' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: 'Steve Jobs' the movie: Apple's visionary as bitter adoptee

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

'Steve Jobs' the movie: Apple's visionary as bitter adoptee

Lorraine
"Steve Jobs" the movie is a surprising anti-adoption tract about a hugely successful marketing genius embittered about being "rejected not selected" as another character points out halfway through the two hours, one minute of the film. Throughout, the angry Apple guru struts and sputters and lashes out at everybody in his sight-line. It's a very long, tedious two hours, one minute.

This includes Chrisann Brennan, the mother of his child, whom Jobs deserted when she became pregnant--while they were living together. While we have statistics that show that adoptee women are seven times more likely to give up a child for adoption themselves than the rest of the
population, we rarely see references to men following in similar footsteps, in a way, by walking away from their responsibilities as fathers. Here we do.

Jobs denies paternity even after it is proven by DNA, and is quoted in Time magazine that 28 percent of the male population could be the father of daughter Lisa, despite all evidence--including how she resembles him--to the contrary. How accurate the portrayal of Jobs here is not the point of the movie or my concern here (since I haven't read any of the books written about him) but I did some checking and know that he eventually had his name put on her birth certificate so that she became Lisa Brennan-Jobs. she also lived with him during high school before he paid her way to Harvard. (IRL, Jobs also left her millions when he died in 2011.)


But this is not (in the movie) before he humiliates her mother by making her beg for more than the $500 he was sending them each month while she and Lisa were living on welfare and what she could make waiting tables. This is when he was worth $40 million. Oh, he is the consummate prick! Apparently much of this is basically true, and covered in the memoir Chrisann wrote a few years ago to tell her side of the story.

At another point, Jobs says that his mother (no modifiers as I recall--I didn't hear "birth mother" once) wouldn't sign the adoption papers until she was assured that her son was being adopted by people who were college graduates, would promise to send him to college, and were Catholic. A lawyer and his wife (or both were lawyers--Aaron Sorkin's script is fast-paced) take him for a month but return him; then his current parents took him in, but because he might be taken from them, he says, his mother didn't love him for a year.

Whoa! True or not, I do not know, that that's not the kind of statement you make in a movie about the non-adopted. There's no place to send anybody back, in the normal course of events.

Jobs (portrayed by a very skinny Michael Fassbender) drops friends and acquaintances the way popcorn falls to the floor on the way from the concession stand to your seat. He yells mostly rather than talks; he is a mad, angry marketing genius, obsessed with controlling everything because (the character John Sculley points out) he had no control over being given up and adopted.

The fact that he knew his father only as the guy who owned a deli he sometimes frequented is a scene--here it is a nice restaurant where he and Apple CEO John Scully dine--but the movie stays true to the fact that after the father and son learned who they were to each other, Jobs refused to meet his father. We don't know what happened with Jobs and his natural mother, because that is not mentioned. In real life, he appears to have softened to his daughter after his sister, the writer Mona Simpson, found him. She is mentioned once in the film but we have no clue what kind of relationship they have, or an indication that her finding him made him a less abrasive and cunning.

While the film is not pleasant to watch, Sorkin and Director Danny Boyle got it right. The impact of being adopted does a lot of damage to a great many people, and this movie implies--no, shouts it out--that adoption played a major part in molding the character of Steve Jobs. He would have been a genius at what he did, obviously, no matter what; but the movie does imply that his acerbic, demanding, controlling personality was a result of his being "rejected" rather than "selected."

The movie about a nasty, embittered, angry adoptee is not doing well, and has already closed in 2,000 theaters. The performances are excellent, the script is brisk though one-note, but it is a punishing movie to sit through. When you come out the impression is--being adopted is hell and certainly had a part in making Jobs nothing less than despicable in real life. He does at the end have a rapprochement with his daughter Lisa, but by then you really don't give a damn.--lorraine

ADDENDUM: One of the things I uncovered poking around the internet was that when Chrisann became pregnant, they were living together on a farm with a friend who Jobs met at Reed College when he was a student there. Jobs was so furious at the inopportune pregnancy that Chrisann left, and for money cleaned houses. She came back to the farm and had Lisa there, and the friend, Dan Kottke, had to persuade Jobs to come and see the baby. He did, three days later. Kottke is the one who told Time magazine's editor, Michael Moritz, that Jobs had a child. That led to him publicly denying the paternity, the portrait of Jobs in Time was negative, and may indeed have kept him off the cover. Though Kottke was Employee Number 12 at Apple, Jobs saw to it that he would not have any Apple shares when the company went public; Steve Wozniak (the real brains behind the Apple II and the engineer that Jobs was not) eventually gave Kottke some shares.
______________________
FROM FMF

Steve Jobs Did Meet His Father--without knowing it

---------------------
THE BOOK FROM WHICH THE MOVIE WAS TAKEN


"Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Isaacson’s portrait touched millions of readers."--Amazon

The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs
"Chrisann Brennan needed money and had THE story to earn it: her life-long connection to Steve Jobs. According to press reports, she asked Jobs to pay her not to publish, and when he turned her down as a black mailer, she asked his wife Laurene, who cut her out of the family. We got this book, which is a wild ride through young love in the 1970s and another facet of the private Steve Jobs. The story is well written, but in the end, I wished that Steve had found the inner grace to help Chrisann and let this story remain private. Some things are meant to stay in the family."--Amazon reviewer
THANKS FOR ORDERING THROUGH THE PORTALS OF FMF.

53 comments :

  1. Do you think the average moviegoer will connect the dots with the anti-adoption message? Or do you think you are just more attuned and sensitive to it because of your life experience and work?

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    1. If you see the movie--adoption is talked about there and there. People who don't want to see the connection will manage, one imagine, to deny it. And the earth is still flat because they "are not scientists."

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  2. I've always thought the denial of his daughter makes sense, since many adoptees (myself included) have found it difficult to make the connection that we are actually *related* to other people. For most BSE babies in closed adoptions, there was no birth story, no shared memories about Mom's pregnancy. Our origins were exclusively tales of infertility, miscarriages, social workers, and adoption agencies. It's difficult to feel tethered to other humans when raised ignorant of any connection to your natural family. Many, many adult adoptee have said they felt as though they were "hatched" or came from a "file cabinet" instead of a woman. I think Jobs had a hard time processing his own fertility--how could he create a child, but not have a mother? He was completely fogged in!

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  3. Lorraine, my understanding is that Steve Jobs' friends and business acquaintances have stated that this film trashes Jobs unfairly; he could be a nasty and cruel person, but had a friendly and good side also. He certainly didn't fit into the downward spiral cliche that many adoptees are assumed to be trapped into, but was a successful visionary, making history and changing the world for the better in fundamental ways. He was extremely intelligent and creative. My great sadness about Jobs is that he turned away from standard accepted treatment for cancer, and chose alternative treatment that many believe in, but ultimately could not help him. Still, he weathered pancreatic cancer longer and better than I would have expected.

    Having said that, I also say that I have not seen the film. So I can't agree or disagree with any of your comments. It is a mystery why he denied his daughter and treated her mother so badly - this is not unheard of in males, in my experience - but since he had so much money, it is odd that he made it an unnecessary issue. Perhaps it is something that happens when people become successful, or maybe that part of the male psyche that just hasn't matured.

    My husband, who is a total Mac-Head, did NOT want to see this film, when I offered to take him to see it I asked why and he mentioned what the reviews were saying - a hatchet job, and overly melodramatic. We both love Aaron Sorkin's writing, so I really don't understand how it came to be this way. The script writing is probably excellent, but I think people have stayed away out of respect for Jobs.

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    1. Respect for Jobs? I dunno about that. It's just not that good a film.

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    2. Interestingly, if you try to paint someone as a "good" person, you have to include their actions... Jobs found loopholes to paying for tags and registration on every car he owned, he was notoriously cheap with waite staff and other people in the service industries (so much so that it was part of a psychology study in one of my courses in grad school) and he had to be made to pay fair wages to his employees. While many are saying that he wasn't that much of an asshat, they are not the employees that worked for him over the years, but those employees of Apple that worked for the CEO (that was NOT Jobs) in the last decade or so. Which tells me that maybe he had a change of heart in later years, but he probably was the giant asshat that they portray as a younger man. This is not all that unusual for anyone, regardless of "adoptee not adoptee" status. We all tend to be jerks when we are young - self absorbed and unable to truly empathize with people around us. It is not a bad thing, it is just a thing..

      JMHO

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    3. One of the things I uncovered poking around the internet was that when Chrisann became pregnant, they were living together on a farm with a friend who Jobs met a Reed when he was a student there. Jobs was so furious at the inopportune pregnancy that Chrisann left, and for money cleaned houses. She came back to the farm and had Lisa there, and the friend, Dan Kottke, had to persuade Jobs to come and see the baby. He did, three days later. Kottke is the one who told Time magazine's writer, Michael Moritz, that Jobs had a child. That led to him denying publicly the paternity, the portrait of Jobs was negative, and may indeed have kept him off the cover. Though Kottke was Employee Number 12 at Apple, Jobs saw to it that he would not have any Apple shares; Steve Wozniak (the real brains behind the Apple II and the engineer that Jobs was not) eventually gave Kottke some shares.

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    4. Lorraine, All of which simply prove my statement - he was indeed the giant asshat that he was portrayed as. Unfortunately, because he was unstable and felt he "knew" better than anyone else and therefore did not seek help, it would be difficult at best to even consider how much of his behavior can truly be attributed to his adoption.

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    5. Lorraine, all of which simply supports my theory that he was the giant asshat that he was portrayed as... he cried "foul' when Bill Gates went and created Microsoft - claiming theft and a thousand other things. Yet he made sure to hurt someone that he felt wronged him and whom he could actually get to. That smacks of entitled, asshat. Which I find interesting since his parents were working stiffs like most of us. So, with his instability and the piles of cash he had, combined with his inability to think of other human beings as being intelligent (read his book) enough to "help" him get over his issues, you have to wonder...because he also never tried to get help. Thus making it impossible to ever really understand which of his behaviors, if any, can be attributed to adoption and which of them are simply because he was an asshat.

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  4. I've known all this about Steve Jobs for some time, but your pointing out his behavior as a father stands out in new relief to me. He felt abandoned, so what did he do? Abandoned his own daughter and her mother, just as his own father had bailed on him and his mother. I presume this was the situation. That was the same for me. My first son's father was born to a single mother who raised him; his father was married and had another family when my guy was conceived. My son's dad was extremely close to his mother, but when I became pregnant, he ditched me and never even knew the gender of his child. You would think that after being hurt themselves these men would want to do better, but apparently not.

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  5. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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    1. Adoption is all over the movie, and you have to be blind deaf and dumb not to get the message the movie projects. Sometimes the truth is the reality.

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  6. The broken people of Silicon Valley appeared to be created thanks to Steve Jobs. My path crossed with dozens of people who worked at Apple and only one, a shipping supervisor, liked working for the company. The pay was 10-20 percent better and the lure of stock options was great. Apple was picky, so tenure there was a plum on the resume.
    Some of the ex-employee complaints were idea theft, 80-100 hour work weeks, constant belittling, and no ability to trust anyone. This film appears to reflect the Steve Jobs I heard about. Unfortunately the general public does not want to hear the truth.
    It reminds me the general public does not want to hear how adoption hurts children.

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  7. I am an adoptee. I read Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs and could see how adoption wove through his life and decisions. I don't believe that all adoptees think alike, but I do believe we all face challenges, and there are certain ways in which we face them, some adoptees deal with them in semi-predictable ways.

    Jobs dealt with them in a cruel way, to be sure. He was Type A, like another fellow CEO adoptee, Larry Ellison, and even another adoptee CEO, Jeff Bezos. Some adoptees deal by becoming control-freaks and pushing people away. Connections and maintaining social niceties are harder for some adoptees because trust can be difficult and punishing others is easier than being vulnerable. Some of us have to fight to believe that we matter: they try to prove, over and over again through actions, big and small. I don't condone Jobs's behavior at all, but it speaks volumes, and I have seen it in many other adoptees. It is not novel or poorly understood.

    I was frankly glad to see adoption highlighted in the film. I do believe his adoptee self formed much of who he was. Adoptees cannot simply excise adoption from who we are.

    A review in the New Yorker by Richard Brody said that the film paints Jobs as an adoptee with a huge chip on his shoulder. I can see that more than calling Jobs a "bitter" adoptee. Jobs felt he was fighting against people all the time; he actually rarely mentioned his adoption in public. But he was often fighting people, including himself. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/aaron-sorkin-hates-screens

    It was Sorkin who shaped the story this way from Isaacson's biography. I don't necessarily think it was a hatchet job or melodramatic, unless being adopted in general is that. Jobs himself was larger than life and crashed through people and ideas and relationships. By and large he was respected but not loved. He parked in handicapped spots and never registered his car. He filed crazy lawsuits and inspired respect but rarely love.

    I *was* convinced that in some ways the fracturing of relationships by turning to screens that we have now may have been influenced by who Jobs was: technology trumping human touch. I can definitely see an adoptee coming up with coping mechanism. Please, stay at arm's length.

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    1. I couldn't agree more about Bezos, Ford, and others adopted by step-parents. It's a legal twist that is absurd--if it seals their original birth certificates. If you know who both your biological parents are, and a third party assumes legal responsibility for you, there ought to be a legal mechanism for making this so, without the hocus-pocus of "adoption."

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  8. Wow. Not sure I can see this movie. Maybe after it's on DVD, where I can watch it in my home home and take breaks. What you've described reminds me too much of my son, inability to form and keep relationships. I hope people who see it because they wonder about Steve Jobs will take the adoption aspects to heart. I have a very hard time convincing people outside of the adoption experience how much impact it makes.

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  9. Great job, Lo... and as with your take on Didion's Blue Nights, you zeroed in on how adoption frames the entire narrative of the adoptee's life story.

    I also appreciated the up-thread mention of those adopted by stepparents as "adoptees lite." One of my dearest friends was abandoned by his father at three (a dead ringer for him; I've seen photos) and adopted by his stepfather at seven. He has had, he says, a lifelong wariness of carousels because his earliest memory is of riding one shortly before his father split.

    Half the ride he could see his parents, waving; half the ride, he couldn't see either. And then his father left forever.

    Just thought I'd toss that out. I had not previously known that millionaire Steve had largely ignored his first daughter, but from what I've learned at FMF, it makes sense. Makes sense in the non-adopted world as well: maltreated folk sometimes single out A--not necessarily all--child of his or her children to maltreat down the line...

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  10. My husband knows people who worked for Jobs, and he was indeed shithead, but whether he was born that way or adoption made him that way is open to conjecture. Being adopted certainly does not excuse how he treated people, especially his ex-girlfriend and child. Neither does being abused excuse becoming an abuser, because so many abused people break that chain and become good spouses and parents.

    On another adoption topic, there is a great discussion on Metafilter, not an adoption-related site, about crowdfunding to pay for buying a baby. I know, ugh!! Anyhow, go here to see the discussion and for a $5,00 one-time fee, you can comment. Reading is free and open to all.
    http://www.metafilter.com/154625/BABY-DRAFT

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  11. I think him denying paternity and abandoning his daughter doesn't have much to do with adoption. I think it had more to do with him being selfish and possibly scared...traits not unique to adoption. He's not the first man to do it, he wasn't the last. The fact that he was a brilliant a-hole can't simply be pinned down to "he was adopted." Sometimes an a-hole is just an a-hole

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    1. Of course. Don't we all know someone who is a consummate jerk, period? But what I'm saying is that the movie mentions adoption in such a way that it connects the dots in a way. Nothing is every one thing or another, pure and simple. But adoption does place a psychological burden on the adopted that others--the non-adopted--don't have.

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    2. Sure adoption places a psychological burden on the adopted that the non-adopted don't gave to carry, but that doesn't mean the movie was necessarily right in the way it connected the dots. Could be he was just a prick by nature. And not a total prick either, because he managed to make a good connection with his sister. I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if their relationship was included as a part of it. It seems too that he might have subsidized or even completely paid for the high quality care home where his mother lived out her final years.

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    3. When his girlfriend became pregnant, he could no longer bury the unresolved feelings about being adopted. He was in no way ready to deal with his adoption issues. He did his *best* to deny it by kicking and screaming, but ultimately, it didn't work. I think that when it comes to the male adoptee, the bigger the "prick" the more sensitive, more wounded.

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  12. I think of all those who are impacted by adoption, adoptees are hit the hardest. Regardless of whether the movie is fair to Steve Jobs, I think it is highly likely and would not at all surprise me that his mental make-up is reflective of his status as adoptee. I am glad that there are more frequent TV/movie portrayals of the painful aftermath of adoption than there used to be. The awareness among the general public and even among people touched in some way by adoption is still pretty dismal, but at least there are more efforts in the media to show the dark side of adoption than there were, say, even 10 years ago.

    Thanks for the review, Lorraine.

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  13. Understand, I am not claiming anything in the blog. I am saying what the movie suggests by bringing adoption into the story, as well as how he denied paternity and abandoned his own daughter for several years.

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  14. While this is clearly the story of one screwed-up adoptee whose life was plagued by adoption issues, I do not think it sounds like an anti-adoption tract, just an anti-Steve Jobs tract as told through the eyes of his scorned ex-girlfriend. Decent movies, art, etc should not be a tract for anything to gracefully make a point, but certain themes can develop organically out of the story. Have not seen this one and do not plan to. Would the story of an adoptee who happened to be a great success in some field be seen as a pro-adoption tract? I would hope not. There should be room to tell all kinds of stories without them having to be propaganda for one side or another, just different kinds of lives.

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  15. avid movie goer/adopteeNovember 15, 2015 at 4:57 PM

    This post is ABOUT THE MOVIE. About the takeaway that some people will get from it. THIS POST WAS ABOUT THE MOVIE

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    1. @ avid movie goer/adoptee who said that THIS POST WAS ABOUT THE MOVIE.

      The post describes the movie as an "anti-adoption tract".
      The fourth paragraph, in which Lorraine opines about Jobs, "Oh what a prick he is ", acknowledges it is not just all "about the movie", but also about her feelings with regard to men who do not take responsibilty for their children and the women who bear them.

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  16. Did they mention how he was raised by adopted parents. That also tells a lot about adoptees.

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    1. No. Only what I said about them above.

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    2. just call me oscar(ette)November 17, 2015 at 1:35 AM

      Mother you said, "Did they mention how he was raised by adopted parents." I hope you will forgive me for being nit picky, but I must say this is a problem I have with the use of the word 'adopted' in place of adoptive when speaking of adoptive parents. The parents are not adopt-ed. There is no legal signing, act, or procedure that makes them adopt-ed. Do you mean his adoptive parents were also adopted? That's how it reads. Maybe if it was worded, "Did they mention how he was raised by [his] adopted parents." It would be clearer. The word adopt-ed for adoptive parents is just plain inaccurate and can be very confusing.

      Lorraine, It makes perfect 'sense' for Steve Jobs to act and react the way he did. It's sad. The abandonment which he felt by being separated from his mother, then returned by the first couple (makes one consider how upset and distressed he may have been in that first month by being separated from "the only mother he had ever known") then a lack of any bonding by second adoptive mother for a year. I don't care if you're an hour old, or 3 years old, or any other age of child, loss of mommy hurts! Whether through death, or adoption with adoption having the additional horrible feeling thought of 'she didn't want me' (even though that is seldom true). It is a loss and an unsettling that nothing seems to take away or fill. A one hour old infant knows that everything that was it's whole world has gone missing. That world is called mommy, and they know, even if others want to claim blank slate and reprogrammable. Just does not, mmmm, compute?

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    3. Adopted Parents. That looks like a sneaky way to vaguely imply that the child had some sort of choice in the matter. Not in an obvious way, but in a similar way to how people say their rescue pets "chose" them.

      HWF

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  17. One major lie being told about Steve Jobs right now is that his real mother was Catholic. She wasn't, she was Jewish. I read that years ago but now her religion has suddenly changed? I think a lot of today's politics are involved in this as well.

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  18. Just a quick note: Steve Jobs talks a bit about his adoptive parents and birth story in his 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford. (If the link doesn't work, Google "Steve Jobs Stanford commencement.")

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=steve+jobs+stanford+commencement+speech&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

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  19. In the midst of all the terrible things happening in the world and the backlash of hate against immigrants, I saw this somewhere, "Steve Jobs' father was a Syrian immigrant". Yes he was.

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  20. Jobs' shabby treatment of the mother of his child and his child may reflect an animosity towards women resulting by being rejected by two mothers. In his memoir, "A Man and his Mother", Tim Green talks about his need to dominate women which he attributes to being adopted.

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    1. Jane, it may, and it may not. There are plenty of mother-favored natural raised sons who abuse or desert their women and children.
      Steve Jobs' sister who knew him for 25 years draws a very different picture of the man. In A Sister's Eulogy for Steve Jobs (Google title and N.Y Times to read the whole thing), she writes of his abiding love for his wife which sustained him.

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    2. It may well be that after meeting his sister and realizing the source of his anger towards women, Jobs' attitude changed. Tim Green recognized his problem with women and worked hard to get over his hostility. When he wrote his book, he was a happily married man and the father of several children.

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    3. I did not read Green's book, but it seems unlikely that a real misogynist would change his bad attitude towards women just be realizing that in his case adoption caused it and turn into a gentleman. That seems rather simplistic. My experience of misogynists, adopted or not, is that they just change their line of bullshit
      (generally they are quite charming) not their core attitude towards women. Just imagine, a pro-football player who is an abuser and misogynist! Pretty common, and most are not adopted. And as Anon pointed out, the vast majority of men who hate women are not adopted, but it makes a handy excuse for those who are,

      My experience with adopted men is that they are not more likely than others to be misogynists. They come in all kinds, regardless of how adoption has affected them. As to Steve Jobs, the mother of his daughter, who tried to blackmail him with her book does not come across as an innocent either. A guy can certainly hate one woman without generalizing to all women, and as people have pointed out Jobs was ok with his sister and wife and paid for the care of his sick old birthmother in a nursing home. This movie presents one view of a complex and flawed man based on a book by an angry ex. There are other views, as the comments here illustrate. The movie illustrates that Jobs had adoption issues, but that is not the whole story or an explanation for everything he did or did not do.

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    4. You should have dated the male adoptee I did! maryanne. Of course not all adopted men are like that, but the one I dated briefly was nasty as soon as we started dating--very nice before. I heard from others he was cruel to at least one other woman he dated.

      Chrisann tried to blackmail Jobs? Really? And you know this how? Because she wrote a memoir? Her experiences are hers, not his. Jobs was a shit to her from the beginning, abandoning her as soon as he learned she was pregnant and they were a long time couple, living together at the time she got pregnant.. Your prognosticating from limited knowledge on every aspect of adoption is just amazing. and amusing. IMHO.

      Somewhere I read that before Jobs did marry, he sent emails to his friends asking them if they approved of this or that wife and which one he should marry. I thinking but I'm not sure that that even then Chrisann was one of the women involved in this contest. But who wants to be chosen as a wife by a vote from your friends?

      You haven't seen the movie, yet you say without hesitation what the movie does.
      FYI the movie was not based on Chrisann's book but Walter Isaacson's biography.

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    5. Back in the late 90's when I went to a couple of American Adoption Congress conferences, it was almost a given that male adoptees would have issues with women. They were likely to be more hostile to women than female adoptees because they had a harder time understanding how a mother could abandon her child. Female adoptees had more empathy with their natural mothers because they could appreciate what it would be like to have an unplanned pregnancy.

      I recall Delores Teller, a natural mother and therapist, and others recommending that male adoptees read Tim Green's book which had just come out to help the adoptees understand the reasons for their anger about women.

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    6. "Back then in the late '90's when I went to a couple of AAC conferences, it was almost a given that male adoptees would have issues with women.".
      A bit sweeping, don't you think?

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  21. One can but speculate. I too am inclined to agree with you that it's probable that uniting with his sister helped Steve Jobs develop a "kinder gentler" attitude, especially towards women.
    However, that does not deal with the fact that many men who are *not* adoptees and who have not been rejected by their mothers, react similarly when they "inconveniently" become fathers. Sometimes they behave in even worse ways towards their women and children. I don't think adoption explains everything about Jobs "bad behavior".Not by any means. To think so ignores other influences that may be equally if not more important.

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    1. The father of my child was not an adoptee but when he found out I was pregnant behaved like a true jerk. He found somebody else right then and married her when I was 7 months pregnant and in a maternity home. Despite my pleading and even appealing to his parents, he refused to even talk to me and went around claiming he wasn't the father. Unfortunately, his daughter is much like him in her own way. But he wasn't adopted, just born that way I guess. Emotional problems are well known to be more prevalent among adoptees, but all of us, adopted or not, still can choose whether we will be jerks to other people or kind and decent.

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  22. just call me oscar(ette)November 18, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Sunny @ 3:02 p.m. November 15 said, ''I think...the more sensitive, the more wounded." I've seen it to be true. I'll add, they are without any sort of coping skills to combat the anger (furious rage) and have had no help or resources to heal that deep extremely painful wound. It doesn't help, at all, that men in general have for a VERY long time been expected to be the "tough guy". No tears, no "weakness". and that is just plain wrong, unhelpful, hurtful, damaging, etc. Being told you can't cry, can't let it show or let the pain out leads to all sorts of damaging -try to get through life, fill that gaping wound, quiet that pain, try to function, habits. From flying into a rage, to heavy drinking, to __________ (fill in the blank) you name it. No, I'm not a psychologist or therapist or doctor. I have found the source of the anger at future women in a man's life to be directly related to whether mother was there and nurturing for her son. Personal experience only. One was adopted, one was a child of early divorce, one, his mother died when he was an infant, one, his mother died at the age of five. They all were/are very controlling, extremely vulnerable, have seriously damaged trust, and NEEDY (as in, I need MOMMY, and the, don't leave me alone (abandonment issues). I suspect it plays out that way OFTEN. Get an angry/controlling man with women in adulthood to open up and you may very well find the source to be 'mommy wasn't there for me and I HURT' (and don't know how to fix it). The only time it started to change for these men, was when they began to find a way to face that loss of relationship and recognize the humanity of their mothers and begin to forgive. Children need their parents, both their dad and their mom in a loving, peaceable home. Easy to say, hard to be perfect. Parents are human. I know mine were/are. All of them.

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  23. Admitting I met some very scary male adoptees at AAC; I mean men I would not get in an elevator with. I have also encountered them elsewhere in adoption reform, as well as many non-adopted creeps I have met. None of this prepared me for the non-searching son I would eventually get to know, a gentle,reasonable, honorable man with the best marriage of 13 years I have ever seen. He and his wife treat each other with equality and respect and do many fun activities together, and now they have the kids from foster care to add to a happy family life.

    His mentally ill adoptive mother was an issue for him, so he cut her out of his life, but he did not extend that problem to women in general or to romantic relationships. I was a problem for him as the other mother when he did not know me, but once he did, we get along great. He had a bad impression of "mom", not of women in general.

    He has said that being adopted was not the major issue for him growing up, and he has no interest in adoption reform, He respects that it is my thing, but it is not his thing. Far from being violent or misogynist, he does not even kill spiders but takes them outside. Maybe the very troubled male adoptees are more likely to join groups like AAC? We really do not know about all the adopted adults we do not come in contact with because they do not move in those circles. I have certainly learned not to generalize from my adoption reform experience to all adoptees since getting to know my son. I do not think he would relate to Mr. Green's book.

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    1. My reunited son must be another anomaly then. He's been happily married for 25 years. He is very social and has made many good permanent friendships with both men and women. He was very receptive to me when he found me, as well as sensitive to my feelings and those of his father. We have been reunited for almost sixteen years and continue to be close even though we live far from each other. I think he is just naturally empathetic.

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    2. Let's be clear. I did not meet mean, rude scary men at AAC. I met charming sensitive men who acknowledged anger at women. They were not, to my knowledge, batterers or rapists. They were dealing with their issues. I heard speakers mention the special issues of male adoptees regarding relationships with women.

      To my knowledge Steve Jobs never attended an AAC conference. I think that more troubled male adoptees are less likely to join groups like AAC. They do not recognize the source of their anger, or if they do, don't want to deal with it.

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  24. I met some very scary men at AAC, obviously mentally disturbed individuals. I am not making that up. You are lucky if you have never encountered them. In particular one of the men who ran some of the male workshops proved to be unstable and caused serious problems at a CUB retreat.I too attended some of those male adoptee workshops, and did not hear anything that pertained to my actual son. Other mothers did see similarities to their sons, which only shows that adoptees are all different individuals, and what applies to one may not apply to all. I also met some nice guys, and nice women at AAC , but there is always a lunatic fringe, as with any organization that deals with emotional issues.

    There are all kinds of reasons to search, and to focus on adoption as the root of all one's problems, and some of those reasons are not very healthy. Which is not to say that every adopted person should not have access to their obc nor the opportunity to search if they want to no matter what their reasons. Whether Steve Jobs every attended AAC is irrelevant; there are plenty of men who identify the source of their anger as adoption and do not take responsibility for their own actions who do attend. Can you not imagine that some adopted people, male or female, simply are not angry? Not everyone who has a different take on their life is in denial.

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  25. http://fortune.com/2015/08/06/steve-jobs-apple-girlfriend/
    Yet another article about Jobs and Chrisann. Neither one of them comes off very well. Like most human stories, hard to identify the hero or the villain or the motivations behind behavior. Life is not a movie with simple characters and a moral at the end. Extra bonus: Ed Catmull, president of Pixar in the video at the end used to work with my husband and I met him years ago. Other friends from the same group have varying views of Jobs and Catmull.

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  26. I have not read the other comments yet so just replying with my own thoughts. Steve Jobs has been of interest to me as another adoptee and in the spotlight where every aspect of his life has been scrutinized. I saw the movie "Raiders of Silicon Valley" years ago and I thought it was pretty realistic. Jobs and Gates were both very young when they became quickly successful and well known and too soon for either of them to have the maturity to handle it. And the 1970s were a very crazy time in a lot of ways. No one really knows for sure why he denied his daughter early on but the fact that he named a very special project and the computer that came out of it Lisa speaks volumes. From what I have read he appears to have inherited his genius from his father who was a brilliant entrepreneur and quite successful himself. His sister Mona is a full sibling who was raised by the mother and I read her book which she says is not really an autobiography but still the events in it match her early life which was not an easy one. They both became extremely successful in their own right and that can't just be coincidence-I would say genetics had a lot to do with it. I believe I read somewhere they had met before they knew they were related. Steve as far as what i have read was raised in a average middle class household which was well off enough to support him in his early efforts in getting his business going. I listened to his commencement speech from 2005? and he was very positive in all he had to say about all his family both biological and adopted. I don't know why he did not want to meet his father but I do think he wanted to keep that part of his life private-for all we know he may have met him at some point or not-he did try to keep his private life private. He was demanding and didn't treat his employees well, he was driven to succeed, he was very young when he founded Apple, and it was not always pretty. I am not sure I want to see this movie since I have read so much about him already and it does appear to be pretty derogatory. But Steve Jobs like many adoptees carried the potential and traits in his DNA without knowing where it came from but was driven by that DNA. Hard to describe that but I know it too. He also had the love and support of his adoptive family who were able to help him follow his dreams. It is just sad he left this world so soon.

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