Demons in Adoption

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Mea Culpa to Julia and others who give up their babies today

Lorraine
I've taken some heat for being so harsh towards Julia* in the not-quite-infamous story in February Elle about being 30, a divorcing attorney, and getting pregnant with your husband just before you find out he is more than knee-deep into an affair with another woman who has no idea he is married. I was hard on poor "Julia," I admit. Reading the story was really triggering for me as this woman seemed to have the resources--family, friends, a husband in name--to keep her baby.

But she chose not to. And I said something that was well, quite brutal. I've been lambasted at alt.adoption on Facebook by someone who is screaming about "her choice" and more sympathetic but questioning comments have been left at the previous post for not being more understanding to a woman in a difficult situation that I certainly can understand.

Even though the circumstances are far different from my own in 1966 when I was 22 and pregnant outside of marriage, in retrospect I should have pulled back the rhetoric. Julia, whoever she is, is not a demon; she is a sad woman who decided she couldn't raise the child she was carrying. I may hate her reasoning, and god knows she did not seem to look into the effect of adoption on her baby, and I was going to edit it away until commentators started commenting on it, and including the sentence. But readers have made me see that I was self-righteous in condemning her so harshly. Mea culpa. Mea culpa to Julia. Mea culpa to everyone who has made a similar choice.

SHE'S THAT KIND OF GIRL
What is vastly different, however, between the times of yesterday when many of us in closed adoptions gave up our children. Lord, we were the object of derision and shame and whatever else you wanted to sling at us. Our parents screamed at us, then hid us; neighbors gossiped--she's that kind of girl. I can name today the two girls who got pregnant in my Catholic high school in Michigan--one kept her baby, one did not. Some of us ended up in "homes," where the nuns were either kind or cruel; some dropped out of school, moved away, hid our shame. Those who know my story know that I was in a different town from where I grew up and hid out in my own apartment while the baby's father paid the rent and stayed with me throughout the pregnancy.

Then She Found Me PosterBut nothing in society said that we were doing a "good thing" by giving up our children. We instinctively knew that what we were doing was somehow an act of treason against nature. We loved--or those of us with the normal hormones operating--loved our babies but felt we had no real choice other than to give them up. Remember that 2007 movie, Then She Found Me, with Bette Midler, as the biological mother of an adoptee? The scene that sticks with me is  Midler explaining why she didn't keep her daughter, and the daughter (played by Helen Hunt) listens incredulously not knowing quite how to react to the information. As I recall, the Midler-birth mother character tried to keep her daughter, and even had a place to live on her own for a while but she had absolutely no money and no one to help her raise her child--her parents deserted her--and she ultimately gave up and gave in to adoption. That's a story that parallels many of the women who relinquished in the Baby Scoop Era and beyond. It reminds me of the story of many of the women who leave comments here or blog about what happened to them. It's not my story, but it reflected how I felt, and the movie illustrated how difficult it is to explain today--check out the movie poster here, that's the birth mother kneeling asking for forgiveness)  why we felt so pressured into giving up our children without the resources of today, and certainly without the resources that Julia has.

DON'T LET ADOPTERS CUT THE CORD
I'm not really going off on a tangent here because what is different today, and was made so clear in the Elle piece by Nina Burleigh, is that Julia became convinced that she was carrying the child for another couple.
Lying in the hospital bed, now finding herself unable to take her eyes off her newborn as he was cleaned and swathed by nurses, she focused on what she’d trained herself to think during her pregnancy whenever she felt the jab of a small foot or glanced down to see her abdomen rippling: He doesn’t belong to me, he doesn’t belong to me. Julia had chosen a couple to adopt the baby, and the wife was there—she cut the cord. Watching the adoptive mother trail out of the room behind the nurse and the baby in his crib, Julia silently repeated another mantra: I’m not what’s best for him, I’m not what’s best for him.
I get some of that. Like Julia, I convinced myself that an intact family with a house behind a white picket fence was better for my child, than me--a bad girl, a single mother!--but today I know that was largely a crock that I told myself. My social worker did not say I was unworthy to be my daughter's mother--not once--but society was the constant drumbeat playing in the background that insisted that was so. I had no idea how utterly devastating for a lifetime it would be to give up my infant daughter, and there was no one to tell me. Today that is not true. Ten minutes of searching on the Internet would have landed Julia at one of many birth mother blogs, as well as led to many memoirs on the impact of giving up a child, from both the mother's and child's perspectives. 

But the adoption industry has moved forward from my mid-century times. Today the pregnant teenager or young woman meets candidates vying for her baby. She can choose from Column A or Column B. These parents or those. Many pregnant women, like Julia, come to feel obligated not to let them down, that the babies are not really "theirs." They feel they cannot change their minds and keep their babies, no matter what their heart is telling them, just as like Julia's was. The symbolic act of letting an adoptive parent cut the cord further solidifies this in the mother's mind, an act is totally wrong and barbaric. In the Elle story (‘I’m Not What’s Best for My Baby’), the adoptive mother was crying as the baby came out, Julia looked away. Julia by this time has some sort of bond with the parents: she can't let them down and love her baby and keep him. 

SENSE OF OBLIGATION IS FALSE WHEN IT INVOLVES A BABY
That is not a good thing. I was among with first to talk about meeting the parents of one's baby--back in '79 I wrote that in Birthmark--and of course it is still true. It is always better to know the parents of the child--to meet them in person, to have their address and phone number, to know their families and where they work. That way they cannot disappear into oblivion as far too many have done.

But that meeting comes with a price. Women entering into adoption plans for their babies (yes, I am using that language here) need to be assured that they are under no obligation no matter what to give up their babies. Of course, I'm not talking about pregnant women out to scam anxious couples who want babies at any cost. I'm talking about normal situations where adoptive parents end up treating the girl like their handmaiden whose job somehow has become supplying the baby to complete their family. The situation is not unlike that of the Biblical story of the slave girl, Hagar, who had a son for Abraham because his wife, Sarah, was infertile. That particular arrangement did not does not work out well for Hagar, because eventually Sarah (like many modern day women who adopt) became pregnant, and lo! gave birth to a son, Isaac. Hagar was then treated like the slave she always was, and was even beaten, before she and her son Ishmael were cast out in the desert to fend for themselves.

It may be different for Julia and the adoptive parents of her son, as the ending of the piece indicates they have warm feelings towards her. What is certainly not different from the old days is how awkward it apparently was for Julia --who does not feel proud enough to use her real name--to find a job afterwards due to the embarrassment of explaining the lapse in her employment. I had the same trouble and awkward doesn't begin to cover it, Only kudos from my previous boss as I was on my way to the interview covered that gap. Yes, lucky me. Though the first mother blogs by Mormon and evangelical women talk about being a "proud" birth mother, happy to be doing a good thing for infertile couples, Julia's difficulty speaks to how society still reacts to giving up a child, "adoption plan" notwithstanding: not a good thing. If we leave this earth with our only work to have made that message loud and clear, it will be enough. In most cases, adoption is not a good thing.

Recently like much of America, I was following Downton Abbey on PBS, and waited anxiously while the fate of a bastard son of a housemaid (fathered by a true bastard of an officer who died in the Great War) was decided. The stuffy upper class grandparents offered take the boy from his lower class mother, and give him all the finer things in life, just as Julia wants for her son, including private school, but the lowly mother can not come with the son to his new and fine life, even as his nursemaid, even promising never to reveal that she is his true mother. She begs, the unfeeling grandfather is adamant. I'm all keyed up now--what will the script writers do--and god bless 'em, the maid walks off with her son saying nothing can ever compete with a mother's love for her child. I cheered. If Julia was watching, I know she was in pain.--lorraine
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* Julia is a pseudonym. 

PS: Off to the family physician for the last go-round before surgery on Tuesday for a torn rotator cuff.

PREVIOUS POST: The saddest story of all: Opting for adoption today

ELLE:  ‘I’m Not What’s Best for My Baby’ 

See our review: Then She Found Me: The Movie





26 comments :

  1. "in the Baby Scoop Era and beyond"

    Thank you very much for the addition of beyond. As a mother who surrendered to a baby broker in 1986 following a five month stay in a maternity facility, I appreciate the recognition that the attrocities did not end with the BSE. Decreased, perhaps, but not ended and I sincerely appreciate the validation.

    And good luck with the rotator cuff. Currently suffering from multple herniated cervical discs. I am with you in pain.

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  2. If I could rewrite adoption law I would do away with pre-birth adoption planning. No mother would be allowed to meet the babies prospective parents before the baby is born. Experts have gone on record that a baby is best with it's natural mother. While a mother is carrying her child, shouldn't everything be presented to help the mother parent her child? Meeting and bonding with the adoptive family before the baby is born is coercive. If any old mother will do, a baby can go into foster care after the birth until a plan is set for the baby. At least this way the mother can meet HER child when it enters the world. Then she can decide for herself if she is indeed the best thing for her child. and hopefully she will realize her child is the best thing for, her, too.

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  3. Barbara: totally agree. While someone bent on adoption for her child should meet the parents, let it all happen AFTER THE BIRTH.

    Suz: I am so aware that just because the number of adoptions went down, that didn't mean that the conditions of the unmarried women who had children miraculously improved. Actually thanks for noting that. I have friends who surrendered after BSE.

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  4. Takes a mighty big woman to admit she was too harsh.

    And, yes, like you, the thing that bothered me the most about "Julia's" story was her brainwashing (herself?) into beleiving it was not her baby. (I may have commented about that, don't recall. I know i thought it.)

    And, yes, Suz, atrocities still go on today. THIS was an atrocity...this "Julia" thing. Helping a perfectly capable, financially able, intelligent mother believe her child is better off without her, exploiting her time of crisis as her marriage unexpectedly imploded...that's a tragedy, a cruel and unnecessary one for Julia and her child. A permanent tragedy.

    The other thing that "gets" me is having read just recently the heartfelt apology of an Ausie social worker, grieving over her part in convincing mothers they were not worthy and someone else deserved their child more than they...that it was the unselfish thing to do and "BEST" for them and their child. She, and the churches and nation of Australia are apologizing, while here at home it's business as usual, with slight twists to meet the times, like offering "openness" when shame is no longer an operable, effective tool.

    Sad...

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  5. Sorry to be bitter and cynical about this but.....
    'We know you have been through a lot and admire the strength you carried through such a difficult time—a virtue we’ll certainly talk highly of when he is older.'

    is a quote from the adoptive parents' letter at the end of the article. I too received a letter from the adoptive parents of my son.

    'Thank you for giving it so much thought, and acting in such a responsible, concerned way. We shall convey your concern to the child at the appropriate time.'

    The only problem was that they never told my son that he was adopted and only admitted it when at the age of 19, he forced his mother to own up to what he had always instinctively known.

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  6. I have worked in family preservation, as well as search/support for many years. Many women who have testified with me were mothers who lost children to adoption long after the BSE.

    Mothers can still lose children. The government has a much more aggressive policy of "watching" vulnerable parents. I have testified, with other mothers, against these negative policies towards mothers. We do have some support for vulnerable parents in my state legislature.

    However, with regard to "Julia"...I had read the article in Elle several weeks ago. My comment on your previous post was in response to the article itself, actually, and I still believe that Julia was very much outside of the norm even for a relinquishing mother of today.

    There has been so much publicity around adoption reunions/openness for decades...and yet she seemed to disregard her child's needs,development, and feelings of loss completely....and her situation was not typical of today's mothers, either.

    There was something almost eerie going on....IMO...temporary mental illness?? A compulsive need to be in control after the shock of betrayal? Just guessing....

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  7. Once you first buy that ticket to adoption it is almost impossible to get off at another stop.

    I know I replayed every reason I thought was valid for relinquishing my daughter over and over in my head until at the end I was no more than a robot signing the papers.

    Years later when trying to answer her question, Why? it all crumbled apart. Lame excuses which no longer made any sense. I was no longer seventeen and she was indeed a real person. My daughter.

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  8. @Mirah,
    Do you have a link to the Aussie social worker's apology?
    Thanks

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  9. Alba:

    We hear many stories like that....of promises of open adoption that turn out to be lies. I didn't add that part of the story because we've heard that so many times.

    Thanks for telling your story here; perhaps it will prevent others from listing to promises that turn out to be false.

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  10. Robin: this maybe what you are looking for, or will lead you to it.

    http://theconversation.edu.au/lessons-from-the-past-adoption-isnt-the-answer-to-child-protection-5655

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  11. The baby scoop era has not ended in America, it's more sophisticated and subtle that's all.

    Coercion is coercion, we were all brainwashed into thinking that we were giving our children a better chance at life, a better foundation. We were convinced that keeping our children would be selfish.

    That said, I refuse to lie down and be a victim. I'd rather own my stupidity and lack of life experience. I want to own that I lacked personal power. I didn't have self belief. I didn't have trust. I didn't know better. The only person to blame for me letting them talk me out of being with my child is me.

    I now have personal power, trust and self esteem. There is no way anyone could talk me into something as crazy as giving my child away today.

    This is just how I feel about my own personal recovery from adoption experience. How anyone else reading this chooses to view it is their choice and I respect that entirely.

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  12. Speaking as an adoptee, I am always amazed at first-mothers who claim that they couldn't let down the prospective adoptive parents. Really?! What about letting down the child you shared a body with? How is that responsibility less real and less motivating? I just don't get it.

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  13. Torrejon:

    That is so much of what made me crazy about the story and "Julia's" reasoning. After all we know today, she acts like she is in a bubble. Jane is going to write more about her "choice," because we have someone anonymous commenting at this blog and the previous one that it was her choice and we ought not to criticize her.

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  14. Torrejon, Lorraine has the right direction on that. When a woman is pregnant she lives in this kind of bubble... what others put into the bubble - social workers, "concerned" friends and family - often color the outcome of pregnancy by changing the "air" inside the bubble. When someone constantly is at you not to do this or to do that, because women are very vulnerable during pregnancy, the advice becomes the mother's reality....

    It is sad, but it is the way things are.

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  15. As an adoptee born in 1965, and someone who got pregnant in 1983, I find it quite insulting to my first Mother and to other Mothers of the Baby Scoop Era when (American) mothers from 1970 on insist they were part of that era.

    I got pregnant at the age of 17 in 1983. Yes, society still viewed young, unmarried pregnant women as shameful and/or slutty, and I, too, had pressure to surrender (especially because I am an adoptee) but to compare the mid to late 1980's to the baby scoop era is not only factually incorrect, it is absurd.

    Pregnant American women in the 1980's had resources/choices available to them that pregnant American women from the BSE only dreamed about. Of course, there are still some some women who are oppressed when it comes to their civil and reproductive rights (think Utah) there was and still is protection for them in the mid to late 1980's that was non-existent for ALL American women during the BSE.

    While there may have been pressure and society from their families to surrender during the 1980's, WE HAD CHOICES THAT WERE NOT AVAILABLE TO MOTHERS OF THE BSE...especially if we were 18 or older.

    Pressure from your family is NOT the same as the Baby Scoop Era. I am surprised that the Mothers here from the BSE are ok with "newer" Mothers trying to rewrite history.

    I realize that coercion and fraud exist today. It is a marketing ploy, and we see it everywhere. The industry is trying to normalize the separation of Mothers and children. They are using "happy beemommies" who are now agency shills. They are using God. They are using the same tired lies that were used during the BSE, such as the promise of a "better life through adoption" and "if you love your baby, you'll surrender him/her to worthier (married) people. But at the end of the day, it is a choice now. During the BSE, there were no choices. Abortion, birth control, child support, fair housing and employment were NOT available to American pregnant women during the BSE. They are available today, and they were most certainly available in the mid 1980's.

    Kitta, I agree with you on this point- it almost seems as if there is some underlying mental illness with the women in the Elle article. Educated, pregnant married women just do not say these things to themselves. I think she did this as a revenge tactic towards the baby's father.

    Good luck with the surgery, Lorraine.

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  16. Lori, Linda, both of your comments are right on target about the situation. Lori is right that you can convince yourself (because others are seconding that thought emphatically) that it's okay to move forward to adoption of YOUR baby; I cannot help but wonder what would have been the outcome of Julia's story if her friend Beth had been opposed to the idea of giving up her baby. It almost seemed as if Beth was more than a BFF in the story, and helped facilitate the adoption in order to have Julia to herself--the writer has Beth patting Julia's hand, being incredibly solicitous, even being part of the interview, which was a tad odd.

    But yes, though there were societal pressures in the 80s, and there are still today for pregnant teens who do not abort, but they were nothing like what is was back in the day of the Sixties, and thank you for acknowledging this. Yet I think it is unfair to tar the women who gave up after Roe. In the end, none of us can live in the skin of another. I have been harsh on Julia, as I said, but I'm in no position to throw rocks. I live in a glass house, right?

    I watched "Game Change" on HBO last night, and at the end the character played by Woody Harrelson (Steve Schmidt, GOP McCain strategist) is asked if he was sorry for, or if a mistake was made, in choosing Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. His answer was that in life you don't get a do-over. It certainly was a moment of remembrance and reality for me. I know that adoptees are confronted with a lot of "triggering" comments or cartoons that remind them of their adoptee status, but this one hit this birth mother right between the two halves of her cerebral cortex. In life, you don't get a do-over. Was it a mistake to give up my daughter? Yes, but there's no way to fix that, now is there? In life, you don't get a do-over.

    Linda, you are just a tad older than my daughter would be, and I may have mentioned this before. But I suppose you notice that every time I write, 1966.

    Thanks for the good wishes about my surgery. Everybody says it's a piece of cake. Well, maybe not recovery.

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  17. Lorraine,
    what this strange story comes down to for me is: I simply cannot relate to Julia.
    It is not just that my own experience happened during the BSE.

    I got pg in 1967.I had asked my family to help me raise my child and they said "no."
    My son's father had left , and did not want me or the child. I tried to get help from an agency which offered temporary care and then threatened me with involuntary court termination.

    I never thought that adoption was better... I thought adoption was wrong...I really worried that my son would feel rejected, and when I searched for him in 1989, and found him he told me that he did, indeed feel rejected....not a surprise. But we did have a mostly good reunion for 18 years until his death from cancer in 2007.

    How could a married mother who planned her baby give the child to adoptive parents because the father had betrayed her?

    I read the article a couple of times.
    I will never understand. She had options for support.

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  18. I didn't feel as if you were throwing rocks. Every mother who loses a child to the adoption machine is profoundly affected, no matter if it was during the BSE or now, just as the child is profoundly affected. There is no "tarring" from me. American women had more rights in the 1980's, that is a fact. BSE Mothers watched it, and I lived it.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for Mothers who lost a child to adoption. I was one of those children. I even feel some sympathy for the woman in the article. But that sympathy doesn't change the fact that in the 80's, a full DECADE after Roe, and a completely different societal climate, American women had choices. Especially if they were over the age of 18.

    There is still coercion and fraud. But, Julia had even more resources available to her than I did in 1983. In the time span (17 years) from when I was born and when I became pregnant, resources were available for me to keep my child, regardless of my ap's wishes, and those resources meant I did not have to add another wound to myself.

    Off the subject a bit, but if the conservative Republicans have their way, there will be another Baby Scoop Era. They will chip away at women's rights. They will chip away support for children and their single Mothers. They will chip away at Roe, they will restrict birth control. What next? Restrict our job opportunities? It will indeed be life as we knew it in the 1960's.

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  19. I lived the BSE, and I know what that was like..persecution, civil rights violations, discrimination against unmarried mothers.

    But, mothers have been coerced in recent years...and fraud and misrepresentation in the adoption industry are not unusual tactics.

    And, how does a mother prove that she has been a fraud victim...state laws are not much help and usually favor PAPs.

    The "open adoption industry" with its pre-birth matching is wide open for corruption. Pregnant women are lied to..told that adoption is basically "shared parenting" in some fashion and that they will decide how much contact they want. I have seen the agency ads...and heard from the mothers who have lost everything.
    Some states even have pre-birth surrender laws. I have tried to fight this in the legislature.

    In the "newer" adoption coercion, mothers are told that they have "choices' but when they try to exercize those choices, they can't. Or, they are outight lied to...agencies give fraudulent"legal advice."

    If the state has a "best interest of the child law" this will likely be used against the natural parents/family should a custody issue arise.PAPs are arguing that children "bond" with them right away,sometimes even before birth(yes, even while the baby is still inside the mother), and they are in the delivery room with mothers who may not have definitely decided on adoption...

    Adoption today may still be the idea of the grandparents.

    Grandparents are still pushing adoption today. That practice has not gone away. I have gotten phone calls from pushy grandparents who wanted to "show that pregnant daughter" the error of her ways and force an adoption.

    It really is terrible...for those who have been coerced, and violated, it most certainly is real.

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  20. I really don't think you need to apologize for your opinion on Julia's so-called "choice". Having lived through(just barely,but that's another story) the psychological horror show of surrendering my son, I can now look back and calmly analyze how in the world I was talked(tricked?) into it. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be stress. I had no money, was cut off from welfare the minute my son was born and he was put into foster care(until "you're back on your feet") I got a good job but was fired for day-dreaming too much) No money again. More stress. It was the middle of winter-lack of sunlight and serotonin-more stress. I kept asking for him back and was told "we have to do some paperwork first" Months went by I was allowed to visit my son once a week for a few hours on Thursday afternoons. His father threatened to take him away if I kept him and even drove from another state to see if I had him and asked me to give him back a book he had lent me when I was pregnant.WTF? Luckily my mother had happened to take a day off from work and was there-out the door he went. That must have been divine intervention. Meanwhile, the meetings with my social workers. If you love him, you'll let him have 2 parents You're being selfish to want to keep him A boy needs a father I can see now that(only speaking for myself)the social workers deliberately were overriding all my positive feelings of love for my baby and joy and turned into negative ones,preying on my fear of not being able to support us and my anger at his father for leaving me(kind of like Julia) We don't live in an extended-family culture Everyone on their own There's a song that's been going through my head from that time"Get together" "You hold the key to love and fear all in your trembling hands Just one key unlocks them both It's there at your command" Recently when I was having a flashback and hanging by a thread this song got me to ormanesnot choose the path of fear. It should have been the other way around The negative emotions should be overridden, not the positive ones. They must use some of the same circuits in the brain When I feel like I'm way down so low that I'm almost operating at survival level, it helps me to think like this.

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  21. Absolutely, Kitta. My hope would be that paps not be permitted anywhere near a pregnant woman. It adds to the coercion. Well, actually, my REAL hope would be to abolish all newborn adoption, but, you know...

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  22. It was the WTF is wrong with this woman line that was harsh. I wonder how she would feel reading it here, and so ... that's where I felt I was too nasty. Snark affects even people who sign their names. :)

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  23. Anon at 1:25. p.m. Our latest post, Choice is largely a myth when it comes to relinquishing a child, covers exactly what you say you heard from the social workers: if you love your child, if you are a responsible person, only an unloving "person" would keep a child in your circumstances, yadda yadda yadda, you will let these other nice people have him.

    Baloney.

    And anon, our sympathies to you today.

    It would have been good if the Elle piece had been able to go into the agency line. But it did sound with "Julia" it was barely necessary.

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  24. Linda said:." My hope would be that paps not be permitted anywhere near a pregnant woman. It adds to the coercion. Well, actually, my REAL hope would be to abolish all newborn adoption, but, you know..."

    Ah, a comment I can both agree and disagree with. I too believe that prospective adoptive parents have no place in the delivery room, nor should they have contact with pregnant mothers considering adoption until after the child is born and the mother has decided herself whether to raise the child or surrender. Their intrusive presence can indeed be a form of coercion to a mother who wishes to change her choice after the baby is born.

    If surrender is her choice, not coerced, there is plenty of time to contact people wishing to adopt. If her choice is to raise the child there need be no contact with adoption agencies or prospective adopters at all.

    On the other hand, it is not my hope that there be NO infant adoption, because there will always be a need for it for some children. There should be less adoption, not NO adoption, and if a child is to be adopted, better in infancy than bouncing around from foster home to foster home or relative to relative as sometimes happens when parents cannot or will not care for their child.

    I do not think it is right to characterize all adoptions as bad, no more than it is to characterize all adoptions as good and necessary.

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  25. Linda, I understand your comments about the BSE. It is true that there was no support or resources for mothers during that time. I also have to say though that I got pregnant in '79, delivered in '80 and I was treated very much like the BSE mothers were. I was sent away, my daughter was taken away in the delivery room. I was not allowed to see her or touch her. I was not told the sex of my baby. I was coded BFA with signs posted on the wall above my bed and on the door to my room. I was abused by the delivering doctor. I was never given any information about my rights or resources that were available to me. I had no idea that there might be options for me.

    When you hear that the BSE didn't really end in '73 I don't feel that it's an insult to the other mothers. I think we just need people to understand that the horrendous treatment of women didn't just stop then. Too many people have the idea that once we got to the mid '70's we were all informed and had choices. We weren't and we didn't. Maybe that was the case in some areas but certainly not everywhere.

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  26. The BSE was different because women had limited legal and financial resources. I think this era covers more than the 50s/60s/70s - I see it on more of a continuum where it peaked in the 60s then very slowly evolved into the adoption practices of today.

    Women were slowly gaining rights during this time which helped to erode the brutal tactics of the BSE. The tactics used now appear to be more like psy-ops and propaganda driven by huge sums of money.

    I try to remind young women of today (especially those who declare they are NOT feminists) that a woman could be denied housing, jobs, bank accounts, etc., for no reason other than her sex. Women needed a husband or father to co-sign on leases or other legal papers and could be dismissed from jobs for simply being pregnant.

    Seems so foreign now, but that was the norm. I fear the Neanderthals in many parts of the country would love to return to that time.

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