Today’s peeve?

Miracle sperm.

Not just in books, movies too. The reason I’m thinking about this — Andres and I watched Baby Mama last week, starring Tina Fey (who I love) and Amy Poehler (who I don’t hate). The movie was funny and offered a lot of laughs; don’t get me wrong.

But it’s been bugging me, and here’s why. The basic plot is this: Tina plays an uptight career woman who ignored her biological clock until she hit 37, and then all of a sudden, she contracts baby madness. She wants a baby and doesn’t care about whether a man comes with it. Fine, I’m on board with that, as far as it goes. She tries to fertilize herself at home with a spermcicle, but it doesn’t work, so she goes to her ob-gyn, who tells her she has an awful T-shaped uterus and her chances of getting knocked up are one in a million. This is why she ends up with a slightly crazy-eyed Sigourney Weaver, who runs a surrogate program. Tina gets matched up with Amy to be her baby mama, and they go to the fertility clinic together, where Amy is implanted with Tina’s baby.

As it turns out, Amy does get knocked up, but not by Tina. She’s sort of a white trash dumbass and she sleeps with her boyfriend after the test comes up negative. So she’s pregnant, just not with Tina’s egg. Amy moves in with Tina under false pretenses and they attend birthing classes together, becoming friends despite their great differences in class, education and overall attitude on life. That’s all fine and good. Amy helps Tina relax. Tina helps Amy realize she’s good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like her.

So what’s the fly in my honey, you might ask? Well, due to relaxing, Tina meets up with Greg Kinnear along the way, and she decides to bang him like a crazy woman. And even though she’s been told she has a one in a million chance of getting pregnant, guess what happens (after she finds out Amy’s bun in the oven isn’t hers?) You got it. Of course, Greg knocks Tina up with his super-sperm. (First of all, Greg Kinnear = ultra-virile? Really??)

This is what bugs me. Infertility is a problem that plagues many, many people. They spend millions of dollars on treatments, in vitro and surrogacy. And yet in movies (and books) the woman who has been unable to get pregnant is knocked up 95% of the time before the thing is done. That bothers me, I think. Sometimes I do want the fantasy and the escape. I want the sweet feel-good syrup that makes reality a little less bitter. But y’know, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want the book or movie to show me that this person can find love, no matter his / her issue might be.

What do you think? Feel free to put your $.02 in the jar.

Posted in opinion, peeves, Uncategorized

14 Responses to Today’s peeve?

  1. Anon says:

    Amen! All I feel comfortable with saying right now is I’m in the process of trying to conceive and it hasn’t been all pixie dust and fairy tales. Just ask my wallet that’s thousands of dollar thinner right now. :sad:

  2. Ann Aguirre says:

    Anon, I’m sorry to hear that. Best wishes that you manage to realize your dream of a little one.

  3. CDMclean says:

    Thanks for this! We went through years of fertility treatments and surgeries, all with no luck. My mom’s response was always, if you would just relax, it would happen. As if all women who get pregnant are totally relaxed and enlightened. Right. Plenty of stressed out women get pregnant all the time. So it is nice to find a movie or a book where the characters can find love and have a wonderful life without children of their own. And not be portrayed as totally narcissistic, selfish weenies! :wink:

  4. Virginia Hendricks says:

    I have to agree. That ticks me off. But then again, so do the people who say “Its going to take me months to get pregnant because I had some problems when I was younger” Then they turn around and are pregnant 3 months later. I’ve been trying off and on for a year and haven’t had much luck. And I didn’t expect to be someone who had problems getting pregnant. Meanwhile, I know three people who got pregnant on the pill. *shrugs* Movies glamorize way too much.

  5. Rosie says:

    My husband and I are infertile. We’ve had the joy and good fortune to adopt two boys. For me, I just wish we could see a woman, or couple, in a movie or book who doesn’t have such EXTREME responses to their infertility who faces it together with love, humor and, eventually, acceptance.

  6. MaryK says:

    Exactly. Most of the time I want the heroine to have an HEA in spite of her infertility. Sometimes a miracle baby is a nice device, but if it’s always used it starts to send the message that a baby is required for an HEA. Or worse, that only fertile people are entitled to one.

  7. Ocy says:

    What’s wrong with showing an infertile woman or couple adopting instead of miraculously conceiving?

  8. Jennifer says:

    I’m almost 35 and while my spouse and I haven’t tried yet to have a baby, I’m having some reproductive and other health issues which might cause infertility and I’m coming to terms with the fact that I might not have a biological child. I’d love to adopt and the thought of adopting is so fulfilling. I don’t feel like I have to give birth to a child that is genetically mine to be happy. I’m just hoping my chronic health problems don’t also stand in my way of adopting.

  9. Shelby says:

    I’m rowing the infertility boat myself, can’t handle the drugs used to treat it, and now I’m almost 41, so I don’t have a lot of hope. As a writer I usually am able to separate my own reality from what’s on the screen or page, but I do have to admit “magic babies” bug me.

    Thanks, Ann. (((hug)))

  10. Michele Lee says:

    My $.02? Why do you have to have a child to complete you?

    Now, I have two, so maybe I’m not the best person to be speaking on this. But the movie bugged me, just in previews, because of the idea that this successful, smart, lovely character needs a kid to be “happy” and the the poor, low class white trash woman is the one who can just pop them on out. WTF?

    I know there are two issues there. Am I the only one who thought the premise was a bit classist? It’s the poor person who is ripping off the better off person, preying on her dreams, and, as it turns out, uselessly (er, according to the plot that is) procreating. I’ve been verbally assaulted because I’m a mom of two and prtty much right on the poverty line. People have nastily told me that I shouldn’t have had my kids if I didn’t already have a well paying, good job.

    It’s not that easy and my situation isn’t that simple.

    But people should become parents because they want to, because the love children (and teens and babies) not because they think having a baby will fix their relationship or fill that empty place in themselves. Obviously no one here is like that, but I have known people who wanted to have babies because they wanted the attention being pregnant brought, or they wanted someone to love them because they thought their parents didn’t. Or because they wanted to keep their mate.

    These are horrible reasons to have a child!

    I’m with previous posters, I’d like to see more movie couples adopting, or being happy how they are instead of with super sperm. I’d like to see more fictional (and real life) couples being happy and complete on their own rather than “for the kids”.

    Parenthood should not be undertaken on an impulse or on a whim. And happiness shouldn’t be defined by your ability to procreate.

  11. azteclady says:

    Agreeing, one hundred percent, both with Ann and with Michele Lee.

  12. jennygirl says:

    I completely agree. My cousin had an extrememyl difficult time conceiving, and I think these type of plots tend to make those poeple feel bad and unlucky.
    Plus why do they always have to make women become crazy when they do decide to have kids. Some do go overboard but not all.
    I also think society puts a lot of pressure on women to have kids. And when you don’t wnat any (like myself) people treat you like you have a disease. It’s an individual’s choice, not society’s.

  13. Ames says:

    Wow….I don’t think I can add anything to this discussion that hasn’t already been said better. I’ve known some wonderful people who were infertile (and went on to adopt–hell it’s like a tradition in my family), and I’ve known some shitty people who should have never had kids (which has nothing to do with finances. If that was the case, I NEVER should have had kids).

    And Michelle….Hugs…Just hugs!!
    If I had waited until I could afford children, i never would have had them. And I’ve been that mom on the poverty line. I don’t think you ever forget how difficult it is. Having kids made me a fighter (and probably a better person–there’s nothing that’ll zap the selfish outta ya LOL) and I’ve worked my ass off to give them a better life. But you will never EVER convince me that every woman/person NEEDS a child to complete them *gag* or that they’re incomplete/flawed if they choose to not have a child.

    Ok … going away now :eek:

  14. camera chat says:

    I liked the message given above. Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

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