Cousin (talking about my uncle who recently re-married after his first wife’s death): How is Ikenna’s new wife sef?
Me: I really dig her and I think she’s great with the kids.
Cousin: Hmmm, I hear she’s almost 40 and so I wonder why Ikenna married someone who was that old. I’m concerned about her child bearing capabilities because you know Ikenna really wants a son and so that was one of the reasons why he got married again.
Me: So I heard o, but abegi, after 6 daughters, what is he finding with a son again? I think that he just needs someone to help him take care of his girls…besides, in this same quest for a son, he ended up with a boatload of girls, so I think he should just relax and fashy this matter of having a son. What if the next one that comes is a girl too?
Cousin: You don’t understand. Ikenna wants someone to carry on with the family’s name and so I don’t see a problem if he wants a son. After all, most men want sons that can carry on with the family’s name…
Me: Na wa for you men and your fixation with sons to carry on the family’s name. So if you and your wife have a bunch of daughters, would that be an issue?
Him: By God’s grace, I know that will not be our portion.
Me: *Zipped lips and quickly moved on to the next topic*
And that was that, as I jejely minded my business and dropped the matter.
And then in the more recent past, I was talking to somebody who has 2 daughters and wife who is expecting one more child. He said that he really hopes that the 3rd one is a boy as he wants at least one son. And so I posed the same question that I posed to my cousin – If you guys have a bunch of daughters, would it be an issue? His response was – “Houston, we would have a problem” before he quickly interjected with “Just kidding”. But I wasn't buying it…
I asked him why some men are so hung up on having sons and he gave me the very typical “I want somebody to carry the family name and to inherit everything that I’ve worked for". He then added "My daughters will get married and join another man’s family and everything that I’ve worked for will go to another man’s son (i.e. his daughters future husbands), so I want a son who will inherit the fruit of my hard work” . I said ookay and kept it moving. I couldn't even pretend to understand it because I didn't and I still don’t.
All of this talk got me thinking about all these men that keep on harping about wanting a son to carry on with their family name. I mean absolutely no disrespect and all, but the pressing questions that I have are: What is so special about you and your family name? What is so wonderful about your legacy? What exactly are your sons supposed to be carrying on?
I totally understand wanting a son because you want to do daddy-son things like going to watch a basketball game or whatever it is that sons do with their fathers. What I don’t understand is wanting a son because you want them to carry your name forward.
The way I see it and with the way that our generation is going, I doubt that in the long run, anyone is checking for you and your lineage. Like someone once said, if you’re not a Dangote, Adenuga, or any of those big names, why should we be concerned about your so-called family name? I mean, what great thing have you done that you want people to be carrying on your family name? Like I said, no disrespect to you men out there and the family names that you hold so dearly to your hearts, but I think it’s beyond absurd to still be on about this whole “I want a son to carry my family name forward” in this day and age. Feel free to shed light if you want to help me understand.
Who says that your daughters cannot also bring recognition to your family and carry on your so-called family name? In my opinion, if I do anything epic in this lifetime, whether I am married or single, people will always say “that is Papa Mgbeke’s daughter”, or “she comes from so and so’s family”. Look at the Adenuga’s for instance…even though that he has a married daughter, I always think of her first as Bella Adenuga, the daughter of Adenuga. People know her as her father’s daughter first, before they recognize her as her husband’s wife…if that makes sense.
Now, imagine a scenario where you have a son who turns out to be some notorious serial killer or something crazy. That your precious son will send your family name that you worked so hard for, to the pits. So much for carrying on the family name, guys. So, really my dear brothers, I will keep this short…boy or girl, whichever one God gives you, please take it and be content with it. Treat your daughters with respect and view them as more than able and capable to take on and bring pride and joy to your family name. And really, if you haven’t worked for shiz and are just a regular average 9-5 Joe, sit back, relax and ask yourself what exactly you even want your imaginary sons to carry on.
*Rides my blazing chariot out of Blogsville*