Women Doing It To Themselves

The international feminist movement is an interesting beast. It claims to represent how women think and feel on various issues, yet it seems quite selective in the concerns it raises. Indeed, various feminist ideologies in fact war against women. Consider the case of sex-selection abortion.

Abortion of course is perhaps the sacred cause of feminism. Never mind that half of all victims of abortion are female. But the holy right of abortion remains inviolate. And now sex-selection abortion, which even more so targets females, is also being excused by the feminists in the name of a woman’s right to choose.

This was recently made manifest at the Commission on the Status of Women held at the UN headquarters in New York last month. The conference, which received little media attention, was an interesting example of how the feminists were working against women, while the conservatives, like the Bush administration, were actually working on the behalf of women. As such, the score card reads: Dominant feminist orthodoxy, 1; The real needs of women, 0.

Douglas A. Sylva, writing in the March 21, 2007 Weekly Standard, gives us the details. “The Bush administration introduced a resolution condemning the killing of girls, because they are girls. Such acts include old-fashioned infanticide, the kind of cultural practice the British tried to stamp out in the bygone days of colonial India, as well as the evermore popular use of modern sonogram technology in order to identify and eliminate girls before they are born – what is called sex-selective abortion. And this is where the United States met the opposition of the European Union and its allies: abortion-on-demand orthodoxy seems to mean women’s total freedom to choose, even if that choice eliminates the next generation of women, for the very reason that they are women.”

How many girls are killed in this way is uncertain, but it seems that millions are killed in this manner each year. “The British medical journal Lancet recently surmised that there were perhaps 100 million ‘missing’ girls in the world, girls not allowed to grow into women. China is the largest offender; in many regions, some as large and as highly populated as average-sized countries, there are now 130 boys born for every 100 girls (the normal ratio is 104 boys to 100 girls). Beyond the individual injustices involved, this creates a potential demographic calamity. Nobody knows what will happen to a society in which 40 million men cannot find wives, but, already, there are reports of widespread rapes, forced marriages, and human trafficking. In ten years time, when the problem is more acute, the Chinese government might even find it necessary to send its excess men on a military ‘adventure’ of some kind, in order to mitigate the social instability at home.”

China is not alone here. “India is the second largest offender, proving that the problem transcends any particular culture. In fact, the practice of sex-selective abortion is spreading throughout nearly every region on earth. There are four cultural factors that must be present for sex-selective abortion to arise: a traditional preference for sons, reduced fertility and family size, availability of sonogram technology, and cultural acceptance of abortion. It is these four factors, and the resulting sex-imbalance now so apparent in countless maternity wards, playgrounds and classrooms, that link such disparate nations as Libya and Luxembourg, Egypt and El Salvador.”

Sex-selective abortion is a clear embarrassment to feminism: “While the preference for sons is deeply rooted in history, the other factors, such as reduced family size and cultural acceptance of abortion, are central pillars of feminist thought. Since at least the 1995 Beijing Women’s Conference, feminist champions have argued that international ‘gender justice’ could only be established if women possessed the reproductive rights necessary to reduce their family sizes, thereby liberating them for higher education and successful careers. This is as close to established wisdom as is found at the United Nations, and it is so dominant that there is even a phrase – the ‘gender perspective’ – suggesting that all problems, from peace keeping, to land mine removal, to water supply management, could be solved if they were examined through this proper feminist point-of-view.”

“So imagine the shock and shame when it became obvious that many of these newly-liberated women have been using their liberty to abort their own unborn girls. Research has even suggested that sex-selective abortion is especially prevalent among rich, urban, educated women in China, the pioneers, the type of women presumably leading the world into a genderless future. It is never pleasant to be forced to admit that one’s revolutionaries have begun to devour their own.”

Contrary to established feminist thinking, killing one’s own is not good for women. Also contrary to PC thinking is the fact that the US, under Bush, has done a lot more good for women than most feminists have. “As strange as it may sound, under President George W. Bush the United States has perhaps the finest feminist record of any nation at the United Nations – if feminism exists to address grave and profound injustices against women. It has been the United States, for instance, which has raised such issues as trafficking in women, sexual exploitation, and sex tourism. It was the United States that attempted to draw the world’s attention to mass rapes being conducted in Burma (only to be told that the United Nations would not publicize the U.S. effort because America did not use the current dictator’s name for his county, Myanmar). And now the United States is attempting to address sex-selective abortion.”

Concludes Sylva, “The U.S. Explanation of Position concluded by stating that the outcome of the two weeks of negotiations ‘lends itself to the impression that the CSW is in danger of becoming a highly politicized body more concerned with preserving its ideological orthodoxy than in solving real problems facing real women and girls today.’ Seven years into the Bush administration, perhaps the biggest surprise is that the administration itself, remains surprised when its good intentions are once again undermined by such ideological orthodoxy.”

It is a strange orthodoxy indeed which suggests that the best way to empower women is to kill off millions of them. But radical ideologies have not usually been known for their rationality nor their morality. Thank heavens that there are some who actually are concerned about the welfare of women, and not just interested in mouthing ideological platitudes and slogans.

www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/415gcfae.asp?pg=1

[1072 words]

7 Replies to “Women Doing It To Themselves”

  1. I think we should consider that in some cases, particularly where society is dominated by males (eg: some eastern cultures) or where the workforce hierarchy is dominated by males (some western cultures) that women are pressured (either directly or indirectly) to have an abortion by males.

    As such, the radical feminists have put a tool in the hand of their sisters, which has been wrested out of their hand and used against them by their male oppressors.

    Forgive the feminist vocabulary, I wanted to emphasize the tragic irony that it is not just women who are deciding for their own reasons to have an abortion (which is what the abortion industry pretends) but sometimes it is the men in their lives who decide it for them and their unborn children.

    It is so wrong, on so many levels…

    Dale Flannery

  2. Thanks Dale
    Yes you are quite right that men are often pushing women to have an abortion, so they are not guiltless in all this.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Dale Flannery brings up an important point: the feminists who love prenatal baby butchery have not liberated women nearly as much as they have liberated men who want selfish sex without physical consequences. No wonder Bill Clinton was such a huge abortion supporter. Even worse, feminists gave him a free pass for his exploitative philandering just because he kept abortion legal. This shows that feminists care little about most women. See also Is Feminism Finished? by Dr Jennifer Roback Morse.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  4. hmmm I don’t know where to begin. I wrote a thesis last year on women’s reproductive rights and China’s One Child Family Policy, and I came at the issue from a decidedly feminist perspective. I believe women’s reproductive rights are fundamentally about their rights to choose what they do with their own bodies. This includes the freedom to have abortions in certain circumstances, as well as the freedom from abortions in certain circumstances (specifically when it is not their choice, i.e. in China under the One Child Family Policy or when men/other family members force the issue).

    I found it interesting that you indentified four factors that are needed for sex selective abortion, but then pretty much ignored the primary one which is son preference, and instead chose to blame feminists for the problem of missing women, when sex-selective infanticide has existed long before either feminism or songram technology. Do you have any suggestions for overcoming son preference, which in my opinion will do the most to negate the desire for sex-selective abortion? Or do you care more about bashing feminists and putting women in their place by denying them any control over their reproductive faculties than actually offering anything constructive to the debate?

    Laura Pallison

  5. Thanks Laura

    The age-old and near-universal preference for sons is indeed an important area. How to overturn millennia of such preference for males is no easy task. I would invite readers for any suggestions here, but it won’t be a problem overcome anytime soon.

    As to reproductive rights, once a woman becomes pregnant she of course is making choices about two bodies. So it is no longer simply an issue of “my choice”, but of the right to life of another human being. And this has nothing to do with “bashing” women, but about standing up for the weak and vulnerable, those that have no one to speak on their behalf.

    There is nothing wrong with controlling one’s reproductive faculties before conception. Reminding people that sexuality is intimately connected with procreation would be a good starting point. Avoiding promiscuity and irresponsible sex would be another.

    But once conception has taken place, then there are the rights of two human beings to consider, not just one.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Laura Pallison overlooks that son preference would not have led to such rampant girl-killing if feminists had not pushed so hard for abortion on demand. And how can we possibly overcome a culture of son preference when Leftacademia teaches cultural relativism?
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

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