Get Over Your Genes

You may have heard about the girl who is going to get a transplanted womb from her mother. Personally, the story just pisses me off.

No, I don’t think We Have Gone Too Far or This Technology Will Destroy The World. She’s not going to stop being human, the baby won’t be a monster, and the fact that it’s her mother’s womb is not that fucking weird. It’s just an organ, OK? It’s hardware, like a RAM chip or a hard drive. And it’s awesome that our technology is evolving so that we can get better and better at transplanting organs.

In fact, transplanting organs is fantastic. It’s one of those technologies we should be investing our billions in, instead of using them to destroy the lives of others (or allowing a few lunatics to hoard them). And you know what would be even better? Artificial organs. And anyone who tells me that a person with an artificial heart or liver or lung is “not fully human anymore” is a fucking idiot who can fuck right off. I really have no patience for this technophobic pseudo-mystical mumbo-jumbo.

But here’s a question: why the hell does this girl need a new womb? It’s not like a heart or a liver or a lung – she doesn’t need it to survive, or to maintain a high quality of life. Those are legitimate goals. But is it really all that fucking important that her child’s DNA share a certain similarity to her own? Is that what parenthood comes down to? Is it worth risking that her child inherits the same condition just so that a few genes can be passed on?

In other words, if you’re so desperate to have a child – and that is perfectly understandable – then adopt.

I’m not kidding. There are thousands upon thousands of children in the world who have no parents. They are just as capable of love and happiness as anyone else. They’re not, to use a despicable phrase, damaged goods. They’re just children in need of parents.

And screw the people who say “it’s not the same.” It’s not the same because you don’t want it to be the same. An adopted child who is treated with love will love its parents as much as a child who happens to have been in the mother’s womb. There is no difference. That’s not an opinion, that’s the truth – as thousands upon thousands of cases around the world show. Meanwhile, most cases of rape and abuse come from inside families. Having a penis and a vagina does not make you into suitable parents – love and caring and commitment and patience do that.

How self-centered do you have to be to insist that your child must carry your DNA, must come from your womb – to put another child, possibly carrying the same genetic disorder as you are, into this world, when there are so many who need a home. Is anything which is not physically yours so repulsive that you’ve got to go this far out of your way to create something pure?

It’s all bullshit, anyway. The child is not a copy of you, and neither are you one being. Your DNA is similar, not identical; that’s why sexual reproduction exists in the first place. So, in short: being biologically related to your child is essentially irrelevant. It doesn’t affect your emotional closeness, it doesn’t affect your ability to teach and inspire, it’s irrelevant to human evolution, and it has no significance apart from entirely fictional ideas of “having the same blood.”

And in the end we’re all related, anyway – me, you, a gorilla, an earthworm.

I know several people who are adopted or who have adopted. They do not have “issues.” They are, in fact, some of the sweetest and nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m sure there are also adopted children who are unhappy, just like there are happy and unhappy biological children. It’s got nothing to do with their macromolecules; it’s got everything to do with love.

Now, I don’t hate this girl for getting the womb transplant. She’s just an individual, acting in the ways that her environment has taught her to believe in; it’s those unscientific and philosophically idiotic ways of thinking that I’m opposed to. We’ve got to start looking beyond these ancient clichés. Our genes are part of who we are and how we exist in the world, but they’re not everything – in fact, in these great civilizations that we have built, they are less important than they have ever been in our history. And that’s a good thing – that’s a great thing. The human struggle has always been to create a world in which our minds can be more free from the limitations of the physical. Love is one of the highest expressions of that struggle. So let’s recognize that, and get over our fucking genes.

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