Jesurgislac’s Journal

December 6, 2008

Humans are not an endangered species

Sometimes, the obvious needs to be said. The world’s population is 6.7 billion (World Population Clock) and rising: a large and flourishing population of human beings exists in almost every part of the world. About the only continent we don’t have a breeding population of humans on is Antarctica, and we could, any time we wanted, it would just take much more technological investment than penguins need.

So what’s with the “demographic winter” thing that Christian-right “profamily” activists are so keen on? As Kathryn Joyce points out in The Nation, what’s missing are the “right” babies – what worries this kind of person is not the human species becoming extinct, but not enough white babies being born.

At the national level, in 2004 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered a “baby bonus” of about $1,000 to parents who had a second child. … Elizabeth Krause, an anthropologist and author of A Crisis of Births: Population Politics and Family-Making in Italy, tracked that country’s population efforts over the past decade and found politicians demanding more babies “to keep away the armadas of immigrants from the southern shores of the Mediterranean” and priests calling for a “Christian dike against the Muslim invasion of Italy.” The racial preferences behind Berlusconi’s “baby bonus” came into embarrassing relief when immigrant parents were accidentally sent checks for their offspring and then asked to return the money: the Italian government hadn’t meant to promote those births.

Barry McLerran, said to be a “producer” (he doesn’t appear on IMDB), did a “documentary” about this problem racists have with white women not having “enough” babies, which is entitled Demographic Winter.

Proposition 8 passed on lies: one of the most prevalent lies before it passed was that somehow it would affect the Californian school system. That’s not a lie the pro-Prop8ers can usefully stick to, as it will become evident as time goes on that “Yes on 8” didn’t affect the school system in California at all.

But now the rash of homophobic blogs that appeared around Proposition 8 have been picking up on this: I noticed it via Beetle Blogger, Kingfisher Column, The Pomegranate Apple, all of whom are linking to a free torrent. They need an excuse: a claim that if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, this will somehow affect the white population of the world, or at least of their respective countries. This works for the anti-marriage movement because for them (as I wrote two years ago):

these people who oppose contraception, sex education, abortion, and who oppose child support, a right to paid maternity leave, breastfeeding, subsidised daycare, free education for all beginning in nursery school. Racism and sexism are the roots, with homophobia as a flourishing fruit of the tree.

Not just the bloggers, but their permitted commenters (most of these blogs only allow their own cohort to post comments):

  • “Oh man. If that video doesn’t make obvious the need for traditional, healthy marriage and family, I don’t know what will. Homosexuals seem to always bring up the broken homes, victims of divorce, that plague our society today. As if the crumbling family unit and committed, loving marriage will be saved by allowing gays to marry.”
  • Marriage has been weakened by no-fault divorce and the general acceptance of cohabitation and adultery. Will gay marriage serve to strengthen the desire for marriage in the eyes of young heterosexual males? The mule is about to kick again.
  • The amazing thing is that people can see pretty clearly that the trends are going south, but the majority of people haven’t been convinced enough to change how they see things. Perhaps this has to be like the new “environmentalism” cause. Save the planet, go back to basics, families, values, vegetables and whole grains.

It’s not just about equal marriage. For these people, racism is just as important as sexism is just as important as homophobia: not only must same-sex couples be denied marriage, white women must be denied contraception and access to abortion, because more of the right kind of babies must be born.

On 16th November, in The Advocate, Michael Joseph Gross described an encounter with an elderly straight woman:

The night before Election Day, a black woman walked into the San Francisco headquarters of the No on Proposition 8 campaign. Someone had ripped down the No on 8 sign she’d posted in her yard and she wanted a replacement. She was old, limping, and carrying a cane. Walking up and down the stairs to this office was hard for her.

I asked why coming to get the sign was worth the trouble, and she answered, “All of us are equal, and all of us have to fight to make sure the law says that.”

Right on.


  1. How exactly, in the really real world we’re actually living in, does a gay marriage effect anyone else’s marriage? Honestly, it’s not like, when gay marriage became legal in Massachussets, I said, “Wow! Screw being straight, I can be married and gay now! That’s the only thing that was holding me back from being gay!” or “Gee, honey, now that gays can marry, we have to divorce! And all those kids we were planning on having? Not any more! Now that gays can marry, I don’t want 16 kids!”

    AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is my brain trying to leap straight of my skull from the stupidity of it all.

    Comment by Personal Failure — December 7, 2008 @ 2:20 am | Reply

  2. I am just now starting to see how this all fits together. For me, it was reading a ridiculous post by thejournalistachronicle about how feminism (and especially, women who dare reject their “divine gender role”) are ruining America, and families, and oh yes, their children, and don’t deserve their husbands (blah blah yadda yadda ad nauseum.) The pro-8 bloggers are emboldened by the success of their campaign for Prop 8, and I swear the next thing will be a Prop to define “family” as only married male-female couples, cohabiting with their children. It’s a little discouraging.

    Comment by waltzinexile — December 7, 2008 @ 2:22 am | Reply

  3. Those marriage bloggers really have you guys pissed huh?

    How come you didn’t include the video in your post?

    Here’s the link for your readers:

    <a href=”desired text here“>Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family

    Comment by a guy for marriage — December 7, 2008 @ 3:25 am | Reply

  4. hold up, here’s the link:

    Comment by a guy for marriage — December 7, 2008 @ 3:32 am | Reply

  5. Personal Failure: How exactly, in the really real world we’re actually living in, does a gay marriage effect anyone else’s marriage?

    All those closety gay men who got married to straight women because they’d been told that if only they tried they could “choose” their sexual orientation – and besides, being openly heterosexually married meant social acceptance and respectability?

    When they see two men who have lived openly together for longer than their card marriage, standing up together and making their marriage vows… well, I think that’s going to affect their marriage.

    Same goes for lesbians getting married to straight men, of course.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 7, 2008 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  6. a guy for marriage: Those [anti-]marriage bloggers really have you guys pissed huh?

    Fixed that for you. Yeah: I really don’t care for the anti-marriage movement one bit. Pointless, anti-family, bigoted, and really very stupid and hurtful.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 7, 2008 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  7. a waltz in exile: The pro-8 bloggers are emboldened by the success of their campaign for Prop 8, and I swear the next thing will be a Prop to define “family” as only married male-female couples, cohabiting with their children. It’s a little discouraging.

    Yeah, but the more they spread their movement the more likely they are to lose. It’s like the pro-lifers who succeed only when they seem to be saying how awful abortions are: when they uncloak and show how they want to make all abortions criminal and send a woman who has an abortion to jail, even if the pregnancy could have endangered her health (or “health”, in John McCain airquotes), even if she was raped: when they make clear they also want to prevent women having access to contraception… then they lose, because it becomes clear how outrageous their real objectives are.

    It’s taken less than a month for the pro-Prop8ers to go from “We oppose same-sex coupls having marriage” to the current outbreak of support for white supremacy, so…

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 7, 2008 @ 10:05 am | Reply

  8. Well that’s encouraging; thanks for giving me another way to look at it. I was starting to freak out a little bit.

    Comment by waltzinexile — December 7, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  9. hey, kudos to you for following the links between this freaky demographic winter people and the prop 8 people. i have been thinking about the demographic winter/”fear of the brown wave” people and trying to figure them out. they really seem to be this ultimate culmination between racism, sexism, nationalism, and now homophobia. i mean, they really wrap the whole thing up in a neat, cohesive package. the whole thing creeps me out.

    Comment by idyllicmollusk — December 8, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  10. […] If you are against the oppression of women, it’s fairly basic that you support the right of women to decide how many children to have, and when to have them. The post to which I am responding is all about promoting a video, Demographic Winter, which regards the ability of white women in developed countries to make use of effective and safe family planning as a threat. While some people linking to this video may be doing so stupidly, without thinking about what they’re promoting, the movement behind this video is very explicitly for the oppression of women and the denial of family planning because not enough white babies are being born. […]

    Pingback by Persephone embraces Hades: Demographic Winter « Jesurgislac’s Journal — December 9, 2008 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: