I heard yesterday about the controversial remarks made by Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana and Sir Elton's John's response and I thought to myself "GO ELTON!"
You can read about the controversy here. In a nutshell, the Italian designers said they oppose building families through IVF [in-vitro fertilization] calling children conceived that way "synthetic."
Elton: "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children," he said Sunday on Instagram.
The CNN article went on to say: "By Sunday afternoon the hastag #BoycottDolceGabbana had been used more than 14,000 on Twitter by supporters including celebrities Ricky Martin, Al Roker and Courtney Love. Tennis star Martina Navratilova tweeted her support for John's post, saying "My D&G shirts are going in the bin — don't want ANYONE to wear them."
There are several aspects of this I want to comment on, because I have strong opinions here.
One: Families Should Be Made Out of Love
People [gay or straight] who truly want to be parents should NOT be criticized for building families through IVF. I personally would hope that more couples would adopt but I do not judge anyone for choosing IVF. If I had been trying to conceive and faced that nightmare I probably would have tried IVF. Most non-adoptive parents just don't realize that you can love an adopted child every bit as much [or more] than a biological child. Love has nothing to do with biology. I do not judge people who choose not to adopt however.
Many many children have been started through IVF, including Al Roker's children. He said this morning on Today that his oldest daughter was adopted and his younger two were conceived through IVF and they are certainly all loved and very much HIS children. Al: In spite of what @dolcegabbana think, my beautiful IVF children are not "synthetic children". I agree with @eltonjohndotcom
Dolce then yesterday tried to backpedal and said he "wasn't judging other people's choices."
Well, yeah, actually, you WERE judging. Calling a child "synthetic" sounds pretty dang judgmental to me.
My mother told me years ago, NEVER criticize someone's spouse or children, no matter what they say about them. Their anger is most likely temporary but your ugly words will be remembered. Besides, it's just plain rude to say something like that.
TWO: Freedom of Speech Doesn't Mean Freedom From Consequences
Supporters of Dolce and Gabbana are chiming in to say they should be allowed to believe what they want and say what they want.
Well yes, absolutely they should have the right to say whatever ignorant or hateful thing they want to say. That doesn't absolve them from the consequences of what was said, however. Elton also has a right to fire back at them.
THREE: The World is Changing And We Have to Deal
When I was growing up I only knew one family where the parents were divorced. As I moved into teen years, I gradually heard about other families that included parents who were divorced, but it wasn't all that common. Nowadays there are many families of divorce. Is that good or bad? It's not for me to say. I've never been married. I have no right to judge.
I have straight friends and relatives who don't think gay people should have children. However, they are not violent, hate-filled people. We just disagree. I have a dear friend who is gay but feels like children should only be raised by straight people. I find that opinion puzzling and wrongheaded but there again, we can agree to disagree.
I don't have to agree with someone's views to respect them. I have friends all over the spectrum, from very liberal to very conservative. I truly believe in a hundred years this controversy over how families are formed will be as archaic and laughable as the controversy of 1915 wherein it was considered scandalous and indecent for a woman to appear in public wearing anything other than a skirt or dress. Women who wanted the simple right to vote were considered by many men to be dangerous radicals. Thank goodness things have changed.
I would say Dolce and Gabbana have little common sense when it comes to fashions -- obviously they don't care about offending people: