The Empire BirthStrikes Back
One heartwarming footnote to the recent International Women’s day was the launch of a new movement - BirthStrike. The brain child of Blythe Pepino, former singer with The Vaults now full time environmental activist, BirthStrike comprises of a group of (mostly) women who have put a moratorium on having children as they felt it was wrong to ‘bring a child into a world on the brink of catastrophe.’
The bravery and selflessness of this group is truly staggering and shows the hard choices we must face of we are serious about stopping Climate Change. I’m sure that Pepino will no doubt be attacked as yet another wealthy, liberal, virtue-signaller - as this approach is always easier for the right than actually engaging in the debate.
I’m also sure many will point to the higher birthrates in the developing world as sufficient justification of why the BirthStrike movement is a waste of time. As arguments go this is ludicrous. We should somehow expect poorly educated people in third world countries to pick up the mantle and save the rest of us from global warming? Even more ridiculous when we consider that the true cause of both their poverty and climate change is the West and the historic empires it spawned. Empires built on subjugating local populations who now live daily with the effects of climate catastrophe.
The uncomfortable truth for those of us living in western civilisations is that the burden of saving the planet falls on us - not only because our wealth and privilege gives us the tools but because it’s our mess to clean up.
An unfortunate sidebar to the right-wing criticism is the additional sexist motivation. At its heart BirthStrike is an example of global feminism at its finest. Pepino and her collective are a group of empowered, educated women who see the suffering of women across the world and decide to sacrifice their own happiness to help. Hard to imagine similar altruism coming from the white male establishment.
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