Is it time to get rid of gender-reveal parties? | The Tylt

Is it time to get rid of gender-reveal parties?

Gender reveal parties have taken over Instagram. Parents love revealing their newborn's gender in the most flamboyant of ways; they say it’s all in good fun before the stress of a child takes over. But many believe that gender-reveal parties do nothing but perpetuate gender norms–plus, they're just excessive. Are gender reveal parties getting out of hand? 

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Is it time to get rid of gender-reveal parties?
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Is it time to get rid of gender-reveal parties?
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The days of a simple baby shower are long gone. Now, new parents get to celebrate the upcoming birth of their child in a new way: through a gender-reveal party. The Mercury News reports on one parent's reason for hosting such a gathering:

'For us, it just was another milestone; it was a reason to celebrate. I was looking for a way to bring our family and friends in and add an element of surprise.'

Gender reveals typically involve both parents participating in an activity that results in a pink or blue surprise. Close friends and family look on with bated breath as parents cut into cakes, explode confetti poppers or take down piñatas. The parents' heartwarming reactions are then posted on social media, acting as a gender or baby announcement for their entire community. 

#EndGenderReveals

But for some, gender-reveal parties are not only narcissistic but illogical and harmful. Diane Stopyra of Marie Claire writes: 

For starters, gender-reveal parties don't actually reveal gender—they reveal anatomy. 

According to the World Health Organization, gender is defined as:

The socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.

Stopyra argues gender-reveal parties not only fail to reveal gender, but the blue-pink dichotomy furthers gender constructs that society is working hard to move away from. According to Stopyra: 

We're affixing a label to a child who hasn't even had a chance to enter the world and assume that identity...150,000 American teenagers identify as transgender. In a ritual that celebrates only a binary way of thinking about identity, we're leaving a cross-section of the population out, adding to a culture of trans and intersex shame. 
#KeepGenderReveals

Gender-reveal parties provide an exciting way for grandparents, aunts, and uncles to take part in their family member's pregnancy. In hosting one of these parties, parents choose to take an otherwise intimate moment–finding out the sex of their baby–and share it with the people who will play a huge role in that baby's life.  

The parties can certainly be extravagant, but most are quirky and humble. And using pink and blue as the colors to denote the baby's gender does not tie that baby to gender constructs for the rest of his or her life.

#EndGenderReveals

One gender-reveal party got out of hand this fall in California. A border agent planned to reveal his baby's gender by shooting at a "Tannerite target," which would explode with either pink or blue powder once hit. Instead, the agent started a forest fire. According to federal authorities, shots at the target:

...ultimately [caused] an explosion that started a fire that spread and resulted in damage to more than 45,000 acres of land managed by the State of Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and various private landholders.

The blaze took 800 firefighters and two weeks to put out. Moral of the story: unless you want to risk paying $8 million in reparations to your state, maybe think twice before planning your gender-reveal party. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is it time to get rid of gender-reveal parties?
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepGenderReveals
#EndGenderReveals