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Reshma Gude is a software professional and mother to a young child. She blogs at Reshma Musings.
Whenever my husband and I talked about having a baby, we always pictured it to be a little girl dressed in a pink frock with matching pick hair band and pink shoes. During my pregnancy, whenever anyone asked me if we wanted a baby boy or baby girl, I used to reply without hesitation that I wanted a girl. I encountered a wide spectrum of reactions to this ranging from astonishment to horror to pity to even total disbelief!
God was kind to me; he blessed me with a gorgeous baby girl. When my baby was born, my first reaction was how beautiful she is. My hubby couldn’t contain his joy, he just couldn’t let go of her and the nurses had to nearly pull them apart, my parents and in-laws were ecstatic, it was their first grandchild after all.
However, some of the reactions I encountered from some people around disgusted me to the core. When my maid learnt that it’s a baby girl, she cried feeling sorry for my parents. Another well meaning neighbour was also very solemn when she visited me in the hospital and even tried to console me. I knew it was futile trying to explain that this is what we wanted, so I didn’t even bother.
It makes me sick to think that in today’s educated society too there are people with such narrow minded mentality in spite of the fact that girls are making their mark in every field be it academics/politics/sports. Cases of female foeticide are not just incidents in remote villages of India where the vast majority are uneducated and bogged down by poverty, but is a harsh reality amongst the so called educated and urban population too.
I wonder what it is that makes people crave for a boy child. If they are living under the illusion that the son will take care of their parents in their old age, then that may not always be the case. I don’t mean to generalize and people with sons please don’t get offended, but it is the law of nature that girls are more emotional as compared to their male counterparts and so it is only natural that they will have a stronger bond with their parents as compared to boys. Therefore, the probability of a girl catering to her parents is much higher as compared to a boy.
One of my friend’s fathers also made a wonderful statement years back which I still remember and which makes me so proud. He said “If I had seven children, I would want them all to be girls”. Can there be a bigger compliment to the girl child?
So to all those girl haters out there, relax, take a pause, and think twice. You have just been blessed with a most precious gift. All she asks for is your love and attention. Give her that and she will be yours forever for life.
Today’s changemaker that we’d like to highlight is Project Why, a New Delhi based NGO that works with slum children as well as their families. While Project Why’s work began with educating children from slums, they soon realised that the mothers of these children were also often in very vulnerable situations and needed support to empower themselves and live dignified lives.
Project Why runs a temporary women’s shelter where women who need support can find shelter until they get back on their feet, and also runs vocational training programs for women. You can read more about their journey in this interview we did with their founder, Anouradha Bakshi.
You can donate to support Project Why’s work, or volunteer with them.
Guest Bloggers are writers who occasionally share their interesting ideas and points of view with
one of the reason for this misogyny is India’s patriarchial institution of marriage according to which girls are supposed to leave their home and live with in-laws.On the top of that ,her marital home becomes her priority and she is not very much encouraged to help her parents financially.She has to earn for her new family.If she has to earn for his parents what is he there for?Things will not change unless this institution gets better and a married woman starts getting space in marriage to do what she wants.
I completely agree – having a girl child is a boon. As said, even the present day highly educated people want boys. If its because the boy takes the family name forward after them: how does it matter any way after you are gone. One can only try and do this for one generation. Beyond that no one has any control.
Why is the family name so important any way?
These things cannot change overnight. The only way to bring about a change is to ignore such statements well meant or otherwise.
I am sorry, but i see no difference between patriarchal family craving for a boy child , with people like the author craving for a girl child..both are wrong..
if it is wrong for family craving for a boy child for carrying family name forward, taking care in old age,etc. , equally wrong and sick are people who crave for a girl child because girls are more emotional, etc.
i will always crave for a healthy ,intelligent , smart child, if i ever become a mother..
we dont have choice of gender, gender is immaterial..
tell me, how will u feel if somebody says “If I had seven children, I would want them all to be boys”..
do u feel its a great t compliment for boy child, or are u disgust and sick at this attitude..?
lets love all children equally..,irrespective of gender..
Loved your post!:)
I am a happy mother of a daughter and i had no preference for a son!
Recently, i heard some utter nonsense from some of my colleagues-It seems there is a belief that when a person dies, he has to cross some bridge in hell and only if he has a son, will he be able to cross it and reach heaven..i harshly rebuked them for believing in all this despite being educated…sad how even some youngsters believe in superstition…
I have also seen rituals where a woman who has delivered a son is given preference..
Sadly, the importance of a male child is utmost in our country and the government has not been able to totally stop the gender determination tests done pre natally. I know of a lot of urban women who willingly or otherwise abort their foetuses upon learning of the female gender! If this is urban, educated India, need we say anything for the majority population in the rural areas??
Good One.I am a mother of 10-months old baby girl.I feel special and i feel blessed.Infact whole of our family was happy to see her when she is born. But even i encountered people around me showing pity on me that its baby girl.I was confused and was wondering..why are they feeling bad about this.Gud to read your article with the same feelings of mine.
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