If the following sounds like I’m overwrought, you’re right. I am. I think it may be because I haven’t slept more than a few hours at a time since KENNEDY WAS ASSASSINATED. And that is a very long time.
If I had posted about a problem I was facing with homophobia being directed towards my daughter, and someone came to my blog and wrote that they were disturbed to find out that it was 2 women raising a child… I wouldn’t give that person the motherfucking time of day. So why should I when the issue is race rather than sexual orientation? Because I asked for it? Because I started the conversation? Because I was looking for outside opinions?
I don’t need to be told that people have a problem with white women raising a biracial child. I know that already. I have known it since before we began inseminating. There are people who have treated us like we have stolen/appropriated something. There are people who treat us the way people would treat a couple who raised their child speaking only Esperanto (ie people who let their ideals get in the way of raising a child that can communicate with and move confidently through the larger world). Some people might go so far as to try to take a child away from parents like that.
How do comments like this help? Are you telling me that we should have exhaustively detailed our donor selection process before even trying to start this conversation in order to let everyone know that we thought we had a fucking clue before we started? Or are you just telling me that we should have hung a sign on my partner’s body that stated “WHITES ONLY”? Are you telling me that we should have turned down the donor who matched every single one of the criteria we listed (intelligent, easy going, responsible, interested in being an uncle but no more, believes passionately in social responsibility, vegetarian, Unitarian/Universalist, kind to puppies butterflies and ornery old ladies, a great cook, holistic, GETS MY JOKES – the most important criterion) because he was black? Because when you criticize our choice of donor based only on our and his skin colors, or on your perception of our enlightenment prior to pregnancy, that’s what you’re telling me. Comments like that serve to shut the conversation down on my end. They sound a whole hell of a lot like, “Shut up white woman, you stole your black sperm and had your “cute” biracial baby. So now you have just to deal with the consequences.” Such comments divert attention to something that cannot be helped because it happened in the past and away from the matter at hand, which is what do we do now and how can we make this world a better place? How can we act proactively instead of defensively or aggressively?
And if I’m choosing to think about hair right now, it’s not because I want to make my “cute” biracial child’s “cute” hair even cuter. But because I happen to see this as ONE THING that is coming up on the horizon. One very complex issue involving many strands of fear and control and preconceived notions. But it’s true that that is only one thing (and not the greatest of those things) on my list of concerns. And it could be that one small thing is all I can deal with at the moment since my brain is leaking gray matter from sleep-deprivation-created holes in my head.
After all, I haven’t slept since before I was born.