Saturday, September 14, 2013

Womb Privilege: The Last Frontier in Equal Rights

Aint Studying You received this letter in response to the proposal that we reconsider the use of the term White Privilege in 2013.

Dear Aint Studying You:

I am a single gay male in my mid-thirties. I want a child--well, a child that I don't have to be financially responsible for. So, I want a friend's child to be named after me.

One of my longtime friends, a lesbian, is having one--any day now. Said lesbian friend rejected me long ago as a sperm donor, despite the fact that I fit her IQ and demographic markers for the position. She said she just thought it would be too weird and "incestuous" because we're such good friends and also because she was afraid I might not renounce all paternal rights. Such a  litigious mind! (Quiet as it's kept, I think she didn't want the baby to have a gay father. Oh, but two mommies are ok?! The irony!) I swallowed the rejection and soldiered on.

As a consolation prize, I requested, in honor of our decades-long friendship, that she name the child after me--male or female. After all, I will certainly bear no children and I will likely not sire any, either. But in a display of what can only be understood as middle-class, cis-gender, lesbian feminist privilege run entirely amok, she has refused the naming request categorically. As I was thinking about being frozen out of this ceremony, I realized we are going to need a name for a phenomenon far more powerful than white privilege or male privilege, which are so clearly on the wane in the age of Obama. WOMB PRIVILEGE: the power that all women exercise over all men--but especially the socially vulnerable, nonreproductive population of gay men with college educations and jobs but no children. WOMB PRIVILEGE: it's mothers acting as monopoly capitalists, using their uteruses to enclose the commons of the child (whom the village, after all, is raising), to turn a human being into her private property, and then assert naming rights.

It's neoliberalism, homophobia, and reverse sexism unleashed and on the rampage. Therefore, I say, let womb privilege be the new target of our collective radical ire.

Because Matthewsula is a wonderful name.

P.S. She's light-skinneded, too.

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