Gripes & Graplings

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Designer Babies & Gender Choice

Should we be able to choose the sex of our children?

What are the two sides of the coin and which is most likely to fall with its face up?

Is there a possibility of a populace imbalance? Is it likely that couples (individuals) will choose one sex over the other? How many designer babies will need to be born before they have any impact on the gender balance?

Will prospective parents in countries like China, where only one child per couple is allowed, be more likely to choose a boy over a girl? Girls, as we know, are not favoured in Chinese society, and the law controlling births have led to girls being "done away with" at birth to make way for a boy. Will designer babies at least ensure that girl babies will no longer need to suffer drowning and other unpleasant deaths?

Is it better that we're able to choose the gender of our children and bestow love on them rather than put up with a child we didn't want? Is this just another step onwards from abortion? Give birth but only to those children we truly desire?

Me? I'm definitely against it. Leave well alone. We've messed around with nature far too much as it is. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls and that's how it's supposed to be.

Yes, some children will suffer for being the wrong sex and that's a terrible thing, but designer babies isn't the answer. Education is what's needed. An understanding that for the world to function, both sexes are needed. After all, if that wasn't the case, wouldn't we all be born hermaphrodite?

Ok, so designer babies could perhaps stop us from becoming a frail and sickly species that's unable to survive the diseases we're surrounded by, but that's another argument entirely.

Related Link: What Are Designer Babies?


Designer Babies

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Step Fathers Are Important People, Too!

So it's Father's Day again. And once again my daughter wanted to get a card that said "To my Step-father" rather than to "Dad" or "My Father" but do you think she could find one?

We looked in three shops, one of which had a huge selection, but not one lousy Step-Father card did we find!

With the divorce rate as high as it is these days and lots of second-marriages, surely there are almost just as many children living with a step-parent as there are living with both their natural parents? So why make it so difficult for those kids to show they appreciate what their step-father's done for them throughout the year? In some cases, it may even be more important than showing gratitude to a father because a step-father's job can be far more difficult. They have to cope with kids who don't want a step-parent in their lives, who see them as a threat to their parents ever getting back together again, and whereas a father has a legal responsibility to care for his kids, a step-father doesn't, and yet many (most?) still do. They clear up their vomit if they're sick in the night, hold their hands when they're scared, and help them with their algebra homework. All of this should be celebrated, surely?

Richard tells me he saw lots of step-father cards in the shop next to the post-office (you know the one I mean, don't you?) but that place must be an exception in this town. LM was quite peeved at not being able to get one and had to settle for something neutral in the end. A funny one that she thought Richard would appreciate.

I know it shouldn't matter, that it's just a card, but for the kids who want to show their appreciation to their step-fathers along the same lines as they'd show it to their fathers (and remember that a lot of them have fathers who show little or no interest in them), it can be quite an issue. Isn't it enough that they live in an 'untraditional' family unit, without having it rubbed in by the card industry?


PS: Spent the morning at the boot market. Couldn't find a pair anywhere!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The End of the World is Nigh

Or so say the doom merchants who believe that 6.6.06 will be the date for the apocalypse.

I'm not sure where they get their data from although judging by the numbers I'd hazard a guess that there's some kind of connection with 'The Beast' going on. The number 666, as mentioned in Revelations, has now become the date for us to kiss our loved ones goodbye.

So what's going to happen? Are Satanists planning to dissolve the planet in a huge acid bath? Where will they get it from? And what will happen to it afterwards?

Evidently, people in the US are so certain that the world's about to end tomorrow that they've been rushing to the bookies in order to place their bets. 10-1's being offered at the moment.

What I want to know though is, if this prophecy does come true and we're all history by tomorrow midnight, who's going to make the pay outs on the wagers? And who'll be left to spend it?

Some folks just don't think things through, do they?