Is Women 's Labor A Commodity? Essay

1176 Words Dec 16th, 2016 5 Pages
The legality of the controversial issue of commercial surrogacy is unsettled. Elizabeth S. Anderson in her 1990 study, “Is Women’s Labor a Commodity?”, aims to clarify this. Commercial surrogacy differs from altruistic surrogacy as it involves a financial transaction. The surrogate mother relinquishes parental rights and transfers custody to the father in return for a fee and paid medical expenses. The author examines whether surrogacy improperly treats children and women’s reproductive capacities as commodities. This is done by emphasising the predominance of exploitation and degradation which the surrogate faces during the process. The purpose of this article is to make an argument against traditional surrogacy. Her suggestions for action include making such agreements illegal and subject to criminal penalties. In this essay, I will argue that commercial surrogacy does reduce women’s labour to a commodity, but that children born from the process are not a commodity. I will focus primarily on the refuting Anderson’s baby-selling argument, demonstrating that the child is not being sold to the commissioning couple as a commodity. The argument will be presented by questioning the nature of the commodity and degradation of the child. In examining arguments made by Arneson and subsequently presenting a response to these critiques via the analysis of Anderson, I will also discuss feminist theory. My conclusion will be highlighted by showing that women are degraded

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