Every so often a news story like Career women empty nation’s sperm banks rears it’s ugly head, reigniting the debate between career and motherhood. Often women who choose to have a baby through artificial insemination are presented as selfish, career driven, man haters making a last grab for femininity after climbing the career ladder. The insinuation being, women shouldn’t expect to have it all because that is a privilege extended only to men in our society.
Predictably, the bulk of the 70 or so responses to this article were received from men, grumbling about how these career bitches expect too much from the male of the species. One prevailing attitude is that these ‘career women’ can’t find a fella because they’re too picky. According to some of the male respondents, these women are looking for the looks of Brad Pitt and the wealth of James Packer. This is not only ridiculous, but highly hypocritical because how many of these guys wouldn’t rather have a piece of eye-candy on their arm who is willing to support their broke arse, than the average suburban housewife?
It is grossly unfair that women in our society are still being asked to choose between career and family. Men are not expected to choose between career and parenthood. So why should it be that women are expected to make such a difficult choice?
In regards to the man drought mentioned in Ellen Connolly’s article. As a single (divorced) woman living in Sydney I can confirm there is definitely a man drought in this city, especially in the 35 to 45 age group. Most (not all) of the decent men in this age group are either married or gay. So if a woman reaches this age without finding a mate, odds are she will not be able to find one well into middle age, if she can find one at all.
I was fortunate enough to find a mate in my late teens and by the age of 22, I had given birth to two children. I was told at the time that I was throwing my life away. But I honestly believe that if I had not had my children at such a young age, I wouldn’t have had children at all. A woman in her thirties has more chance of being mugged on the streets of Sydney than finding a suitable mate in this city. So why shouldn’t a woman turn to medical technology to have a baby if she wants to. Although being raised by two parents is the ideal situation, one loving parent who is financially secure is just as capable of raising a child as two parents. With half of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s not like these kids will be the only children being raised by one parent anyway. There are lots of children being raised by women who have no significant male presence in their life at all because the biological father is completely absent.
Career women are being blamed for the sperm donor shortage in Sydney. But a much more likely culprit is recent changes in the law which has halved the number of families a single donor can donate sperm to. The law has also changed in regards to protecting the identity of a sperm donor. Men are much less likely to donate sperm when they know the children they father could track them down 18 years from now. But I guess it creates more controversy if they can blame ‘career women’ for the sperm shortage and the article by Ellen Connolly has certainly achieved this aim.