As Chief Grand Free Web Services Thingy Finder Person for the Adoptee Rights Demonstration (I used to be just Chief Free Web Services Thingy Finder Person but I gave myself a title upgrade this year), part of my volunteer duties involves finding free web services thingies. For the protest, you know, in case you couldn't tell.
Last year for Philly, we wanted to put together a slideshow promo, and came up with the DENIED video that was easier than stealing identities from children. The idea behind the DENIED video was to get people to put forth the faces of normal, every day adults who through no self-selected behavior on their part, are denied equal treatment under law. The DENIED stamp was ugly and scaring, yet effective.
Let’s look back!
After the video, some mothers wanted their faces stamped too, something that could be used to show both solidarity as well as make a statement against something that was imposed on them without their consent. Some ideas were batted around. My personal favorite, the digital erasing of mother’s faces, was voted out in favor of a stamp that followed the same theme - simply stamping CONFIDENTIAL.
Over the past two protests I’ve stamped face
While the actual act of stamping is quite easy, the emotional effect isn’t as straight forward.
Obscuring someone’s image with a glaring red stamp can be draining when done mindfully of the great malice aforethought.
Because is it not malice, pure malicious maliciousness in all it’s glory, to impose confidentiality on someone without their permission, desire or consent, and then use that same person to justify and blame sealed records on? What could be more malicious than telling another adult human being that they are not entitled to their own identity, rationalize their identity theft by the possible reproductive choices of future women, willfully and while all the time making quite the profit?
If that’s not malice, I don’t know what the fuck is.
Don’t ever doubt that the sealed and stolen identities of the DENIED, or the unwanted CONFIDENTIALITY inflicted on American mothers, is nothing less than a graphic act of political violence.
The audacity, arrogance and presumptuousness of those who oppose restoring access and then turn and hide behind the skirts of the same women they profited off of when they were paid a legal fee to seal their children’s identities is mind-boggling.
Frankly, it makes me quite cranky.
I’m actually writing this blog post halfway through the stamping of a mother I adore, and obscuring her face made me break down and cry. The adoptee images make me angry, but the ones from the mothers eat at me. Especially when they send me pictures of themselves before they got pregnant. I see young women about to be exploited and used by a system run by those with full knowledge of what they were about to do to them.
It’s a long road to the San Antonio protest, and the wrapping up of Louisville will take weeks if not months. While the administrivia takes place in the background, internet memes like the DENIED photos keep the protest alive in the ever-brief attention span of the web.
Take a peek or two or three at the DENIED album over on Facebook, and if you’d like your photo included please send a picture to AdopteeRightsCoalition@gmail.com.
Also, while doing an export from the old fan page to the new one, some images got lost. If your photo isn’t included, just give a yell. As my solemnly sworn responsibility to do free web services thingies, I’d never deny you the chance to be DENIED.