Sunday, July 04, 2004

Read this book!

The First Century After Beatrice, by Amin Maalouf. It's really happening. Go find a copy right now. It's important.

Bare branches: the branches of the family tree that will never bear fruit.

The technology to identify the sex of a fetus became widespread in Asia in the mid-1980s, and more and more parents each year have used it to weed out less-valued daughters before they are born. Even though identification of the sex of a fetus, as well as sex-selective abortion, is illegal throughout Asia, the balance of boys and girls in the younger generations continues to worsen in many of these countries.

In China, according to the 2000 census, there are 120 boys for every 100 girls.

Scarcity of women leads to a situation in which men with advantages — money, skills, education — will marry, but men without such advantages — poor, unskilled, illiterate — will not. A permanent subclass of bare branches from the lowest socioeconomic classes is created.

And that makes trouble.

Throughout history, bare branches in East and South Asia have played a role in aggravating societal instability, violent crime and gang formation.

Love your daughters! Value them. Tell your governments to treat them fairly. Make sure they are never thought inferior or second-class. Teach your sons to respect them.

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