On the surface, Rebecca Walker’s new book, Baby Love, would seem to be her version of Mamarama:Bisexual, activist and author finds middle-years fulfillment as a mother. But given the noted third-wave feminist’s recent comments to The New York Times, I like to think of Mamarama as the anti-Baby Love. Walker said, and apparently writes in her book (for which I refuse to shell out money), that blood is thicker than water, that she feels an attachment to her biological child that she could never feel for her stepchild, an attachment that adoptive parents wouldn’t understand. As a mom and stepmom, and best friend of an adoptive parent, I can say that’s crazy talk.
Yes, my feelings for my son are different from those for my stepdaughters, but they’re no less deep and true. They are complicated by the fact I didn’t know them their first years on earth, and by the fact they also have a biological mom. But in some ways we have gone through more things and had to work harder at our love than Cole and I have had to; there are extra strands in the rope of this bond.
Walker makes this absurd statement about how she would kill for her child but not her stepchild. I can’t even fathom how hurtful that statement must be to her stepchild. Besides, it’s not about dying; it’s about living. I take care of my daughters every day in a way that the woman who shares their genes does not. I’m sure we both would say that we’d die for them, whatever that means. And yes, sometimes I feel like killing them. That’s part of love too.
I also can’t imagine bashing your own mom in public once you’ve become a mother too. I appreciate Mom more than I ever did. Okay, I don’t know what Alice Walker put Rebecca through. But the daughter sounds not like an abused child, but like a spoiled brat out to get attention, by demeaning moms and feminists alike. If you like Mamarama, do not buy Baby Love.