From now on I’m crowdsourcing everything. Grey Areas is a masterstroke.
So! I have been thinking about this lately, but am yet to come across any feminist blogging on it: what’s the feminist stance on surrogate mothers and the mothers deciding to keep their children? On one hand, that is most definitely breaking some type of contract, usually coupled with extorting the couple who is following the surrogate through her pregnancy, but on the other, it’s the woman’s body, and she is still allowed bodily autonomy. So what’s the right answer? I am leaning towards, if the surrogate decides to keep the baby, she should cough up all the money the couple was giving her and pay some sort of fee for flaking on them, but I’d like to hear some other perspectives on this.
[Note: Sometimes men are surrogates because some men have wombs.]
What is the Feminist Stance? I have no idea. TBD gets one request of the Feminist Godhead a month, and I got drunk last week and wasted it on a question about Vajazzling. But I can give you the perspective of a Gay Dude who has had babies on the BRAIN recently. On one hand, the scientist in me knows that this biological clock stuff is just a evolutionary manipulation that I could easily ignore and live a much simpler life. On the other hand: Tiny Outfits. TINY OUTFITS.
This very question is the reason I’ve resolved that if I ever employ a surrogate, I’m going to find someone willing to donate eggs so the child isn’t biologically related to the surrogate. On one hand, I can certainly understand the terrible choice a surrogate is faced with in keeping a child when there are people waiting to start a family. For this reason, I’d shy away from any punitive measures against the surrogate – it isn’t an easy choice to make, and we shouldn’t demonize the person who makes it. However, the fact of the matter is that the surrogate’s pregnancy costs money, and whoever raises the child should pay for it. It wouldn’t be fair to sidle the potential parents with the bill and possibly kill their dream of parenthood because they spent their savings bringing a child into the world that would never be theirs.
A Facebook friend whom I have always privately suspected to be a huge douchebag has recently taken to posting really nasty misogynistic things about GIRLS NOT WEARING ENOUGH CLOTHES ON THIS CAMPUS or being INSUFFICIENTLY CLASSY or “hey if you are not attractive just accept that dress in a way that does not offend mine eyes,” complete with massive concern trolling about OMG YOU HAVE SO LITTLE SELF-RESPECT. Should I:
1) reply with the angry screed I initially drafted (much hissing and flailing),
2) calmly explain what is wrong with this picture in the hopes of reaching him or one of the 20-odd people who “like” his statuses, or
3) silently defriend him and field awkward questions about “HEY DO YOU TALK TO SO-AND-SO I THOUGHT HE WENT TO YOUR COLLEGE”?
[ETA DISCLAIMER: You are, of course, not obliged to do any of this. Facebook has a dynamic that is different from the rest of the Internet, because the people you are engaging with are closer in proximity. If there is a chance that calling this douche out for misogyny on Facebook will lead to retaliation in the real world, just block him and don't fucking worry about it.]
1. Before you do anything, you need to realize something: You cannot stop him from saying these things. You can’t. That would require you to convince Facebook to deactivate his account, and that just isn’t going to happen, because free speech. So if his endgame is to make you angry and get a rise out of you, and your endgame is to get him to stop, all he has to do to win is continue doing what he is doing.
2. When you push past all the surface shit that makes you hate him, you’ll find really deep-seated shit that makes you pity him. Once you see him as pitiful, it will be easier to pick him apart without letting his shit make you angry. Most bullies, when they are being attacked, have a standard repertoire that they launch at critics, hoping to anger or silence them. Most of them don’t have a plan B if that doesn’t work. So let’s talk about him for a moment.
3. He believes that his misogyny makes him unique. Does he know Feminism exists? Of course! But he’s too much of a free thinker, too much of a rebel to listen to tiny ladybrains. He thinks “I know this shit isn’t POLITICALLY CORRECT, it isn’t what I’m SUPPOSED to be saying, but I think for myself.” And how does he show what an original mind he is? BY UNCRITICALLY DEEP THROATING THE PATRIARCHY.
4. Someone told him when he was very young that it was a man’s job to control women. But they overdid it. Because he will never be able to control women as much as he thinks is his right. Porn, advertising, and the patriarchy have given him a clear idea of how women are supposed to behave, and he’s too fucking stupid to realize that real women aren’t going to be his blow-up doll.
5. Think of yourself as a scorpion. A feminist scorpion. Your plan should be to deliver a quick, stinging attack, and then end the conversation. As soon as you do that, he’s going to want to engage you in debate, because he wants control over you, because you are a woman. When he can’t work your poison out, he’ll tell himself and his cronies a tidy little story about “that stupid [slur] that blah blah blah” and gleefully go back to his misogyny.
6. Sit down, type out a response to him that is sufficiently cutting, and at the end of the response say something along these lines: “I know it is desperately important to you what other men think of you, so you are going to respond to this like you think what I said was funny or ridiculous. But we know better, don’t we?” Nobody wants to have their actions anticipated, and it will really piss him off. After that defriend him, block him, and ignore any responses from him or his ilk.
Let us know how it went down.
If you would like to have your question answered, drop a message in my ask box.