Sexist Feudal Institution Gets Trotted Out After Kate Gives Birth to a Boy

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Tuesday update: The Daily Beast editor Tina Brown repeated her thank-heavens-it's-a-boy congratulations to the Royal Couple on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning, saying, "I mean, once again, she does the perfect thing... I mean, although there's the constitutional change that we can now have a girl as the first born to be the monarch, nonetheless, she does the traditional thing, and she gives us a prince. She gives a king. I mean, let's face it, the Queen will be thrilled. She and the Duke of Edinburgh, much as they would have said they would have been fine with a girl first born, they really did want a boy and they got one."

Original: In a shocking moment of unscripted cable television on Monday, a vestigial sexist feudal institution found a brief respite from repudiation. "I can't believe we finally, after all this waiting, know that we have a boy," CNN's Victoria Arbiter said of Kate Middleton's first child. "My first thought, I have to say, was this is how brilliant a royal Kate is. There are women throughout British royal family history that have panicked over not being able to deliver a boy. And here we are — Kate did it first time." 

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Even the royal-obsessed Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast, played along with the thank-heavens-it's-a-boy mantra.

Look guys, the British monarchy has ably adapted to modern times, and royal wives aren't beheaded anymore just because they don't bear males. The law says the first-born is first in line to the throne, whether male or female — and it's been that way since all the way back in October 2011. That's why it's such a huge surprise that someone who qualifies as a royal expert on CNN would have internalized archaic values cast aside long ago by the monarchy.

Everyone wants to read the royal baby news, but no one wants to be caught reading the royal baby news sincerely. That means the best example so of sincere royal hysteria must be skewered. "To think, had she been any less of a royal we might have been stuck with a girl succeeding the throne and you know what shit monarchs women make," Jezebel's Madeleine Davies said.

For the record, in humans, the mother gives the offspring one X chromosome, and the father gives the offspring either an X chromosome or a Y chromosome. XXes become girls, and XYs become boys. So it's William who deserves the credit for the brilliant decision to make a boy. (Or the blame — how could William be so anti-feminist that he demand a boy first?) Kate would have deserved everyone's congratulations if she had an alien baby, because everyone knows alien DNA is carried in the mitochondria, which is passed down from mum.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.