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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pregnant men

Annalee Newitz on "Pregnant Men" (yes, there have been others, and just read the comments on Alternet, a supposedly liberal site, to get a feel for the hatred out there against the likes of Beatie) (via Mombian):

So we know the answers to the "Why Beatie?" part. Every new minority needs a friendly, relatable poster child: lesbians have Ellen, and I suppose you could say mixed-race people have Barack Obama. The real question is: why now? Or even: can it happen now?

In some ways, those are the same questions people are asking about a possible Obama presidency. Can the majority of people in the United States accept a mixed-race guy in a role previously reserved for white dudes? To return to the issue of Beatie, can the majority accept a man taking on a role (pregnant dad) they'd never contemplated before, except when watching a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi comedy called Junior?

I think they can, but not for the same reasons they might accept Obama. Beatie is not a political creation like Obama -- he's the creation of medical technology, pure and simple. Hormones and surgery made him male. Artificial insemination made him pregnant. There would have been no way to accept Beatie 10 years ago because he literally could not have existed. But contemporary medical technology has given us a chance.

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