For Christmas, my MIL got each of her kids a copy of Jon Stewart's Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, and I've been reading it just about every day. Jon Stewart is a pretty funny guy and the book is very entertaining, as well as mildly informative. As I read it I'm reminded of things I learned in middle and high school school science classes, and then I giggle at his sarcastic comments and think, "If an alien did happen get their hands on this book after the human race was wiped out, it would never understand these jokes and would probably think we were really freaking stupid." But I digress. ...Already.
The other night I got to the section on "life," and there's a list of the scientific criteria required for an object to be considered alive. I know you still have them memorized from 7th grade, but just in case you missed class that day, they are: Organization, Homeostasis, Metabolism, Growth, Response to stimuli, and Reproduction. And now you can guess where I'm going with this.
Lately I've been
Thankfully I don't see very much of this in real life, but I can't even describe how sick it makes me when I see ignorant comments on online infertility articles saying stuff like,
- "Infertility is God's/nature's way of controlling the population,"
- "Obviously there's a reason you're infertile, quit being selfish - stop trying to conceive your child and (just) adopt," and,
- "You're being pretty dramatic, so what if you can't have kids? It's not like you need to! I don't have kids and I'm perfectly happy about it!"
So when I'm reminded that one of the basic criteria required just to be considered ALIVE is the ability to reproduce, my jaw drops that so many people think infertility is no big deal. Or that it's some kind of punishment. Or that there's some deeper reason for it that somehow benefits the rest of the world (i.e. population control). Or particularly that any reaction to discovering you're infertile besides simply and quietly accepting it, stop trying to conceive, and adopting a child instead, is selfish and egotistical.
Well guess what? It's not selfish or egotistical to have the desire to reproduce. It's LIFE. Life wants to continue and it tends to do whatever it can to survive. Remember that line from Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way?" It's true. Seriously, just think about your garden - you work hard to keep it pretty, tearing out weeds like crazy, but no matter how weed-free you manage to get it those damn weeds are always going to find their way back in there. It's what they do, and that's just plants! Animals, and certainly humans are also wired to perpetuate their species and keep living. I believe that a desire to create genetic offspring is evidence of that. And I believe that desire, for many if not most of us, goes right to the core of our humanity. Which is why those of us unable to act on it feel like the very foundation of our lives is shaken, damaged, or sometimes irreparably broken.
So to anyone who still believes that infertility is anything other than a disease or malfunction of the human body that Infertiles have every right to treat however they damn well please, to quote Frank Costanza, "I got a lot of problems with you people!" And I respectfully request that you immediately cease and desist with your self-righteous, know-it-all, judgmental, and often downright mean (and even more often downright stupid) assertions. We don't need any more proof than we already have that the wrong people were "chosen" to be infertile.