What a novel way of being told to be grateful.
I don’t know what a “whiny, self-righteous, blame-shifting…First Mother” is. I’m sure that, as with any other group of people (like Senators or PAPs), some first mothers do fall into that category. But sue me if I suspect this phrase is synonymous with “first mothers who makes P/APs uncomfortable.”
This graphic bugs me for a lot of reasons. In the first place, it seems a bit…violent. Is it necessary to use the word “bullet,” a crime scene victim outline with tire treads on it, and a blood-dripping font for the “professional victim” concept? Doesn’t that work against the designer’s point by making such first mothers seem too much like actual victims? Doesn’t it suggest someone wishes they would just die and get the fuck out of the way if they can’t shut up? Maybe it’s just me, but if I wanted to picture a professional victim, I’d look for something like a funny/exaggerated picture of someone crying. In fact, if you image search “professional victim,” some funny and appropriate things come up, like this:
Why not that instead?
Secondly, it’s presented as being aimed at adoptees. “I hope you feel the way I want you to feel about these obviously horrible people,” it says. Why? Because Good Adoptees feel the way their APs want them to feel about being adopted, and that way is, of course, grateful. We are to read this and run right off to Mom and Dad saying “Gosh, Mom and Dad, I might have been raised by one of those ca RAY zay people on the internet! Thank you so much for adopting me away from that professional victim! You’re the best mom and dad ever!” I see no other message here for adoptees at all.
I’ve seen P/AP blogs that made my blood run cold, made me terrified for their children, made me want to call CPS. Should I be thankful I dodged those bullets? The graphic doesn’t say, so I guess not. I’m simply supposed to be glad I’m adopted, because some first mothers who blog are professional victims and adoptive parents are necessarily superior to them (which is easy, because it doesn’t take much virtue to be better than a professional victim, absolutely none of who ever adopt).
The third thing that bothers me is the implication that giving up a child for adoption should be no big deal, something only a “professional victim” would see as a negative event in her life. Can’t she just shut up and move on? Can’t she just be glad someone bailed her out of trouble? I mean, relinquishing a child have a bad effect on a woman? Don’t be silly. She was Like That before and the miserable creature will be Like That until the day she dies. That secondary infertility they documented in some relinquishing mothers? Either imaginary or a product of the women’s being so self-righteous and whiny that their ovaries stopped working because even they knew such creatures shouldn’t be mothers.
Your first mother has to have been fucked up beyond repair no matter what, because some APs need this. She would have ruined you had she kept you because that’s what some APs need to believe. Her crimes? Why, no doubt they include thinking the same things about your APs they think about her: that they aren’t raising you as she would have. How dare she. And how dare she “shift blame” when everyone knows adoption is never coerced anymore? Economics? Social pressure? Gaping rents in a societal safety net? Pre-birth matching? Trickery at pregnancy crisis centers? All stuff I made up just now. Horrible women like your first mother dump babies all the time, which is why adoption is so easy and fast and cheap! …Right?
Of course if someone worthy of keeping a baby were to lose a baby, through its death or miscarriage or kidnapping, or were to want a baby and never get one at all, that would be different. That woman would merit sympathy and counseling. She would be understandably traumatized, probably for the rest of her life. First mothers aren’t supposed to be real women with real feelings. When they act like they are, some people get really angry, because some women must be better than other women in order for any adoption to happen.
Now, the graphic doesn’t say all first mothers are broken, wretched monsters who would have ruined any child they encountered, only certain ones. And how can we tell a first mother is this sort of creature? She blogs, and in a way P/APs don’t like. In other words, she refuses to keep her trap shut, which is the only decent thing she can do in the eyes of the world. Because if she is not “self-righteous, whiny, blame-shifting,” she is the opposite: the woman who follows orders to “act like nothing ever happened” and “get on with life.” And does that make her good? No! It makes her a heartless monster from whom a child should have been removed, of course. What makes her good is her shutting up and disappearing.
Here’s a fourth thing that bothers me: the notion that the “whiny, self-righteous” first mother isn’t anyone’s mother at all, and never was. Because we don’t talk about people’s mothers that way, at least not to their faces. When a couple divorces, if they have any human decency, they don’t trash-talk the other parent to their kids. They don’t do this because they know a child identifies with the other parent, is literally composed, fifty per cent, of the other parent. To insult someone’s mother is to insult them. Worse, it’s to insult them for what they essentially are, something they never had control over and cannot change.
And that’s mean. It hurts. It’s not what people who love each other do to each other on purpose, let alone on Twitter. I wouldn’t talk about your mother that way. Maybe APs need to learn a little gratitude, because without that horrible woman, they wouldn’t be parents at all. But no. Instead, some of them apparently they wait for the wonderful day when their adoptee will say “Gosh, I sure dodged a bullet!” because that’s when they will know they have Won, even though they obviously “won” when they adoption finalized and they became a family. So whence the insecurity? Could it be that we know adoption is not the ideal, win/win/win solution it’s made out to be?