May you be blessed with male children and female goats.

@thea09 (18328)
Greece
September 3, 2009 12:23pm CST
This is an old Greek saying, still in use recently, which shows the value placed on the gender of a child. A female goat was more higly valued than a female child, as the latter was a liability requiring a dowry and family support until she could be married off, plus the responsibility of ensuring her virtue. A boy was an asset and would continue the family lineage and great name. How are boys and girls perceived differently in your culture, or in its past?
6 people like this
13 responses
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
3 Sep 09
you're telling me about that...here in India it is a phobia of the worst kind. same asset and liability calculations. and it goes to the extent of heinous acts against girl child. and do you know what the irony is? we also have several goddesses whom we worship for wealth and prosperity. i would really like to get my hands on the person who started such an attitude.
2 people like this
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Hi Sunny, the real irony of it in countries like yours where this is still an issue is that the whole thing was dreamt up by men but they've got the women believing it too, the woman wants a son for the good of the family name and to maintain her own good name, and what point is there in raising an ungrateful daughter who the minute she is married off is going to go and 'work' for her husbands family. Is my assessment correct? Times should change Sunny as girls become more independant and out in the workplace, remember here it was only 50 years ago some of these things prevailed and had for centuries, yet in half a century the outlook has changed with the younger generation who probably just roll their eyes these days when the elders wish them many female goats.
1 person likes this
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
4 Sep 09
yes you are quite right. it was also a problem of large family (more children) with limited funds (earnings) boys got priority when it came to spending money. things are changing with smaller families and increased incomes. another factor which is contributing to this change is the unfaithfulness of boys towards their parents in old age. daughters seem to care about them more. daughter-in-laws are also earning a bad reputation as they do not prefer to keep their in-laws with them and do not want them to interfere in their lives. definitely times are changing but one feels for those who are currently bearing the burnt.
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
4 Sep 09
yes, it seems that every society invents its own wheel. sometimes one wishes the pace could have been faster.
@malpoa (1218)
• India
5 Sep 09
Oh that is such a bad saying!!! That is very unjust to categorise children because of the gender...It is sad that it exists around the world!!! We have this culture of giving(while marrying off girls) and taking(when a man brings his bride) dowry. It is one of the main reasons which make people think low of having a girl. When a girl is born, it adds to the burdon of expenditure...there are people here who do not educate their girls...the reason is that there is no use of educating them, they are going to be married off, so it is only an added expenditure... People in some states do test to know the gender of the foetus and get it aborted if it is a baby girl...so the ratio of male to female is totally out of proportion there...now government has banned the test. Another reason why people prefer boys is that they expect the boy/s to take care of the parent in their old age, the daughter in law being brought to the house and live with them... In short, boys are seen as assets in all sense and girls as waste of money...But this is irrespective of the financial soundness of the family where the child is born. I know of families who ask for double or triple the standard amount of dowry for a dark /handicapped girl compared to a fair goodlooking girl...also the rate goes down if the girl is highly educated and highly paid...
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi malpoa, yes I understand that this is a big thing in Indian culture because of the dowry system but I believe that will change with the education of more women and the dropping of the dowry. It is not so many years ago that the dowry system was used in Greece but it has now been prohibited by law, but still bears an influence in joining of lands rather than outright money exchange. I must say I can't believe what you say about skin colour, so a darker skinned woman is worth less than a lighter skinned woman,is that a sort of caste thing? And it is terrible that nature is being manipulated towards male children, much as it is in China, these people are not considering the future impact of their actiona at all when their precious sons will have no girl to marry to run the in laws home' I do hope that the law there changes so that all children, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to have an education, whilst this right is with held it puts the country in bad standing. Has child labour been erradicated yet Malpoa? I really learn so much from you about your country, I really knew very little before.
@malpoa (1218)
• India
6 Sep 09
The obsession about fair skinned girls are irrespective of caste and religion. Conservative parents do not generally let their sons marry girls from lower caste. Even if boys are marrying from their same caste, there may be fair and dark skinned girls in the same caste and they give preference to the fair ones...Ofcourse there are exceptions, infact exceptions everywhere...even highly educated people like doctors enggrs, lecturers have a good chance of bargaining because they or their paretns invested a lot in them to get them educated so the girl to be his wife bring a fortune with her. Child labour is still there...it has been banned by government long time back...but people happily violate these rules just like the dowry ban. In south india, the dowry include a lot of gold, cash and car. Here in northern part, they give furniture, home appliances along with some gold. Marriage is a huge business gain for the groom and his family.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
6 Sep 09
Hi Malpoa, you should put up a discussion about child labour. I think I'll go with the dowry one! I think that the huge cost of marrying off ones daughter could be a good indi cator of why male children are preferred, first they have to support the daughter, then marry her off at great expense, and after all that she goes and tends to the husbands family. Wheras the male child won't cost them as much and gets to bring in a new family helper for life. So the question arises, if a family has no male offspring and 4 daughters do they only marry off 3 of them so there's someone left for their old age or would it be a sign of shame to have an unmarried daughter?
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
3 Sep 09
I don't know much about the differences in perceiving boys and girls in my country, but there is a part of my country (or at least one part) where girls are referred to as "girls" and boys as "children". For example, if you meet a convoy coming home from the Church after baptising the newborn, they don't ask either it's a girl or a boy. They ask if it's "a girl or a child"...
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
That is a strange one stvasile, that one could actually be unique in the world. I actually presumed the two countries cultures would be quite the same on this one thogh. Here the boy child went deeper inside the church for his baptism than a girl child did, but that's done away with now, at least I think it is. And logically thinking about it I wonder why in Romania they didn't refer to the boy as a boy and a girl as a child, it would actually make more sense as indicates more identity I think.
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
3 Sep 09
You're not going to like my response, but I think the logic is that they consider the girls to be somewhat less than a child... That's why they call the boy a child, as in a full heir, and the girls just girls, as in less than that.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Why would I not like your response, I am eminently practical (except where technology is concerned). It just strikes me that the word boy is more unique than child so if my logic was followed then the girl would have higher value, but that can't be right. Can you think of one country in the world where greater value was given to a girl than a boy, because I can't? Next time you pop up in the 'interest' I have a new question for you.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (64082)
• Italy
3 Sep 09
I have never understod why but here in Italy it is usual to wish the bride and groom on their wedding day 'Congratulazioni e figli maschi!' - congratulations and SONS! Now why sons??? Surely they will not be a lot of good without someone's daughter in future years because, as we all know by now, 'behind every great man is a woman'
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Hi Mys, well I expect that Italy is rather like Greece in that regard, daughters cost more as have to be supported until they are fixed up with a husband, and even though dowries are now illegal we all know it still goes on, but more in areas such as number of olive trees rather than hard cash. There are plenty of men here without a good woman behind them, which could account for some of their little peculiaraties.
@mysdianait (64082)
• Italy
4 Sep 09
Here nowadays bothe males and females stay with ther parents untila very late age. Not like in Uk where they spred their wings at an early age tehrefore it is not all due to that. Maybe it has some relation to 'following in father's footsteps' when family businesses were passed down through the generations. Even that is grinding to a halt now as today's youth does not like 'hard work' like the previous generations and many areas have no-one continuing them.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi Mys, well it's changing slightly here now but in the country areas it still lingers. Men stay living with their mothers as they have been brought up to be incapable of doing anything for themselves and their mothers are still willing to do it into ripe middle age on the part of the boy. If he does get frustrated and move out to live alone he is clueless how to fend for himself so must work hard to pay for every meal to be taken in a taverna. If he is still at home with mummy when he marries his poor new wife will also move in and then be at the mercy of the mother in law who rules and can now sit back and order her daughter in law to do all the household work and criticise her for not doing it properly. The husband is then caught in a dilemna on who to please, the wife or the mother, so invariably takes to spending all his time in the cafenion with his cronies to avoid the issue thus leaving wife and mother alone together. If a business is involved of course the new wife will of course join it allowing the father in law his chance to sit on his butt all day and bring his cronies round to the business to join him. I stress this is the rural area of mine and may not be characteritic of the more sophistacated parts of Greece.
@Hatley (161986)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Sep 09
hi thea09 hatley here At one time I guess even here in the United States boys were more highly prized than girls as it'was at one time more of a farming county and boys were needed to work on the' farms but now I believe we women or girls rather are about equal on the scale of babies wanted.But still we are more heavily slanted towards the male thing. for example an orderly in most hospitals is paid quite a bit more than a nurses aid,womanthat is. I think its time we got paid the same amount as the guys for the same job and the same good quality of work. no more double standards. A woman plays around and she is called all the bad words in the book,yet a man does this and the other guys admire him. go figure.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (64082)
• Italy
3 Sep 09
That's news to me. I just assumed that all over the world women were paid the same wage as a man for doing the same job. Seems that's not the case and in all honesty, I find that appalling!
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Hi Hatley spot on in all areas it appears. It's good to hear that babies of either gender are now both wanted there as opposed to one being more highly prized than another. I rather imagined the inequality of wages still lingered as old traditions die hard but I rather expected that the attitudes to womens playing around would be not as it used to be, but I expect some states are more liberal whilst others more traditioal.
• Israel
19 Dec 09
I remember when I was in Australia on a long holiday. I wanted to pick up some money and thought I could pick tomatoes for a few days. The men got 75 cents a basket and the women got 50 cents a basket. Same basket, just less money for the women. Also if someone complained they didn't get hired. It wasn't fair, but thankfully that wasn't my life's work. Didn't get to work as there was a cold spell and consequently no work for a few days.
@maximax8 (27048)
4 Sep 09
Hi there my friend Theo. In my home country most couples wish to have a healthy baby and the gender doesn't matter. If pressed further they would say the ideal is a boy and a girl or a girl and a boy. Then a family would have both genders so would be complete. Personally before I had my children I hoped to have a girl and then a boy. However I had two sons and then a daughter. My children are now 14 years, 2 years and 10 weeks old.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi Maximax, so you choose to answer in the modern way of healthy babies rather than defer to traditional customs. It would strike me as a generalisatio though as now the UK is home to many cultures the traditions of other cultures will be brought into society as I don't believe that their traditions of often times placing more value on boys will change within the next generation but it should indeed be a start as many problems are created by the value placed on boys over girls. Sadly as yet I have not received a Chinese response to this question.
@Quiplet (255)
• United States
3 Sep 09
This sounds gender-biased but I think it's more of a Toast. In some societies, a man who has a daughter will need to pay a dowry to either the groom, or the groom's family. I don't think it's anything more serious than that. Otherwise, Whew! There'd be no pretty ladies to choose from after several generations. Or no women at all! What is gender-based is that a woman's family does not get the same monetary regard. Hogwash!
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Hi Quiplet, I see exactly what you're saying but here it was said with real meaning as it wasn't just the monetary act of finding a dowry which was the responsibilty of the family, but also protecting her virtue and the hounour of the family. It is only in very recent years this aspect has changed and it is hard to believe that only 50 years ago Greek women must have their hair covered and not talk to a male who was not a relative. Also at that time the pretty ladies weren't chosen as no one was allowed to see them except covered up at church, much less get to know them, which could account for the frequent tendency for cousins to marry cousins. So indeed maybe hogwash in other countries but not in Greece when the saying was said.
@prinzcy (5065)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
In my culture, there's not much different between boys and girls when it come to carrying the family bloodline. We don't carry the family name. Children will be name under the parents' name. So there's no question of whether he/she will continue the family name. The lineage will goes on through the bloodline. Dowry, in my culture, the woman received it. The male has to send the dowry. When it come to virtue, as the same as any part in the world, the woman is the most important.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
6 Sep 09
Hi prinzcy, the Malaysian culture certainly appears totally different to other Asian cultures in this respect and it is surely the first time I have ever heard of the male sending the dowry, I thought the whole idea of dowry was to pay the males family. This is really quite refreshing to hear it is the other way round. Even the nonsense of only continuing the family name of males is not regarded, this must be quite unique. So from this I would assume that a child of either gender would be welcome equally. Has it always been like this in Malaysia or has it been a progressive change within the last few generatons?
@prinzcy (5065)
• Malaysia
6 Sep 09
It always like that for as long as I can remember. Of course that only apply for my race, Malay. We have more than one race in Malaysia so our culture differentiate from one to another.
@kitty42 (3912)
• United States
3 Sep 09
Hello my friend You know what my friend I had this very lets see how can I say this,very womanly post to send you but I decided not to bother I will leave this one alone my friend and keep my opinions to myself for this discussion Men/Woman thing can be a very touchy subject for me that is lol
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Hello Kitty, please don't feel obliged to join any discussion simply because a friend starts it, no one expects anyone to do that, as not every discussion is of interest to all. Whatever it is that's a touchy subject though must be a bit difficult to get around as half the population is male. So save your contributions my dear to discussions which give you some pleasure in posting.
@kitty42 (3912)
• United States
3 Sep 09
Hello my friend You are right just trying to be there for my friends is all, but I will not respond to anything that I don't feel comfortable with thanks.
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
3 Sep 09
There's still gender bias, though not so much here in the US as other places in the world. You know, if that prayer came true for everybody, there'd soon be nobody left!!!
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
3 Sep 09
Yes, but think how many goats there would be for the men to eat.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (161986)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Sep 09
hi thea I think in our US we at one time did value boys more than girls because at first we were a farming' country and boys were needed to help run the farms and ranches but later on girls were just as favored as boys. but still a lot of people always say they want a boy baby first.But we no longer are treated as second class citizens except 'in the work place where we still get paid less than the guys for' the same type of work. This is still not really fair.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
26 Sep 09
Hi Hatley, it's lovely to see you dropping in on this discussion again, things really are deadly around here at the moment aren't they. I did actually intend to pop on two new discussions yesterday but for once didn't and just made a note beside me which simply says 'Greece has got talent' and 'koubaros'. I normally post as soon as I think of them, instantly in fact, but didn't think they'd receive any response with no one around. You are most consistent with your opinions Hatley as you gave the same one on page one so my response is back there. Please do stalk as much as you like as it's always a pleasure to chat with you, but I'm still waiting for the invite to address you by name.
• United States
7 Sep 09
That's very interesting Thea. But your explaination sounds typical as us ladies were not considered assest to the family but a liablity. I have no idea exactly how differently they were percieved as far as old sayings go. But you are right males are expected to keep & carry on the family name. I know in the olden days before there were many service jobs many farmers had large families not only to pass on the family name but to be free labor on the farm & of course there was not such thing as birth control either. As of course it was a womans duty to not only keep house, but have many kids weather or not she wanted to. My MIL had said when her grandparents were around her Grandmother was treated as such... her duties were too cook and keep house and of course perform in the bedroom and that was all she was good for according to her drunken poor excuse of a Grandfather. Sadly I'm sure it was that way in many families as us Women had no say until the last 100 yrs or so.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
7 Sep 09
Hi snuggle bunnies, the first American to agree that the idea did hold some ground there too. So the women were just free labour really whilst the men were valued labour. I think most countries have something in line with the drunken excuse of a grandfather you describe.
@misisbau (317)
• Philippines
4 Sep 09
A male child certainly is more welcome. This is due to the fact that males can pass on their family name to their children therefore ensuring the "immortality" of one's family lineage. However, girls are welcome too. Girls are more fun to dress up.
@thea09 (18328)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi misisbau, as you say the preference in most places seems to be for a male to pass on the family name, but this could be thwarted by some Western countries trends for a woman to retain her own surname upon marriage, or to have a child alone, thus retaining her family name for the offspring, so if this tendency was to spread I wonder then how much value would still be attached to a male child for the reason of lineage. And i know you'll agree that girls have many other values apart from being dressed up.