Good Reads: Somalia's famine, India's sex selection, and Twitter wars
Today's picks warn that Somalia's famine is about to get worse, give an inside look at sex-selection in India, and poke fun at that Twitter war between Western peacekeepers and the Taliban.
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A story like this has the power to horrify a reader, but Global Post writer Hanna Ingber Win works hard to empathize with the parents she meets, Anu and Sanjay, who have made the decision multiple times to illegally abort female fetuses. The pressure of tradition and the structure of traditional Indian families encourages sex-selection, and the availability of sophisticated technology allows middle class and rich Indian families to make choices individually that will have massive repercussions later for Indian society.Skip to next paragraph
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There have long been religious, social, and economic pressures on Indian families to have a son. Once daughters grow up, they will traditionally get married and go live with their in-laws. Sons, on the other hand, stay home and take care of the parents as they grow old.
Anu says she would have stopped having children after the first two daughters, but her husband and mother-in-law kept insisting the family needed a son. In many communities, Indian women who have a son are given more respect and status.
“Your security is your son,” Anu said as she sat upstairs from her physician’s clinic in Mohopada village, about 40 miles outside Mumbai.”
Finally, this week saw combat in the streets of Kabul, and conflict of a different sort between the International Security Assistance Force and Taliban spokesmen – the First Afghan Twitter War, or a Twar, if you prefer. One can imagine the furious typing of two very miffed and idealistic young individuals, cramming as much anger and invective into 140 characters as possible.
Drezner disagrees with those who say this phenomenon is as old as “cross-trench trash-talking” between soldiers in the Spanish Civil War. (Surely it goes back before that, as this Monty Python skit suggests.)
"This is something different, something that I suspect is activating Anne-Marie Slaughter's sixth sense of detecting 'modern social-liberal' trends. And as more and more international affairs heavyweights go on Twitter, it might be a harbinger of a whole new arena of the world politics sandbox," Drezner writes.