When I was pregnant I didn't worry about my baby's sex. I didn't care about traditional gender roles, I certainly didn't worry about how I would parent with them in mind, and I assumed my then-husband felt the same way. But when he found out we were having a girl, and voiced his disappointment, I realized I was wrong. I'm not alone, either, so I asked other moms to share the straight-up horrific things their husbands said when they realized they were having a girl. The gender binary may be for the birds, but a lot of parents are continuing to buy into it.
It seems unreal to me that my now ex-husband — who had always claimed to be a feminist — said things like "she's not going to date until she's 35," and "I'm going to start cleaning my gun in the living room to scare off the guys." Surely he didn't think he should have a say about who our daughter dated, right? I mean, why would we, her parents, have a choice in the matter? Just because she was a girl? His other comments were more subtle, but in my opinion just as problematic. For example, he would lament that he wouldn't have someone to watch football or go target-shooting with. News flash: girls can do those things, too.
Other moms I know heard way worse from their partner, though, and trust me when I say that doesn't make me feel any better. Some men were so disappointed to not have a son that they pressured their partners to have more babies, or even threatened them with divorce. I don't know about you, but to me the idea that sons are more valuable than daughters is antiquated and anti-feminist, not to mention inhumane. It's hard to believe that at a time when women can do just about anything, some dads are still concerned about having a male heir to carry on their bloodline or family name. WTF?
Now, don't misunderstand, I get that gender disappointment is a real thing. But we have to stop treating girls like property and perpetuating the idea that they are less desirable than boys by saying things like the following:
"My ex told me my daughter wasn't allowed to be a 'girly girl,' so I wasn't allowed to dress her in pinks and bows. Joke is on him, though, because she's 7 and loves all things pink and sparkly.
I have two girls and a boy, and everyone tells me that it's great that I can stop trying now that we have our boy. Not that I want anymore, but is my reproductive duty over now that I've birthed a boy?"
"My boyfriend was upset we were having a girl, because 'he had nothing to teach her.'"
"I found out that I was pregnant a week after my boyfriend and I broke up. He wasn’t thrilled, went back and forth in his decision, but ultimately decided to support me. Then, when we found out that I was having a girl, he took me out to dinner and told me that he couldn’t stay because 'I like boys better and if I wanted another kid, I would want it to be a boy.' He had two kids from a previous marriage. I haven’t spoken to him since. Looking back, I realize that he didn’t want any kid, regardless of [sex]. While it hurt then, I’m happy now, and my daughter has my dad and brother that happily pick up the slack that he left."
"My husband repeated what one of his friends said to me: 'when you have a boy, you only need to worry about one dick. When you have a girl, you have to worry about everyone else’s dick.'"
"I knew in my bones we were having a girl. I kept having dreams we were. My husband wanted a boy. He was delusional enough to think that if he wanted it bad enough it would happen. Fast forward to the ultrasound tech telling us we were having a girl.
He asked, 'Really? Are you sure? Can you check again?'
He was completely heartbroken and not at all trying to hide his disappointment. The tech explained to him how she knew and showed him the anatomy.
He asked, 'How accurate is this? You could be wrong, right?'
The tech laughed and got the doctor. Before she has the door shut to the room, my husband asked her to double check the [sex] because he was convinced the tech was mistaken. He sulked and pouted for a week."
"My husband and I have two girls, and we adore them. I’ve always wanted a third child, and have been trying to convince my husband to try again. One time, though, he told me that if he did agree to a third and it was another girl that he would be 'devastated.' He stands by that comment."
"'Great. She'll be pregnant when she's a teenager just like you were.' Followed by an eye roll."
"My soon to be ex said, 'You know she's going to have to go to a convent when she turns 18. He also said, 'I'm going to need a gun now to scare all the blokes away from our front door' and, 'I never pegged you as a 'girl' mum.'
"My wife and I both desperately wanted a girl and were ecstatic when we found out the sex. My dad, on the other hand, partially blames my younger sister for my parents’ divorce. They already had two boys and a girl, mom got pregnant again, and they separated right after. Dad was going to fight to save the marriage for three boys, but not for two boys and two girls. The ratio was already more girls than he wanted."
"My mother-in-law said I was having boys, because I was carrying just like I did with my son (and of course she was right about everything). My husband took it as gospel, and wouldn't even discuss girls' names (because he didn't want girls). So, I picked them out myself, and just didn't tell anyone. I think [my daughters] were 3-or 4-weeks-old before they even came to visit."
"My youngest child's dad said he was fine with finding out at the anatomy scan. He then proceeded to act like he'd been personally insulted that she was a girl. He later said that he would've come to terms with having a girl if he'd found out when we met her."
"I hope she doesn’t turn out to be a whore like her mom."
"She's not dating till she's 30."
"'I hope she ends up a lesbian,' trying to imply it’d be easier than dealing with boys."
"He said, 'I can't even be mad at you, 'cause I know it's my fault she's a girl.'"