Who doesn’t love naps? I mean really, one can be bad at napping (me) but one doesn’t really hate taking a purposeful break to rest.
I like to overthink things. It's a curse. When I overthink most things, I usually just annoy my friends with overly long and fraught conversations where we pick into places that we're not entirely comfortable picking at. So in thinking about diving back into the blog, I thought I'd start to share a few of these overthinking sessions with you lovely readers. So here it is. A new series I'm calling 'Overthinking It', where I share an article, podcast, movie, tv episode, or whatever tickles my philosophical fancy and write out my thought process. I'm hoping to have these be interactive, so think about how you feel about these topics as you read and then join me in the comments section to discuss them. Everyone love coffee talk, let's make this a virtual coffee talk!
For our first topic, I chose one that has been bouncing around in my brain this week and, this being the week of #internationalwomensday, I thought it would be an interesting one to walk through.
So here's the thing: I listened to this Radiolab episode the other day about surrogacy and I cant shake it.
I don't know why.
Maybe because today is International Women's Day and because I'm in a point in my life where I've got babies on the brain fairly often, but I just cant decide how I feel about the international surrogacy that the podcast episode covered.
On the the one hand I have my really deep gut, traditional feminist reaction of: No, this is WRONG. We shouldn't do this to women, we reduce women to their womb. We shouldn't allow a woman to just be a baby factory. That was, and is in some parts of the world still, how women were treated before the advent of the modern idea of women as equals. Women pumped out baby after baby after baby because a) it was expected of them, b) it's what they're husbands and families expected of them and c) there just wasn't safe and reliable birth control and sex on-demand was expected of them. The idea of "renting a womb" has this icky feeling of reducing a woman to her parts, which we do so terribly often these day already, but in this case, it's literally reducing her to her reproductive organs. It feels wrong to think of a woman having no other way to support herself other an by taking on pregnancy which is inherently dangerous, there's just no way around that.
On the other hand, who am I to judge? Listening to the episode and hearing how these surrogates understand their pregnancies as a transaction and that's it, it sounds like they're aware of what is going on. They understand the process and everything involved and they are thus making an informed decision on using their bodies in this way. Listening to their hopes for what can be done with this money, how it can benefit their families, how it really does help them.... what can I say to that? How can I sit in judgment of them? The podcast talks about pity and how it's not fair for us to pity them, how they don't see this as an exploitative act, but as a way that they can contribute or make their lives and the lives of their family better by doing this. How do I think about that? I feel like I fall in with the podcasts host in being really infuriated about the fact that most of the money that those paying for surrogacy send ends up in the hands of middlemen, but as for the actual sum they get and how many feel it is adequate and does indeed help them. How can I judge that?
Surrogacy is an issues I've encountered before in conversations with friends an family, both gay and straight. Questions like 'would you carry a baby for a friend?' or 'would you contribute an egg for a family member to be able to have a baby with your families roots' to 'do you think this is morally wrong?'. The answers are ones I've had to think deeply about. No, I don't think I could carry for a friend of family member, mostly because I get overly attached to friends dogs when we pup-sit, so growing a person just ups that, I don't think I could carry and give up the baby, even if I wanted to. Yes I would contribute an egg to a family member to have a baby that carries our genetic heritage. Why? Because I can't find a good reason why not. If my eggs are viable and I know these family members are going to take care of that baby, then why not give that gift to them when I'm not using that egg? It feels selfish not to and there are a lot of good people out there who would raise AWESOME tiny humans, why not give something to make that happen? And lastly, is it wrong? I don't think so. If a woman wants to do this, if it TRULY is her choice, then why not? Who am I to sit in judgment on someone who wants to use herself to give to others? Even if it's a transaction? Is she properly informed? Properly compensated? Properly cared for? Will the baby be properly cared for? Are the donor parents good people? Then why not?
I mean, I guess that answers my question. Yes. Surrogacy is ok with me. Not something I could do, but something I'm good with as long as the transaction is fair and all parties involved are vetted, protected and properly cared for.
So then why does this podcast feel so weird? I guess because of the middle-men they discuss and the fact that there isn't a ton of transparency on where the bulk of the money goes. So then it's kind of back to that original question. Is this morally right when that transparency isn't there?
Oy. How about you. What do you think? Is this surrogacy ok with you? Do you have any moral barriers you're bumping up against? Do you walk away from this podcast feeling a bit weird? How would you answer those questions presented about being a surrogate yourself? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Heeeyyyoooo Internetland! I do hope everyone had a lovely week and weekend! This weekend was a purposeful exercise in taking it easy and getting a few things done that have been LONG overdue.
First, we played old people and went to the 10am showing of The Witch at our local theatre, and let me tell you... WOAH. Just... WOAHWOAHWOAH. Keep in mind this isn't a jump scare horror movie, this is a deeply disturbing piece of storytelling that focuses it's lens on a deeply religious Puritan family dynamic set in the early 1600's New England. As one of the trailers said, this tells the story of something we shouldn't be seeing, something wrong and terrible. Walking out of the theatre I just couldn't shake the feeling of being deeply creeped out. I haven't felt that way about a movie in quite some time and it was a fascinating car ride to lunch as P and I discussed what we thought about the film through our different perspectives. It just oozes feminist themes and is devastatingly gorgeous in it's authenticity and attention to detail. I HIGHLY suggest you see it. Really. It's not what you would expect, but is wonderfully thought provoking and feels really important, especially in our current culture.
Second, I finally sat down to organize my thoughts and ideas for where I plan to take this blog, in terms of content. I got a head start on several essays and am excited to finish up my first entry in the personal essay category and share it with you all. Hopefully this week. I've been working on it these last weeks since Lent has started during my quiet time and hope it will be the first of many to come. I don't want to become boring, with the same-ole same-ole content that other bloggers produce. I'm a writer and I want to exercise that muscle more on subjects beyond what I write for other outlets right now. I want to set my intentions out first, both for you and for me. I want to be sure what I'm writing is authentic and is necessary. I don't want to pour myself into something that isn't relevant or good. I'm excited... and shit scared too. #challenges
That photo up there signifies this weekend nicely. P has filled our home with mouthwatering smells today and we've been taking on some CHOICE lush reds while being absolute nerds and watching NOVA all day. It's kind of our normal and I'm ok with it :D
- Seneca on How to Fortify yourself Against Fear and Misfortune.
- A great reminder to not compare our messy creative processes to someone's end product. The hustle counts.
- Speaking of lush reds, this is my favorite right now. I'm definitely a Malbec lover, but this blend is incredible and sub $25 #win.
- Gorgeous photographs documenting female writers in ultra-conservative Northern Nigeria.
- Of course the stories of women are important, so is allowing them space to share them.
- We've earmarked our tax return for a new mattress... a KING sized mattress! I'm pretty excited and shopping around for sheets. These look pretty amazing and since I tend to overheat, the breathability is very appealing. Perhaps with this silk quilt?
I'd love to know what you all think of the idea of this being a space for personal essays and a more in-depth form of writing. Would that be something you all would be interested in? Have any topics you'd like to hear thoughts on? I've love some feedback!
7. People will totally, completely, embarrassingly misunderstand you — all the time. You can huff and puff and try and correct them, or you can put your energy into other more important things.
Must remember... MUST REMEMBER when writing on the internetz. Remember: #whatwouldlizlemondo? ...
Find 29 other fantastic realizations from Emma right here.
Happy Day-After-Valentines-Day all!
We're recovering from a blessed four-day weekend (thanks NetSuite!) that included good food, deserts out (hallloooooo lava cake!), flowers, space shuttle footies and then ended in being stuck inside after Winter Storm Olympia took over things today. P was a perfect gentleman and surprised me with a gigantic bouquet of beautiful flowers and card that gave me #allthefeelz. I also received the most beautiful new wallet after he saw me looking over earlier this year, good job love! P on the other has received a new lap-desk (nerd gift - but really, he kept stealing mine) and the most fantastic space shuttle footies that I found on ThinkGeek (double nerd!). He's worn them most of the weekend and I think it's just the sexiest thing ever :D.
Tomorrow we'll be heading back to the grind, but I do hope everyone had a lovely Valentines/Galentines Day! If you didn't receive something from someone else, dammit, buy yourself something special! you deserve it :D
- SO glad I'm not the only one who values her water bottle, thick socks, books and couch-time over parties!
- Had my breath taken away by this GORGEOUS piece of filmwork! My favorite Shakespeare work rendered so gorgeously, I was in awe! Plus, the original Old English is used for the scripting... perfect. Double plus, a red-beard in warpaint... YAAASSS.
- Also thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi/horror flick. A found footage alien movie that surprised me, so refreshing!
- I'm not sure if I've shared this before, but following this list of 4 areas to simplify was strangely empowering this long weekend. I spent quite some time sifting through my morning and evening routines to cut out unnecessary pieces that I felt like I "had" to have. After trying it for a day, I find myself much calmer in the mornings... success!
- While we're on the topic of simplifying (my master goal this year), I wanted to point you to this incredible podcast from the authors of one of my favorite blogs on minimalism. They're not pushy or preachy, just encouraging and offer great strategies to start small to get the ball rolling. Let me know what you think!
- Finally, I can't wait to receive this! I've had my eye on it for a bit and finally pulled the trigger. I've got a few Lou & Grey pieces and am just in love with the comfort and beautiful constructions of the pieces. Easy to wear dressed up or down and the perfect multi-taskers for my goal of a small 'capsule' wardrobe.