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Old 06-22-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
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Educate Women to Have Less Children

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The global warming debate has always been a touchy one for both sides, and when the world’s top global warming activist is talking about the size of population and how that contributes to the choices societies make, it might be worth taking note.
In an appearance Monday in New York City, former Vice President Al Gore, prominently known for his climate change activism, took on the subject of population size and the role of society in controlling it to reduce pollution.
He offered some ideas about what might be done for females in the name of stabilizing population growth.
“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women,” Gore said. “You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.
“You have to lift child survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families and most important — you have to educate girls and empower women,” he said. “And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices

Read more: Al Gore | Population Control | Pollution | The Daily Caller

A co-worker and I were talking about what I bolded over lunch. We both agreed that when it comes to large families or too many children running around, the woman is blamed. For example, if a woman were to have five kids, even all from the same father, she's seen as uneducated and a fool. But if a man has five kids, no one bats an eye. Has anyone complained about The Edge having five kids?

Yes, the more educated the woman is, the less children she has. But what if a woman with a college degree has five kids? Is she as bad as a high school dropout?

I say educate men as well as women to have less children. Make men just as responsible for over population. Create the male equivalent for the Pill.

I'm curious as what everyone thinks of this issue, which is just like the sex issue - a man sleeps around/fathers lots of children, he's the Man! A woman sleeps around/gives birth to lots of children, she's irresponsible.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:24 PM   #2
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I've never felt that more education = less kids or "blamed" either half for the size of their family. That is their choice. The families I know with a lot of kids always wanted large families and are happy to have them. I don't really understand it to be honest....I've never seen men more of a man because they have more spawn or a mother of a large family "irresponsible"....
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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I think this is a very complicated and touchy subject. There is no one reason why some families or women have "more" children.

Some it's due to religion, some society, and some yes it comes down to education. So yes education will play a factor, and yes both men and women need to be more educated on the subject.

Edge having five children I think is a little different. One he can definitely afford it. I do think(regardless if people want to admit this or not) this plays a role in families that have large families. And two it's from two different "stable" marriages.

I think anyone who sleeps around and has a lot of children with multiple partners is irresponsible, regardless of sex.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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I think he was rather having women, or families, in the developing world in mind, where child survival still is much more of an issue than in developed countries, and where in general women's rights are still much lower, as well as their average level of education. In those countries, families tend to be bigger just for the reason that the chance of a child dying before it reaches adulthood is greater. And where men tend to wield power over the women and hence "decide" how many children to get. If these women were better educated and felt more powerful, then both husband and wife can gain another perspective on the issue of family size.
But of course, it doesn't ignore the fact that these conditions also prevail, to some extent, in developed countries such as the US or European countries. In my eyes, it's not wrong to suggest that the empowerment of women in all parts of a country's society should still be supported (just look at the wage gap in our countries).
But saying that doesn't mean that men don't have to take responsibility as well. Not explicitly mentioning the fact doesn't mean one thinks it doesn't exist at all.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
I think anyone who sleeps around and has a lot of children with multiple partners is irresponsible, regardless of sex.
I agree. To me the word "family" implies that there is a stable marriage or partnership (and I couldn't care less about the combination of male/female) with both people choosing to have more kids. Sleeping around having 5+ kids with as many partners is a totally different issue, IMO.

That said, I don't necessarily think it is wrong for a couple to not be in 100% agreement about how many kids to have. I think it is common for one partner to push harder than the other for more or less. I know a few guys that want "kids" but genuinely do not care if that is 1 or 5. The wife of a friend of mine wanted a large family so 2 kids went to 4 kids and he loves them all just the same.

As long as people are making informed choices I don't feel I should have any real say over how many kids they should have.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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I would think he was talking about places where women don't have as much choice and/or input about how many children they have.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
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But then the bold statement seems vague and contradictory...

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You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.
Who is the "you"? Us? Women in developing countries? If it means the latter, is that really true? Do all women have the choice and/or access to birth control?

For those that don't, I don't really see people blaming those women for having so many kids while praising the men for their fertility. I'm still not really sure where that attitude comes from.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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I think, in general..that a woman who sleeps around and has kids with multiple partners is still judged more harshly than a man who does same. Unless the man doesn't support them financially or act like a father to them, have the appropriate involvement in their lives. In that case I do think he's going to be judged for that.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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Probably so....but maybe in some respects it's fair? I mean, as women we fight for OUR right to choose and our right to do what we wish with OUR bodies. Maybe it is fair to say that with those rights women do have a greater responsibility? If it's really a 50/50 then we're kind of in trouble...
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
I think, in general..that a woman who sleeps around and has kids with multiple partners is still judged more harshly than a man who does same. Unless the man doesn't support them financially or act like a father to them, have the appropriate involvement in their lives. In that case I do think he's going to be judged for that.
That's what I mean. I come from a conservative family and my parents and relatives react with horror when they hear of a woman children from different partners. But when a man fathers a children with two or three different women, as long as he pays child support, its not a big deal in my family's eyes. That's where I'm getting this viewpoint from.

As for women in undeveloped countries, yes, I do believe Gore was talking precisely about them. But I've heard about how there are some in developed countries who blame families having more than two kids - and instead have three or four - for overpopulating the world, ruining the environment, hurting food production, etc. You know, radical beliefs like that.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:58 PM   #11
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I agree with greater responsibility, absolutely. But until we can reproduce on our own, I think the different standards will exist. Some people still look at a man who fathers many kids as being some kind of "stud". I do think that's old school thinking that's dying out.

But what if we had an Octodad instead of an Octomom, one who fathered that many kids? Would he be subjected to the same scorn? I'm not defending her at all but I do think it's an interesting question. Jim Bob Duggar has her beat, but he is married and they can and do support all of those kids financially.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
I agree with greater responsibility, absolutely. But until we can reproduce on our own, I think the different standards will exist. Some people still look at a man who fathers many kids as being some kind of "stud". I do think that's old school thinking that's dying out.

But what if we had an Octodad instead of an Octomom, one who fathered that many kids? Would he be subjected to the same scorn? I'm not defending her at all but I do think it's an interesting question. Jim Bob Duggar has her beat, but he is married and they can and do support all of those kids financially.
Look at Mel Gibson. When people criticize him, its because he's a nutcase, not because he has 8 children. At least, I have yet to hear any complaints about that.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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Well in Mel's case the nutcase far outweighs the 8 kids. A wealthy man can have as many kids as he wants, because he can support them. Of course maybe a woman is targeting them and getting pregnant in order to get their money.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:22 PM   #14
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It is hard for me to wrap my mind around because all of the examples given are people that have issues far beyond how many kids they have. Octomom...annoying attention whore. Jimbob Duggar....*shudder*. Mel Gibson...nutcase.

I do not think that someone who is wealthy gets a free pass either. I know some great fathers who have made insane sacrifices for their families (or just child/children if the mother is not in the picture) and I know a few wealthy dads who are total wastes of space and their children are messed up because of it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I do not think that someone who is wealthy gets a free pass either. I know some great fathers who have made insane sacrifices for their families (or just child/children if the mother is not in the picture) and I know a few wealthy dads who are total wastes of space and their children are messed up because of it.
The wealthy part, I didn't mean a free pass. It's merely that they can provide financially for their kids so they aren't judged as much.

The elephant in the room is that "poor" people continue to have kids that they can't provide for, or that the fathers can't or don't..so someone else ends up doing it. That is the stereotypical image.
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