My husband says he’d like to have another child if he could be reasonably sure we’d have a girl. I pointed out that unless he has some kind of unusually masterful control over his own testicles, we’d be taking a big risk—and I do not want a daughter.
I’d like to say that my preference for boys is borne of serious deliberation, but it isn’t. It’s always come directly from the gut. With Jack, before we found out I was having a boy, I used to concentrate really hard and try to access my inner energy or whatever, so I could intuit my baby’s gender. It never worked, but when I thought about carrying a girl, I’d get a sudden wave of nausea far beyond the typical pregnancy sickness. Having a girl just didn’t feel right. Plus, we hadn’t agreed on a single name for our hypothetical girl. (I’d quickly discounted G.’s suggestions on the grounds that I’m philosophically opposed to naming girls after gems or minerals, as well as loath for other parents to think their child is in first grade with a stripper. In turn, he’d discounted my picks for weird reasons, like that “Nora” reminded him of Norah Jones, whom he claimed was “too sweaty.” His suggestion of “Little Miss No-Dick” was met with a frosty glare.)
Three reasons why I’m totally uninterested in having a girl:
- Girls have to look pretty. I have no energy for this. My son is my speed: put a comic book t-shirt and jeans on him and pick the boogers out of his nose. Done. Girls have accessories. I imagine my future daughter’s room to be a calamity of pink, sparkly THINGS made in an overseas sweatshop that are destined to be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner or ingested by our dog, who would later unceremoniously deposit said accessory out of his mouth or ass end, probably while we have friends over for dinner.
- Girls are mean to each other. A boy who’s mad at you will punch you in the face; a girl who’s mad at you will concoct an elaborate scheme to shame and demoralize you. (Gay men don’t fall into either of these categories—they will smile and nod at you and then, when you turn away, make an acidic remark about the inappropriateness of your footwear. This is not a stereotype; it really happens. At least Ray managed to restrain himself until that poor woman who was wearing black shoes with her navy outfit got off the elevator.) Some of this hostility comes from women being in competition with each other secretly rather than openly, as men are. Having only the perspective of a woman, I can’t say that men never feel repressed anger toward other men. But I can say from personal experience that every woman has once sat at a bridal shower smiling and thinking how much she wants to take that spatula the bride-to-be has just opened and beat her in her smug bitch-ass face with it.
- Every time a female infant poops, someone has to clean poop out of her vagina. I am not willing to do this for anyone. Then, when she’s older, I will have to explain why there are three holes in her nether region that are ridiculously close to one another (irrefutable evidence against intelligent design). There is no argument that trumps this simple fact. If you offer one, I will simply cover my ears and utter “poop vagina, poop vagina” until you go away.
Am I a misogynist?
Apart from the poop-in-the-vagina thing, my objections to raising a daughter are objections not to a biological fact of being female, but to gender as a social construct. And the plastic jewelry and nail polish and friendship drama are the least of my concerns. I don’t want to deal with the ugly parts. I don’t want to watch my daughter act less smart than she really is so boys will like her, or watch her agonize over waiting for Him to call because she feels she can’t make the first move. I don’t want to tell her that depending on her profession, she might have to work twice as hard as her brother to make the same amount of money. I don’t want to have to explain that there are places in the world where she’d be prohibited from voting or from getting an education, or that rape is as commonplace as it is.
Girls are infinitely more complicated. I got pissed on a lot when Jack was a baby, but if my choices are getting pissed on or raising a girl through middle school, it’s an easy decision. I’ll go with the piss.