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S06.E25: China

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Holy shit. That was one of the most depressing segments I've ever watched. It just. kept. getting. worse. That super creepy WTF? child propaganda film. The poor people who aren't counted as actual citizens. The trafficking. The lady asking women about their periods at work what the ever-loving hell?!?!

So they want to restrict people's access to abortion to encourage couples having two kids. But if they have more beyond that, those women may be at risk of...forced abortions. Uh...??? Also, as my mom was wondering while watching, if these men are looking to get married, and there's a bunch of women out there who can't get married because they aren't seen as legal citizens, then, um, how exactly does the government expect that to work? 

Jesus Christ. Talk about a hideously-executed, embarrassingly ill-thought out plan. And of course it was designed by men, and of course nobody ever talks about the things THEY could do to try and help control how many children they have (vasectomies, anyone?). This is one of many, MANY examples of why we desperately need more women in politics in general. I am so freaking sick and tired of men making policies around pregnancy/periods/woment's health issues in general, and not caring or knowing how the hell a woman's body works. Will be very interesting to see how these policies continue to affect things going forward indeed. 

As for "Stupider Watergate", I'm just going to say this in response to Rubio's ridiculous comments: No. Just...no. 

Um. On a significantly lighter note...."I am not Ben, and I know nothing about baseball." LMAO. 

Edited by Annber03
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One of the knock-on effect they didn't mention is that women who have been legally born are now pretty much having free pick, which lead to resentment from the men who, well, don't earn that much money or aren't that good looking.

Overall though it shows that equality in countries which claim to be communists are a big sham. The obsession of men to control the reproductive rights of women always stuns me, though it shouldn't at this point.

In China's case it is especially idiotic, though, because birth rates actually regulate themselves. Remember, wealthier countries automatically have lower birth rates. They all struggle to even get to the 2.0 rate, even with some people getting more than two children.  

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I hadn't known Rip Taylor had died until I saw the confetti-strewn hat-tip in the title sequence. RIP, Rip!

Edited by attica
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I'm not sure which was more disturbing. The actual Disney cartoon short about family planning, or the mock-up the show did of Donald Duck's corkscrew penis.

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8 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I'm not sure which was more disturbing. The actual Disney cartoon short about family planning, or the mock-up the show did of Donald Duck's corkscrew penis.

Seriously, I am never going to be able to look at Donald Duck the same way again. 

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Huh, John, just....huh.  I was aware that the one child policy in China had created a massive imbalance in that generation's male to female population and this had led to lots of unhappily single men, but had no idea how bad some of the other consequences are.  Human trafficking of women for forced marriages, most children having no siblings, overindulged "little meatball" only children, the undocumented second children, the loss of people in the workforce, etc.  One of the alarming things I have heard that John didn't get into was how the Chinese also now have 30 million young men with no wives or children who could easily become an army.

And the horrors of the enforcement of the one child policy were just sickening, on so may levels.  Particularly that threatening, Omen-like child in the Chinese propaganda ad.

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7 minutes ago, Iguana said:

One of the alarming things I have heard that John didn't get into was how the Chinese also now have 30 million young men with no wives or children who could easily become an army.

Yeah, when they were talking about the sex dolls and these guys going to these questionable (to put it mildly) pick-up places to learn how to impress women and all that, I was thinking, "Hm. A bunch of sexually frustrated young men in a sexist society facing a tough economic future and family strife, and no real outlet to channel all of that frustration. What could possibly go wrong there?" 

Hadn't considered an actual army of people like that, though...that's all the more chilling a thought. 

Edited by Annber03
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1 hour ago, Annber03 said:

Seriously, I am never going to be able to look at Donald Duck the same way again. 

Now we know why he doesn't wear pants.

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South Park laced into China last week, about how American studios alter their scripts in order to appeal to the Chinese government, thus getting their money.

I was recovering from New York Comic Con, so I was fading in and out of consciousness. I might need to rewatch. I dunno what was worse: Donald Duck: Eugenicist, or a rendering of what his dick looks like.

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When he mentioned China I was amazed that he was going to delve into China acting like assholes to the NBA because of one now-deleted protected by free speech tweet from the owner of the Houston Rockets because that JUST happened.

But no.  It was worse than I could have ever imagined.  How do the adults with no documentation support themselves?

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Most likely like all stateless people in the world: Working on the black market, in this case maybe support from their families.

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Here's the full Disney Family Planning spot.

As John mentioned, some of it is problematic, including the fact that they don't allow the woman to talk at all.

But what struck me is the fact that in 1968 Walt Disney felt comfortable producing a promo about family planning (including an oblique reference to the pill) featuring one of their stars.

That would never happen today. 

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Well, they also did "The Story of Menstruation".

Those shorts were made by the Educational and Industrial Film Division of Disney. I don't think that it still exist...I mean, are schools still ordering educational films? Someone has to pay for this stuff after all.

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Ok, I actually disagreed with this episode. With the "4, 2, 1" problem thing, it seemed to put forth the premise that we need to keep reproducing more and more to sustain the aging population. But...that is just not sustainable! Eventually it reaches a limit, and in China's case, I think that limit has been reached or is near being reached. The solution isn't to keep having more kids...that's just kicking the can down the road. I don't know how John Oliver can claim to care about climate change and the Paris Agreement, and also support that kind of reproductive policy.

Also not to be controversial but if being childfree was more accepted in society -- if there was less stigma and discrimination, less pressuring people to have kids, if anyone could get sterilized at any age for any reason, for an affordable price, without doctors refusing or questioning or making them jump through insurmountable hoops, etc. -- I think overpopulation might solve itself.

It seems that all of the problems of the one child policy are caused by the overall cultural context in which they happened (hatred of female children, kids being expected to support their parents, etc.), rather than the policy itself.

On 10/11/2019 at 3:54 AM, swanpride said:

Well, they also did "The Story of Menstruation".

The original working title, "So You've Got Blood Coming Out of Your Vagina...." was scrapped in production.

(Sorry, I had to.)

Edited by BuyMoreAndSave
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That wasn't the point of the episode. The point was that treating women like baby machines has terrible consequences. And that a society in which men are valued over women is NOT healthy, because you naturally need both.

As I pointed out above, population is actually something which largely sorts out itself. If you look at the EU countries, most of them have automatically a birth rate below 2.0 (often they hover something around 1.4), without the need to introduce such cruel policies. How many children people get is largely a mixture of cultural and security question.

Those policies, they were originally conducted based on a theory which has already been proven wrong. Because if it had been right, our breaking point would have been decades ago. It wasn't, though, because birth rates in a lot of countries fell automatically.

We have a lot of problems, but population is actually pretty far down on the list...the level of resources some people claim for themselves on the other hand is.

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11 hours ago, swanpride said:

And that a society in which men are valued over women is NOT healthy, because you naturally need both.

To add - there's a way out of whack ratio of men to women now in China, as they pointed out on the show, which potentially plunges the population in the long run.

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17 hours ago, swanpride said:

That wasn't the point of the episode. The point was that treating women like baby machines has terrible consequences. And that a society in which men are valued over women is NOT healthy, because you naturally need both.

If those were the only points of the episode then why did he spend so much time talking about the aging population and how not enough young people were being produced to sustain the economy and the old people?

Yes it's true that people with a modern standard of living have very high carbon footprints compared to people with a less-than-modern standard of living....but what you're forgetting is that everyone in the world is aiming to reach that modern standard of living, so that they can have good, full, long lives and so on.

There's no way we can feasibly resolve global poverty, keep the same or an increasing world population, AND have anything left of the environment (which, when sufficiently destroyed, will cause poverty and a population crash anyway). It simply doesn't work that way. Carbon footprint isn't the only issue either.

The Earth has a certain carrying capacity for the human population and technically we may have exceeded it already -- or if not, we will in the near future. Basically we can do this the easy way (convince people to have fewer or no children to naturally reduce the population without anyone having to die) or the hard, awful way (tons of people will die in environmental catastrophes, and most of these deaths will occur among the global poor).

Edited by BuyMoreAndSave
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I didn't get the sense that he was implying that overpopulation wasn't a problem. The policy itself just wasn't a good way to deal with the problem, and created a whole host of secondary problems, such as the gender imbalance, stateless denizens, etc. 

And I do think the 4-2-1 issue is a problem, especially since from what I understand of Chinese culture (but correct me if I'm wrong!) children are expected to care for their aging parents. That is a lot to put on one person's shoulders. In an ideal world where men and women have equity and there isn't the assumption that every woman will have a child, you would have mixed families where maybe you're an only child but you have a cousin or aunt or uncle who is also around for support. Of course there's a wide range of experiences but it seems like it would be a really hard, lonely experience. I love my parents and my grandparents but the thought of the responsibility of caring for them resting solely on my shoulders with no other familial support...that sounds horrible.

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Ideally we would reach more or less replacement level..meaning something around a birth rate of 2.0. Again, in a LOT of developed country the birth rate is currently LOWER than that, without the need to have some draconian policy. Which doesn't even make sense, btw. If you have a policy like this, it should be "one surviving child per woman", not "oh, this woman is married to a guy who already has a child, let's abort her child which is nearly ready for birth".

As I said above, the problem is less population and more the consumption per person, because more people consume more and more resources. The birth rate adjusts to wealth pretty much automatically.

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For me, if I stand by nobody should regulate my reproductive rights when to have a child, I should also stand for nobody should regulate my reproductive rights when not to have a child. It is that simple for me. It makes me cringe to think...ah, forget it.

Edited by Enigma X
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Full agreement. Also, it is very noticeable that again the onus is completely on the women. I mean, if you REALLY want to make sure that there is one child for every pair, the best way to do that is just forcefully sterilizing every husband after child 1. Not that I would advocate this in earnest, but it is pretty typical that a bunch of males wouldn't think twice of doing to women what they would never want to suffer themselves.

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As it happens, I saw a short reportage about overpopulation this morning...above all, overpopulation in India, (but also in Africa). See, India is poised to overtake China in terms of population soon. The solution? Well, naturally they forcefully sterilise Woman.....

No, naturally not. They have come to the conclusion that the biggest problem they have is the patriarchal system (who would have guessed). So what they are doing is pushing for education for women, so that they marry later and end up getting less children. There are actually studies in Africa that the best way to put a cap on overpopulation is health care (because if more children survive childhood, parents get less of them), education (because people who are educated tend to get less children) and jobs (because if people are in proper jobs they apparently also get less children).

Who knew that feminism might actually help solving overpopulation....

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