Monday, May 08, 2006

News and Views: Brit Annoyed Wanking into Cup No Longer Confers Anonymity,,1746867,00.html

In the April 5th Guardian Unlimited (UK), columnist Marcel Berlins complains that the new law conferring the right to identity to Britain’s donor-conceived by outlawing anonymous sperm donations has already dealt a death-blow to the sperm donor biz. He offers no data to back up his gloomy analysis, other than the personal observation that the specter of one of his progeny appearing later would have put him off when, back in the day he used to jack off in a sperm bank cup in order to afford the odd pint and shepherd’s pie. Berlins has no desire to face the product of his commercial exploits. To him it was a wank, pure and simple. There is a difference, though, between young Marcel polishing his bishop in a clinic WC and young Marcel sitting at home in the lavvie polishing the self-same bishop; for one, no one gave him cab fare for popping off at home… For another, it is highly improbable (if not, to give the Devil his due, statistically impossible) for anyone to have gotten pregnant as a result of Marcel’s private furies, while the whole point of his actions at the clinic were to get somebody great with child. Intention is karma, said the Buddha.

What’s overlooked in both Berlins’ column and the comments from readers is the dissonance between the marketing claims that clinics make to prospective parents on the high caliber of their donors and the portrait of the average donor Berlins paints. Clinics promise material to prospective parents from donors who embody the highest physical, moral and social qualities. Berlins suggests that instead donors are wankers for pay who don’t want to deal with the mess afterwards. It makes one wonder whether these qualities and attitudes are inheritable….

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