Renate Klein – Hate

Profile Renate Klein LE Poetry & Writing Lesbian Poets & Writers February 2018

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Hate, poems by Renate Klein

Dr Renate Klein is a biologist, social scientist and was Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Deakin University until 2006. For three decades she has conducted critical feminist research on the new and old reproductive technologies including population control, IVF, hormonal and immunological contraceptives, RU 486, Gardasil and surrogacy. With Dr Susan Hawthorne she co-founded the independent feminist publishing company Spinifex Press in Melbourne in 1991. She is the (co)author/(co)editor of 15 books including Test-Tube Women: What Future for Motherhood?, Infertility: Women’s Experiences with Reproductive Medicine, RU 486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals, Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed, Cyberfeminism, and has chapters in Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls and Big Porn Inc. Renate Klein is a co-founder of FINRRAGE (International Feminist Network of Resistance to Reproductive and Genetic Engineering) and an original signer of Stop Surrogacy Now. Her most recent book is Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation (2017).


we love you
thank you for being here
thank you for the cells from the umbilical cord
only you can save her
thank you thank you thank you

one more time, darling
we know it hurts
you are our brave little girl
only you can save her
just think of that when the needle plunges into your hip
you’ll feel better at once
thank you thank you thank you

please be nice
do understand
your sister is sick
very sick
and you have plenty of bone marrow
good bone marrow
thank you for sharing it, you’re our good girl
we understand this is your seventh time in hospital
we know it hurts
but only you can save her
thank you thank you thank you

we’re sorry you got such a bad infection
it really shouldn’t have happened
the doctors were surprised too
we’re sorry you’ll miss the school performance
and that you have to repeat the year
and that your best friend dumped you
doesn’t she know that you have a very sick sister?
a beautiful, gorgeous, clever  girl
only you can save her
thank you thank you – if only you will

we are disappointed you ran away
why did you do that?
plenty of people live with half a liver
she is your sister
she was here before you
she deserves to live
you are not going to let her down, are you, not now?
you know that only you can save her
thank you for coming back

the tissue wasn’t good enough
you weren’t good enough
if you hadn’t thrown such a tantrum
they might have done the transplantation in time
now your sister is dead
you can’t save her any more
with her all our dreams are gone
all our hopes

what are we going to do with you now?
you were only made to save her
you failed her
we hate the look of you
go away

This is written as an homage to the actual and potential suffering of the increasing number of ‘replacement’ children who are selectively conceived and born in order to save a sibling from a fatal disease.


I am blue
not blue from asphyxia
not blue from the cold
not blue from agony
but blue because I’m a blueberry

Inside and out, up and down
all around and back
and I am happy and round and jolly and juicy
– just trying to avoid the teeth of the shark around the corner


Once upon a time there was a
blue frog
and a yellow cow
and a red red dog
but what about the pink pig?

‘The Big Master needs a new heart,’ the doctors decreed, ‘and the pink pig is the one we’ll get it from.’

‘Why me?’ cried the pig, ‘my heart is pink and happy and loving – all qualities the Big Master will not want at all.’

‘No matter,’ said the doctors, ‘we have decided. Your heart it is.’

No screaming or pleading, no tears, no whimpering helped – the pink pig was strapped to the operating table and, with a syringe stuck in her hind leg, she passed out. Then the knife plunged in and revealed the very pink, very alive, very rapidly beating heart. ‘A beautiful heart,’ the doctors said, ‘it will suit the Big Master, it will make him well.’

But when they proceeded to peel free the heart muscle, to loosen the filaments and sever the blood vessels, the pig – or was it her heart? – began to speak quite unexpectedly.

‘I will,’ it said, ‘not obey the Big Master for he is not the Master of the Heart.’
‘I will,’ it said, ‘shrivel and turn yellow and putrid as is the Master’s flesh.’
‘I will, above all, cry.’

Once upon a time there was a
blue frog
and a yellow cow
and a red red dog
and now you know what happened to the pink pig.
Or do you?

Renate Klein feels deeply about the unethics of xenotransplantation.
She wants to know how many men have given their organs to animals and
hopes for a world without cruel abuse of animals

© Renate Klein