I love when a well-considered comment is entered on an older post. It draws my attention back to topics I may have forgotten about, and as in the case of this Comment of the Day, it reminds me of people and things I really shouldn’t forget.
Rebecca, in her first visit to the comments wars, entered this reaction to the post about Edna Gladney (that’s her on the right above, with Greer Garson, her screen avatar, on the left), an amazing woman who should be better known than she is for her pioneering work on behalf of orphans and unwed mothers. I suggest that you read the post about Edna first, and then read Rebecca’s Comment of the Day. Here it is:
I just recently saw the TCM movie and was instantly taken by her courage and perseverance, especially since I, too, consider myself a child and family advocate. However, once I read about the historical Gladney, I am saddened that Hollywood thought it necessary to change the storyline to “soften” the blow of Edna’s own illegitimacy. Just goes to show how much was (and still is) wrong with the media. Also goes to show how media perpetuates certain attitudes about our societal issues. For example, even though the movie was retrospect, and even though Gladney may have been successful in removing illegitimate designations on birth certificates, society itself was still hell bent on being judgmental….couldn’t even tell the story like it was for fear it wouldn’t be accepted.
I am ashamed to admit that I never heard of Edna Gladney before I chanced upon a late night Turner Movie Classics showing of the 1941 biopic “Blossoms in the Dust,” which earned the great Greer Garson one of her many Academy Award nominations for her portrayal of Gladney (that’s Greer as Edna on the left). I was unaware of Gladney’s amazing life, legacy and contributions to society because 1) I’m not from Texas; 2) it is hard to learn about great people that society forgets about, and 3) feminists aren’t doing their job, perhaps because a strong and indomitable woman whose life was devoted to saving unwanted children rather than preventing their existence doesn’t interest them as much as it should.
Yet Gladney is exactly the kind of woman whose life should inspire young girls today, and young men too, for that matter. Still, I recently asked 18 randomly chosen friends and acquaintances who Edna Gladney was, and not one of them knew.
And most of them didn’t know who Greer Garson was, either.
Sigh. Continue reading
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Heroes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Philanthropy, Non-Profits and Charity, Public Service, U.S. Society
A Rumanian child in an orpahanage for "incurables," circa. 1990, enjoys his "heritage."
A post that is a year old recently attracted two important comments, thanks to a link to the essay from another website. The topic is international adoption, an issue that I have a special interest in as the parent of an adopted son who was born in Russia. I have seen first hand the conditions described in these posts, and when I wrote the original article, I was unaware of the substantial movement opposing international adoption, a misguided effort with tragic consequences to the children these people supposedly want to protect. I am aware of it now. It is an especially tragic example of what happens when tunnel vision and ideology causes individuals to lose perspective and objectivity.
I am taking the unusual step of pairing two comments as the Comment of the Day. They arrived together, and compliment each other well. You might want to read the original post, “UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption.”
Here are the Comments of the Day, by Mel and Holly F. Continue reading
UPDATE, 12/19/2011: There is more on the topic of international adoptions here.
There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.
The area is international adoptions. Continue reading