Ask Alexandra – May 2015
1) Hi Alexandra,
I am currently writing a paper on the recent relaxation of China’s One-Child policy and how it might impact the gender gap. I read an article you wrote on Huffington Post where you stated you supported a one-child per family ideal, but you did not like the coercive nature of this policy. Before the policy was put into place, China did try voluntary programs but they did not produce big enough/the desired results. My question for you is, do you believe that if China resorted to a voluntary program, would it be enough to keep the population from booming? Also, if the government continues to promote one-child per family ideals, will the preference for males continue and further widen the gender gap in China?
Thank you and I look forward to your response!
Thank you for writing, and for reading my HuffPo piece on China’s one child policy.
I encourage everyone these days to have only one child per couple. I am hoping that if people understand how important it is to stop human population growth they will act now and choose to have fewer children. But the truth is, I am not optimistic, and I do see that one day coercive measures will probably be put in place all over the world, because the situation will be that dire. Our population is still growing and is expected to reach 10 billion in 35 years (from 7.3 billion today).
Since China already has so many people (1.4 billion), and so many of them approaching child bearing years, the only way to stop it from growing really fast is if everyone continues to have just 1 child. Since there is a relaxation of the rules means that couples are having more kids, I foresee China continuing to grow. However, there are ways to mitigate this: powerful positive incentives (especially financial ones) to encourage couples to have one kid would counteract the growth if it were generous enough, and if it were accompanied by a publicity campaign reinforcing the many benefits of having one child. It will take a lot of work on the part of the Chinese government to ensure the population does not grow without using coercion, and it will not happen lickety split, but the effort will make a huge difference for generations to come and save millions of lives in the long run.
Because China does not have an adequate social security system to cover the basic needs of most of its elderly citizens, children are important for parents in later life. The government will need to improve social security, pensions and medical insurance so couples are secure that they will be OK when they are old, even if they only have one child or none to care for them.
Males are more prevalent in China than females, due to the one child policy that led to female infanticide (leaving girl babies to languish, abandoning them or killing them outright) and sex selected abortions (aborting if the baby is a girl so you can try again for a boy). There is now a lot of young men in China who cannot find a wife to marry! I would hope that nowadays parents recognize the value of both boys and girls. The government, once again (I am a libertarian’s nightmare) needs to step in to ensure women get equal rights, equal pay, equal inheritance, equality during divorces etc, so they can take care of their parents in old age.
Thank you for writing and good luck with your paper. I am glad you are interested in this issue. I would love to read your paper when it is done. Please do send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Hello Alexandra! I think the fact that you take time out of your schedule to answer fans questions is very admirable. You are one of the good people in Hollywood and this world. I am a long time fan of yours, have been going back to American Flyers and watch your movies or shows any chance I get. As far as your acting goes, what was the most challenging role you ever played and what is the role you enjoyed the most. If you could work with anybody past or present that you haven’t gotten to work with yet, who would you choose?
Thanks, your friend and fellow tall woman, (I am 6’1), Dawn 🙂
6’1 is a great height, I am envious!
I am so glad you enjoyed one of my first movies, American Flyers.
The role I enjoyed the most was the coke fiend from 12 Bucks. I loved being a drug addict who is a terrible mother and a crass person- not a role in which I am usually cast! Plus I had so much fun playing David Chokachi’s wife, and it was such a different relationship we have ever had onscreen – we have been in 4 projects together: we starred on Baywatch where I played his boss and swimming coach, A Date with Murder where he was a detective investigating me, and we were a real life team in the 2 hour diving competition show Stars in Danger:The High Dive. We will also star as exes in the upcoming movie The B Team.
It was not a long scene, but in short, I do coke behind his back, David beats me, our kids come in on us having sex, one of them with a gun in his hand and … oops. You will have to see the movie 🙂
If I could work with anyone, it would be Sean Penn, hands down. He is one of my favorite actors, and I admire him as a person: his volunteer work in Haiti and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He was also against the war in Iraq, and not afraid to say it. I would love to be directed by him. Acting in scenes with him would be amazing too.
Thank you so much for writing.