As soon as I saw the topic for last Wednesday's NHBi, I knew it was going to be a fire-cracker of a time. I was right, it was. It was an expose on the very many opinions out there: from the enlightening to the downright hilarious. For the 1st time in a long while, I didn’t participate actively, just read and learnt from people’s opinions. Here’s my 2cents.
The issue of a preference for male children over their female counterparts is quite long standing. In our climes, particularly Eastern Nigeria, it reaches a different propensity. In most family and communal events, women are seen and not heard; only contributing by cooking the meals. In some places, a girl child is automatically denied inheritance simply
because of her gender. Let us not even begin to count women who have been sent packing from their husbands’ homes because of their perceived inability to bear male children; they run into the thousands.
If I were around when those my ancestors set down the rules, I would have fought them tooth and nail. They carried the bible’s use of the term ‘he’ too far. Firstly, children are God’s gifts and as a result, it is the height of ingratitude/in very bad taste to grumble over the sex of your child: especially as there are persons who are looking for these priceless gifts.
Besides, gender has never automatically translated to the perfect children. That children turn out well balanced, functional and whole individuals is as a result of the upbringing they get. There have been successful male children, no doubt. There are also colossal figures who have bestrode this planet that are female. In the same vein, parents suffer some huge disillusionment on the way their children turned out, both male and female.
I would love to have children of both genders: simply because it will be great experiencing the different challenges of being a mother to both a boy and a girl – puberty, adolescence, sex education (the famous conversation about birds and the bees), girlfriends/boyfriends, football/parties and the like. I also don’t have any brothers (my only brother died years ago), so I’d love as many male folk as possible around. There is a caveat: any husband who goes ballistic because I don’t ‘give him a male child’ will be reminded that ‘I gave him what he put in there’ (he determines the sex of the baby and should put a man in, if he wants a man out). Q.E.D!!!