One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls
By ALEXA OLESEN - Associated Press | AP – Wed, Aug 31, 2011BEIJING (AP) — Tsinghua University freshman Mia Wang has confidence to spare.
Asked what her home city of Benxi in China's far northeastern tip is famous for, she flashes a cool smile and says: "Producing excellence. Like me."
A Communist Youth League member at one of China's top science universities, she boasts enviable skills in calligraphy, piano, flute and ping pong.
Such gifted young women are increasingly common in China's cities and make up the most educated generation of women in Chinese history. Never have so many been in college or graduate school, and never has their ratio to male students been more balanced.
To thank for this, experts say, is three decades of steady Chinese economic growth, heavy government spending on education and a third, surprising, factor: the one-child policy...
So killing tens of millions of baby girls has improved the lives of the girls they didn't kill. It's kind of like if a serial killer kills a bunch of kids in your dorm, you get a better choice of rooms! There's a bright side to everything!
In 1978, women made up only 24.2 percent of the student population at Chinese colleges and universities. By 2009, nearly half of China's full-time undergraduates were women and 47 percent of graduate students were female, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
In India, by comparison, women make up 37.6 percent of those enrolled at institutes of higher education, according to government statistics.If population control officials kill tens of millions of Indian women, the
Since 1979, China's family planning rules have barred nearly all urban families from having a second child in a bid to stem population growth. With no male heir competing for resources, parents have spent more on their daughters' education and well-being, a groundbreaking shift after centuries of discrimination.
"They've basically gotten everything that used to only go to the boys," said Vanessa Fong, a Harvard University professor and expert on China's family planning policy.Supply and demand. Reduce the supply of girls, they can demand more. For example: better seats in college classes, better violin lessons, better dance classes, better jobs in alphabet-soup agencies...
Also, the opportunity to be raped is substantially improved if women travel to heavily men-only areas, if the ladies are into that...
Wang and many of her female classmates grew up with tutors and allowances, after-school classes and laptop computers. Though she is just one generation off the farm, she carries an iPad and a debit card, and shops for the latest fashions online.
Her purchases arrive at Tsinghua, where Wang's all-girls dorm used to be jokingly called a "Panda House," because women were so rarely seen on campus. They now make up a third of the student body, up from one-fifth a decade ago.'Tens of millions of my sisters were exterminated, and.. I got into college and got an iPad!'
"In the past, girls were raised to be good wives and mothers," Fong said. "They were going to marry out anyway, so it wasn't a big deal if they didn't want to study."Now actually it's the men who won't be burdened by hopes of marriage. Tens of millions of men will never have wives or children or families. This tends, of course, to make a society more stable and makes the few women
Not so anymore. Fong says today's urban Chinese parents "perceive their daughters as the family's sole hope for the future," and try to help them to outperform their classmates, regardless of gender.When you've only got one kid because they strapped you to a table and killed your second kid and then sterilized you, you tend to view your first kid as your "family's sole hope for the future". You'd be right.
Some demographers argue that China's fertility rate would have fallen sharply even without the one-child policy because economic growth tends to reduce family size. In that scenario, Chinese girls may have gotten more access to education anyway, though the gains may have been more gradual.Chinese girls would have been less likely to get iPads if there hadn't been so many forced abortions and infanticides.
Crediting the one-child policy with improving the lives of women is jarring,I'm certainly jarred. I actually feel sick.
...given its history and how it's harmed women in other ways.'Hold still, honey. Your second daughter will be dead in a moment, as soon as we can get the scissors in. This will help your first daughter get into college. What color iPad will she want?'
Facing pressure to stay under population quotas, overzealous family planning officials have resorted to forced sterilizations and late-term abortions, sometimes within weeks of delivery, although such practices are illegal.'Overzealous final solution officials have resorted to gassing..." Don't you hate it when officials tasked with such enlightened policies get a bit too eager...
The birth limits are also often criticized for encouraging sex-selective abortions in a son-favoring society...'The Final Solution is often criticized for encouraging extermination of Jews in a non-Jew-favoring society...'
Chinese traditionally prefer boys because they carry on the family name and are considered better earners.Population officials had no way of knowing this before they instituted the policy...
With the arrival of sonogram technology in the 1980's, some families no longer merely hoped for a boy, they were able to engineer a male heir by terminating pregnancies when the fetus was a girl.No, the male heir wasn't 'engineered'. He was conceived, born and cherished, unlike his sister. Killing one person isn't 'engineering' the survivor.
And how could the 'terminated fetus' be a "girl"? I thought that fetuses weren't human beings? Are there non-human girls?
"It is gendercide," said Therese Hesketh, a University College London professor who has studied China's skewed sex ratio. "I don't understand why China doesn't just really penalize people who've had sex-selective abortions and the people who do them.I don't understand why China doesn't put population control officials and advocates on trial for genocide.
"The law exists but nobody enforces it."
Who would have thought that a law preventing the killing of girls in a boy-preferring society limited to one child per family might be ineffective? Population control officials have been such victims of the unexpected...
To combat the problem, China allows families in rural areas, where son preference is strongest, to have a second child if their first is a girl. The government has also launched education campaigns promoting girls and gives cash subsidies to rural families with daughters.'You've got a daughter? Here's your complementary iPad.'
Still, 43 million girls have "disappeared" in China due to gender-selective abortion as well as neglect and inadequate access to health care and nutrition, the United Nations estimated in a report last year.They didn't disappear. They were murdered. Every single one.
Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF's representative to China, puts it bluntly: The one-child policy brings many benefits for girls "but they have to be born first.""but they have to be born
Wang's birth in the spring of 1992 triggered a family rift that persists to this day. She was a disappointment to her father's parents, who already had one granddaughter from their eldest son. They had hoped for a boy.
"Everyone around us had this attitude that boys were valuable, girls were less," Gao Mingxiang, Wang's paternal grandmother, said by way of explanation — but not apology.The One Child Policy markedly diminished the value of girls. But... I thought it was "a surprising boon for girls"...
Small and stooped, Gao perched on the edge of her farmhouse "kang," a heated brick platform that in northern Chinese homes serves as couch, bed and work area. She wore three sweaters, quilted pants and slippers.
Her granddaughter, tall and graceful and dressed in Ugg boots and a sparkly blue top, sat next to her listening, a sour expression on her face. She wasn't shy about showing her lingering bitterness or her eagerness to leave. She agreed to the visit to please her father but refused to stay overnight — despite a four-hour drive each way.
Fong, the Harvard researcher, says that many Chinese households are like this these days: a microcosm of third world and first world cultures clashing. The gulf between Wang and her grandmother seems particularly vast.The grandaughter survived the lottery imposed by her grandmother's generation. Maybe she understands.
The 77-year-old Gao grew up in Yixian, a poor corn- and wheat-growing county in southern Liaoning province. At 20, she moved less than a mile (about a kilometer) to her new husband's house. She had three children and never dared to dream what life was like outside the village. She remembers rain fell in the living room and a cherished pig was sold, because there wasn't enough money for repairs or feed.
She relied on her daughter to help around the house so her two sons could study.If she had killed her daughter, other girls could have gotten iPads. How selfish of her.
"Our kids understood," said Gao, her gray hair pinned back with a bobby pin, her skin chapped by weather, work and age. "All families around here were like that.""..like that.." With girls and boys.
But Wang's mother, Zheng Hong, did not understand. She grew up 300 kilometers (185 miles) away in the steel-factory town of Benxi with two elder sisters and went to vocational college for manufacturing. She lowers her voice to a whisper as she recalls the sting of her in-law's rejection when her daughter was born.
"I sort of limited my contact with them after that," Zheng said. "I remember feeling very angry and wronged by them. I decided then that I was going to raise my daughter to be even more outstanding than the boys."This is so inspiring. Maybe the One Child Policy wasn't so bad after all.
They named her Qihua, a pairing of the characters for chess and art — a constant reminder of her parents' hope that she be both clever and artistic.From the age of six, Wang was pushed hard, beginning with ping pong lessons. Competitions were coed, and she beat boys and girls alike, she said. She also learned classical piano and Chinese flute, practiced swimming and ice skating and had tutors for Chinese, English and math. During summer vacations, she competed in English speech contests and started using the name Mia.
In high school, Wang had cram sessions for China's college entrance exam that lasted until 10 p.m. Her mother delivered dinners to her at school. She routinely woke up at 6 a.m. to study before class.I thought excellent scholarship in China was the fruit of culture. Now it seems to be the fruit of genocide. 'Study hard, Ming-Ling, you're a survivor...'
She had status and expectations her mother and grandmother never knew, a double-edged sword of pampering and pressure.
If she'd had a sibling or even the possibility of a sibling one day, the stakes might not have been so high, her studies not so intense.Dead siblings are less of a distraction.
Beijing-based population expert Yang Juhua has studied enrollment figures and family size and determined that single children in China tend to be the best educated, while those with elder brothers get shortchanged. She was able to make comparisons because China has many loopholes to the one-child rule, including a few cities that have experimented with a two-child policy for decades.How about a 'keep your totalitarian government out of my family' policy?
"Definitely single children are better off, particularly girls," said Yang,
Better off than dead children, to be sure.
...who works at the Center for Population and Development Studies at Renmin University. "If the girl has a brother then she will be disadvantaged. ... If a family has financial constraints, it's more likely that the educational input will go to the sons.""Xiu, your dad and I are concerned about your sister's education. Kneel down here, and close your eyes... "
While her research shows clearly that it's better, education-wise, for girls to be single children, she favors allowing everyone two kids.Isn't she generous. Ms. Himmler favors allowing us two kids.
"I do think the (one-child) policy has improved female well-being to a great extent,I guess 40 million dead girls don't really have "un-well-being" because they no longer exist, so technically she's right.
...but most people want two children so their children can have somebody to play with while they're growing up," said Yang, who herself has a college-age daughter.Right. Children are primarily valuable as playmates, as long as they don't interfere with their sister's education.
Ideally, she said, China should relax the policy while also investing more in education so that fewer families will be forced to choose which child to favor when it comes to schooling.The policy-makers should be on trial in the Hague for genocide. Population control apologists should be shunned from civilized society.
While strides have been made in reaching gender parity in education, other inequalities remain.So kill more women. It's worked well so far.
Women remain woefully underrepresented in government, have higher suicide rates than males, often face domestic violence and workplace discrimination and by law must retire at a younger age than men.Women are killing themselves! Wait! That's the government's job...
It remains to be seen whether the new generation of degree-wielding women can alter the balance outside the classroom.
If they pile their dead sisters high enough, there's no limit to how high they can climb.
Some, like Wang, are already changing perceptions about what women can achieve.
She's a Chinese woman and is alive, for example.
When she dropped by her grandmother's house this spring, the local village chief came by to see her. She was a local celebrity: the first village descendent in memory to make it into Tsinghua University.'We just wanted to see what a woman looked like...'
"Women today, they can go out and do anything," her grandmother said. "They can do big things."
Population control is pure evil. The Chinese One Child Policy is the most evil manifestation of this pure evil. This article, which highlights the 'positive' effects of genocide, is the most disgusting article I have ever read.