The Lottery: Your Infertility is Dark and Dystopian
Lifetime has a new show coming out where women are… wait for it… infertile. And then just when it seems as if life on earth is about to die out, 100 embryos successfully fertilize and a lottery is held to see who will become the surrogates to carry these embryos. (Since, because this is television, there seems to be unlimited time to utilize said embryos, no concern about fresh vs. frozen cycles and success rates, nor concern whether the embryos will survive the thaw. Don’t you wish you lived in Hollywood?)
The general manager of Lifetime calls it: “one of the most provocative and original concepts we’ve ever seen.”
In other words, it’s your life. But it’s entertainment!
Image: Timothy Swinson
(I was trying to illustrate the concept of dystopia, but doesn’t this look like a metal penis encased in barbwire?)
No, of course, we don’t live in a dystopian future where the human race is dying out, hence why no one takes your infertility very seriously. After all, if you can’t have a child, it doesn’t really matter because someone can have a child. Until no one can have a child, infertility won’t be a burning issue except to be used as an entertainment device. But I do love the Huffington Post title for their article on the series: “Lifetime’s ‘The Lottery’ Is Set In World Where Women Can’t Have Children.”
Do you mean like, now, Huffington Post? Because I’m not sure if you realize this, but there are women in this world who can’t have children. Oh… but again, since some people can have children, it isn’t actually a problem.
I’m being sarcastic, but you would think, based on how often infertility comes up as a fear that artists explore in various mediums, that we would be doing more as a society to aid those experiencing infertility. After all, it’s apparently society-as-a-whole’s worst fear. Why can’t we translate that fear to the individual level? And if not going so far as to create insurance mandates at least extending empathy? If we can understand the fear of having the human race die off, why can’t we understand the smaller scale: a family’s genetic line dying off?
Strangely enough, the television show is being compared to the Hunger Games. I’m not really sure how it compares to the Hunger Games since it seems that in the Lottery, you are being chosen for the honour of carrying one of the embryos. (Unless you’re killed if you miscarry? Or if you can’t carry a child, you’re dismissed a la Handmaid’s Tale?) Whereas in the Hunger Games, you’re chosen and you need to kill everyone else in order to be the sole winner.
I’m not sure if a comparison to staged murder shines the best light on educating the public on infertility.
I doubt that I’ll watch the Lottery mostly because I’m not sure I’ll actually remember the Lottery by the time it hits the small screen. I have a tendency to see these announcements, comment about them, and then forget the show exists by the time it airs. And then several years later say, “hey, weren’t they going to make a show called the Lottery?” And then you all say, “uh, Melissa, it aired and it bombed and it was pulled after a few episodes.” And then I say, “oh…” So instead of doing that familiar song-and-dance, I’ll just admit that I likely won’t watch this. Mostly because I live not being able to have a child, and I don’t need to see a televised depiction of my personal “dark and dystopian” reality.
Will you watch it? How do you think it will affect the general public’s understanding of infertility — help or hinder?