I’ve never been to a gender reveal party, and I hope to never get invited to one. Even though gender-reveal parties have been proven to be horribly outdated, the trend is still continuing to grow. In a recent report from CBSNewYork, gender reveal parties are going to unnecessary extremes, some with even dangerous outcomes like a Philadelphia couple who shot pink fireworks at their guests by accident. NYPD Detective Joe Giacalone even claimed that there was another scene where alligators were involved. These incidents continue to prove what we all know: society has a long way to go to smash gender norms.
What is a Gender Reveal Party?
The gender reveal party is a party thrown to announce a baby’s sex to friends or family. The reveal comes as a surprise, and usually includes pink and blue colors, like slicing into a cake that is either blue or pink, or setting off smoke bombs with pink or blue smoke or smashing piñatas with pink or blue inside.
Why are Gender Reveal Parties Harmful?
Even with all the information and resources available about gender, these parties are still gaining in popularity. If you think that throwing one of these parties is harmless, there is a number of reasons why they are problematic.
Sex and Gender Are Two Different Things
First, a person’s biological sex has no impact on their gender. Gender reveal parties don’t consider that a future child could be trans, non-binary, intersex, or any other expression of gender. Cisnormative parents don’t always consider this factor, and many are still uncomfortable talking about it. Gender is not determined by genitalia and these types of parties only reinforce that incorrect assumption. You can read more from Bitch Media’s article Pistols or Pearls Gender Reveal Parties are a Sham.
Reinforcing Gender Roles
When children grow up, many parents can encourage a gender identity that is closely aligned with the child’s biological sex. However, many children’s biological sex may not match their gender, and this can be distressing for them. Many children get bullied for not conforming to society’s gender expectations and throwing a gender reveal party only encourages gender norms. The major downside to these kinds of parties, or even finding out the sex of a baby, is that people are placing gender roles onto children before they’re even born. For more information about the gender binary, check out SexInfo Online.
Other Ways to Throw a Party
I would encourage you to avoid throwing a party altogether. If for some reason you really must have a gender reveal party, here is a fun alternative. Why not throw a “My Baby Doesn’t Have a Gender” party?
An Alternative Party
Many people these days twisting society’s expectations when it comes to marriage and have alternative weddings, so why not do the same for a gender reveal party. The article 3 Ways That Gender Reveal Parties Can Be Harmful — Plus 3 Awesome Alternatives from Everyday Feminism suggests instead of biting into pink or blue frosting, that guests should bite into a rainbow cake. We all know that a rainbow celebrates LGBTQ+ pride, so that adds an extra amazing touch. The same can be done with balloons when it comes to the décor of the party.
Throwing a party with this theme allows for thoughtful discussion about gender with your friends and family. In addition, make sure guests know to bring gender-neutral gifts.
There is enough information out there to know that gender reveal parties are a thing of the past. It’s time to put an end to these parties and start thinking more progressively so we can respect everyone’s gender.