Here's a story that has so upset me I scarcely can articulate all the reasons why: a 31-year-old Chinese woman went to the doctor because she had blood in her urine; turns out she has 26 sewing needles embedded in her body; and the likely explanation is that when she she an infant, her grandparents stuck all the needles in her because they were upset that she wasn't a boy. Some of the needles have worked their way into vital organs; one needle has broken into three pieces in her brain.
OK, I'm really distressed by the fact that female fetuses are so often aborted in India and China; I'm horrified by female infanticide. I realize that what I'm about to write is obvious, but those aborted fetuses and murdered infants don't have to live with the knowledge that their families didn't want them because they were female. I'm not saying it's better to be killed as an infant than to discover, at age 31, that your grandparents (whom you were probably trained to love and respect) were disappointed enough by your sex that they'd try to kill you, but I am saying that I find it hard to wrap my mind around how that might alter your view of yourself, your family and the world.
Of course, women do have to live with the knowledge that the world considers them of secondary importance, and largely disposable. But hey, we have our ENTIRE LIVES to come to terms with THAT fact, because basically not a day goes by when that message isn't communicated. But there's something about finding out one day that you have a needle in your brain put their by your grandparents that just takes things into a different realm for me--I can't imagine how that would change your fundamental experience of yourself and your world. I think it would make me afraid even to lie down and put my head on a pillow.
The world is a sick, sick place.