Volume 7, Issue 4
January 25, 2012
New Years Resolution #2
I have a new job at my home parish: ushering at 9:00 Mass. When my pastor first saw me wearing the usher’s sash, his eyes got big, and his face asked, “What are you doing?” I explained that the associate pastor asked me. He didn’t know that my father was an usher at 9:00 Mass, all through my childhood, and literally, right up until the week he died. So, when Father asked, it seemed natural to say yes.
I now have a theory that everyone is simply waiting to be asked to do something.
But first, let me let you in on a little secret. A lot of educational non-profit groups like ours count on large contributions from a handful of wealthy individuals. The Ruth Institute operates a bit differently.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We have some very generous and visionary donors. We’re grateful for those people. We could never have gotten started without their confidence in us. But we need lots of people giving small amounts too. And we need more “boots on the ground." Each one of you knows people who care about our mission. Each one of you can reach out to the people in your circle of friends.
That is why we are making a big push in 2012 to find people who can contribute small amounts.
Now I’m asking you to contribute to the Ruth Institute. This week, we are looking for people who can make their first $100 gift. Could it be you? And if $100 is a hardship, could you contribute $25? And if you are already a contributor, do you have a friend who can give what you give? Think about it: if every current contributor found just one friend who gave the same amount, our budget would instantly double! Think how much more we could do for marriage!
You know we are sticking up for your values. I think you will feel good about contributing to the Ruth Institute. I hope you will become one of this week’s new contributors!
Thanks for all your support!
Feminists Concerned about IVF Exploiting Women
Dr. J and Todd Wilken meet on Issues, Etc. to discuss the surprising alliance that finds egg harvesting exploitive of women. (Click the POD icon.)
Subscribe to the complete Ruth Institute podcasts with iTunes!
Parental Manipulation, 101
When my two-year-old daughter was throwing a fit, I took hold of her and looked her in the eyes, saying, “You WILL talk to Mommy nicely.”
With no hesitation, she got three inches from my face, tilted her head to the side and said, Keep reading.
How the West’s Fertility War Has Left Women at Risk
A review of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published at familyinamerica.org on January 10, 2012.
This brave and timely book has many strengths and one glaring, but understandable, weakness. The strength of this book is the reporting. Mara Hvistendahl, a liberal, pro-choice feminist, painstakingly documents the catastrophic consequences of the worldwide “choice” for male babies: gender imbalance leading to prostitution, s*x slavery, and male frustration and aggression. The weakness of this book is the political analysis. She doesn’t understand how deeply Roe v. Wade changed American political culture, particularly within the conservative movement broadly conceived. But both these strengths and weaknesses work together to yield an honest and courageous book that should be read by anyone who considers himself (or herself) well informed.
Let’s start with the strengths. Hvistendahl is a very honest reporter. She became aware of the gender-imbalance problem while living in China as a journalist. She recounts how she visited a grade-school classroom to write an article on the solar heating system being installed in the school. She found herself in a “classroom full of smiling boys. I was tempted to abandon the solar power article and interview the teachers about the school’s population.” That experience repeated itself so many times that she couldn’t stand it anymore. Her journalist instincts required an investigation of the imbalanced s*x ratio in Chinese society.
She found that the problem, however, is not unique to China, with its particularly high-pressure “one child policy” driving small family size. Hvistendahl found gender imbalances all around the world, not just in China or India. Albania, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, parts of Singapore, all have experienced skewed s*x ratios. The normal gender ratio at birth hovers around 105 boys for every 100 girls, with anything between 104 through 106 boys considered normal. The Caucasus countries of the former Soviet Union have badly skewed s*x ratios. Azerbaijan has a s*x ratio of 115 boys, Georgia 118, and Armenia, a whopping 120. The American journalist expected that the explanation would be s*xist attitudes: in male-dominated societies, patriarchs prefer sons. But she found that women were just as likely to prefer sons, and just as responsible for s*x-selection abortion as their husbands. She also found that urban elites, not the rural poor, pioneered the practice of s*x-selection abortion.