I hate to hate on feminist spokesmodels, but from Sunday's New York Times:
The most incendiary notion in “Baby Love” may be that, for Ms. Walker, being a stepparent or adoptive parent involves a lesser kind of love than the love for a biological child.
In an interview, Ms. Walker boiled the difference down to knowing for certain that she would die for her biological child, but feeling “not sure I would do that for my nonbiological child.”
“I mean, it’s an awful thing to say,” said Ms. Walker, who in a previous relationship helped rear a female partner’s biological son, now 14. “The good thing is he has a biological mom who would die for him.
First of all, screw you, lady! Second of all, who is that poor boy and can he read?
Fortunately, over in the Sunday Book Review, Alexandra Jacobs pans the book, calling it "solipsistic open diary," in which Walker "sorely tests the reader’s patience while settling into a pregnancy of privileged contemplation, achieved with relative ease under the ministrations of a homeopath."
*I've softened the title of this post a bit (from "Rebecca Walker is an asshat"). I'm sure she is not, in fact, an across-the-board asshat, and I understand that comments can be taken out of context in newspaper stories.
And yes, I realize that she was "only speaking from her own experience," (That old chestnut! "I'm just speaking from my own experience, but old people smell bad. And gay men talk funny.").
But she's the one who framed the issue as a "biological mom" vs. "adoptive mom" thing. She could have said, "child of my happy marriage," vs. "child of the woman with whom I was in an ambivalent relationship" or "child of a family unit that preceded his birth" vs. "child I came to know later in his life as as a step-parent".
Nevertheless, it's wrong and petty of me to gloat over a bad book review. But I maintain that her comments belong firmly in the category of myopic remarks made in the self-satisfied glow of success, benefiting no one and only hurting the vulnerable.