Barnard Chick Sells Eggs to Finance Future Apartment in Williamsburg

This week The Eye (weekly magazine of the Columbia Spectator) investigates the eerily eugenics-y world of Ivy League egg donation via pseudonymic sorority girl Alex Greenbaum:

How has she been feeling since her egg-removal surgery in September? She takes a long gulp from her Ethos water bottle and pauses for a few seconds. “You know, I felt like shit for days,” she finally says. “But they were able to extract 10 eggs from me… my check just cleared, so that’s $9,000 I can put to post-graduation travel and apartment-hunting.”

Alex’s financial woes stem from her lack of a “viable major” (fertility jargon infecting every area of her life, apparently) and “My parents said they won’t pay for my BlackBerry [after graduation].” Kind of makes you miss the good old days, when impoverished lady students just plain whored themselves for extra cash, right? Like high-end prostitution, high-end egg donation requires a certain nubile je ne sais— oh, who are we kidding. We know exactly which quoi they want, and it’s the same Barbie doll nonsense as everywhere else. In Alex’s words:

“If I was short, overweight, or a minority, I’m sure I wouldn’t have found immediate success or made that much money to start. I made more money than what’s typical because I was deemed an ‘ideal type’ by the agency.”

As the article continues, the only thing creepier than the $500K payday “for an Ivy League donor who was taller than 5 feet 10 inches and scored at least a 1400 on her SATs” is author Sadia Latifi’s rhapsodic description of Greenbaum’s statuesque Aryan glory. (Despite “50-percent Jewy-ness” — a minority who doesn’t resemble a minority! Jackpot!)

Alex Greenbaum is beautiful. She’s a 5-foot 10-inch, blue-eyed blonde with raised cheekbones and a lean, athletic body. When she arrives 10 minutes late to our second Starbucks interview, she apologizes profusely, pushing long strands of hair away from her face into a ponytail. I’m struck by her sense of style (which she describes as “sorority hipster”).

Latifi interviews Barnard president Deborah Spar for stock quotes about female autonomy, the wonders of modern technology, and the massive psychosexual guilt complex Alex may be hurting towards:

Though Spar says that every woman is an individual who can make her own decision, she does offer some advice for any Barnard or Columbia women who are contemplating the procedure.

“Do your homework,” she starts. “Think hard. It’s a very tempting way to make a lot of money very quickly, but it demands more than a cost-benefit calculation. I don’t think young women think long and hard about the emotional risks. Try to imagine not how you feel at 19, but how you’re going to feel at 29.”

When I relayed the message to Alex, she shrugged.

If Alex’s donors gets lucky, this girl’s DNA will soon be populating the greater New York region. I’d complain, but there’s a decent chance that I will some day be one of those elitist old ladies with withered ovaries and thwarted maternal instincts, my procreational fates forever tied to the Alex Greenbaums of the world, so who am I to judge? Shrug/shudder

17 Responses to “Barnard Chick Sells Eggs to Finance Future Apartment in Williamsburg”

  1. Reason Says:

    On a personal level, I don’t exactly see why we should pity Ms. Greenbaum, given that she took an option to make more money in one fell swoop than many of us non-ideals (not to mention men) will be able to make after a summer of slaving away at an internship. The fact that there are a few consequences isn’t exactly tear-jerking.

    More broadly, though, I find it amusing that the likely egg recipients, wealthy careerist Manhattanites, are the same people who, in politics, loudly protest that there are no fundamental differences between any groups of people. But once the focus turns towards their own offspring, they suddenly become vicious Darwinists.

  2. Reason Says:

    On a personal level, I don’t exactly see why we should pity Ms. Greenbaum, given that she took an option to make more money in one fell swoop than many of us non-ideals (not to mention men) will be able to make after a summer of slaving away at an internship. The fact that there are a few consequences isn’t exactly tear-jerking.

    More broadly, though, I find it amusing that the likely egg recipients, wealthy careerist Manhattanites, are the same people who, in politics, loudly protest that there are no fundamental differences between any groups of people. But once the focus turns towards their own offspring, they suddenly become vicious Darwinists.

  3. Stud Says:

    So she got 9k for 10 eggs? Seems kind of on the low-end from the ads I’ve seen…

  4. Stud Says:

    So she got 9k for 10 eggs? Seems kind of on the low-end from the ads I’ve seen…

  5. So? Says:

    The masturbatory aspect of this article unsettles me a bit. I don’t see anything outrageous about what she did. A gal sold an egg. For whatever the reasons may be she wanted the money and not the egg.

    Whatm would we be applauding if she was selling it for bread or a donation to the red cross? It’s always easy to judge when you’re on the outside.

    And the criticism of the article basically boils down to “Don’t do it because even though you want to do it now you may or may not regret it later?” Really?

  6. So? Says:

    The masturbatory aspect of this article unsettles me a bit. I don’t see anything outrageous about what she did. A gal sold an egg. For whatever the reasons may be she wanted the money and not the egg.

    Whatm would we be applauding if she was selling it for bread or a donation to the red cross? It’s always easy to judge when you’re on the outside.

    And the criticism of the article basically boils down to “Don’t do it because even though you want to do it now you may or may not regret it later?” Really?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    is Barnard an ivy league school?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    is Barnard an ivy league school?

  9. P'10 Says:

    Who the hell would want to have a passel of future Barnard-ites as children?

  10. P'10 Says:

    Who the hell would want to have a passel of future Barnard-ites as children?

  11. ummm Says:

    yeah. barnard kind of is ivy league. considering barnard girls can play on ivy league teams. and either way, the news that they covered on here about barnard was published in a columbia magazine. so…

  12. ummm Says:

    yeah. barnard kind of is ivy league. considering barnard girls can play on ivy league teams. and either way, the news that they covered on here about barnard was published in a columbia magazine. so…

  13. aj Says:

    “I’m struck by her sense of style (which she describes as ‘sorority hipster’).” < HILARIOUS Ivygate more reportage like this

  14. aj Says:

    “I’m struck by her sense of style (which she describes as ‘sorority hipster’).” < HILARIOUS Ivygate more reportage like this

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