Monday, 11 January 2016

Deliberately left untitled

About a decade ago, while I was still working for the Air Force, I knew someone whom I will call, for the purposes of this article, Sergeant Panigrahi.

Sergeant Panigrahi had a daughter, who at that time was about seven years old. At least, she was biologically his daughter. But you’d never know it to look at her.

You see, Sergeant Panigrahi and his wife brought her up as a boy. They dressed her in boy’s clothes, cut her hair in a crew cut, called her by a boy’s nickname (which has escaped my memory), and even referred to her as “he”, not “she”, in her presence. But for the fact that I had to write the treatment sheets and prescriptions, I’d never have known that this was a female.

I don’t know where the sergeant is now or whether he is still in the air force. The last I saw of him was in circa 2007, and he must have long since been transferred elsewhere and he ought to at least be a warrant officer by now. And his daughter, whom he’d brought up as a boy, must be in her mid-teens...and realised that she is, you know, actually a she.

I can only imagine the psychological trauma the poor kid had to go through when she started getting her periods, sprouting breasts, and the rest of it. I can only imagine how much her parents managed to screw up her sexual identity for her.

Why did they do it?

To this day, especially in North India, the craze for a male child is so extreme that it defies rational analysis. The most common response is to breed and breed until the couple has achieved the desired male heir; and this is, I’m sure, what Sergeant Panigrahi would have done if he’d not been restricted to a sergeant’s salary. In rural communities, where polygamy is rampant, if one wife doesn’t produce a male baby after several tries, the commonest recourse is that the would-be father of a son simply “marries” again.

What he doesn’t do, of course, is adopt a boy. That wouldn’t be someone of their own “flesh and blood”, would it?

Some years ago – in 2012 or 2013, if I’m not mistaken – there was a case where the middle-aged daughter of a prominent business family got a sex change operation done and became a “male”. There was a rumour in the media that she’d done this in order to inherit the family business, because a daughter can’t inherit. This is actually total rubbish; there’s no law to discriminate on the basis of gender where inheritance is concerned. But, because of the rumour and the prominence of the person involved, it got splashed all over the media, and a lot of people suddenly became aware that sex change operations were a thing.

So can you tell me what happened? Yes, of course. All over the country, couples rushed to the nearest surgeon, daughter in tow, demanding that she be turned at once into a son. I don’t know how many were actually put to the knife, but I would be amazed if there weren’t at least a few.

I think about this kind of thing each time I hear about female genital mutilation. I also think of this kind of thing each time I see a picture of a four-year-old girl in high heels or a twee little bikini top to cover her nonexistent boobs.

In what world is this a good idea?

[Image source]

Just how much do people in different cultures hate their female children, and express it in whatever way is socially acceptable to them?

The hell with it.  I need to write something to cheer myself up now.


  1. It's pretty depressing, the whole thing. In Italian families, boys were preferred, maybe not to the same extent as in other parts of the world, but certainly preferred.

    There was also an Italian tradition that the oldest daughter not marry and take care of her parents in their later years. I have several great aunts who were in this position.

    As a woman I have always resented this favoritism towards males. It's here in the US, maybe more subtle, but still there. As for tots in bathing suits and high heels, it seems to me one more sign of seeing women as primarily sexual beings. Helpers and sexual playmates and not much else.

  2. Something similar was done by a liberal family in the U.S, I suppose to support the LBGT trend in the U.S. It might have been a boy they were raising as a girl or vice versa but the child wasn't even at the age of puberty. That and the support the parents received from other liberals and liberal media outlets was an eye opener for me that the far left could no more think for itself than the far right could. What kind of psychiatry bills is this poor, used child going to face after going through puberty? I'm glad I don't have to pay those bills. Some people will do anything to be popular or part of a crowd. That's just not me.


Full comment moderation is enabled on this site, which means that your comment will only be visible after the blog administrator (in other words, yours truly) approves it. The purpose of this is not to censor dissenting viewpoints; in fact, such viewpoints are welcome, though it may lead to challenges to provide sources and/or acerbic replies (I do not tolerate stupidity).

The purpose of this moderation is to eliminate spam, of which this blog attracts an inordinate amount. Spammers, be warned: it takes me less time to delete your garbage than it takes for you to post it.