...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.