Rmaxgenactivepua brought us this webpage where a woman talks about the fallout from artificial wombs. It’s an enlightening piece of women’s fear of artificial wombs. Just look at what the author has to say:
The current War on Women pales in comparison to the potential impact that ectogenesis, a technology in which a human fetus gestates completely out of a mother’s body, will have.
The war on women is a myth, but this means that anyone is who paranoid enough to believe in the nonexistent war on women will be deathly afraid of artificial wombs.
What does it mean to sever human “birth” from the human body? This connection, between women and babies, is one of the sole sources of power that women have in some societies.
That isn’t true, but most of women’s power is derived directly or indirectly from childbirth. From this and the rest of the article, it’s clear that the author realizes that with other options for children, plenty of men will forgo dealing with women which destroys women’s power.
Ann Oakley’s book The Captured Womb: A History of the Medical Care of Pregnant Women illustrates how ectogenesis would be part of a long-standing process by which virtually all male and often misogynistic medical cultures have taken control of birth and women’s wombs in the name of science. In this framework, ectogenesis will potentially exaggerate preexisting inequities and biases. In this equation women aren’t liberated, they are further subjugated and alienated from their own bodies and abilities. This Handmaiden’s Talescenario is fairly believable if you pay any attention to, for example, Rick Santorum’s antediluvian reproductive rights agenda and the number of people willing to vote for him.
Prominent feminists and activists, including Andrea Dworkin and Janice Raymond, have concluded that not only will women be further marginalized and oppressed by this eventuality, but they will become obsolete.
“Misogynistic medical cultures” produced things like the use of forceps in childbirth which saved many women’s lives. This tells us that what women are afraid of with artificial wombs is bigger than just artificial wombs themselves. What women are afraid of is the use of any technology in childbirth, even if they would otherwise die without it. What science and modern medicine has done is not just made childbirth safer for women, but it has also demystified it. That demystification has lessened women’s power even when it has benefited them.
Then it gets silly. The author starts arguing that Tradcons are going to merge with Transhumanists to create some sort of misogynist tradcon cyborg that uses artificial wombs to oppress women. It’s guaranteed that tradcons will oppose artificial wombs, and one of the reasons they will is because they’re white knights for women. What this really shows is that for feminists all opposition looks like a tradcon even when that doesn’t make sense.
Fertility, and the ability to be the species’ reproductive engine, are virtually the only resources that women collectively control, they argue. And, although women do have other “value” in a patriarchal society–child rearing, for example–gestation remains, worldwide, the most important. Even in the most female-denigrating cultures women are prized, if only, for their childbearing. If you take that away, then what? This technology becomes another form of violence.
Perhaps women will no longer be able to hide behind childbirth and child rearing and do real work for a change. Of course, to the author, this is “violence against women”.
Other feminist analyses takes into account the class and race implications of the enthusiastic adoption of assisted reproductive technologies by the wealthy. Some, eco-feminists, relate the eventuality to correlating a general campaign against nature. Ectogenesis also opens up the real possibility of men becoming mothers and primary care takers.
This is an admission of the author’s (and other women’s) real fear of artificial wombs. Men will have children on their own, realize that they can raise them on their own, and no longer need women to help them raise children. Then women have to contribute by doing other work which scares the crap out of them. This is what the author’s (and other women’s opposition) to artificial wombs (absent a “social justice framework” as she says later in the article which means control by women) is really all about.
People have talked about how feminism has exposed the full extent of female inferiority (moral, mental, economic, spiritual, civic, physical) far more visibly than was ever possible before feminism. The author of the page I linked to is clearly afraid the artificial womb will do the same to expose female inferiority when it comes to raising children. However, she is wrong because that process has already started without artificial wombs. Growing numbers of men are coming to the realization that women’s involvement in raising children is at least unnecessary and in a lot of cases harmful. Paternity testing has shown that many women can’t be trusted to have your children instead of some other man’s children. There are already commercials on TV advertising fertility clinics abroad to single men so that single men have their own children. Artificial wombs aren’t the beginning of the process of exposing female inferiority when it comes to raising children. They’re the end. The author and her desired “social justice framework” can’t stop what has already started.