There's a popular meme on social media that the 2005 movie "Idiocracy" is the "only movie that started out as a comedy and is turning into a documentary. It first became popular during the 2016 election as people pointed to Donald Trump as proof that our society had taken a turn for the dumb. But liberals aren't the only ones complaining and it isn't just about Trump. There's also the continuing coarseness of our entertainment, increasing profanity, ubiquitous advertisements, the "Big Ass fries," Windows 8. Fast food restaurants even have cash registers that show pictures of food with the price pre-programmed. Can hospitals be far behind?
And now we have further proof that "Idiocracy" is becoming our reality. The opening scene depicts a middle-class couple named Trevor and Carol discussing all the reasons they are choosing to postpone parenthood. In the end, a visibly aged Carol states that Trevor has passed away, but she had some eggs frozen in hopes that "the right guy comes along."
I don't know if the fictional Carol ever managed to reproduce. But the poster-girl for the egg-freezing movement in the real world just found out that the procedure doesn't offer any guarantees. Brigitte Adams, who posed for the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek under the headline, “Freeze your eggs, Free your career.” had her eggs thawed but failed to conceive. A single, blonde Vassar graduate the real Brigitte bears an uncanny resemblance to the fictional Carol.
Brigitte had her eggs frozen while still in her 30's in the hopes of getting married later and finally having children. But at 45 and still single, she had her eggs thawed so that she could undergo in-vitro fertilization. Of the eleven eggs she had frozen, two did not survive the thawing process, three failed to fertilize, five embryos were abnormal and the final one failed to implant.
I can sympathize with women like Brigitte. I never had children, largely because I didn't find a decent man to marry me until I was 40. We briefly discussed having children but decided we were too old. I once read the process described as "creeping non-choice," meaning that women often never made a conscious decision not to have children, but by postponing motherhood indefinitely, they found there was no longer a decision to make. But with today's technology, some women are under the impression that motherhood can wait for as long as they want. They can finish school, get married, establish careers, buy homes and THEN when the time is right for them, have children. The reality is not quite as certain. Although magazine covers depict actresses joyfully becoming mothers in their 40's (Janet Jackson did it at FIFTY!) most women will be unable to conceive naturally at that age. Chances of conceiving with your own eggs, even with in-vitro, are only 25% at age 40. It drops dramatically after that.
And as Brigitte Adams discovered, even freezing your eggs can't guarantee motherhood.
What a sad irony in our society that so many women are filing into abortion clinics in their 20's and fertility clinics in their 40's. The feminist movement has convinced millions of women that they could "have it all." It was a lie. Nobody "has it all." Life is about choices and trade-offs. If you want children, it may mean foregoing career advancement. If you opt to postpone motherhood, you may find it out of reach. Those who advocate "choices" for women should at least be aware of the consequences of those choice.