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Boy or girl…who cares?

Super Papa / Khmer Times Share:

MY wife has now entered four months of pregnancy. During this time, we should have known the sex of our baby, but the ultrasound scanning still could not produce a clear image due to the baby rolling over while its sexual organ is blocked by the umbilical cord.

To be honest, when the doctor told us that he could not decide whether our baby is a male or female for the first time, I was quite irritated. Part of it was because I could not give an answer to friends and relatives who keep asking about it too. Another reason was that I really want a boy.

I am not a sexist or anything, but I am a Chinese descent and the only son in my family. Traditionally, having a son to carry on the family name is almost seen as my obligation. But, at the same time, I also want a first-born son to enjoy doing “manly” things with me when I am still a young father.

You see, from the first time that I learned that my wife was pregnant, I was already seeing myself playing video games and practising judo and MMA with my son. I even imagine chatting with my grown-up son about our wives and kissing my grandson, who will carry on the family’s legacy.

Meanwhile, my wife, who longs to know our baby’s sex just to buy the right clothes in advance and does not really care much too about whether it’s a boy or girl, kept nudging on what I would do it in the event of a girl. You see, we plan to have only two children. My economical wife was afraid that I would persist on making babies until we get a boy or worse, have an affair to come by a baby boy. Somehow, such practice is not unusual in Cambodia, or China, where my ancestors were from.

Meanwhile, I feel like she is making me feel like Henry VIII, who divorced and killed five of his six wives to get a rightful heir to the throne. But, although King Henry’s son Edward VI succeeded the throne after his death, it was actually Edward’s sister, Elizabeth I, who was well-known for her wise ruling.

But, as I think more and more about it, it was I who has been silly all along. Why have I been putting pressure on my unborn baby about what he is going to do with his life? And since when has the gender bias taken over me, who only wants to be a good father?

Good parents know well that ‘genitals’ does not decide the characteristics, personalities, hobbies, passions or sexual orientation. They bravely accept whatever comes their way, and will do their best to help their child grow up to be a good teenager and proper adult, one whom friends and relatives can rely on and who will help make the world a better place.

On the other hand, ‘dogmatic’ parents, I believe, will automatically assign it certain gender roles when the sex of their baby is known, and they become disappointed when the child fails to meet the given expectation. Is it fair for the young one? I know someone who attempted suicide because his parents did not accept that he was a gay and since he became a teenager had been forcing him to become a real man.

A child may be the bond between its parents, but that sometimes is often forgotten, the fact that the realms it is born into is also its world. Everyone is born to live in his or her own life, and parents are to instill what his or her life should be. Having a son to keep the family name is old-fashioned since people now change their names every day. And who says girls cannot play videogames or practice Judo and MMA? The ones who do obviously don’t know Ronda Rousey.

I’ve changed my mind. For me now, a baby girl is a good as a baby boy. I would not mind playing house, doing my daughter’s hair, protecting her from all the bad boys or walking down the aisle with her. But, I would not also care about the gender of her future partner. Super Papa only wants to see his child in happiness.

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