"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Thursday, July 1, 2010

This Is Me Judging You

Infertility treatments are shameful.

Infertility treatments are a shocking waste of money, time, and effort--valuable resources which would be better spent on the adoption of countless children who already exist and need families.

Yes, I'm judging you. I cannot think of one compelling argument for the presumed self-evident value of so much exertion and expenditure simply to obtain offspring with one's own DNA and/or who have issued forth from one's womb.

And no, "We thought about adoption, but we just really wanted our own kids," is not a compelling argument. It is a selfish, thoughtless, vapid, and ultimately meaningless argument, based solely on the idea that one very specific genetic arrangement is preferable to any other. I thought we were past all of that eugenics bullshit. And yet, you would be hard-pressed to find any couple utilizing infertility treatments with any rational reason for valuing biological children over any other kind.

Still, we continue to accept this argument. Nobody is required to explain why DNA is so goddamn important; you can't, really--not without falling into a philosophical mire that always leads to eugenics. Women are required to explain why they don't want children, why they want children but don't want to be pregnant, why they want children but don't want to be pregnant but don't want to take the surrogate route--but nobody is ever required to explain why a child's DNA is more important than the child itself.

Because that's really what it comes down to: you are having a child for the sake of her or his genes, not for her or his own sake. Do you really want a child? or do you just want to continue your presence in the gene pool?

The drive to produce offspring is an evolutionary strategy, actually, one which we developed as a means to perpetuate our species--it's precisely about continuing our presence in the gene pool. I understand this drive; I feel it myself. But I acknowledge that this difficult-to-rationalize urge is an evolutionary strategy, and should I find myself unable to procreate, I will cheerfully consider my genes unfit to remain in the gene pool, and go from there.

Of course, if everyone began acknowledging this evolutionary strategy, we'd have to recognize that we're still animals, despite all our protestations to the contrary. Funny, isn't it?

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