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Royal Birth guest blog: "Boy or girl, this baby was born to reign - and that's really something to celebrate"

(5 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 24-Jul-13 12:45:06

As you may have heard, the royal baby has arrived - and has already made his first official appearance before - well, the entire blimmin' world grin.

This royal baby is the first to automatically become heir to the throne, regardless of sex. Here, Mumsnet blogger Glosswitch explains why she thinks this really is something worth celebrating.

Let us know what you think here on the thread - and if you blog about it, don't forget to post your URL. (And do have a look at our royal guide to Mumsnet, specially prepared to welcome Kate to the world of parenthood.)

"Congratulations to Will and Kate! And above all, what a relief! As any of us who've fretted over the ovulation calendar can imagine, being placed under pressure to reproduce while the whole world watches must have been a total nightmare.

Sure, the royal couple have been spared the usual worries (none of the can we afford it?/will we get the best medical care?/ what will my boss say? stresses for them). But greeting a new baby is for most of us, one of the biggest delights in life - and after months of knowing she'd 'let down' millions were anything to go wrong, the Duchess of Cambridge really deserves to enjoy this moment.

Is it awful to confess, though, that I'm just the tiniest bit disappointed that we don't, after all, have a new royal baby girl? I've nothing against male babies of course; I've had two myself and they're both rather excellent. So my sneaking disappointment stems not from an addled preference for girls over boys, but because I feel mildly cheated of a historic moment: the recent change in the rules of royal succession would have meant the royal baby girl would have been the first future queen who wasn't destined to be pushed back in line the moment someone better - someone more male - came along.

I'm aware that, in the grand scheme of feminist victories, this sounds pretty niche - and rather 'second wave' in its glossing over of broader social inequalities. Nonetheless, in a world in which the belief that women are second best remains so ingrained we barely notice it, it would have been so satisfying to see such a glaringly obvious wrong put right.

We are used to the idea that when women achieve something distinctive, it's because men have generously agreed to give them a chance, or because the usual male wasn't available, or because yes, they're really good - but only compared to other women. We still talk about Britain's best female engineers, writers, musicians and entrepreneurs - the basic assumption being that a gifted woman cannot ever be of equal worth to a gifted man, no matter how special she is. And so too, for centuries, there have been royals, and then there have been male royals.

I'm not saying the removal of this distinction makes for a just system. Curiously, though, the sheer unfairness of any form of royal succession makes gender inequality far easier to pick out.

Usually, since it's not clear that a role is being bestowed arbitrarily on the basis of birth, we can pretend all the injustices leading to one person having everything and another nothing don't exist - it's all down to merit these days, or so the wealthy like to tell us. With royalty we know, absolutely, that this isn't the case. Male primogeniture was just one injustice in what remains an overwhelmingly unjust system, but at least we could see it. Most discrimination is so embedded it's a struggle to know where to start.

For a while there, it looked as though this country might have one - and only one - baby girl of whom one could say with complete certainty that she wouldn't miss out on a job due to not having been born male. That's something to think about next time we're stocking up on pink/blue paint, ploughing through the Steve Biddulph and rolling our eyes at her/his 'petulant'/'boisterous' behaviour. We'll have to wait another generation - or two, or three - to see it come to fruition, but perhaps the royals have set an example that even the most republican amongst us can follow."

Twitter: @glosswitch

YoniMatopoeia Thu 25-Jul-13 13:09:07

V well said

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Thu 25-Jul-13 22:08:13

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but this is a pile of utter toss.
The thing that would really strike a blow for gender equality is refusing to pay any further attention to and stop heaping praise on a woman who has achieved nothing other than hang about waiting for a prominent man to marry her. That, and swish her hair about.
if you think the royal family will ever be capable of advancing the cause of feminism you are out of your tiny mind

treacleturkey Sat 27-Jul-13 16:15:24

She has a achieved a very good degree in History of Art. A 2:1, nonetheless! grin

kathywhite Sun 28-Jul-13 16:45:03

What's really interesting is the assumption that this baby will grow up to be a future king ? How can we be sure? There could be all manner of life events, that prevent this from happening. Only time or fate will tell and it could yet be that a younger sister becomes the queen of his generation ! Can you predict a future - I don't know

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