The male child syndrome at its worst

The male child syndrome at its worst

Smilling 7-month old baby boy portrait Stock Images

While every parent-to-be wants a happy, healthy baby, many cannot deny that they have a sex preference. Dealing with it is another matter entirely. In Nigeria today,many have come to believe that once a woman has not delivered a baby boy, she is yet to make an impact in the family. So is the plight of many women who are yet to have male children for their husbands as they are seen to be of no use for the family.

“It is not a situation that I wish for even my enemy as the in-laws could make life so tiring and difficult. I am speaking from experience as I had four girls and they are not seen as human beings. But I know that all my tears today will be laughter tomorrow even as my husband has abandoned us and is living with the woman that gave birth a baby boy for him,” says Madam Onyekachi Mbafo. Traditionally, Nigeria is a male-dominated society even as women have made tremendous impact in the lives of even the so-called male personalities. The major problems women face in the society today is as a result of what is being started in the home front.

Women face different barriers and deep prejudice and discrimination. Most men argue that why they prefer a male child is for the family name to be sustained, inherit property and the need to conform to the culture and traditional setting. “Stories like these keep baffling me because of the ignorance of the men and sometimes the women who are educated, articulate and career-driven. It is a depressing issue. If I may ask, what is so particular about the male child anyway? In the society which we live now, women seem to be doing more than the men. At least I am aware of some women that are breadwinners of the home, so what is the whole noise about” asked Catherine Nathaniel.

“It is a trend that has taken a turn for the worse as some men now use it as excuse to take a second wife and only end up in the same situation producing kids that they cannot take care of.  I know of a family that wanted only three children but kept on having more children in the name of having a male child and ended up having seven girls,” says Hassan Bako. He went further to say. “It is only a stupid man that will blame his wife for having girl children. It is time for them to realize that they determine and supply the chromosome to a make a male child, so they should stop blaming their wives.”

The preference has gotten so many families into trouble as they end up having illegitimate children outside the home and even when they have these so-called ‘male child’ he ends up being a nuisance to the family as a lot of them become a disappointment to the family and society in general.

Many societies continue to celebrate the birth of a male-child, while a girl-child is received with little or less joy. Most parents preferred and still prefer to have male children, probably to carry on the family since their female counterparts will definitely marry and change their maiden name some day. This explains why some men engage in polygamy once the first wife cannot bear a male child and on the other hand has prompted this craze amongst women to get a male child at all cost for their husbands. In a pathetic voice, Anuli Mark explained. “I do not need to be told that I have one leg in and one leg out as I am yet to give my husband a male child.”

The women folk are indeed faced with much trouble in the home to allow such irrelevant issues to bother them for as the saying goes, “whatever a man can do a woman does it better.” A child is a child no matter what. It is not about the sex but about the personality and what that child would be and offer in future.   This wrong mentality has destroyed many homes and made many more poverty-ridden, we ought to be counting our blessings rather than making selections for there are many out there that are praying for just child. A child is a blessing regardless of its sex.

About the Author

CRACO is an NGO that is committed to making the Child included and visible. We ensure that matters relating to children are not swept under the carpet but brought to the attention of the world, so that necessary actions can be taken to address such matters for the best interest of the the children. We keep you regularly informed of news and stories concerning children and women around the world.

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