December 14, 2016 8:01:01 pm
‘Want to conceive a male child? Here are some tricks’ read the headline of an article in a Malayalam newspaper. Yes, this is 2016, and this article did get published. The fact that it has now been taken off the Internet does not take away from the fact that well into the 21st century in a country where sex determination of foetuses is illegal, Mangalam – the Malayalam daily – presented a list of “scientifically proven” ways to conceive a male child. Hurrah!
One should probably be glad that there are no sacrifices involved, and neither is the onus laid entirely at the doorstep of the woman. In this case, the men have a role to play in ‘deciding’ the gender of the child. So, let’s at least give them points for gender equality.
There is no denying the preference for male kids that prevails in India even now. Despite sex determination of a foetus being illegal, it does happen, leading to abortion or even killing of girl babies. Already the gender ratio in India is appalling, what with only 940 girls born each year for every 1,000 boys, according to the 2011 Census.
Though the article, which has been translated by feminist website The Ladies Finger, does not claim that these tips and tricks will 100 per cent ensure a male child, they apparently increase the chances manifold. The tips include limiting procreational activities to days 1,3,5 and 7 of the week, during which the strength of the sperm is ‘scientifically stronger’. Then there is the no-skipping breakfast rule, which is great since at least we DO know that this is the most important meal of the day – scientifically proven, yet again! And yes, women should stuff themselves, particularly with mutton, dry grapes and salty food.
According to The Ladies Finger, “Mangalam dictates that men should avoid food items including acidity content, as it reduces the power and the brawn of the semen. Stronger sperm means XY-bearing embryos, as the presence of the strength automatically cancels out on the possibility of girl embryos.”
And then, there’s our favourite – every future mother of boys should sleep with their faces turned to the left side, while facing West. And you thought you’d never find any use for your compass.
The article has now been deleted from the website, but not before it was translated and shared widely online. Those in Twitterverse have reacted quite strongly to the article – “Incredible and ridiculous that articles like this even still exist” tweeted someone, while another sarcastically tweeted, “Surely a flawless strategy?!”
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