Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



Since a few years egg freezing (or human oocyte cryopreservation) is available in The Netherlands for women without a medical indication. Egg freezing provides women with more time to have children. Possibly this serves a meaningful emancipatory goal. In both public and scientific debate most arguments concern the question whether or not egg freezing should be permitted and on what (ethical/medical) grounds. These discussions tend to focus on the relationship between time and gender. This paper aims to provide a new angle to this discussion by drawing attention to the role of technology. The hermeneutically oriented philosophy of Bernard Stiegler relates a phenomenological view on time at a fundamental level to technology, or rather technics and culture. This paper discusses his philosophy and on that basis examines arguments pro and contra egg vitrification. Underlying assumptions about nature, time, technology, and gender are discussed. Many of these assumptions are related to an instrumental view of technics and a vision of time as an empty, measurable category. The argument is put forward that the impact of egg vitrification on time and gender is thereby overlooked. The point is made that egg freezing is offered merely as a consumer product available only to socially and economically limited groups. From Stieglers point of view, individualisation of consumers (both users and non-users) may increase the link between gender identities and socio-economic positions and possibly even to a loss of (phenomenological) time. To reap the benefits of egg freezing regarding a possible enhancement and multiplication of the possibilities for gender as related to reproduction, it should be more widely available.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): eicelvitrificatie; gender; individuatie; Stiegler; tijd; vruchtbaarheidsverzekering
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