Daily Archives: April 25, 2008

Outsourcing – Wombs for rent, globalization gone mad?

Although I have read articles about it since the beginning of 2000, I cannot refrain from thinking that it is now taking off like never before. In a time when many decide for abortions to get rid of unwanted babies, others go to extremes to secure themselves of children, yet, outside their own wombs! The latest fad is on its way and takes the concept of outsourcing beyond its boundaries:

Busy career women are hiring wombs of other mothers to carry their babies rather than take time off work. Businesswomen, models, athletes and actresses in the US are choosing for ‘social surrogacy’ to help cope with career pressure.

Other women are applying to clinics to rent wombs to avoid painful childbirth and stretch marks. One 35 – year old Californian mother of three sons hired a woman to carry her fourth child to ensure she had a daughter and to protect her career prospects.

· Too busy with your career; rent a womb!

· Too expensive to deal with national systems; rent a womb in India!

· Afraid of loosing your figure or of the nasty birthmarks; rent a womb, be a mum, and keep your shape all at the same time!

Newsweek, Marie Claire, The Wall Street Journal and lately even Oprah have addressed this issue. Is this yet another example of third-world exploitation? Is it globalization gone mad? A movement is set into system where underprivileged and/or underpaid women are being used for the ultimate outsourcing, Although most articles deal with women in India (great healthcare available with the English language as great asset), another group which is targeted is found among the women married to American (low-paid) military man.

The interest to seek such social surrogacy is most evident in India and other poor countries, since their systems avoid the legal red tape and the potential legal aspects and consequences of relationships, and agreements gone sour.

What is there more to say about it? This is for me yet another side of the excesses of career thinking, consumerism, and a self centered, self-serving society which has gone mad.

Well, probably you have your own conclusions… What do you think of this?

John

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World Values Survey – another way of looking at cultures!

For some years now I have closely observed the developments and studies in the World Values Survey. I find them interesting as I encounter the different values in the multi-cultural setting of New Life Church in Stockholm, Sweden. Let me start off by showing you some characteristics and I will take more time writing about them in my next blogs!

This study from 1981 – 2006 is called “A Human Development View on Value Change” Christian Welzel, Switzerland.

The Vertical graph:

1. The left Traditional/Secular values graph (down left) reflects the contrast between societies in which religion is very important and those in which it is not. Societies near the traditional pole emphasize the importance of

· parent-child ties and respect to authority,

· along with absolute standards and traditional family values,

· reject divorce, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide.

2. Societies with secular-based-on-reason values (the top left) have the opposite position on all of these topics.

The horizontal graph

The second dimension of this graph deals with Survival and Self-expression values. The tremendous wealth that has built up in different societies during the past generation means that an increasing part of the population has grown up taking survival for granted.

1. The left side, survival values; economic and physical security. Trying to make ends meet; focus on making it for another day.

2. The right side; we see that priorities in life have shifted from an emphasis on economic and physical security toward an increasing emphasis on subjective well-being, self-expression and quality of life. Studies show that focuses have shifted from Traditional toward Secular-based on reason values, in almost all industrial societies.

Take a look at Sweden (where I am living at the moment) and most of the Western countries (including Japan)!

· The strong independence and individualism make us focus on our own immediate problems, often cutting us off from our own past as well as the history of our society.

· We do not think about the traditions that have formed us or about the larger problems of our society . . . It is oriented to our immediate wants, desires, and emotions.

Just an observation… I will later write about some of the implications!

See you again soon!

John

The light that shines farthest,…

“The light that shines farthest, shines brightest at home.”
”Det ljus som når längst, skiner klarast hemma.”

Oswald Chambers.