This is another article by Chimezie Agwu, please read on: A wife gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. It was the couple’s third child and their third daughter. As people were congratulating them, the husband went to their backyard and from there, he drew his wife’s attention. She hurried to the place, and to her dismay, he brought out his manhood, and seething with disappointment, he said. “Look at my organ very well. I swear that this will be the last time you will see it until you are prepared to give me a male child”.
There is no telling what bizarre reaction some men can resort to, out of sheer ignorance of human biology, when their wives do not give birth to babies of their favourite gender. Most of the time, it is the birth of male babies. A certain lady delivered twin-female babies in her first pregnancy. Her second pregnancy produced a baby girl, also, making them three girls. A week later, their neighbour’s wife had her second child, a boy. The first was also a boy.
When the man heard that his neighbour’s wife had given birth to another male baby, he turned to his young nursing wife and taunted her for giving birth to three girls. “Your fellow woman has just given birth to another baby boy. All you know is to deliver a baby girl all the time.” He subjected the lady to all sorts of maltreatment, including short-changing her in house-keeping allowance, and tormenting her with physical assault. His wife revealed that whereas he was often among the big donors in their Church, during fund raising, at home, he was always stingy towards basic family needs. His reason was that she had not given birth to a male child. Their neighbours did not help matters either. They would tease the man often, by telling him: “You too like woman much, na reason why you de born so so woman. Na every time, your wife e floor you.”
There was another man, who had five girls, and no boy. He so much maltreated his wife and the children that his wife, a known trader, became a shadow of her former self. She emaciated and was depressed. She was forced eventually to leave her matrimonial home with her five daughters, and relocated to another state. In another case, a certain married man with two daughters, insisted that he would not show his wife his two plots of land or make the documents accessible to her, until she would give birth to a male child. In a recent case, the man’s wife gave birth to a female baby in a maternity hospital, and because it was their second child and second girl, he refused to pay the hospital bill. He thus ended their six-year-old marriage. There was a recent extreme case that went viral. A wife gave birth to a female baby and it was their fifth girl. In anger, before her, the husband smashed the baby on the floor, angry that his wife had failed to give him a baby boy as she had promised, as if she is God. Imagine, killing the baby in a most blood-curdling sadistic manner.
The quest for a particular sex, usually male child, has often driven many men into polygamy. The irony is that at times, the two women would be bearing female babies. It leads to the man, having more children than he can cater for adequately. Some couples indulge in infidelity in their search for a male child. It is a wrong and dangerous approach as it can expose the two parties to health hazards. At times, the absence of a male child causes friction in the home as the couple points accusing fingers at each other. Many wives do not feel secure until they bear a male child. It is a male child that gives them confidence and assurance of a stable marriage and enduring union. In Nigeria, especially among Ndigbo, a male child is a wife’s tap root, anchor, goal, comprehensive insurance and a certificate of occupancy in the marriage.
Some women consult ‘juju’ priests and prayer houses in pursuit of a male child. According to media reports, even those that engage in child trafficking, place a premium on male babies. In some states in Nigeria, the education of the girl-child is played down because of early marriage, while the boy is encouraged by education and by other means to become an independent useful adult. The main reason why male children are valued more than the female is to perpetuate the family name, as that identity is usually lost in marriage, when she bears the same surname with her spouse.
There is nothing to compare with the filial affection, care and bonding that daughters show to their parents, especially when they are ill, weak or old. That is why, when the parents are old or recovering from illness, the usual place they go to recuperate is their daughter’s house. A married daughter visits her parents, usually with a consignment of different delicacies which makes them to enjoy a full gamut of gastronomic luxury that adds value to life.
Some years ago, Prince Nico Mbaga [late] sang ‘Sweet Mother’, in honour of mothers. The record was a huge success, and was almost mistaken for our National Anthem. The men were envious and mounted pressure on the musician to sing also, in the praise of fathers. Prince Mbaga soon released a record in honour of fathers but the song died virtually at birth. More than three decades after its release, ‘Sweet Mother’ still remains popular. We cannot have sweet mothers if we discriminate against female children.
“Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth,” God said in Gen. 1:28, after creating human beings. If we discriminate against female children, who will translate then to sweet mothers, and in whose womb will the multiplication take place? God made women to be a helper to the man but today, in many homes, they are the pillars and prominent in many walks of life. There is no basis for treating them as inferior to men. What matters is not a child’s gender, but good upbringing and sound education. Such a lady will attract a responsible man to marry her, who will be an asset to her family.
According to medical experts, it is the man that carries the ‘X’ chromosome responsible for production of female babies, and also ‘Y’ chromosome for male babies. During coitus, if the sperm carrying ‘X’ chromosome fertilizes the woman’s egg, a female baby results, and if ‘Y’ chromosome, a male baby will be born. The choice is beyond the husband. That is where the supremacy of the Almighty God comes into play.
The choice of gender is thus beyond a wife. It is what the spouse ‘garbages in that Madam ‘garbages’ out.
Article contributed by Chimezie Agwu
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