Monday, March 20, 2006

More scary thoughts

Did you guys read the article in the NYT about women shopping for sperm?
Am I the only one to be totally creeped out by the fact that sperm banks don't have short donors? Women only want tall guys to be the biological fathers of their überchildren. Or that women are shopping around for sperm as if they were Goebbels trying to create the perfect human specimen? Am I nuts or this is kinda creepy?
Listen to this German woman:
"I would probably choose somebody with a darker skin color so I don't have to slather sunblock on my kid all the time. I want it to be a healthy mix. You know how mixed dogs are always the nicest and the friendliest and the healthiest? If you get a clear race, they have all the problems. Mutts are always the friendly ones, the intelligent ones, the ones who don't bark and have a good character. I want a mutt."
At least we have progressed since the concept of the superior race. But is this woman a moron? Is that why you choose someone from another race? So you won't have to slather sunscreen on them? WTF? Not to be outdone, there's the Jewish woman who goes for the Aryan fantasy genes because Jews are bald, wear glasses and have a tendency to burp too much, or something like that.
Hey, listen. I know people who got their beautiful babies through American Express. They surfed the net, found a donor, bought the sperm with their credit card and were lucky enough to get pregnant fast. If that's what makes you happy, knock yourself out.
But the new fertility practices raise a lot of interesting questions. It is now a fact of life that women don't need men anymore except as producers of sperm. And why should they? They can conceive by themselves, they support themselves already and many think that men cause them nothing but grief. If they want better sex, they can sleep around as freely as men or become lesbians. But there is something disturbing about the way some women pursue the getting of a child as if it was some great item at auction on eBay.
Like the woman who gave a friend her unused embryos from 2 donor parents. So now her friend is pregnant with a child that will be a full sibling of that woman's kids. Or the guy who has fathered like 19 kids because his sperm is so good. Are those kids siblings? What is a family today? I guess family is really more about upbringing than biology (except for the unfortunate tendency to burp too much and other genetic inheritances). As long as the kids are loved and grow up healthy and not totally screwed up, fine by me. However, fertility science has evolved much faster than society has been able to catch up with this new paradigm. So as long as we still have the nuclear heterosexual family as a legal and social model, there are going to be a lot of kids with heavy issues running around in the future. And if the tendency in this country continues veering towards evangelical conservatism, it may be quite horrible for them.
Another thing that struck me was that some women talk dismissively about having to deal with the father. "I won't have to deal with the father", says one. Well you won't and you may congratulate yourself about how smart you are. But what about your kid? He or she may need to have a second parent. I'm not advocating the traditional family here. If somebody has 2 mommies or 2 daddies or one loving parent it's alright by me, as long as the children are loved and cared for and brought up to be atheists. But it's not all about you.
I also think of stuff like alimony and child support. I'm sure that these developments are going to have an influence in the way parental responsibility is perceived by the law. There are already idiot guys that are invoking some sort of roe v wade for men, simply because they don't want to pay child support. Women are not going to be able to have it both ways. And divorced women with children who are not single mothers by choice may be very affected by these developments. Looks like the law and the culture have a lot of catching up to do for the sake of the kids.

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