Sunday, May 9, 2010

Painting the Nursery - Pink or Blue?

Ihad a revealing conversation with my sister-in-law Bee and her daughters the other day that got me to thinking about life, and the ignorant and selfish ways people behave at times. One of Bee's daughters, Emmy, is pregnant with her second child - her firstborn is a son who is now two and a half years old. We were discussing her pregnancy, and one of the girls said that my mother-in-law (and Bee's mother) told her pregnant grand-daughter that she should name the new baby after my husband. The girls all giggled a bit and when I asked what was so funny, I learned that Emmy is expecting a girl - a fact that they are concealing from my MIL because she doesn't seem to care about girl babies.

Bee then proceeded to talk about when she gave birth to her first three children more than 20 years ago - all girls - and how her mother did not help out and rarely came to see her after each of the girls were born. But when Bee finally gave birth to her fourth child - a boy - her mother immediately packed her bags and moved in with Bee and her family for a period of time to graciously help out. The girls don't necessarily feel that their grandmother doesn't love them, just that she seems to favor male offspring over female. Emmy even said that once she gave birth to her son, she felt that her grandmother really changed in her feelings and respect towards her, elevating Emmy quite a few notches in status.

Bee and her daughters seem to think that many other women of grandma's generation think this way. I have heard of women here being divorced, tossed aside or looked down upon because they only produced female offspring. It's an idiotic way of thinking because basically, without getting into an involved debate about genetics, science has proven that the sex of a child is almost always solely determined by the male sperm. And not only that, it is yet again, another example of how women are faulted for everything and anything wrong with many societies, irregardless of facts to the contrary. I admit I was a little surprised to hear all of this since I mistakenly believed that this type of thinking was a thing of the past. I don't recall ever hearing something like this in my own culture. In fact, I remember hearing most often that the parents didn't care what sex the child was, as long as the baby was healthy.

So I was wondering about this cultural phenomenon here and if it exists in other places around the world, especially among older women like my Saudi MIL. I've read that boy babies are preferred in many Asian countries and other places, and that throughout the ages, female infanticide was common - which I don't understand because without girls, there will be no more babies born at all, period. In China alone, its "one child per mother policy" has had disastrous results for baby girls, who have been aborted or abandoned by the hundreds of thousands every year since its inception in 1979. It is estimated that by the year 2020, about 30-40 million young Chinese men will have no women to marry and mate with. What does this mean? It means that already young women in China are being kidnapped and sold as a child-bearing commodity to the highest bidder. This is nothing short of sexual slavery. It is harmful to society and upsetting to nature's delicate balance to deny girls their rightful place in the cycle of life.

Yes, I know that all men, deep down, want a son - some kind of macho thing, I'm sure. Boys can carry on the family name, and there's still those old-fashioned notions about boys that they can take over the family business and can support the family, etc., when in today's world, girls have proven just as capable of doing these things as boys - as long as they are given the opportunities. I also know that there are many mothers and fathers out there who cherish and adore their daughters. But I'm wondering if there is an obvious preference for boy babies in your country or culture?

For more information, please read another blogpost on this same topic on My Reflections and Musings by Jenn.


  1. Good question. I think "culturally" here.. I would say there's the opposite preference. Go to any store and you see a ton of stuff for girls and hardly anything for boys. I never noticed it until I was faced with having a boy... I feel bad for him. He doesn't have a quarter of the stuff my daughter has. And while everyone gave us gifts for her, only a handful (less than) did for him... I think that's partly because he's our second, but still.

  2. These are hugely complex issues with baggage from history, culture, economics...

    There was a study in USA which showed that, woman got divorced more if they did not have boys.

    It is not an active discrimination (like in other cultures), but mom may be thinking that she needs to have dad for raising boys
    (more confidant about raising girls all by herself)..


  3. My family (American) was a bit disappointed when they found out I was having a boy because they had imagined buying cute little dresses, shoes, and dolls for a girl. When I say family, I mean cousins, sister, etc. My parents were happy either way.

    Hubby's family (Saudi) seem to spoil our son (18 months old) and their granddaughter (11 months old) equally, leading me to believe that they have no big inclination one way or the other. My husband hopes for boys simply because he thinks they're easier to raise (no hijab, etc.). I think he may be right in that regard, but I still would like a little girl to share my old toys and dress up clothes with.

  4. In the US I would imagine there is a weak preference for male babies. I do know that my older brother and his wife would have liked to have had one son, but I don' see any evidence that the girls were treated any worse than a boy would have been treated. That is one element of our culture that I think we should be proud of.

  5. I would say every culture has that preference, the only boy in my family for years was treated like royalty.
    Why are women (daughters) considered a burden? I don't know, but I know Muslim or not, a boy was is the ideal, unless oyu have a bunch of boys LOL, then you want a little girl.

    Losing our ONLY son, I saw the difference in the way everyone spoke about him, about us and to us.

    I remember some of the sisters saying,"she lost her SON..", not, she lost her baby or her child.

    MK...girl stuff is just cuter, there's not variety for what boys can wear. I don't think it means boys are less, because generally having girls I know that all family wanted to do was dress them up like dolls...that's an issue that is forms socialization from birth and then we wonder why our girls want to dress up all the time.

    Just my thoughts on this one Susie.
    Happy belated Mommy's Day to all the ladies.

  6. We are expecting and while I know my husband would have been happy with any outcome, I 'think' he was very pleased when we learned it's a boy. I think for dads it's a question of relating- it's easier for a man to imagine doing men things with his son like teaching them to play soccer, tinker with cars, etc. Not saying they won't have anything to do with a daughter, it's just easier to visualize with a boy.

  7. I want both, one of each; my husband has a preference for girls. I actually think there's a weak preference for girls among certain groups in the US.

  8. I don't know which region of the states you're from because even to this day, a lot of grand parents ,even fathers prefer boys.A girl is ok, as long as there's boys.

  9. Thoughtful post. I wrote about gendercide a few weeks ago.

    My newest granddaughter was born last Friday. We are feeling blessed.My world has changed.

  10. Salma - that is a good point (about the dressing girls up part) but boys clothes can be just as cute... We found a store that had a great selection, really adorable boys clothes... but most stores here have one or two racks and they're just awful. Maybe its not a preference thing but it does say something.

    Thinking about it a bit more... on my side of the family there's a preference for girls because there are so few of us and we get treated great before birth and for the first few years but at the same time the boys are treated better after that. Its gotten better after my grandfather passed away (sad to say, but..) and things are evening out a bit more, but still.

    With my inlaws it was a big deal for us to have a boy since my FIL was the only one (6 sisters).. He had two boys, but they're the "only ones" to carry the name despite coming from a large family with plenty others who have it lol. Still they're crazy about all the girls and mine is treated great, everyone was thrilled with her like I mentioned before.

  11. Here in Canada (among those I know) there is no dominant gender preference. A healthy baby is a blessing. Most families appreciate a mix of both girls and boys.

    Some who have come from other countries (such as India and China) prefer boys and for a long time we here in BC were not told of the sex of the baby prior to birth as many girls were aborted. Has changed since I had my children.

  12. I have one boy and one girl (the girl being the eldest). I love both of my children to death, but I definitely had an easier time with my girl than my boy.

    There are generally more girls in my extended family than boys and I guess I just got used to girls. But I wouldn't trade my son for anything, he makes my laugh every single day! And my daughter was the perfect little angel growing up. :-)

  13. I can only speak to my own personal experience. My husband and I have 5 children. Three Biological daughters and two sons who we adopted from Africa.

    We love all our children equally, male or female, black or white, born from our bodies or not! When any form of humanity is devalued I shutter. I believe this truly defines a society the value it places on human life.

    My husband would say he loves having both genders in our family, but he has taught his girls the same as the boys. Our boys climb trees, jump wildly into swimming pools and wrestle on the floor for hours, but so do our girls!!!! We want all our children to have the freedom to express whoever it is that God is making them to be.

    Personally I love having daughters to chat with and sons to spoil me : )

  14. Here in India, specially among the families with traditional values, a boy is everything ! It was such a rampant problem, that Sex Determination is illegal here. But of course those who have money can buy doctors who are corrupt to declare the gender illegaly and abort the girl child. Another trend is that, female foeticide/Infanticide is practiced by the very poor or very rich. The middle society is usually happy with either. The very poor sometimes go to the extent of producing 20 children one after another to get a boy. In backward states, specially "Haryana", girl babies are killed at birth. Its an evil practice, and yes just like in Saudi, the blame for producing girls of course lies on the woman's shoulder.

    As for me, I am my parent's only child and they never gave a thought to having another. Most families I know are thankful for a tender touch in their homes. My mom says thank god she doesnt have a son lol, she says bringing up a son is tough, the require too much discipline and they run off with other women lol !

  15. Great post Susie! My one on Mother's Day is somewhat related and includes the specific theme of gender selection in various forms and cultures, partly inspired by my reading of a novel by an Indian-Canadian-American woman, on motherhood, including adoption, in American and Indian cultures.

    The gender preference issue is one I have researched at length and in well-documented research publications. In summary, North Americans and Europeans generally don't care, except some for family balancing. African and MENA cultures prefer boys but accept what Allah gives them. South Asians and East Asians (including Chinese, and especially South Koreans)care to the point of early gender identification and female feticide; and in the past female infanticide. The worst statistics for imbalance boys to girls are in the poorest and most rural traditional parts of India, and in China.

    In Canada when this topic was in the news, a reporter interview the owner of a private lab that does very early confirmation of fetal gender by blood testing of the mother. The owner is South Asian and states that almost all his clientele are too. That may be an artefact of his location and marketing, but given that he is near a major multi-cultural metropolis and is or was the only one doing this test at patient request one would think he would have a more diverse clientele.

    A South Korean friend (raised in Canada since age 9, from an educated family) who wanted a boy (moreso after 2 girls) asked me about the test, and whether it was early enough that his very Roman Catholic wife would agree to an abortion if it was another girl. I told him about the test, and that the official Catholic position is that once the sperm hits the egg it is game over.

    His older uncle in South Korea had 7 daughters; and, believing it was the wife's fault, took a concubine and got daughter number 8. No one has ever told the 8th daughter that she is not the biological child of his wife, the mother who raised her.

    Anyway, I hope you and others will read, enjoy, and comment on my post

    Mother's Day 2010: Some Cross-Cultural Family Observations

    Thanks for broaching this topic in such a sensitive way! :)

  16. When I was pregnant, I secretly wanted a girl. We knew we would have only one child and I had the idea that girls remain closer to their families. I am grateful every day for my sweet daughter, but realize my reasoning was faulty. My husband is the example of a son who remains very attached to his family.

    After our daughter was born, my husband confided that he had secretly hoped for a son. He said he was ashamed of this, because from the moment he held his sweet daughter, he knew that she was perfect. How could he ever want anyone different?

  17. Well this issue has been addressed in great detail in Quraan.

    The arabs used to bury daughters alive.

    When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on? (16:58-59)

    And with regards to determination of gender

    "He has created both sexes, male and female from a drop of semen which has been ejected." (Qur'an, 53:45-46)

    I really dont know how a 'muslim' can fault a woman for producing a daughter when Quran has told us some 1400 yrs ago that the man's sperm decides the gender. It is not permissible to use any kind of medical intervention to choose the gender of the fetus, except in cases of medical necessity with regard to hereditary diseases which affect males but not females or vice versa.

    btw wanting a boy or a girl can also be just a personal preference. liking apples over oranges etc.

  18. In cultures where traditionally the elders are looked after by sons one could understand why a boy or boys would be important but I never could understand the total undesirability of girls. In many cultures the girls/women do most of the work as well as produce the sons. It's like needing an ox or donkey (tractor or truck) and then destroying it because it's the wrong brand.

  19. I enjoyed this post. My friends and family seem to not care one way or another unless, as someone else mentioned, there is a lot of one gender in the family already and they just prefer to balance things. NO ONE I know would abort a baby due to its sex.

  20. Interesting question...
    My mother told me that as the oldest daughter in a Japanese family, she was always respected and coddled as a child. Then she was given a lot of responsibility. However, her mother always wanted a boy and was disappointed that her 2nd and 3rd babies were also girls.

    My mother always made me feel she was glad I was a girl and my grandmothers also treated me beautifully, making me feel valued and loved.

    When my daughter was born, my mother and grandmother were both ecstatic as I just expected them to be.

    In turn I was exultant that my first grandchild was a daughter. When she was born, her Korean-American father shot a fist in a air with a happy laugh shouting, "Woo Hoo!" He knew he'd been such a trial to his own parents that he badly wanted a daughter because his parents always told him, shaking their fingers at him, "Wait until you have a son. You'll see what you put us through."

    I don't know...
    I'm seeing now that my 3 year old granddaughter might be a hand-full for her parents. They haven't escaped any difficulties just because they have a daughter.

  21. Amélie--thank you for sharing that personal experience. I think that is a common scenario for many individuals and couples. People secretly want one gender for whatever reason but don't feel comfortable saying so for a variety of personal and social reasons.

    I, on the other hand am very clear that babies should be born in boy-girl pairs so that one pregnancy more effectively dampens the personal, familial, and social pressures to have a baby or another baby or a particular gender.

    Most are rapidly besotted with their baby of whatever gender, even if they hope next time for the other gender.

    Since I am also very clear that all babies should be born with a nanny on one arm and a night nurse on the other, that makes rather a crowded household for the first year or so. :)

    Rafay--thanks for your references, and commentary.

    It true that in Islamic medical ethics gender selection is permissible only for genetically inherited diseases that are sex-determined. Otherwise it is not permitted, and in fact in most Western countries it is illegal.

    In India, which has the worst statistics for this, it is also illegal, but continues due to patient demand and physicians willing to defy the law. The areas with the worst statistics are >80% Hindu. However, certain customs and social ideas cross religions and are more cultural to the place and the circumstances eg poor farmers need sons (even China's original exceptions to the 1 child policy recognized this).

    If you read the chat that forms part of the post on my blog about the birth in Saudi of a baby to an Indian Muslim and Caribbean American Muslim From the International Ummah to Married in Saudi: Colour, Conversion, and Complications Part III Baby A is Here! you will read that the Indian doctor in Riyadh refused to tell them the baby's gender for fear of them aborting. The whole post is interesting as is the earlier Part I Abu Abdullah and Part II Umm Abdullah on their relationship and marriage but here is the relevant quote:

    Abu Abdullah (4:13 PM): bonjour
    Abu Abdullah (4:14 PM): we had been to the hospital and just came back
    Chiara (4:17 PM): how are you 3?
    Abu Abdullah (4:17 PM): We are good thanks
    Chiara (4:18 PM): did you confirm baby A's gender?
    Abu Abdullah (4:19 PM): Well the doc didn't want to tell us the gender, as she is an Indian and thinks we are girl baby killing parents, may Allah save us
    Chiara (4:19 PM): LOL :)
    Abu Abdullah (4:19 PM): any way its a girl i have a hunch
    Abu Abdullah (4:19 PM): :)
    Abu Abdullah (4:20 PM): my angel, cute princess on her way

    As the rest of the post shows, Ameena is a girl and Abu Abdullah is clearly besotted! :)

  22. Of course they want a son!
    With this culture's view on women, I can't believe anyone is surprised that there is a preference for male babies. Women here are birthing robots: We are expected to get married, be devoted wives, and then have sons.
    No one aspires to have a girl if that is the way they're going to be treated. Here, it's almost shameful for a man to have lots of daughters.

    On this topic, I disagree with what you said about women here being treated like children. Women are closer to being treated like livestock here. They are traded, sometimes bought and sold, divorced if they prove unsatisfactory..etc..
    Honestly, if this is what a girl here would live up to, I wouldn't want a daughter.

    On an unrelated note, I would just like to say thanks for writing this blog. I know you're not Saudi and you haven't been here for that long, but this blog means a lot to me and my friends, and it's women like you that inspire many of us to go out and do something in the world.

  23. Yeah Susie, Eastern cultures seem to have that kind of preference. I don't know why.

    However, they must be ignorant of Islam I assure. Because prophet Mohammad Peace be upon him told us many privileges if you are a parent to a girl. There are many hadiths in which the Prophet is calling on Muslims to appreciate girls even more than boys as they are a bless in the family.

    I think this issue of preferring a boy is more towards cultural than religious. Unfortunately, many women have been divorced by their husbands because they have only brought girls. They are ignorant twice. As we all know, God decides whether it is a girl or a boy. Also, scientifically the man is the one who send a boy or a girl to the woman womb, so if the chromosome is X that catch the egg, then it is a girl, and if Y then it is a boy. So, men should know that the whole process is being done by them BY the will of Allah.

    By the way Susie, nowadays you'll rarely find people who prefer boy over girl. This whole extreme vanished due to education !


  24. One thing that always bugs me is that you have families with three or four older girls, and the parents are tentatively called Abu and Umm Girl #1. But then a boy is born and they can't wait to shed it and all of a sudden they are Umm/Abu Mohammad or Hassan. I'm like, hey!! what happened to Umm/Abu Laila you were called just yesterday?

  25. I would love to have a boy and a girl (doesn't have to be in that order either =P.) A happy healthy baby is the greatest thing in the world. Sad that not everyone agrees =(

    I was reading something about how an Indian mom had killed three of her daughters and other women in her village were sharing their stories about killing their daughters... It was so sad and sickening. I have to say, the thing that shocks me most is that it's WOMEN doing this stuff to their daughters. Women that were once little girls themselves.. Blah. If you can't love any child you get, you shouldn't have any >_<

  26. Women internalize the cultural norms and transmit them. For the truly poor who can't afford to feed any extra mouths, keeping girls while trying for a boy is a luxury that they can't afford--literally. A lifetime of clothing and feeding until providing a dowry and sending them into someone else's family is not good economics nor personal finance. Not that I agree with it, but that is the logic presented. The WHO project on this topic advocates increasing the perceived value of women in the culture so that this degree of gender preference becomes a thing of the past.

  27. A sad turn in BC, Canada. Ultrasounds to determine the sex of a child can be bought for $50.

  28. Unfortunately there is a strong preference for boys in Saudi- though once you've had one or two (and heir and a spare, so to speak) you are free to have girls. In fact, people are often encouraged to have as many children as possible no matter their ability to take care of them.

    I think the male preference is due to all the tribalism here. Carrying on the tribe/family etc. And this preference is combined with age as well. The oldest son is always tops!

  29. Yes, I know that all men, deep down, want a son - some kind of macho thing, I'm sure. Boys can carry on the family name, and there's still those old-fashioned notions about boys that they can take over the family business and can support the family, etc.,

    Hello Susie,
    I don't think the above is true at least for my generation (I'm mid-thirties). I don't think men care... my husband in fact would rather have a girl! :)

    So I think fortunately at least in my culture (Canadian) things have evolved to a point that most people don't care, or if they have a certain preference, it goes either one way or the other but there's no general preference towards one gender or the other.

    That thing that happens in Saudi (and many Muslim-majority countries) is one of the many many many examples in which a perverted element of the culture overrides religion. No matter how much the prophet told us that we're all equal but in piety, people still make distinctions based on class, gender, etc, etc. :(

  30. I have two sisters and one brother, who are all younger than I am. My sister, a year younger than me, is finishing off her bachelors soon in engineering from one of the top universities in the UK. My other sister just started her freshman year at the local university in hope of following my other sisters footsteps in pursuing engineering. My brother, the youngest in the family, has his eyes set on engineering as well or something of that sort. As for me, I'm still a freshman in one of the universities in Qatar. That's not to say that I'm academically challenged, but that the girls in my family, as well as in my large extended family, have generally been more motivated, focused and hard working. My parents don't have preferences as far as their kids go, but in fact they always say how us boys should be more like our sisters, and I found that to be true amongst most of my extended family. Of course, it all depends on the mindset of each family. A number of factors come into play IMHO, such as how educated a family is, their generation...etc I can understand your MIL's way of thinking because that's just reflective of her generation, but that's not to say that the majority of people in this region think the same way.

  31. Even though I am not surprised at all to hear this, it is still incredibly depressing. The first thing I thought of was the verse from the Qur'an about female babies being killed by their families and how ALLAH condemned it, as well as all the hadiths of how much blessing there is in raising girls and how much Prophet Muhammad (saw) loved and respected his daughters. Carrying on the family name is, in my opinion, so overrated. Although I understand that people have personal preferences for boys or girls, by no means should they blatantly favor one over the other once the children are born because of their sex. This is especially devastating when other children in the family notice the difference in treatment (like the daughter notices how her brother gets more attention and material things).

  32. I live in the US of A but was born in Canada and while all 4 of my siblings were welcomed and loved, my mother had a preference for the boys. My father treated us all as the favorite! I only had girls but my daughter had 3 of both and shows a favoritism for the boys. She says that is just the way it is. Her girls are definitely loved and don't seem to mind.


    have you seen this article and has it made any news out there in saudi

  34. Living in a western culture there sure is no prefernce in modern day culture whether your baby is a boy or girl but my own MIL has connected and is closer to my son and all her own sons and grandson over the girls in the family. She sees it as her duty to look after the men in the family and when we visit her my son can do what he wants but the girls have to do the chores. So I still think there is some preference for boys over girls but not sure why as we are all equal regardless of race religion culture or any other of life ways.

  35. Nice post with a pretty intense discussion here! Disregard for the female sex is not a solely Muslim phenomenon. There are various socio-economic factors that have lead to this state of affairs. To add, let me speak of India - another horrifying and gender biased society.

    a. Female Foetecide is such a real problem, the government has banned pre-delivery gender-determination tests to prevent crimes against unborn baby girls. We rank among the world's top girl child killers. Despite the ban, there are nursing homes that specialize in this kind of illegal activity for those who can afford it.

    b. For the poor, there are other ways to get rid of unwanted girls. Everyday, new born baby girls are stuffed inside plastic bags and sacks, abandoned in garbage bins and at public places rather than being taken home. There's a news report on the topic, literally everyday. No matter where in India you are.

    c. Every year, Indian girls out perform boys at the high school and collegiate level, regardless of economic strata. This year, some states considered increasing the cut-off percentage for college admissions for girls, so boys can compete with their lower marks! In other words certain educational institutes in certain parts of India, believe girls should be punished and denied admission for performing better than guys. This is still being debated as it caused quite an uproar. But isn't it a lovely joke!

    d. New mums are treated like crap if they fail to produce worthy male heirs. Especially in joint families. They're sent back home (minus the dowry they came with) or simply burned alive. Kerosene is cheap and rationed, even if petrol is kinda expensive. Tis every dutiful daughter-in-law's job they say! After all, a son will carry the family name forward, take up Daddy's business and look after parents in their old age. Most inanely, to a Hindu, the son must set the funeral pyre ablaze to assure his parents gain moksha - so in birthing a son, most couples are seeking a way out of this world. And some couples are willing to kill to gain release!

    Let me clarify, there are sane people who proudly produce women such as yours truly. These sane people love their lil girls and are even happy to risk rebirth by letting daughters do the final rites. But they push their female off-springs to the limits of endurance because girls born in traditionally patriarchal societies have to work twice as hard to succeed among men to be accepted as equals. Even when the girls work their way to equality, there will always be a section of men who dismiss us, our female identity merely because they themselves cannot see beyond breasts.

    But in the Indian context, worse than these men are the old hags and croons, mothers-in-laws who encourage this system of suppression. Elderly Hindu women have a position of respect, they've cemented their place in society though age and by luckily producing a few tough males. These are the women who wield actual influence and who can have a direct impact. They should defend new mothers - but usually, they're the ones who'll be deriding and criticizing the new mom of a baby girl the loudest, just as their mother-in-law derided them the first born girl.

    To change society and male attitude towards women, women need to change their attitude towards each other.

    At least in Saudia Arabia, established laws suppress women. In India, the law is doing it's best to uplift women, but it's the people who seem to be resisting change - regardless of education, upbringing and location.

  36. B--I showed your comment to an Indian friend (a man) who said, "I can vouch for every word. I left India precisely because of this."

    Personally, I can vouch that women are expected to, and often want to, transmit the traditional cultures that so shock Western feminists. It is important to recognize that in any movement towards transformation of a society.

    Thanks for sharing your view here.

  37. Finnish Lady

    I am a Finnish woman being earlier married to a West-African and found it shocking that he actually preferred to girls!!!! I mean this shocking since I have three sons and he had one daughter with another woman before me and two daughters with a third woman during and after our marriage!!!!!

    Yes, you read right, DURING our marriage, he had an affair with her 2 years before he revealed that to me while I had just got pregnant with our youngest son. The other woman was at that time pregnant with his daughter and gave birth to her two weeks after the whole story was revealed to me!!!! So in fact the age difference between that girl and my youngest son is only 6 months... After that I still tried to rescue our marriage and get him back, but in the end he couldn´t decide which one of us he could choose and I couldn´t accept bigamy,so I finally filed for divorced.

    As to culturally, native Finnish, it is the same whether a child is a boy or a girl as long as it is healthy. That is what everybody wishes.

    As coming to my own parents, I found out that they only wanted a girl, and so it became. They got only me and I have no brothers or sisters. I have so rare family background that I was raised up by a feminist father!!!! He is born in 1920´s, so you can understand that this is really extraordinary.

    For the moment I am stuggling with my identity. Who am I? Yes I know that I am a woman, but what does it mean for me? I have found it extremely difficult with all these forced expectations that are put on women. They feel like double, fake morale to me. Men are allowed next to everything and women are too easily labelled either good or bad girls, but we are all just human, aren´t we?

    Being myself born-again Christian I see all men and women equal before God. He has created us and He has done no mistake. His love is the same for everyone whether we are men or women, black or white, Christians, Muslims or whatever we are. We have ALL the same basic value and rights.