The Golden Penis

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Oh? okay. The title right? I know. But just put away your all religious antenna for a little while, hang in there a little more and read on. Better still, you just heard another part of the human anatomy.

So anyone scandalized? Maybe yes, maybe no.

“My marriage is at stake, I am on the verge of being thrown out, it looks like I am losing it, my marriage of ten years is about to crash, they want me out. The automatum has been given.  If this baby am carrying is not a male child, I am leaving for good. Three girls and no boy is as useless as being barren”

Now, that is the distressing call I got at 4:30 a.m local time today from an old friend Dee (not her real name)

How do you deal with this?

Medically, it is garbage in and garbage out, right? Which means the man gets what he puts in.

Okay, thanks still to sciences, one can now determine and select the sex of a baby. What happens when that fails? ( as in the case of my friend who had tried even that option.  And now that baby she is carrying is actually a girl. Her scan confirmed it two days earlier)

Here am I wondering and asking, who is to blame?

Is it Dee’s fault that she does not have a male child? What is the problem here?

Oh, I remember. It is about inheritance and continuing the posterity. It is about “not allowing the family name die”. Really?

To me that is sad and hard to believe. I never realised a girl child has a tag of inadequacy as it would seem to these folks, until I met with Dee and heard More harrowing experiences, abusive words, mockery, emotional torture and psychological stress she has gone through all this while for not having a male child, or at least defy the cause of nature and produce, or manufacture one!!

So the problem is, that you have a child with the V organ and not a P organ ?( again, just mentioning a part of our body. We all have one, I believe. No offense.)

People, it beats my imagination, how a beautiful marriage can be ruined and destroyed because of the sex of a baby.

( As I write this, arrangements have been concluded by Dee’s in-laws together with her once darling husband, to get another woman who would “produce” the male children eventually, to replace Dee).

I can’t wrap my head around it. How meaningless words are sometimes. So when people actually say ” children are a gift from God” they still expect you to meet the seeming unwritten, yet powerful status quo. That is, have a male child, then your stay in marriage is assured. That should be the standard!

Oh! How does that sound?

To me ridiculous. To you, I leave you to decide.

I have heard worse case scenarios, I have also seen for myself. And truly, this breaks my heart. I want to believe it is every couple’s desire to have both sexes in marriage. And when it is not so, I should think the worry should be on both of them ( that is if actually there is need to worry,if we truly believe a child is a precious gift, boy or girl. They both have the potential to be great people in life after all).

Why is the reverse the case? How about a man be thrown out of the house because he is unable to “put in” a male child in the woman’s womb? Afterall, he impregnated her. That sounds weird, right?

And others would say a man is the head of a family so that can’t happen, it is unheard of and so on and so forth. Now you see?

There are so many examples however, of couples who stuck together even after having only girls and in their old age, have been given a good life by those “bunch of girls” other folks would have called them.

Countless stories of successful women abound, we can mention world leaders who never had male children and still life is moving on smoothly. The wives of such men have not had to cry out their eyes for having all girls.

Now, the chain of poverty is further stretching because an average man who knows he can only cater for three of four children, would continue until he finds himself having eight to ten mouths to feed because he was “searching”for a male child as it were. (I have evidences of such. You may too)These innocent ones end up suffering for the sins of their parents, let me not say their father. These children may not find themselves in good schools, they may not get the best of health care when they are sick and worse still, they may not have enough to eat. When they grow up, they might just end up in other people’s houses as house helps or domestic staff until a miracle happens.

You see the mess?

As I write this, my mind is flooded with thoughts of many homes that have been wrecked as a result of not having a male child.

Oh Dee! I remember how enviable the love between you and your hubby was, it almost got some of us jealous.

I do not know how possible it is to re-engineer the thoughts of our elderly folks to come to accept the fact that a child is first of all a child, and a gift irrespective of the sex. Someone once told me it is never going to happen because it is rooted in culture.

Oh how sad! What a custom!

And if we say let’s tolerate our elderly folks because they belong to a more traditionally brewed generation, and may have hard times changing. What do you say to all these other very well educated and “polished” men and maybe women too who hold the same opinion that a marriage or a home is incomplete without a male child?

I say it is that embarrassing moment when you realised that being educated does not make you sensible! It is the sad story of the time one wasted “learning books” and throwing away their senses into a bottomless pit of no return.

In the spirit of being fair, I acknowledge there are a few super heroes, exceptional men who have grown above the sex of a baby to determine the happiness in their homes and stability of their marriage. But the ratio is far, far,too small, especially in the part of the world (Nigeria) where I come from and the people I am born into (Igbo).

My thoughts:

If any man who begets only girls says to the wife “having only girls is as useless as you being barren” It might just mean that living with such a man is the same as having to live with an impotent man. Men in this category please think.

If you, a woman call your fellow woman “useless” for having only girls, it might just mean that you are one addition to uselessness, afterall you are a woman. Women in this category please re-think.

If every child is a gift, it should be seen, loved and accepted by all as that.

For a moment think of the harm you do the girl child when they begin to become aware of their “inadequacies” or “incompleteness” because they are girls and do not have a brother. Think of their self-esteem. If you want them (your girl child/ren) great, empower her/ empower them. Love her/ love them.

Men, be eternally grateful to your women who would always faithfully give you at childbirth in return,what you have put in them.

And finally, dear traditional people, help your sons and daughters live a happy marriage life. That’s what you wished them, isn’t it?

For Dee, you are a strong woman.  This too will pass away. And for many Dees out there, I only hope and pray the Universe will conspire somehow in your favour.

Unfortunately, I do not know how.

I want to remain hopeful.


By Amaka Okoye.

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