O is for Options (in Adoption)

NaBloPoMo Blog#432 Day 4

adOption, reunion, reform, reality          http://www.nablopomo.com

Before I get to the Nablopomo prompt of the day or my post….

B is for Breaking News:  Ms. Magazine has named The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler one of the top 100 non-fiction feminist books of all time.

This is, in my eyes, huge.  I may have to renew my membership in the woman’s movement. I was starting to lose hope.

Penguin.com describes the subjects of Ms. Fessler’s book as follows:

These young women were victims of a … society that all but ensured teenage girls would become pregnant in huge numbers. At their most vulnerable, these young girls were sent away to have their children in secret, programmed to surrender their babies and their rights as mothers. With a scribble of a pen and the advice to forget and move on, these women went back home to lives they had outgrown. But they never forgot …

Ms. mag is  a little late coming to the table. The book has been out for a while. We will try and be gracious.  It’s a good thing that they are coming around.  It could have been embarrassing.

I mean what if you were a major feminist publication and you just happened to miss, maybe on purpose,maybe not, one of the biggest feminist issues going.  One that represents everything you say you have been fighting against.  That issue is what happened to the girls who went away and why it happened.

For a long time feminism has been clinging to what I call the tyranny of unexamined choice.  Somehow they figured that if they questioned the alleged “choices” of women who lost children to adoption this would put in peril women’s rights to make other choices.  This thinking is as wrong-headed as open records will increase the number of abortions.  The two have nothing to do with each other.

In case you are not familiar with Ann Fessler, here is her bio from the Penguin site.

Ann Fessler is a professor of photography at Rhode Island School of Design and a specialist in video-installation art. She was awarded the prestigious Radcliffe Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University to complete her extensive research for this book. She is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the LEF Foundation, Boston; the Rhode Island Foundation; the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; Art Matters, New York; and the Maryland State Arts Council.

She is also an adoptee whose mother was one of those girls who went away.

Ok back to the business at hand.

The Nablopomo Prompt for today is: Can you listen to music and write? What song did you hear today? For me the question should be: Can you write without listening to music?  Answer:  Yes but I think I write better when I do.  Music helps me concentrate, sets a mood, helps me explore my characters.  One author I know says she sets up a playlist for every book she is working on.  I think it’s a great idea.  What have I listened to today?  Baby Hold On – Eddie Money

TODAY: O is for Options      

I have already written a fair bit here so I will be brief.  Making a decision when you have only been given one option is not a choice or a decision. It’s following an edict.

What happens when people make a decision because they are pressured into it or they are made to feel that they are bad mothers if they make any other decision or they are not shown any other options that would help them to make a different decision.  Well eventually you get people who say “Hey wait a minute.  That’s not right.”

When someone wants you to make a decision and they only give you one option and they set out on a deliberate course to convince you that you are not worthy of anything but that option…walk out of the room.

And don’t go back.

That’s what I’d do now. But then I am not young, pregnant, alone and terrified any more.


4 down: 26 to go.



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