Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Yes, the title of this post is an acronym. I'm sure that you, dear reader, gifted as you are, can deduce what it means.

Did you read my last post? If not, this one just ain't going to make much sense. Read the previous post and then come back to read this one.

Done? OK, let's go on.

I just got another letter from the Foster Parents Plan. This one introduces us to our new Indonesian foster child, all of two years old and, I'm sure, very much in need of the money contributed to the Plan by us on his behalf.

Did you catch that? Yes, I said on his behalf.

Did you notice that, in my last post, I said that we always picked girls to help via the Foster Parents Plan, figuring that in backward countries around the world females always get the rawest deal and need our help most? Yeah, I thought you might have noticed that. So why, despite standing orders from us always to direct our money to families with a girl, are we suddenly supporting a boy?

Yes, I know that the Plan typically helps entire communities, rather than individuals or even specific targeted families. The conceit of having a specific foster child in that community is mostly a rather brilliant marketing ploy, used not only by the Plan but by other similar organizations around the world. Still, when I say 'girl' I mean it. If I ask for butter and pay for butter, I better not get margerine.

Why would the Plan go against our specific wish to foster a girl? I'm going to find out. I am not going to stop supporting the family of our new foster child; after all, whatever is going on, it's not their fault. Here is what has got me really pissed about this situation: I suspect that the reason our new foster child is a boy is not because there is a shortage of needy girls in the Indonesian community. No, I think it's because girls simply don't count in a Muslim environment and that the Plan doesn't want to rock the proverbial boat by standing up against this nonsense.

And that really pisses me off.


  1. Being miffed is understandable when you realize that being able to request the gender of your needy child is just another marketing ploy for fund raisers who know you will not decide to withdraw your support once they have designated their choice. You have played right into their hands. Now follow up their choice with a copy of your previous blog in which you have given a valid explanation of why you wished to support a needy young girl. This was after their letter asking you to avoid any political or religious references when corresponding with this group. As your acronym says "WTF". As always you are right on the money.

  2. I hope things work out for your new foster child. And you're right: Girls are not highly regarded in muslim countries.