After reading the mewlings of at least half the participants in a discussion at Fark (a site where I consciously don’t bother with reading the discussions, as they are too often dominated by flailing adolescents and bumptious booby-seeking yahoos for my taste, and it just pisses me off) about the link I propagated below, I got to thinking a bit about how utterly different matters of gender are here, compared to the West.
An example : the over-riding desire for male children, particularly as a first born, coupled with a focus on children, a cult of reproduction, so fervent that women are often addressed not by their given name but as “Mother-of-child’s name” after they’ve squeezed out their first progeny, has created the necessity for some fairly unique legislation.
In the mid-80’s, as mass-produced ultrasound machines became freely available, doctors would naturally inform expectant mothers of the gender of the fetus, once it became distinguishable. This led to a fairly common, but not-discussed, practice of aborting female fetuses, particularly if they were to be the first-born, and ‘trying again’. This led in turn to the government decreeing that, by law, doctors would not be allowed to disclose the gender of a fetus. Many still do, of course, and the number of male births in Korea has outnumbered those of female by considerably more than the natural 106/100 ratio. This will have deep consequences when these boys come of age over the next decade or two.
Those in power would do well to learn from history:
Male babies were valued as potential food providers and contributors to the family income while females were another mouth to feed and could only be married off at great expense to the family. In this time of desperation, reducing liabilities, such as female children, was seen as a viable survival technique. As a result, during this century there was an average of 129 men for every 100 women in Huai-Pei.
This skewed sex ratio became a problem when the men were ready to marry. Because of the lack of females, many men had no hope of marrying, raising a family, or supporting themselves; consequently, they grouped together and began small-scale banditry throughout the province to steal and provide for their families. Eventually, nearly 100,000 of these men, known as the Nian, led a rebellion on the Chinese emperor from 1851 to 1863 that contributed to the fall of the empire.”