It occurred to me today just how much apologizing Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are going to have to do once they realize just how many people, in their inner circle alone, they have offended. You’ve probably heard that the D&G namesakes made some pretty inflammatory statements in their interview with Italian fashion magazine Panorama this week. In an attempt to endorse traditional family arrangements, they criticized IVF, surrogates, and adoption to gay parents. Their comments went beyond the usual conservative family values-based commentary…
Dolce told Panorama, “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs.” Gabbana added “the family is not a fad.”
Ouch! WTF guys? Do they have any idea just how many “synthetic children” are around us? I work for a small office, a staff of seven. Three out of seven (that have openly discussed it) have suffered with some sort of infertility. My boss has two “chemical children” born from IVF. My other coworker has been trying fertility treatments without success. It took my hubby and me 15 months to conceive naturally. Two of my coworkers have not attempted to have children and two have had kids, presumably, without issue. If I extend my circle to consider my friends then things get really interesting as I can think of several more people who either struggled with infertility or who have adopted children into their same-sex household.
This is just little ol’ me with a pretty average-sized group of friends and acquaintances. I can’t imagine how many people these two guys rub elbows with, not to mention all the employees they’ve just alienated.
D&C offers a fairly narrow definition of non-traditional families. Perhaps their definition should expand to include children born naturally to gay/bisexual parents (i.e. gay person conceives in hetero relationship before coming out). What about the 85% – 90% of couples suffering from infertility who are treated with drugs or surgery? (Less than 3% need advanced treatments like IVF.) Maybe children with divorced parents are considered “non-traditional.” If that’s the case, then I’d be hard-pressed to name 10 families raising kids in a traditional family. Give it another 10 years and it’ll be about half of those I can name today.
The entire concept of traditional families is sort of ridiculous. Traditional to when? Up until a generation or two ago, kids were raised by their parents with the help of extended families. It was commonplace to have aunts, uncles and grandparents close by to help out. If Mom or Dad move takes a job out of state, raising junior with the help of daycare or a nanny, does this still count as “traditional family?” If you go way back, to more indigenous family arrangements, you might have an entire village helping out. Now that’s traditional! What about working moms or stay-at-home dads? Is this a traditional family dynamic? Is it unhealthy? And what do kids think about all this talk about traditional families being superior to… uh, non-traditional, modern families? Aren’t all kids, to some degree, the victims of their parents’ baggage? How many kids really think their family is “normal”? Which factors really matter? I have some opinions on that subject too, having been raised in a very non-traditional family myself. (Story to come.)
I obviously have some opinions about this story, but the funny thing is my husband and I are raising our kid in a “traditional family”. We got married, eventually conceived, and are raising our little one together, in the home in the burbs with our two cats. Pretty normal stuff, yet the idea of two fashion icons using a public platform suggest that these chemical babies are creations of man without connection to god leaves me uneasy.
I’ll be interested to read the political and religious blogs on this one, as I’m sure it will make strange bedfellows out of many conservatives and liberals alike. I don’t know what makes the perfect family, but I do know when my Yogi Tea speaks, I should listen: “Where there is love, there is no question.” ∞
Madonna, summed up my sentiments beautifully,
“All babies contain a soul however they come to this earth and their families. There is nothing synthetic about a soul!! So how can we dismiss IVF and surrogacy? “Every soul comes to us to teach us a lesson. God has his hand in everything even technology! We are arrogant to think Man does anything on his own. As above so below! Think before you speak. ❤️#livingforlove.”
So let me pose a couple of questions to my readers? Does any child come into this world without the blessing of God? Which family structures give children an inherent advantage? What can be expected of children who are raised in a non-traditional family structure?