The Catholic University of America



Professor A.G. Harmon's Essay on Gendercide is Focusing Attention


Catholic University law Professor A.G. Harmon’s recent blog essay, “The Three Deadliest Words in the World: It’s a Girl,” has generated a tremendous amount of social network traffic since its publication on the website of the blog Patheos on Oct. 18.
The essay prompted more than 3,000 Facebook, Twitter, and other cyberspace sharings in the three days following its posting.
Harmon’s work is a somber look at the repellant cultural phenomenon of “gendercide,” the widespread practice in some extremely poor countries of killing infant girls upon birth, condoned by the belief that they are unsustainable economic burdens on their families.
His essay was inspired by the documentary film “It’s a Girl,” which has been shown all over the world since its release earlier this year. It was screened at the Columbus School of Law on Sept. 26.
The social media buzz surrounding Harmon’s essay caught the attention of 101.5 FM, a Christian radio station in Pittsburgh, Pa. Harmon was interviewed for its daily program “The Ride Home” on Oct. 22, telling the hosts that one of the most frightening aspects of gendercide as depicted in the film is the family’s calm acceptance of it as normal business.
“Boys bring in money for the family. Girls are a drain. Their parents pay a dowry when she’s married. Girls are just not valued in those societies,” Harmon told the radio audience.
At the Columbus School of Law, the high level of interest that accompanied the first showing has resulted in a still-to-be-scheduled second screening of the film sometime in the next few weeks, this time under the auspices of the Law and Public Policy Program.
“We’re also planning to have speakers come to discuss the topic further and hopefully will channel the interest some way here towards putting a stop to the practice,” said Harmon.