Friday, January 20, 2012

Why the Sex Selective Abortion Debate is Bullshit

So the old sex selective abortion topic is coming up again in Canada; you might have seen it in the news (I have lots more links for Sunday's round up, don't worry). Can I just say, I can't believe this is being dragged out again as if there is a legislative solution. I mean really.

It seems fairly obvious from where I'm sitting that sex selective abortion, and infanticide, is a symptom of a much larger problem: the value we place on gender in our society. Obviously it varies in form and degree between cultures (and don't think I haven't noticed the racist undertones of some of these discussions), but what it comes down to is that women are not valued as highly as men, and are not as desirable to have as children. Obviously this is further complicated by ethnicity and class and all manner of other factors. But the point is, the problem of sex selection will not be solved by removing the means of sex selection. Haven't I written about this before?

Many people counter the "making it illegal won't make the problem go away" argument (one that applies to many other issues such as non-sex selective abortion, or sex work) with the "that same thing could be said about murder", rebuttal, as though decriminalizing something implies total moral acceptance. Or as if the always-correct reaction to things we think are morally wrong is to legislate against it. As if our legislative process, our whole judicial system, wasn't itself irreversibly corrupt. I think that even if we could all agree 100% on a law that should be in place, there is no guarantee that the legal system will serve the interests of our society as opposed to the interests of the - dare I say it - 1%. I am wary of ever advocating further legislation to solve any problem, because I have my own ideas of who the criminal class are.

I think sex selective abortion and infanticide are symptoms of a problem that is in itself part and parcel of a kyriarchy in which our judicial system also operates. I think that in the long run, the same people are benefiting from both. I think sex selective abortion will never go away until the kyriarchy does. And I am absolutely fed up with the fact that reasonable people are still arguing about it; as if taking away a woman's right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy can help her in a world that is going to slap her daughter down in the same way it just did to her.


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