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Apple and Facebook should not commodify pregnancy

By Mal Fletcher - posted Monday, 20 October 2014

Apple and Facebook have announced plans to pay for their female employees to freeze their eggs.

This, say the tech giants, will boost the performance of women in their employ.

The companies seem to be betting that women will devote themselves body-and-soul to the job in the present, knowing that their bosses have helped provide other options for their future.


In reality, the reverse is likely to be true.

Many women will likely see this as a thinly veiled attempt to get them to delay motherhood because, in the companies? eyes, this will make them more productive in the short-term.

This offer will also be perceived as a direct challenge to the idea that women can balance highly productive jobs with family life.

It should also be considered a misrepresentation of the effectiveness of fertility treatments, with which there are no guarantees of success.

Moreover, this offer will and should be viewed as an attempt to commodify a vital part of the human experience.

Pregnancy ought not to be seen as a tradable commodity and babies should not be viewed as a workplace perk to be offered or denied.


Companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon, the Fab Four, have already convinced us to transfer much of our day-to-day experience to the app-sphere.

Our books, music, TV and movies are all digitised on their platforms. So are various forms of self-expression and communication, such as writing, corresponding and making phone calls.

What?s more, we increasingly rely on the digital space for shopping and conducting business.

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This article was first published on 2020PLUS.NET.

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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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