Reading generally will spawn a questions, which, depending on the question, will lead to me writing a book meant to answer the question. The book that I’m reading now has spawned more of a comment than a question. The comment I have needs an answer (complex as I know it is) of some sort, but I’m not sure how I will write the answer. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a book in it for me (thanks I don’t need one anyway), but there may be a character or two in a world I’ve already established. Thanks Duringrie (planet within my Gardinian universe) for your ass-backwardness.
Anyway, the book I’m reading features a lot of she-brats and the men who disregard them. Pretty much we are thrown into a world where, fantastical as it may be, men (especially in this particular area) favor having sons over having daughters. However, in this world, girls are sadly killed more often than not simply because they are born a girl. Side note: I recently watched a documentary featuring this very topic. Incredibly sad, but real nonetheless.
Now the man (he has no name) beats his wife for one offense (trying to prevent the one daughter she’s managed to keep from being sold), and during the course of the beating he laments that of the eleven children they had, only six were boys. Granted all of them didn’t live, but he had more boys than girls anyway.
I had to pause at this point because I don’t get it.I don’t think I will ever understand the fascination that men have with their women only birthing sons. Yes, I understand that my bias may be that I am a woman, but in my mind it makes no biological sense to completely disregard the value of a girl.
From a social standpoint, what sense does having so many sons make? I can understand the need to have possibly two or three, especially given the harshness of the environment. You need more boys to offset the possibility that one of them dies young. This would be especially true if this person was a monarch (the man isn’t), but the complete disregard for girls leaves me baffled because it’s not biologically practical.
If no woman had daughters or all girls are killed, who then would birth the future generation of boys? We are already seeing the result of this in China and other parts of the world. Sadly, the coveted future generation of boys would be lost because one too many fathers forgot that without the womb of women, they’d have no sons and their sons would have no sons, etc.
By default, if we suggest the man [of the story] cares for the continuation of his lineage, it could be argued that his line would quickly die out because there are no girls, or there are a very limited amount of girls for his sons to eventually procreate with. Those men who have daughters are likely to require something of extreme value in order to see his daughter married to any man. Money is also something that the man does not have access to and it only serves to compound the problem in my mind.
Who knows, maybe I’ll find my answer or at least a better understanding of the situation in the arms of character inspiration.
Ends April 24, 2014