Throughout this pregnancy I have been terrified that I would have a girl. Despite the remarkable advances made in the 20th Century, this is still very much a man’s world. I’m reminded of that every time I pull into the parking lot of my company and see the men’s cars, more expensive and more kept up than the women’s because they are paid 30% more on average, even though they do a hell of a lot less work than I do. I’m reminded of that when I look at photos of the United States Congress, The United States Senate, the United States Supreme Court, and the Presidential Cabinet (though huge props to Obama for moving us a little further along). I’m reminded of that when there is a gathering of the heads of major universities and major corporations. I’m reminded of it when I look at my health care plan and see that there is 80% maternity coverage, no birth control coverage, and no coverage for pap smears and mammograms.
I see the way women are still treated in today’s society, still objectified, still ignored. I see “women’s professions” being considered less important, women’s sports being covered less, women’s issues being glossed over in the media, and women’s bodies being legislated. I hear young women talking about the way they should behave in relationships – how to bite their tongues when their partner is angry, how to dress to please a man, how to cook to please a man, and how to clean to keep their partner’s happy. I see little girls wearing clothes tat are too old for them because they’ve learned early that the sexier they dress, the sexier they dance, the more a boy will like them. I see women putting on themselves the majority of the housework and the majority of the childcare because they can’t rely on their partners to help them.
Having a girl makes me nervous. I can only hope that her chances of being truly equal improve as she grows.