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One donor egg and ‘a dollop of love’: ART and de-queering genealogies in Facebook advertising
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-10, 02:15 authored by Elizabeth Reed, Tanya KantTanya Kant
We consider what genealogical links, kinship and sociality are promised through the marketing of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). Using a mixed method of formal analysis of Facebook's algorithmic architectures and textual analysis of twenty-eight adverts for egg donation drawn from the Facebook Ad Library, we analyse the ways in which the figure of the ‘fertile woman’ is constituted both within the text and at the level of Facebook's targeted advertising systems. We critically examine the ways in which ART clinics address those women whose eggs they wish to harvest and exchange, in combination with the ways in which Facebook's architecture identifies, and sorts those women deemed of ‘relevance’ to the commercial ART industry. We find that women variously appear in these adverts as empowered consumers, generous girlfriends, potential mothers and essentialised bodies who provide free-floating eggs. The genealogical and fertility possibility offered through ART is represented with banal ambiguity wherein potentially disruptive forms of biogenetic relatedness and arrangements of kinship are derisked by an overarching narrative of simplicity and sameness which excludes men, messy genealogies and explicitly queer forms of kinship. This rationalisation is supported by the simplicity and certainty of the Facebook targeted advertising algorithm which produces a coherent audience and interpellates users as fertile subjects whose choices are both biologically determined and only available through clinical intervention.
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