Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Anti-Blogroll

I've been added to the Inquisitor's "Anti-Blogroll," where Daniel Ibn Zayd criticizes adoption blogs;  since I've touted my kudos, I thought it only fair to share criticisms, too:
The current plateau in the falsely named "pro vs. anti" adoption debates is among those from both "sides" who consider that they constitute some kind of "middle ground" of the discussion; that their supposed progressive open-mindedness is anything other than more of the same self-congratulatory passivism. The words "race" and "class" are bandied about, and studies for and against are trotted out, as if this back and forth advances anything; as if this logorrhea brings anything new to the table. The problematic of their positioning is that it takes adoption to be a given, with the ensuing discussion stemming from this "reality on the ground". This results in adoptees giving advice to adoptive parents as to why they should live in a racially diverse neighborhood; this results in adoptive parents (such as this one) finding nothing wrong in promoting a "Chinese Barbie Doll" on her blog; this results in the endless parade of discussions, talk shows, conferences, and blogs on the subject that rehash the topic to death—as opposed to, say, condemning adoption in the first place for the act of class aggression against other peoples that it is. Until such a time that the discussion shifts, then this is all so much Uncle Tomism; a horrific beguine of compradors and masters. And you'll forgive me if those of us truly on the ground don't "LOL" along with you.
We had a twitter discussion about the Barbie in China clothes before he posted this;  he objects to it as "neo-colonialist predation "and labels it as #heinous .  I understand his point, but Chinese adoptees playing with white Barbies in Western clothes colonizes their minds, it seems to me, so an alternative isn't a bad thing (see, there I go again, accepting the fact that there are already adoptees who should be considered -- he's right about me!). The "LOL" reference is to my twitter reply of surprised laughter when he accused me of "promoting adoption" at my blog, since more people accuse me of being anti-adoption than of promoting adoption.

He's right about me -- more of that "both sides" discussion I find important and he finds "advances nothing," exemplified by my decision to, in fairness, share with you his viewpoint.

P.S. Daniel Ibn Zayd responds.  I appreciate his perspective, but I do not appreciate his implication that I called his work "stupid."  Not something I'd ever do.


Anonymous said...

Malinda-- your blog is just right for me..even when I don't agree, I am always thinking!

Julie said...

I heart your blog. Keep on keepin' on. An 'Anti-Blogroll' is stupid.

Anne said...

I'm surprised you could understand his point. What he had to say was so poorly written and expressed that I gave up.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call his work stupid either. I have read much of what he writes and he is far from stupid. However, he is always self-righteous. In his world, there is no gray area and that just isn't the real world.

Mei Ling said...

"In his world, there is no gray area and that just isn't the real world. "

Wish people would realize this when they say "Adoption is a loving option." Or "Love [in an adoptive family] is all that matters."

Those are statements which indicates there is no "gray area."

BTW, he wrote that one of your commenters called his work stupid. Not you, Malinda. ;)

Mei Ling said...

@ Anne: "I'm surprised you could understand his point. What he had to say was so poorly written and expressed that I gave up."

Let me translate:

"The current plateau in the falsely named "pro vs. anti" adoption debates is among those from both "sides" who consider that they constitute some kind of "middle ground" of the discussion" <- Basically means that despite the "pro vs. anti" debates, blogs like Malinda's have taken what appears to be a middle ground and openly fosters discussions from both sides. This is the facade which presents a seeming "Balance" from both sides since "open discussion" is the keyword here, but in reality, it doesn't do all that much since nothing is physically progressed.

And by physically progressed, I mean the state of domestic reform and the symptoms of international adoption altogether - not just realizing love isn't enough, the world is in fact not colourblind and contact/reunion doesn't fix anything.

To make actual progression (as opposed to just "middle ground" discussion), we'd need to have a cultural shift in Asia, where the root of most adoptions occur, and end a lot of the social stigmas, plus provide money for those whose parents cannot afford medical costs, etc.

As for domestic adoption, that'd be allowing adoptees to have their OBCs and helping out poor families to keep their children by supporting them rather than by adopting.

In short, it would decrease adoptions.

Anonymous said...

To call me "self-righteous" is a tactic that absolves you of actually engaging in the debate and stating your position. It also implies a focus on my "self" which I categorically avoid in my writing, except to mark a point of some kind. Otherwise I have taken up the task of writing for those without Voice, to whom you give no validity of existence.

For what is this "real world" you describe? It truly boggles my mind this idea that the "real world" just exists, as if our actions do not matter, as if our words do not have any weight. Look at any country that became ripe for adoption, and you will see your "real world" in action. Russia, for example, post-Soviet Union, went from a poverty rate of 2 million to one of 72 million, based on the vulturistic economic tactics of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the United States.

So who is to blame? What is your role when you vote for the leaders who propogate this kind of economic depravity on the rest of the planet? What is your place in this "real world" when you then claim no responsibility, or try to cover up that responsibility with a window dressing of playing both sides? Where do you stand when you are say, a lawyer working in adoption law, and establishing NGOs in foreign countries, that only further a "humanitarian imperialism" that you then profit from by abducting children from those very places you destroy with your life and lifestyle?

This is the pyromaniac firefighter expecting kudos from those now without homes. This is the thief selling back goods to his victims. This is the racist who turns around and blames the victims of society. And there is no gray area. And instead of calling me self-righteous, or stupid, you might actually a) defend the economic system that you benefit from in terms that counter anything I've said or b) stand up and take credit for your behavior.