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Cristiano Ronaldo has twins

(50 Posts)
OldBagLady Sat 01-Jul-17 11:08:44

Reports are saying that Ronaldo has used a surrogate and has become a father to twins. He also has a 7 year old DS by an unknown surrogate.

I feel a bit uncomfortable about this and thought I'd get your opinions. It all feels a bit Handmaids Tale. That a very rich man can essentially obtain a woman's womb for hire and apparently discard her afterwards.

I wonder how long it will be before women are being coerced/forced to provide this service.

garud Sat 01-Jul-17 11:14:54

The brief report I read didn't even mention a surrogate - just said he'd had twins hmm

I read an article recently, maybe by glosswitch, about how the Handmaid's Tale is definitely real life right now for some women, rather than some dystopian future fiction.

chickendrizzlecake Sat 01-Jul-17 11:17:08

Yes I'm uncomfortable with this too, but the other thread about it was uncritically adoring and many people expressed the view that we ought to be legalising surrogacy in this country.

VestalVirgin Sat 01-Jul-17 11:19:11

I wonder how long it will be before women are being coerced/forced to provide this service.

Happens already.

When a woman who is poor - having to worry where to get food tomorrow poor - and can earn 10 000 dollars by bearing some dude's children, how voluntary is that, really?

And considering that all rich people to some extent contribute to poor people being and staying poor, you could even say that the man exploiting the poor woman is the same who is responsible for her desperation.

As to outright force, well, look no further than Ireland. Any man can rape a woman and thus force her to have his children. If she obeys the country's law by not getting an abortion abroad, she's been forced to act as womb for hire.
The only difference is that she might be allowed to keep the child (if she wants) or give the child up for adoption by decent people, but I am not sure whether the rapists could sue for rights to the child.

Men the mother had a one night stand with definitely can and do take the child away from loving adoptive parents on a whim in Germany, as contributing some sperm gives full parental rights, even to men who didn't give a shit about the baby, to men who wanted to force the mother to have an abortion, to virtually all men who happen to be the biological fathers of a child.

Handmaid's tale - some women are already there.

The only difference to the novel that real life still has is that many women can escape the reproductive slavery even without being infertile.

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:19:18

The mother of the seven year old is not an unknown surrogate. She's a British woman who claims he had a one night stand with her, let him have the child and then regretted it.

chickendrizzlecake Sat 01-Jul-17 11:21:50

Also I picked up the economist in Sainsbury's a few weeks back and there was a short but terrifying piece about the putting surrogacy on a legal footing and creating markets here and how this would be better for everyone involved.

Is this something that is creeping in now - something people are actively campaigning for deregulation and decriminalisation of?

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:22:02

www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/mum-cristiano-ronaldos-baby-british-173468

VestalVirgin Sat 01-Jul-17 11:22:20

Sorry, I got confused in the middle of my post.

In countries where abortion is illegal at all stages of pregnancy, rapists can of course force a woman to bear their children without hiring (and paying) them to do so. No idea how that got in there.

McTufty Sat 01-Jul-17 11:27:37

It's interesting the fact it is a man paying a surrogate to become a single father (I asssume, I know he has a girlfriend but don't understand she is to be the "mother").

If it was Cristiano Ronaldo and partner jointly paying so they could become parents because she couldn't carry the child, would that affect people's views?

I'm not sure how I feel about any of this, really interested to follow this thread and hear the opinions.

McTufty Sat 01-Jul-17 11:28:48

When I put "mother" I meant to convey to take on the role as opposed to being a step mother, re read and don't want it to be misconstrued as a slight on mothers who haven't given birth e.g. Adoptive mothers

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:29:16

'If it was Cristiano Ronaldo and partner jointly paying so they could become parents because she couldn't carry the child, would that affect people's views?'

No

VestalVirgin Sat 01-Jul-17 11:30:40

Is this something that is creeping in now - something people are actively campaigning for deregulation and decriminalisation of?

Definitely.

Follows the law of preservation of patriarchy.

Previously, marriage served that purpose, as men were automatically the ones with the right to decide what happened to the children, and women divorcing had to leave their children behind.

Now that women have more rights in a divorce, and can use contraception in a marriage, men are beginning to realize that they really liked being able to coerce women into bearing children for them that the men could then treat as their property, and they want that back.

But it's not really new. Marriage used to be the means to supply a man with a womb for hire, and all women used to be financially coerced into it by way of not being allowed to work if they were of the social class that could have earned enough money to pay for childcare.

Just the mother being physically removed from the child even if she meekly does everything the male in power wants is new and makes the whole scheme more obvious.

But the "father gets to keep children, no questions asked" is still the case in Islamic countries.

Capattack Sat 01-Jul-17 11:32:39

Whilst of course there are issues in surrogacy in regards to women in poverty being forced into it, many women are surrogates because they want to be.

Doesn't it take away the autonomy of the women who choose to become surrogates to say their wombs are rented out - it is their body to do with what they wish, and if they choose to carry a pregnancy for money, that is their prerogative? Many women do not feel discarded, but great happiness in surrogacy. Do you feel it is different because Ronaldo is a single man?

I am, of course talking about reputable agencies and proper regulations. There are some incredibly callous couples who have done awful things in surrogate relationships - just look at the poor twins who were split up due to the new parents not wanting the twin with DS.

(I'm currently doing a dissertation on fertility and the Handmaid's Tale, so I do see the two sides of the argument)

VestalVirgin Sat 01-Jul-17 11:34:06

If it was Cristiano Ronaldo and partner jointly paying so they could become parents because she couldn't carry the child, would that affect people's views?

No. Women being complicit in patriarchal exploitation of poorer women is not feminist.

Ironically, a word commonly used for that sort of woman is "handmaiden of patriarchy", which is rather unfair towards the handmaids in the novel.

fakenamefornow Sat 01-Jul-17 11:39:32

Well in that case how do you feel about Elton John/David Furish and their children?

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:40:00

'Many women do not feel discarded, but great happiness in surrogacy.'

Many suggests some kind of numerical figure. How many women, globally (as commercial surrogacy is of course illegal in the UK) find great happiness in surrogacy?

VestalVirgin Sat 01-Jul-17 11:41:13

Doesn't it take away the autonomy of the women who choose to become surrogates to say their wombs are rented out - it is their body to do with what they wish, and if they choose to carry a pregnancy for money, that is their prerogative?

I feel about as bad about taking away their autonomy as I feel about taking away the autonomy of the happy hooker. I.e. not at all.

If they are truly so happy to do it, they can do it without getting paid.

I'm not in favour of outlawing a woman having a child with another woman's egg, so a mother giving birth to her own grandchild because her daughter has ovaries but no womb, or something, would still be legal.

Donating organs is legal, selling them is not. I think that works pretty well.

Capattack Sat 01-Jul-17 11:41:56

Is it generally feminist thought to be against surrogacy? I'm only just learning about all this stuff and the patriarchal connotations honestly never occurred to me.

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:44:29

'Is it generally feminist thought to be against surrogacy? I'm only just learning about all this stuff and the patriarchal connotations honestly never occurred to me.'

Can you explain how this didn't occur to you? I'm asking genuinely.

What did you think patriarchy was if not the attempt to control (through power, laws and money) women for sexual and reproductive purposes?

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 11:49:37

The legal situation around surrogacy in the UK seems pretty much correct as it.

The surrogate mother has the rights to the child. If she then wishes (unpaid) to have the child raised by someone else, this is then done through a court, where the courts can check on the ethics of the situation.

Capattack Sat 01-Jul-17 11:56:11

Sylvia, whilst I cannot give a number for women who actively enjoyed it, in my research there are countless accounts of individual women who enjoyed surrogacy, with an estimated 6% of women who reported regret over their surrogacy in the UK.

As for the patriarchal connotations, I viewed surrogacy in the same bracket as fertility treatments and adoption. Things that enable people who couldn't have children, to have children. Whilst there are women who are forced into surrogacy through financial and other pressures, I wasn't considering that as the situation for Ronaldo, or a lot of other surrogacies (In the UK at least).
But as I said at the start, my dissertation discusses these very complex issues. I was just suggesting the view no one had said yet, I'm not disagreeing with what you say.

SylviaPoe Sat 01-Jul-17 12:01:58

Commercial surrogacy is illegal in the UK.

I'm not really bothered about whether or not you disagree with me. That's fine. I'm interested in how you hadn't considered the basis of patriarchy to be patriarchal. What do you this patriarchy is?

'As for the patriarchal connotations, I viewed surrogacy in the same bracket as fertility treatments and adoption. Things that enable people who couldn't have children, to have children.'

But you must know that adoption has a terribly patriarchal and abusive past, until very, very recently, in the UK and Ireland? It is perhaps the most fundamental of all women's rights breaches. We do everything we can now to discourage women from giving up their babies, unless the baby is very much at non economic risk? And we've done a huge amount to remove economic risk for mothers.

PratStick Sat 01-Jul-17 12:08:07

Is it generally feminist thought to be against surrogacy? I'm only just learning about all this stuff and the patriarchal connotations honestly never occurred to me

No, it's a common view though. Some feminist use surrogates. I disagree with surrogacy for the reasons stated above though.

Whil I'm glad some so well with it there's no way to know how a person will feel until after they give away their baby though.

Pregnancy is dangerous, some women only get one chance at it as they suffer birth injury and can't hold a pregnancy after.

I think the only really "equal" way it can be done is when you have a donor provinding eggs for a couple and the other woman providing the pregnancies. So in very certain ivf situations

Capattack Sat 01-Jul-17 12:09:47

I'm aware commercial surrogacy is illegal in the UK.

Yes, you are right about everything. Thank you.

PratStick Sat 01-Jul-17 12:10:33

I think 'altruistic' pregnancy is wrong as we live in a world where women are seen for their reproductive capacities and we teach women it would be a good and kind and lovely thing to do to give some men a baby. Risk the woman's health. Risk the woman's fertility. Risk her current children having a mother.

I don't think 'rent a womb' is better as then a woman is making a choice out of poverty.

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