Monday, November 22, 2010

"I love my spicy hunan girl": Please, adoption-related gear like this is NOT cute








Just FYI, peddling and wearing adoption-related gear like that featured above is neither cute nor noble. It honestly makes me sick to my stomach, short of literally hurling. Not to mention how it makes me feel patronized, demeaned, and objectified (not as though Asian women don't already deal overtime with being objectified...).

I could easily write entire blog posts addressing why and how each one of the above pieces represents multiple layers of harmful, detrimental, misguided thinking (to put it lightly and overly-restrained).

Linda at Real Daughter, who is so much better at being candid and unrestrained (qualities I greatly appreciate!) in her recent post, Name Game Part 2, enlightened me to the fact that merchandise like this even exists...I honestly had no idea, and now I kind of wish I still had no idea, because it's just so utterly disturbing.

But I think the existence of such apparel does reiterate the presumptuous and often ridiculous attitudes adoptees have to deal with on a daily basis--all the misinterpretation and patronizing, to say the least, along with all the euphemism and praise to the neglect and ignorance of the inherent complexities and harsh realities faced by adoptees, the constant dismissal of the loss, grief, and trauma...

Please, if you own any apparel like this, trash it, burn it, shred it--whatever you need to do to get rid of it, so that you never wear it again.

Like I said, it's not cute. Seriously. And it's definitely not noble.

I know maybe you meant well, and you thought you were being loving and cute, but seriously, it doesn't make me feel anything good.

As an adoptee, I am not something to brag about on your t-shirt or bumper. I am an adult human being, not a cause or a charity to promote and peddle or for which you are to award yourself a pat on the back.

Look, I'm not against true, real causes.

And I'm not against raising awareness.

But c'mon, folks, there are certainly more respectful, considerate, productive, and intelligent ways of doing it.

* * *

The following apparel was also equally disturbing...


15 comments:

one + one said...

THANK YOU for saying this. I detest all of the adoption 'gear' out there. I am a proud adoptive parent and I think all of this stuff is trashy. Demeaning to teh adoptee and only one thing comes from it-- makes the adoptive parent look and feel like a hero.

Von said...

Nothing but offensive, demeaning and disempowering.

Stephanie said...

That just makes me sad that there is even a market for those. :(

Kris said...

I have honestly never seen anything like the bottons/stickers in your post. They are appalling. I can't imagine anyone actually wearing something like that - it reminds me of t-shirts about breeds of dogs. How demeaning and degrading!

Jessica said...

The most disturbing thing I have seen is the "ultra sound" photos where instead of a human fetus, there is the outline of the country of adoption. It's just so wrong in so many ways.

Yoli said...

Let's not forget, not only is it grossly demeaning and offensive but quite lucrative. Which is another matter tied into this and just as offensive.

Raina said...

Family Preservation - the best thing you can do for a child.

Childbirth is an act of God, Adoption is an act of man.

I <3 Hapa boys.

I <3 my spicy gochujang girl.

... there. I fixed them. :)

Amanda said...

I agree with you. It's completely offensive and belittling.

There are T-shirts and other items that one can sell to fund raise to adopt. I remember seeing one shirt that said "Defend the Fatherless!!" (as in, defending the fatherless by adopting).

What about the child's mother? Can't we "defend the fatherless" BETTER with family preservation? What about the extended family that could have support raising the child?

It makes no sense.

Jae Ran said...

I think every kad blogger I know has posted about this at one time or another! I know that when Twice the Rice and I posted about the ultrasound pictures with the country inserted as in utero, there were some in the adoptive parent community who were upset at us. Oh well, it only continues to perpetuate the "adoption as consumption" idea. there are ways to celebrate being an adoptive family without resorting to stereotypes or commodifying children.

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/a_pictures_worth_a_thousand_words/

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2008/07/this-is-why.html

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2007/05/what_does_my_t_.html

Anonymous said...

Good God, I seriously thought "I love my spicy Hunan girl" was something that deranged white men with Asian women fetishes would wear. All this "adoption wear" is really sick. Kris is right, this stuff belongs to the realm of dog breeds.

Courtney

Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I have been mortified by the way that these types of things turn children into commodities...blech.

Michelle said...

I just had too comment on this important and compeling post, I knew about some of the views expressed in some of the items. It's makes me sad too say the least and I couldn't agree more with you and everyone else saying the same thing. Thank you for this post and for raising awareness.

Melissa said...

Good work, Raina. *smilewink*

Jae Ran, thank you for the links. My goodness. The ones that say "Made in [insert country]. Hand wash only. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry" make me feel sick, and the one that said "Even my kid was made in China" made me feel so gross. Yuck. I really had no idea that apparel like this existed...until now.

(I posted the links again in this comment, because for some reason they didn't show up completely in your comment, although they showed up fine in my email...)


http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/a_pictures_worth_a_thousand_words/

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2008/07/this-is-why.html

http://harlowmonkey.typepad.com/harlows_monkey/2007/05/what_does_my_t_.html

Melissa said...

(Gah, annoying. For some reason the links Jae Ran shared won't post in the comments section. I'll add them to the original post instead...)

Anne Winslow said...

I don't think adoption is an act of God...especially when so many children have been abused and killed by their adoptive parents? Who would want to believe in or worship a God who would create an environment like that for children to be placed into? As a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence, I've worked really hard to try to find God in all those places...now you're telling me that He created a this special situation just for me so that I could be abused? The God I serve and have worked so hard to find in these situations would have never created such "special" places for us...He weeps at our separation and that His people act in such a way!