The End of The Male in The Female is Near Who Needs a Man Anyway
When I focus on what appears to me to be an increasing trend, I cannot but conclude that there are a significant number of females of the human species who do not care very much for the warm and tender touch of a man. As I explained in my comment to the CNN online article below, this seeming desire to do without men has taken on the appearance of hate. Read on to see where all of this has taken us.
Editor’s note: Aarathi Prasad is a London-based biologist and science writer and the author of “Like a Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex”.
(CNN) — Last year on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the contraceptive pill its inventor Carl Djerassi spoke of the coming dramatic changes to reproductive options — of the technologies that will have just as big an impact on society in the 50 years to come.
After sex without reproduction, reproduction without sex.
In an article in the UK’s “traditional values” tabloid, the Daily Mail, titled “A Terrifying Future for Female Fertility,” Djerassi said, “There are an enormous number of well-educated, proficient women who, when facing the biological clock, first pay attention to their professional ambitions…in the next 20 years, more young people will freeze their eggs and [sperm] in their 20s, and bank them for later use. They will do away with the need for contraception by being sterilised, and withdraw their eggs and sperm from the bank when they are ready to have a child via IVF.”
That is certainly one option as we develop greater capabilities to store eggs more reliably and safely so that they are not damaged by the freezing/thawing process meant to preserve them. But in the next 20 years, there could be other developments on their way to the clinic. For example — also to avert damage — freezing strips of ovarian tissue instead of eggs, or tapping into recently identified reserves of ovarian stem cells that could be turned into a fresh supply of eggs for a woman, at any age; or even creating to order eggs (or sperm) from skin or bone marrow stem cells of men and women.
Early experiments with mice have shown that both sperm and eggs can be generated from the stem cells of males, and eggs from that of females, and that they can be fertilized to produce viable young. Djerassi described the idea of being able to access healthy eggs later in life as something set to be a fundamental tool of family planning, and one that will empower women just as the pill has. He talked of female colleagues on tough career trajectories just at the time in their life when they are most fertile, and then on into the years leading into sterility.
It’s no coincidence in the decade of our life when we are most biologically capable of reproducing, men and women are also working full steam on their studies or on building their careers. In our 30s, fertility declines – after 35, exponentially so — and specifically for women. Around age 50, while the rest of our faculties continue functioning beautifully, the ability to reproduce comes to an abrupt stop. There have recently been a spate of reports and discussions about equality — the dearth of women in science, on the boards of top companies and of the pay gap that has yet to be bridged, but it is not clear that those taking part in this discussion fully appreciate that in pursuing in parallel the fulfilling goals of education, work and having a family, we are limited by both social and biological barriers.
In achieving the hoped-for 40% of leadership positions being held by women, executive bodies like the European Commission and governments could, for example, legislate interventions like free or cheap childcare in all workplaces. However, only technology can tackle the biological brick wall of menopause, with all its detrimental effects on a woman’s health, and especially at a time when she is likely to live another 50 years in this condition.
In the quest for reproduction, only technology can give same-sex couples the chance of having their own genetic children. If eggs can be made from the stem cells of men, with the advent of an artificial womb (already in use for sharks, in development with mammals and projected to be in use for humans within 100 years), it will also give them an organ they currently have to pay surrogate mothers for the use of. So if it is to be the egalitarian society that we hope to see for ourselves and our children — particularly our daughters, and those whose relationships and family choices still find themselves the topic of social and religious debate — then technology that gives an individual the capability to generate healthy eggs and sperm from his/her own body and allows a baby to be gestated independently could offer us a more ethical option than what we do today.
In our world, girls study just as hard as boys but face far more difficult choices once in the workplace. To make money, poor women from countries like India or the Ukraine “donate” eggs or their wombs, or churches refuse to marry gay couples because they cannot be fruitful and multiply.
Freedom, power, choice? It’s the alternative that sounds terrifying to me.
My comment to Reproduction without sex, a liberating future:
Hate of Men Comment Posted CNN 12-21-12
It seems to me that there is a segment of society that does not think very highly of men. It is a form of hate and it certainly could have its roots in the beginning. Genesis is the book of the beginning, of the creation of life and all that is. This is what the bible tells us. There are two verses that certainly could be the seeds of hate.
Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of which God had warned them not to do. For this transgression, he placed on them, for lack of a better word, a curse. This could be construed as the first instance of hate. And the curse that he placed on Eve is exceptionally harsh: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Not only has the wrath come down on Man and woman, the man shall rule over the woman.
The curse on Eve would appear to be laced with a bit of venom that is at the core, to this day, of the man/woman relationship. In the real world, God’s design for woman plays a major role in what we think of each other. And if we tell the truth most of the time what we think is not very good.
If you choose to take the bible as the word of God or not, there is no denying that the treatment of man and woman is not equal, nor is it meant to be. It is the way life is. And with no doubt is a cause of resentment and hate. No person with a sense of self wants to be ruled over. This curse or will of God any right-thinking person would see it, as it would be felt. And find it hard to deny that it would not be an easy thing to live with. It is not a stretch to think that Eve would have hate in her heart for not only man but also God for bringing on her such a horrible fate. To have Adam as her master, the only man there is, could not have been an easy thought to think.
It is not easy to dodge what is plain to see. Not just in eons past, but what we see today. Perhaps that is why there is such a high rate of divorce and couples finding it so hard to stay together. You read and hear it all the time that a marriage takes work. I say work is what we do to get what we want and need, we should not have to work as hard to keep it. With so much work, how would you find time and space to appreciate the life that you have? It is certainly one of those things that should cause you to think. But if this is in fact true—as it appears that it is— the hate we see to this day is firmly rooted in the past. There has been fertile ground from the beginning. It is clear that God’s words would be reason enough for Eve to be the birth mother of hate and female resentment. We see it all around us. It festers and comes to a head much too often.
Now what say you? Please let me know what you think. I look forward to your comments and keeping the dialog going. We learn so much by sharing. Peace.