First off, to all of those mocking my reference to “rapper” Will Smith’s Big Willie Style, I’ve got one thing to say: No love for the haters…. (Mad cause I got floor seats at the Lakers)……. ((See me on the fifty yard line with the Raiders))…
So… the Gender Equality Committee hosted its November meeting tonight during which we featured The National Geographic special China’s Lost Girls (as well as pizza and soda). According to Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, over 100 million women and girls are “missing” in the world due to the prioritization of boys over girls in certain countries. Given that, by 2020, there will be 30-to-40 million more males ages 19 and younger than their female counterparts in China, China represents a microcosm of this global “missing girl” phenomenon. China’s Lost Girls details the etiology and ramifications of this unfortunate gender-based imbalance, which is compounded by the country’s “one child” policy.
Luckily for our committee, MSPP professor Dr. Jill Bloom agreed to attend to offer her insight and overall, facilitate post-film discussion. Dr. Bloom, who teaches some social-justice-oriented courses such as Diversity, Gender Theory, and Women’s Psychology, is well-versed in issues concerning the global sex-trafficking phenomenon, a major sociocultural piece contributing to the “loss” of documented females in the world today. Her insight enriched the discussion, which revolved around numerous topics and questions: what are the pressures that Chinese families, particularly women, face when choosing to give up their daughters?; how do we facilitate females’ upward mobility in such countries (ie. microfinancing initiatives)?; given that so many female orphan babies are adopted to “white” American families, how is their sense of identity shaped by both their “white” upbringings and their recognition of their Chinese heritage?
If you’re interested, you can watch China’s Lost Girls on Netflix. If you’re interested in learning more about this overall global “missing girl” crisis, I recommend reading Nicholas Kristof’s Half the Sky. Again, big thanks to our amazing Dr. Jill Bloom and to all of those who attended tonight’s meeting! Hope to see you at the next meeting.