What If I Want My First Child To Be A Girl?

Posted by Reena Dhiman in Sexism And Patriarchy, Society
February 19, 2018

I am a (happily) married woman who is blessed to have a loving husband. After many years of marriage, we have both now decided to step into the next phase of life, that is parenthood.

Now, while we are both hoping for ‘that’ good news, we have been showered with so many wishes from the people around us. It doesn’t matter whether they are connected to our lives or not. But yes, they all have some tips for us. Even the people whom I have never talked to have started showing interest in my family planning. Starting with my domestic help to the aunty who irons our clothes to the tailor, all of them have suddenly become curious to know when I will have my child.

In all this, there is one thing which is common among them – they all want me to have a baby boy! Yes, they give me a blessing to have a boy as my first child. They think that I am already too late with my family planning. So, it would be better if I had a boy as my first child. It means that even if I don’t go for a second child, my vansh (lineage) is safe and secure.

But what if I have a girl child? That’s the question I asked whenever people blessed me for a male child. Frankly speaking, I am not a flag bearer of feminism. Also, I love boys as well. But deep down in my heart, I wish for a girl child.

A few days ago, my husband told me, “Dear, we will be blessed with a girl child.” I replied saying that I wish it were true. Suddenly, one of my friends (who is a father of a boy and a girl) interrupted and said, “No, you must have a baby boy. Though girls are good, they go to another house after marriage. Also, a boy will take care of you in your old days. So, you must have a baby boy first. Then, for the second time, you can have a girl.”

This conversation made me think why I couldn’t I just have a girl child? I don’t know what will happen in the very next moment, so how can I think of my life 30 or 40 years down the line? There is no dearth of stories in which sons have abandoned their parents during old-age.

I don’t want to have a second baby and would happily live with my daughter and husband. But deep inside me, I know everyone wants me to have a baby boy.

The irony is that even a woman who has given birth to a baby also wants another woman to only have a boy. I have a question for such women – what if their mothers had thought the same? They would not have been on this planet!

Being a carefree and independent girl, I never think about such things in the past. But now, suddenly these questions have started irritating me. First, you must have a baby boy. Then, if you have a baby boy, the entire credit goes to your husband!

It’s funny that the world will ‘blame’ you for giving birth to a girl, but if you give birth to a boy, your husband will get the entire credit. They will say, “Ashish’s son is too cute. He has taken the vansh forward.” It means that pain and discomfort will be borne by you, but in the end, your husband will take away the credit for your ‘hard work’.

There is nothing new in what I have said here. However, these things are crossing my path now. I don’t want to bring a change in the society, but yes, I only pray that I never become a part of this mentality.

And one more prayer: “Please God, make us the parents of a cute baby girl!”