I'm Glad I Have Sons Instead of Daughters

Years ago, I decided that if I was going to have children, I was not having sons.

The reasons for this are much too complicated for me to get into on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Let's just leave it at me really wanting to have amazing, smart, bad-ass daughters, the kind of girls that'd be elegantly taking names and bent on global domination...just like their mom!

Delusions of grandeur aside, when I first got pregnant, or rather, after the fifth or sixth home pregnancy test when I actually started believing that I really was pregnant, I immediately began picking out girl names. I loved Róisín Dubh, which is an Irish name that translates to Black Rose. But that got a big veto so I finally settled on Almitra, the seeress in the Khalil Gibran book, "The Prophet".

Everybody said I was carrying like I was going to have a girl. I had dreams about girls. I looked like crap and everybody said that girls steal their mother's beauty...I was soooo ready to be a mommy to my Almitra Naomi.

And then I had a boy. So much for the old wives tales.

Second pregnancy, would there be an Almitra cooing from her crib?

To save myself months of speculation, I decided to find out the gender of the baby. Almitra? Oh, nope, a third leg on the screen. Another boy.

I love my two sons like nothing else. And, to tell you the truth, I often have moments these days when I am secretly glad I did not have little girls.

I'd hate the pressure to dress my daughter in all that pink and lavender crap clothing with sparkly, bedazzled studs all over it. I hate that mess like nothing else.

I hate the toys marketed toward girls. They're mostly boring and sleazy. Whoever designed those mini-ho Bratz dolls deserves a throne on the right hand of Satan. Do you ever see girls in commercials playing with cool toys like Legos? Nope. They're always brushing some dumb ass doll hair and changing the doll's clothes. I hate that.

And, even though I was a cheerleader, I don't believe in what seems to be some sort of early-onset sluttization of cheerleaders.

Yesterday when I was out at UCLA for the magnet school fair, the place was crawling with dozens of cheerleaders. These cheerleaders had thick black eyeshadow on, false eyelashes so heavy that they could barely open their eyes. Their hair and faces were caked with makeup and glitter. The skirts were so short that they barely cleared their rears, and the ones that weren't in skirts were in super short shorts, the kind that women that pose on the covers of King and Smooth wear.

And these girls were probably no older than eleven or twelve.

Their mothers sat around beaming at their daughters. Each mother was really overweight, really blond and dripping in designer labels and diamonds. It almost seemed like they were projecting whatever sexiness they wished they still had onto their daughters.

Seriously, what do we think we're getting when we dress our children in this way? Rocket scientists? I mean, everyone wants to shake their head and wonder exactly whose daughters are in those "Girls Gone Wild" videos...well, wonder no more.

And really, I'm once more wishing I had a daughter so she could grow up to be the opposite of all that b.s. But, since that's not happening, I will remain thrilled to have sons that I can raise to reject that sort of imagery.

Yes, today I'm very glad I have sons instead.


none said…
When the national cheerleading championships were on TV it looked like the tryouts for a pole dancing job at the strip club.

No way am I going to allow my daughters to do that crap.
Anonymous said…
I have somehow managed to time my two last visits to Six Flags with some sort of big regional cheerleader meet. Something out of a horror movie.

Like you I mainly focused on girls' names during my pregnancy, but having a boy may be easier. What do you do about balance in toys - I feel like I should throw some dolls and kitchen sets in there as a counterweight to the cars and mini toolkits.
Lydia said…
You are sooo funny! I have NO doubt that if you had daughters, they would be beautiful, thinking, self-respecting, kick-ass young women like their mama!

As a mama with both boys and girls, I can say that all the "wanna be video vixen" crap must be a result of those hoochified mothers you saw at the magnet fair.

I have never had to wrestle the mascara out of my 14 year olds hand or pull her skirt down below her almost visible Va-jay-jay! She is, as yours would be had you had a girl - the bomb!
Nerd Girl said…
I have a daughter. And you're quite correct - nearly everything marketed towards them is hoochified, glittery, or pink! Why would I want "cute" scrawled across my three year old's bottom? This is why her wardrobe consists mainly of clothes purchased at T*arget or Old N*avy -basics - t shirts and jeans or cords. Sometimes we buy from the boy's section for the color selections - blue, orange, etc.

As for toys, she's got her fair share of dolls, but we also buy her blocks and trucks and for Christmas, her first remote controlled car.

It's hard. I always thought girls would be "easier," but they just come with a different set of issues! I can only imagine what the clothing "choices" will be as she grows older.
nick said…
I do agree, this pressure for tiny girls to be super sexed-up in titillating clothes like trainee supermodels is distasteful in the extreme - and damaging to their ability to grow up into mature, sensible adults. The tendency seems to be a lot worse in the US than here.
I don't get the Bratz thing either! I have two little nephews and while they will have other issues to deal with like DWB (driving while black) at least they won't want to grow up to be Superhead.

Of course parents are the main influence in a child's life. However, with all commercials etc. I can see why parents feel under siege.
Anonymous said…
What a coincidence - please go to jeremy's page and read his "Barbie" post - http://jeremybiggers.blogspot.com/

The women who dress their daughters like that are grooming little hookers of the future. Sad.
Unknown said…
I too have sons. I LOVE them. And I dont even comb my own hair, so needless to say, the universe decided not to punish innocent goddesses with me as their mother! I was embarassed to promote just how inept I am, i should really have my "girl" card revoked. My neices have long looked at me cross-eyed when I show up on holidays without dolls, bows and sparkles, but with books. Give me a football any day. I just hope the women they become involved with dont hate us for dragonslaying the fairytale!
Thanks SO much for sharing, I feel better about being anti-pink, anti-poshy, anti-princess!(dont get me started on the AmericanGirl stuff!)
Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

(I am holding my head down in shame.)

I collect Sasha Bratz dolls. I know that a lot of people have problems with them but collecting dolls is a guilty pleasure. I don't have the "hoochie" ones though.

I also have a few Scary Spice dolls in my collection and a couple of WNBA dolls.

I'm so embarrassed! (lol)

BZ said…
If I have girls, I hope they're lesbians. LOL
Shai said…
I LOVE having a girl. She is now 17. I LOVED dressing her. Boys are too rough for me. The only down side is the hormonal thing. LOL.
storyteller said…
Isn't it lovely how our perceptions shift to match our reality? I suspect if you'd had daughters, you'd be just as happy to be raising them to be independent thinkers like yourself. Raising sons to love and value such women is no small thing.
Hugs and blessings,
Lola Gets said…
I always said I wanted to have a daughter. But I think that if I ever have a child, it will most likely be a boy. My body hardly ever listens to what I want, lol. If I had a boy, it would really make my family happy, as there are no males in that generation yet.

1969 said…
If ever there was a doubt about our internet frienship....here goes the post to set em straight.

I too am a mom of two boys and I can't even imagine what it wouldbe like to have a girl. I love my sons. I love Hot wheels, X-men and Transformers and have so much fun running around with them. Who needs grown azz Br.at.z dolls?
Jameil said…
lol. i have a feeling i'd be glad to have sons, too. actually i want both. best of both worlds! i'd be really upset if i had no boys, tho.
Ian Lidster said…
Looking at the 'baby hooker' appearances I see in the girls passing on their way to the middle school near here, I wonder how their mothers let them out of their homes.
You explained why, Liz. Thanks. Now what in the hell is wrong with these women. The phenomenon seems universal.
Re: Hammer's comment:

"When the national cheerleading championships were on TV it looked like the tryouts for a pole dancing job at the strip club."

Funny. And sad.

I AM looking forward to having at least one girl and I do want her to look 'cute'--but I fear what the standards of 'cuteness' will look like in the future!!

What you described is skanky enough.
Liz Dwyer said…
Sorry to be so slow replying to your comments today! I had so much to do and was away from my computer for most of the day. Anyway...

I haven't managed to catch those cheerleading events on TV for awhile now. I guess I should count myself lucky that I haven't.

It's amazing to me that strippers have become so mainstream these days so no wonder cheerleaders think it's cool to emulate them.

I hear you about the balance thing for boys as well. There's too many militaristic, fighting type toys pushed at them. I know boys like for there to be a bad guy and all that, but some of the toys are just SO dumb. Mine have a large assortment of superhero action figures, including the few female superheroes. Mine are also crazy about trains, but they do have a kitchen set that was clearly marketed toward girls. They play "Top Chef" with it. I suppose either way it's not easy. It's just that boy toys overall seem less asinine.

LOL! I'm glad your 14 y.o. has you for a mom! I see too many of them that look waay too much like they're trying to take up residency in the grown and sexy club. Ugh. I'll bet it's so hard when they're that age to keep them from trying to be the next Pussycat Doll.

Nerd Girl,
Why indeed would you want that written across your child's bottom! If I had a girl I think I'd do what you do as well with getting the solid colored clothing from the boys section. Sadly enough, I remember my mom dressed me in lots of solids and she didn't have to go looking in the boys department for them. And I'll bet she loves that remote car! So cool!

You make me wonder why we do the sexed up child thing so much here in the States. I don't understand it...and it makes me wonder if we have higher rates of child molestation here than in other places.

Yep, I hear you on the DWB thing. I sometimes worry my sons will try to do the white t-shirt and baggy jean "cool pose" thing and they'll be sorely disappointed when it gets vetoed. Maybe it'll be out of style soon. Maybe there'll be some conscious resurrection and it'll be cool to be GQ instead of wearing athletic gear all the time.

I'll definitely come by and check out your post. Thanks for sharing. And you make me think about how there are those that argue that it's "just clothes" and "not a big deal" and that girls who dress more conservatively are just being repressed and will be the ones to turn into hookers and porn stars. I disagree, but the sentiment is out there.

House on a Hill,
I laughed so hard about you saying you don't comb your hair. My first pregnancy I was reading books about how to braid hair, etc., because I'm not so good at that stuff. I guess someone decided to spare little Almitra the embarrassment of having to sport my sloppy pigtails.

I only have one niece and she is all into the girly stuff. I'll confess that I recently broke down and got her a Bath & Body Works gift card. She was so surprised and happy. I don't know why I felt like SUCH a sell-out!

That is too funny! Do you keep them in the cases and all that stuff, like collectors items? The thing is you have the ability to know that you don't have to go out dressed like Sasha. Some of her hoochie outfits are really trashy! Whew!

LOL! Although lesbians certainly grow up and wear the hoochie clothes too. ;0

See, I can barely dress myself so I don't know if I could make it through the minefield of teen fashion. And the hormones, well, that's a whole other can of worms, I'm sure!

You're probably right. If I had girls I'd probably be bemoaning how boys are pushed into being emotionless aggressors. I really want my sons to grow up being well-rounded and valuing women for more than just the physical.

I recently read that there's some sort of way to "make" a boy or girl depending on when you have sex. I can't remember what it was but it supposedly havd good results...so don't give up hope! ;)

Yep, I'm pretty down with the hot wheels and running around as well. I'm sure I'd be trying to chase a girl around too though if I had one. I'd probably fall asleep having to dress up some dolls...snore!

The nice thing about having two boys that are pretty close in age is that they are best friends with each other. I suppose that could happen with a boy and a girl too though. Oh, and being able to make the little one wear hand me downs is an added bonus!

Yes, I think everyone wants to be youthful and sexy forever and so when they don't feel that way according to today's beauty standards, they project it onto their children. Which is really sick.

I worry about standards, or the lack thereof, for the future, and what so called "cute" things will be throwing themselves at my sons because I can see it coming. I'll tell you, I was shocked, but it sort of felt like I don't get out much because no one else seemed to really be fazed by the young hoochitude going on.
Mes Deux Cents said…

Yes I keep them in their display cases. I have them all on display on a shelf. The ones I have aren't "hoochified". I have one where she is a rock star, one where she is travelling and it has a bunch of luggage, and one where she is dressed in a winter outfit. (lol)

Is hoochified a word?
West said…
Can't say I blame you. I have similar feelings - but I also have them regarding having children, at all.

There's so much to protect them from.
Jameil said…
i have friends who are brother and sister, 13 mos apart and very close. me and my sister are 19mos apart and can't be in the same house for very long w/o wanting to harm each other. depends on the people i guess. i forgot to tell you i can't stand bratz dolls!!
I have two daughters and am very happy that I did not have boys because many boys grow up to be rapists and thugs. It is true, because G. I. Joe type toys make them into rapists and thugs. By the way, that comment from whoever using the word “baby hooker” is misogynistic and serves no purpose but to perpetuate misogyny. The trope of hooker would not exist without the trope of predator looking for hooker.

Cheerleading culture, as well as consumerism pushed on consumerists via television and ads are not synonymous with girlhood, nor are it a mandate of what girls are or will become, it is merely an obstacle.

Baby hooker? WTF? A hooker is a person (not necessarily a woman) who services a man (in most cases), a woman that is raped by a man when that man does not want to pay for those services or feels so inferior that he has to rape her in order to feel like he is powerful.

If baby hooker equals girls/daughters
baby rapist equals boys/sons.
I mean why not view little girls with too much make up on as girls who are experimenting, playing dress up, or copying older girls, why call them baby hooker? That is objectfying them and making them sex objects. It is all in the perspective and people are so apt to use a sexual perspective instead of one that is suitable for children.

I mean for real, a 10 year old was recently raped and the 9 or so rapists were freed because said 10 year "asked for it." Yeah, leave it to those baby hookers to ask for it.
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL! I don't know if it's a word. I sort of feel like I make up a whole lot of words here in blog land.

I have one doll. It's a Legolas from Lord of the Rings doll. It's still in the box and my sons always want me to take it out and play with it. I never have and he's high up on a shelf away from their grubby little hands.

I went through a period of time when I did not want children at all. I worried I would not be a good mother, and I mostly hated my own childhood so I did not want to have kids that might grow up feeling the same. But I think I grew to have more faith in my abilities, more realization that I wasn't doing it alone. And that helped. Of course, they'll probably end up in therapy over something, but I'm doing the best I can.

LOL about you and your sister. It probably does depend on personalities. I sometimes wonder if my boys will be as close when they grow up. I hope so. When they argue, I always remind them that when me and their dad are gone from this earth, they'll still be here and have to look out for and love each other. I tell him that God gave us two boys so that they can be best friends, help each other and have each other's back. I'm sure the psychological brainwashing probably going to backfire on me one of these days.

There's clearly a lot of media imagery that is projected at boys as well and I do my best to shield my sons from it. I do not allow GI Joe type toys in my home. We don't allow gun type military toys in the house, period. I don't allow them to play video games where there is killing, and I don't let them read comics or watch things where there are images of women that can only be described as soft core porn. But when I take my sons shopping, it's a whole lot easier to get a shirt that's not cut down to there. Young boys clothes aren't really sexualized in the same way. They're mostly designed for kids that are active and playing. I just think it's different.

I am constantly talking to my sons about valuing and respecting women and themselves, and what that really looks like -- and at their age, I find that alot of it is debunking myths about what's a boy or girl toy or what's clothing for a boy or a girl, or whether it's the responsibility of both boys and girls to clean the house. Earlier this year my son wore a pink shirt to school and caught hell from a few kids. So we had to talk about it and talk about how the boys and girls that were teasing him were wrong.

Certainly being a cheerleader is not a requirement of girls. I was in the chess club and Amnesty International at the same time that I was a cheerleader. But it is put forward as being something desirable and fun for girls. And trust me, when I did it, we did not have the short short skirts and stripper moves because my parents would not have had it at all.

I live in LA so I clearly know hookers can be both men and women and the dynamic of the hooker/john is so twisted, so sad on both sides.

A girl doesn't have to be a hooker but our culture can push our girls to believe that all they have to offer is their sexuality.

A boy doesn't have to be a rapist, but there is much in our culture that can propel a boy to believe that being an aggressor acting on animalistic tendencies is okay.

I think our society is guilty of sexualizing children on many levels. Pedophilia and child molestation are so rampant and it happens to both boys and girls in our culture, committed by both men and women. Children never ask for it, but there is much in our culture that seems to make it seem okay. Child molesters can get less time than Michael Vick.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kitty. It's appreciated.
Anonymous said…
I think the rest of us are glad you had boys, too -- because it's nice to know that someone out there is raising men who will respect women.
Liz Dwyer said…
I sure hope so. There's a lot of stuff that's SO insidious to combat. And now you get to be part of the effort to raise men who will respect and truly honor women as well!

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