Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's a girl

Isn't it such a shame that even in this day and age we have people who actually differentiate between having a son and a daughter? I would like to give civilization a bit more credit than that. But it exists in the minds of a lot of people which manifests in several different ways. There are folks who make no pretense whatsoever about their preference of a son when it comes to having a baby, especially if it is a first born. I would come across hundreds of women and their families when I was working in the Ob-Gyn department in a Park Circus hospital, who would literally cry after a delivery on finding out that the baby was a girl and not the much desired son. It would make me indignant but I used to fool myself into believing that the mentality had something to do with social strata and education of the people I was encountering. I soon realized that it was not the case. I have met highly educated, well ranked officials and their wives who are equally qualified and educated and finacially independent, who have explicitly expressed their desire of having a son and not a daughter. "Bongsher naam rokha" and all kinds of crap get tossed around.
And then there is the other kind of people who harbor similar desires and yet pretend to be liberal when it comes to the sex of their child. I spoke to a couple last week who are expecting their first baby and just found out that it's a girl. I heard the news and called them up, excited, wanting to share my joy with them. Except, this guy tells me something like oh yeah he's happy and excited but his family back in India think that he is disappointed because it is a girl. And then he went on to add that he did not think there was any difference between a girl or a boy. The mere fact that he mentioned all this really jolted me and I realized here again was the same thing, the same old story of girl/ boy except now it was being robed in hypocrisy. It made me sick.
Wouldn't people be better off worrying about whether the baby will be healthy and normal rather than festering their prejudices regarding the sex of the child? I would like to imagine that our education and advancement has been able to enlighten our mind and broaden our perspective enough to be able to rid ourselves of ancient prejudices and be worthy of being blessed with a child.
Then again I should not be generalizing because there are a lot of people who have uplifted themselves from these social pressures and are genuinely glad to have a baby, no matter what the sex is. More power to them!



Blogger jaded said...

doesn't it make you sick to see that people, and even supposedly educated people at that are so biased???
i am actually highly ashamed to call myself educated, if this is what education does...
and that serious load of shit about "bongsher naam rakha"..i think these families should actually be publicly executed if that think that a girl isn't good enough for them...

2:55 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

Thanks for dropping by jaded. I have come to the conclusion that prejudices have nothing to do with education after all. It is not a matter of what's good enough. It's social bias and narrow perspective, rolled into one with superstition and hypocrisy.

4:28 PM  
Blogger sinusoidally said...

Yes you couldn't be more right. A reltaive of mine gave birth to a baby girl few years ago....her husband didn't come to see her or the baby for 2 months because she didn't deliver a boy... I am just happy that amniocentesis is illegal in India.

8:27 PM  
Blogger chamique said...

Ditto ditto.
It's also a little known fact that the female abortion rate in urban India is much more than that of rural areas. It's true that being literate doesn't mean one is educated. Material change and social change are two completely different things.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Rimi said...

i agree with all you people. did anyone catch matribhoomi, by the way?

2:19 AM  
Blogger Grafxgurl said...

yeah..i prefer having a girl than a boy parents wanted a girl more than a boy... i was born in the Woodlands hospital...and i beleive, when the doc told my dad " its a girl!!" my dad was like " thank you God" and the doc was most puzzled! " but but!! dont you want a boy?!!?" my dad gave him a withering look and said " yeah"

interesting no?.. how people can want boys.... and yet.. be so picky about girls in the end...HELLOO!!

2:42 AM  
Blogger Grafxgurl said...

oh and by the way youre added to my TIN!!! ive linkidinkd you!

2:42 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

Hi sn! Thanks for visiting. It really is shameful but I keep hoping and praying things are changing. Nice to meet a doctor in the making. Will be visiting u too.

@chamique agree with u thoroughly. Change is the thing that brings light into the darkness of the mind.

@rimi good seeing you again. Keep visiting. What is matribhumi, a serial or movie?

@grafxgurl I am honored. Thanks! I know what u are talking about. I've been told that my family was pretty thrilled too since I was the first baby in my generation and I was spoiled silly by everyone. And I grew up knowing that I could be and do anything I wanted to and make my family proud. I just hope more and more people would start getting the picture.

8:07 AM  
Blogger blocs said...

good post...the prejudice bit and the Indian psyche bit...put together can be more vicious than most things considered relatively dangerous (both real and imaginary)...

9:16 AM  
Blogger Point 5 said...

I just happened to stumble upon ur blog thru some external links....Ur posts r really thoughtprovoking and very well written....

I agree with u that the "stigma" related to birth of girl is not due to education....I know a lot of highly educated people who still discriminate between the birth of a son and daughter

U make an excellent point in ur post "generalization...."...I never thought of this racial stereotyping till I watched the movie "Crash" it if u haven't already done so.....

10:28 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ me Thanks for dropping by my blog. Keep visiting.

@ point5 glad you found me blog :))
And thanks for reading. Haven't seen "Crash" but will try to catch it.

1:23 PM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

That's NOT (N in caps) true! Who says parents coax and cuddle the boy, that too, especially if he's the eldest.
H'uh? D'uh?
My sister (and puh'lease, I've seen loads of other cases) gets pampered by my dad 'coz she's the baby of the family. And my Ma thinks it's her duty to over-feed her daughter coz apparently she's that "porer ghorey jaabey" specimen. So hullo, where do I figure in the scheme of things!
Well, yes, I really really wish what you say were true and that boychilds were really pampered...but the fact of teh matter is, I think, even I want a daughter of my own one day.
So there! :-)

2:39 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

Hey satchisgod.... I never said that girls don't get pampered and loved. I would be the biggest hypocrite if I said that. I was cuddled, hugged, loved and pampered to death by my parents, grandparents and everyone else. What I meant was it is not so true for every family and it is something that is not an issue with education or social status. You cannot deny that there are a lot of people who get really distressed about having a girl. I'm glad you're not one of them :))
I'm sure you will have a really beautiful daughter someday and you'll love her like crazy because take it from me, there is a really special bond between a father and his daughter.

3:35 PM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

Dakho baba - prejudices et al - otto boro boro kotha jani na. Every argument has a flip-side, right? I just wish I saw more of that "Bongsher naam rokha" funda. Instead, I was wronged! I wasn't even allowed to have a single cell phone in college, while my sister has two already!
And curiously, I think most of the cases where girl-childs are prejudiced against, the most vociferous propagandists are the women folk themselves. And mostly these foks have a skewed vision on life anyways...the boy/girl thingy is just one aspect.

5:06 PM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

@ satchisgod ofcourse there is a flip side to every argument. But let's not get started on this sibling rivalry thing here :))
And as far as women and skewed perceptions and taking it out on other women, I agree to a certain extent but can't help but wonder if they are not victims of their pysche due to the way they were treated because of gender bias.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Rimi said...

highly interesting last comments...
matribhoomi is a movie-it deals with a india where most women have been killed--female infanticide and the rest of it. the ones which are alive are gangraped my whole families of men, one man divides a girl among his five sons for each working day. and sleeps with her on the weekends himself. very disturbing, or so i've been told...

8:03 AM  

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