Monday, March 13, 2006

The Matter of the Male Heir

Came across this story on the BBC today:

Princess Aiko's future has been keenly debated because of controversial moves by Japan's prime minister to push for new legislation to let women ascend the throne.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made the suggestion because of the Imperial family's failure to produce male heirs.

If the rules were changed, Princess Aiko would stand to ascend the throne upon the death of her father.

But what struck me:

The strain on Aiko's mother to provide a boy is reported to be responsible for the nervous disorer she has been suffering from for the last two years.

It is a real pity that even after all the hue and cry about modern traditions and all the development societies are supposed to have gone through, some can still not discard this discriminating position. What is sadder is that the woman is blamed for her inability to produce a male heir. What they conveniently forget is that that male chromosome does not come from the woman! And in most societies - not just this one - the woman is held as the culprit. It's not her fault. For that matter it's not even the man's fault. It's just how things turn out. Yet, we cling to such beliefs.