This weeks Throat Punch was sent in by one of my great friends. You know it’s truly worthy of a throat punch when your friends in the real world send you an email with the subject Please Throat Punch. I read the article she included and boy is this worthy of a throat punch of epic proportions. It is so horrendous that I am actually speechless. So I will simply share with you excerpts from the actual article.
MORENA, India – The room is large and airy, the stone floors clean and cool — a welcome respite from the afternoon sun. Until your eyes take in the horror that it holds. Ten severely malnourished children — nine of them girls.
The starving girls in this hospital ward include a 21-month-old with arms and legs the size of twigs and an emaciated 1-year-old with huge, vacant eyes. Without urgent medical care, most will not live to see their next birthday.
They point to a painful reality revealed in India’s most recent census: Despite a booming economy and big cities full of luxury cars and glittering malls, the country is failing its girls.
The discrimination happens through abortions of female fetuses and sheer neglect of young girls, despite years of high-profile campaigns to address the issue. So serious is the problem that it’s illegal for medical personnel to reveal the gender of an unborn fetus, although evidence suggests the ban is widely circumvented.
“My mother-in-law says a boy is necessary,” says Sanju, holding her severely malnourished 9-month-old daughter in her lap in the hospital. The woman, who goes by one name, doesn’t admit to deliberately starving the girl but only shrugs her own thin shoulders when asked why her daughter is so sick.
Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense in marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents’ funeral pyres.
But it’s not simply that girls are more expensive for impoverished families. The census data shows that the worst offenders are the relatively wealthy northern states of Punjab and Haryana.
Though abortion is allowed in India, the country banned revealing the gender of unborn fetuses in 1994 in an attempt to halt sex-selective abortions. Every few years, federal and state governments announce new incentives — from free meals to free education — to encourage people to take care of their girls.
n the district hospital’s maternity ward, a wrinkled old woman walks out holding a just-born girl wrapped in a dirty rag like an unwelcome present. Munni, who uses only one name, is clearly unhappy. Her daughter-in-law has just given birth to her sixth girl in 12 years of marriage.
Will the daughter-in-law go through another pregnancy?
“Everyone wants boys. A boy takes care of you in your old age,” Munni says.
As a mother-in-law, Munni will likely have enormous control over her son’s wife, influencing how many children she has and nudging or bullying her to bear a son.
“Women cry when they have girls,” nurse Lalitha Gujar says as she spoons powdered coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds into bowls of fortified milk to nourish the tiny children.
All nine mothers of the sickly infant girls say they want sons — to look after them when they get old, because their sisters-in-law have more sons, because their mothers-in-law demand male children.
“If a woman has a boy, for a month she will be looked after. If she has a girl, she’ll be back in the fields in three days,” says Sudha Misra, a local social worker.
An exhausted mother who faces neglect, poor nutrition and blame for producing a daughter is likely to pass on that neglect, social workers say. For an infant, that can mean the difference between life and death.
“A malnourished child will get sick and the chances of death are very high,” Bandil says.
For the very poor, the pressures to bear sons result in mistreatment of both the baby girl and mother. And rich women are not immune to this mistreatment if they fail to bear male children.
For those with money, it’s often about being able to locate a radiologist who, for a cost, will break the law and reveal the sex of the fetus, or being able to fly abroad for such tests.
Throat Punch to you India for allowing such unspeakable acts..not only do you look the other way at such behavior, if caught you basically only issue a small slap on the wrist to those who violate the law. What the hell is wrong with you? You say that men are more desirable. I know that you are not the first or the only country to feel this way, but riddle me this..how the hell do you expect the species to survive if you murder the very people..the ONLY sex, that can have children. You say your sons will take care of you. Well, who is supposed to have the sons if you murder all the potential brides and mothers. As a mother of daughters, this behavior is disgusting and intolerable. The world needs to put a hard stop to this. We need to give more than a slap on the wrist. We need to give India a Chuck Norris Throat Punch to knock some sense into them. Girls? We don’t need no stinkin girls! Yeah..yeah you do. Without little girls, there would be no women, without women there would be no babies, with no babies ,there will be no little boys. With out any little boys, there would be NO MEN! Gendercide sucks and those that perpetrate it deserve more than a theoretical throat punch.Let the little girls live!