gender disappointment?

No, not really. But a little bit, yeah.

About a month ago, we learned that we will be having a girl.  It came as a bit of a surprise because I’d thought — I’d felt so sure — that I was carrying a boy.  But no, regardless of whatever symptoms I’d been having or how low or how high I’d been carrying, the little human in my belly is a girl.

She is developing well and I pray every day that she will grow to be strong and healthy, beautiful and smart, kind and loving.  And I’m so grateful that I am having at least one girl.  However, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that is a little bit sad that she is a she.  Because, having lived as one for over 30 years, it’s hard being a girl.

And no, I don’t mean the physical aspects of a monthly period or wearing bras or even pregnancy– though I am also a little bit sad she’ll one day have to go through all of this.   (But it’s weird because I also pray that she will one day be able to experience all of this with a partner as wonderful as her father).

No, I mean that it’s hard being a girl in this world.  Much harder, I think, than it is to be a boy.

And it’s not that I’m afraid that she will fall short in any way — far from it, I have every faith and confidence that she will excel in all things that she will put her mind to; that she will flourish and BE A BOSS.  However!  However… I am afraid that it will be unfairly difficult.

It makes me sad to think that she will work hard to be the best candidate for a role, but her work and competence (frankly, her excellence) will be dismissed and she will be criticized as being “overprepared.”

It makes me sad to think that she will have to push harder than her less competent male counterparts for an equal spot at the table– and more likely than not, still be pushed back out with a false narrative to tarry her work when others fail to deliver their end.

It makes me sad to think that despite her brilliance, she will be interrupted and belittled by ignorant, insecure men and even other women who fail to see past the biases built into their lives.

It breaks my heart that she will be objectified, victimized, and undervalued again and again and again.  And that she will have to stand alone to remind herself that THEY are the ones that are wrong.

I fear for her.  I fear for her healthcare.  I fear for her safety.  I fear for her voice and identity and gifts.

It should be a beautiful thing– to be a girl.  To be a girl who will grow up to be a woman who will be a mother and a role model and a source of strength for an entire family.  But, so often, it’s just … really hard.

So am I disappointed?

Not with her.  No, never with her.  But certainly with the world we’ve given her.