In the newly released film, “The Dictator,” the title character is played by shock comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In one scene, the dictator is informed by his wife that she is pregnant; to which he replies: “Are you having a boy or an abortion?” Yikes!
While I do not plan to see the film myself — and don’t recommend that you do — it is an example of how humor allows us to broach subjects we would otherwise ignore: In this case, what has been called “a global war on baby girls.”
That’s how a recent article in “The New Atlantis” characterizes what Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute calls, “an ominous and entirely new form of gender discrimination.” This discrimination combines “surgical abortion [and the] . . . information gained through prenatal gender determination.”
Unlike Sacha Baron Cohen’s fictional Dictator, the practitioners of this discrimination aren’t content to simply ask whether it’s a boy or a girl — technologies like amniocentesis leave nothing to chance. If it’s a boy, the pregnancy virtually always goes to term. If not, abortion is often the result.
As Eberstadt tells us, “the practice has become . . . ruthlessly routine” in many societies around the world. So much so, that in these societies, gender balances have become horribly skewed.