By Tierra Negra, Courier Special Correspondent
The day came when I had to force myself to thin my grapevine last summer. A rule of thumb, according to the internet, is to allow one fruit per every twenty leaves and, armored with this information, I applied to the task at hand. I kept avoiding it because it was hard to decide which ones to sacrifice in order to let the rest develop big enough rather than having plenty in pitiful sizes.
My mind could not help but wonder about our overpopulation problems: seventeen billion and growing! China thought that limiting the reproduction to two per couple might have solved it but then they realized recently that they were having a large number of elders and not enough youth to sustain them.
We have found ways to diminish mortality rates as our knowledge of diseases and epidemics increased with time. Vaccinations have improved the chances of surviving to illnesses that would have demised the population in the old days. It has been a while that we took over nature the control of death and now we have the power to prolong life as long as possible.
Because of this glorious ability to “save” every conceived individual at any cost, we have come to the understanding that doing anything to counteract the consequences is evil. Furthermore, not only we have been told that prolonging life in big numbers is the “best” for humans but we have continued to exert this power through masculine religions or philosophies that dictate the reproduction course in females, wanted or not.
What knowledge or wisdom would a pope in Rome –or the other holy men around him, have of the minimal necessities to procreate and successfully raise a child in a country like Mexico? None whatsoever because is a man that has never been married nor has a hint of the amount of energy, time, resources and work required to do this the best possible way. Nevertheless, disregarding any common sense continues to advocate his “agenda” on a great part of the population that may be ignoring him precisely on this account. Sometimes I wish a baby could be delivered to the Vatican doors every nine months just to see how they would work out a solution in sustaining such abundance of life without receiving any other help but “god’s”.
I remember perfectly well how my male gynecologist advised me to stay in bed to “save” a third pregnancy upon knowing the risk of a miscarriage. This was totally impossible because I had house chores and two toddlers to attend so my body did what it had to do in order to eliminate a product that was probably not right to come to complete term. I only felt relief after it happened and I could not understand everybody else thinking otherwise while looking pitifully at me. What value could there have been in bringing to life someone that might have never been able to attain self sustainability or independence? Or... maybe I just felt at ease because I knew I was plainly re-discovering my mother’s same path of twenty five years earlier!
I couple of years later I became pregnant again, gave birth to the third, and a post partum depression ensued. The irony is that, if science would have not found a way to override my RH- blood type, chances are I would have never been able to bear more than two kids.
There is already a huge nutritional and emotional investment when a woman procreates a newborn, why should she be forced to invest more into a being that would never be able to repay such debt? If it is not sound economically speaking, life wise has less sense! Perhaps those behind these ideas are clueless because they have never done the labors implied in reproduction and child rearing but force it upon those that must be resigned to do it!
Depending on the social class, country of birth and carbon footprint, resources invested in each “precious” live will increase to a point where all possibility of liquidating such debt to society or nature goes beyond reach. The movie “A time for drunken horses” shows an example of how allowing the weak to live creates insurmountable burdens for all the rest that need to take care of them. While the strongest could survive in nature on their own, after a certain age is reached, through “civilization” we have chosen the path of weakening them setting all human kind for extinction. A balance needs to be found somewhere urgently!
There was a eugenics movement that studied ways to improve quality of life in the United States but it was suffocated as a result of how men here, and Hitler on the other side of the ocean, manipulated its ideals. This country used it as the means to diminish the negative impact of great masses of migration in bad shape (and then ironically, it would pick the best to get ruin in wars) while Germany organized camps where adolescents would get pregnant in order to improve the odds of preserving his approach to a “perfect white race”.
Funny that it is the “white race” the first expected to become extinct, as a result of pioneering education for women who in turn would get involved in a career instead of limiting themselves to breed the specie. This might be one of the “reasons” for conservatives to continue fighting abortion notwithstanding the positive impact its legalization may have had in diminishing crime rates (according to the movie “Freakonomics”).
Obviously, answers lie in educating women along with reproduction freedom although, other problems emerge when women pass their fertile age and suddenly realize a need to exercise motherhood investing a great amount of resources to originate life through surrogacy and other fertilization methods while, on the other hand, there is a proliferation of it, poor and unattended.
It reminds me of my teenage years when I made the first attempts to plan my life and ended up complaining about the injustice of being a woman: there was not enough time to develop a career and take care of reproduction as well. God must have made a mistake somewhere along the line or, he plainly did not seem to care much for our gender.
It was after becoming a parent and with the decline of my energy levels that it started to make sense: it is a masculine world what needs to be redesigned to include our needs and not the other way around.
Because of all of the above, I find adoption to be the wisest solution for all parties involved rather than widening the opportunities of “octo-moms” to surge and thrive.
We need to reason how to solve the problem instead of allowing natural disasters and wars to decide who lives or dies but, this situation will continue to worsen until men refrain themselves from regulating women’s bodies and, once and for all, give up reproduction control.