Yet the subjugation of women is just making things worse, creating all manner of demographic, economic, and public health problems. This is not just a story about abortion, though abortion tends to be a flashpoint. The tale is much bigger than it might at first appear. For decades now the countries of the first world have been exporting family planning to the third world, for reasons that combine humanitarianism and national security realpolitik.
Feminists have fought, with a surprising if unheralded degree of success, to have reproductive rights recognized in international law. The United States has, depending on who is in charge, worked to bring safe abortion to poor countries, and worked with equal zeal to take it away. Imitating the organizing strategies of their opponents, fundamentalists have joined hands across national borders to stave off challenges to traditional gender hierarchies.
Many of the roots of our current battles lie in the cold war, a time of widespread panic that overpopulation was going to lead to Malthusian doom and revolutionary upheavals. Back then, staunch anticommunists saw the mass diffusion of birth control as a key bulwark against anticapitalist chaos. A huge international family planning infrastructure was erected, and the idea that childbearing should be a matter of choice rather than fate spread throughout the world.
Nevertheless, in the second half of the twentieth century, a global consensus began emerging that overpopulation hindered development. As the concern grew, some countries started using coercion to bring down birth rates faster, resulting in outcries from both feminists and religious groups.
In the s, though, a group of feminist-minded women who had come up through the ranks of the population-control movement decided to take it over from within. Women needed power, not just pills, and population programs could be harnessed to improve their health and status. Employing canny bureaucratic warfare, skillful organizing, and a solidarity that transcended borders, these women worked within emerging systems of global governance that, even today, few outsiders understand.
As a result of their efforts, at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, their once marginal views about the universal importance of reproductive rights became the official policy of the United Nations. It was a policy that was supported by every major donor country, including, at the time, the United States. Religious conservatives in many regions were alarmed by this, and sometimes banded together across sectarian lines in opposition. When George W. Bush entered the White House in , the fundamentalist alliance achieved an unprecedented level of power and influence.
The global reproductive rights movement, though, had also grown strong, and found it could survive the defection of the United States, its original patron. Reproductive rights even entered the realm of international law when in several significant cases courts ruled in varied jurisdictions that women who had been denied abortions had had their human rights violated by their own countries. S ome of this might sound abstract. On the ground, though, the consequences have often been profound, determining, among other things, whether a woman has access to contraception and, if she needs it, an abortion; whether she can get an education before she starts her family and earn an income after; whether her government penalizes her for having what it deems too many children; and whether her genitals are left intact or ritually circumcised to encourage her chastity.
Real lives have a way of defying neat political categories, and of refusing to embody pat lessons. Grand plans to remake societies, no matter how well intentioned, usually have unintended effects. Nevertheless, ambitious efforts to improve the health and status of women have at times been quite successful, as have campaigns to roll them back. Ultimately, one insight that I hope emerges from these stories is that feminists, liberals, and reformers have as much claim to cultural authenticity as conservatives do.
The Means - Mattafix - VAGALUME
To act as if only the most static and rigid parts of a culture are genuine, to treat other societies as less capable of dynamism and progress than we in the West believe ourselves to be, is deeply condescending to the women all around the world who are trying to effect change from within. In developing nations the situation is further complicated by the influence wielded by international donors, aid agencies, and UN bodies that work to promote reproductive rights, inevitably affecting sexual norms.
Nevertheless, women everywhere do try, sometimes desperately, to limit their fertility, a fact borne out by their frequent recourse to abortion. In hymning traditional social arrangements, Greer moved so far to the left that she circled around to the right, treating every society but her own as a harmonious, homogenous system that could only be distorted by the malign influence of Western liberalism. Written at a time when she was herself struggling with infertility, Greer charged family planners with spreading the antichild ethos of a selfish, materialistic, and maladaptive modernity.
- If I Needed Someone?
- Customers who viewed this item also viewed.
- "means" in American English.
- have the means for.
Further, she defended the chador, extolled chastity over artificial contraception, and posited patriarchal peasant society as preferable to individualistic consumer capitalism. There was no place in her analysis for women who dissented from conservative forces in their own societies, women who longed for the freedoms she blithely dismissed. Greer made a common error of the disillusioned Western radical, projecting onto other cultures all the authentic virtues she wished were in her own. In thinking about the situation of women in vastly different contexts, there are a number of dangers.
One is assuming that Western ways are self-evidently superior and that all women would choose them, if only they could. The search for human commonality among vastly diverse people is tricky and elusive, but it is callous to surrender to relativism when so many women are clearly suffering. Sexism and violence exist everywhere, but political correctness or condescending romanticism about exotic others should not obscure the fact that women in the third world often have it much, much worse.
In large parts of Asia girls are given less food and medical care than boys from infancy. Throughout Asia and Africa they are significantly less likely than boys to be enrolled in school. More than a third of girls worldwide are married off before they reach adulthood, often to much older men. Early pregnancy taxes their bodies; girls under fifteen are five times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than women in their twenties.
One in twenty-six women in Africa will die of pregnancy-related causes. The lack of power that women have over their own bodies is directly responsible for the feminization of the AIDS epidemic, which in Africa is killing far more women than men. In , when Ugandan feminists tried to pass a bill that would, among other things, ban spousal rape, men reacted with outrage. There is, after all, a long history of Western colonialists justifying themselves by promising to liberate benighted native women. In , an American journalist named Katherine Mayo wrote a best-selling book called Mother India about the degraded position of females in that country.
This base is, simply, his manner of getting into the world and his sex-life thenceforward. Many decades later U.
Few, of course, suggest punishing friendly Saudi Arabia for its system of gender apartheid. It is not surprising, then, that there is abundant suspicion in the developing world whenever Westerners begin cataloguing the ills visited on foreign women. However, that suspicion, and the history that gives rise to it, does not change the fact that the widespread, overwhelming abuse and devaluation of women, especially in poor countries, is the biggest human rights crisis in the world today.
The right to work and go to school, to own land, to inherit, to live free from violence—these are life-and-death issues for many women in developing countries. They often have far more day-to-day salience than family planning. Having smaller families allows women to work. When their daughters are educated, they also choose smaller families, which can be better cared for.
At an even more elemental level, for far too many women pregnancy is either deadly or debilitating.
Putting off childbearing until their bodies are mature enough protects mothers, as does spacing their pregnancies several years apart and having only as many children as they choose. Furthermore, it makes little sense to tackle maternal mortality and morbidity without paying attention to unsafe abortion, one of its major and most easily eradicated causes.
the end justifies the means
They help women survive and allow them to transcend mere survival. Thus, reproductive rights, while being enormously consequential in and of themselves, also offer a lens through which to view even bigger questions of gender and power in a globalized but desperately unequal world. Underlying diverse conflicts—over demography, natural resources, human rights, and religious mores—is the question of who controls the means of reproduction. She was miscarrying, and under the circumstances the doctors should have given her a drug to speed the process.
She was kept on the medicine until tests a day later showed the fetus had died, at which point she was allowed to deliver. By then, though, her placenta had detached and her uterus had filled with blood. She went into shock and died. Feminists and human rights activists around the world called Jazmina Bojorge the first victim of an abortion ban that would soon claim many more, and the government promised an investigation.
Many Managua gynecologists, though, spoke of the fear and confusion that had descended onto their practices, and said that they, too, might be forced to withhold help from pregnant women with complications like those of Bojorge. Her office is a low-ceilinged room with peach-colored walls and a chugging air conditioner; outside in the waiting area dozens of chairs are set up like an overcrowded classroom, almost all of them taken. A woman had arrived in the middle of a miscarriage. She was twelve weeks pregnant and bleeding, and her cervix was dilated.
In such cases the medical manuals recommend giving the patient Oxytocin to help her expel the fetus. In the meantime, she said, the woman was at high risk of infection. Among many doctors there were rumors of coming persecutions. Ligia Altamirano, an exuberant, round woman with a high, lilting voice, is the former president of the Nicaraguan Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. An intensified version of American-style abortion politics has come to Latin America, pitting the local religious hierarchy and its supporters in the United States and the Vatican against feminists and their allies in Europe and the United Nations.
Nor did Nicaragua import its antiabortion ethos. By contrast, around twenty-two thousand underground abortions were performed in alone. Because legal abortion was so rare in the country, the intensity of the recent campaign against it seemed strange. The exemption for therapeutic abortions had been on the books for over one hundred years. Part of the answer lay in domestic politics. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? A groundbreaking new work on the global battle over reproductive rights by the author of The New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming Award-winning journalist Michelle Goldberg shows how the emancipation of women has become the key human rights struggle of the twenty-first century in The Means of Reproduction. Deeply reported across four continents, the book explores issues such as abortion, female circumcision, and Asia's missing girls to dramatize the connections between international policymaking and individual lives.
Goldberg demonstrates how women's rights are key to addressing both overpopulation and rapid population decline, reducing world poverty, and retarding the spread of AIDS. Sweeping and ambitious, this is a must-read book for feminists, health and policy workers, and anyone concerned about the future of our world. Read more Read less. Frequently bought together. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers. Show details. Ships from and sold by Amazon. Ships from and sold by books-fyi. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.
Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Michelle Goldberg. Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Laura Briggs. Andrew L Seidel. Michelle Oberman. Read more. Start reading The Means of Reproduction on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Chance to win daily prizes. Get ready for Prime Day with the Amazon App. No purchase necessary. Get started. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:.
- LA ISLA DE LOS INMORTALES (Spanish Edition).
- Bloodright: Blood Moon Rising Book 2?
- RELATED WORDS.
- NCAA Recruit Tips;
Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 21 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase. Michelle Goldberg's "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" was a disturbing look at a movement that most on the moderate-to-left spectrum find instinctively repulsive.
And yet, she covered her material with considerable humanity, avoiding the easy jabs at fundamentalism that have become commonplace in "debates" about religion and its place in the modern western world. Though an unapologetic secularist, she avoided the us-and-them mentality of new atheism, instead focusing on issues that could easily unite non-believers and the many among the devout who have no desire to see their faith become an institutionalized tool of demagogues.
The scope is broader, but the journalism is no less incisive. It combines compelling stories of individual women fighting for reproductive rights - and, in some instances, provides empathetic accounts of women who support traditional norms - with hard facts. This is a fascinating, often grim, often moving, and occasionally uplifting look at a series of issues that, despite the headlines they generate, play a tiny role in North America relative to the rest of the world, in particular the Global South.
Goldberg deftly navigates the issues without falling prey to the cultural jingoism of the right nor the toxic relativism of the left. The latter is especially prevalent in issues related to genital mutilation, where it has taken on an anti-colonial symbolism that, for many, trumps its overwhelmingly negative health effects. In addition to the present scene, Ms. Goldberg provides a history of the schizophrenic political nature of family planning initiatives that is worthy of a book in its own right.
If there is one problem with this book, it's that it could be two. The objective yet impassioned story that Ms. Goldberg weaves is too compelling to be ignored. In a perfect world, we would base our debates about things as grave as reproductive rights around fine works like this, and not around the crowds that gather at abortion clinics.
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. This is a book about women having babies, or not having babies. If too many women have too many babies, then politicians fear an "over-population crisis. Besides, it's the right thing to do. I know you think that the end justifies the means, but stealing to feed the poor is still stealing. See also: end , justify , mean. You can use bad or immoral methods as long as you accomplish something good by using them. Not everyone agrees with this idea.
Lucy got money for the orphanage by embezzling it from the firm where she worked. The politician clearly believed that the end justifies the means, since he used all kinds of nefarious means to get elected. A good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it. For example, He's campaigning with illegal funds on the theory that if he wins the election the end will justify the means , or The officer tricked her into admitting her guilt-the end sometimes justifies the means.
This proverbial and controversial observation dates from ancient times, but in English it was first recorded only in References in classic literature? Unhappily Orin Silver, a man of far-reaching aims, had died too soon to prove that the end justifies the means. View in context. The exemplary leader does not live by the end justifies the means but by ensuring the means and the end are justifiably executed. Exemplary leadership 2. I suggest people rethink their position if they believe that in sports, the end justifies the means and that anything goes as long as it results in success.
Problem with the Patriots is the cheating. It has retarded the growth of the democratic process in the belief that the end justifies the means. A price too high. The end justifies the means and the means justifies the end-a pragmatic calculus that is compatible with ongoing social trends.
A club statement read: "At a time when the world of football often resembles a jungle where the end justifies the means , we would like to acknowledge the exemplary behaviour of this venerable Scottish club.