Ted Turner, who is no longer active at CNN, just wrote an interesting article for them. He says the population explosion provides “7 billion reasons to empower women“:
One of the best ways to ensure that the 7 billionth child born will live in a safe, healthy and sustainable world is to focus on what women want and need. Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute found there are 215 million women worldwide who want the ability to time and space their pregnancies, but do not have access to effective methods of contraception. Women want to be able to deliver children safely and provide for them.
It’s an interesting way to say, “Good heavens, people, why are we still anti-birth-control when we’ve become like rabbits in Australia – breeding ferociously, with no predators to weed us out?”
The comments on the article, of course, provide the answer to that question, and a beautiful rebuttal:
Peterb555 Woman are empowered as mothers and housewives, that’s their god given domain, the empowerment western culture seeks to hand out is an anti Christ Lesb spirit…a woman is the pillar in the home….her domain is over her kids…is that to be taken lightly?? western culture has sired a generation of reprobate children of the devil, ahh let’s see…we need to apply these crack bogus tactics in every part of the globe…brilliant!
I think we really effectively covered why that reasoning can shove itself up its own ass in the article about how being a stay at home mom is one of the most dangerous “jobs” out there rather than a bastion of useful power. But Peterb555 is met with a less cogent, but really stylish argument that cracked me up:
JCocktosen And people wonder why the d-bag liberals keep winning elections….
I don’t recommend reading the comments thread. There’s a lot of appalling ignorance about issues like rape, and how contraception works. Some people think the article is blaming women for overpopulation, and I think that’s also based on appalling ignorance: the article was saying that women want family planning options without outlining what prevented them from having them. The answer, of course, is their governments. But to highlight that would look like criticism of emerging countries’ governments without corresponding criticism of first world governments whose track record on family planning is, at best, not good enough. Other commenters ask why shouldn’t the onus be on men to provide birth control, which only even begins to make sense if you are blissfully unaware how many pregnancies are caused by rape. Which I suppose many of us were at some point, but seriously, people, it’s time to look up some stuff on the internet already.
As some of the commenters point out, most of the trouble boils down to religion. Various religions promote having lots of babies, because they’re hoping to outnumber That Other Religion. Most religions promote men running women’s lives, and maybe people who by definition lack wombs just aren’t the best choice for telling women what to do with them. And then religions are used by people with severely misogynistic agendas, like George W. Bush, to render an entire advanced population more ignorant than it was before the internet. Sometimes these people see themselves as sincerely religious and actually believe they’re doing what their god wants, but it’s also very common for them to see religion as a tool to get what they want. Sadly, religions don’t do enough to hound these people out. And don’t forget that American evangelicals launched a big campaign a few years ago to convince us we needed to waste the Earth atrociously, because its ruination would prompt the Second Coming. Which is interesting, since the closest any translation of the Bible gets to addressing whether one should be an environmentalist or not is when it suggests we should be “stewards” of the planet. They must have the Whatever You Want Me To Say Bible from Rationalization Press.
Getting religions to clean up their crap would be a big step forward in fixing our sustainability issues, but in the short term – you know, until that happens, and rape becomes an anomaly rather than a norm, and no one’s forcibly sterilized anymore, and men stop trying to run women’s lives – ensuring all women have access to family planning would be a helpful step.