To Anti-Surrogacy Feminists,
To Anti-Surrogacy Feminists,
A quick search of the phrase “surrogacy feminism” brings up a piping hot stream of opinion pieces from either side. Both pro feminists and “anti-feminists” (crazy that people can be anti-equal rights) have their own varied thoughts on the ethics and morals of surrogacy. Phrases like “Nobody chooses to be a surrogate,” and “It is nothing but exploitation” sound remarkably familiar to the feminist arguments against legalization of prostitution and abortion.
Opinions and think pieces positing that fields involving women’s bodies cannot exist without exploitation of women, fail to realize first that prostitution, abortion, and surrogacy will continue to exist, regardless of legalization. If these areas, including surrogacy, are not provided legal, safe, and ethical avenues, then parents will go to other countries. Parents will find other ways.
This idea that surrogacy somehow crosses a line, because it “exploits and coerces women” seems remarkably myopic in a world where the act of being a worker
and employee in and of itself is often incredibly dehumanizing. Should we tell women that they aren’t allowed to work at 7/11, because they are “coerced into a power structure”.
Drugs won the war on drugs. And prostitution is illegal in much of the US, but sex work didn’t just cease existing. Telling people “NO” instead of figuring out ways to keep them safe will never, ever work.
If you think surrogacy should be banned, consider also banning women’s participation in clinical studies, because they didn’t want to take those pills, they needed money to pay for food. While you’re at it — make sure to ban women working as models (as they are exploited and used for their bodies) and waiters (who continue to be forced into a power structure by someone wealthier than them, who demands their time and labor). Make sure you force women to stay indoors and sew or cook because they can’t make their own choices.
I’m kidding, that’s all absurd!
Do you know what else is absurd? Thinking consensual and ethical surrogacy crosses a line as if it is somehow worse than any other paying occupation. Consider that your aversion and disgust towards surrogacy could be founded in an internalized mindset. One that is set on conflating a woman’s worth with her ability to have children. A mindset where allowing her to participate in an activity that could disrupt that is inconceivable. Consider that your own outrage and emphatic statements about exploitation are actually tools of oppression in and of itself. Consider the way a women’s agency is surely threatened the louder people speak over her.
And if you are still struggling with the notion of surrogacy, the importance of preserving a woman’s choice, and alternative planning when it comes to building a family — make sure to let every infertile person know that they can’t have biological children. There’s more than you think.
An Agency Founded By Women Who Chose To Be Surrogates