Oocyte Cryopreservation (more commonly known as egg-freezing) parties are the new Friday night, ladies. Imagine sipping cocktails, lounging around hired-out lavish hotel rooms with the weight of childbearing and the ticking biological clock lifted from your shoulders. Sorry, what?
These parties are the new trend set to sweep the fertility (and nightlife) industry. The shindigs are on the rise after corporations such as Facebook, Apple and NASA released news that they are offering their female employees up to $20k for the chance to freeze their eggs. Dr Nargund says “egg freezing is the second wave of women’s emancipation – after the contraceptive pill…it offers similar freedom of choice so women can have careers and families, and do what they wish, when they wish.”
Chanel’s feminist faux catwalk parade: women, toweringly tall, thin, lean, with healthy glowing tans, flaunted themselves down the runway representing all women over the world, amidst a collection of placards and posters defecating messages of feminist freedoms. Feminism also reached optimum exposure when UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, gave a heartfelt speech about a new campaign for women’s rights called HeForShe, stating gender equality affects both men and women globally.
So, are egg-freezing parties the new hook for feminism?
Firstly, why? A useful treatment amongst those whom have fertility-affected-illnesses, is now being popularised as a way to delay parenthood. A woman’s career goals can take priority without the worry of the ticking-biological-time-bomb. According to studies women’s fertility shies away, decreases, or rather plummets aged 35. This worries me personally. Not yet on the career ladder, I’ve only got 10 years to make my way into the world, before societal and biological pressures take precedence over my own life in having to bring someone else into the world.
Critics are insulted by the notion. They accuse corporations of trying to keep women at bay from childbearing for as long as possible, to get their worth out of them, shallowly put. However both Apple and Facebook have maternity benefit packages including four month’s leave, offering $4k to help cover expenses and proposes inclusive children’s day-care. Their aim, according to The Guardian, is to “attract and retain more female employees” in their offices. However, critics have responded with an unreceptive feeling: “it’s just another sign of how biased the corporate world is against women and motherhood.” Employees respond with hostility: “Sorry, but having a baby does not define me as a woman.” But who wouldn’t mind the choice being there? Genius Administrator at the Apple Store, says on the subject, “I think the procedure is a great thing for those with permanent sterility but using it just sounds like they’re delaying their personal needs for the sake of the corporate good.”
EggBanxx.com (the name of which somewhat resembles a website you wouldn’t want your, frozen, children discovering) hosts parties to inform attendees through a series of presentations about egg-freezing. Couples and single women leave with vouchers of up to $1000 off their first procedure. Leahjane Lavin, sales and marketing manager for Eggbanxx says about her own experience: “I don’t have to stay out at the bar on a Tuesday wondering if tonight maybe I’ll find the one…I don’t want to feel that pressure…I walk around differently, I feel lighter.” Dr. Nargund comments “women hear that they’re ‘too choosy’ or that they’ve ‘been too busy with her career.” She says this option probably isn’t their first choice but why shouldn’t women have the same career timespan as men do?
The Guardian states egg-freezing “seems to be becoming culturally acceptable in the US, with some parents even paying for the procedure as a gift to their daughters.” However, Harley Street’s London Egg Bank says “it is more than ten years since the first baby in the UK was born from a frozen egg, the process is still relatively new and the number of cycles performed quite small.” Their statistics show that many women are “postponing their family plans until well into their 30s. This may be because they have other life plans, or simply because they have not yet met their ideal partner.” With fertility declining in their mid 30s it’s an attractive opportunity for many. Note, the treatments can be up to £13k even on the NHS. The London Egg Bank only store one’s eggs for a year with no costs incurred, after that, there’s an additional annual fee.
By the way, my birthday is in less than a month, how are we celebrating?
References regarding Egg Freezing Parties
Eggbanxx.com, (2015). EggBanxx – Save on Egg Freezing! | EggBanxx.com. [online] Available at: https://www.eggbanxx.com/eggbanxx-save-egg-freezing [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Ensor, J. (2014). The ‘Egg Whisperer’ helping Silicon Valley women defy time – Telegraph. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11277212/The-Egg-Whisperer-helping-Silicon-Valley-women-defy-time.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Johnston, J., Zoll, M., Johnston, J., Zoll, M., Johnston, J. and Zoll, M. (2014). Is Freezing Your Eggs Dangerous? A Primer. [online] The New Republic. Available at: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120077/dangers-and-realities-egg-freezing [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Kaiman, J. (2012). Chinese women protest at gynaecology checks for civil service jobs. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/28/china-women-gynaecology-job-test [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Mail Online, (2013). Should I follow the trend and freeze my eggs?. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2294453/Should-I-follow-trend-freeze-eggs.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Marie Claire, (2014). Karl Lagerfeld’s 25 Most Infamous Quotes. [online] Available at: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/blogs/suzannah-ramsdale/543133/he-said-what-karl-lagerfeld-s-most-memorable-quotes.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Mead, R., Mead, R. and DenHoed, A. (2014). Who Benefits When Companies Pay for Egg Freezing?. [online] The New Yorker. Available at: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/facebook-apple-egg-freezing-benefits [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Parenting, (2015). New Home Party Trend: Hosting Egg Freezing Parties. [online] Available at: http://www.parenting.com/news-break/new-home-party-trend-hosting-egg-freezing-parties [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Peck, S. (2014). Egg freezing: the perfect 30th birthday gift for women – Telegraph. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11188889/Egg-freezing-the-perfect-30th-birthday-gift-for-women.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Ren, Y. (2014). Husband factor: Why women in China are afraid to discuss the Hong Kong protests – Telegraph. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/11159733/Hong-Kong-protests-Why-women-in-China-are-afraid-to-discuss-politics.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
The Huffington Post, (2015). Apple and Facebook Cover Egg Freezing Costs: Why Is This a Controversy?. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meimei-fox/apple-facebook-cover-egg-_b_6015962.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
The Huffington Post, (2015). Are You Going to the Egg Freezing Party?. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aimee-raupp/are-you-going-to-the-eggf_b_6153494.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
The Independent, (2014). Karl Lagerfeldâ€™s response to Chanelâ€™s feminist protest criticism. [online] Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/karl-lagerfelds-response-to-chanels-feminist-protest-criticism-9799805.html [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Topping, A. (2014). Chanelâ€™s Karl Lagerfeld cheered and jeered for â€˜feministâ€™ fashion statement. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/sep/30/chanel-karl-lagerfeld-cheered-jeered-feminist-staement-fashion-catwalk [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].
Werntz, K. (2014). Business benefits: from Facebook’s egg freezing to Virgin unlimited holidays. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/oct/21/facebook-apple-egg-freezing-virgin-unlimited-holidays-business-benefits [Accessed 6 Jan. 2015].