It’s a pretty sweeping statement, let alone that we actively tried for a boy, so to get Peanut confirmed as being a little man (nothing little about what we saw on the ultra sound – ahem) was a joy. I’ll try to explain some of our reasons behind the decision:
- Girls are biatches. You can’t pretend they aren’t, I don’t know if its in our genetic make-up, but get enough women together and other women who aren’t there, get pulled apart. Also school girls are particularly vicious.
- Growing up a girl was not easy. Particularly for this tom boy. I’ll diplomatically leave it at that.
- We’re both sporty, and pink and fluffy fills both of us with dread. Our niece is pink and fluffy, loves Barbie, Bratz and Disney Princesses – all the gender-specific, horrific, stereotypical trash that appears to be the only toys available to her. Apparently, she only need aspire to wearing nice clothes and a nice man will whisk her away and marry her. Reinforced by shopping for her at Christmas, where we could by either a doll, or a tea set, or hair braiding stuff. For our nephew, we could buy him miniature trade tools, Lego, cars etc. etc. Hmmm.
- I have body issues. I know that’s hard to believe and I still struggle to convince people of that. But my insecurities run long and deep. Being 5’10” since I was 12 years old has been hard work, I’ve been mistaken for a lot older than I was; I’ve been mistaken for a boy since I swum so much and was so skinny, and had short hair, since I swum so much. Even now, with this burgeoning baby bump, the days are few and far between when I feel feminine or girly. I did not want to transmit these body issues to another girl. I knew I would be more confident about raising a boy.
- I am sick of the way women are portrayed in the media, and know it’s going to get worse. This clip from Woman’s Hour highlights something I’ve been saying for years, when you watch the first 2-3 seasons of Friends, the girls look huge. By the end of the programming, they were like twiglets, and now look ‘normal’. It’s a frickin scary normal, but now actresses on TV have to have their heads looking like lollipops, magazines either airbrush photo shoots to ridiculous proportions, or take candid photos of celebrities and glorify in pointing out their faults. We can’t win. It also reported on a scary statistic that girls age 9 are putting themselves on diets and that Cheryl Cole, foul-mouthed, uneducated, who assaulted someone in a nightclub, is their main role model.
So there we have it. I struggled growing up, I watch other girls growing up and wondered aloud today when one of our admin staff said, ‘No, I’m not having cake, I’m being good’, since when did depriving ourselves of food become being good or bad? It’s food for crying out loud?
By trying for a boy, we both acknowledged we could grow a strong, independent young man. We weren’t convinced we could grow a strong, independent young woman; no matter how hard we tried, the outside influence of TV, magazines and peer pressure would be too great. I should know, I’m looking at my thighs in the mirror in despair. When I should be recognising my body is doing what it was designed to do, with joy.