Reply to comment

Patriarchy's Birth Rates

Lower birth rates will not support our environmental problems-- but we have another reason to care about birth rates: when women can, they choose to lower them from historical/patriarchal levels, and we should support their right to do so.
Patriarchy, as part of its integration into capitalism, has kept birth rates ‘artificially’ high all across the globe, growing the reserve army of labor that capitalism requires. It is the increase in both the technical and social ability of women to control their reproduction that has created most of the global decline in birth rates so far. Our argument to environmentalists attracted to the populationist argument should be that the birth-control-only campaigns are, in the end, just one more patriarchal attempt to control women’s reproduction, and that improving child survival rates, giving girls access to education, and empowering women to control their own reproduction (and yes, that means freely allowing women to have more than two children and offering comprehensive sexual health services) are what will sustainably and non-coercively lower birth rates. From where the world is now (not as an eternal ideal) we should be in favor of lower birth rates, because the things that actually lower them-- women’s empowerment and financial independence, education, better health care, and access to contraceptives-- are things we support.


The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <b> </b> <br> <br /> <a> </a> <em> </em> <strong> </strong> <cite> </cite> <code> </code> <ul> </ul> <ol> </ol> <li> </li> <dl> </dl> <dt> </dt> <dd> </dd> <div> </div> <img> <style> <font> </font> <blockquote> </blockquote> <hr>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.