VOICES: One Perspective
“Is it a boy or a girl?” I ask. The mother tells me she and her husband are waiting to find out the sex until birth. I know this shouldn’t annoy me. I should be happy they are bringing another person into the world, that they have the means to take care of this child. That they love each other and their baby and they will sacrifice whatever they have to, to make sure the child grows up with their needs met. I know I should have instead asked, “Is your baby healthy?” But I don’t.
And I won’t, the next time I see another belly-swelled pregnant mother.
Not because I don’t want to, but because I falter with what is expected versus what is right. I’ve always thought of myself as an ally, raised as someone accepting of others no matter what and even when difficult. And for the most part I’ve kept equality at the forefront of my actions. Yet, I desire to know the baby’s gender to share the secret giddiness these parents revel in. To envision colors on the nursery walls, onesies with catch phrases like “Daddy’s Girl” or “I’d flex but I like this onesie” stamped across the front, and potential names such as Henry or Lilly. I ask to be allowed a glimpse into what the child’s life could be like as they do, even though, by doing so I will perpetrate societal gender norms. But I also can’t help but ask to create companionship between the mother and myself for this baby will allow easy conversation even if we are sacrificing the child’s choice with the declaration of their sex as though their gender will be definitive at birth. And still I wonder,
Families, friends, the media tell us who to be. Tells us our sex determines who we are. Tells me as a woman to wear dresses and high heels, to be okay with being objectified by some ignorant men too absorbed in their egos to see the embarrassment, hot and red branded across my face at their comments. Tells these same men they can’t wear dresses and high heels even when they like the way their legs look with them on or how their waist becomes more defined. We forget the body is one miniscule component. That brains are the true dictators the ones helping us forge our paths. We ignore that our bodies will eventually die, and our minds are the ones responsible for the memory we leave behind. Expressing who we are, what we are, and when we became it. I know this baby developing inside the sore backed, shining ,soon-to-be mother will face these questions, one day. And I hope by the time the child has to answer them, the response will be easy
that they are just another human being, beautiful in mind, and wild in spirit.