A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
What the hell is a "Non-Ethnic Baby"?

I snoop my Sitemeter referrals, checking out people's blogs, eyeballing the (often weird) search terms that bring people here (my all-time winner is "How to make sugar cookies", which is searched on an incredible number of times), and just being nosy.

So...there have been a bunch of hits from a place called BuzzFeed, on a page with the decidedly awkward title "Adopting Non-Ethnic Babies".

What's a "Non-Ethnic Baby"?  Somebody please tell me.

Isn't everyone of some ethnicity?

There's something so ethnocentric and borderline racist in that title that I was afraid to go check it out.  I've seen some nasty sites, white-suprem@cy sites, that infuriate me with their commentary.  I figured this was one of those horrid places and tip-toed in, to discover my post grouped with a few other posts about the new Chinese rules and about Jennifer Aniston deciding to adopt domestically...all under a grotesque tag:  "We all know what this is leading up to:  Adopting designer half-breed babies."

(What's a "designer half-breed baby"?  Wouldn't a "half-breed" automatically be a...gasp..."ethnic baby"?)

Sooo...the gist is, I guess, that because China is tightening up its rules, someone posts about the media awareness of issues in Africa, and how it grew during 2006, and Jennifer Aniston is reputed to be investigating domestic adoption, my little screed on domestic adoption myths (very misleadingly tagged "Adoption Abroad Can Be Just As Expensive", which, though true, was not my point, my point being that adopting domestically can be just as inexpensive as adopting from China, grr) was included as part of a "trend".

Y'know, I like my racism nice and clean and obvious, so I can feel quite happy about bashing (neo-N@zi sites, for example).  Nasty little jibes ("Non-ethnic babies" and "half-breed babies") set my teeth on edge.  If the BuzzFeeders truly think there's a sudden "buzz" or "trend" towards domestic adoption, perhaps they should use that term.  And if the BuzzFeeders don't understand what's so offensive about the whole, maybe they should sit down and examine their navels for a while.

(I'm not the only one who feels this way; in the comments on one of the posts listed, someone else got hot under the collar about "non-ethnic babies", which wasn't used in the post being commented on at all...)

But then, all the lead-in tags on the front page are "hip" and "edgy".  Maybe they thought it was "hip" and "edgy" to use those terms?  That would fit in very nicely with Alas, A Blog's list.

UPDATE:  It seems that sarcasm and irony are BuzzFeed's well-known schtick (just shows how out of it I am).  Kind of a la Onion.  Which leads to a question:  am I just being uptight and humorless?  Does the use of such terms when done with knowing irony excuse the offense? 

Technorati: , ,

posted by Kate @ 1/18/2007 06:52:00 PM  
  • At 1/18/2007 07:27:00 PM, Anonymous bh said…

    I like your tags---they are right on.

  • At 1/19/2007 12:38:00 AM, Blogger Suburban Meteorite said…

    It seems odd that Greek-American Aniston (whose real name is something unpronouncable like Anistopoulos)only wants an American baby. White American. Whatever that means.

    "Hi, I'd like an American on white, not toasted, please. And make it snappy, I'm in a hurry!"

    Just...ew. I'm so with you on this.

  • At 1/19/2007 09:05:00 AM, Blogger Space Mom said…

    I don't think you are being uptight, but you are very sensitive on this issue. Your daughter is from another country and you want to make sure she doesn't have to deal with crap and that she can retain some of her cultural history. So, of course this is going to rub you the wrong way.

    (Personally, I find it funny, the "non-ethic baby" thing just because people make such a big deal over the internation adoptions of celebrities...Funny a la onion as you say)

  • At 1/19/2007 09:08:00 AM, Blogger Anne Marie said…

    First, I'm not sure I agree with suburban meteorite that pursuing domestic adoption means you are pursuing the adoption of a white child.

    Second, I have someone in my life who uses that type of humor all the time, but I also know him to be one of the least biased/prejudiced people I know (and half-Greek, as a matter of fact). Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable, sometimes I take it the way it's intended.

    In the public arena, I'm not too much of a believer in too much p.c.-ness. But you do run the risk of having people misconstrue the humor or taking out of context.

  • At 1/19/2007 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Julie Pippert said…

    I know my trouble in life has been that I am too ethnic. <--- joke

    Combining irony and mockery to make a serious point is a ricky technique, especially on this topic, especially because so many people who say things like this are *not* being ironic or mocking.

    I'm not sure I found it funny, or amusing, I found it alarming in a way...which very well might be the intended result. If so, BuzzFeed was very effective in making the reader aware of the potential danger in this little "adoption competition" that seems to be going on with celebrities.

    You think embryos for sale is commodifying children...the current "adoption competition" in Hollywood alarms me at least that much. Even though I try to reassure myself their intentions must be good...they must really want to be parents (same as I do in the other case) but my reassurance fall on a wall of "actors are well-known for publicity stunts."

    IMO...use the irony but then switch and add in some serious, real information. My preference.

  • At 1/19/2007 12:25:00 PM, Anonymous SBird said…

    I love satire, even though I think there's always a risk of it being misconstrued/misunderstood/misapplied/and just plain missed. I think your question about whether it excuses its own offense is a good one.

    What I like about satire most is that it makes us pay attention to language, which (as a culture) we take for granted too often. I think satire has the potential to make us stop and take a look at the language tools we're using, how they shape us, etc. Who says that thing about language shaping the way we think and determining what we can think about? I can't remember, but I like it. I think satire's role is to throw the language sand back in our eyes and see if it stings us or not.

  • At 1/19/2007 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said…

    Oh, wow, you're on BuzzFeed! I am so jealous! Check your sitemeter. The crazies can find you now!

  • At 2/13/2007 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


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  • At 2/21/2007 12:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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