Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Irony of Maine's All-Male Media

Sitting in his ivory tower reserved for men only in Portland, Maine, M.D. Harmon lectures readers about the myriad uses of irony while blaming “feminists” for a world where boys are valued much higher than girls. 

And the irony apparently escapes him.
It’s 2011 and there is not a single female political commentator employed by the so-called “liberal media” in Maine. Sure, publications feature national syndicates, but all politics are local.
Here in Maine, as elsewhere, talk radio is dominated by angry obese men who lecture about personal responsibility. Here local television trots out the same two guys, an insurance salesman and an education professional, to serve as our only “senior political analysts.” 
And here the newspapers are saturated with written opinions of male editors, economists, businessmen, and conservative curmudgeons like Harmon, an editorial writer for the Portland Press Herald. 
In Harmon’s recent article, he accuses feminists “in Western cultures” for the aimlessness and violent behavior of men. From the comforts of his echo-chamber, Harmon “discovered” his opinion by reading articles written by other conservative men about a certain provocative book written by a woman. 
Mara Hvistendahl’s wrote Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, which is about the consequences of “sex selection” of babies in certain parts of the world, and the complicity of Western culture’s technology and government policy initiatives. There are a lot more baby boys being born in these places than baby girls, and this fact has causes and effects that are complicated, and include abortion. 
Harmon and the men he parrots convince themselves that this book, about societies that choose boys over girls, is proof that pro-choice women are to blame for the violence men commit and the wars they start. He connects a bunch of dots and worries about all the poor young men who won’t have wives. 
Never does Harmon question why it is in the first place that so many more boys are allowed to live while girls are aborted. 
The fixation of Harmon and his writer-guy pals who dominate the op-ed pages of newspapers is on abortion, of course, and the “immorality” of the women who fight to protect their right to choose, instead of the reasons women might make these difficult decisions.  
In this recent piece, for instance, Harmon goes on and on about irony.
The irony? Abortion, which feminists in Western cultures see as a basic liberty (a woman can't be equal to a man if she is chained to children), has resulted in the deaths of far more girls than boys.” 
Harmon’s indictment of women, however, based on this book as interpreted by a bunch of men, and his “pro-life” blame of women for violence and wars that kill children is the ultimate irony. 
Millions of women and children have been and are being raped and killed because of wars started by men. 
Is it immoral for a child-victim of war rape to have an abortion?
Marcy Darnovsky Ph.D., is the Associate Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society, a Berkeley, California. She reviewed Hvistendahl’s book, and said this about it:
“Selecting for sons is growing not just in South and East Asia, but also in the Caucasus and the Balkans, as well as among some Asian communities in the US. Its consequences are anything but abstract in the regions of South and East Asia where the wildly skewed sex ratio among the generation now coming of age is associated with an upsurge in trafficking of women for sex and for marriage–to the extent that some poor villages are empty of young women. And some of the most alarming sex ratios are in affluent areas; economic and technological developments are in fact driving sex selection rather than discouraging it by encouraging smaller families, which leads people who value sons to do whatever is required to ensure one. Widely available and relatively cheap ultrasound tests, followed by abortion if the fetus is female, provide the means. Sex-selective abortion is seen as a “cleaner and less ethically fraught” alternative to the deep-rooted practice of female infanticide.
Are pro-choice Western women to blame for the deep-rooted practice of female infanticide and trafficking of women for sex in South and East Asia, too?
Harmon is a man who plays God by judging women for playing God. 
What would you call this?

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