What’s Current: WHO thinks everyone – men included – has a ‘right to reproduce’

surrogacy baby

The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided that the inability to get pregnant constitutes a disability, meaning that single men, for example, have the “right to reproduce.”

Page Six reports that Trump advisors took members of the media to a strip club the night before the final presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Men “love smart women” until they actually talk to them.

Women are pissed that a London swimming pool is making their change rooms unisex in order to accommodate self-identified trans people. One woman who submitted an objection says, “The council will be putting women of all ages, including the vulnerable and those with learning difficulties, whom likely have no voice here, at risk.”

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Marla

    Not sure I completely understand this. Men love “smart women” which is really an open and vague societal sore. Smart about what? Sports? Cars? Pieces of stereo equipment? Can’t be academic, right? Because if it is then I agree with the article that many men find it to be less of a “turn on” as it is a feeling intimidation and ego-threats. On the other hand, I have met men who have shared their fantasizes of women in positions of power as being a turn on. This was anything from a woman being a judge to a orthopedic surgeon. Problem was they saw them as being “dominant” rather than educated, “bitchy” rather than experts in their field.

  • Daughter of Asopus

    The right to reproduce implies a right to access to women’s bodies and body-parts like eggs. Feels bad man.

    • Just trying to Understand

      The same could be said about women having a right to access men’s sperm. My problem is considering it a disablity. Anyone not having sex but wants children could be considered disabled. LOL, really.

    • Witch

      Yes. I hate the surrogacy implications of this.

      If men one day create the technology that enables them to carry babies to term in their own bodies, then go ahead, I couldn’t care less.

      But surrogacy is a very abusive industry that exploits the bodies of mainly disfranchised women and must not be encouraged in couples, let alone single men.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    And I thought it was bad when the WHO decided all females of reproductive age should abstain from alcohol since we’re all just empty vessels that could be impregnated at any moment. Or when they plucked a 15% c section rate recommendation out of their arses. This is thoroughly disgusting. Personally I don’t think having children should be a right even if you have a suitable partner and are not infertile. This is lunacy.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah totally agree. Having a child is not a ‘right.’ Ridiculous.

  • This is how women are being made available for purchase:
    men and their “right” to fuck = prostitution
    men and their “right” to reproduce = surrogacy.

    Nobody has the “right” to fuck.
    Nobody has the “right” to reproduce.


  • fragglerock

    I second that!

  • fragglerock

    Is the WHO concerned about the lack of people on the planet? Last time I checked, we had a serious overpopulation problem and plenty of kids without homes. I don’t know–stuff like this makes me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Makes me want to stay inside more…or flamethrow with Cassandra.
    Also, “the right to have a child” not only objectifies women but also children as if they were commodities being churned out for consumption. And what is the WHO’s stance on people who abuse their “right to have children”????

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    It’s very sick. I’m reminded of the organ donation situation where they can now put donor uteruses into women who are infertile. Look I have no problem donating organs that are essential to life like heart or lungs. But I have serious philosophical issues with anyone having a “right” to reproduce. It’s not a human right as far as I’m concerned.

    • lagattamontral

      There is a huge biological cost to having a donated organ, with lower immunity due to anti-rejection drugs. It should really only be contemplated for essential to life or to a human existence (the case of people whose faces have been destroyed). Ludicrous to consider that for a uterus, or a testicle.

  • Irenic Empire

    If parenthood is a right, then I have a right to own a dog.

    That gives me rights to a dog-walker at least once a day, if not more (since I work long days), free kennel services when I’m out of town, and free veterinary services.

    I love this argument, but it sounds utterly ridiculous, right?

  • Michelle

    The reporting in that article is likely to be very questionable, no links in there go to the source of the claim and it is very unclear how that extrapolation occurred. Might be more akin to a creative writing exercise. This is what the WHO is actually saying –

    “Multiple definitions of infertility:

    In 2009, WHO joined with the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) and other partners to develop a Glossary of definitions for infertility and fertility care. This Glossary included the clinical definition for infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” This is keeping with WHO definition of male and female infertility in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10).

    WHO has not changed its use of this definition. It is important to note that this definition provides a clinical description of infertility. ****It does not make any recommendations about the provision
    of fertility care services.****

    WHO is currently collaborating with its partners to update the Glossary and consideration is being given to revising the definition of infertility. ****Should there be a change in the definition of infertility, it will remain a clinical description of infertility as a disease of the reproductive system and will not make recommendations about the provision of fertility care services.”****


    Assisting couples and individuals:–

    Fertility and infertility: It is the choice of each individual and couple, within their own sense of conscience, to determine if they intend pregnancy, and if so, the size of their family unit and the timing of when to have a child or children. If fertility problems arise, interventions can be attempted from simple fertility awareness methods to more advanced methods associated with in vitro fertilization. These interventions are scientifically innovative; and, they have revolutionized concepts of generational identity, family, and human reproductive potential.


  • rosearan

    Re the ‘smart women’ article. I notice all the time on online forums that men are fine with smart women, as long as they go along with the male worldview. Whether it’s about war, social injustice, economic issues, politics – it’s all fine. However, if a smart woman dares to use her ‘smartness’ to challenge male dominance, all hell breaks loose. The men suddenly close ranks to portray the smart woman as a misguided child, driven by anger and bitterness. Smart women are fine; smart feminists are dumb.

  • Just trying to Understand

    I was not trying to imply it was exactly same thing. I don’t beleive it is apples to apples. Maybe apples to oranges but it’s still fruit.

  • Rurik Omnibus

    What’s current is that we’re likely to see Aroldis Chapman, a woman-abuser, pitching in tonight’s Game One of the World Series. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/10/24/reliever_aroldis_chapman_gives_chicago_cubs_fans_a_moral_dilemma.html

    • NagaMorich

      Men in Sports – its a theme.
      “Man acquitted of murder in New Zealand woman’s balcony death”

      • Morag999

        ‘”You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony,” Tostee is heard saying in the recording.’

        So, he choked and restrained her, and warned her that if she tried anything, he’d push her off. And once he locked her outside on the balcony, she was so terrified that she decided climbing down, rather than waiting to see what he’d do next, was her best choice. That’s what women’s rights are all about, right? “Choice”?

        And so he was acquitted.

        Honestly, I’m a little surprised the defence didn’t try arguing that, when she attempted to escape from the man who was terrorizing her, she actually “consented” to falling fourteen storeys.

        • NagaMorich

          and some a-*ole apparently penned a column s*&6 shaming the dead woman b/c they got together through tinder.

  • Morag999

    You’re asking good questions.

    I wrote a comment, further up, about people having a right to their fertility and reproductive potential, but not a “right” to reproduce– that is, nobody has a right to have a baby, no matter their biological/personal limitations. As in, if someone lacks fertility, or partner, they still have … I dunno … an abstract (?) right to reproduce like everybody else, but that doesn’t mean society owes them, or that they should be able to purchase, fertility treatments, organ transplants, or a human surrogate.

    But the question still stands, doesn’t it? Is it a human right to reproduce if one can actually reproduce without exploiting anybody else? I think, if the answer is yes, that that’s not the same thing as saying that breeding more human beings, under our current diasterous conditions here on Earth, is a good thing that should be immune to criticism.

    I don’t think I’m being very clear yet. Still thinking on this. One thing that bothers me for sure is the idea that poor people are less deserving of the right/privilege to have babies than people who are comfortable or wealthy.

  • rosearan

    Even conservative women are not let off. For example, Melinda Tankard Reist in Australia is battered from all sides for her stance against pornography and the sexualisation of women and girls. She has an anti-abortion past, but is on record as being opposed to criminalisation. She is published on the trauma of abortion by the feminist Spinifex Press, who were also soundly discredited for ‘selling out’.

    It’s hard for smart women to negotiate this minefield of conflicting tensions. But at the end of the day, integrity wins out, or at least it should. Conservative female advocates are also our allies.

  • yummymoussaka

    I do think having children should be considered a privilege, not a right, and people should be required to prove that they are responsible enough to handle it. Just like with driving.

    You can wreck people’s lives if you drive badly. Bad parenting can also wreck lives.

    I know, I know, parenting is far more personal than driving, with many more variables, and there are a lot of reasons it would be hard to make “parenting licenses” work like driver’s licenses. But I can dream.

    • Alienigena

      And bad parents still seem to get away with murder, literally. I think most people are convinced that they have a right to reproduce it is just everyone else who should not. But I also see a little bit of Trump in everyone … people who blame random others for whatever goes wrong in their lives. The kind of person who needs scapegoats (and frankly there are a lot of those kinds of people). Personally I have never really felt any biological imperative to reproduce. I really don’t see families in a positive light (coming from one in which there has been >1 generation in which men have behaved abusively to spouses or children). Every time I see something about familial abuse these days the powers that be seem to want to keep the family together. Personally that would not have worked for me. I wanted my father to go away and not come back. Abuse doesn’t necessarily lead you to seek the approval of the abusing parent … you may and up rejecting them and all they stand for.

  • Michelle

    Right so what I need now is for you to come back with the actual definition and a link to the source confirming the claim or confirmation whether the document I have is the one that has the definition in question. If the document is correct, can it be explained to me what in it that says that.

    No articles making the claim, I have tried researching to find the source of the claim and what it might be based on so someone would have to direct me to the source of the claim to prove it is actually the case the WHO has changed the definition in the way the article claims.

    It seems like everyone believes it, but they haven’t done anything more than take the claims at face value. It doesn’t matter it’s said with no citing of the actual definition and with articles quoting each other as ‘proof’ of the changed definition. I’d like to see what the face value of it actually is and will be quite happy to be shown wrong if it is the case that I’m wrong and that article is 100% telling the truth and is factual on this matter.

  • will

    I tend to agree with you. It’s a weird framing, I think, to discuss the “right” to “have” a human being. I certainly don’t think giving birth is a “right”, as in everyone has a “right” to reproductive interventions if they want to reproduce and are not getting pregnant. And to be honest, I am basing this more on an experiential basis after knowing a number of middle class couples who want to have “their own” children (in other words, to love and nurture children who don’s carry their own DNA is not considered an option) and who see themselves as tragically victimized because they don’t GET what the WANT when they want it.

    The desire to care for, love and support young people as they grow into adults, particularly when one has the resources to do so, also seems at odds with “rights” discourse, when so many young people are in need of those things.

  • rosearan

    Ditto, Christina Hoff Sommers, paid handsomely for three years by the ultra-right Heritage and Olin Foundations to write her book, ‘Who Stole Feminism?’, which became one of the bibles of the MRA movement. I still get ‘manspladvised’ by MRAs on online forums that I need to read her ‘honest’ and ‘courageous’ book.

  • Morag999

    Oh, I do hear you about men who reproduce freely, here, there and everywhere, like dandelions.

    But any social policy introduced to stop or curb irresponsible male behaviour would be immediately turned — and with greater force, control and hatred — on the bodies of fertile females. Guaranteed. And whatever they would do to us would be done under the great banner of “gender equality.”

  • Morag999

    Yes of course there’s a good case for voluntary sterilization. Truly voluntary sterilization, though — completely free of coercion or manipulation. Maybe my comment could’ve been more clear because I certainly wasn’t arguing against that.