Why 'asking' Schlein is a mistake

The open letter of 'one hundred feminists' to the PD secretary is based on false hopes: Elly Schlein will not change her positions on the uterus for rent. Nor on the other issues of the transhuman umbrella that the letter does not mention - starting with free gender identity - and that structure her Zan-transfeminist political identity. Is it worth adopting a begging posture?
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Let us hope that the 'hundred feminists' who wrote to Elly Schlein -and with most of whom we are in constant political relation- is better than us, that as Network for the Inviolability of the Female Body During the primaries we had asked for a meeting with the future secretary: not even a hint of an answer. Nor did we expect it, despite the long-standing acquaintance with her of some among us.

We did not join the 'hundred feminists' appeal who intend to confront Schlein on surrogacy because in this case repetita non juvantif anything, the repetita, always in the same direction, are of Schlein, who has always been in favour of this practice and supported it with her vote as an MEP, interviewed in the last part of the primaries reiterated her firm yes to the Gpa demonstrating that they have no doubt about it and his first political gesture was to participate in the Milan square of pro-transcription homogenous families.

We also did not sign the letter for a number of other reasons, before which a incipit that we did not feel at all like sharing:

".... we were pleased to see your election to the secretariat of the Democratic Party, because of the historical significance of this fact and because you are a young woman with a mind for change; your proposal has intercepted hopes for better choices for the community and has aroused them, we wish you to be able to cherish them and not squander them".

Schlein's election did not give us any hope because Schlein is openly and inflexibly trans-feminist. In a nutshell: with respect to the issues that constitute thetranshuman umbrella and on which we have been fighting for years Schlein is invariably on positions adverse to oursand there is little to hope for. Schlein is there for that, one might say primarily for that, supported by powerful international organisations such as Open Society e Social Changes.

The letter goes on to list many of the sensible reasons why surrogacy is an abomination and the full transcription of birth certificates realisation abroad of these children born on commission only encourages the practice. We are well aware of this: we were the ones who urged the prefect of Milan on the issue, demanding compliance with the Court of Cassation rulings prohibiting transcription and pointing the way to adoption in special cases, and obtaining the blocking of registrations. A political success that unfortunately the letter of the 'hundred feminists' does not consider mentioning. Why?

The letter makes no proposals other than extending the possibility of adoption to singles and same-sex couplesan objective that in truth - however sensible - has never been among Pride's priorities. On the other hand, we know very well that the road to adoption is an impassable one for everyone and children to adopt are in short supply. The possibility of adoption would therefore only marginally affect the large numbers of the Gpa. While even Jennifer Lahl, leader of Stop Surrogacy Now, looks with great interest at the idea of Italy being among the first nations to declare the uterus for rent a universal offence, hoping that the proposal will also be taken up by other countries. And indeed, radical feminism, since well before the parliamentary proposal, has always pursued theobjective of universal abolition. But Of this bill -which we support without any doubt- and which would produce a substantial stop to the Gpa the letter of the 'hundred feminists' makes no mention. Here, too, we wonder why.

In any case, the response of the PD -another reason for puzzlement: why only turn to the PD?- somehow already arrived, notably in the words of Paola De Micheli: the party, she says, will not support proposals to regulate the Gpa, which will remain a crime. While On the idea of making it a universal offence proposed by the governing majority, the PD will presumably put up a fight, It will be interesting to see with what arguments (hopefully not just the ones of the pundits).

Suppose that Schlein, thunderstruck on the road to Damascus, concedes an interlocution to the 'hundred feminists': very difficult, but let us hope so; let us even suppose that she is willing to at least partially revise her own positions on the uterus for rent: impossible, but let us suppose it. The fact, however, is that there is more than just Gpa, theme that we all keep in the foreground as well. There is all the rest of the transhuman umbrella for which Schlein is a convinced spokesperson: absolutely self-determined gender identity (self-id), alias careers in schools, facilitated transition, hormones, sex work, sexual assistance for the disabled. To say the least, bungled and generic on many other issues, starting with the economy, on these matters Schlein's programme is detailed and precise and The appointment of Alessandro Zan as head of rights in his secretariat sweeps away any possible doubts. Why then is the letter of the 'hundred feminists' limited to the Gpa?

A final reason that prevents us from endorsing the letter to Schlein -which we reproduce in full below- is the almost pleading and somewhat victimising tone of the close:

"feminists like us, dissidents from the single thought, find it difficult to express ourselves in public contexts, because there is organised harassment, defamation campaigns, conventions to exclude from the discussion (...) You have spoken many times about the plural ideas that must animate the alternative. We ask you for a signal against censorship'.

"We ask you'? And why? Schlein is a champion of no-debate, consistent with the politics of global transactivism. More generally: since when has feminism 'demanded'? since he assumed this questing posture? why, if confrontation with the 'daughter' Schlein is desired, do mothers relinquish their authority?

And again: How can it be argued victimistically and self-defeatingly that the experience that is perhaps of some -the difficulty of expressing oneself in public contexts- is of all feminism?

This is not the case at all: our arguments undoubtedly represent those of the majority of citizens, our texts appear in the mainstream press and provoke debate, we asked for and obtained a hearing in the Senate during the debate on the Zan bill, contributing substantially to stopping that bill unacceptable and dangerous, there is a International RadFem movement resisting transhumanism with bare hands and producing reversalsfrom the Great North to the UK to the US. By appealing to the prefect of Milan, we succeeded in having the transcriptions of full birth certificates made abroad blocked in all Italian municipalities.

How can it be argued that for us it is difficult to express oneself in public contexts?

For all these reasons, wishing good luck to our 'hundred feminist' friends we do not join their initiative.

Here the letter of the 'hundred feminists'


Dear Elly Schlein,

We are feminists of different ages and with different political histories and we were pleased to see your election to the secretariat of the Democratic Party, because of the historical value of this fact and because you are a young woman who is planning to change; your proposal has intercepted hopes for better choices for the community and has aroused them, we hope you know how to cherish them and not squander them.

We are writing to you regarding the ongoing debate on children born through surrogacy to communicate our concerns, on which we would like to engage in a discussion with you.

1. There are people who plan to circumvent the Italian law prohibiting surrogacy by commissioning it abroad, trusting that on their return they will be able to invoke the best interests of the child and obtain regularisation. 

These people demand the automatic transcription in Italy of birth certificates formed abroad and reject as discrimination the procedure of adoption in special cases by the parent's partner. This is in spite of the fact that adoption in special cases, following Constitutional Court ruling No. 79 of 2022, now guarantees the adoptee's or adoptee's status as the adoptee's child and full integration into the adoptee's family environment (i.e. the adoptee's family ties extend to the adoptee, the parents legally become grandparents, brothers and sisters become uncles and aunts, and so on).

The left-wing parties are the reference point in the fight against discrimination and have taken up the issue, but without adequate consideration of all the implications, in our opinion.

2. Those born from surrogate motherhood are deprived of maternal care and are not breastfed but immediately handed over to the commissioners because they want to break the attachment that already exists with the mother, regardless of the genetic link. This is detrimental. As he grows up, he will be denied knowledge of his maternal origin, deliberately split between unknown egg producer and pregnant woman, whom he will not be able to see sometimes on skype. This is another harm. 

These are planned damages, not unfortunate incidents.

3. The woman who lends herself to surrogacy puts her physical and mental health at risk, because she has to conduct the pregnancy of a foetus that is genetically foreign to her, with impacting and intrusive manoeuvres to replace her physiology for the benefit of pregnancy for others; and she has to operate a split between self and self in order not to feel what is happening to her body as her own, that is, she has to arrive at a psychological state that is pathological in common pregnancies.

4. The woman who gives up her oocytes undergoes ovarian stimulation for an overproduction of gametes, a method that carries risks for her health.

5. To the argument that every adult person has the power to choose the risks to be taken to reach his or her goal, we oppose that the goal to be reached does not belong to the risk-taker but to the principals, and that she only needs money. 

6. We do not agree with the mechanical view of women, with their bodies broken up into pieces and separated from their personalities. Nor do we agree with the unpacking of the ratio of the rules: in the current debate, many people repeat that the legitimacy of surrogacy is not at issue, but only the dual filiation to protect the children born. But these are surrogate births! It is also said that the right to parenthood is not at issue. But what is being asked is to transcribe intended parenthood as if it were natural parenthood! At stake, in our opinion, are precisely the legitimacy of surrogacy and the right to parenthood, both of which are at issue.

The Oviedo Convention of the Council of Europe in Article 21 stipulates the 'Prohibition of profit - The human body and its parts must not, as such, be a source of profit'. 

The Court of Cassation in its judgment 38162/2022 published on 30/12/2022 states that 'in gestation for others there are not only the parental wishes, aspirations and plans of the commissioning couple. There are concrete people. There are women used as instruments for reproductive functions, with their inalienable rights annulled or suspended within contractual procedures. There are children exposed to a practice that determines uncertainties about their status and, therefore, their identity in society'.

Even before the reference to codes, it is the human sense of the inviolability of persons that rebels against the reduction of women to commodities and of offspring to ordination. The inviolability of women and the inviolability of their offspring is the inviolability of all, without which there is no difference between persons and things.

That is why we write to you. In surrogacy, the woman surrenders herself to the commission and cannot even decide whether to terminate the pregnancy or what drugs to take. Maternity surrogacy is based on premises (the contract and the reduction of the woman to a container of other people's biological material) that, if accepted collectively, undermine the possibility for every woman to decide freely on reproductive matters and are the philosophical basis for any recrimination of men's children in a proprietary sense. We are feminists, so we do not accept a contract that implies a woman giving up control over her own body. Moreover, in the words of Stefano Rodotà, we abhor the rich buying the lives of the poor, just as we expect anyone on the political left to abhor it. 

We ask you, who lead the main opposition party, to take a clear stand against surrogacy and not to allow propaganda through children in favour of the colonial and classist use of the physiology of human beings. Do not leave this issue to the right, which distorts it to bend it to a project of reaffirming the institutionalised and compulsory traditional family, and do not let the left become complicit in new forms of human exploitation. We also ask you to propose systems that discourage the use of surrogacy abroad. 

Children born through surrogacy have adequate protection from adoption in special cases. Abandoned children, on the other hand, should find a home with would-be single parents or in same-sex couples, and we hope for a reform in this direction.

Lastly, we tell you that feminists like us, dissidents from the single thought, find it difficult to express ourselves in public contexts, because there is organised harassment, defamation campaigns, conventions to exclude from discussion. As Rosa Luxemburg said, 'freedom is always the freedom of those who think differently'. You have spoken many times about the plural ideas that must animate the alternative. We ask you for a signal against censorship, a multi-voice meeting on these issues would be a promising turning point. 

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