I recently received a “cease and desist” letter from an adoptive parent who had posted an entry basically stating that she was sick of IA criticism. Her blog was open to comments, and I commented, but apparently the blog is only open to some comments. I think the letter itself is interesting, because it really gives us some insight into what we often bring up in our discussions here:
- There is a dominant discourse which does not wish to hear resistant voices;
- Resistant voices will be dismissed, attacked, maligned;
- Those resisting will be attacked personally in terms of mental well-being, upbringing, etc.;
- The dominant voice will be portrayed as the victim;
- The dominant voice will attempt to co-opt or subsume the resistant voice.
To examine is the letter itself (is there a template for this kind of thing?):
I respect your right to differ with my opinions on adoption however *I hereby request that you no longer comment on my blog*. My blog is clearly pro adoption and will certainly provide you with nothing but angst and frustration, angst and frustration that can be wholly avoided by simple not visiting my site. (To be fair I have never offered comment on your site(s), attempted to provoke you, or directly confronted you amongst your peers.) Your comments and participation in the discussions on my site are no longer welcome. Should you choose to continue to comment or provoke others to similarly comment I will simply delete your messages. It appears you have no shortage of outlets for your message however I kindly request my blog no longer be one of them.
I thank you in advance for your civil cooperation. God bless you and the children we both love so passionately.
We both share this world, and perhaps we see it in different ways, but this topic brings us to a common discussion. It is certainly not your blog that frustrates me; you should not give yourself so much credit. It is the pretense of a dialogue that is most bothersome. You prefer to keep a separation between yourself and those you don’t want to deal with, both in the real world (the families and communities of these children you claim to care so much about) as well as in the virtual one; I do no such thing. I have no problem with anyone posting anything on my site; I have never in the 16 years my site has been online deleted anyone’s post. Ever. And so welcome, come post–even with the curses that were posted to your benefit in reply to my review. Furthermore, I have returned to my land of birth, and I know the damage both economic and political that is a result of, that is directly tied to, conversations that take place on your blog and others like it. It is this passivist mindset as represented by your words that results in the injustice you then post about.
To understand, if only for the benefit of the children currently in your care, is that I have spent my life being silenced due to adoption, and I am no longer silent. I will not be silent in the face of such gross injustice. Feel free to do as you will and as you wish, to block me, or delete my posts, or–God forbid–actually engage in a dialectic, a discussion. By hosting a public blog on the Internet with access to comments, you are setting the parameters that allow others to post. You can block me as much as you want; this is what you all do anyway, in an attempt at maintaining inequality of dialogue. But I will not voluntarily keep quiet. I will not willfully play your game according to your rules. You do not own this conversation. And you should be ashamed of asking such a thing of anyone. When (not if) those children in your care say something similar, will you send them a letter like this one? Will you silence them as well? I pray for them and their well-being. Because I know what they are in for.
I think it is imperative that we realize that given the dominant mode, this is not an equivalent discussion. This blog’s posts are the received wisdom; the current way of thinking; the given. It is not possible for us to censor the dominant discourse.
What I would like to do in this item is to list as extensively as possible all of the places that censor, silence, malign, or disparage the adoptee voice. I think we should cite the offending blog or forum as well as the circumstances, and we will post all comments from all adoptees that fit the parameters of the topic.
The blog described above can be found at:
Five of My Own