Dec 28, 2008

Blossoms in the Dust

This is a weeper with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. Garson’s character becomes involved in projects to help people adopt children, and also in a drive to eliminate branding and stigmatizing children as illegitimate.

Now while the state may have an interest in recording the number of illegitimate births, and the socio-economic factors associated with illegitimacy, all of that can be done with what are essentially tick marks. It is not necessary to record that Louella May Prudy gave birth to Suzy, father unknown. Garson’s character, Edna Gladney, has a legitimate objection to stigmatizing children, who are not responsible for their parents’ bad behavior, with a label.

Interestingly, much of the dialog, both for and against, that is used in a scene before the Texas legislature could be used in the gay marriage debate. The major difference, in my view, is that whereas removing the stigma of illegitimacy benefits those who are innocent, and not responsible for the actions of others, gay marriage is about those who are responsible for their actions. So there are major differences.

Watch the film, listen to the rhetoric, and let me know what you think.