Okay, I had another topic planned for today, but then youtuber PasswordOVER9000 sent me a link to an article by a blogger at 5 cities 6 women called "When women don't want daughters."
I'd like to start with a caveat. When I got married, I was marrying two stepsons along with my husband, and our first child together was a boy as well. I remember being in labor with my second, and what I'd assumed would be my last, child, and gritting out between my teeth, "It had better be a girl!" If my daughter had turned out to be a son, I can't say my disappointment would have registered more than a 0.1 on the richter scale of let-downs, but with three boys already, I'll admit I'd been hoping for a girl. Little did I realize that my girl would end up less verbally and socially wired, and more rough and tumble than any of her brothers, more prone to using the kitchen chairs for evil, more ingenious at breaking gates and making a run for it at age two, using the oven racks to climb up on the kitchen counters before she was a year old, and more interested in leaping from heights that were potentially bone-breaking right from the time she started walking at 8 months.
She wasn't your typical girl, and she still isn't. She's not prone to a lot of the emotional maladies the article's author, Erin KLG, claims scare some women away from having daughters. She was tough on the blood pressure and I think I probably produced more adrenaline in her first five years than your typical base-jumper, but she was never "moody or dramatic", nor "manipulative and dangerous (to anyone other than herself)" nor "too girly," some of the justifications in category 1--Girls are harder to raise than boys.
My own daughter may have been hard on the adrenal glands, but she certainly wasn't hard on my emotions. And while I'd guess that girls are probably more likely than boys to be hard on a parent emotionally, well, that's as much about a parent's choice in how to respond to the negative behavioral traits more commonly found in girls than in boys. You can let those behaviors fly, and you can let them bother you, or you can tell her to pull up her big girl panties and that you're not buying her diva act today or any other day.
Boys and girls, in general, do present different challenges, and for a woman who was raised with, or by, a challenging female--a borderline, or a narcissist, or a manipulator, or a diva, or a drama queen, or a high maintenance princess--I can see hoping to avoid that particular set of potential challenges in favor of the "easier way". (And just to clarify that I put "easier way" in quotes, because just yesterday a friend called to tell me her five-year old son had been sent home from school early for intentionally peeing on the bathroom floor and intentionally plugging the toilet, because, in his words, "I hate it here, so I want people to have to walk in my pee." So as you can see, boys are ALWAYS much easier on a parent than girls.)
However, this is not my main complaint with this article. In fact, that part of the article was...refreshingly free of things I can reasonably criticize. Reason #2 as to why some women prefer to have sons, however, is...sigh.
#2: “I don’t want a girl because the world is harder for girls.” Surprise! It is! But when we’re not dodging rapists or avoiding math and science, we do like to have some fun (I mean, fun we can afford; our paychecks are only78% of our male counterparts’ checks). This is the camp that most of my friends agree is a more reasonable one – after all, it is The Truth. It’s hard out there for an XX. When women say this, it usually comes from a place of personal experience, and their hope is to avoid being part of a process that inflicts more pain on another human being – that is, giving birth to a girl. I can understand that.
Really. The world is "harder" for girls? I think the 80% of youth suicides who are male might have a thing or two to say about that. Or the 4 to 8 times as many boys as girls who are doped with ritalin so they can tolerate the modern school environment. Not succeed in it, mind you, because nearly twice as many girls as boys can read proficiently by the time they graduate, and boys' test scores and marks have been slipping year by year relative to girls--just tolerate it, while quietly and inexorably becoming a less fidgety but increasingly marginalized education underclass. Classrooms adjusted in the 80s and 90s to better serve girls have left boys adrift in a world where competition has been outlawed, amid a sea of pig-tail-wearing, socially savvy classmates who are a hell of a lot better at sitting still, being quiet, using their listening ears and doing reams of open-ended practice work.
In the school attended by my friend's toilet-plugging son, games like dodgeball and tag have been prohibited, because they encourage aggression and lead to bruises. The new, PC mantra, "We don't keep score here, we are all winners," stifles boys' natural competitiveness, and turns even sports into an exercise in going through the motions as pointless to boys as all that open-ended cutting and pasting and rote memorization. And when those boys then turn to video games to exercise the hardwired skills, learning styles and interests more common to them--hands on "doing", achievement, competition and score-keeping--that have been fully excised from the school environment, they're written off as lazy time-wasters.
Boys also have the insidious feeling that female teachers (the vast majority of teachers right up until high school) have it in for them. And the scary thing is, they're right. New research done in the UK found that female teachers scored boys an average of 3% lower than gender-blinded evaluators--subconscious contempt for all the squirming and disrupting, perhaps? And all that squirming and disrupting might explain why boys are suspended at 2 to 4 times the rate girls are, something that has been shown to negatively impact their likelihood to attend and graduate college.
In the case of my friend, a psychological evaluation of her son was demanded by his beleaguered teacher, and much to her dismay, he was found to be bright, emotionally intelligent and well within the range of "normal" by the psychologist. Oddly, in the three months since the psychologist suggested a number of strategies in dealing with him, his teacher has yet to implement even the simplest and most effective and effortless of them--to stop saying, "Can you please," and start saying, "Bet you can't." By simply making a request in the form of a dare or challenge, his performance went through the roof--if that doesn't tell you the sedate tea party of the modern classroom is a poor fit for boys, I don't know what will.
Still think boys have an easier time of it, Erin? Really?
Well, maybe this will make you stop and think. You mentioned the wage gap, that same old tired chestnut feminists of all stripes drag out to prove women have it worse than men--when in reality, when you explore the causal factors of the gap, you'd find the opposite. According to CONSAD, the US government and multiple other sources, the more variables you account for that are based on personal choice, the narrower the true gap becomes.
Same field, same amount of training, same age, same company, same number of uninterrupted years of work, same number of hours worked, same flexibility when it comes to inconvenient shifts and overtime, same level of absenteeism, same everything, and surprise surprise, you get the same wage. On the astronomical chance that you'll ever actually listen to a video that isn't filled with feminist propaganda, I'll direct you to the stellar series, "Why men earn more: the startling truth behind the wage gap."
Women earn less because they have the social and financial freedom to prioritize things like personal fulfilment, shorter commutes, flexible office hours, safety, nicely padded office chairs and family over their earnings.
Due to social pressures and gender enforcement, men are a crap-ton more likely to put earnings at the top of their priority lists, leading to things like longer commutes, camp work, more exposure to the elements, less personal fulfilment, less time with family, more hours worked per day, year and lifetime, inconvenient shifts, more travel, more overtime, and a risk of death on the job 20 times higher than that of women.
And for all of that, he gets paid more than a woman, the oppressive bastard. If he attends college, that is, something that young men are increasingly unlikely to do. Young women have a 50% higher likelihood of finishing high school, and a 50% higher likelihood of attending and graduating from post-secondary, which has in fact led to current average earnings for women under 30 in US cities that is 8% higher than those of their male peers.
Are you waking up yet, Ms. KLG?
Well if not, here are some other "perks" of being male in our culture. Aside from the higher risk of suicide and death on the job, your friend's little blue privileged bundles face at least 10 times the risk of homelessness, 20 times the risk of being incarcerated (with consistently longer sentences for the exact same crimes), a 3 to 4 times greater risk of being a victim of violent crime, an exactly equal risk of being a victim of domestic violence (along with a roughly 0% chance of being offered a bed in a shelter), an exactly equal risk of being forced into sexual intercourse (but the privilege of having it not be considered rape in 80% of those cases simply because the perpetrator was female), twice the risk of having a spouse initiate a divorce, 20 times the risk of losing custody of his children upon divorce, a higher death rate wrt 14 of the 15 leading causes of death, a lower life expectancy, and the understanding that despite this, roughly 8 times as much public money will be spent on the health of the opposite sex.
And some doozies that that little blue bundle of "privilege" gets to enjoy that girls and women NEVER will--the privilege of being forced into the burdens of parenthood against his will, the privilege of having a child he wants aborted against his wishes, the privilege of paying child support at age 14 to the 30-year-old woman who raped him, the privilege of being laughed at or jailed when his girlfriend or wife batters him, and all the potential joys of having his genitals mutilated as an infant, and then growing up to hear women freely opine on their preference for mutilated men.
And if that's not enough to convince you that boys do not and will not have it "easier" than girls, I will direct you to this lovely gem in your article:
By having a boy, they can breathe easier. This is why women fret over the safety of their future daughters, but not over whether their future sons will be rapists or serial killers. (And if you have had such a worry, I salute you.) By this argument, we worry about having a victim, but don’t change the structure that produces the victimizers.
Really, Erin. Fucking really? You think that on top of all that stuff I just talked about, a boy's life is easier than a girl's, when a woman who is so absorbed with our culture's propagandized cult of vagina-gazing that she actually believes WOMEN are more likely to be victims of ANYTHING than men, believes it's somehow progressive for a mother to fret not about any of the hideous challenges their boys will face as they grow into manhood or those they will face as men, but about whether they're gestating a future rapist or serial killer?
You honestly believe that growing up in a culture so eager to equate maleness with all that is evil that we've sunk to painting boys as potential rapists and serial killers before they even emerge squalling from their mother's wombs only to have their parents encouraged by doctors to have half the skin and nerves in their dicks chopped off without anaesthetic, is fucking "privilege."
I think I'm starting to understand why the suicide rate in young men is so fucking high, Erin. Our culture is so determined to convince boys they're privileged when they are anything but, that when those boys actually wake up to the extent and extremity of the lie they've been told all their lives, it's not like finding out Santa Claus isn't real--it's the equivalent of watching Santa Claus being torn to pieces and eaten by his own reindeer, after which they piss on all the shiny presents he was supposed to deliver.
And if, after watching this video, you still believe your article is any kind of reflection on The Truth, all I can do is relay a personal message to you from my sons: Fuck you.