Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A non-repugnant transaction that reads like a riddle, reflecting cultural changes

When I was in elementary school (yes, there were schools then), I more than once heard the following riddle, which was a sign of the times:
"a father and his son are in a car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” How could this be?"

I thought of this riddle (and the role that conventional assumptions about gender roles play in it) when I saw this recent headline in the Telegraph:
Mary Portas: My brother is the 'father' of my son

The story answers the riddle in a way that indicates how much times have changed once again.

"Mary Portas has disclosed how her own brother helped her become a mother for the third time, after becoming a donor for an IVF procedure.

Portas, nicknamed the "Queen of Shops", has told how her wife Melanie Rickey became pregnant with their son thanks to help from her younger brother Lawrence."

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