September 7, 2021•221 words
Over the summer, my cousin had a traditional Indian baby shower. Overly dressing up, meeting aunts and uncles you'll never talk to again, and gorging on desserts before lunch. Not that I'm complaining.
I look forward to these events. And after two years in exile, this was the highlight of my summer.
Back to the shower, it was hectic. However, one conversation stuck with me longer than anything else. I asked my cousin whether she was expecting a girl or a boy. Without answering my question, she yanked me to the side of the event hall and started whisper-yelling at me. Apparently, in India and several other countries, there is a law that prevents women from knowing the sex of their baby four months into their pregnancy. And the reason is even more frightening. In a country where men have claimed a position at the top of the hierarchy, many families misuse the sex determination option for abortion of the female fetus. Several studies have shown that the sex ratio is highly uneven in Western India, averaging only 940 females to every 1000 males.
This conversation bizarrely impacted me. I have two younger sisters. Three girls in total. What if I was born in India and my parents used the sex determination process?
17 years ago, what would my parents do?