Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

China's Lost Girls

Last weekend we watched National Geographic's documentary China's Lost Girls. (Bride of Scrutinator My wife rented it.)

China has a long-standing cultural preference for boys: they stay home, inheriting from the parents and taking care of them in their old age. But China's repressive one-child policy has turned this into the murder of millions of Chinese girls.

From the documentary:

Do the math: tens of thousands of girls adopted out to other countries. Perhaps hundreds of thousands abandoned to orphanages. That still leaves millions statistically unaccounted for. Many of those are dead through abortion, though technically it's illegal for a couple to learn their baby's gender. I wonder how many are killed after they're born.

The documentary took a very upbeat tone, following parents and focusing on their joy. It avoided criticizing the Chinese government directly.

I'm baffled by all the tip-toeing around this brutal Chinese government. Who will call it what it is? Mass murder as a direct result of government policy. Keep in mind that this government descends from mass-murdering Mao. (The documentary, to its credit, points out the linkage, though not Mao's bloodbath.)

Some say this imbalance could lead to men organizing an army, channeling their energies destructively. Though that's possible, it seems more likely that its destructive outworkings would be less organized, like crime and addiction. The strong cultural preference for boys is to keep them at home, too, taking care of their parents in their old age.

Not forgiving any perpetrator's actions, but the continuing strong preference for boys as parents' "social security" says something about people's confidence in their government's care.



(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)

A. Please stop calling me bride of scrutinator.

B. I have a small correction to your post: The actual projection is that in 2020 there will be 40 million men of marrying age who will not be able to find a spouse.

C. I'm surprised you didn't mention that the only male children are being spoiled, resulting in epidemic obesity.

It's nice to be born in America. How good we have it.

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