BSE is about #s. More happened then. Yes. But it still happens today and that is what I focus on. The act, the societal problem in a largest context, not just a specific era or a certain #.

    • I did see that. I googled for screenings, and also looked the site. Sadly, cannot make that date. Will be on look out for futures.

  4. The BSE happened, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It was before Roe v. Wade, when women didn’t have options, and also in a time when adoption was the answer to unwed pregnancy. This is not to negate what has been going on since. The adoption industry has revved up their efforts since then, to battle mothers who want and can keep their babies. The adoption movement/industry is worse than ever, more coercive to meet the adoptive parent demand. I’m all for mothers of all decades and circumstances joining forces to reform (more importantly, END) adoption as it exists today.

    • I don’t disagree that it happened Denise. I disagree with the belief that some have that it got better or that mothers who lost their children after BSE someone had it easier (that our children meant less to us than children of BSE mothers). The very use of the word “happened” implies to some people that it ended, that mothers since 1960 are no longer subjected to such atrocities. That is simply not true.

      For me it comes down to what is your motivation when you segregate BSE. Are you trying to say your pain is worse than a non BSE? Are you saying it ended after BSE? What is your goal? Since my goal, my agenda, is to highlight the damage done to ALL mothers and children and NOT just a certain era of women, I dont put as much oomph into BSE as some do. That is not to suggest at all it did not happen or that those moms don’t deserve understanding and compassion but rather it ts to say that ALL MOTHERS AND CHILDREN SUFFER FROM ADOPTION REGARDLESS THE ERA THEY WERE SEPARATED. Moreover that unnecessary separation of mothers and their children needs to stop and that adoption is not and should never be the cure for infertility.

  5. For many of us who surrendered pre Roe v.Wade legal abortion made no difference because we did not want an abortion, either for religious or personal reasons. Many women got illegal and out of country abortions before it was legal in the US, so that was always an option for some who really wanted to go that route, although either dangerous or expensive or both.

    What made more of difference in reducing the number of adoptions was available birth control for single women, and a greater acceptance of single motherhood. However, a great deal depended and still depends on family support for younger mothers, and government programs that have been steadily cut over the last several decades,

    It is much more complicated than dividing us into eras based on abortion availability.

    • I agree Maryanne. And I would further add that citing the pre or post Roe v Wade is offensive to all mothers. It implies that I was somehow an ignorant selfish mother for NOT wanting to abort my child since I had the choice and furthermore it insults mothers that were pre Roe v Wade for the subtext is that they all would have aborted their children had it been legal. It completely negates the mother child bond – but then again, adoption depends on that, doesnt it?

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