[Cross-posted at the Family Pride Blog.]
Your Gamete, Myself
Many of you will have read Peggy Orensteinâ€™s cover piece in this past Sundayâ€™s New York Times Magazine, â€œYour Gamete, Myself.â€ For those who didnâ€™t, or who just now linked to it and balked when you saw that it spans nine pages online, hereâ€™s a synopsis: Orenstein, an astute writer on matters feminist and maternal, looks at the medical and social evolution of egg donor conception. She interviews several families (mostly the mothers therein) who conceived their kids using donor eggs. She talks to doctors at fertility clinics, and weaves in anecdotal notes from her own journey to motherhood.* Throughout, she explores the ethical and emotional ramifications (to parent and child) of donor egg conception. She muses about how, in ways both like and unlike sperm donor conception and adoption, donor egg conception blurs the â€œbright linesâ€ that ordinary, â€œbiogeneticâ€ parenthood draws around parentsâ€™ â€œgenetic, biological and social relationships to their children.” Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I have an answer, though youâ€™ll have to wade through my own thicket of paragraphs to find out.
Those queer and queer-cognizant readers that do mosey through the entirety of Orensteinâ€™s piece might find themselves nodding and murmuring in assent to this or that point, all the while waiting patiently for the moment when Orenstein would of course consider how queer family-making sheds a bright light from a fresh angle on the myriad emotional issues sheâ€™s examining. After all, we couldnâ€™t be bigger boosters of alternative conception, both via egg- and sperm-donation. â€œAh,â€ these readers might have said to themselves as they watched paragraph after paragraph slip by, â€œthe sly dog! Orensteinâ€™s holding her big guns â€˜til the last section of the article!â€
And many of these readers will have, like me, scratched their heads when they arrived at the end of the piece having never seen the word â€œlesbianâ€ or â€œgayâ€ in print. Well I have just one thing to say to that: lesbianlesbianlesbian!
Okay, maybe I have more than one thing to say.