sugar & spice & so onJune 9, 2006 at 3:30 pm | Posted in AdoptThis! | 20 Comments
I started writing about this in the comments over at j’s, and then realized a) I was totally hijacking her comments, and b) I wanted some feedback on this myself!
A decisive cntrl-x, cntrl-v later, here I am:
J. was writing about gender, and her anxieties and preferences about the gender of her as-yet unconceived child. I think there’s some kind of lesbian blogging rule that requires all adopting/ttc-ing/baby contemplating dykes to have at least one of these posts in which they despair over their own uncontrollable biases. (I’m totally not making fun of J. here – she’s smart and articulate and honest and big smooches J.) So I guess it’s time for my own obligatory lesbian gender angst (OLGA) post.
See, the bizarre thing about adopting from Guatemala is that you essentially get to pick the gender of your child. Which is not to say that your child will not have his or her own opinions about that gender down the road, but that’s an entirely different post.
There tends to be a preference for girls among parents adopting from Guatemala. I’m not sure what this is about, and I’m sure everyone has their own good reasons for the choices they make, but I can’t ignore the fact that it sure makes my little racism antennae stand up on end. Susan over at Holding Pattern promised to blog about this a long time ago and never got to it… hint hint hint Susan. Foreign women = exotic and demure, foreign men = dark and threatening? The waiting list is longer for girls, which means that if you do request either and try to leave it up to fate, as is the case with pregnancy, you will in all likelihood get a boy. So you’re not really leaving it up to fate at all. And there’s creepy ethical stuff too – intermediaries are apparently asking for more money for girl babies? I do not like that one bit, and it’s one of the reasons we choose the agency we did.
Um. So. Yeah. Did I mention that I am really really tempted to request a girl?
This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise to anyone who knows me. On the outside, I’m a girly girl. I like funky skirts and cute shoes and silly barrettes for my hair. And I love to work in my garden and get my hands really dirty. I can change a flat tire and deal with rodents and insects, no problem. Before we moved, I was close to getting my black belt in karate. And I love the idea of raising a little girl who will be fierce and sweet and fuck with people’s expectations. I know the crap that girls do to each other, and I have some ideas about what I can say when my daughter encounters that.
I have some really good male friends, but I don’t know what it’s like to grow up as a boy. I can’t visualize my life with a son the way I can visualize my life with a daughter.
Pili, of course, feels similarly. Except reversed. Oy.
What do you think, my beloved computer friends?
ETA: Thank you for all your wonderful comments. Just to fine tune my freak out a little 😉 I know we’ll love whatever we get. I like the idea of not having control. The problem is that WE HAVE TO CHOOSE. How in the name of all that’s holy do we do that? And while I hope we’ll get to enlarge our family further, I don’t want to assume that’s going to happen… Also interested to know what you all in the computer think about this preference for brown girls vs. brown boys in adoption – are my antennae over-sensitive? Sue/Life Postponed (not linking b/c it’s passworded), I’ll bet my right ass cheek you have an opinion about this…
P.S. This all makes me think of the wonderful Dar Williams song, “When I was a Boy”I won’t forget when Peter Pan
Came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy, I’m glad he didn’t check
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other’s lives out on the pirate’s deck
And I remember that night
When I’m leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it’s not safe
Someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home
When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don’t know how I survived
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew
And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too
I was a kid that you would like
Just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw
My neighbor come outside to say
“Get your shirt,” I said “No way
It’s the last time I’m not breaking any law”
And now I’m in a clothing store
And the sign says, “Less is More”
More that’s tight means more to see
More for them, not more for me
That can’t help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat
When I was a boy, see that picture, that was me
Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees
And I know things have gotta change
They got pills to sell, they’ve got implants to put in
They’ve got implants to remove
But I am not forgetting
That I was a boy too
And like the woods where I would creep
It’s a secret I can keep
Except when I’m tired, except when I’m being caught off guard
I’ve had a lonesome awful day
The conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard
And I tell the man I’m with
About the other life I lived
And I say now you’re top gun
I have lost and you have won
And he says, “Oh no, no, can’t you see
When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked
And I could always cry, now even when I’m alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too
And you were just like me, and I was just like you”