Thursday, September 07, 2006

Amputated at the waist ...

I got slapped on the wrist today for trying to express a gentle comment to an adopted person. She posted a comment on Musings of the Lame saying that she used term "birthmother" as a term of respect.

I meant her no disrespect when i told her that it was not respectful to call her mother this word, and it also disrespected her as well as a person, dehumanized her, when she used this term, as it reduced her to not being a daughter but to being a "product of conception." I thought i was expressing compassion and trying to let this adopted person know that she deserves more, and that she is not just a "product of conception."

But then again, the way that the adoption industry portrays and treats us, my critic is just mirroring what the industry wants: Walking uteri aren't supposed to be vocal or have mouths, hearts or brains!

We're supposed to put up and shut up. Analogous to the way the sheet was draped over our knees when we gave birth, not permitting us to see our babies, and the professionals not caring about anything "beyond the blanket" -- all they cared about was happening between the legs that were up in stirrups -- that image frames how we're portrayed and treated for the rest of our lives. "Birthmother" -- the uterus and birth canal. The rest of our bodies and our humanity amputated with our motherhood.

This was my full comment:
dear adoptee, there is nothing respectful about reducing a mother to being a walking uterus, to saying that she is (was) only your mother for the purposes of gestation and being strapped down to the delivery table to have you exit the birth canal, but never afterwards.

calling her your "birthmother" also means that you consider yourself to NOT be her daughter any longer. this would mean that you are reduced to being a "product of conception." which is just as dehumanizing for you as for her.

i know that this might be new to you, but this is what social workers promote the term to mean. they don't want to displease their paying customers (adopters) by any word that suggests an ongoing bond or relationship between the natural mom and her lost child.
Dear "Daughter of Two Women," I meant no disrespect for you, or for either of your mothers.

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