Aside from the cancers and death mentioned previously some “significant” risks cited by bioethicists include but are not limited to: the commodification of human life, compromised issues of identity, and the risk of women not selected to be donors facing a risk to their psychological self-identity.
We want our biological makeup to be desired. It’s hard enough feeling genuinely wanted as a young woman roaming New York City in search not just of success, but also love and sex. To hear “confirmation” from a medical professional that your genetic makeup is inferior could very well be worse for a young woman’s self-confidence than receiving a Facebook message along the lines of “Hey, I just think you should know, I’m not really looking for anything romantic right now …” or as is more often the case, no message at all.
…being a woman under late capitalism is confusing to begin with. The glass ceiling still exists. It is smeared in glittery pink paint, with the phrases “for her” and “goddess” scribbled in curly font, and in some places scrubbed so clean with streak-free Windex, denial, and a false sense of equality that often, a woman crashes uterus-first into it under the auspices of undeterred ascent. This past year, a few tokens of success were won and doled: Some women in the U.S. can legally marry their female partners for the first time, China saw its first female astronaut, Saudi Arabia its first female athlete.
But we still, incredibly, receive less pay for equal work. 2012 saw the passing of anti-choice legislation, one of the more egregious internationally-reported cases of gang rape of a woman, a teenage girl blamed by a high school football coach for her own well-documented sexual assault on national news, and a court determining it was acceptable for a woman to be fired based upon her “irresistibility.” Sexually promiscuous women are still called sluts and whores by their peers but boys will always be boys. I’ve seen it when I’ve been or felt sexually harassed, looked down upon, paid less, ignored while asking for compensation, and asked — or, rather, told — to do extra work without being compensated more. It’s been assumed that I would be thrilled to “help out.”
How does the prospect of selling eggs fit into this perplexing time to sport a vagina? Egg donation, as an option, can be seen at once demeaning and empowering: A job that no one else but a woman can have — or rather, a racially pre-selected, usually white, struggling, middle-class, educated woman — can have. For the infertile, the homosexual, the single, and the well-to-do, egg donation is another of the joyous luxuries of modern science. But then there are the women who act as that market’s laborers and nameless vessels; those who are themselves farmed — the anonymous sows, cows, or bitches pumped with hormones and praised for their pedigree and exaggerated numbers of follicles.