Thursday, March 23, 2006

Missing dads

Now this is a sad story. However, I don't think the author really gets the point. For in making this statement:

Our embrace of superficiality is rarely so vividly displayed as when an African-American woman chose a Latino donor so her child would have lighter skin and nonkinky hair. A Jewish woman opted for a 6-foot-2 German/Catholic with blond curls and blue eyes in order to avoid Jewish traits she found unappealing and, one can't help proposing, to make a point her therapist can sort out.

Of course, people who marry and couple the traditional way also make genetic selections, if often unconsciously. But the calculated, literally detached selection of a stranger's body fluids versus the random matings that passion inspires feels as sterile as the vial containing the lucky specimen. Obviously, there is difference between infertile couples who resort to sperm donation and single women who can't manage a relationship with men for whatever reason.

The appeal to obviousness is somewhat lost on me, as it isn't obvious. Both are using technology to get something they don't have a right to, but feel that they do. Both are living, in some sense, a lie. One leads quite inexorably to the other.

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