Feminist commentator Germaine Greer has criticised Elton John for calling his partner David Furnish “mother” of their two sons.
Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, Greer accused the men of “deconstructing motherhood”, criticising them for the fact that Furnish was listed as mother on their children’s birth certificates.
“Sometimes I think that really the problem is the concept of motherhood, which we can’t give any real structure to,” she said.
“Sir Elton John and his ‘wife’ David Furnish have entered on the birth certificate of their two sons that David Furnish is the mother. I’m sorry. That will give you an idea of how the concept of motherhood has emptied out. It’s gone, it’s been deconstructed.”
The Express says the couple’s children were born with the help of IVF treatment and share the same surrogate mother, who John and Furnish claim they “love like a sister”.
However, Greer, who wrote The Female Eunuch, also criticised IVF: “We now have a ‘genetic’ mother, who supplies eggs.
“It depends entirely on where she is if she is going to be allowed to know what happens to the eggs. And women tend to care. An egg is not a sperm, we do not produce 400 million of them in one go. One miserable little egg pops every month.
“Then they give you follicle stimulating hormones and you have seventeen or something [eggs] and they give you cut price IVF and distribute the rest of your eggs where they see fit. In some places you are allowed to know what happens to them, in other places you are not.”
She added: “What you get is a reduced bill for IVF because a child is being born by the people involved using your eggs.
“I’m sorry. Did we talk about this? Did we sit down and talk about what eggs mean to women?”
Elton John has not yet responded to Greer’s comments, but he got into a war of words with gay Italian fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana earlier this year after they called John’s children “synthetic”. They added that “the only family is the traditional family”.
John hit back, saying: “Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.”