Monday, December 22, 2008

It's not just me...

I requested several queer pregnancy and parenting books from the library, in anticipation of trying to do a few book reviews around here, and we did a lot of (re)reading over last weekend.

Hopefully actual reviews will follow, but what I wanted to write today is that I am so absolutely honored and delighted to have a wife who gets just as riled up as I do, perhaps even more so (smoke coming out of her ears, eyes bugging out, talking louder and louder and louder) when she reads a paragraph like this, in which the author, a lesbian mom who birthed her daughter, is justifying why she will not permit her partner a second parent adoption:
"After all, I am still the baby's mother. She sprang from me; she is of me and my body...I asked her to come, and kept trying till she did...While my partner has a big influence on Frances, she is not "of" her. Frances did not grow in her belly, did not share her body. She did not push out of her cooch. She did not suckle at her breast. She was created by me, nurtered by me, and is of me. This is not something that can be denied. And if I ever want to move across the world and take the baby with me, I don't want anyone telling me I can't. Ever."
Excerpted from "Beyond the White Picket Fence" by Rachel Pepper, from the collection "Home Fronts: Controversies in Non-traditional Parenting" edited by Jess Wells

10 comments:

Strawberry said...

Oh holy crap. I would hope any woman partnered up with that bitch would have enough sense to get out while she still can. Did the woman involved in the court case between VA and VT write that??

http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/lesbian-mom-custody-dispute.html

N said...

Wow. That's so very effed up. Why agree to co-parent a child if that's the way you think? I just don't get it.


(J gets the same way over the intro to The Other Mother.)

Lyn said...

Rachel Pepper, who wrote the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians, wrote that. And to be fair, based on the rest of the essay, it is not clear that she an her partner *had* agreed to co-parent. But in any case, sentiments and logic like that absolutely horrify me coming from a queer parent, no matter what stripe, especially one writing one of the primary queer pregnancy guides.

(Oh, and N, yes the intro to the other mother sends me through the roof, as do several of the essays, but there are some great essays in there as well)

Bree said...

I've distrusted Rachel Pepper since she wrote "There's no such thing as a little pregnant" in the Ultimate Guide. Yeah, that little pearl led Michelle and I to make the supremely stoooopid choice to attend a child/baby fair the weekend after her first beta... the one that was 31 at 16dpiui... the one that fell to 14 shortly thereafter.

Yeah, our choice entirely, but still... if you're writing an intro to the world of TTC book, it might help to mention that bad things can happen, even if they didn't happen to the fecund and way too arrogant author???

If I remember her fluffy and excessively self-congratulatory book well enough, I think that she had decided to try well before she and her partner were serious.

However, her disregard for non-bio motherhood is stunning. This sounds terrible, but wouldn't it be humorous (ok, not really) if she and partner split and she was unable to get child support? It would serve her right.

Lyn said...

Bree--Reading between the lines in the 2005 updated pregnancy book, they did split, since she writes about her own dating with a kid. At least half of the essays in the Jess Wells collection this is from are worth a read. Some are really good. And the rest of the Pepper essay will make you want to crawl out of your skin...I suppose it is a book about controversies...but still.

Lo said...

That is HORRIFIC. My wife was similarly horrified by that quote, and prompted J. to say "Mama." We are lucky in wives.

I guessed from the child's name in the paragraph that Rachel Pepper herself wrote it, and knew thusly that it was complicated -- I know she was either not with, or not serious about, her partner when little F. was born. However...there are plenty of ways of describing why you do not want a step-parent to adopt your child without resorting to all that bullshit about biology. What would she say about an outright adoptive parent???

Pepper's lesbian pregnancy book revolted me, because she is arrogant in every way...her easy fertility, as Bree says, and her warnings against non-bio moms ever breathing too hard on the baby. She wrote almost exclusively from her own experience & feelings, in my opinion, and should have written a memoir. She had no business using the word "Guide."

The Other Mother makes me spit nails. I am not at all surprised that Harley Aizlyn and her partner broke up.

Gail said...

I just want to say that you all are making Lyn and I very happy here. We're glad we're not the only ones who are spitting nails

amy said...

that enrages me too. how in the world would anyone be in a relationship with someone like that? totally bizarre!

kim said...

Seriously with this? It's one thing to say you are with someone with whom you choose not to co-parent (although i find that just as odd) but this is downright offensive and counter to the marriage rights movement for sure. UGH.

insertmetaphor said...

I'm horribly behind and trying to catch up on my blog reader, so sorry for the late, late comment, but I couldn't pass this by. That is out of control! I haven't read that book but I read other things by Pepper and I just don't care for her. Now I feel extra justified in this feeling.