Saturday, May 30, 2015

Another exchange with PJ

Me:

Mr. PJ,

I’ve been reading a very interesting book on surrogacy, which details how surrogates must be rigorously trained to disassociate themselves from the babies they are carrying. Some surrogacy centers deliberately implant eggs of one ethnicity into women who are another ethnicity. For instance, Mexican women gestate Japanese babies. This is done to lessen the attachment the surrogate may well develop for the baby. My question to you, then, is this: If motherhood is really just only an incubation process and has no inherent connection to the asexual enterprise of actually raising a child, then why must surrogates be trained and in some cases tricked to relinquish any parental claims on the babies they are incubating? I would think that if there were no necessary continuum between gestation and parenting, these surrogacy centers would not have to exert such tremendous efforts to ensure that the surrogates understand that they are in no way parents-to-be. Babysitters don’t have to told that the children they mind are not their own, and if surrogacy is just a very long babysitting job, then why do those who do it have to be told and reminded repeatedly that they have no parental claims at all?

Sincerely,

PJ:

You think carrying a baby to term inside your body is comparable to babysitting? How little respect do you have for women? I just don't know what world you live in.

Me:

You won’t or can’t answer my question, and so you try to misdirect by accusing me of misogyny. That’s the kind of sophistry I’ve come to expect from you, PJ. No, PJ, I do not think that pregnancy is babysitting. I think that it is the necessary and normal beginning of a mother’s life long relationship with her child. I think this because I think pregnancy is actually part of parenthood. You, Mr. PJ, are the one who denies that pregnancy is a part of parenthood when you claim that motherhood is simply surrogacy and as such has no inherent connection with parenthood. And according to your conception of “parenthood”, which is strictly the raising of the child AFTER birth, pregnancy cannot be anything more than just babysitting. If pregnancy has nothing to do with “parenting”, then pregnancy like babysitting is merely keeping care of the baby until the parents arrive or return.



[Three days later he still has not responded. He usually responds to me within an hour or two. Not this time. I wonder why.]

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