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comment by elizabeth
elizabeth  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Are Gender Reveal Parties a Thing?  ·  

It’s just another excuse to do a party! Maybe i’m culturally unaware of traditions having grown up in a Russian household, but I feel there has been a proliferation of what I feel are corporation driven fake celebrations.

Take weddings with the engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridal luncheons... I feel that’s a bit too much. And they all have been codified with “what you’re supposed to do” down to the decorations and games. Has it always been like this and I was just oblivious?

I feel the same about the gender reveal parties. Feels like a fake occasion invented by the party industry. But maybe it’s just because it’s never been a thing in my culture and now I see my generation of people throwing these, with the parents a bit confused about what’s going on. I mean, I’m all about parties and I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade. We all need excuses to get together with friends and family and enjoy each others company. But there is a lack of authenticity in the cookies cutter nature of these that rubs me the wrong way somehow. Maybe it has to do with the fact that a lot of them are centered around giving someone presents and not the actual occasion.

About the transgender standpoint, maybe I’m talking out of line here, but gender does matter! If it was all inconsequential, there would be no queer movement. Celebrating that you’re going to have a boy does not mean you will not be supporting them in whatever gender indentity they will later identify as.





goobster  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    "... If (gender) was all inconsequential, there would be no queer movement. Celebrating that you’re going to have a boy does not mean you will not be supporting them in whatever gender indentity they will later identify as... "

Nailed. It. Thank you Elisabeth.

galen  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    About the transgender standpoint, maybe I’m talking out of line here, but gender does matter! If it was all inconsequential, there would be no queer movement. Celebrating that you’re going to have a boy does not mean you will not be supporting them in whatever gender indentity they will later identify as.

Nobody here is claiming that gender doesn't matter, though! You're right, gender is clearly not inconsequential. The problem is that gender is a socially constructed category into which people place themselves depending on how they identify. So when you get the word from your doctor that your unborn baby has XX chromosomes, you still have no idea what gender they will have. Celebrating that as proof that your child will later identify as a girl only reinforces unfounded societal expectations that their gender identity must correspond with their genitalia (which does kind of imply not supporting them if they identify with a another gender identity later)! At best, celebrating what genitalia your child will have is pretty weird; at worst, it's deeply transphobic.

elizabeth  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're right, it's more of a "sex reveal party" technically.

    Celebrating that as proof that your child will later identify as a girl only reinforces unfounded societal expectations that their gender identity must correspond with their genitalia (which does kind of imply not supporting them if they identify with a another gender identity later)!

I don't think it has anything to do with how the child will later identify, more about their present sex status. I have no doubt that if it was technically possible, people would do "eye/hair colour reveal parties". It's a redhead! And if they grow up and wear lenses/dye their hair purple - that's all good too.

People just want stupid milestones to celebrate their babies coming into the world.

galen  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You're right, it's more of a "sex reveal party" technically.

But nobody calls it that, and that's the problem.

    I don't think it has anything to do with how the child will later identify, more about their present sex status. I have no doubt that if it was technically possible, people would do "eye/hair colour reveal parties". It's a redhead! And if they grow up and wear lenses/dye their hair purple - that's all good too.

By calling it a gender reveal party, you're making it about gender. Not to mention the colors, the "it's a boy!" balloons, the whatever else is there-- it's all about gender, not sex. And yeah, obviously, this doesn't impact the baby. But a parent who so early celebrates their child's assumed gender identity, purely on the basis of the child's sex, is a parent who will be less receptive to a child that later identifies in other, "unexpected" ways.

steve  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

please help me understand the current definition of "gender" vs. "sex". Somewhere along the way, I feel like the definitions have evolved, and have gained some emotional gravity that I'm ignorant about. I don't want to go around offending people by using the wrong term in the wrong way. (and I'm being completely genuine and vulnerable here).

Quatrarius  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

the gist of it is "sex" is what you are from a reproductive-y, chromosome-y perspective and "gender" is the role you play socially - e.g. little XX humans don't pop out the womb as "female", that's the set of behaviors / expectations 'n' all that that get placed on you when society sees you have a vagina

people are born as whatever sex they are and get assigned a gender associated with their bits, then later their "gender identity" (their own sense of what set of behaviors / expectations align with them) develops and either matches the gender assigned to them or not

people that have a gender identity = assigned gender match are cisgender (although that word isn't well liked sometimes)

people that have a gender identity =/= assigned gender mismatch are transgender

I personally don't think that "gender reveal parties" matter one iota for reference but if you wanna be finicky then yeah "sex reveal parties" would be a better name - who gives a shit frankly

steve  ·  349 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I appreciate the insights. I think I must have just grown up thinking the word "gender" itself had a different definition. #themoreyouknow

Quatrarius  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

it's a silly example but it helps me remember: back in the day pink wasn't associated with femininity and it wasn't a gender-related thing, but somewhere along the line pink became associated with one gender and suddenly little girls like pink

they aren't born liking pink inherently, they're encouraged to like it by society - in contrast they aren't encouraged to have ovaries and shit like that, they just have it

the characteristics of sex are the characteristics of sex; gender is anything you want it to be because it's arbitrary

bikeexpert  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I totally agree with you. I think we live such a crazy and stressful life that we need to find reasons for celebrations that "we supposed to do" just to get away from our usual activity without feeling guilty of wasting time/money.