Slavery is not a happy ending novel

by Emmanuele di Leo


Can the words change the reality? No, but the perception of it can.
It’s not been long since we have reported the shameful propaganda of the Hotel Venezia in Kiev, Ukraine, where 46 babies from surrogate mothers are waiting for the purchasing parents to pick up the goods.
The sweet tone of the words of the manager, the “pastel colours”, the reassurances on the baby bath and on the walks certainly have the purpose of representing a different reality from the one hidden behind all this embellishment: a crime against the most elementary of the humanrights , a new form of slavery, the surrogacy.
Recently we at Steadfast Onlus chanced upon an app, which we will call R, that allows you to read serialised storytelling.
Chapters can be unlocked for immediate reading by spending coins or waiting for the next day. New, bite-sized chapters are added day after day, leaving the reader a pleasant sense of expectation.
Among the novels proposed, in second place, 19.2 million views, “The Billionaire’s Surrogate” captured our attention.
Here is the story:

Emily is 24 years old, she is a college student, she would like to help her family pay for the healthcare of her sick father, but her economic conditions do not allow her. This is how she came up with the idea of applying for an agency for surrogate mothers, The Growing Generations Programme.
The decision does not seem to have cost her so much, the remuneration for this service does attract her, it would change her life, obviously because it could help her father in the disease.
To her surprise, someone accepts her application, a charming single, heir to a famous family of actors. 
What makes Emily retreat from the decision initially? The fact that the charming Collins doesn’t want Emily to lend her uterus only, but, through insemination, her own egg is fertilised. She would be the biological mother of the baby and she will carry in her womb for nine months and she will give to the single father after the birth, according to a contract that will make her lose all rights. 
However, this glimmer of conscience is obscured by the offer of $ 250,000 as a payment for the service.
As you can imagine, the trap for these 19 million readers lies in the romantic imagination to which the reading leads them subliminally.
Him and her are beautiful; he is, insolently, rich and “pathologically” protective towards her; how can we not imagine a romantic ending between the two. 
If they had been clumsy and inept, if he had been a mere indifferent customer, if she had admitted to have taken this choice to enjoy a good life, instead of helping a sick father, the message would not probably have come to the reader in the same way.
It is not in our aim to denigrate a novel, because it is such. It is a fiction and remains so since such a case, with these specific characteristics, will probably never happen.
Instead, what we want to make clear is how a criminal and inhuman act, like tearing a newborn away from the arms of a mother by contract, if presented with the necessary precautions, can be transfigured even arriving to be seen as a gesture of love. This is what we saw in Kiev, a selfish desire of motherhood/fatherhood that has the right to be satisfied despite everything and for which it is hoped there will be no consequences if the law is broken. Unfortunately, it’s real children and it’s not a novel.

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