TW: Post contains mention of abortion and infanticide.
Last month a video of a boy throwing a tantrum over the gender of his baby sister went viral. Many found the video cute or amusing. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch the video here.
I didn’t find the video funny at all, I was actually a bit disturbed. I don’t blame the boy for reacting the way he did, as it was clear the parents were hoping to get a good reaction out of him. The part I found disturbing was how many people were eager to celebrate this disgusting display of sexism.
We live in a world where millions of baby girls have been murdered because of their born sex– both by abortion during pregnancy, and in some instances after birth. In parts of the world where strong cultural preference is set for male children gender disparity is up to 130 males for every 100 females. It is estimated that there are over 100 million baby girls who are “missing” who should have been born.
The world that we live in is not a sociological vacuum. The same patriarchal culture that exists in countries where gendercide is rampant is present in the US. Misogyny is world wide. While this little boy’s tantrum is not as wrong as infanticide, it is apart of the same system. There is still a preference for male children everywhere in the world — 40 % of Americans would prefer having a boy over a girl.
In this video (which has now been preserved forever, and will likely be seen by their daughter at some point) the father makes his preference for a boy known. As his son wails in shock, his father responds “That was my reaction, too.” The father continues comforting is son by saying “it’s okay” in a tone that makes it sound like a consolation prize. This baby, who is not yet born, is already being taught that she isn’t as good as her male counterparts. Before even entering this world the tone has been set in her home that it would have been better if she had been a boy.
Why is this so important? There is no rule that says baby girls must wear pink or that they can’t play with trucks. There is no reason that this older brother won’t be able to bond with his new sister just as much as he would have with a brother (except for the misogyny he has already been taught.) I would like to note that “gender reveals” should really be called “sex reveals.” Read about the difference in sex and gender here.
This viral video is nothing more than a public display of sexism. There is no reason that finding out your sibling will be of the opposite sex should be upsetting. To celebrate this boys reaction to the news is a celebration of a patriarchal system that is damaging to everyone.