I’ve been writing about lesbian eugenics since this 2000 article in VDARE on how Melissa Etheridge and Jodie Foster went about selecting sperm donors. (Etheridge always struck me as just sort of a lesbian Bob Seger, but Foster is a pretty interesting person.) So, thanks to everybody who sent me versions of this story. From the Daily Mail:
Jennifer Cramblett says fears her daughter won’t be accepted by her racist family and neighbors her small, all-white Uniontown, Ohio
Hardships including having to go to a ‘black neighborhood’ to get her daughter’s hair cut, where she was ‘not overtly welcome’
Ms Cramblett says Midwest Sperm Bank mixed up her order and sent her sperm vials from the wrong donor
They paid $400 each for six vials of the wrong sperm, they say
It used to be that there was virtually no customer choice in the fertility business. Slate’s editor David Plotz pointed out in his 2005 book The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank:
“In this first generation of AID [Artificial Insemination by Donor], doctors tyrannized their patients. When a red-faced couple appeared at the office, mumbling about infertility, the doctor told them he would take care of everything. Mothers were discouraged from asking questions about the donor. The doctor did a little poking around for a suitable donor—often the closest medical student at hand. The doctor would make sure the donor was the right skin color—white parents got white donors. If the doctor was feeling benevolent, he would also try to match the eye color of the father.”
The liberator was eugenicist Robert K. Graham, who started the so-called “Nobel Prize Sperm Bank” with donations from William Shockley and Jonas Salk. Plotz wrote:
“Robert Graham strolled into the world of dictatorial doctors and cowed patients and accidentally launched a revolution…All he wanted to do was propagate genius. But he knew that his grand experiment would flop unless women wanted to shop with him… So Graham did what no one in the business had ever done: he marketed his men…
“His Repository catalog was very spare … but it thrilled his customers. Women who saw it realized, for the first time, that they had a genuine choice… Thanks to its attentiveness to consumers, the Repository upended the hierarchy of the fertility industry. Before the Repository, fertility doctors had ordered, women had accepted… Mother after mother said the same thing to me: she had picked the Repository because it was the only place that let her select what she wanted.
“Where Graham went, other sperm banks — and the rest of the fertility industry—followed… All sperm banks have become eugenic sperm banks.”
But I’ve always wondered about quality control in the sperm bank industry. If a lesbian demands, say, at least a 1400 SAT score, how does she know that some jerkoff didn’t just make up his score? Are there industry-wide quality control systems now in place, or is it still the Wild West?