A recent article/book in the New York Times takes a look at the declining populations in Europe.
It pretty much goes on to say that embracing the realities of a declining population is inevitable but that the best models for encouraging more children, are those that embrace the equality of women. The Scandanavian countries have the highest birthrates in Europe and also the most family inclusive policies that encourage work/life balance and a women’s role in the workforce, even after she has had children.
Of course the modern world makes it less appealing for women to have 14 babies. And once an educated woman has been in the work force and living a very independent life, why would she want to be at home only caring for the household and the children? Now some women may want this and most women don’t even have the option but I believe that most of us would like to balance both worlds. And that balance can be achieved through government support for initiatives that make this balance possible and of course the involvement of men as equal partners in the whole endeavor.
The author goes on to say that the U.S. population is at a high not seen since the 1960s. He says it’s due to the flexibility of the American working environment. I think what he was saying is: “There’s lots of work in the States so it’s easy to get a job even after taking a few years off to be a stay-at-home mom.”
My question is this: where is the population increase in the States? Let me save you the trouble…It’s not in the blue areas. So you can’t say that religion and the rise of fundamentalist Christians are not having a HUGE impact on this population increase. Just like in most Muslim countries, populations are growing because it is a woman’s duty to bear fruit. Telling people they can’t use birthcontrol and have to produce god’s will is a good population strategy. And the U.S. is definitely voicing those opinions loud and clear.
[In fact, sometimes I think producing a little liberal, feminist army of children to fight against the growing conservative religious front is the best argument I have ever heard for reproduction]
Anyway….my vote is for making a more equal world for men and women so that they can work together, clean together, rear and raise children together and be happy in both roles and bask in the glory of a nice balance.