Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Extinction of the Human Female


Those of you who read the Hindustan Times  may have come across an interesting  report in the June 26th edition from Indore. Titled “ Docs turn baby girls into boys” it describes how young girls are made to go through genito plasty that supposedly turns them into males- all this for a price of Rs 150000!! Considering the price of this procedure is lower than the cost of a car, most middle class families are rushing to grab it.

The Census of India 2011 states that the sex ratio ( that is the number of females to 1000 males ) at 940 women to a 1000 male is the highest sex ratio recorded since 1971. However the child sex ratio ie the ratio of female children in the 0-6 age category  is on the decline. It was 927 in 2001 and now in the 2011 census we find it has declined to 914. This, states the census report is the lowest since our country became independent!  This decline can be observed in a majority of the states of our country with Haryana ofcourse topping the list –this state has child sex ratios as low as 774 and 778!!

Link these two pieces of information and you will see a “ cause and effect” model emerging. Add the pieces of information relating to pre natal sex determination, sex selective abortion and female infanticide and we will soon find ourselves heading towards a society where the human female will slowly become extinct!

Okay, so  our society does not want the female of the human species. But can the world do without one gender? Let us see what happens in Haryana with only around 700-800 women to 1000 men, when a man has to get married? Given the fact that this is a society that is dominated by caste and religious differences, how will these men find spouses within their own endogamous groups? I am told they “import” women from other states!!!

But let us take this situation to the country at large- if the number of girls being born are going to decrease over the years and we have a situation where for every 2 men or so there is one woman or less then how is the balance going to be maintained in society? Some women friends tell me hopefully “Maybe we will then get a dowry”.  This is really simplistic thinking because dowry has nothing to do with this number game. It is a system that is set up by the same patriarchal society that sanctions killing of female foetuses and babies. Reducing the number of women is not going to get men to start paying money to marry them. Yes, money may change hands between those families which may have girls and those who do not but it will not result in improvement of status of women in our society.

 If anything, things would get to be worse as women become a “scarce natural resource” like land and water. Given the laws of nature, where every species wants to proliferate itself, I am not ruling out scenarios where there may be “breeding farms” and polyandry. Power over our lives and sexuality would reduce further until we women are nothing but a “womb”.  

Maybe, there would be efforts made to ensure that the female population increases. But we might also realize that this factory called the “womb” produces an offspring only once in  9 months!!!
Multiple pregnancies would continue to weaken the health of women, age of marriage would reduce further and worse still, the families that give birth to women would in turn also become their exploiters.

Scary isn’t it?

We human beings are so arrogant that we think we can manipulate nature. We fail to understand that the laws of nature require a certain balance to be maintained. The process of natural selection by itself weeds out the species that are unable to survive
( remember Darwin ‘s theory of evolution? ) and we are only aiding this process to cater to our short term needs like inability to pay huge dowries or the burden of responsibility of protecting girls and women from violence. We don’t understand that what we are trying to address are only the symptomatic factors. The cause is rooted much deeper.

Sometimes I wonder if we are serious about rooting out some of these evils- we would rather avoid them. Imagine if parents of daughters were really serious about not giving in to dowry demands? And what if women and their families held the government accountable for the poor law and order situation and demanded strict punishment for those who indulge in crimes against women. What if parents were really serious about giving their daughters as many opportunities as their sons?

What if .. what if.. the list goes on!

Unfortunately, what  angers us is the powerlessness of being the parents of daughters. We would rather that we did not have these children who make us this vulnerable -Right? We go to great extents to prevent this using science and technology to aid us and the result- these shameful statistics!

To conclude, I can just say that if we keep at it like this very soon we will have to go to a museum to see another female like Lucy- this one the last of our decedents!



17 comments:

Cloud Nine said...

wonderful post,meera. Yes, women will soon be extinct, thanks to science and technology...shame!

SUB said...

How stupid we can get...a heavily skewed sex ratio would make this world more unsafe for women...

KParthasarathi said...

The decline in sex ratio is indeed a matter of great concern.If this is not arrested soon by suitable policy measures at all levels,the outcome would be dangerous.The bias against the girl child should be removed by stringent measures and education.As of now the girl child is in jeopardy.But the governments both at centre and states have not been able to stem the decline.Punitive measures for errant states may even be thought of.NGOs have a great role to play in enlightening the rural masses.
A good article from you as ever,Meera.

anindita said...

A very thoughtful post which is so very well-timed. This being the international daughter’s week. The Census 2001 is scary and it scares me when the so-called well educated strata of society involves themselves in the heinous crime of foeticide. You know a doctor couple in my city has killed the girl-foetus since they already had one daughter. I had, through a common friend had asked the doc, you are also the second daughter, what if your parents had killed you?

Meera Sundararajan said...

Dear Nivedita, Sub, KP and Ani, thanks for your comments. I am glad that you share my thoughts on this. Ani you have raised an interesting point- among girl children the one most likely to survive is the first one. KP there are laws but like everything else in our country it is poorly implemented. The change needs to come from within us - after what or who is this society? Is a group of people like us..!

Christopher said...

In Rajasthan, the average time between female foeticide or killing of a newborn girl is four minutes. Murder most foul, committed by the child's own parents. No animal shows this kind of extreme gender bias. A grossly skewed gender ratio can disrupt social mores. Bigamy was accepted in the middle east years ago because there were more women than men. Will the current trend of diminishing female population lead to polyandry?

Probably sound value based education is the only key that can halt this dangerous trend. Going by the way our education system works, it sounds far too optimistic.

mannbikram said...

well dont know what will happen if we have jsut one gender left..

I was going ot say humans but its not true i will say we INDIANS are the worst humans dont know what to say feel sad-sorry and disgusted

Bikram's

IRFANUDDIN said...

i wonder to see how on one side we worship our goddesses with great believe in them, whereas on the other side we doom our daughters.....

lets hope some sense prevails among us n things get better.....good post !!!

Meera Sundararajan said...

@Irfan we are a society of contradictions. Christopher yes, I know Rajastan is closely competing with Haryana for being the state with the lowest number of females and ofcourse TN is not far behind.Bikram it is sad that we in India use science and technology for the wrong things.

dr.antony said...

This is a serious post on a more serious topic.

Human beings are selfish to the core and thankless to nature.It is time we learn that we cannot fight the rules of nature and win.It might appear to be a win,to start with,but we will fail at the end.
I remember few yers back when they made a 65 yr old lady pregnant and she carried it to full term.It was news all over the world.The child died on his second birthday, falling in to a bucket of water.

Revealing the gender of a foetus should be prohibited by laws.Now a days,girls are smarter than boys and they outsmart boys at any field of life. I wonder what kind of priciples lead us these days.

Meera Sundararajan said...

Thanks for your comment Dr. Antony. The PNDT act probhibits the determination of sex and sex selective abortions. But doctors who determine the sex do not care about laws around revealing it to the parents. All are part of this same system you see!

Emmy said...

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Rhapsody B. said...

I can sum this up in Two words because i know you would understand what i mean....

World Extinction.

avidxander said...

I somply don't want a world to exist wherein it's a simple rational decision to eliminate females from the human race.

We have to understand that there is a fine line that separates survival and purpose. There's an insurmountable beauty about the female form and anatomy. Inside and out, of all shapes, sizes and other natural factors included; the intrinsic beauty of life is prominent in the female form. Something that goes beyond sexuality or necessity. I'm talking about how life in its most basic form is beautiful in frailty, sensitivity, intricacy and self-awareness. I find all of these things are very much a part of the beauty of the female form, how all of these things can be seen raw in the very essence of the female body. A special niche in the variety of life that can't be replaced by men. A male's body is formed differently for different purposes and routes to aid continued existence.

As inexplicable as it is, and as much as I try; There's just one thing that I want to get across: The female form is a unique example of life in essence. The beauty of life is something that we as people, in our fabricated and cruel nature, don't often seem to deserve. To rationalize the most beautiful thing on the planet, to make this a world where survival of the fittest is not just accepted but actively pursued, is to destroy the very purpose of our existence in my opinion. I simply don't want a world to exist where life is not to be beautiful, but instead, efficient.

It's not even that the female body is any less efficient either. As humans, we adapt to our surroundings, albeit slowly. It's pompous morons that only want males for the here and now that make me worry about our future. It's people who would rather find ways to say that men are superior to women rather than understand how life is designed that bug me. Many jaded and hateful individuals that want to believe that as well. We were hunter/gatherers for the longest time, and now we're evolving above that. It's only those that don't value the beauty of life that wish to keep us in that mindset to believe such primitive and unfair views. It's people who don't understand the circumstances of the individual and society that say "Oh, that's how women are, they're flawed/weak" without thinking of how we got to this point, and the path we can make to a bright and diverse future.

Anyhow just rambling I guess. If women are obsolete, then life itself might as well be. We will have given up what makes life so precious in the first place; Our desire to protect and preserve life in all of it's frailty and intricate design. We will have effectively started a pursuit to weed out all of that which we see as beautiful in favor of what many perceive as superior. What next? Is individuality too much of a strain on society? Maybe work on a way to make sure joy is only found in conformity and duty. Seems rational.

Mabuse Dottore said...

I wouldnt worry too much. Technology will always find a solution. And once we have forgotten women - except as an interesting relic in ancient art & litterature - things will proceed happily. As it always does through time and space.

Mabuse Dottore said...

I wouldnt worry too much. Science will always find a solution. And in a few generations upon female extinction the memory of women will be but a faint one in ancient art & litterature.

It may sound cynical, but life always finds a way to progress. Do we feel sad that the Neanderthal became extinct? Perhaps, but we live happily on.

We are at a time where we tend to worry ourselves by a multitude of "what if-" scenarios in our societies. Remember; we have tenthousands of years behind us. And life on earth millions of years. Even if we in further a couple of ten-thousands of years die out, long after the female-human is gone - other species will take over. And probably do well at that.

Wishing you a good day - and do remember to appreciate it if you are a female...

/Dr. Mabuse jr.

findingfeminism said...

had no idea this happens!! Shocking it is!!

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