Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I'll take one over none
China's one child policy has been around since 1979 to address social and environmental problems in the country and is still in place today. When walking around Pingyao I asked my guide what this poster was about and she explained that it listed those who received rewards from the government for not having a second child. These were specifically for people who had the opportunity to have another and chose not to. Most of the time this means women who had a daughter first and are then allowed to try for a son. Often times the policy is more relaxed in the country side. But for most other people there is no choice.
Of course from the perspective of an infertile, this situation seems so counter to what we are focused on in our lives. The idea of being rewarded for not having a second child is so far beyond my thinking as all I am is obsessed with a chance to have one child. We are paying truck loads of money to have a chance at just one, pretty please, baby. Can you imagine being financially rewarded for being infertile instead of paying out our eyeballs to get pregnant? I also tried to imagine being on the opposite side of the fence where my restriction was to not have more children. I am sure this is what secondary infertility feels like but just on different terms. But I can safely say at this point in my life that if I can manage to have just one child that is all I need. I can't possibly expect having more than one at this point in my life unless some miracle happens and I am blessed with more.
Another guide we had in Beijing was all for the one child policy as he felt that population control was still vital to the welfare of the people. He felt life was already so competitive for good jobs and resources that if the population exploded it would be very destructive. However, he did say that there are fewer women than men in China and that gap is growing. He is so eager to get married and have a family and finding it very hard to land a girlfriend. If only this was the problem in New York City. I know too many amazing single New York women who can't find someone who wants a real relationship or marriage and have to fight the ratio favoring men. But here in Beijing, he was on the hunt for a bride in hopes, as many others here, to find a partner in the lucky 8 year of 2008. Apparently many Chinese rush to get married on 8/8/08 or have a child this year because of the belief in the luckiness of the number 8. It's too bad I'm doing neither of those things this year.
P.S. I am able to post on my blog but not see my blog. The great firewall of China seems to not like me. So thanks for all your comments and sorry I can't read them until I get home. But so glad you are able to join me on my travels.