| All this shit about whether it is “ethical” for poor, single women to have litters of babies is a red herring. What’s really going on here is “Hey, let’s rip on this mentally ill woman because she has appropriated her personal uterus to flout social convention!” |
Whether it’s one kid or eight, once the placenta is buried (or eaten — yipes!) women are reviled. They get isolated in nuclear family situations. They suffer postpartum depression. Child-rearing is unpaid, low-status work. They can’t advance in the workplace. They are denigrated as “soccer moms” or MILFs. It’s a crap deal.
But I digress again. The conditions under which a woman may become pregnant and undergo childbirth are rigidly monitored by the megatheocorporatocracy; these conditions are entirely rooted in keeping a firm hand on the sex class. You must be married to a man, have money and religion, and submit to medical authority. Also, you may only spawn one or at the most two babies at a time, and you must stop spawning when you’ve reached your community’s ick-saturation point — any more than three or four, for example, begins to make you look weird. The slightest deviation is aberrant — for instance, if you’re a pregnant teen slut, or you want to bring an “abnormal” fetus to term, or you want an abortion, or you have a glass of wine while pregnant, or you want to eat your placenta with fava beans and a nice chianti, or you’re a single woman seeking in vitro, or you’re on the dole, or you’re queer, or you already have 6 kids, or you have no money, or you’re a single woman with 6 kids and no money having wine and octuplets — bada-boom! The cold claw of community censure claps you upside the head, and people write blog posts on whether you should be allowed to mingle in polite society.
Whatever we may individually feel is "right" or "wrong" about this, the main furore about it is because she's a woman who did something out of the normal rules the partriarchy lays down for us womenfolk. Sure, there are ethical issues, but good luck separating them from the "OMG!!!!11!! Woman does something different!!111!! Man didn't tell her it was ok!!!!11!! And there's no man in sight to help her make it right!!!!!" And so on....signed, the patriarchy.
I also find the debate around the ethics of the doctor problematic. The whole discourse around the doctor's actions in implanting them smacks of it being HIS problem, as a representation of the patriarchy. The woman herself is disappeared, AGAIN, while everyone focusses on the RESPONSIBLE MAN who SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER because the CRAZY WOMAN was CLEARLY INSANE FOR WANTING ALL THOSE BABIES. Women can't regulate themselves, men have to do it for them. The mother's agency is taken away by removing the debate to the DOCTOR/MAN. Can you even imagine if the specialist had been a WOMAN!
I'm not saying here that there are no problems with what was done by either party in all this. What I am saying is that in very few places has the debate been really about what actually happened, and it effects. It's all patriarchal bullshit about who's allowed to do what with the uteruses of the world.
And the media blow up and calls for OMG regulation!!111!! annoys me. It implies that all the stupid WOMEN, now that they KNOW they can have OMG 8 babies at once!!111!!! will rush out to get them implanted. FFS.
In a sane world, the very few women who might choose to have multiple births of this kind would be fully supported in that DECISION by the people in that society, and by the the systems of that society.