Women's "Silent Protest"


One of the key indicators of a society's situation is its birth rate. In my own research, I've noted that an overly high birth rate is a clear indication that women lack access to, or lack the ability to use without punishment, family planning methods. "Youth bulges" are associated with grave economic problems and societal instability. In a sense, this is the "mothers' revenge" on societies that has kept them subordinated and dominated. Fortunately, the number of countries with very high birth rates is dramatically fewer than it used to be in earlier decades; now there are only about two dozen nations with such rates, almost all in sub-Saharan Africa.

These days it is the inverse problem about which societies now worry. After decades of actively punishing women for daring to try and combine productive and reproductive work, nations are puzzled when women act in a rational fashion and curtail their births. It has been interesting to see, for example, how disappointed Chinese officials were when, having moved to a 2-child policy, women didn't fall all over themselves to have that second child. Economists in China are now calling for birth incentives, even birth quotas for women! The government has taken to urging women to stay home and give up their jobs so that they may devote themselves to childrearing. Of course, the idea that the government should stop treating women like instruments of national power has not yet dawned. How humiliating for the Chinese government, after all its forcible abortions and sterilizations, all the sex-selective abortions and all the female infanticide created by their one-child policy, that China's working age population is now shrinking, and its economic and global power prospects are tied to that decline. Maybe they should have treated women with greater respect.

But these concerns are not limited to China. Even Western nations without draconian policies that violate human rights, are seeing a "silent mothers' protest" at the conditions under which they are expected to reproduce the population. In 2019--before COVID--Italian births were only 420,000. The Guardian notes that this is the lowest number of births in the country since its unification in 1861. In 2020, they think that number will fall to 408,000, with 700,000 deaths. There is now 1 child for every 5 senior citizens in Italy. Japan, likewise, is rapidly depopulating, with towns disappearing as they are deserted and overgrown with vegetation. Russia, also, is in the same situation, as are Iran and many other nations.

Some say this is all women's fault, and that somehow women must be persuaded/forced to go quietly back home and save these countries. Bullpuggy! If extremely high birth rates are a sign that a society doesn't know how to treat women as they should be treated, the very same can be said of extremely low birth rate nations. Stop punishing women for trying to combine productive and reproductive work--help them instead. God gave women talents that are needed to bring balance to our world; He did not mean for those talents to be buried, but to bless the whole world. And don't get me started on the revolution in male-female relations that would be necessary to convince women that procreating with men is a safe bet; whether we speak of ubiquitous porn, or the meat market of Tinder, or the low rates of committed marriage, or the very low rate of child support payments actually paid after divorce, women do not feel confident having children with the men they see in their society.

In sum, very high or very low birth rates are both signs that there is a deep problem with the "first political order" in a society.