sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

August 19, 2014

Existential Feminist

Filed under: feminism — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 9:39 am

Career women in New York City are submitting themselves to hormonal treatments:

Fashionable New York professional women gathered at a first-of-its-kind “egg-freezing party” this week — where they sipped champagne while learning how to scientifically put off motherhood until they decide that they’re fully ready.

Dubbed “Let’s Chill,” the event was sponsored by a company called EggBanxx, which is cutting the cost of egg freezing and marketing it to young go-getters who want to be ready for kids later in life.

“I don’t have a significant other . . . but I hope to one day and have kids,” said attendee, Donna Kanze, 35, of Manhattan, who has a career in the technology sector. She’s already signed up for egg freezing.

“I want to take my fertility into my own hands, rather than put pressure on the person I have my next relationship with,” she said.

“I don’t want to be in the position when I’m in my late 30s and panicking because I haven’t found the right man and I’d compromise and take anyone off the street!”

Does she want to be in a position of having a baby alone at 50?

One day Donna Kanze will die, and before then she’ll get old, and a decline in fertility is a part of aging.  With age her looks will fade, and so will her chances of finding an attractive partner.  Cutting edge medicine and top of the line beauty products can help her retain her looks and fertility longer, but they can’t make them last forever, and sooner rather than later these New York professional women will find themselves running against the same biological clock.  The time to panic is not 35, but 26.

I hear that single, professional, straight women outnumber men in NYC.  These women made a choice to build their careers before starting families, and they built their careers in the most exiting place in the world.  They are making a choice to continue to work and  live there even though they know that their chances of pairing up in the City are not so good.  If they hadn’t met anyone yet, what makes them think that they will in the next few years? If family is important to these women (as I suspect it is because they are shooting up hormones), they should try a different approach to finding love rather than buying up a little time to do more of the same.

Egg-freezing can temporarily relieve the angst, but it doesn’t eliminate the basic career versus family choice they are facing.

When EggBanxx’s marketing director Leahjane Lavin, 34, announced that she just underwent two cycles of egg freezing herself, the crowed whooped with approval.

“The pressure is off, and I feel so empowered,” she said of her feelings after she socked away her eggs for a later date. “I can now concentrate on my career and becoming who I want to be before having children!”

Refusing to face one’s own mortality does not a powerful woman make.

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6 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    Quite frankly I don’t have a good solution for the problem described in this post. I just don’t think what EggBanxx proposes is a good solution.

    What solution can I offer? Traditional marriage works. If they want children, then women should marry in the early to mid twenties. Unfortunately, I must concede young women have a serious problem. They have to make the hard choice between raising a family and entering job market when they are young. And few are the number of young men who both can and want to make the choice of raising children attractive.

    Comment by Citizen Tom — August 20, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  2. Respectfully, I think this is an overwhelmingly bleak and somewhat skewed view in this entire process. The fact that you said, “One day, Donna Kanze will die…” is almost comical in how morose it is. If you really have such a negative world view, I would honestly suggest seeing a therapist. And when you say, “Does she want to have a baby single at 50?”, why do you again make it so negative? What if she meets a wonderful man at 36 or 37 years old and they have a baby using her frozen eggs? Again, why are predicting disaster and not success? It’s also a little bit insane that Citizen Tom is suggesting you just marry in your twenties just to be biologically safe. I thought marriage was about finding your soul mate or someone you truly loved? AS the feminist you claim to be – is this the message of this post? LADIES! TOTALLY FORGET YOUR CAREER AND GOALS AND FINDING A RELATIONSHIP BASED ON LOVE AND RESPECT AND MARRY FAST OR YOU’LL DIE AND BE ALONE! If so, you might want to revisit the books of Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. I’m also not sure why people think if you don’t get married right away that it’s because of their career. Maybe they are finishing college? Maybe the want to go to medical school? Or maybe, just maybe, they haven’t had the good fortune of meeting someone they want to make a life long commitment to at the age of 22. Honestly, this post is very disappointing, dated, ill informed and tremendously, embarrassingly negative.

    Comment by Frieda — August 21, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    • Frieda,
      I don’t find suggestion to consider finality of one’s life “morose” or a reason to see a therapist. To deny one’s mortality is unhealthy, and to think that one will remain young a beautiful indefinitely is to delude oneself. As a side note, you know half of these NY professional ladies are in therapy.
      The 20s is the best time for childbearing physiologically and emotionally.It’s funny how few of these women managed to find ” RELATIONSHIP BASED ON LOVE AND RESPECT” in their twenties. I personally witness a good deal of “there is more fish in the sea” mentality among a certain class of women. It’s not that they couldn’t find that special relationship, they didn’t recognize it when they saw it and/or weren’t interested in building it.
      It’s possible, of course, that Donna Kanze will walk out of the sperm bank and meet her true love. But what are the chances? The chances of these women hitching up are not best and declining. They can continue doing what they have been doing for decades or try something that gives them better odds.
      Neither Steinem nor Freidan are thinkers of Kierkegaard’s magnitude.
      College is part of career path.
      I never suggested completely giving p career, but I’m a fan of going about it differently, focusing on family first, and developing career slowly, once the kids are older.
      “Honestly, this post is very disappointing, dated, ill informed and tremendously, embarrassingly negative”
      As far as “dated” goes, everything old is new again. “Ill-informed” — I’m not sure which data was false. “tremendously, embarrassingly negative” — I recommend think unpleasant thoughts every now and then. It’s healthy. I’m sorry you I disappointed you.. but wait, how could *I* disappoint if you don’t read my blog? You simply heard something that jibes with your worldview and reacted.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — August 21, 2014 @ 8:42 am

      • Thank you for responding. I sincerely appreciate that. And I’m more a fan of Nietze but that’s a whole different story.

        My main point is to be a feminist (which like you, I happily claim to be), means as Rebecca West said is to believe that, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” These women at this party may do something different than you would recommend or that you would do or clearly, men, like Infidel de Manahatta would recommend, but that’s their right. If they can go to college (college is not a career, it’s getting an education which is also a right women achieved), if the can go to college AND marry someone, if they skip college, pursue a career, be a stay at home mom, marry when they are 22 or whatever – that’s their right.

        And why didn’t you write a post saying, “The 20s is the best time for childbearing physiologically and emotionally…” FOR MEN. Nope, just women. Men can put off marriage and having children all they want. That is why this post is disappointing. It’s not about equality. It’s about telling women that they shouldn’t do anything but settle and have kids in their 20’s because you seem to think they are too picky or self-involved. That, my friend, is a pretty broad brush stroke to paint a whole group of women. Anyone who wants to do egg freezing’s standards are too high and they really don’t want a relationship. That’s what you’re saying. All of this without even knowing not one single woman who went there. You just dump them into one big category right here on word press.

        I also don’t see what mortality has to do with egg freezing. That’s what is morose. For you to say, “I don’t find suggestion to consider finality of one’s life “morose” or a reason to see a therapist.” I agree – we should consider the finality of one’s life… but on a night out with your girlfriends? It was a cocktail party with women from their early twenties for crying out loud and you’re suggesting that instead of talking to one another, having a martini — they all sit around the chips and dip talking about how they are going to die one day. Seriously? You really don’t think that’s a little ridiculous?

        You say you’ve witnessed a good deal of “there is more fish in the sea” but where was this? Were you at the party? It doesn’t seem like it. Maybe you watched a show like Sex & the City and base it on that? (I should note – none of the characters on that show were in therapy by the way).

        As for what are the chances of these women finding love, Joanna Coles of Cosmopolitan Magazine said in a recent interview that employees that have frozen their eggs are relieved and many of them ended up meeting men soon after. She wondered if it’s because they didn’t come off as desperate (http://www.msnbc.com/craig-melvin/watch/rising-number-of-women-opting-to-freeze-eggs-232382019525).

        The bottom line here is we very much disagree BUT I’ll say this: I’m glad you opened up a discussion on this, you sincerely are a great writer and a smart thinker. I also have no doubt that we would both hate the book ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg. 🙂

        Comment by Frieda — August 21, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

        • Thank you for keeping your mind open.
          Nietzsche! I remember taking Nietzsche! I met some boys there (I hesitate to say “men” because they were clearly beyond good and evil, i.e. had no morals or ethics).
          If your main point, that “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” I gather that you are passionate about the rights of Muslim women. Here in the West sane men do not deny our humanity. We vote, work, our opinions are considered, we even buy our own birth control!
          Infidel did not recommend anything, but he is funny, and you should read his blog. I certainly recommend a lot of things, which, as you acknowledge, is my right.
          “And why didn’t you write a post saying, “The 20s is the best time for childbearing physiologically and emotionally…” FOR MEN. Nope, just women.” First, men and women are different physiologically and psychologically. We just are. You can demand equality from G-d or nature, or whatever you call it, but, I suspect, it’s pointless. Women mature earlier, ready for marriage earlier, and we fade away quicker. Now, I’m convinced that an average male in his 20’s should be ready to start a family. That’s what middle class/bourgeois men did throughout history, and that American men that age today are somehow, en mass, are incapable of being husbands and fathers worries me.
          And yet many men also found it perfectly possible to delay family and then marry younger women. A 35 or 40-year-old man is at the hight of his attractivenesses; a 42 year-old man is pretty darn hot (yes, I’m thinking of you!). Many men appreciate sophistication in women and will continue loving their wives as they go into middle age, but dating scene is difficult for women over 30. Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-gfxjAaZg0
          What mortality has to do with egg freezing is that aging is a natural process that leads us to dying. If you accept death, you have to accept aging. Decline in fertility is a natural component of aging. Egg freezing might add a few years to fertility (and subtract a few from life span) but it also enables a middle age woman to waste more time. When an egg bank employee assures me that it’s perfectly possible to find a soulmate right after the procedure, I can’t help but to think what’s in it for her.
          I realize that women at cocktail parties can talk a lot of wind, but presumably they made the decision to undergo hormonal treatment when sober.
          Sex in the City is a work of fiction. No women in Sex in the City is in therapy because the series were invented by gay men who initially intended for it to be about gay men, but when the networks rejected the pitch decided to make it about to straight women acting like gay men. Straight women with this kind of lifestyle are in therapy and/or self-medicating.
          🙂

          Comment by edge of the sandbox — August 21, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

  3. Empowered eh? God. Well as a single straight male living in NYC where are all these single women? Oh that’s right. They are at egg freezing parties and making six figures a year empowering themselves.

    Comment by Infidel de Manahatta — August 21, 2014 @ 11:10 am


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