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Ethics, Uncategorized

“Women Don’t Count” an Ethical Struggle

Around the world developing countries have developed the practice of not recognizing women as people, it is socially acceptable in some chinese provinces to drown, smother, abort, neglect, or cull a baby girl. I myself have no quarrel with abortion for legitimate purpose, in my opinion female is not a reason. This practice has stemmed from the devaluation of women as a whole. Some developing countries continue to disallow women from inheriting land, having jobs, and having choices this common practice sexism is only part of the gendercide problem plaguing the world today.

Ethical question; Is this justified? In a one child country like china having a baby girl is a death sentence for your family. Work load increases, the family assets are gone, dowry’s must be paid and the future for a baby girl in china is dismal at best. On the other side of that coin the number of men in china that will have difficulty finding a partner has grown exponentially over the past ten years. By the year 2020 there will be 30 million more men of marriageable age than women. This imbalance causes crime rates to rise, suicides to skyrocket, and all manner of unhappy chinese men.

The natural birth ratio based on the susceptibility of baby boys to disease is 105 boys to 100 girls. This statistic is being destroyed in places like china and india. In china some rural areas have suggested  birthrates of 168 boys to 100 girls. This huge imbalance is due to the increased availability of cheap ultrasounds to determine sex, the ease of abortion and the desire to have a male child. In chinese abortion clinics it is only girls that are aborted. The problem is so bad in certain areas in china that newborn baby girls are killed rather than raised.

The imbalance of men and women has gotten so bad in places like china that women are being purchased from Thailand at the age of 12 for the purpose of marriage. This lack of forethought and desire for males has created a crisis that is retarding the development of less stable countries. In my opinion the practice of killing baby girls in order to have a more desirable family is archaic in nature and has no place in modern society.

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Discussion

8 thoughts on ““Women Don’t Count” an Ethical Struggle

  1. Keagan,

    I think you address a really good issue here – the fact that females in under-developed countries should not be discriminated against, especially from, literally, the moment of birth. Though it may be drastically unethical to kill a baby based on its gender, I don’t think the people committing the act are the ones entirely at fault. I don’t even think they should carry half of the blame on their shoulders.

    While I disagree with the act, they are forced into it for the purpose of survival. As you stated, “In a one child country like china having a baby girl is a death sentence for your family”. And, as weak as it be, consider it the loss of one life for another. Furthermore, I would say there is a greater problem at hand, and that is population control. The purpose of the one child limit is to benefit the nation as a whole. As a result, some unethical decisions occur.

    The problem is: how else would you go about controlling population? Is there a better method? If not, then why judge the ethical decisions of people struggling to survive? Think about the utilitarian calculus.

    1. If you have no child policies -> there are too many people -> not enough arable land -> people die on a large scale.
    2. If you have a one child policy -> people need boys to survive -> kill girls to ensure survival -> many baby girls die

    While there are no better solutions, one unethical decision must be made. Which one do you choose?

    Posted by JonathanToews | December 11, 2012, 12:33 am
    • Call me a shameless idealist, but I am a strong believer in the third option.

      3. Invest in females.

      Investing in the future of young girls and women has been proven, in the long term, to make for a better and more sustainable society. I agree that the murder of female infants is archaic, but so is the whole idea behind “people need boys to survive,” to quote Jonathan. Women in developing nations do just as much, sometimes more, physical labor as males, and investing in the futures of females is the most successful means to break the poverty cycle, and ultimately improve the society.

      So I disagree. The problem in fact is in the root of the idea that males ensure survival. Sure, our society is based around male dominance, and that cannot be erased, but that is fundamentally ridiculous. Obviously, both females and males are required to bring different aspects to the society to ensure a future. And obviously, both have their faults. But it is ludicrous, and archaic, to say that the only two options for a society are to be over-populated or to kill the ‘unproductive’ females.

      So, Jonathan, I choose option three, and it is wonderful to see the international results of the investment the global community has actively made into the lives and education of women, a return that will most definitely carry far beyond our lifetime.

      Posted by kellyannebryant | December 11, 2012, 4:55 am
      • I agree with you: often, women do way more work in developing countries than men. And yes, we do need to break the poverty cycle.

        But in China, where males societally viewed as “necessary to survive”. As stated on numerous articles, there are 30 million more men than women. This is to show that people, for one reason or another, believe that men are necessary.

        The question I would have is this: how do you go about changing the value of women in a place like China? I have seen the fruits of the works of the global community continuously in Africa – yet I see little work being done in China. I’m just wondering – are there causes out there that exist for them (the most populated country in the world)? That’s a legitimate question, not a rhetoric.

        And thanks for bringing that up 🙂 Shameless idealists bring a happy light to the conversation.

        Posted by JonathanToews | December 11, 2012, 5:16 am
        • I do not fully understand what you are trying to ask. If you are asking if there are organizations which are trying to do development work in China, then the answer is yes. If you are asking if work is being done in China to redefine gender roles, then the answer is yes.

          The problem is, as you pointed out, that there is a predisposed idea that men are superior. And, obviously, with thousands of years cementing this idea, that will not be changed any time soon. However, progress is being made. There are programs which support non-discriminate education and training for either gender in China. There are programs to enrich the lives on Chinese females. And the very fact that the world is recognizing gendercide as a problem shows that something is being done.

          Males, in a society such as China, clearly do not ensure the survival of a family. With such a gender ratio imbalance, how can a family line be guaranteed to survive just because there is a male born into the family. On the other hand, the linage, though not the name, is far more likely to survive if a female is born. With so few females compared to males, each women is almost guaranteed to finding someone to procreate with, and to continue the family line.

          I am by no means an expert on China, or an expert on gender inequality, but I hope that clears things up.

          Posted by kellyannebryant | December 11, 2012, 5:37 am
  2. I think the only way to truly stop this problem is to value women more. As for the population crisis Mr. Milliard had a wonderful solution for that in law today, the answer is child licenses and putting illegitamate children up for adoption.

    Posted by Keagan AH | December 11, 2012, 4:50 am
    • Keagan: If there is a one child policy in China, why do you think families would be so quick to adopt a female child from another family? What would entice them any more than the biological parents?

      Posted by JonathanToews | December 11, 2012, 6:28 am

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