There Can Be Only One…Wanker

by Belle Waring on March 19, 2006

Normally we hoity-toity academic types around here don’t stoop so low as to name a wanker of the day. And this isn’t even from today. Nevertheless, this cries out for wankegnition (that’s when you recongnize someone as a wanker, obvs). Vote for your favorite in comments [click to continue…]

O Father Where Art Thou?

by Belle Waring on March 19, 2006

This NYT Magazine article about women who are choosing to become single mothers by using donor sperm is very interesting. The article is entirely focussed on the women’s side; no sperm donors are interviewed. But I actually thought the strangest fact was this:

…the Aryan bodybuilder with the leaping sperm has fathered 21 children (and counting — he is still an active donor), including four sets of twins. These children are all 3 and under, and their families — four lesbian couples, three heterosexual couples and six single mothers — have formed their own Listserv, where photographs of the children (all blond, with a strong familial resemblance) are posted, and daily e-mail messages are exchanged about birthdays, toilet training and the like. They are planning a group vacation in 2007.

21 children? That’s a lot of children. Is there a limit to how many children the fertility clinics will allow a single man to father? These people seem to live in NYC, so the chances of two unknowing half-siblings turning Tristan and Isolde Seigmund and Seiglinde, duh (thanks Matt) are small (and this listserv forestalls the possibility in any case). Or, if he prefers younger women, could a reverse Holy Sinner situation loom in his future? I am most interested in what this guy thinks, though. I mean, he’s a bodybuilder, which at least implies a certain degree of narcissism. It can only enhance his self-image that he’s got such motile sperm and that he is so frequently chosen by the would-be mothers–he’s the man! I’m sure we can all spin a nice Darwinian tale about how he’s maximizing his chances for reproductive sucess (and boy is he ever!), but is that really the sort of thing that consciously motivates people? Does he turn and look at every tow-headed kid on the playground as he walks by, wondering? What will he feel like when he has a child of his own, and it’s his 28th child?

UPDATE: it has been suggested in coments that he might not even know–do they really not tell you at the clinic? Also, it occurred to me that this number is only of children whose parents have registered on this donor sibling list; he may well already have 50 kids.