What Would You Do If Your Child’s Father Was Disappointed To Learn You Were Carrying A Girl?
There is something unsettling about these gender reveal parties. Aside from the fact that your child may not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, there is a consistent and disturbing reaction I often observe when the fathers-to-be realize that the mother-to-be is carrying a girl. The reactions range from lackluster enthusiasm to flat out despondency.
The Shade Room posts at least one gender reveal a week. And this most recent one was particularly gross.
I get having gender preferences. Most men want sons. I know I want a girl. The way our patriarchial society is set up, it’s the man’s name that is passed down. There’s a good chance that men are thinking about legacy. But also, the way our society is set up, there are plenty of sexist, controlling perceptions about what girl and womanhood means. I saw people on Twitter arguing that men don’t want daughters because their daughters will eventually grow up to have sex. As if their sons won’t. One woman argued that for as much as men pretend to be blind to women’s right and our cries for equality, they know that being a woman in this world means being treated as a second-class citizen.
No argument here.
Still, you would think that for the sake of the party, knowing that there is a 50-50 chance that you could possibly be welcoming a girlchild in a few months, that the father of the child would at least be able to plaster on a smile for the sake of his guests, for the sake of his partner who is carrying this child, but also for the child who may one day see this video of her father looking disappointed by her personhood. How is she supposed to feel about herself as a woman, knowing this is how her father feels about her?
I saw quite a few theories that tried to diminish this reaction. “Just because he’s disappointed he’s having a girl doesn’t mean that he won’t love his child.” I would hope not. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t experienced real examples of my cousins’ husbands expressing disinterest in their own children because they were girls instead of boys. But I would also hope that the love for the child, regardless of gender, begins when the father learns that his wife/girlfriend/baby mama is expecting.
My heart broke not only for this little girl on the way but for the mother who also dealt with this disappointment in front of a yard full of people. How do you come back to your family and friends after your man has just acted like a complete jacka$$? This is a man you’ve chosen, the father of your child, a man who will be in your life, in one way or another, forever.
I tried to think about what I would do in this situation. I would hope and pray that I wouldn’t have a child with such an extreme misogynist. But if I found myself in this situation, here’s my course of action. I don’t believe in embarrassing romantic partners in front of people outside of the relationship. And I can’t say that I would pull him to the side while the party was still going on. But as soon as I closed the door behind my very last guest, I know I would lay that n*gga out. As the person bringing this child into the world, it’s my job to protect her even if that protection is from her own father. In addition to taking care of a child’s physical needs, keeping them alive, parents are the first people who are responsible for building up a child’s self imag, their self confidence. Her parents need to be the first people who tell her there’s nothing “wrong” with her. The world will do an amazing job of trying to strip all of the confidence she learns from her loved ones. It would be shame for her to be at a deficit before she even leaves the house.