Social Question

Linda_Owl's avatar

Are you aware that Melinda Gates (wife of Bill Gates) is advocating the forced sterilization of women in the 'third world countries'?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7722 points ) July 12th, 2012

Women are being denied access to contraceptives & abortions in the United States, but Melinda & Bill Gates (thru their various charity organizations) is advocating for the forced sterilization of women in the ‘third world countries’. I thought we got past the forced sterilization thing when we got past the Eugenics Movement (which did sterilize people who were considered to be “undesirable” – meaning mostly poor & non-white women & men). I understand that worldwide population needs to be reduced in order to assure that humans can continue to live on the only planet that we have, but to do forced sterilizations in the third world countries seems to me to be extreme. To deny people the right to have even a small family is not fair by any standard. And the fact that women in the United States are being denied access to contraceptives & abortions, while some are insisting on forced sterilizations in Africa – makes me wonder about the real reasons that are behind this push. The information about Melinda & Bill Gates push for forced sterilizations is available on the internet. You might find this link to be informative

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/07/melinda-gates-family-planning-means.html

Are we seeing a new Eugenics Movement growing?

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81 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s a quote from Melinda Gates: Source

” She said: “I’m hopeful that the London Summit on Family Planning our foundation is co-hosting with the UK’s Department for International Development will galvanise a global movement to give 120 million more women in the poorest countries access to the contraceptives they want.

And more information about the summit.

“Delegates at the summit are hoping to get 120 million women better access to contraceptives, information and services by 2020.

I see no accurate information about the promulgation of forced sterilization in the link you posted.

Linda_Owl's avatar

@gailcalled , you did not read the article closely enough – the forced sterilization theme runs thru the entire article.

jrpowell's avatar

And the article is bullshit.

Speaking with CNN, Gates gave her diatribe on how she justifies her position as part of the global Elite who are actively seeking to depopulate the planet by 90%; starting in the third world nations.

I actually watched the video and I don’t think the person wrote the post did. And if they did they have a serious problem with comprehension.

The article is full of crap just like the emails your crazy uncle forwards to everyone he knows.

gailcalled's avatar

I repeat, I see no accurate verified information in the link you posted.

(Whose crazy uncle?)

marinelife's avatar

Where is the actual evidence that she supports forced sterilization?

Mariah's avatar

You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. What I have heard is that she is donating $560 million towards contraceptives for third world women.

syz's avatar

I haven’t read the article or researched the subject, but I can state unequivocally that that your statement goes against every message and project that I have ever seen from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@johnpowell You know my uncle? Assumptions and and bad comprehension make for “great exercise” like “jumping to conclusions” and “flying off the handle”.

syz's avatar

As a matter of fact, I have in my inbox a joint statement from Planned Parenthood and the Gates Foundation expressing their contention that contraception should not be controversial, and that providing contraception for 120 million women world wide by 2020 would cumulatively result in 100 million fewer unintended pregnancies, 3 million fewer babies dying i their first year, 50 million fewer abortions, and 200 thousand fewer women and children dying in childbirth.

There is a tremendous difference between making contraception avialable to those who want it and “enforcing contraception” and “sterilizing” women.

As others have noted, there are a whole hell of a lot of accusations in that “article” without any real or concrete sources. The same author also wrote “Global Elite Using Obesity Vaccines to Alter Minds and Curb Consumption”. Sounds like a conspiracy nut-case to me.

tom_g's avatar

I agree with everyone here that there is a lack of evidence that this is what the Gates Foundation is advocating.

Let me just throw this little link out there, however – just to fuel the conspiracy theories.

“Experiments in progress funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are exploring the potential of nonsurgical sterilization using the nonhuman primate model. ”

Qingu's avatar

Everyone knows that the line between contraception and forced sterilization is a line in the sand. Isn’t that like the official doctrine of the Catholic Church?

Aethelflaed's avatar

If Melinda Gates is for forced sterilization, then fuck her and the horse she rode in on.

But, nothing in that article seems to say that.

_the BMGF has classified “unwanted” pregnancies__ K, I feel like the scare quotes around “unwanted” tends to be more of an anti-choicer thing than a eugenics thing.

Gates explains the BMGF “are investing in a pilot project to ensure that health clinics are always stocked with the full range of modern contraceptives, including implants, injectables and IUDs” to make sure their depopulation agenda is secure. The more sterilized women in poorer nations, the faster the overall human population will decrease. Implants, injectables and IUDs as a broad catagory don’t cause sterilization. Sometimes, there is a specific make/model that does, but this isn’t that.

Gates has created a propaganda cartoon where the campaign to sterilize millions of women with Depo-Preovera is celebrated. Ok, see, at least this has some kind of half-truth. Yes, Depo-Preovera is known to have infertility as a side effect, and can have other serious side effects that make it something we should probably just stop administering. On the other hand, it is not itself sterilization, which is why when people want to actually force sterilize you without your knowledge they also give you a shot of Quinacrine.

Pretty much everything in the video seems to be in line with reproductive justice.

syz's avatar

@tom_g I would have loved to have had an option for non surgical sterilization back when I had to plead for years for a tubal ligation (which I did not get until I very nearly died of an ectopic rupture).

tom_g's avatar

@syz – I agree. We need to be doing research like this. Good stuff.

fundevogel's avatar

@tom_g & @syz there’s been a non surgical means of sterilizing women since the turn of the century (irreversible), I’m not sure what the status is on non surgical male sterilization.

JLeslie's avatar

How do people believe this total bullshit? She might be willing to fund sterilization or the tube blocks they do now, I don’t know if that is part of her offering, but forced sterilization? Give me a break. I would never believe in a million years she is trying to do that.

I always find it ironic that so many of the people around me who talk about how planned parenthood and the liberals are convincing black people to abort, and bring out the word eugenics, also are the same people who complain about all those black people having tons of babies they can’t afford by different dads. Gotta be the same group of people starting up these rumors. You know, the Gates support higher taxes and all sorts of things the right wing doesn’t like. Political bullshit.

fundevogel's avatar

@JLeslie Probably the same people that wanted to force pregnant woman to have medically unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds. irony

SavoirFaire's avatar

Are you aware that your source is bullshit and equates IUD’s (a temporary measure) with forced sterilization (a permanent measure)?

Judi's avatar

@Linda_Owl, your link is from an obviously biased source. They don’t cite any references to back up their statements.
If the Gates deny it, and the accuser offers no facts to prove what they are saying, it seems like nothing more than fear mongrring to me.

Aethelflaed's avatar

So I went looking.

If you Google “Melinda Gates sterilization”, you really only get this one article on a few sites. If you add in “forced” to that search, you get some pro-life sites added in.

If you search for Susanne Posel, you don’t get much other than that she occasionally posts stuff on activistpost.com for Occupy Corporation, but you do get one Tumblr user posting her stuff, including another article called “Terrorism, Mass Murder and Aliens: Plans of the Global Elite for the 2012 Olympic Games” that starts out with the following phrase: “The global Elite are using every angle, claiming every possible disaster to befall the 2012 Olympic Games. From traditional terrorist groups to false flag alien invasion, this year’s games may just bring the global community one step closer to the endgame of One World Government.”

There are really worse ways to spend an afternoon.

syz's avatar

@fundevogel Fascinating. How have I not heard of this (and why wouldn’t it have been offered when I repeatedly requested a tubal – from several doctors – over a decade)?

JLeslie's avatar

@syz A girlfriend of mine just did some sort of procedure like that. They basically block the tube, simple procedure.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@syz It only came about in 2002. I’m probably gonna get it as a 30th birthday present to myself.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Those who have responded with answers to my question might find this link to be informative

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article17644.html

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yes. Helping women across the globe take control of their fertility – something which many are dying to do – is exactly the same as the Holocaust.

JLeslie's avatar

That proclaimed science in the article doesn’t even make sense. HCG is given to fertility patients to hold onto a pregnancy.

@Linda_Owl I don’t understand why that aricle makes sense to you, or why you believe the Gates would be trying to trick people into sterilization? You think their motive is to let the white man take over the world or something? I don’t get it. Back 60 years ago more or less people did do that in some of our southern states, I think NC was one. They sterilized women without them knowing, a horrid unimaginable act. Those people were racists, but I can’t see any reason to think or believe that the Gates’ are racist, dishonest, or deceptive.

I say let a third party investigate so we can put this to bed. The conspiracy would be pretty large. The vaccination companies would have to be in on it. Do you think our government knows also? The government gives a lot of money to the Gate’s foundation.

syz's avatar

@Aethelflaed Ahhh, that’s why I wasn’t familiar with it. Because I’m old :(

fundevogel's avatar

@syz I heard about it on here a few years ago. I’ve never brought it up with a doctor so I’m not sure how widely known or available the procedure is. I think it might have been a comment by MagsRags that initially introduced me to it. she’s pretty knowledgeable about such things.

syz's avatar

@Linda_Owl Oh. My. God. Where do you find this crap? No, that link is not informative. The anti-vaccine camp has been shown to be bunk over and over and over again. Just more conspiracy theorist bullshit. And dangerous to children.

What has been proven is that when women are given the choice of using contraception to control their own bodies, poverty rates go down.

What has been proven is that when education and vaccines are provided to poverty stricken areas, child mortality goes down.

And if you think that it’s a bad idea to slow or reverse population growth when there are 9 billion of us using up the world’s resources, then you’re (at best) deluded.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@syz If you totally read @fundevogel‘s “turn of the century” as the turning of the 1800s into the 1900s, I’m right there with you.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@fundevogel It’s pretty widely known in the OB/GYN, repro-rights/justice, and childfree circles. I think there’s been an uptick in conversation around it the past year or two, though, along with IUDs as a viable option.

fundevogel's avatar

@Aethelflaed “If you totally read @fundevogel‘s “turn of the century” as the turning of the 1800s into the 1900s, I’m right there with you.”

Ha, sorry bout that. I never know how to refer to the noughties.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Linda_Owl You need to learn the difference between information and disinformation. Your latest link is the latter. It operates on a simple fallacy of equivocation with regard to the word “eugenics.” The argument basically runs as follows:

1. Anything humans do to purposely reduce the birth rate is eugenics.
2. Eugenics is what the Nazis did.
3. Humans who purposely reduce the birth rate are Nazis.

The problem with this argument should be obvious: the definition of “eugenics” used in the first premise is very broad and includes things like voluntarily deciding not to have children, but the definition of “eugenics” used in the second premise is very narrow and refers to a specific set of genocidal policies. Thus the conclusion does not follow. The argument is invalid.

You should know better than this. More than that, you have some responsibility to do better than this if you want us to take you seriously when you accuse your political opponents of being out of touch with reality (as you so often do). That criticism means very little when you take things like this seriously despite the fact that they do not hold up to even the smallest amount of scrutiny.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I will never not giggle at “the noughties”.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire Oh, is that the deal? The word eugenics is being used even when people opt themseves to not produce offspring? Another reworking of definitions like submissive and cult and others I can’t think of now. That is a disgrace to accuse a Jewish person who chooses to only have two children and then use some sort of birth control of eugenics. Basically it would apply to that situation with that broad definition. To equate it to Hitler? Makes me sick if that is what is going on, if they are interpreting the word that way.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JLeslie I imagine that the authors know perfectly well what they are doing and do not actually think that a Jewish person choosing to have two children is equivalent to the Nazi genocide. They’re just hoping that we don’t realize that this is a logical consequence of the argument they actually are making. That’s how rhetorical fallacies work: get people so whipped up that they stop thinking.

Linda_Owl's avatar

My decision to pose this question was due to the actual implementation of the Eugenics Movement (which was fully functional until the 60’s). My concern is that with the attitude of the wealthy towards the poor & disadvantaged individuals, that their next step MIGHT be another round of the Eugenics Movement. Most average Americans know that they are looked down on by most rich or wealthy Americans. They see us as being ‘moochers’ on Welfare or on Food Stamps or on Unemployment, especially non-white Americans – it was the poor & the non-whites who were the targets of the original Eugenics Movement. Our government knew that the Eugenics Movement was going on, but they did not try to stop it until well after WWII ended. Wealthy Americans have both money & power, & many of them have a great deal of distain for anyone with less money & power. Although Melinda & Bill Gates may just be interested in helping women in developing countries with contraception methods, we all know that there is very little actual concern about the people who are doing their best to live in these ‘developing’ countries. I understand that some of us are quite concerned with helping these people, but a great many people see these same people as being exploitable. Many big corporations are only interested in the natural resources that these ‘developing’ nations contain – they are not concerned about the people who are trying to live in these places. Whole cultures could be lost if Eugenics rears its ugly head again.

syz's avatar

@Linda_Owl But if you are truly concerned about “class warfare” and actions of the wealthy, why would you direct your question at a Foundation that was established by arguably one of the most philanthropic (if not the most philanthropic) wealthy member of our society who works specifically to improve the plight of those much, much less lucky. Bill and Melinda Gates have a mission statement that includes

_________________________________________________________________
Global Development
“Nearly 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day, and more than 1 billion suffer from chronic hunger. We believe that progress is possible—on a large scale and in very poor countries.

Our mission: Increase opportunities for people in developing countries to overcome hunger and poverty. ”
_________________________________________________________________
Global Health
“Our work in infectious diseases focuses on developing ways to fight and prevent enteric and diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and neglected and other infectious diseases.

We also work on integrated health solutions for family planning, nutrition, maternal, neonatal and child health, tobacco control and vaccine-preventable diseases.
__________________________________________________________________
United States Program

” Education: We work to make sure high school students graduate ready for success and prepared to earn postsecondary degrees. We fund college and graduate school scholarships. We support high-quality early learning programs in Washington state.
Libraries: We support efforts to supply and sustain free public access to computers and the Internet through local public libraries.
Pacific Northwest: We assist struggling families by supporting innovative community organizations located in the Pacific Northwest and efforts that help break the cycle of homelessness.
Special Initiatives: We explore new ways to increase opportunities or respond to unique challenges in the United States. These currently include grants that support Postsecondary Education and Emergency Relief efforts. We also offer support to many dedicated and innovative community organizations in the Pacific Northwest.”

source

And they don’t just direct donations, they use their own money.

JLeslie's avatar

@Linda_Owl Honestly, I think the wealthy like having poor people around to do their labor. I don’t mean that about all people who are wealthy, but those with the loudest voices about propoganda like this and planned parenthood, I really question their motive. If we can agree Republicans generally use pro life tactics and religion to move their masses to get riled up and vote, these articles you have provided fall right into that plan. Black people tend to be religious, and I think it is a way to also try to move them away from the beung democrats. They also tend to be against gay marriage, the religious black people are in line with conservatives on many social issues.

6rant6's avatar

@Linda_Owl I think it’s rational, rich or poor, to see the possibility of disasters from unchecked population growth. By 2100, the forecast is for India to have more than one billion people in each of five states. Five or more kids is still the norm in some places. It isn’t evil to want to do something about it.

Forced sterilization is a straw man constructed by people who are anti-contraception.

Qingu's avatar

@Linda_Owl, I think you posed this question because you allowed yourself to be duped by a hysterical and ridiculously inaccurate and deceitful article. Fess up. We all make mistakes.

jrpowell's avatar

@Linda_Owl : They need us. We clean their house and mow their lawn and assemble their Big Macs.

They don’t want us dead, they just miss slavery.

fundevogel's avatar

until personal robots anyways.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Linda_Owl The eugenics movement did a lot of horrible things, and I think people are right to be suspicious of both lingering tendencies and of a resurgence. Certainly, there are many reasons for people to be suspicious today. The way parents of color have their children taken away from them for minor offenses like social drinking or fighting in front of their children while no one blinks an eye when white parents do those things (and worse), the rhetoric around welfare mothers who are only having babies for the check and the persistent fear of “anchor babies”, and the levels of institutional racism and classism do lend themselves to the idea of eugenics. (Though, as a side note, “eugenics” is really such a broad term that it becomes hard to talk about; the way we stigmatize those who have asthma as undesirable partners is a very mild form of eugenics.) And lots of NGOs do really fucked up things, and I think lots of people are totally justified in their views of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. That many test out new contraceptives on impoverished brown women (and men) in third world countries horrifies me.

So then the question becomes: Is the Gates Foundation and Melinda Gates herself culpable of all this bullshittery? I don’t think so. I’m not really familiar with the Gates Foundation, but it seems telling to me that with a quick Google search there is only this one person, this one article, saying anything. Normally, there’d be at least a couple people on Tumblr or Wordpress saying something, and we could do some consciousness raising around the issue. Maybe there are more stories of the Gates Foundation doing less than ethical things and I just haven’t seen them, but neither of these articles offer any kind of proof, even anecdotal.

tinyfaery's avatar

I guess there is nothing left to say. Move along now…

I think everyone should be medically sterilized until they prove they can actually raise a child.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ll add one thing.
Back in 1729, Jonathan Swift had a brilliant idea to solve world hunger. A Modest Proposal
~

JLeslie's avatar

It popped into my head while writing on another Q another irony. Gates has been criticised for favoring minority students over caucasian students for their millineum schollarships. Probablysome of the same people saying he they want to kill off minorities. There is simply no evidence that the Gates’ want to get rid of poor or minority people, rather every bit of evidence they want to improve their lives, education, health, and opportunities.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I 100% agree with the last sentence written by @tinyfaery.

Qingu's avatar

The trick with that is, who decides what the qualifications for raising a child are.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with @Qingu.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I feel like sterilization until you can prove otherwise is going to dis-proportionally effect poor women and women of color. The more privileged you are, the more likely you are to be seen as competent, and/or have the money and connections to get your way anyway. Pretty sure reproductive rights includes not just the right to have an abortion, but to have children.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yeah . In my ideal world, it would be a panel of children (all ethnicities and walks of life) that would decide, not adults.

Qingu's avatar

In my ideal world I would decide. I would also have the power to throw people I dislike into volcanoes. Though I would worry that I’d abuse my power

6rant6's avatar

@Aethelflaed You do realize the OP was about third world countries. Your “people of color” issue does not apply where everyone is “of color.”

Aethelflaed's avatar

@6rant6 South Africa, India, China, Rwanda – none of them have white people or racial hierarchies? None?

6rant6's avatar

@Aethelflaed “People of color,” was the phrase from the OP, and what I recalled. So “racial hierarchies” must be some flashback you’re having to some other question. And in China, India and Rwanda, the miniscule white minority is incapable of pursuing any social agenda, let alone the extermination of the majority.

tinyfaery's avatar

Me, of course.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@6rant6 Yeah. Because how white Americans treat brown people in other countries never has anything to do with racism.

6rant6's avatar

@Aethelflaed The point is that whites do not control what’s happening in China, or Korea, or Ethiopia, or anywhere that Eugenics are being carried out. If you want to demonstrate moral outrage, why not go after what’s actually happening?

Yes, racism exists. No, it isn’t a white thing. It’s an everybody thing. The reflex reactions to equate racism to white people is parochial at best. Blaming whites for every problem of the world is lazy and fatuous.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@6rant6 Ok, since I literally never, ever said whites were to blame for everything, we’re done here. I doubt you’re even reading what I’m writing.

6rant6's avatar

@Aethelflaed Maybe this will help.

Let’s separate the two issues, poverty and skin color. I agree poor people are more likely to have someone else determine all facets of their existence than are wealthy people, including reproductive activity. It’s not exclusively a moral question; it’s a practical one. Rich people have less incentive for giving away their options. But for now, let’s just say we agree poverty sucks.

Now I turn to the issue of skin color. You wrote:
“I feel like sterilization until you can prove otherwise is going to dis-proportionally effect poor women and women of color. The more privileged you are…” which I read to mean that you are equating women of color with “less privileged.” Am I correct so far?

If that is the case, then what I am trying to point out is that the majority of the world is “of color.” Most governments, most people, most wealth. In much of Asia, whites are seen as genetically inferior.

But it really only matters in place where policies are being put into place that change reproductive rights. I hear that you are very concerned that white people want to reduce the number of non-whites. But can you point to any place that is happening?

And just to preempt the original, poorly reasoned argument, providing access to birth control is not the same as eugenics. It represents an increase in choice for women, not a reduction.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@6rant6 I think you are misreading @Aethelflaed. This conversation has shifted back and forth between a world perspective and an American perspective. Moreover, I think the sentence cut you include is misleading. The sentence you quote in full discusses more than race; it also mentions economic class. Thus the phrase “the more privileged you are” needs to be understood in terms of both and clearly does not equate “women of color” with “less privileged.”

Instead, “less privileged” is properly understood as simply meaning “less privileged,” and the preceding sentence gives two examples of things that make people less privileged in some contexts and from some perspectives. “From some perspectives” is important here because the American perspective—and thus how Americans might carry out eugenics both at home and worldwide—had been recently made relevant by @Linda_Owl.

I’m also not sure where you get the impression that much of Asia sees whites as being inferior. This is contrary to my experience, but perhaps you have some data to back it up.

Ron_C's avatar

First of all, I have read nothing to indicate that the Gates family is going to force anyone to do anything. Secondly, it is hard to believe that you can actually get third world women to use contraception. A few years ago the Rotary club and WHO tried to get polio vaccine to the third world. The people are especially ignorant and superstitious. Some leaders, even Roman Catholic Bishops told the people that the drug was a fake and caused death and sterility. Contraceptive distribution would be even more difficult.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Ron_C The third world is not some monolith. It depends quite a bit on specific region, history, and ethnicity. And they are not really that ignorant; they are going off of the information they have available to them, same as we all are. There are tons of women who would love contraception all over the world but many are also suspicious (and with good reason) of the tactics brought by Western organizations.

6rant6's avatar

@SavoirFaire I was asking for a clarification from the person who wrote it. Thanks for offering your opinion, but I think he probably knows his mind better than you do.

Are you actually taking a position or are you just being contrary? Specifically, I ask whether you are asserting that white Americans are promoting Eugenics “worldwide.”

You also pointed out that “eugenics” can mean very different things. I have probably been guilty of meaning different things at different times, so I’ll attempt to focus on one idea: “eugenics” = the conscious application of social policy for the purpose of changing the genetic makeup of the human species. I do not consider wealth a genetic characteristic. So while social policies which are focused on reducing reproduction by the poor may affect different groups differently, that is not the same a implementing social policy in order to change genetic makeup.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@6rant6 I dunno, I think @SavoirFaire knows me pretty well. And in this case, he’s pretty much dead on.

Ron_C's avatar

@Aethelflaed When people say “third world” I think of the middle-east and all of Africa except South Africa. You are correct that many people in those regions don’t trust Western largess; mostly for good reasons. That being said the poorest people with the highest birth rate and infant mortality rate are in those regions. The chief reason for the lack of birth control is superstition and religion. The most egregious offenders of a woman’s right to choose are the fundamentalist Muslim preachers and Roman Catholic clerics. Both are against birth control and won’t even consider allowing abortions. After that local tribal leaders keep women ignorant and without rights.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Ron_C Actually, I think the chief reason is accessibility. That’s not to say that superstition and religion don’t play a part, but just because someone’s of a certain religion and their religious institution has taken a stance against birth control and abortion doesn’t mean they aren’t doing what they feel they gotta do.

Ron_C's avatar

@Aethelflaed “they aren’t doing what they feel they gotta do” I have heard that many of the tribal women use local “remedies” for birth control and some die because of it. I just think that it is awful when the choice for women becomes “become a baby machine or die”.

6rant6's avatar

@Aethelflaed So you see the problems as 1) lack of access to birth control and 2) that someone with the resources to do so is trying to make access available.

Got it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@6rant6 I think it would help you to go back and read the context of this thread. So far, everyone is disagreeing with @Linda_Owl. I took my position early on: the conspiracy theory regarding Melinda Gates is ludicrous. It was @Linda_Owl who suggested that America might engage in a worldwide eugenics program, while the rest of us expressed our doubts. It is true that @Aethelflaed expressed the opinion that we should remain vigilant with regard to eugenicist tendencies in the US. This was not because she agrees with the OP, however, but rather because she acknowledges that the US has had such tendencies in the past. Indeed, eugenics was more popular in the US than it was in Germany during the early 20th century—though the US obviously did not act on it in the way the Nazi party did.

When we understand the background, then, we can see that @Aethelflaed‘s responses are not meant as support of @Linda_Owl‘s position nor as criticism of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As such, it makes no sense to think that she believes “that someone with the resources to do so is trying to make access available” is a problem. I’m not even sure where you’re getting that from, to be honest. The most obvious interpretation of her posts so far has been “it’s worth worrying about latent eugenicist tendencies and being on the lookout for any genuine evidence of such, but nothing of the sort has been offered here.” I think this is the clear implication for anyone who has followed the entire thread, which is why I felt comfortable speaking on @Aethelflaed‘s behalf previously and feel comfortable doing it again presently.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Ron_C The “third world” includes large parts of Africa (though I wouldn’t say everything but South Africa), some parts of the Middle East (Americans tend to forget what the wealth garnered from oil has done for some countries in that region, as well as the fact that we tend only to see news reports about places we’ve already devastated), and quite a bit of southern Asia as well. I find it very difficult to reasonably say that all, or even most of the people across such a broad region are ignorant and superstitious.

Even if we are supposed to interpret you as using “ignorant and superstitious” as a rude way of saying “religious,” I’m not sure it makes sense to be quite as dismissive of whole populations the way you are. My wife—who has done actual research on and in the Middle East, rather than going on vague anecdotes regarding it—has found that many efforts fail because of Western presumptions. Nor is she alone in this observation. Westerners tend to go in and try to help without understanding how local cultures work, often presenting our help in ways destined to fail.

When help is offered overtly, religious leaders and men typically stand in the way. When help is offered more subtly to the women themselves—and specifically to those women who are influential among other women—practices are able to spread in ways that the religious leaders and men don’t notice. The women will do “what they feel they gotta do” covertly—because doing it covertly is part of what “they gotta do” (which is why it’s no use when we go in and blow their cover). So while some women across the “third world” might be practicing fraudulent medicine, others are trying to provide real help while those who are opposed to it are looking the other way.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire I am pretty sure even oil rich Saudi Arabia is still classified as third world. And, South Africa for that matter. I can’t imagine Israel is third world though? Not sure. Maybe the definitions have changed, and some of the countries have been moved into different categories than how I remember these things.

No one mentioned Latin America, and I am pretty sure every country in Latin America is still considered third world. From what I understand the PC or trendy thing is to not use the three world model? I am not sure about this, and to use other terms, maybe “developing country?” Or, “industrialized nation?” I really don’t know.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@6rant6 Again, read my stuff. Actually read it. Or just read @SavoirFaire.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Technically, “third world” is no longer used as a classification, and hasn’t been since the end of the Cold War. Industralized/developing/pre-industrial is often used, as is “global north” vs “global south”; unfortunately, both still promote the idea that the West is Best. I have not actually heard a truly post-colonialist term pop up, though it could be that I am simply unaware of such terms, or that the terms are using such a radically different framework for understanding (being post-colonial and all) that I have not made the connection as to what they are trying to say.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@SavoirFaire Any books or articles on this your wife is dying to recommend on this?

Ron_C's avatar

@SavoirFaire o.k. I’ll say it in politically incorrect language. The male population of most of the middle eastern and the vast majority of African countries are subjugating women and keeping them ignorant of everything from written language, basic math, and all science. The best thing to happen would be to take all girl children from those countries, educate them for 12 years then send them back. I guarantee that once women understand that men ARE NOT the masters things will change in those countries.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Ron_C Just because men are subjecting them there doesn’t mean all the women are too stupid or weak to fight back. And I promise you, we’ve already tried so much of that kind of colonialist bullshit; it’s almost like people empowering themselves is the key.

Ron_C's avatar

@Aethelflaed I never said that the women were too stupid to fight back. I suspect that the majority consider themselves too weak to fight back. After all there has been thousands of years teaching women that they are weak and subject to men in all things. I don’t doubt that there are individuals that stood up to this propaganda, I also suspect that there were horrific punishments as a result. I remember the Time magazine cover of a woman with her nose cut off. You cannot fight a culture like that with rhetoric, direct action is the only thing those barbarians understand.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi Great article. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a very close friends many years ago. She asked more or less, “what do you think is the big difference between countries that stay rather primitive and countries that modernized?” My answer was birth control. She is very Catholic and against abortion, so I emphasized that I was not only talking about abortion, but just basically a woman’s ability to control her fertility and plan pregnancies. Of course for me it does include abortion, but that is not my main fpcus, it would be the planning and control hopefully not needing abortions. Her priest at the time emphasized having more babies, said the best gift for a child is not having lots of money, but having siblings and family love. I know priests would vary on what they preached regarding this, I am not generalizing.

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