By Helen Ovbiagele, Woman Editor
OUR write-up with the title above brought out the fact that in spite of the great strides that our people have made in many areas of life, thereâ€™s still this preference for a particular sex of the children we have.Â From the responses we got, itâ€™s evident that some people, though grateful to God for making them parents, would not consider their family complete without a male child. Some agree that women are to be found in most fields these days and many are well-educated, have great jobs and are achieving, but because they are female, they canâ€™t be given much respect.
These readers reckon that you need a male child to lift the image of the family. Also, having a male child shows the strength of a man.
One may find these claims ridiculous but itâ€™s difficult to change an idea that has taken root in our culture for so long. This explains why even that domestic help you have, will show more respect to the â€˜masterâ€™ in the home than to the â€˜madam’, even where the latter is visibly bearing all the financial responsibilities in the home. He would tremble when the former admonishes him, but would sneer or be downright rude when the madam does.Â In work atmosphere, same thing.
More respect is shown to the male executive than to the female. Yet, whenever a man needs help, especially a financial one, he would rather go to a woman than go to a man. He knows that women are soft touch, and are more easily taken in by hard luck stories, than men are.
Yet, after getting that help, some men would go on to oppress the nearest female! However, letâ€™s hope that in spite of preference for the male child, even by some enlightened people, every parent will give all their children equal opportunity to good education and enlightened upbringing and help them develop self-esteem and self-confidence. Surprise!Â Surprise!
A few readers wrote in that they wouldnâ€™t mind having only female children, because girls are more caring and they would always care for their parents, even when they have homes of their own. We thank all those wrote sent mail on the issue.
â€œDear Helen, your article in the Sunday Vanguard of July 5, 2009, refers. I buy into the idea of the lady who wants to try for a female kid. Boys are selfish and uncaring. Just imagine my son who didnâ€™t even remember my landmark birthday, and when I sent a text to remind him, all he did was send a text, saying â€˜congrats dad on your birthdayâ€™.
Whereas his wife actually called to give me her good wishes and my daughters organized a small but beautiful birthday party for me. Please donâ€™t preach this oyinbo message ofâ€™sex of the child does not matterâ€™. At least till we have a workable and sustainable social security for the aged, and those without help.â€ â€˜Good day. Helen. One of the reasons people clamour for a male baby is societal pressure. Iâ€™ll tell you the story of one of my female relatives later.â€™
â€˜Dear Madam, it matters to me the sex of my children. I have two daughters of whom Iâ€™m very proud. However, Iâ€™ll be more fulfilled to have a boy by the grace of God, Ben.â€™ Madam, we should all be grateful for whatever sex of child that the Lord gives us, since it isnâ€™t yet in human power to create a human being from the scratch. All that weâ€™re achieving through science in the conception of babies, is still using what God has put in our hands.
Iâ€™m sure God is amused when He sees the efforts weâ€™re making to distort what He has ordained. Scan would show that the baby in the womb is a boy, but when it is born, it could turn out to be a girl. Should we, knowing that the matter is entirely in the hands of God, decide to have a preference for a particular sex in our children? No. Thanks, madam.
Pastor Stephen, Port Harcourt. â€˜Sister Helen, all the friends I discussed this issue of the sex of a baby with, over here in Owerri, told me that the sex of their child is of great importance to them. They prefer the male child. One of them even said that he wouldnâ€™t mind if he doesnâ€™t have a female child. I agree with him. I would like a female child, but I will not be distressed if God doesnâ€™t give me one.
I prefer boys. Having a female child portrays weakness in a man. Yes, I did science in school and I know about the x and y chromosomes, and that itâ€™s the manâ€™s contribution which determines what sex the baby will be. Still Iâ€™ve always had a preference for the male child. My friends and I are not yet married and weâ€™re agreed that we wonâ€™t blame our wives for the sex of our children, but that doesnâ€™t stop us longing for a son. Paddy, Imo State.â€™
â€˜Auntie Helen, Iâ€™m female and I know about equal opportunities for the sexes, human rights, child rights, etc., but it is important to me that I have a male child. Reason? I know that most men have a preference for a male child, deep down in their hearts, no matter what they say. So, to be quite confident and secure in oneâ€™s home and marriage, at least one male child should be there.
My dad loves my mum to bits but when four females came in a row, the union was terribly shaken and nothing my mum did in the house was right in his eyes. Luckily, a set of twin boys came, when according to dad, he was contemplating trying another woman for a male child. Iâ€™m an undergraduate at present, but Iâ€™m fervently praying now for at least one male child in my marriage. Thank you, ma. Tinu, Ado Ekiti.â€™
â€˜The sex of children are determined by God, so, if youâ€™re desperate for a particular sex, take it to God in prayer. However, the important thing is to give all your children equal opportunity in life. We never know which child will bring honour to us, the nation and God, so, expose each of them to what will make them develop their full potentials.
At home, raise them all up to be caring, well-mannered and responsible.Â Â In the end, their character is what matters, not their sex. Thanks.â€™
â€˜Seriously speaking, you can do a lot with a boy; pushing him to great heights, teaching him how to be brave and how to endure and be responsible, but what you can do with the female child is limited. Sheâ€™s the weaker sex and she canâ€™t stand the heat.
Besides, that daughter of yours will one day belong to another family when she marries, but your son remains yours, bearing forth the family torch. There should be sons in every household and family.Â Â Â Our women everywhere are trying but men command more respect. A man brings honor to the woman. This can be seen in the way married and unmarried women are seen and treated.
Merely saying that sheâ€™s married and still married, raises a womanâ€™s esteem straightaway; whereas the unmarried woman, no matter how wealthy and successful, is seen as incomplete and lacking in something essential to the human life.
Female activists will angrily disagree with this, â€˜but it is true. Iâ€™m deeply thankful that I have both male and female children. I would have been unhappy if Iâ€™m unable to have a male child. Festus, Enugu.â€™
â€˜Madam Helen, every child is a gift from God, and we should be ready to accept with gratitude whichever sex God decides to give us. He knows best. The sex of our children will not determine where we go when we leave this world. Let people \vho are clamouring for one sex or the other; especially the male child, get that into their heads. Be thankful if youâ€™re a parent.
Many couples want to be, but canâ€™t be. Many have had to go to desperate lengths to qualify to be called parents. Thanks. Pastor Job. Jos.