“The 50 poorest countries on earth are also those with the highest fertility rates.”
So says the Zero Population Growth website. Does anyone else see this as terribly sexist? In other words, “Wherever women en masse are not guarding the Pandora’s Box (no giggling) of their uteri, starvation and poverty are sure to follow.”
So much for advances in feminism. No, no, it can’t be that the people in India grow enough food to feed themselves only to see it exported elsewhere and that is a significant cause of their suffering—it is because Mrs. Patel does not have proper access to birth control or an abortion clinic, and she has six children as a result. Did anyone ever bother to ask Mrs. Patel if maybe she intended to have all those kids?
Oh wait, the Zero Population people have that covered in another section on their site, “Defending Women’s Rights.” They say over 200 million women worldwide want fewer children than they have. With no stats to back that up, as far as I can tell. I recently read “Women in the Material World” which chronicles in photos and interviews the lives of women around the globe. Most of the women claimed they wanted fewer children than they had according to their little profiles:
Favorite Activity: Watching TV
Number of Children: 6
Number of Children Desired : 3
Number of children hardly came up in the printed interviews. And I have to wonder if "facts" like these are prompted by poor ethnographic tactics. Who wants to let down the pleasant American lady with a camera and notebook? Tell her what she wants to hear and get her the hell out of your rice paddy.
The Z.P.G. people love the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Sites like this have a ton of information on how $1 million spent on birth control will keep so many children in the future from starving with so many less brothers and sisters to fight with over the food. But this does absolutely nothing for the children starving now (unless our pharmaceuticals companies have finally found a way to make birth control pills fulfill our daily requirement of vitamins along with curing acne, preventing bone thinning, and gentling down that nasty PMS).
It is chauvinistic for a bunch of white men and women from the West to tell women in the third world what to do with their bodies (I dare someone to frame it in a different light!), and it is sexist to accuse women as the ushers of poverty and destruction in the world.