Ladies Against Feminism recently drew my attention to an article featured in The New Atlantis: "The Global War Against Baby Girls". In it, Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute discusses the real and, apparently growing problem of gender selective abortion--specifically female feticide--in all its grim statistical detail.
In order for populations to be balanced, God created a system whereby no more than 105 males per 100 females are born. According to UN and other figures, almost half the world's population now lives in countries facing significant gender imbalance (107 or more males born for every 100 females). In short, the global balance has now been thrown off--pushed from a normal, natural ratio up to 107:100.
The problem seems to be more pronounced among wealthier, well-educated segments of populations--segments with easier access to prenatal care and sonograms, but also populations that generally desire smaller families. In short, this is a problem closely associated with westernization. Still, Eberstadt asks the question, Why?
I would like to suggest a theory.
I'm still pretty young--not yet 30. My mother came of age at the height of Women's Lib. Her favorite thing to do is crochet. But in the 1970's she was told needlework was an unacceptable activity. It was women's work. Then, in the 1980's she became a stay-at-home-mom. It was an unacceptable choice. It was women's work.
All this came to mind recently during one of the Republican presidential debates. One of the moderators responded to Mr. Gingrich's suggestion that high school students do janitorial work for pay by noting that the suggestion could be viewed as derogatory. Why are scrubbing toilets, swabbing floors, and helping in the cafeteria degrading activities? They are women's work. Work western society has condemned as beneath anyone with two brain cells to rub together. Work that is necessary for the smooth functioning of any home and most public and private places. Life skills. The idea that this kind of work is beneath anyone is an insult to every individual (male or female) who has ever cleaned their home, prepared food, or cared for children or the elderly.
What does that have to do with gender imbalance? I believe, everything. Most societies are traditionally patrilineal, hinging on the presence of a male heir to preserve familial ties and property. Many societies also traditionally rely on families providing their daughters with dowries to help attract advantageous marital matches for those daughters. Daughters are traditionally expensive.
More importantly, men generally are the ones who have the opportunity to seek income. When a family wishes to increase its fortune or influence, it traditionally invests time, energy, and resources into a son to send out for a better education and for a better future.
In societies that only recently moved to a western lifestyle from a traditional one of the type described above, many of the attendant attitudes remain. They are only compounded when exposed to the feminist doctrine that women's work is shameful. The feminist message, by extension, is that women are shameful.
What's the next feminist message? Family size should be limited. If the ideal family size is small (no more than three children, preferably fewer), then the conclusion is clear: have sons.
Children are a blessing. Scripture makes that clear. Families and nations become great through their children. Individually, cultures are perpetuated through their children. Gender selective abortion is the modern incarnation of Molech. The culture that perpetuated that gruesome practice did not survive. Scripture teaches that people and peoples only suffer when they try to micromanage their future.