In response to the question why Indians do not want daughters? If I were to go about asking around in India why they do not want daughters, here are the responses I would get and also what I have observed and learnt (which is a hell lot)
- Societal pressure – The wedding ceremony has a mantra which says may you be blessed with 100 sons or something like that, excellent the pressure starts at the wedding.
- Also the bridegroom’s family has to be and is treated with much more respect and deference than the bride’s family, who are made to act like the bridegroom has done them a great favor by marrying their daughter. So would I prefer to be treated like some social superior just by virtue of me getting a son? Why not? Who wants to be treated like shit?
- Who has to cave into the demands of groom’s family? Who has to foot the wedding and engagement ceremonies bills? Who has to fritter away their life savings? I for my daughter. Isn’t it just easier to get a son and what the heck, it’s awesome to demand money, jewelry, vehicles, appliances just coz I got a son. Free money is always good money, especially if I can get a woman to work and earn for my family along with it.
- Yes, footing the wedding bill is not the end; I get gifts for my son from his wife’s family – mostly silver and money for all the major festivals that will come up after the wedding. I can even demand why her parents have not given us anything and insist we get them.
- My status increases manifold with a son. Easier than bearing snide remarks from everyone if I were to have daughters. I can’t live with a lifetime of pressure for something which is not my fault but something I will always be blamed for though I have been brought up to believe is my fault. My colleagues would ask me if it was a success or failure after I gave birth and I can proudly say It’s a success ( Mean statement but this did happen to my mom after she gave birth to me). My in laws would not hint at me trying again for a son, my neighbors would not tell me good luck try again, I don’t have to be pressurized into having more kids than I can handle if I were to have a daughter the first or second time.
- People will come and visit me in hospital after I give birth to a son; maybe not if it were daughter and I would be lonely, tired and depressed. Relatives would visit me, get gifts, and cook for me as I recover from childbirth. I can’t hope for the same if it were daughters.
- The society has grilled into me that females are more expensive to bring up, and they loot you when they married and I am left with no wealth
- Getting my daughter married is such a huge burden and pressure on me. As she grows older, I grow so desperate, I am willing to give her hand to a much older, disabled man with a fat dowry, rather than risk her remaining unmarried.
- It’s more troublesome to protect a daughter’s honour, bother about her safety. Anything happens, it’s always the girl’s fault. When asked why my friend never stayed alone, if in case of emergency her parents had to go out of town and she had exams or something, she said that anything happens to me everyone will blame my parents, as to why they left a girl all alone. That coming from a city bred, educated female. Yes, the society forces you into it, even if you don’t give a damn.
- I need to have an escort for me and my daughter as we cannot go about alone in a lot of cases. I have to be worried about my daughter’ safety. It’s way too stressful. Easier to have a son
- I bring up a daughter, spend on her and tomorrow she goes making me spend money on her and her wedding , then she earns money for her husband and his family. like I was watering my neighbor’s tree all along
- She will not be a support for me in my old age
- Who will carry forward the family name?
- Why should my child suffer from humiliation, lesser rights and no freedom and be treated like an inferior human just coz she is female like me? Why should my child be subservient? Why should my child remain and suffer in a marriage she does not want coz she cannot get out? I don’t want my child to be unhappy. I would rather have a son.
- I fear for my daughter coming into this world. A son I would not fear for at all. He will be loved.
- I don’t want my child to face street sexual harassment while doing everyday things. My child ought to be allowed to go to school or to shops in peace. If having sons is the solution, then so be it.
- I want my child to have a voice. She will be voiceless in this society.