Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sex dolls and human trafficking: John Oliver shows what happens when men rule reproductive rights

John Oliver
Screenshot: Last Week Tonight

John Oliver spent his usual top-of-show rundown of the week’s event’s on the spiraling horrorshow of the rapidly imploding Trump administration before moving on to another cautionary tale of a woman-hating government’s criminal incompetence. In his extra-long main story, Oliver looked at China, whose leaders are now forcing a nationwide, mandatory celebration of 70 years of Communist Party rule down the throats of its people while simultaneously shooting Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, imprisoning an entire racial minority in concentration camps, and engaging in a year-and-a-half trade war with quite possibly the worst reality show host turned comically terrible world leader in, well, the world. Plus, pandas are constantly in danger of going extinct, although Oliver repeatedly waved that away, what with pandas being unwilling to screw each other despite, literally, their species’ survival depending on it. (And don’t get Oliver started on ducks, either.)

Apart from all that, Oliver wanted to focus on the 2015 end of China’s infamous one-child policy, the ham-handedly bureaucratic way in which an ideologically hidebound government decided it knew (and could violently enforce) what women can do with their own bodies. Noting that the 1960-implemented policy led to a massive gender gap in China (good luck bachelors, who outnumber women by 34 million), the rise in kidnapping and sex trafficking of women for forced marriage (Jesus Christ, bachelors—not the answer), and the legacy of horrific punishments of women who dared to get pregnant a second time (selling kids to orphanages, stripped citizenship, forced sterilization and abortion), Oliver was quick to head off certain people’s inevitable knee-jerk response. “And I know that there are some people who like to hold up China as a blanket argument against abortion in general,” counseled Oliver patiently, before pointing out that its really easy to be pro-choice and anti forced-abortion. “It’s all about who’s in charge of the fucking process,” stated Oliver in a week when the right-wing-packed American Supreme Court has suddenly decided to re-hear a landmark case on abortion rights, for some reason.

Advertisement

As to the consequences of a cabal of male bureaucrats making sweeping, draconian decisions about women’s reproductive freedom, Oliver pointed to present-day China as a cautionary tale on the subject of not allowing that, ever. Apart from there being too many men, men resorting to human trafficking and rape to rectify that (because, men), the rise of a thriving sex doll and picking up chicks advice industry (magic tricks, really?), and the bloming economic disaster of losing an Australia’s-worth of people from the workforce in a generation, Oliver explained how China, having learned precisely nothing, is suddenly reversing direction on population control a similarly blunt and boneheaded way. Now the same propaganda, exorbitant fines, and threats of prosecution are being used to bully couples into having two (and only two) children, suggesting, according to Oliver, that men who view themselves the all-wise and superior judges about what women should be able to do with their own fucking bodies aren’t exactly rocket scientists. Or, rather, since China’s rocket-happy military was the body that originally came up with the one-child policy, “experts should stay in their lane.”

Share This Story

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.