Gender reveal parties are outdated

Written By Benjamin Reinke, For The Globe

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Gender reveal parties are an unnecessary fad that delegitimize the existence of transgender people by supporting the notion that there are only two genders. These parties are commonly expensive, sexist, overly sexual and potentially dangerous. 

A gender reveal party is a celebration where expecting parents hold a party to announce the sex of a baby in a variety of creative means. Some couples fill balloons with colored confetti, others may cut into a cake that’s been dyed pink or blue; however, I have seen many gender reveal parties go terribly wrong. 

I have read gender reveal stories where car exhausts filled with colored smoke burst into flames. I’ve watched countless videos showing boxes full of balloons smack expecting mothers in the face. Worst of all, a gender reveal party in 2018 resulted in a 47,000-acre wildfire which caused $8 million worth of damages. These are just a few examples, and a quick Google search will reveal how many more of these parties have ended in disaster. 

Seeing all these disastrous gender reveals made me curious. If these parties are so likely to go wrong, then why do they still exist? And even if the reveal goes off successfully, do they even have a reason to exist at all? 

Why is there a need to announce what genitals a child will be born with? It’s simply unnecessary. Throwing a massive party and spending hundreds of dollars to find out something a doctor could write on a piece of paper is extravagant and wasteful. Besides the glaring issues of environmental and financial concerns, there really isn’t much of a point to these parties anyway.

Knowing what genitalia a child will grow up with isn’t important. A gender reveal doesn’t share anything important about the child, other than what sexual chromosomes they will be born with, which leaves much to be discovered. A gender reveal party can’t share who the baby will be, or what kind of person they may become. It’s just an extravagant way to support an antiquated idea of gender.

Gender reveal parties support an outdated idea of the traditional gender binary and reinforce traditional gender roles. Gender reveal parties only support the ideas of male and female, ignoring all identities that may fall out of the traditional gender binary. As more people begin to rally to fight for transgender rights, a party celebrating the male/female gender binary hurts the cause. It supports the notion that there are only two genders, when advocates for trans rights believe that gender exists on a spectrum. This actively hurts the fight for trans rights, which already meets enough resistance in the realm of politics.   

In addition to being transphobic, gender reveal parties also tend to be incredibly sexist. Many gender reveal cakes have text written on them like, “touchdowns or tutus,” “lures or lace,” and even “guns or glitter.” These ideas are extremely outdated. These cakes say that boys can have hobbies like hunting or playing football. However, these cakes are an entirely different story for girls, celebrating material things like jewelry and clothing.

Overall, gender reveal parties aren’t doing anything productive. All they are is a waste of money to find out an unnecessary piece of information that could be found out at an obstetrician’s office. These parties are incredibly offensive to women, as well as those in the transgender community, and have no real reason to exist. If expecting parents need a reason to celebrate the miracle of life, they should just throw a baby shower instead.

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