Vitalik Buterin, co-founder and inventor of the Ethereum network and the ether (ETH) cryptocurrency, has already become known for some rather bold ideas. More recently, the 27-year-old sparked controversy on Twitter by suggesting that the gender pay gap around the world could be addressed by “ synthetic wombs ” to reduce the “burden of pregnancy”.
“The disparities in economic success between men and women are much greater when marriage and children enter the picture. Synthetic wombs would remove the high burden of pregnancy, significantly reducing inequality,” Buterin said in a tweet that has nearly 3,000 comments.
This is an awful idea. Synthetic wombs, for what? Why take on the risk?— Gurdeep.sol (@DeepCipher) January 18, 2022
Of course, Twitter is unforgiving and it quickly drew the ire of feminists. However, it also received support from other users in the technology market. But most of all, the post garnered plenty of jokes, satire and other comical comments.
The main argument highlighted by feminists on the social network is that biological pregnancy is not the main barrier to equal pay between men and women. That said, Buterin’s speech would have been misleading and problematic in that sense.
Other arguments indicated that the economic situation, the high costs of raising children, widespread machismo, and little government support contribute much more to this social problem than actual pregnancy.
There were also people who highlighted positive aspects of pregnancy and saw no sense in the idea of a synthetic uterus for pregnancy. Many users also considered the ether co-founder as someone “ disconnected from reality ”.
Yet Buterin also received support from both men and women in the tech sector. Some believe that a synthetic gestation system would be another step in the evolution of society.
Jokes, ironies and satires
However, the icing on the cake is in the mood. “I think your synthetic brain implants failed,” one user pointed out. Another comment mocked Buterin’s tweet: “Also, men spend 90% of their time trying to find ways to get sex. Castration and sperm freezing would remove the high burden of sexual obsession.”
Buterin has even been compared to a robot: “This is exactly what a dialogue between robots would sound like,” said one user. Another comment went even further: “This (synthetic uterus) would create a wonderful bond between the child and synthetics.”
Buterin’s bold solution actually came about during a discussion started by technology’s greatest charlatan, the self-styled “utopian anarchist” Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO had expressed on the social network his concern about the population collapse in the future, in the face of falling birth rates.