Dita De Boni 's Opinion

Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Dita De Boni: Smug mothers of girls?

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Gender is on my radar at the moment because I am the mother of a boy and a girl and am pregnant with a final child, the gender of which I do not know. Photo / Thinkstock
Gender is on my radar at the moment because I am the mother of a boy and a girl and am pregnant with a final child, the gender of which I do not know. Photo / Thinkstock

As readers of this blog will know, I am no particular fan of Victoria Beckham. But I did feel sorry for her this week when one of the female columnists on the hidebound Daily Mail website chastised Posh for being a "smug mother of [a] girl", or a SMOG.

This particular story was suggesting is that mothering-related internet forums are increasingly playing host to mothers who "only want girls".

Now, why would this be?

Because, according to the DM, some mothers had come to view boys as too noisy, smelly and difficult, and their own female progeny - and little girls in general - as sugar and spice and all the rest of it.

First off, it seems unfair to tarnish Posh with this brush as she seems to have been hugely happy with her brood of three Beckham boys. But she has always seemed to pine for a girl, which in my opinion doesn't make her a SMOG. It is an understandable position for a woman with three sons to take, even if it's currently not au fait to admit it out loud.

Victoria Beckham, a woman who clearly revels in her own supposed feminine wiles and ways, wants a mini-me.

Well, many of us do, don't we?

It doesn't mean we love our boys any less, even if their behaviours do often come across to their mothers as those of alien life forms.

But putting aside the Daily Mail for a moment, over at Slate magazine, a far more rigorous story does talk about the rise of couples wanting to select the sex of their babies in the US, and how doctors should approach this very thorny issue.

The article suggests that many couples from migrant communities to the US want sons - which is not really a surprise when considering the actual gender imbalance in the populations of some Asian countries. They often go to quite extreme lengths to ensure they have sons - and there's a lot of familial pressure to produce at least one.

But what is surprising, to me anyhow, is that a majority of 'white' couples are asking for girls.

There's no clear reason given for this.

Hopefully it's not the oft-stated reason that more women would like a future buddy to go shopping with. Because, as we all know, just because you have a little girl there's no set determination that she will want to go shopping with you in the future, or wear pink, or share makeup tips - or anything of the sort.

Coincidentally there's a great local article on a related issue, "gender disappointment", in the latest Little Treasures magazine.

Gender is on my radar at the moment because I am the mother of a boy and a girl and am pregnant with a final child, the gender of which I do not know.

People talking to me seem satisfied that because I have produced one of each gender, I'm non-committal about the third's, which is in fact true. But I can't rule out the fact that if I'd had two boys, or two girls, I wouldn't be pining for a child of a different gender for number three.

That doesn't make me a SMOG, or a DMOB (Defensive mother of [a] Boy) either, I don't think - just normal, but someone who would simply have to love a third boy or girl just as much as its siblings, regardless of how things turned out.

Dita De Boni

Business columnist, with a political twist, for NZ Herald

Dita De Boni is a columnist, commentator and TV producer/journalist. She first wrote columns for the NZ Herald in 1995, moving to daily business news in 1999 for four years, and then to TVNZ in Business, News and Current Affairs. After tiring of the parenting/blogging beat for the Herald Online she moved back to her first love, business (with a politics chaser), writing a column for Friday Business since 2012.

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