I found this Jezebel piece, about women who don’t want daughters, fascinating. Mostly because I have never encountered this. All the women I know either said they would be fine with either a boy or girl, or hoped for a girl.
That includes me. When I was pregnant with my first child, I hoped for a girl simply because it felt familiar: I’m a girl, therefore I could relate to a girl. Plus, the clothes! SQUEEEE! But I was also open to the possibility of a boy.
When I got pregnant a second time I openly hoped for a girl, simply because Maya was such a dream baby and having a daughter was fun beyond my wildest dreams. The thought of another daughter, a little sister and companion (plus the matching outfits! SQUEEE!) just made me crazy happy. Then the ultrasound tech told me I was having a girl. Cue the planning! The daydreams! The shopping! The girl names! When a second ultrasound revealed the baby was actually a boy, I was crestfallen, only because I felt like I had lost a “daughter” that I had already grown attached to.
Fast forward and y’all know I’m madly in love with my baby boy. But still, I have never met a woman who expressed reticence about having a girl. The Jezebel piece describes two camps:
#1 – “I don’t want a daughter because girls are harder to raise than boys.” Variations on this: “Girls are so moody and dramatic” or “Girls are manipulative and dangerous” or “Girls are easy when they’re young but watch out when they’re teenagers! Hoo boy!” or the ironic “Girls are too girly. I just can’t get into that stuff.” I cannot explain these women. I’m sorry. The best I can figure is that they dislike themselves, their sister, their mother, or someone else with a vagina, based on past experience, and the thought of producing another creature of the female variety makes their brain short and they say stupid things like, “Girls are just, I don’t know, harder on you emotionally.” They assign qualities of Disney villainess proportions -– jealousy, anger, cunning, ability to talk to mirrors -– to all female children. . .
#2 – “I don’t want a girl because the world is harder for girls.” Surprise! It is! But when we’re not dodging rapists or avoiding math and science, we do like to have some fun (I mean, fun we can afford; our paychecks are only 78% of our male counterparts’ checks). This is the camp that most of my friends agree is a more reasonable one –- after all, it is The Truth. It’s hard out there for an XX. When women say this, it usually comes from a place of personal experience, and their hope is to avoid being part of a process that inflicts more pain on another human being –- that is, giving birth to a girl. I can understand that.
What say you? Have you ever encountered this sentiment, or felt this way yourself?
In other news, Davy Jones of The Monkees died yesterday. I loved Davy, loved the Monkees, could not get enough of the reruns when I was a kid and know all the words to “Daydream Believer.” Here’s a lovely piece by a journalist who met and interviewed Davy last year. May he rest in peace.
What’s on your mind today? Chat away!