Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Avengers Make Fun of Adoption

This movie isn't on our watch list -- my girls deem it too scary!  But now I have another reason not to see it. At 73adoptee, Triona asks an important question:  why is it ok to make adoptees the butt of the joke:
So there I am, forgetting my woes, laughing at the gang and drooling over Chris Hemsworth, when we get this lovely little tidbit. Thor is trying to explain to the others that Loki is his brother and his responsibility.

Black Widow points out, "He killed 80 people in 2 days."

Thor explains, "He's adopted."

Cue entire theater laughing.... except for me.

* * *

What bothered me is that this is a prime example of how adoptees are one of the last fair sources of discriminatory humor.

* * *

"He's adopted." Why is this joke acceptable? Why did the audience laugh? Why didn't they rise up in HULK SMASH anger like I wanted to and scream, "Hey! That's not funny!"
Go read the whole thing -- Triona makes a lot of good points.


bethee said...

I froze. My husband groaned. Such a disappointment. They could have chosen such a better way to make a "joke."

Research-China.Org said...

When I asked my girls how much they liked the movie, my oldest specifically mentioned that part as one of the funniest. I think this is possibly another example where we as adoptive families are overly sensitive to this. Such jokes are everywhere. But if our kids do not find it offensive (my second daughter then launched into an explanation that he WAS adopted, so it wasn't untrue!), why should we?

malinda said...

Brian, you may have noticed that what I posted was to an adoptee's blog, and that adoptee did find the line offensive. Not all adoptees share the same feelings, and some might be at different stages in terms of feelings about adoption. So it's ok that your daughters weren't troubled, and it's ok that Triona felt differently.

But this isn't a case where it's fair to say that adoptive families are overly sensitive to things adoptees don't find offensive. Some adoptees did find it offensive.

I will say, though, that when adoption is offered as the reason someone killed, as if adoption causes that result, we should all be troubled. . . .

Triona Guidry said...

Malinda, that was what offended me about the comment. Loki is a mass murderer and evil super villain, but hey, he's adopted, that explains everything! The implication is that of course adoptees will turn into criminals, it's their destiny.

As an adult adoptee I've gotten that message loud and clear in my attempts to regain access to my records and my rights. In many states, mine (Illinois) included, adoptee access to original birth certificates presupposes that adoptees are criminals for wanting the same information the non-adopted take for granted.

I felt bad for the young adoptees in the audience. I'm an adult and can stand up for myself, but I know those young adoptees were cringing inwardly, while at the same time felt like they had to laugh outwardly because everyone else was. Sadly this will not be the last time many of them have this experience. The joke was unnecessary, cruel, and for many of those young adoptees will end up being yet another of those tiny incidents that build up over the course of a lifetime, that tell you the world will never truly accept you because you are adopted.