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The all important Y chromosome that delivers the much awaited boy child in India: Did you know it is changing in ways that could alter the future of humankind?
Genes maketh a man and a woman. Human beings have 46 genes: 44 chromosomes plus the two sex genes – the X chromosome and Y chromosome. So genetically speaking, if you are a 44+XX, behold you are a woman and 44+XY, you are a man. In the process of baby making, if 22+X comes from the mommy in the egg and 22+Y comes from the daddy in the sperm, the child is usually a boy. If 22+X from mommy meets 22+X from daddy then a sweet little girl is born.
So, daddies are the real sex deciding factors here but they can’t be blamed for which sperm wins in the race to meet the egg. We don’t really want to play the blame game, do we?
Put three mommies together in a room and they will tell you how their daughter is the mischievous one or how the son is the sweet little child or vice versa. We cannot predict the behavior of our wards based on their sex then why obsess about wanting a particular gendered child (read boy). One argument is that the boy will look after the parents in their old age but that is not true, is it? There are enough examples of the girl child who looks after her parents or both girl and boy looking after the parents. If this is your aim when having children, a life insurance policy will serve you better.
One argument is that the boy will look after the parents in their old age but that is not true, is it? There are enough examples of the girl child who looks after her parents…
When the obstetrician pulls out the little one from the mother the first thing we invariably check is the gender of the baby down there. But once clothed and wrapped you cannot really differentiate a boy child from a girl. The only way some parents manage to differentiate their baby for the world is by swathing them in pinks and blues or by sticking a pink hair clip or head band for the girl baby. Sadly, there are no such ornaments for little boys.
Humans have come a long way to becoming what we are today. In the beginning there were no sexes, we were all asexual organisms. We multiplied by dividing (a paradox a biologist will appreciate).
It is only much later that the Y chromosome came into existence. The Y chromosome is smaller than the X chromosome and if certain (under debate) studies are proved right then it is believed that the Y chromosome is actually shrinking and might not exist in a few thousand years. So will that be the end of “man” kind?
Maybe not, nature is adaptive and can change with time, unlike some of us. Nature will find a way for organisms to exist with men or without men.
For the time being and in my lifetime, I actually enjoy the company of my men. I would not want to live in an all women society. An all men society will also not be that attractive. A society of both men and women is a much better deal. A yin to the yang.
Further reading on the Y chromosome and genes:
Pic credit: Yeonsang (Used under a CC license)
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My house-help asked excitedly, “I am going for wedding. Can you let me wear your red & black saree? To be honest I was stumped for a moment; I didn’t know what to say but I still said yes.
I lent a gorgeous saree to my house-help for a wedding in her family. Soon I stated getting questions if I would wear that saree again or if I was okay to be seen wearing the same saree my house-help was wearing?
We are all so conditioned to give our used clothes to our house-helps but are we okay to wear the clothes they were wearing?
A few days ago she came excitedly to me, “I am going for a family wedding. I want to wear your red & black saree, Ill wash and give it to you after the function. Please can you let me wear it?”
Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum (SISP) is an ode to all of the lost women, who could have been sports stars, singers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, just... happy, if they hadn't been enslaved in matrimony, and then forgotten all about.
One of the cool things about my mother was that she was an ace athlete and a champion sculler as a young woman in the 1950s and 60s. I only found out about this side of her a few years ago. I imagine her in a paavaadai dhaavani, taking on the mighty Kaveri river so many decades ago.
I recently watched a Tamil film anthology on SonyLiv that she would have liked to watch – Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, (SISP) that has 3 stories of 3 different women – Saraswathi, Devaki, and Shivaranjini.
Like all the heroines in the anthology, my mother’s talents were sacrificed at the altar of matrimony. She pawned her gold medals and silver cups one by one to pay for expensive textbooks for us or a gift for a niece on her wedding, money for which she didn’t dare ask my father, because it was her niece… I remember how she caressed the cups and how her face hardened as she shoved them into her bag to take to the jewellers.
The only mother we respect is she who has given birth 'normally' to a biological child, in a socially approved marriage. Other mothers are deemed not 'worthy' enough.
The only mother we respect is she who has given birth ‘normally’ to a biological child, in a socially approved marriage. Other mothers are deemed not ‘worthy’ enough.
“Mere paas maa hai” said Shashi Kapoor in the one of the most iconic dialogue ever, sealing the role of mothers as the epitome of love and sacrifice.
Mothers are respected universally but Indian men and women lead the race. The meanest of onscreen villains or the most chauvinistic of off-screen men go weak at the mention of word mom. However, we are also extremely judgmental when it comes to a mother’s life choices. No I am not talking about being judgmental about the choices mothers make regarding the upbringing of kids, but the way a women attains motherhood and the attitude of people towards such ‘lesser’ mothers.
Isn't marriage a partnership? Should it really matter who plays which role? What if we can have a stay at home dad and mom bringing in the money?
Isn’t marriage a partnership? Should it really matter who plays which role? What if we can have a stay at home dad and mom bringing in the money?
Does the title of this post sound alien?
But aren’t men suppose to be the karta dharta of the family, the one who brings home the daily bread, the one on whose shoulders the burden of children’s education, home loan, EMI, household expenses and so much more rests? And isn’t it the woman’s role to take care of the family, cook, clean, raise the kids?