Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The wonder of modern science...

...means that we're well on the way to being able to produce sperm (don't you just love that dinky little diagram?) with little or no physiological involvement from men.

The current journalistic angle seems to favour the 'breakthrough for infertile couples' approach - which is fine - anything that helps has got to be good. But, I have to say, that wasn't my first thought. My first thought was "yay! real choice for women at last!" I mean, you decide to have a baby, you get inseminated with the artificial sperm and you have your child. No need to bother with men at all! No 'getting to know you' anxieties. No messy stuff. No false promises to share the childcare so you can still have some semblance of a life. None of the pain of 'staying together for the sake of the children' when it all goes horribly wrong and no vicious and costly residence and contact battles with some bloke whose only motivation is to 'make you pay' for 'trapping' him into this situation in the first place by using the fragile sensibilities of your offspring.

How fab is that?

If women had independent access to a procedure like this - if it became the norm - then even miserable old sods like Michael Buerk wouldn't be able to moan about men just being "sperm doners" because men really would be largely irelevant. It'd have a huge impact on the dynamics of gender relations - can you imagine it? How free would women be... free enough to be whole, human people. Free enough to be taken seriously. Imagine that.

Men, on the other hand, would probably experience a huge deepening of their current identity crisis. I mean, crikey, what's the point of having all this privilege if it actually gets them diddly squat in the great scheme of things? Gods. They might even have to start recognising and dealing with their bogus entitlement in ways that really go against the grain if they're to carve out a role for themselves in a world where women have real control of their own fertility. No more of that ridiculous idea of 'ownership' of women, no more laying down the law about what we can and can't do with our own selves, no more bullying 'boss-man' behaviour.

Women would have increased control of their own lives and men would lose control of women's lives. I do hope it catches on.

*Disclaimer* It's very, very hot here tonight (still 24 degrees at 10.00pm) and today, though Thursday, is my Friday so I'm feeling fanciful. This post is somewhat tongue in cheek and I am not a scientist.

19 Comments:

  • At 3:52 AM, Blogger mandos said…

    You realize that a situation in which men not only feel but actually *are* superfluous to the human race probably won't have a very happy ending for women as such?

    Men, on the other hand, would probably experience a huge deepening of their current identity crisis. I mean, crikey, what's the point of having all this privilege if it actually gets them diddly squat in the great scheme of things?

    I mean, there's currently a solution to men's "deepening identity crisis"---for men to see themselves as an equal and necessary member of the human race without the insecurity that demands, in part, control over women. Get rid of the "necessary" part, and many more men are likely to see themselves as having no investment in the future.

    People with no investment in the future are dangerous... And if total female reproductive independence is the reason for this, do you think that the misogynists of the world are going to take that lying down, so to speak?

    I think that if you really want to go this route, you should hope for artificial wombs instead (also under development, by the way). It's really better for women to have a world in which men don't need women rather than a world in which women don't need men. If men don't need (control over) women to have an investment in the future, then it's likely that they won't bother to control women. And women could use the technology too!

     
  • At 4:07 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    "People with no investment in the future are dangerous... And if total female reproductive independence is the reason for this, do you think that the misogynists of the world are going to take that lying down, so to speak?"

    Is that some kind of a threat, Mandos? If so, how come "I think that if you really want to go this route, you should hope for artificial wombs instead (also under development, by the way). It's really better for women to have a world in which men don't need women rather than a world in which women don't need men. isn't?


    How come the thought of artificial wombs somehow leaves women with no investment in the future and therefore makes us less dangerous?

     
  • At 5:04 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    MMMMMMMMMMM . . . must be the heat, witchy-woo. Men will still wake up every morning with a hard on, and go looking for something to stick it in. The urge to control women, I believe, has less to do with paternity and more to do with sexual access.

    But it's hot here too, so I could be wrong.

    Don't worry about Mandos. He's our resident Vulcan, giving us an opportunity to re-express ourselves more logically. Personally, I've never minded.

     
  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Is that Michael Buerk guy for real??? What a jerk -- I have to go read that again. "Almost all the big jobs in broadcasting were held by women - the controllers of BBC One television and Radio 4 for example. These are the people who decide what we see and hear", he said."

    GEE WHIZ, Mikey -- yeah, that must suck, huh?

     
  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger nectarine said…

    People with no investment in the future are dangerous whilr this is maybe true just because some one doesnt have there own bialogical ofspring does not mean that they have no investment in the future.I very well may not be able to have children (and there fore neither will my partner) but that hardly means we are going to turn dangerous. by this arguing all infertile people, and all those who are volantary childless are all to be regarded as dangerouse with nothing to give to help build a better society or teach/nurture other peoples children.

    Also it would strengthen het relationships i think because the man would know that the woman would want him to be there because of who he was not because he was providing sperm. Also I think it would make things much safer for children because the "well they are my children so I can treat them how i LIKE" argument wouldnt stand.

    If men don't need (control over) women to have an investment in the future,

    this is absurd, reproduction is not a reason men control women it is an excuse to control women. patriarchy will find any means possible to try and control women.

    also seems like you are saying men have not only good reasons to try and control women but its okay that they try and do so.

    Witchy.
    Did you hear radio 4 the moral maze talking about the need for fathers? it drove me insane? Not least the asumption that the nuclear het family is some sort of timeless monolith. And lots of arguments that boys need men to teach them masculine values without much critique of that. you can hear it on the bbc listen again page if you are interested

     
  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger mandos said…

    It's not a threat---just stating what I observe from, in particular, US politics as I see it. When women take control of their own fertility using existing technology, is it not correct that various political forces try to turn up the control screws? Thus, if women try to obtain total control, what do you think the more likely response is going to be?

    How come the thought of artificial wombs somehow leaves women with no investment in the future and therefore makes us less dangerous?

    Because it's easy to get natural sperm. In the artifical womb case, everyone can have a child if they want to, women or men. In the artifical testis (or whatever) case, women end up not just emancipated, but totally in control of the human future. The one thing that men know is theirs in the world of social and biological reproduction, that women don't have to be controlled for---is access to the pregnancy-instigating goop.

    A slender thread on which to believe that one is needed in the world.

    whilr this is maybe true just because some one doesnt have there own bialogical ofspring does not mean that they have no investment in the future.I very well may not be able to have children (and there fore neither will my partner) but that hardly means we are going to turn dangerous. by this arguing all infertile people, and all those who are volantary childless are all to be regarded as dangerouse with nothing to give to help build a better society or teach/nurture other peoples children.

    The big difference is that you are talking about "voluntary" or "accidental" childlessness. People who choose to be childless are a different animal from people who are childless but don't choose to be. In WW's scenario, as I understand it, we're talking about using artifical sperm as a kind of social coup. We're talking about increasing the number of men walking around who are insecure and paranoid about whether they will live a life they consider fulfilling, and for most people, that includes the possibility of children given no medical fertility problems---which people go to desperate lengths to get around anyway!

    this is absurd, reproduction is not a reason men control women it is an excuse to control women. patriarchy will find any means possible to try and control women.

    You speak as though patriarchy exists for an of itself, as an end in itself. But it takes a lot of energy to maintain---so someone somewhere is getting something out of it, or the investment of energy would have dissipated long ago. I can't ignore the very consistent patterns in patriarchy. Yes, it's about sexual access and it's about reproduction.

    But I agree that sexual access and reproduction are quite possibly not the root of the problem, although patriarchy has to be "grounded" in some motive somewhere. I have come across a particular hypothesis lately that the whole point is the de-peripheralization of men. See, the basic, obvious social bond is the woman-child bond. A society can exist and sustain itself based on that bond---men needn't be a part of it for it to survive. Not so with the man-child bond...

    In tribal societies with less male-dominance (a few exist), there is often some kind of "magic" or something that ONLY MEN HAVE. It's pretty obvious to me that this useless trinket is to there placate the men and make them feel needed in society and thus have fewer motives to disrupt the balance that women have established.

    From here, nectarine says,

    Also it would strengthen het relationships i think because the man would know that the woman would want him to be there because of who he was not because he was providing sperm.

    I think it's precisely the opposite case, if anything. People are not more secure when they think of themselves as "potentially desirable luxury goods" and hence ultimately disposable. People have a need to be needed, not just wanted---for all the talk that "neediness" is an unhealthy part of a relationship.

    Where does MRA/FRA angst come from? It comes from a feeling that they are disposable---but women aren't. They say this, quite explicitly.

    I mean,


    Did you hear radio 4 the moral maze talking about the need for fathers? it drove me insane? Not least the asumption that the nuclear het family is some sort of timeless monolith. And lots of arguments that boys need men to teach them masculine values without much critique of that. you can hear it on the bbc listen again page if you are interested


    Does this not illustrate that male insecurity comes from the sense that they are not needed? And if women can conceive without men at all (but men obviously can't without women), do you think that the reaction to this is going to be a healthy one?

    Also I think it would make things much safer for children because the "well they are my children so I can treat them how i LIKE" argument wouldnt stand.

    Well, maybe...but then you're assuming that women wouldn't step into that role. I mean, reproduction continueth one way or another. Just because under this scenario, women wouldn't need men, doesn't mean that women wouldn't develop proprietary feelings.

    And for men who have children, it may very well turn into "They're MY children at last...at LAST someone I own..."

     
  • At 1:08 PM, Blogger Sarah Louise Parry said…

    This debate does indeed open up a can of worms, but there is no doubt that this development is going to absolutely re-mould the future of family structure like never before.

     
  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Guitar Wolf said…

    If you were to create a child from this sperm, and it turned out to be a boy, at what age would you tell your son that he is a useless member of society with no stake in the future of the human race?

     
  • At 6:42 AM, Blogger Antimatty said…

    i really don't think that anyone is going to be useless. the reason that extremist views are called "extremist " is that they are not the norm. if women want to have children togethor , thats great. i would love for everyone to be happy. i can't wait for the first female president. but why all of this anger? when i think of people in love, it has nothing to do with gender roles or domination. its about enriching each others lives . about completing one another. having a child should be about
    love and dedication. its not about power. i don't think of myself as having power over women just because i have sperm producing capabilities. and as for " hedonistics" comments about men waking up with erections; "morning wood" as it is sometimes called is not the result of sexual arousal, but rather the fact that you have finished digesting the fluids you took in the day before,your bladder has swolen, and is pressing up against the prostate. this causes the erection. relieving your bladder usualy ends the erection.

     
  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Phemisaurus Terribilis said…

    Oh dear, you seem to have an infestation of 'men that know best'.

    By the way, did you know that males have less genetic material than females? That the Y chromosome arose from a massive mutation of X? That males could, in fact, be described as genetically deficient females?

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Biting Beaver said…

    Hey WW,

    Looks like you riled up the masses with the idea that women may not actually need men in any real way. Boy, they really despise not being needed eh?

    Heh, personally I have to admit that your conclusion was the very first thing I thought about when I heard the news *grin*.

     
  • At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Guitar Wolf said…

    Hmm, and here I was living my life under the impression that the goal of feminism was to remove the shackles of oppression of the patriarchy and bring about a world of mutual respect and coexistence. Am I wrong? I ask honestly, not sarcastically or bitterly. I just stumbled across this "world" on the internet recently, found it intelligent and interesting, and thought I could learn a thing or two.

    As far as growing sperm goes, I’m all for it. I think that our social structures will be able to adapt to anything that we develop. Neither men nor women need to worry about being made obsolete. Perhaps we will swap genders at will in the future to round out the human experience.

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger mandos said…

    Looks like you riled up the masses with the idea that women may not actually need men in any real way. Boy, they really despise not being needed eh?

    That was kind of my point, you know. Everyone despises not being needed, or at least being needed less than someone else: the "fifth wheel" phenomenon.

    But the mechanics of human reproduction suggest that men risk being the Fifth Wheel more than women do. And people, men included, despise being the Fifth Wheel.

     
  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    guitar wolf - no, your understanding of the goals of feminism aren't wrong. And I think your "perhaps..." about the future is wonderful.

    mandos - maybe guitar wolf is right and no-one will have to worry about not being needed because we'll all be interchangeable and, somehow, equal.

    Wouldn't that be lovely?

     
  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    and there would be nobody to put up against the wall. where's the bloody fun in that? 'man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward' - now that's a can of worms even apart from the truly shite views of the writer on many subjects including women.

     
  • At 5:35 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    " Guitar Wolf said...

    If you were to create a child from this sperm, and it turned out to be a boy, at what age would you tell your son that he is a useless member of society with no stake in the future of the human race? "


    Ah but if we can make sperm we can make it all female!

     
  • At 4:43 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    At last!

    Someone understands!

    When I said "If women had independent access to a procedure like this - if it became the norm" this is what I meant.

    Funny how men can't invisge a future without them, isn't it....when women have to do it all the time.

    But this post had a disclaimer - please read it.

     
  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Actually I am rather fond of my first born, who happens to be male. He's taken a shine to Witchy too so I'm hoping we can educate him!

     
  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    Totally in favour of women having more control of their own lives; but better if we can all manoeuvre it so they get more control of planet as existing management really isn't performing.
    patriarchy in sad need of replacement - oh... just realised if we do sack the patriarchy we may have to put up with unemployed patriarchs hogging the sun loungers and being annoying close up. still - should be a small price to pay, eh?

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home