Refusing Genealogy

My friend K. is recently undergoing a sex change. He was born male and wants to become female. Before my friend K. started hormone treatment the doctor suggested he should freeze some of his sperm otherwise her ability to reproduce would be " lost forever". K. suddenly was put into the situation of feeling the biological clock ticking. Similar to what childless women from the age of 35 have to go through, K., in a short period of two or three weeks, had to take a decision about her reproductive plan.
K. decided not to take advantage of modern reproductive technology.


"With no complications
Fifteen generations
(of mine)
All honouring Nature
Until I arrive
(With incredible style)

I’m the end of the line
The end of the family line
The end of the line

No baby pulled screaming
Out into this seething whirl
By chance or whim
(Or even love ?)

Our family tree hacked into decline
And I’m spared the pain
Of ever saying

I’m the end of the line
The end of the family line
The end of the line

The decision is mine
The end of the family line
The end of the line

(The end of the family line by Morrissey)


Shortly after deciding, K. got into an argument with a lesbian friend. The friend was angry K. had just thrown away the future possibility to procreate with a female partner, something that would be not so easy for her. How could he be so irresponsible? If she might one day want to have a child with a partner, she would need to find a sperm donor.
The terror of procreation doesn’t even spare homosexuals these days.

The refusal to procreate – once a conventional decision for left and anti-establishment women in the 80ies and 90ies – is nowadays again in need of a justification. Imagine you’re in a conversation with a friend in her mid or late 30ies, who tells you she just had an abortion. She would have to explain herself – what circumstances made her do it, had she been raped? It seems mindless, especially for a woman that never had any kids, to have an abortion. At her age! It might have been her last chance.

Today, in Germany the governing techniques of the German state, reluctant to grant the status of citizens to its growing immigrant population and therefore in need of "bio-German" offspring are imposed on women. I feel it in my bones. They want me to consider procreation, because I’m German, because I’m white, because I’m not too young and not too old, because I’m educated, because I care for the environment, because I’m healthy, because I come from a family that lists their ancestors 15 generations back.

There undoubtedly exists a strong public discourse on who are the right kind of parents and who are not.
For me it is impossible to tell if I might one day feel the longing to procreate. I even kind of distrust my body. That’s what I share with my friend K.
Is there really such a thing as a "reproductive instinct"? Is there a biological clock ticking inside my womb? I wonder what sort of a clock this might be. A time clock governing the tiny labourers in my womb who are producing these odd hormones that are supposedly making me want to get pregnant.

All I want is to feel the comfort of not having children with the person I love. That’s a plot I want to share with my partner. We’ll be emigrants who flew the state of reproduction.

Sitting in my flat, equipped with antique furniture my deceased grandmother once managed to carry for miles and miles through the green lines of post WW2 Germany, I realize I will be the end of this family line. The fusion of my mother’s and my father’s blood, genes, memes, psychic dispositions, whatever one may call it: it will all dissolve, fade into space. Enunciating this sad certainty gives me the warm fussy feeling of anticlimax within my own narration. The decision is mine. Genealogy is not for me.

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