Infertility and the Apocalypse

After watching Advantageous, I find the connection between some of the other apocalyptic movies and this one to be very interesting. Specifically, in this film and Children of Men, one greatly influential propulsion of society’s ruination was infertility. In addition to these two films, I feel as though infertility also plays a role in Wall E, because seeing as how the humans in the film cannot see past their computer screens or stand up on their own, it is safe to say that they are also infertile or would have extreme difficulty reproducing if I t was a possibility. Lastly, in the short film World of Tomorrow, sexual reproduction seems obsolete since humans clone themselves by carrying and birthing their own clones.

I find it so interesting that the entire world collapses under the reality of worldwide infertility. It is crazy to me because it is not something immediate. The people who are alive in that day and for many years to come will be relatively unaffected and able to live their lives for the rest of its natural duration. There is no meteor, world war or other catastrophic event that causes society to collapse. I understand the threat of the human race slowly dwindling away is daunting, but why does society turn into the stereotypical dystopian situation? I never would have considered infertility apocalyptic on a global scale. It is a factor of life that people see each and every day, so I understand how to an individual, couple or family it can seem like the end of the world, but seeing it as a mass force that was causing the world to be in shambles was very enthralling to me.

In addition, I find it interesting that the blame is subliminally and overtly, depending on the film, placed on the women. It is never explicitly explained why women are infertile, why Gwen had the option to donate highly coveted eggs or why Emily prime would be impregnated with her own clone, but for some reason it always seems to fall back on it being the women’s fault. Could a chemical that the government was releasing have been toxic? Did having children fade out of cultural norms so the human body evolved to not sustain a child anymore? No one knows. So why are the women being blamed? Is this implying that the only way the world can function properly is if women are thriving?

There is so much more that could be explored with this dynamic topic that really drew me in as a viewer and made me pay even more attention to try to figure out what was really going on. All of this emphasizes the importance of women in society and challenges the ideas that the only way women can be successful is as mothers in the home. It also analyzes the negative impacts of treating women as children bearing and raising machines (Gwen transforms to provide for her daughter, Kee is forced to constantly run towards the ship, Emily the third travels to take Emily Prime’s memories of her mother, etc.). After watching these movies, I am extremely intrigued to know why humans are the only ones affected by this infertility? Could cloning or alternative methods of reproduction reduce the likelihood of the ruination of the human race?

 

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