“Houston, we have a problem.” This was the brusque announcement from astronaut Jack Swigert following a life threatening explosion onboard the Apollo 13 spacecraft. By God’s grace, the skill of the astronauts, and the teamwork of NASA mission control in Houston, Apollo 13 returned safely to earth without loss of life.
Today, we need to hear a similar announcement with more fundamental implications for the human family. “Earth, we have a problem!” The problem is gendercide – the intentional murder of millions of females every year.
Today, there are well over 100 million fewer females alive in the world than there should otherwise be. They are not among us because they have been killed. Some were murdered on their wedding night because they did not bring sufficient dowry; some the moment they were born simply because they were female. Millions have been murdered through sex-selective abortion.
The March 4, 2010 edition of The Economist magazine published an article that ought to be a wake up call to the church, if not the planet: Gendercide: The War on Baby Girls. A longer edition may be found here.
As the article points out, “In China and northern India more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls.” In some provinces of China the ratio is 130 boys for every 100 girls. In the Indian states of Bihar and Rajasthan, the ratio is 165 boys for every 100 girls. What are the implications of these facts for a society? What are the moral implications when human life is taken so casually, when females are so despised by a society? What are the social implications in a country like China where there are now 30,000,000 men who have no hope for being married? What will these pressures mean in terms of the rise of homosexuality, a propensity towards war, and the buying and selling of females for brides? What are the implications for the economic health, social peace, and political justice when this kind of atrocity occurs?
Sadly, genderside is only the tip of the iceberg in what amounts to a war against women. Women are murdered through infanticide, female-feticide, dowry deaths, and honor killing. With regards to the latter, a courageous film was released last year called The Stoning of Soraya M that draws a spotlight on this horrific practice. If you choose to watch it, prepare to be sickened.
Beyond murder, there is unspeakable violence. Women are raped, battered, humiliated, impoverished, and disfigured. We are witnessing a rapidly growing market for global trafficking of girls and young women into prostitution, pornography, the child sex trade, sex tourism, and bride trafficking (think of 30 million men in China looking for wives!). Female bodies are attacked with knives, chemicals, and other instruments through female genital mutilation (FGM), breast ironing (to reduce the size of the breast), forced sterilizations, and abortions.
In the area of abortion alone, worldwide there are 46 million abortions performed every year, or 126,000 every day. This works out to about one abortion for every woman in the world. The majority are performed on unborn girls.
This war against women is equally a war against the maternal, the family, and ultimately, all of us. In his book Rumors of Another World, author Phillip Yancey points out that this hatred of the female is bringing down birthrates throughout the world: “Fertility in eighty-three countries representing 44% of the world’s population has fallen below replacement levels; in the developed countries, the net reproduction rate is 0.7 and dropping, which means that the next generation will be only 70% as large as this one.” If left unchecked, this trajectory will bring a “demographic winter” that will lead to the social, economic, and political collapse of nations.
Unlike the Apollo 13 problem that was solved technically, genderside has no technical fix. It is a moral and metaphysical problem. It is rooted in misogyny – a hatred or revulsion of women. Sexist men war against women. Radical feminist ironically also war against women in their efforts to re-make women as men!
The Disciple Nations Alliance longs to see communities and nations healed and transformed. To this end, we champion a vision for transformation as a by-product of a Biblical worldview and a wholistic ministry. Wherever we teach around the world, we seek to expose and address cultural lies that lead to brokenness and poverty, and challenge churches to take the lead in replacing these lies with the truth.
After teaching for many years in many countries, it is clear to me that one of Satan’s most powerful and destructive lies is that men are superior to women. This lie is found in virtually every culture in the world. As Christians, we combat such lies with truth—the truth found in God’s Word which values women equally with men. The liberating truth for all women is that they have intrinsic value rooted in their being made in the imago Dei—the image and likeness of God.
My heart has been broken over the plight of women around the world. To respond to this lie that brings so much pain and destruction, I wrote Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women to Build Healthy Cultures. If your heart is burdened as mine is, I encourage you to read this book. You may also wish to visit Gender Watch, a website that draws attention to this war against women.
If The Economist article has stirred your soul and made you angry, I urge you to fight back against this evil. Become informed. Read Nurturing the Nations. Encourage your friends to do the same. Then, in small and large ways, begin to stand against misogyny, fight for the dignity of women and against this new holocaust known as gendercide.
“Earth, we have a problem!”
– Darrow Miller
Tom TakerMarch 9, 2010 - 6:09 pm
I love you for writing this post and everything else you are doing to bring this issue to light.
Arturo MennewMarch 9, 2010 - 6:13 pm
I am very saddened by your horrific statistics. Where did you find them? I suggest you see the film, Half the Sky LIVE by husband and wife Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I believe he still is NY Times Beijing Bureau Chief. He and his wife work to increase girl power. I saw their film last week in Boston, MA. The Boston Metro reported the film’s upcoming showing by stating more girls have been killed in the last 50 years than all the men killed in the 20th century wars!!!
The film discusses early adolescent rape, followed by forced marriage that lead to education opportunity foreshortening or loss, thus lack of both economic opportunities and meaningful existence in society. Three stories are the centerpiece of the film, they occur in Ethiopia, Cameroon and Afghanistan, where a secret girls’ school is operated by a woman who teachs general curriculum outlawed for Afghan girls. Can you believe education denial for girls persists? Education is the key to creating a better society in every world community and in the global village. The centerpiece was followed by a panel discussion whose speakers included Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn, and several women involved in seeking girls’ and women’s rights. Girls and Women need to be respected, appreciated, praised and loved.
Patrick PyatochkinMarch 9, 2010 - 7:51 pm
I love you for writing this post and everything else you are doing to bring this issue to light.
Joel DugginsMarch 9, 2010 - 8:24 pm
Hear hear. Christians too often think that because feminism is so prominent in America, offenses against women are more or less dealt with, and now we have to stop the other extreme. Far from the truth.
pallet rackingMarch 9, 2010 - 9:20 pm
very interesting, thanks for sharing.
SlamdunkMarch 9, 2010 - 9:58 pm
Thanks for bringing attention to this problem.
miscellaneoussheeperyMarch 9, 2010 - 10:10 pm
This is a great post about a tragic topic. I often hear form atheists the argument that Christianity is sexist against women, but this could not be further from the truth, as your article demonstrates. Thank you for so succinctly stating the Christian view of women, and for shedding light on the issue of violence and crime against women around the world.
VictoriaMarch 9, 2010 - 10:48 pm
Your article was quite interesting (bar any statistical issues and some sensationalised sentences) until I got to the bit that blamed radical feminism for femicides. It was then that I realised that you are completely retarded. I’m leaving your blog now and never reading it again. You should give up.
mjackMarch 9, 2010 - 10:51 pm
Very illuminating and well-written. Thank you for writing this and making me more aware than I ever was about this issue.
Dr. Kushal BanerjeeMarch 10, 2010 - 5:03 am
In India, the government and several NGOs have been trying hard to put an end to femal foeticide. Pre-natal gender detection has been declared as a crime.
However, the problem probably needs more extensive approach. Only the state of Kerala has a higher female : male ratio.
Hope, the situation will improve with the serious efforts from various sections. However, awareness holds the key to the solution.
creepingMarch 10, 2010 - 6:23 am
Sadly, unbeknownst to the vast majority, honor killings are happening right here in the United States, as well as in Canada and throughout the Western world.
This war not only kills, but enslaves girls – like Rifqa Bary who is now virtually imprisoned in Ohio and cut off from her friends and loved ones because of her choice of religion (she chose Christianity over Islam).
girlsguidetosurvivalMarch 10, 2010 - 8:08 am
1. Addressing too many issues in one post. Gender imbalance and population below replacement are two different topics, they cannot be clubed together for their differential implications and manifestations. But it is your blog you can do that.
2. Dowry deaths and gender specifc abortions, ad nauseum have become the only form of domestic/familial violence known to the west. The worst is the poverty imposed by forces of globalization that comples communities to accept that eliminating a gender would solve the problem.
3. What about the gendercide in the U.S. ? Numerous female children are traded as sex slaves on the U.S. soil and there is no mention about it at all here.
4. Homosexuality is more than an act, it is orientation towards same preferances for a partner. This is preposterous that fewer women will encourage men to become homosexuals. Wao as if one could choose to be a homosexual. Any views on Catholic preiests abusing male children? Are they homosexuals or they are abusing power?
jonahaizaMarch 10, 2010 - 8:36 am
I was reading news with the same headline at the time I came across you blog upon logging in to WP about “Gendercide in China and India.”
It prompts me to read your post and thought of leaving a comment into your blog, for all concerned people across the globe to read.
First, I wondered why the word “misogyny” appeared. Whoever those man/men, cults or society that developed extreme hate against women, grew up in homes where their own mother made their life miserable?
A possible cause is psychological disorders, blame disorder and just damned ignorance.
Second, we have evolved for centuries and been exposed to modernity. Yet the case of “misogyny” still lives in all its glory! Life is still much primitive only inventive.
Third, religion shaped society’s belief system. Where obviously, blame is the major reason why such case as this about female abuse generates. More than poverty as every one might assume.
Since Eve, the first human female who walked the Earth; was the one who gave in to the temptation to let Adam, the first man in earth eat the forbidden fruit that causes the human’s tragic downfall. Since then, the blame and spite were generally pointed on the female.
There are proof too in other holy books, if you will do some research about women’s role and not just the Bible (thanks to Paul in the New Testaments: read Corinthians; you did a good job for being a chauvinist). It defers God’s original “treat the woman as your flesh and blood” in the book of Genesis. Who should be followed anyway, the “disciple” Paul or the “Almighty”?
Ancient holy writings are a proof that explains why “misogyny” still lives on in our world. It’s tells about God, which is the good news. The bad news is society focused on the cause of human downfalls popularly known as SUFFERINGS, blaming Eve “the female”, until the present time. Female has been perceived and believe to be, the lowliest than men rather seen as their equal treated like their flesh and blood.
Unbeknownst to men or the women-hater society turned what’s supposed to be the purpose of the holy writings as their life compass into a BLAME religion? “Because it’s Eve fault we are experiencing damnation, yadah yadah yadah!”
Last but not the least; our Society should be guided to the TRUTH. Blame not. Lead them to understanding and love one another. Woman should be looked up as their mother. The reason why we have sons and daughters, a generation you wish to carry on your legacy.
Eradicate women, then men will cease to exist.
vanityandselfabsorptionMarch 10, 2010 - 8:53 am
I personally think this is wrong as well, and I know it’s leading to more problems in certain countries where male suicide is climbing, and female rape and sex trafficking is on the rise, but nature has a way of balancing things out. The next generation is supposed to be 70% the size it is currently?
People worry too much about people that they don’t worry about the earth itself that sustains the people. If the human population keeps growing we’re going to end up killing ourselves off, leaving no resources to live off off, killing all other species until the whole world is just a barren desert with nothing left.
Our earth is overpopulated. And while I DO NOT support the killing of women based on sex alone, especially young children and the unborn, maybe man’s stupidity is working towards a greater goal in the end.
mamastoffMarch 10, 2010 - 9:08 am
Wonderful post- may I quote you and link to you on my blog?
Disciple Nations AllianceMarch 10, 2010 - 9:40 am
Dear Mamastoff, yes, by all means we would be honored to have you link to or quote us on your blog. Thanks so much for the feedback. -DNA Team
Dori BartlomeMarch 10, 2010 - 9:40 am
Great article, hey I stumbled on to this story while searching for mp3s. Thanks for sharing I’ll email my friends about this too.
coureyMarch 10, 2010 - 9:52 am
the movie TAKEN starring Liam Neeson is a scary example of this. if you don’t know the story line :
Two girls meet a man at the airport, they share a cab and let slip that they are traveling alone… Using this information an Albanese gang of human traffickers kidnaps the girls. Hundreds of women are kidnapped, drugged and used for sex.
its a disturbing side story in this film, i know prior to seeing this movie i was unaware that this was an issue in developed countries today. i felt rather ignorant. Obviously it is wrong to treat any human being in this way, but with this being such a wide spread issue, what can we do about it? how can we help these woman? more importantly, how we help men understand how wrong it is to torture women in those ways?
SpidrMarch 10, 2010 - 9:53 am
LoosefemmeMarch 11, 2010 - 8:53 pm
Women often are complicit in their downfall. In less-developed nations, women are not free. The point of the knife is on her throat for sex, for homemaking, and to reproduce boys. Consider if men were only allowed to father girls. Women are not even allowed to birth other creatures like themselves.
DawnMarch 14, 2010 - 8:45 pm
First hand experience:
I recently came back from my first trip to India. When I blink, these are the flashes of memories that crush my heart: Masses of men and boys among the streets with few women and girls to balance the population. The women and girls dress in beautiful bright fabrics as if God is highlighting their beauty among the trash and decomposing stench. The supernatural joy shining through the smiles of villagers who do not have any physical comforts, yet seem to have what matters to God. A blind woman who is so severely deformed that describing physical details would be nauseating. She smiled, filled with unexplainable joy and attempted to learn our names, showing us a picture of herself on her wedding day. Her attendant whispered that this woman was in a kitchen explosion. Reading Nurturing the Nations prior to this human encounter connected the dots that possibly her husband planned to kill her through a kitchen accident. A rage to protect women and girls rose within me.
There is a saying I learned long ago: NIMBY – not in my backyard.
Until it hits a cord within us so deep that what is happening could affect my life, or worse, my daughters, now drives me to seek how I can help make a difference. Please read Darrow’s book and see how closely in our backyard and in our families, many of us have contributed to the disrespect of females. It is a humbling revelation I even had to repent of, since for many years I was a feminist due to seeking approval from sexist relatives who only respected women who had a career. May we be moved enough to defend those who can’t free themselves.