Debra Satz's Defense Of The Asymmetry Thesis

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The market in women’s reproductive labour is one that is complicated and contentious. Many people view the selling of women’s reproductive labour to be an unacceptable form of market exchange as compared to other forms of labour market exchange. It seems intuitive to people that the treatment of women’s reproductive labour as a commodity and its exploitation for money, as compared to other forms of labour as commodities, is worse. This view is known as the asymmetry thesis. In the book “Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale”, Debra Satz agrees with the asymmetry that exists. While I am in support of the asymmetry thesis on the market in women’s reproductive labour, I disagree with Satz’s way of defending the asymmetry thesis. Satz is of the …show more content…
I, on the other hand, adopt the essentialist view and think that there is something about the nature of women’s reproductive labour that makes it problematic to sell. In this paper, I will first present and examine Satz’s defense of the asymmetry thesis. Next, I will argue against Satz’s defense of the asymmetry thesis. Lastly, I will argue in favour of the essentialist position in support of the asymmetry thesis.
Satz argues that the market in women reproductive labour is problematic because of the gender inequality that it promotes in society. She thinks that “it is the background gender inequality that makes the commodification of women’s attributes especially objectionable” (Satz, 2010). Firstly, Satz raises the worry of the market in women’s reproductive labour encouraging women to give up their control over their own body in a contract pregnancy. In contract pregnancy, those who pay for reproductive
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It is only natural that a surrogate mother develops a bond with the child she has conceived for she has devoted tremendous physical and mental resources into the pregnancy. Thus, it would not be surprising if the surrogate mother regrets her decision of entering into a pregnancy contract and decides to breach the contract to give away the child, due to the intimate bond she has formed with her child during the period of her pregnancy. When we demand that a surrogate mother give up the child and her parental rights to the child, we treat the child as a mere commodity. (Lack of appreciation for the child’s intrinsic value other than its instrumental value) However, Satz’s argues against this as she does not think that there is a “difference between women’s reproduction labour and human labour that would be relevant to contract pregnancy”. She raises criticisms against contract pregnancy that believes in the special nature of parental love which arises when conceiving the child. She views the mother-child bond to be similar to the bond formed between a worker and his product. She also argues that contract pregnancy does not cause parents to view children as commodities. She believes that even if those paying for the women’s reproductive labour are not satisfied with certain characteristics of their

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