Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Moral Outrage of Missing Girls - Updated Link

Maria Hvistendahl struck a nerve recently when she released her new book, "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men." New York Times columnist Ross Douthat then struck Ms. Hvistendahl's nerve, when he gently chided her for the contortions she must make to sustain her unequivocal commitment to "choice" while asking us to share her indignation at what those choices have wrought.

"The anti-abortion side has it easier," he wrote. "We can say outright what's implied on every page of 'Unnatural Selection,' even if the author can't quite bring herself around. The tragedy of the world's 160 million missing girls isn't that they're 'missing.' The tragedy is that they're dead."

Since those words appeared, the author and the Times columnist have had at each other, respectively, on Salon and the Times blog. At bottom they disagree on the nature of the crime. Ms. Hvistendahl's reserves her outrage for the sexism of sex-selective abortion and the consequences for women already here. She excoriates Mr. Douthat for thinking the tragedy might also have something to do with the millions of girls whose lives were snuffed out.
William McGurn's brilliant editorial about what happens when a feminist author inadvertently makes a powerful case against abortion. Read it all.

I have heard (and indeed experienced when I was preparing this post) that if one goes to the Wall Street Journal via Google then the entire piece may be read. In hopes that this holds true, here is the Google search link ... then click on the first or second entry (the headers are obvious) and see if you can read it all.


  1. I wish I could read it all. Most of it is hidden behind the WSJ subscriber wall.

  2. I've added an update with a different link ... see if that works. :-)

  3. I remember seeing the book review for that woman's (I can even begin to spell her name) book and was shocked at the hypocrisy of it. I didn't realize Mr. Douthat had the same reaction, and I'm glad the Mr. McGurn of the WSJ picked up on it.