While living overseas, I somehow accidentally signed up for a free subscription of The Economist using frequent flyer miles. My mom faithfully saved every issue for me to read when I retuned after two years, so recently in an effort to purge my room of junk, I sorted through the stack of magazines, saving a select few while pitching the rest.
Two copies piqued my interest. One issue blames motherhood for gender inequality in the workforce (yes, a blog post will be coming on the article once I've fully digested it and formulated my response). The other issue's cover labels its topic as "Gendercide: What happened to 100 million baby girls?" While living in Asia, I had heard from word of mouth that the gender ratio was far off balance due to the traditional preference for boys, but I never researched it myself. I was excited to finally read about it, even though the article was a good year and a half old.
This seemed like the perfect place to share the article. I can't imbed the article, so you need actually follow the link (gasp!). But as a quick taste and incentive to inform yourself concerning this issue, I've copied the first couple of paragraphs below. Read the rest at Gendercide: The worldwide war on baby girls | The Economist.
"XINRAN XUE, a Chinese writer, describes visiting a peasant family in the Yimeng area of Shandong province. The wife was giving birth. “We had scarcely sat down in the kitchen”, she writes (see article), “when we heard a moan of pain from the bedroom next door…The cries from the inner room grew louder—and abruptly stopped. There was a low sob, and then a man’s gruff voice said accusingly: ‘Useless thing!’
“Suddenly, I thought I heard a slight movement in the slops pail behind me,” Miss Xinran remembers. “To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail. The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail! I nearly threw myself at it, but the two policemen [who had accompanied me] held my shoulders in a firm grip. ‘Don’t move, you can’t save it, it’s too late.’“‘But that’s...murder...and you’re the police!’ The little foot was still now.
The policemen held on to me for a few more minutes. ‘Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here,’ [an] older woman said comfortingly. ‘That’s a living child,’ I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail. ‘It’s not a child,’ she corrected me. ‘It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it. Around these parts, you can’t get by without a son. Girl babies don’t count.’”