Saturday, November 14, 2015
The One Child Policy: Firstborn and The Only Child
From the collection of Gendercide Posters on Polyvore
by Lorie Ann Grover
At the close of October, China announced an end to their One Child Policy. According to the New York Times, Chris Buckley, October 29, 2015:
BEIJING — Driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children.
The decision was a dramatic step away from a core Communist Party position that Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who imposed the policy in the late 1970s, once said was needed to ensure that “the fruits of economic growth are not devoured by population growth.”
For China’s leaders, the controls were a triumphant demonstration of the party’s capacity to reshape even the most intimate dimensions of citizens’ lives. But they bred intense resentment over the brutal intrusions involved, including forced abortions and crippling fines, especially in the countryside.
The efforts to limit family size also led to a skewed sex ratio of males to females, because traditional rural families favor boys over girls, sometimes even resorting to infanticide to ensure they have a son.
The One Child Policy is what motivated my writing of Firstborn. I was appalled that the practice of gendercide was still occurring in many countries around the world. The book was welcomed with a starred review from Kirkus and is now available in paperback.
Another book recently came across my desk: The Only Child, by Guojing. An illustrator from the Shanxi Province of China, she brings to the page her own memories of isolation in a wordless, graphic picture book. With starred reviews from Kirkus and PW, the book is resonating the loneliness that grew from China's earlier legislation. The black and white artwork is beautiful and captivating.
According to the Author's Note:
"The story in this book is fantasy, but it reflects the very real feelings of isolation and loneliness I experienced growing up in the 1980s under the one-child policy in China."
In celebration, we applaud the reform in China. If you'd like to make an impact, readergirlz, there are organizations dedicated to helping women carry their daughters to full term. One Christian organization is All Girls Allowed. Of course, there are many ways to #ReadReflectandReachout if you hold a different persuasion. The It's a Girl movie will do much to help you understand the worldwide situation.
As I sign copies of Firstborn, "Let them live!"
By Lorie Ann Grover
Blink YA Books, 2015
The Only Child
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2015