Friday, August 20, 2010
The topic of single motherhood has popped up over the last few days, with celebrities accused of glorifying the decision to select a sperm donor over a man, rendering the male species disposable and threatening to dissolute the sacred institution of the nuclear family. Despite the dramatic nature of such claims and the absence of impassioned women rallying down the streets and setting their bras to flames, there might be reasons for concern. Echoing the feminist verses of Gilman (who envisioned an ideal world where women spontaneously reproduced and lived in an all-female society of perfect peace), a recent study has suggested that society may not really need fathers at all, concluding that “despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution.” Furthermore, it’s been reported that men could even lose their role in the reproductive process itself, after human sperm was first created artificially in a laboratory. Such scientific developments, along with discreet forms of contraception (the pill) and the widespread accessibility to abortion in the Western world trigger a whole new wave of feminism. Women now have control over their lives, their bodies and their uteruses, but it appears that with this control comes an attitude that dismisses the opposite sex as simply a nuisance that gets in the way. Freedom and self-empowerment come with the pill, courage and independence come with single motherhood, but blatantly disregarding the male species should not come with feminism.