Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oh Boy! it's a Girl! Not?

Since the moment I was noticeably pregnant, not once has someone here asked me "Are you expecting a girl?" Quite the opposite in fact, most people greeted me with "You're expecting a boy?"

Having picked up on the fact that (for most) it was clearly a desirable thing to have a boy, (and noticed that announcements of us expecting a girl were either met with apologetic mimics and shrugs as if implying "better luck next time" or reactions of surprise as if their "guessing method" could not fail them) I took these "affirmestions" (a boy right?) to be rather sexist wishful thinking.

Granted, some people "guessed" the gender of baby according to the shape of my belly (to be honest, I'm still not clear on this- what shape is supposed to indicate what?) but no matter the "method" applied, the guessing always seemed to lead people to believe we were expecting a boy.

Yes, in this country one could say that a female child is more likely to become a "cost centre" whereas a male child is more likely to earn money and contribute to the family's welfare... but I personally believe it has more to do with an inherent belief that a boy is simply better. As simple as that. Umph. I won't even dignify this with further anything.

Anyway, the other day in a shop, once again me and my belly were greeted with the smiling "it's a boy?! when is he due?" I replied my usual "hayır, Kız" (no, a girl) and was met by exclamations of surprise bordering on skepticism.

Since this time the people asking me were of female gender and old enough to have (had) children of their own, I asked what was so surprising about there being a girl in my belly. Their English being as good as my Turkish, I didn't quite get the answer... but I did catch the word for "girl" and it was was accompanied by horrible grimaces, distorted faces and hands messing up hair - not nice. Whatever....

A few days later, when asked when "he was due", I took the opportunity of an English speaking Turkish woman's presence to question her about the mystifying grimaces and assumptions I had encountered.

She laughed and said: "in Turkey people believe that a baby girl steals her mother's beauty, whereas a baby boy makes her more beautiful... so you see, it's a compliment, because you look nice."


According to
baby gender folklore and 38 fun ways to guess your baby's sex I should indeed be expecting a boy....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get used to it! Here in Singapore they still ask me if T (3.5 years old, beautifull curls, long long eyelashes & sooo feminin) is a boy when wearing shorts!!! And let's not talk about L (10 months) who's hair you've got to give time to grow and she is often in pink!
By the way to avoid the same question 100* a day they do sell T-shirts for pregnant women with an arrow pointing downwards and specifying "it's a girl!" or "it's a boy!"....I'm sure they sell them well!