Remember how your mother used to wax eloquent on the sacrifices of motherhood?
How retro! Today, as Claudia Anderson writes in the new Standard, “technology and social progress are turning procreation into self-actualization.”
Ms. Anderson writes:
NEWSWEEK some weeks back had an arresting picture on its cover. The famous photographer Annie Leibovitz–tall, blonde, and 57, dressed in black trousers and a black V-neck top–stands with her three young daughters: a radiant, curly haired 5-year-old and adorable blonde toddler twins. Leibovitz is holding one of the chubby twins on her hip. All four are gently smiling.
Inside the magazine, in the middle of the cover story, there appear, without further explanation, these two sentences about Leibovitz’s family: She gave birth as a single mother to her daughter Sarah just after 9/11. Then, a few months after [her partner Susan] Sontag and Leibovitz’s father died, her twin girls were born, via a surrogate mother.
The same week that Newsweek ran this subtly edgy photograph, a report was unveiled in New York on “The Revolution in Parenthood,” the growing phenomenon of the deliberate creation of children without a mother and a father. The juxtaposition was a nice instance of what film and TV editors call random sync.