Why I Don’t Want A Daughter

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:

  1. 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.

    stock photo from morguefile.com
    Scary girls doing scary girl things, and pink.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

19 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want A Daughter

  1. sounds like a girl in your hands would anything but those things 🙂 i wish someone wouldve pushed a comic at me when i was super little and i hate make up despite my upbringing. So i guess it could go either way regardless. Loved the post

    1. Thanks. A commenter from another source called me “self-hating” and said I shouldn’t have kids at all. Whoops. Guess I should take back the one I have. 🙂 Anyway, thanks so much for the comment. Will start following your blog!

      1. it seems like people who think like you SHOULD be the ones having kids! and thanks 🙂 i will say though i don’t post much in that one anymore; i post everyday in this one: NeedsRoundedCorners.com
        and once again; great writing!

  2. Girlfriend. . .I am SO there with you. And frankly, I’ve been called worse after making the decision that I don’t want children AT. ALL. I think if more people were HONEST about their feelings, then other people who feel the same way might come forward and admit their own thoughts on the subject. And regardless. . .the fact remains that whether your next child is a girl or a boy, there is no doubt that you will raise her, poopy vagina and all, with the best of everything you’ve got: which is sharp sense of humor, intelligence and wit. If anyone reads this and thinks you’re anything other than an honest, but loving person. . .well, screw them and the high horse they rode in on. XOXO

  3. Even without a daughter, you should check out the Princess[-]Free Zone blog/site. (The bracketed punctuation represents the fact that absolutely the only thing I don’t love about PFZ is that it lacks the hyphen that proper observance of punctuation rules would impose.) It’s not so much anti-princess — not that it appears you would mind if it were! — as it is about convincing more people to stop stuffing girls into the sparkly pink cages.

  4. It’s interesting that, since last week, I found a lot of women don’t want daughters. They all buy the stereotypical assumption that boys always have it easier. Biologically and socially. In a way, that has always been true. And parents opt out, if that’s biologically possible, of having a daughter. It just makes being a girl more suck than it’s already being perceived by the world. People already expect less from girls, except them being pretty and mean to each other. And it’s easier to make us shut up. I get your reasons, but for women like you, I’m just curious. If you can choose, would you want to be a man, so you can have it easier or do you want your children to have it easier? Either way, I just don’t think your repulsion of having a daughter justify your stereotypical perception of women. Some of your friends maybe like that, not all all women are the kinds of idiots or selfish people you see on TV. And it sounds like you’re not like one of your friends, so why can’t you think and expect your daughter not to turn out that way. Moreover, boys can be like that too. They can do a lot of dumb things for girls too. Especially when they’re teenagers. That’s the age that will make many kids look for trouble just for “fun”. Not just the moody daughter you fear you’ll face when she’s in middle school or from then on. I just saw on your blog that you write a lot of satires so I’m not sure is this real or you’re just being “funny”? However, i do wonder, if you ever have a daughter, will you ever try to love her as much as you do your son? This is an old entry blog, but please reply when you happen to check. Thank you.

    Excuse my last comment. It was an accident.

    1. If I ever have a daughter, will I be afraid that I won’t do a good job of raising her? Yes. Will I love her as much as I love my son? Umm…the answer is OF COURSE. I’m not even sure how anyone can ask that question.

  5. I’m tired of people saying boys are easier. My husband has told me of his childhood exploits, and he’s lucky he lived through childhood. I have two daughters that have grown up strong, thinking they can do anything they want. Both danced, both played sports. The younger one’s favorite color is pink. We come from a family of independent women. They ran into some mean girls occasionally, but they usually didn’t give them the time of day. I enjoyed them and their friends as teenagers, and they were at our house a lot. They are now delightful adults with careers. I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t have a daughter. This post really turned me off.

    1. It’s definitely a good thing I didn’t have a daughter. Not only would she be unloved, but she’d also be psychologically damaged from having such a misogynistic mother for a role model. Whew! Dodged that bullet, Little Miss No-Dick.

  6. Far be it from me to criticize your position. When I got pregnant I told everyone I didn’t care what sex the baby was but I was lying through my teeth. I wanted a girl. Although I’ve never been a girlie-girl I couldn’t imagine what I’d do with a boy. Luckily I got my wish. But I think that you do a disservice to most women by portraying them as manipulative harpies. I’ve been to several bridal showers and never wanted to bitch slap the bride. I’ve worked in offices with a majority of female co-workers and never had the kind of friction that people seem to associate with that. Maybe my experience is rare but I doubt it.

  7. It makes sense that a mother doesn’t want to explain rape to their daughter or seen her paid less for equal work or grow up to be a mindless pop-culture stereotype, but it seems that you don’t understand that when you are a parent, you can choose how you raise your daughter. There’s no biological trigger that makes girls sneakily competitive and manipulative, no neurology that compels them to like pink and sparkles and traditionally “girlish” things. If you were to have a daughter and teach her to solve problems as they arise and tell her its okay to throw on jeans and a t-shirt and head out the door, then those are the behaviors she would emulate. You can raise a girl who thinks math is fun, and being smarter than the boys is cool; A girl who beats them in test scores and knowledge of comic books, who is willing to work hard for the pay she deserves, instead of simply getting an Mrs. degree. It makes me sad and angry to see that rather than face these societal interpretations and inequalities women face, you would avoid them altogether. Nothing will change unless we have the courage to defy how culture says we have to treat our daughters, sisters and friends.

    1. Thank you. Instead of a personal attack, you make a reasonable argument and are honest about how the post makes you feel. I promise that if I have a daughter, I will do my best to raise her in the way you describe.

      I still feel that negative commenters are taking the piece too seriously. It’s a jibe not only at the cultural expectations of women, but also at myself for being too weak (or feeling that I’m too weak) to be up to the challenge of raising a daughter. Meant to be light-hearted. Stand down, people.

  8. I have a boy and a girl and never wanted a girl for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. My girl is 7 now and incredible. She has faced stupid bitch girls who wear sparkly pink and teased my daughter because she thinks for herself and is a non-conformist. My daughter is wonderful and so is my son. I have to mention that one writer said that “there is no biological gene that makes girls sneakily competitive or manipulative”, but they can have the best upbringing and still end up that way. I know several of my friend’s daughters who are brought up very well but are catty, manipulative and mean. I really don’t like most girls I meet, especially if they wear sparkly pink. Anyhow, you have a great post and most people take it way too serious, probably because they have kids who are one of those girls you talk about.

  9. I have a son. A completely longed-for and adored son. He was a dream come true. I never wanted anything but boys and, at the risk of being attacked by people who don’t share my issues, I fully resonate with this post. I felt so lucky I had him, like I had won a grand prize. We said we’d only have 2 kids and I couldn’t believe I got a boy the first time. My husband wanted our kids closer together so I thought “I could get lucky again and then he could have a brother!” Since the day he was born I had dreamed of him having a brother. So I got pregnant…and just found out 2 days ago that I’m having a girl. It was devastating. One of the most disappointing moments of my life. I wept like my second son had died…because even though he was just a dream, he had. He is not going to happen. The two boys running around outside like crazy warriors only 2 years apart, the shared room with bunk beds and the sign I wanted to paint for their door that says “The Boys” is not going to happen. Hearing people ask, “But don’t you want a daughter?” and replying, “Man, I guess it’s not in the cards.” While secretly giggling to myself, like a mad scientist, “NO!!! I DON’T!! I’M SO LUCKY!!!!!” Is not going to happen. Instead, I have to live this list. I have to be good at everything now and not just specialize in all things boy. I have to deal with the complicated and sucky experience of helping her deal with the genetic hairiness that every women in my family battles and loathes. And hope she doesn’t turn out critical, overly sensitive, and demanding…like me. Yes, I know, I’m a jerk. Yes, I realize my son could turn out like me too. But I adore my son and I have an amazing husband who adores him, so I wasn’t worried at all. But that is all this little girl has going for her. An amazing dad…who really wants her. A man who was and is deeply hurt that I feel this way. I think he loves her all the more because I feel the way I do. And I’m glad because I don’t know how amazing I can be for her. My simple, sweet, loud son-filled dream is gone and my selfish heart just won’t let it go. Yes people, I know, you say once I hold her I’ll take it all back. I really hope so. But I’m afraid that all of this runs too deep and has been there for too long. I’m afraid that I will just find myself in exactly the same place. But with a daughter in my arms. I don’t even want to tell anyone because I’m not good at pretending and it makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty that I had a really kind mom who never would’ve said any of this about me! I honestly said “poop vagina” out loud right now to make myself laugh, because I’m tired of crying.

  10. You say this is really just a “jibe” but I’ve had people say to my face, in front of my daughter, they’d hate to have a girl… personally I think anyone with that attitude is better off not having a girl. Leave it to women such as myself who are going to raise their daughters to love and respect themselves enough to not to hate the thought or supposed “hassle” of having a daughter. It’s ingrained sexist BS in my opinion.

  11. I know this post is old but Im a very new reader. I just wanted to say that Im a new mommy to a 12 week old baby girl and yes poop vagina is as terrible as you imagine.

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