In case you haven’t heard, South Korea is going through a bit of a crisis. And, for once, it has nothing to do with Kim Jong-un and his North Korean military invading the south with poop-filled balloons. Nor does this particular crisis have anything to do with impeached President Park Geun-hye and her Rasputin-like friend, Choi Soon-sil. Instead, this crisis involves the abysmally low birth rate of South Korea.
Outside of Japan, South Korea has the lowest birth rate of any economically strong country. Japan attempted to tackle its problem by producing a video encouraging people to have more sex. The government in South Korea decided to take a different approach by creating a website that does the opposite of ‘slut shaming.’ Drawing on many shades of the color pink, the ‘Birth Map’ site provides a breakdown that shows where women of childbearing age live in each city, district, and region of the nation.
The Birth Map allows users to search by an address. Then they see the results showing the number of women between the ages of 15 and 49 who lived in the neighborhood over the past decade. Additionally, the site provides the total number of children born in that area during the past decade as a percentage of how few women reproduced. Outrage erupted when the Ministry of the Interior launched the site last week. Although it harps on the low birth rate, there is not a single reference to men on the site. Instead, women are shamed for not producing enough babies. Perhaps the government should go back to the basics and explain that it takes two to do the horizontal tango. Or return to the old policy of enticing people to have children by offering them free beef and baby clothes.
Criticism of the Birth Map site grew so loud, the government shut it down hours after its launch. It currently includes a message that the page is undergoing an update to reflect public opinion more accurately. At that rate, don’t expect the site to go back online anytime soon.