We should have a solid definition of the basic things in life!
I feel powerless to start my entry with the loudest and strongest conviction but the statement above. It is the most that I can say.
This entry is triggered by the recent (and some not so recent) news about babies. More particularly, how babies come into this world. Babies do not come to a couple’s life delivered by a stork, contrary to the bedtime stories we read to our toddlers. This stork version may have been creatively told to avoid embarrassment between adults and children but come to think of it, even the bible did not talk about baby creation. The bible talked about the human creation of Adam and Eve, nothing beyond that. The truth about and behind sexuality and sex were shielded from the young… and some adults, for that matter. There has always been a sense of tact and prudence about these two things, lest they shock the unprepared. In time, each one of us discover the truth and the cycle continues.
Until… until man slowly discovered that there is more to the limiting lables of a man and a woman. The gays and the lesbians would like to be acknowledged for what and who they are. While some parts of the world are slowly accepting (some have fully accepted) that we have four (not two) genders, other parts have gone beyond social acknowledgement. A good number of countries have legalized same sex marriage. Fact is, there is still a great divide between social acceptance and legal acceptance. To this day, I haven’t made up my mind whether or not I favor legalized same sex marriage. Reality is, I don’t think it is my domain to intrude into other people’s path to happiness. I fully respect the gays and the lesbians of this world. I have mentioned in my previous posts that I have gay friends, best friends even. I came to know some lesbians and I never had any issues with them. No matter which side you take, the lesbians factually and legally remain biologically female. The gays factually and legally remain biologically male.
Until… until the medical geniuses of this world discovered how to bend the law to satisfy the yearnings of the few. The medical geniuses can make a biologically born female become a biologically walking male and vice versa. The biologically born female/male can now be a legalized male/female. With this legalized gender, the biologically born female/male is now a married man/woman living an ideal family life according to the legal definition of a family. Personally, this is where my strongest conviction for resistance starts. Because this is where it is no longer just about the two individuals’ pursuit of happiness and acceptance. If the definition of a family in this case is limited to the two individuals who yearn to be accepted for who they are, then maybe, just maybe… But this “family” defined according to these self-declared enlightened creatures involve other lives… the lives of innocent children.
Look at these cases:
The most recent that made the headlines and was even given expensive and extensive airtime by Barbara WAlters in her show “The View” was that of “The Pregnant Man”. Barbara Walters aptly titled the episode “What is a Man? What is a Woman?”.
Thomas Beatie is a legalized male after undergoing sex change. He was born Tracy Lagondino, a beautiful woman. He may even have been a gorgeous woman, gorgeous enough to be a model and a beauty pageant finalist. By his own self-declared identity, he went beyond lesbianism. He had himself legally declared a male and took pains to look male. More male than a regular male would look like. He achieved only a few in this world has achieved. He got himself a wife, Nancy. They lived a “normal” family life. They have children courtesy of his wife’s children from a previous marriage. Not content with that, they decided they want to have their own biological child. Who’s to get pregnant? Nancy can’t. She had hysterectomy. Then, tey decided that the man of the house should get pregnant. Nancy performed the artificial insemination and what have they got? A baby? They then sold the exclusive pictures of the baby, just like Brangelina:-).
He announced in the same show that he is expecting again. How will they explain to their child/ren their peculiar family circumstances? They are beginning the “indoctrination” now. He shared during the interview that he is currently reading a book to the baby where a male sea horse gives birth to the baby seas horses. My blood reaches beyond boiling point at this display of self-satisfaction.
A less abominable, but still disturbing, news garnered media attention in India when a baby, named Manji Yamada, was born from a surrogate mother. How would a baby in this situation absorb her “creation” when she grows up as an intelligent, discerning adult? She was born from an Indian woman who is not related to her in any genetic way. Who knows how many babies have this Indian woman given birth to and how many more will she have the capacity to give birth to? You see, she lives in a city in India where commercial surrogacy is legal. Notoriously termed “wombs for rent”, the women carry the fetus in their wombs for a very substantial amount. The biological father is known as he and his wife were the ones who commissioned for the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the couple divorced before the baby was born and as a result, the baby is left with no legal mother. The biological mother is unknown and the identity is well-kept in the medical books for the sake of medical secrecy as she is, after all, only known as an unknown donor. Do the people involve feel powerful (God?) that they can create a human being? Poor innocent, baby.
Her legal identity crisis had been temporarily resolved as she was given temporary documents from India and Japan. Her legal identify will definitely be permanently resolved. We have ample supply of legal geniuses to do the job. But what of her identity? How would she resolve this question with the circumstances surrounding her birth?
With the above scenario, should we say goodbye to concerns on maternal emotional state during pregnancy and pre-natal care? Numerous studies have given us good reasons to believe that the emotional state of a pregnant woman can influence the growth of her baby and the emotional state of the mother can have lifelong conseqeunces for the child. Who is the mother here? Whose emotional state do we look into? Or do we just abandon these firmly-planted theories for new theories that will accommodate these “technological advancements?”
Will we have more Thomas Beaties who like to go around with words justifying their “wants” to be accepted and acknowledged? Though this desire to be accepted and acknowledged is more like an arrogant throwing of “We are creating a new family, and this is how we make it and define it. You people around the world should accept it”. With the commercial surrogacy in India, there could be no denying that babies have been born this way and the practice is likely to continue as it proves to be a profitable business for the young women there.
What of these children then? They are the products of the choices made by the people before them who claim to love them and would bring them up in this world with all the love and care that a currently acknowledged normal family could give, perhaps even more, they confidently add.
How far can humans go to display their geniuses? A CNN report tried to make the reading public aware of a new technology called “inheritable genetic modification” where “genese can be modified in eggs, sperm or early embryos and it results in the altered genes being passed on to future generations”. Can we, in the future, shop for designer babies? Would you like to?
While I admire the endless quest for knowledge, I would like to retain the basic things that we have or we don’t have in life. I don’t see why we should challenge nature, more so go against it. Are the emotional consequences worth it? Must the world be asked to subscribe to and warmly embrace these new definitions, identities and technological advances?
What about the babies?