What happens when you can create a baby, without creating a mother?
Isn’t the buying and selling of humans, part of the definition of slavery? 🤔
Is it wrong to feel like an ancient Roman just before the fall praying that the barbarians will crash the gates and get it over with?
The science is clear about the changes physiologically and psychologically in the mother and even in the father after the baby is born.
To interrupt these natural changes in physiology is hubris of epic proportions and for anyone who has ever read Greek tragedy... that never ends well.
To me the core of the feminist problem is the failure to acknowledge what the author phrases very well: '...it’s a magnificent superpower.' And men can't do it so (mostly) men try to find a technical substitute that negates the power of that superpower from everyone.
Until we acknowledge that men and women are different and have different innate capabilities, we will continue to define female 'liberation' in terms of men and men's accomplishments. In the process women lose the very fundamental elements of being women. I'm not saying that in the political arena, social arena, etc. that women are less or should have lesser opportunities. I am saying that we lose something vital when we define women's success in terms of male capabilities and ignore how powerful & necessary women as women actually are.
This raises so many issues people do not want to talk about. One of the more controversial regards bonding between adoptive parents and children. I have five children, the younger two were adopted as infants. The first was still a newborn, at three weeks of age when we took custody. 29 years later our attachment is still the most fragile of all the children, and he has difficulty with relationships. An exceptionally handsome young man he cannot really give of himself to any large degree, is very self contained, secretive, and difficult to understand. For my part I have never really felt the same level of attachment to him as the other children.
The youngest child was adopted at five months. Our attachment was reciprocal and strong from the beginning, and he is very attached to his siblings as well. His older adopted brother refuses all attempts at a relationship from his siblings. A complicating factor is that his adoption was interrupted when he was 13 months old by his birth mother. She kept him for 36 hours, which was so traumatic for him she begged to return him and he slept for 24 hours, and took weeks to settle back into a routine. Adoptive parents need to be aware that it is not exactly the same as giving birth, and be prepared for the differences.
I cannot imagine the damage these permutations of birthing “arrangements” will have on the children. We are a hideous species.
Artificial Wombs: So what you're saying is "let's just not go there". I agree, let's not.
This is horrifying. Babies in the womb should hear their mothers’ voices, experience physical touch (when you rub your belly). Would a baby created this way know his mother’s smell?
Interactions between mothers and babies in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters are part of the baby’s brain development. Babies learn in the womb. https://www.washington.edu/news/2013/01/02/while-in-womb-babies-begin-learning-language-from-their-mothers/
I support using such a technology to save premature babies. But nothing else. I imagine it’s much harder to start from an embryo without a mother (people think you can just pump in the right hormones, not realizing how a woman’s brain and body are involved), so the restorative use will probably be available first.
We are insane. Technically.
What kind of human being would result of gestation by a machine? What deformity of the senses, emotions, mind, sociality?
What kind would result from gestating a baby via a machine? Again: What deformity of the senses, emotions, mind, sociality?
"A baby can’t survive on its own."
And by baby, we mean: Human being.
It takes roughly 20 years, two parents, with many others helping, for example, just to get one out the door that can function reasonably well as an adult. And even then, we still need others. We die without others. The lockdowns showed the limits of tech-driven hermitage.
No (hu)man is an island. Resist the myth of the autonomous self. We must say, NO! WE WILL NOT!
(Terrific piece, Mary.)
Bravo. Already we’re seeing the negative consequences of redefining and fracturing the family. Do we really want to go further and eliminate Mother & Child altogether? And to these faith in tech & progress people pushing for this false liberation- What would your mother say?
The West is moving from children without fathers to children without mothers.
Hellbent on entering the dark age of unstoppable progress.
The rest of us will sit here and watch. We will also like a bird nesting an orphan egg, sit on the idea of the family till some remnant Wester tribe, in the aftermath of progress is ready to pick it up again and reproduce naturally.
We will wait.
As a person who will likely never know who her parents are due to a closed, private adoption through an unknown doctor, a sealed birth certificate (both still legal in 39 states), this is my biggest concern: the demand by adoption agencies, fertility clinics that offer surrogacy, and the artificial womb movement that we forget what we've known for thousands of years—there is a bond between mother and child that occurs well before birth and grows deeper after. When you sever that bond, you create lifelong attachment issues (8 years before I'd marry my husband) and fear of abandonment in the child, with long-term depression likely for the mother. The mother-child bond has insured our survival as a species. The ease and speed with which contemporary culture and medicine has erased it in service of profit, serving the wants of prospective parents and not the needs of the child, is breathtaking.
Pregnancy and motherhood are beneficial not only to the infant; the mother benefits equally in body and soul. I speak as a woman who birthed and nursed three.
- SF recommendation related to this topic: "Exogenesis" by Peco Gaskovski
- Instead of artificial wombs, brain-dead women might be exploited for gestation; see SSF's report on the "bio-ethicists" thinking about that: https://fackel.substack.com/p/remember-zombie-pregnancies-more
My favourite is women that rationalise surrogacy based on Marxist-feminist theory around the right to economic equality with men. And then go and outsource it to another women in Guatemala for a fraction of the cost. So principled!
Anything remotely transhuman is best understood as idolatry, the worship of the false god of technology. The Bible has a lot to say about this.
Trying to argue from liberal enlightenment ideology is pointless, this is a moral question.
Artificial wombs open the door to so much horror. Imagine the new potential in human experimentation! With no mother there to refuse or rebel, compliance is no limit anymore, only engineering, industry, and money. The consciences of scientists and bureaucrats are jokes; they will convince themselves that what they do is certainly done for the greater good.
Spot on as usual Mary! Womankind thanks you, and all the wonderfully brave heroes like you!
The only thing I know is that with every day that passes, the world seems more like a Philip K. Dick novel - or a Bela Lugosi serial.