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Why is the girl child still considered a liability that we should not wish for, as compared to ‘wanting a boy’? When will this mindset change?
Sad and frustrated I again replied to my friend, “I use ‘she’ as a gender neutral word, just like people use ‘he’. Then got a reply ‘oh, that way..!! then fine..!!” with a wink.
I was completely annoyed again. It is my first pregnancy and I always wanted a daughter. I am fond of girls, especially the little ones. From the day I knew that I was pregnant, I started my prayers for a girl child and I always feel positive about it. From that very moment, I started talking to her and started calling her “Betu”, which to me meant a girl child. I thought of names that will have a good meaning, but not a typical one, easy to pronounce, combination of the names of my husband and myself, did everything like everyone does, but only from a perspective of a girl child.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t like boys. I am fond of my nephews, who are twin boys and I love them like anything. They are cute and adorable in their own ways. My best friend is blessed with a baby boy and I love the little champ. But, for myself I want a girl and I don’t know the reason why.
During pregnancy, every other person asks you, “Do you want a girl or a boy?” and people answer differently, according to what they desire for. Some answer that they want a boy and some answer in a diplomatic way that it doesn’t really matter to them if it’s a girl or a boy, all they want is a healthy and happy baby and this answer is expected more in case of first pregnancy. To both the situations, people are very okay and never question.
However, when it’s your first pregnancy and your answer is a girl child, you really start receiving opinions. Some people say that girls are so nice and it’s good if you are looking up for a girl child, that means things are changing and blah blah blah. A way of proving that they are ‘modern’ and part of an educated society, who ‘don’t mind’ if you are desiring a girl child.
Then there is another category of people, who won’t tell you that they would prefer a boy instead of a girl as they want to maintain their ‘good’ image. Then there is another category, who are really bold and blunt in saying and making you understand that as a first child you should have a boy and then the second child can be a girl or a boy. If the second child is a girl, your family is complete and if not, then “having two boys is always a blessing”.
No one really offers any opinion when you say that you want a boy and it really disturbs me.
I read and have developed a strong belief in the book The Secret, which says that the universe gives you what you actually want and truly wish for. Just believe that you have it and you will definitely have it and trust me, it works. So, I promised to follow the law of Secret for my pregnancy and therefore whenever I am referring to my baby, I always refer as “She”. I always think in a manner that I am going to have a girl child and have developed this intuition, don’t know why. I feel good about this and my husband is totally happy about it. He too wants a girl child and may be more that I want.
People ask me “how do you know, it’s a she?” and have a curious smile on their faces. When I tell them that it’s because I want a girl, they will reply “ohhh..!!” And I feel so bad about it. Nobody asks you this question when you say “He”. Why….? Because it’s always okay to desire for a boy and no matter how much girls achieve; no matter how much a man loves his mother or sister or wife, it’s never okay to desire for a girl.
Our society has developed only to an extent where most people don’t go and kill the girl child after birth. They somehow accept (more so because they want themselves to be considered as modern and educated) that it’s a girl, but their veiled desire is that it would have been better if it had been a boy! In case you have a girl, they will always suggest that you try for a second pregnancy so that you have a boy. Why, and till when this is going to continue?
Now, there is another set of people who want a girl child, who desire for a girl and would love to bring her up. They will invest on her education and start saving for her wedding … happily! They will ‘protect’ her and will make all the arrangements for her safety and security. They will be happy if their girl child has friends who are boys. They will pamper her, love her and treat her like a darling.
And one fine day, when she is grown up, well educated, all set for being independent, they will find a boy for her and force her to get married. The girl will object first that she wants to be independent and doesn’t want to get married at this point of time, but she will finally agree to her parents as they will make her realise that they have done everything for her, ‘allowed’ her to study the subject she wants to, ‘allowed’ her to roam around with friends (who may be boys also) and brought her up ‘like their son’.
I have a question here, why are girls required to be brought up like boys? Why can’t they be brought up like girls, like a kid, like a child, without any discrimination in the upbringing style? Why they are asked to get married when they have completed their education and have just started with their careers? Why they are made dependent the moment they start being independent? Do they always require someone to have control over them? Whether it’s their parents, brother, husband or in-laws..!
The second important question is that why do people want girl child from a perspective of pampering her, ‘protecting’ her and all those things. You pamper and protect the boy child as well, but only upto a certain extent, only upto a certain point of time or age. After that, they are free to play whatever sport they want to play, go wherever they want to go and many more things, which makes them independent. Then, why don’t we ‘allow’ our girl child to be independent after a certain age and time?
Why can’t our girls choose a sport? Why don’t we push them for choosing a sport? Why don’t we tell them from the very beginning that they have to become independent someday? Why don’t we encourage them for playing outdoors, for training them with karate or any other activity which will make them physically strong?
I don’t really understand and know when things will change; when people will stop writing about these issues as there would be no such issues; when the thinking and mentality of people will change; when we will accept the girls the way they want to be; when we will stop telling them that their primary motive in life is to live for others; when we will help them making an identity of their own – not a fake one; when we will start actually meaning what we do for girls…!
I don’t know when but hope that it changes soon, otherwise it will be too late.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: shutterstock
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