Friday, 7 December 2012

M408: Sheer Cynical Posturing

At Rabble today, Joyce Arthur has a terrific article on the newest fetus fetishist gambit, Motion 408, to condemn sex selective abortion.

She makes a bunch of excellent points, including this unintentional revelation of what they really think of those murderous sluts poor coerced women.
Warawa wants Parliament to "condemn this worst form of discrimination against females," which he calls "gender violence -- gendercide."

But women are the ones having sex-selection abortions, which means Warawa is accusing women of violence and gendercide -- and courtesy of MP Stella Ambler -- "atrocities." Ending discrimination against women does not start with making nasty accusations against them. Yes, sex selection can be a sexist act, but it's nonsensical to protect women from discrimination by restricting their rights. In India, laws against sex-selection abortion cause women to resort to unsafe and illegal abortion to avoid having a girl, and some may even face abuse and violence from their families if they bear a girl.
Arthur included this dandy link to facts on gender preference in the US.

• In adoption, parents request girls far more often than boys.

• There is no evidence that females are aborted at a higher rate. In fact, the birth ratio of girls has increased since the legalization of abortion.

• Parents using currently available sex selection techniques prefer girls by quite a margin.

I doubt Canadians and Americans are much different in this regard, but I went looking for Canadian studies or polls.

A study published in January this year asked a slightly different question in skewed way. Researchers wanted to find out if men preferred boys and women girls. The dodgy part is that answers had to be 'male' or 'female'. No option for 'doesn't matter' was offered.

Surprise! Men wanted boys, women wanted girls.
The question is why do men and women have these preferences? The researchers hypothesize that men favour boys for much the same reason that women favour girls—because human beings often project their own dreams on their children and those dreams often come with stereotypical ideas of what it means to be male or female.
The piece ends with:

Moreover, the study suggests that affluent democratic societies encourage women to favour daughters more than those societies where opportunities for women are circumscribed by discrimination and inequality.  Seen in that light, women preferring daughters over sons is a sign of progress.
Makes total sense, eh? When girls have the same opportunities as boys, there's little downside to letting nature take its course.

Another recent study on sex-selection in Canada in 'certain' communities indicates that *if* it is happening, it is on a very small scale.
The calculations show the total number of “missing” girls is 245, which equals about 35 births per year, or less than one per cent of the total births to Indian-born women.

Dr. [Prabhat Jha, chair in disease control at the University of Toronto and director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital] said in an e-mail if sex-selective abortion is at play, it is a very small problem and other “important but subtle biases,” such as migration of Indian women about to give birth to a son, could help explain the trend.
Note that the study was conducted with data only from Indian-born women living in Canada.

A reasonable conclusion would be that as newcomers to Canada come to believe that their daughters have (most of) the benefits that sons do, the preference will die out.

In the meantime, other Canadians' desire for girls will balance things out.

Sex selection is not a societal issue in Canada. It is a problem in 'certain' communities that are well aware of it and are working to eliminate it.

Kindly put, Warawa's motion is a solution in search of a problem. More realistically, it's another attack on women's rights masquerading cynically as a concern for gender discrimination.

BONUS: If you can tolerate nearly 8 minutes of StunNews, have a look at the spin we're up against.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I have an idea! Let's just lock women up in the basement, then we can protect from them violence! Hey, let's force all women to dress in head to toe black, that will protect them from even more violence!

Ooh, and FGM! If we cut female genitals, that will preserve their femininity and prevent them from getting used sexually by men...

The above should all end discrimation against women...


deBeauxOs said...

Sounds good.

And let's walk in goose-step behind women of pallour (backed by the old boys' club aka patriarchy) who want to force men - whose religious beliefs dictate that they do not touch women - to provide them with the "businessmen's special".

Cam said...

This place is messed.

fern hill said...

Did you hit 'publish' before you were finished, Cam?

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