Women Who Don't Want Girls Are Babies

I have always vaguely considered women who actively don't want girl babies to be traitors to our sex. I know that sounds a little crazy, but there is so much to love about strong, independent women. Granted, there is also much to fear about having a daughter -- sexual assault, drama, and insecurity come to mind -- but for me, having at least one daughter was always the goal.

But maybe I was wrong to have a preference.

Writer Erin Klg explored the phenomenon of women who don't want daughters for Jezebel yesterday and the result was eye opening. Klg made it clear where she stands by taking women who DON'T want daughters to task.

She said:

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Not wanting a specific sex is even more problematic. Why? Because in a bona fide patriarchy — where rape and assault statistics are too high; where sexism runs rampant across all institutions and in media; where sex trafficking and genital mutilation still exist; where we struggle with the wage gap and lackluster maternity leave; where body autonomy and sexual reproduction rights are constantly under fire; and where women fight for basic education and literacy across the world — when you hope you don't have a daughter, you are one more voice joining millions of others in silencing women.

I am not sure I would go that far. But I do think that actively not wanting a girl for whatever reason is strange and mostly something born of fear. We fear for our daughters and so we wish to not have them.

But I would argue that those who think like that are the ones who SHOULD be having daughters. Lord knows there are enough non-thinking people who have daughters. The fact is, gender preference is problematic, in general. Any time we express a preference, we reveal our gender bias. We say that we think pink or blue should win and we show that we think one is different than the other.

I know this because I was once terrified to have a boy. Girls I get. Girls I love. I wanted female bonding and I wanted a daughter, but I wasn't sure about a boy. Sure, I was open to one (I do think actively NOT wanting a gender is a bad thing), but I was scared to have one.

And then I had one.

It isn't that my son has miraculously changed all my gender expectations (he hasn't). He is as "boy" as they come, preferring trucks and diggers to shoes and crowns. But my fears were less about him and more about me. Would I relate to a boy? Could I love him as much? I was scared that I wouldn't feel close to him because we had different genitals. How silly I was.

My son is himself. He isn't a stereotype and I relate to him far better than I thought I would. He is my child and I adore him. If my husband and I were to have a third baby, I wouldn't care either way.

The fact is, having a preference is sort of silly. Children are children, whether boy or girl, and whatever expectations we have of them are our own. Did I want a girl? Sure. Back in the day. But I am a grown-up now.

If you find yourself saying you don't want either gender, maybe you should ask yourself why, especially if that gender is your own.

Did you have a gender preference?

 

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