The lesson strangled me, because the child is a female and not a male. My mother, who is still suffering from the pains of childbirth, stared at me with her eyes and looked ashamed because she did not give birth to an additional brother to support me. This is the result of a womb of a male society par excellence, nestled in the head of such a masculine society the idea of superiority of the male in all areas except the housewife and childbearing!
In-between the moment of the shame of my mother -who was exhausted after the birth of eleventh children, three of them males- and between today lies a long time span of twenty years, I married and I am now the father of four daughters, has something ever changed, I am sad? Did my wife feel ashamed too?
I wished that the firstborn baby would come to be (my back belt) and people call me Abu Flan “the father of” , but, instead the baby girl was a brown female I named Sarah and I am now called father of Sara. I remember the details very well. It was at dawn on 2-1-2009, when my mother came out to announce the gender of my baby after a difficult birth: “Thanks to almighty, she looks like the moon.” She said these words consolingly, knowing that the ultrasound scanning had already said his words.
I was overwhelmed with mixed feelings and thoughts and was so curious to see the face of that baby. Certainly the lesson has not strangled me. I smiled when I saw her face and smelled her smell. From here my story begins with the girls. Then we were blessed with the arrival of Slaw, Fatima and Tulane.
I do not deny that the peer pressure of the social environment was pushing me and my wife to have a male baby boy. The grandparents and the two grandmothers were waiting for the Crown Prince. We had three daughters, except for Tulane, who jumped on ever and then we announced we will have no more babies.
A man who stops childbearing and does not have a son yet is insane. No one will be named or carry his family name after his passing away. In addition to the idea of the “back belt” and the female gaze is fraught with fears of shame these all will create a kind of phobia for fathers living in a society with little awareness. Those who are freed from this social pressure are the lucky ones, and it takes faith and courage to confront such peer pressures.
I have changed and my daughter gives me great power, a warm feeling and a great tenderness, they care about the details. I find pieces of papers affixed to the mirror, in them they are (scolding) me because of the abundance of my travels or list of requests or feelings of longing and love. I can not give up all those privileges that I have, and the farewell kisses that run me whenever I wanted to get out of the house. These privileges of farewell kisses and hugging me have became a family ritual when I leave and when I come back home each time. I cannot express the romance and warmth descending on me from little wings of these butterflies that I have.
In short, my life has become a “Bambi”, I have become less cruel, less irritating, less angry, less reckless, and more compassionate, and I am more attracted to girls and have more empathy with them, unlike to what I was before!
But has the environment changed?
No, so far I hear expressions of pity, such as: “It is such a pity he is a father of four daughters”! While I pity those who think in this backward mentality no matter what level of education they have because real progress lies in thought and behavior.
I do not encourage here to have only female children and to reject the males. On the contrary, these are options for the husband and wives alone and no one has the right in interfere in their affairs. The challenge is to overcome the obsession and preoccupation that some people have when they feel inferior for not having male children. The first effort to empower women and gender balance in society starts from this point.