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Laura Perrins: Facebook bids to own its women body and soul. I’ll just ‘lean out’ on egg freezing


On Sunday, in perhaps a moment of rash judgment that I may live to regret, I deleted my Facebook account. This is in protest at last week’s story that Facebook and Apple, like benevolent dictators, are ‘offering’ their female employees a once in lifetime chance to freeze parts of their body, namely their eggs.

We at TCW have blogged on this before, as has every other blogsite on the planet, and for once this move is seen for what it is: a grotesque, sinister, and ‘creepy’ attack on women. I just feel it absolutely imperative that I add my voice to this – for once – united condemnation from the feminists, conservatives and everyone in between.

Most comment pieces I have read have noted how unfamily friendly and unwoman friendly this move is. We would like you to work for us, say Facebook and Apple, but you can just leave your fertile ovaries at the door.

There is an hysterical ‘cult’ movie out there called Office Space – it is on Netflix and I encourage all to watch it. It is has the usual horrid boss, complete with slash and burn consultants, and the question they ask each employee to ask themselves is, “is this best for the company?” Here we have Facebook and Apple asking their female employees, are your ovaries best for the company? The answer I am afraid is no.

The statement that came with this misogynistic idea said they were offering this perk worth up to £20,000 to “empower women to do the best work of their lives’.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the very bossy one who orders everyone to ‘lean in’,  his Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, are going to ‘empower’ their female employees to do the best work of their lives, as long as it is without children, because you know one must be careful of the mummy brain.

I haven’t a clue what chap (I am guessing it is a chap) runs Apple now but hear this – I, along with many others have decided to lean in to our families, and I am taking my fertile ovaries with me, thank you very much.

It has been pointed out that for Apple, at least, they have decided to offer this perk to their no doubt already incredibly hardworking female employees, over and above adequate maternity leave, crèche facilities or flexible working. I am told the ‘perks’ are better at Facebook but who cares – they want your soul and now your babies too.

Just so we all understand what Facebook and Apple are ‘offering’ let us examine once again, what it would take for a woman to produce a child in this manner. For the squeamish look away now.

First, it is implied with this scheme that the ladies should desist from having any babies in their twenties or indeed early thirties, otherwise how are they going to be empowered by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg to do the best work of their lives? So, of course, this means pumping the ladies up on artificial contraception to suppress fertility for about 15 years of the best years of their lives.

However, for a miniscule amount of that time, women are permitted to be hyper fertile, so their eggs can be extracted. The ladies now have to undergo further hormone injections for two week to do the opposite of what she has been doing for the last 10/15 years – namely encouraging the ovaries to release twenty eggs rather than the usual one.

Extraction involves anaesthesia and the insertion of a collection needle through the vaginal wall. Side effects can include ovary-swelling, infection, infertility, increased chance of cancer, and in rare cases, even death. The prize at this stage – having parts of her body frozen in some gigantic freezer somewhere, no doubt run my some other hideous corporation.

Now after one of our sisters has toiled away at the computer face for a decade or so, she decides to have a baby. That is really is easy as she can just use the frozen one in the freezer one and wait for it to thaw out. Oh, no hang on, that is not how it goes is it?

We have the Russian roulette of IVF (via a sperm donor or has she found a partner – who knows?) and maybe the very low odds are with this woman and nine months later a child is born. Mum is older now, of course, so she can probably only have one child, is knackered and the odds of bad things happening to her or baby are higher – but who cares? Mum has been empowered by the Gods at Facebook and Apple to do the best work of her life, for the company. Gosh, what is not to like?

Final quick question – if a company asked a man to put his body through the above, what do you think the answer would be? Count me in, or Facebook Off? Exactly.

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