Is the movie Eggsploitation, exploiting itself?
January 14, 2011 | By: Liz
I know I haven’t been blogging very much and I know I keep promising that I will. Honestly, I have been trying to determine what type of “voice” I want my blog to have. Do I want to be a voice of comfort, reassurance and peace of mind, do I want to discuss topics that are highly relevant and even personal to me with respect to infertility as I am an infertility warrior, or do I want to speak as an expert in my field and educate people. I suppose I could find a way to do all three and I haven’t yet found the right “pitch” (just continuing the voice metaphor here folks) to launch some knew blogs. And I think I found it.
I try and stay out of highly controversial discussions in my industry and to avoid taking sides unless I feel passionately about the issue. Sometimes blogging backfires (ala Sarah Palin’s recent “hit list” and the resulting death of 15 people). But I have come across another of those issues that MUST be discussed, so I am hereby entering into the foray and it’s along the lines of my “what was Brooke Shields thinking” blogs.
Let’s get real for a moment and turn to a movie reel about egg donation.
I today learned that the “documentary” Eggsploitation was announced to have been nominated as best documentary. When I read this on FaceBook this morning I almost vomitted. For those of you who haven’t seen it . . . and please don’t see it if you are considering either becoming an egg donor or using an egg donor to build a family . . . it is highly inaccurate and inflammatory. Please understand that I am trying to be nice.
The movie is an attempt by right wing, pro-life. Christian conservatives to reveal the “real world of egg donation”. And Honey, it doesn’t. It serves one purpose only, to promote an anti-IVF anti-egg donation agenda. And in my mind it isn’t a documentary unless you are basing your documentary on something with a substantial amount of truth or accuracy. A documentary by one definition is the “creative treatment of actuality”. I will agree to the creative part with respect to this film, but not the actuality part (with one caveat, I will agree that egg donation exists as a means to build a family). Another definition says that a documentary presents the facts with little or no additions. Isn’t it a failure to present the facts if you only present one side, or one statistically insignificant, rare and otherwise atypical aspect of something, i.e. ONE fact when there are many facts to be discussed?
This film is based on untruths, inaccuracies, mythical stories, and an agenda. It veils itself as a documentary in order to lend some false sense of “truth” to the movie’s topic, the exploitation of egg donors and recipient families all to the benefit of the massive money generating industry of reproductive medicine.
The reproductive industry has responded many times in opposition to the film, as have many of my colleagues (for example, here is another blog on the topic http://weblog.prospectivefamilies.com/2011/01/13/what-more-is-there-to-say-about-eggsploitation/ ). I think it’s pretty much a universal sentiment in my world, both professional and personal, that this movie has nothing to do with reality and is serving to mislead the general public about a viable and very successful means of family building, egg donation.
I really think it has gotten to the point that the movie is now exploiting itself for its own financial benefit. They are now twisting all the negative media attention into an argument that if they weren’t so “right” about the industry that there wouldn’t be so many defensive and anti-Eggsploitation blogs/articles/reviews. It’s kind of like the old saying “you know you’ve done something right if they’re shooting at you!” And they are using that to drive more people into movie theaters.
Well I don’t think they’ve done anything right, I am disgusted by the MOVIE, and I am disgusted that anyone would think it was worthy of the title “best” in anything. I haven’t spoken out before because I didn’t want to further publicize this movie and thus encourage people to watch it — even if it is to see how wrong it is.
And for the love of all that is sacred about the word FAMILY, I respectfully request that the movie industry get a grip and get real. Don’t endorse this movie. Many a Hollywood family has been created through the gift of egg donation. Do you really want to slap your egg donor in the face like that? By promoting, endorsing, and casting something that she did to help you have a baby and a family, in such a negative, illicit and patronizing light?
I’m not saying the world of reproductive medicine is perfect. I have some bones to pick with things that happen in the world in which work. And I will cut the producers of this movie and Hollywood some slack and say that if you are going to focus on the very creative aspects of the use of truth to create a dialog (albeit the wrong dialog) then okay maybe this is a documentary. But it’s a documentary that I refuse to endorse on any level.
Someone can, and should, do a better job at looking at the gifts that third party assisted reproduction are giving to infertile families.
Blech Blech Blech.
Filed under: Announcements, Check This Out, Current Affairs, Egg Donation, I'm Just Another Angry Infertile Woman, In the News, Infertility In The Movies etc., IVF, Personal Musings, Thinking Out Loud, Third-Party Assisted Reproduction
On January 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm
As a 4x egg donor I’m appalled by this documentary. Have I been exploited? I’m about to graduate from a top ten university and I did a ton of research on egg donation before I chose to become a donor. I didn’t go in blind at all. Yes there are risks, however they are mitigated. Should we promote further research that follows egg donors after donation? Sure! Should we promote further regulation to make practices safer for egg donors and intended parents? Of course!
But this film advocates nothing but the end of egg donation. It’s completely biased. They managed to find the less than 1 percent of women who are adversely affected by egg donation and profile them. And while I think their voices deserve to be heard, they don’t deserve to be exploited in such a way. The movie doesn’t advocate for anything but the profit that comes from sensationalism.
On February 20, 2011 at 9:57 am
You have got to be kidding me. This documentary represents those particular donors and their stories. How are their own stories not “substantial” or the “truth”? Just because you don’t like it and it may make some think twice about donating doesn’t mean it’s a misrepresentation of egg donations. Those things can and do happen to women undergoing hyper ovulation and need to be known. These women are not simply vendors to solve yours or anyone else’s fertility problem. They see human beings with their own stories and their voices need to be heard too. The good and the bad. You just seem like a bitter infertile who doesn’t care about the donor or the child created from donor conception as long as you get your dream of raising a child.
On August 2, 2015 at 3:59 am