Let me start off by saying that in the natural order of things, girls appear to be the preference. They tend to make up 51% of the population overall, because men tend to do stupid things and die off before they're 40. So if you trust in nature, nature is saying that the world is a better place when there are more girls around than boys. It's not just me saying girls are better.
I myself have two daughters, a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old, and I've learned from those girls how to be a better man. If I'd had a boy, then there'd be two shitty versions of me. The last thing I need to do is fail twice with two different people: me and my son. But I benefit from an uncomplicated relationship with my daughters—I get to observe how great they are. I'm always learning from them, and they are well-mannered with far better living habits than I have. When I get up in the morning, for instance, they're already dressed, with their teeth brushed and looking nice. I'm not capable of any of that.
But on a deeper level of ability, my girls are interested in other people. They notice stuff and take part in doing things that I don't know if a boy would notice. They do the right thing, they treat people well, and they listen to other people—boys at their age are just these little balls of want. This is, of course, a generalization; a lot of girls end up being selfish and obnoxious as grown-ups, just like some men are really sensitive and thoughtful. But I generally prefer females to spend a lot of time with. Girls are good roommates; they're good company when you go shopping; they're a lot of fun to hang out with in the car when you're just sitting in traffic. Those little things add up to a better life.
Overall, I think it's a good time to have a girl in the 21st century because things are changing, with more opportunities for women. But girls are still the underdog, which means they'll work harder, and everybody loves an underdog. The next Steve Jobs will totally be a chick, because girls are No. 2—and No. 2 always wins in America. Apple was a No. 2 company for years, and Apple embodies a lot of what have been defined as feminine traits: an emphasis on intuitive design, intellect, a strong sense of creativity, and that striving to always make the greatest version of something. Traditionally, men are more like Microsoft, where they'll just make a fake version of what that chick made, then beat the shit out of her and try to intimidate everybody into using their product.
Wait a second—why am I trying to persuade someone to have a girl? It's backward. The fact that people have kids because they want something from them is bizarre. As soon as you have a child, that script gets flipped for the rest of your life anyway. It's not about you anymore. I say this so when you have a girl, you don't ask yourself: What am I going to get out of this girl? You're supposed to focus on: What does this girl need from me and what kind of parent do I need to be to her? That's the question you should be asking yourself right now, not whether or not you'll be missing some boy's stupid Little League game.
[Photo by K.C. Bailey]
A version of this article appeared in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.