In a thread on a parenting message board I belong to, people were stating whether they hoped they were having a boy or a girl. One person said, “We all want a certain gender, but we also just want a baby that’s healthy,” and that whole sentence really rankles me.
First, you’re not going to learn your baby’s gender. You’re going to learn your baby’s sex. You can make guesses about your baby’s gender, but you’re not really going to know for a long time, and unless your kid is cisgender, you might never know if you’re a judgmental asshole parent and your kid has to hide from you.
Also, we don’t ALL want anything, really. That’s quite a presumption. Trust me, I do not care one little bit what the sex of my baby is, and I don’t really understand people who do. Every child is so amazingly different, that to wish for the child to fall into a particular category is odd to me. Even if you’ve already had four boys, your fifth child will be an entirely different child. To say that you want a different child in this one specific way just seems odd to me.
Lastly, the “healthy” part bugs me, too. This seems to come up SO often when talking about birthing. Healthy. Healthy. Healthy. As if healthy was your bottom-line offer. There’s all these other things you want, but as long as it’s healthy it’ll do. This makes me think of all the gazillions of babies who are born “unhealthy”. Do you not want that baby? Are you going to send that one back? If you get that one, did you fail somehow? And if not… why spend your pregnancy talking about “as long as it’s healthy”?
The most common place I see this healthy thing is paired up with the “gender” thing. When you put it all together – the desire to know the sex, calling it gender, and then tacking on healthy, all what I hear them saying is, “I want a boy, I’d settle for a girl, the brains had better match the bits, and BY GOD it had better be a HEALTHY one!!”
I’m sure that – somehow – that’s not how they mean it, but that’s how I hear it.