The “MALE” child, bane of some marriages. The male child can make and unmake a marriage in Africa, narrow it down to Nigeria, where i was born and bred. Growing up as a young girl around my immediate community and town, i have seen many a woman made to suffer for not birthing a male child.
I have seen marriages suffer, i have seen women treated like plagues in their husband house for lack of not bearing a male child, i have witnessed women forcefully injected from their husband house because they are only able to gave birth to female children.
Many a time the woman is blamed for this, there is no saying that it’s a well established fact that men are the determinant of the sex of a child, sadly this fact is lost on a higher percentage of our menfolk.
Not understanding that the male is the determinant of the sex of a child could be down to total ignorance or in most cases with the educated and informed class, it becomes a chosen or selective ignorance.
The most disturbing of this all is the way this issue is always blamed on the woman, not the husband. Day in, day out she will be reminded of her failure to give birth to a male child and well often, in some cases the man is encouraged or mandated to take a second wife. In some case this choice is willing taken by the men with no added family pressure.
Family pressure from extended family is one ugly experience you would never wish for the worst of your enemies when caught up in this situation, the man family will come for you, you will be blamed, called all sorts, especially if the man is not of the same school of reasoning, that is your husband is the informed type or better still wholly loves you and would never take a second wife.
You would think, having a second wife who then goes on to birth the much wanted male child, which by the way whose sex is a determinant from the man but this will not be seen this way, no, it will be another wife has successfully done what the first wife could not do.
There begins the torment of the other women, without spelling it out, she is automatically relegated to the second best. it does not matter anymore the journey they have been together as husband and wife, what matters now is the male child and the women that has just ensured the family lineage is not lost.
Not saying in any way that traditional values or norms are bad or that this issue is peculiar to Africa alone, no but the difeerence here is attitude and the ways and manner the woman is made a victim.
The truth is women are mostly victims of traditions, traditions in the way they are interpreted and used is mostly the bedrock of how the community and society sees and value the girl child and woman.
Not saying values, beliefs and traditions are wrong f, only saying there are some ways traditions are used to disguises domestic and family abuse.
Naked fact : There is no way to try to excuse traditions, its usage is one major contributing factor to women to the large proportion to which women are abused in their homes, communities and society at large.