By Phil Foley
The opening of previously sealed confidential adoption records, as intended by State of New Jersey and other States, places aging and elder women in grave personal physical and emotional danger because of their status as a biological source. The requirement to comply with surrendering your personal medical and family information under threat of exposure denies this class of women equal protection under the law. These women need Federal Protection as the aggressor in this case is the State.
Equality of Opportunity
in order to have individual freedom there needs to be equality of condition “which requires much more than the elimination of legal barriers: it requires the creation of a level playing field that eliminates structural barriers to opportunity”.
Aging and elder women do not have the same social, financial or cultural resources as a biological male facing this threat of exposure. No other class of citizen is being forced to provide personal medical and family information under threat of their name being exposed in the public record. Every aging and elder women facing this State imposed threat suffered a crisis pregnancy as a young girl. Many victims of sexual assault.
Every one of us knows such a woman. You are just not aware of her story.
Please speak out against this social injustice.
Send your story or lift your voice to support protection for aging and elder women to: http://www.elderjusticecoalition.com/contact
Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, often including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services. However, it also includes concepts of health equity, economic equality and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.
A Joke, An IPhone, An Icon Falls
By Phil Foley
Bill Cosby always told the jokes. He was not the butt of them. That all changed with one lone comedian and one Iphone. Imagine! One small voice outed icon, Bill Cosby, as a serial rapist. One witness took action and the truth of Mr. Cosby’s depravity unraveled like a spool of thread.
Thirty nine-39!-of his victims are featured on a recent cover of New Yorker Magazine. It is shocking to see the sheer number of his victims and to know that each face represents permanent damage that the sexual predator, Bill Cosby, imposed on every single one of their lives. The cost to his victims is immeasurable. But each one of these thirty nine women is making a stand for herself and for all victims of sexual violence. Bill Cosby will be held accountable for his predatory sexual assaults. He cannot “joke” his way out of rape this time.
Social media was an important part of giving voice to these victims. The main stream press that trades in fantasy and the romanticizing of tragedy could no longer be contained by the power and influence of someone like Bill Cosby. The preponderance of evidence from over 40 victims compelled even his most ardent supporters to acknowledge that he is a serial rapist. This illustrates the power of victims speaking out.
Every woman whose life is about to be thrown into turmoil by the opening of sealed confidential adoption records which will place her in both physical and emotional danger needs to use the power of her voice to bring public awareness to the damaging effects of this legislation.
If you were rescued by the confidential adoption process, Kathleen and I encourage you to speak out. Your story is important! You are important!
The legislators have only heard from the people who want to disregard your right to privacy and negate the guarantee of confidentiality made to you all those years ago. My 16 years of fighting the open records legislation in New Jersey has shown how one-sided the debate was.
Please take this opportunity to tell your story. Your story will help show the public and legislators the impact and damage opening adoption records legislation will have on your life and the lives of other women. The wounds this legislation will open for innocent women must not be dismissed. The victims of Bill Cosby are finally being taken seriously. That’s because they are speaking in numbers too big to ignore.
Currently, public sympathy is with the adoptees because they have used their public voice. But their voice-their mission-is fraught with lies and misconceptions and illusions that prey on the public’s pity and lack of knowledge. Didn’t we all love Bill Cosby? Who would ever, ever believe that he’s a serial rapist? Tell the public and adoptee community your story. Speak about how you were saved by the confidential adoption process. Stand up for yourself, for your privacy, for your civil rights. In the telling of your truth, no adoptee will ever be able to invade your life using the excuse, “I Didn’t Know!”
Adoption equals crisis pregnancy. For every adoptee there is woman who endured a catastrophic pregnancy. Not 39 women, hundreds, thousands of women. There is a great probability that a crisis pregnancy that resulted in a confidential adoption was suffered by a juvenile victim of a sexual assault. Kathleen is an adoptee. Her biological source is a rapist. Anyone considering demanding medical information by hunting down a stranger needs to be reminded that the information is likely unavailable. And that no biological source is the answer to whatever problems you are currently facing in your life.
People cannot understand what they don’t know. Be part of educating through your truth. You may save a woman’s life.
You are encouraged to also send your story to:
Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services systems in order to provide a coordinated and seamless response for helping adult victims of abuse and to prevent abuse before it happens.
Email:comments to the ACL website: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women in Hiding Press Books:
About the Author
In the provocative spirit of Matilda Joslyn Gage, Gloria Anzaldua, and Mary Daly, Kathleen Hoy Foley expands and deepens the voice of female experience.
TO THE SURVIVOR
If you are a person who was victimized as a child or as an adult, I am so very sorry you ever had to suffer at the hands of a predator.
I am sorry you were abused, sorry no one protected you, sorry you have felt so alone, sorry you have been so afraid then and in the now. I am so sorry for the loss of your innocence.
You were and are entitled to you life. And you had a right to inherit your own body. And no matter what you did or what you think you failed to do you are not to blame. Sexual abuse is never a victim's choice. Sexual abuse is something that was done to your body not something you wanted.
This is an excerpt from:
Kathleen and I encourage you to visit this site for perspective on your ordeal. Live happy and whole. Claim you power!
You are your own authority.
Question Everything. Including social, religious & political authorities
Learn to listen and respond to your intuition. It is never wrong.
Learn to be impolite. It must be part of your defense system.
Nothing is unspeakable.
Stare truth in the eye and speak it.
You name abuse. Listen to your body. It will tell you. It is never wrong.
Stare abuse in the eye and speak it.
Stare abusers in the eye and name them.
Use your voice. Use your words.
BE LOUD. Violence against girls, boys, women and men hides in the silent shadows.
Know that you are powerful.
KNOW THAT YOUR VOICE IS POWERFUL. USE IT.