I think we all know that gender disappointment is a very real thing. Though most people can move on from it and put it behind them. I remember when I found out that my twins were one boy and one girl. I remember the look on my husband's face when he knew we were having a boy -- relief mixed with happiness. Of course we wanted healthy babies, but he wanted a boy, and that's okay. It's funny how now he and our daughter are nearly inseparable -- she is so Daddy's little girl.
Some people, however, cannot handle their gender disappointment. When one mother had given birth to her third girl, the father had the worst reaction anyone could ever imagine. He killed the mother of his three children.
This happened in Afghanistan where violence against women is reportedly out of control. The mother, whose name was Storai, was sadly killed at the hands of her husband who wanted that third child to be a boy. He strangled her three months after the birth. He is still at large and is said to be protected by militia, but his mother was arrested in connection with the murder. Such a sad and tragic story. I hope someone is taking good care of those three children.
Being a mother in other countries certainly presents different challenges than we face in the United States. Mama: Motherhood Around the Globe showed many instances and I was particularly struck by the mom from Kabul. But gender disappointment is a universal thing. Though it is also taken to extremes in China because of their one-child policy. In these instances, the family usually wants a boy. But if we overproduce boys, won't it throw off what I'll call "nature's balance"? Will the world end up with too many men and not enough women to give birth to future generations?
Or maybe we'll just end up with the male equivalent to Sister Wives. They would be called Brother Husbands, I guess. I highly doubt that could ever really happen on a large scale though.
We also have to remember that more and more women are opting to keep their maiden name, too. Some even give their children their maiden name as well. So maybe a non-traditional thought is needed here, for everyone. Though in countries very steeped in tradition, this may not be a welcome thing.
Call me biased, but women are wonderful. We are the ones who give birth. We are needed.
I hope anyone with gender disappointment is just disappointed and moves on. It's okay to have wanted a boy and had a girl -- or the other way around. But this type of violence against women (any violence really) is nonsensical. The man's sperm had a vital part in making the baby -- it's his sperm that determines the gender. Not that I want to point blame because it is so random with millions of sperm being released when you make a baby. A baby being born is a miracle in my eyes -- boy or girl.
Do you think the way many women are keeping their maiden names will help some with gender disappointment?
Image via Hamed Saber/Flickr