Now I'm going to be depressed the whole day!
What makes it worse is that this attitude pervades and permeates the pores of our country. It is like talking and breathing, it is everywhere, is is normal. It is all right to think like this. Its perfectly legitimate to want sons. People don't even stop to consider that this is something that could possibly ever be questioned.
This happened to me yesterday night. I was talking to Mom, and she was, as usual, bemoaning the fact that I don't have kids (read son). The latest in a series of ideas about how to have children is to keep a mannat. That is basically saying to God that I would do such-and-such if you give me so-and-so.
Like a true negotiator, she gave me a real world example (real people I know)
"There was this woman in our colony, who had three daughters. She kept this mannat that she would go to the temple every day for 40 days, and do jhadu-poccha there. For 40 days non-stop... ab to uska beta jawaan ho gaya hai"
Do you want me to list everything that is wrong in the above statement? It might take another 2-3 hours. I felt immensely sorry for this poor woman, who must have been hounded to death by our society for producing 3 daughters. And the only way she could get respect and any worth whatsoever was to beget a son.
But my Mom only saw her as a winner- a winner who worked hard to get that most coveted of prizes, a son.
Anyway, the point is that when narrating this story, my Mom did not even think that this was offensive, wrong or anything. For her, this only demonstrated that God can fulfill all wishes, and give you a son.
My Dad (who's the most enlightened person in the whole world) actually gave me a real world reason to have a son. When I was arguing with my parents, why son?, he said something prosaic, practical and a Parthian shot:
"Sasuraal mein reputation ban jaati hai"