3 thoughts on “Is International Adoption Extended Activism by Purchase?

  1. I don’t think so.

    Buy product “X” and a donation will be made for (name your favorite cause or effort) is more a matter of marketers helping consumers feel good about a purchase than it is about forwarding a cause or effort. I think it ill advised to fall into the trap of believing consumptive purchases actually help “others”.

    It seems to me that international A-word is more akin to directly purchasing a commodity, and this purchase provides only incidental (if any) benefit to individuals living in other lands, that is, A-wording an infant or child is acquisitive rather than assistive.

  2. There are many ironies here.

    First and foremost is the fact that the class of this “burdened” white woman is also now rejecting vaccinations as “poison” in a supposedly “First World” developed nation-state. I’m willing to bet that there are in fact “Third World” countries with higher vaccination rates than the U.S.

    Second, and in agreement with Brent’s reply, this is more about a selfish need for affirmation via consumption far from the “rabble” whose lived reality is a function of this “First Worlder’s” very lifestyle. See also: The marketing of AIDS via the red ribbon in what I used to refer to as “passivism” (as opposed to “activism”).

    Finally, the heinous Saatchi+Saatchi, producers of the ad, bring all of this hypocrisy full circle, as was best witnessed by their creation of ads for Johnnie Walker in the “Keep Walking” campaign produced during Lebanon’s July War in 2006 followed shortly thereafter by their “rebranding” campaign of Israel at the war’s end.

  3. I wasn’t really thinking about (typical of me) of it so literally when I asked, but more as a general visceral reaction to the video.

    To me, it seemed like the salient feature of the video was the fantasy connection between the privileged white woman and the underprivileged children of color. The narrative says nothing about the mothers of these children, who become background figures.

    I find these benevolent attitudes alarming and patronizing. The message seems to me that privilege can equal higher quality parenting, and the face of benevolence is the white western woman with purchasing power.

    So whether one is buying a product to help a child remotely, or paying to make that scenario accessible daily, the impetus seems to come from the same place – a need to affirm one’s goodness through activism, activism that benefits oneself.

    It just seemed alarmingly similar to adoption videos, narcissisticly appealing to people’s image of themselves as savers of the world.

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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