Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Nit-Picky Snark on Gender Reveal Parties

I may come across as a bitch in this entry, if so, sorry about that (except for not really).

Pinterest is pretty much my favourite thing ever, and lately I've been looking up all-things-baby.  One thing I'm noticing is that some people are now having what they call "Gender Reveal Parties."  For the record, from this point forward, I can't even say "gender" in place of what should be "sex," so I'm just going to start using the proper word.  Because FYI:
"Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

"Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.
Whatever, take my Gender Studies education and stuff it, I know.  I just couldn't help myself.

Back to these parties, in case you don't already know, here's how they work:

- You get your anatomy scan and find out the sex of your unborn baby
- You plan a party where the entire purpose is to reveal the sex of your baby
- You do everything in pink and blue to build the suspense (LOL)

For example:

Will the baby be blue or will the baby be pink! OMG!


This one is just gorgeous, but yeah.
THEN... the number one important part... you reveal the sex of the baby. 

You do it by baking a cake with white frosting, that has either pink or blue inside.  Pink means girl, boy means blue (OBVIOUSLY YOU GUYS!).

Or by opening a box of either pink or blue balloons.

Or by taking a big poop on a table, and if the poop is pink, it's a girl, and if the poop is blue it's a girl (just kidding, that one isn't on pinterest).

Ok now don't get me wrong, I love a party myself. So if someone wants to sink a few hundred dollars and many hours making Pinterest-worthy mini-treats and favours, by all means, knock yourself out.  And if any of my friends had a gender reveal party, I would immediately correct them and say it's a sex reveal party and then proceed to show up with a huge present and a genuine smile on my face.  Your kid, your party, you do what you like, right?  I'll get excited for you in any way possible.  And I'll admit, I do get really excited when people reveal the sex of their baby because I'm often dying to know. 

But myself? I really don't feel comfortable with the idea of having a gender reveal party.  Partially because... your child cannot POSSIBLY reveal their gender from inside the womb.  I know you are thinking, "Monika, don't be a douche and dwell on semantics.  Let's just call it a sex reveal party and call it good." But my word, it feels like tons of pressure on the baby to adhere to certain gender roles, before they are even born.  Not to mention it puts a huge focus on gendering the baby as early as possible. 

Now don't get me wrong, before Aias was born, I was DYING and ACHING to know if he was a boy or a girl. I don't know why, but I was.  I wanted to know so badly.  I think it was because I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was having a child, and I wanted to know everything about this person that I could and as soon as possible.  My knowledge of his having a penis made it easier to come up with a name.  However, that is pretty much all it did. 

So why do I think these parties are so weird? I don't know.  I don't really have any information to substantiate my discomfort with them, they just make me feel weird. When I read about them, something inside me sends an alert out to my senses and makes my skin crawl. Maybe I'm just crazy, and these parties are a beautiful, cute, and interesting way to celebrate a new baby. 

What I think would be the neatest thing of all, would be if we lived in a society where kids and teenagers could decide to have an actual "Gender Reveal Party" whenever they felt ready.   And whether the inside of their cake was pink, blue, tye-dye, or glitter, everyone would join in to support and celebrate them. And as I said on my Facebook, I'm feeling pretty tempted to throw my own Gender Reveal Party with my next baby, and to cut open a green and yellow cake. 

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