I ordered a ribeye, extra rare, and the chef or the waiter or somebody messed it up. I sent it back to the kitchen. A lesbian couple near Uniontown, Ohio, ordered a baby, extra white, and their order got messed up — the sperm bank mistakenly gave them the product of a black man, with the result that their daughter, Payton, is half black. And that’s the problem with treating children as consumer products: You cannot send them back to the kitchen.In some ways, the consequences of New Age parthenogenesis are the quintessential first-world problem.
While one must pity the poor little girl who is being treated like a defective Honda Civic, it’s a delicious clash of progressive pieties. The mother — and somehow I suspect that I’ll be informed five minutes from now that it is wicked to call the half of the couple who carried the child and gave birth the “mother” — Jennifer Cramblett, among other things complains that it is difficult to find a place to get her daughter a decent haircut. It should be a hoot watching her make that case in court.Dig deeper, and it ceases to be funny.
The disassembly, now complete, of the triangular linkage of sex, marriage, and procreation is going to present us with even more awkward questions than whether you can sue for breach of warranty if your daughter turns out to be racially other than as originally specified. There is some evidence already of sex-selective abortion in the United States — the opening salvos in an actual war on women — particularly in subcultures that have a strong preference for sons, though data about that is scarce. The reason it is scarce is that we refuse to collect it, and the reason we refuse to collect it is, presumably, that we do not wish to know. If we ever develop a test for a hereditary inclination toward, say, homosexuality, we’ll probably have gay-selective abortions, too.And, inevitably, the cultural
A model of parenthood dominated by the mandate to satisfy the parents’ needs rather than those of the children will be forever defective. But it is, increasingly, the model we have. It’s a perverse consequence of the times in which we live: Cultural and economic pressures see to it that many young women spend their most fertile years trying desperately to avoid motherhood and then spend their least fertile years trying, with the same desperation, to conceive. It’s cruel.Yes, and protestations that the old dispensation, in which young women were encouraged to marry and start families, was its own form of cruelty, aren't an adequate response.