Jenna Peterson ® News Editor |
Cartoon by Luis Ortiz ® Cartoonist |
Gender reveal parties have gained popularity through the past decade. These parties bring together friends and families to find out and celebrate the gender of an unborn baby, which to me seems a bit strange for numerous reasons.
First of all, the gender-reveal party concept is a bit disturbing. It’s pushing a gender identity and gender stereotypes onto a child that isn’t even born yet. Once the child is born, it further pushes people to imply these stereotypes onto a child who doesn’t even know right from left.
You might think because the child is so young that they won’t remember these ideas pushed onto them, but the parents and peers will subconsciously continue to believe in these stereotypes for years, ultimately teaching the kid what to and to not be like. This can damage the child’s mental health years down the road and cause them to question everything about them.
I believe we’re at a place in society where everyone should be able to choose their gender identity and expression. Almost everything associated with gender is a social construct anyway. Having “boys clothes” and “girls clothes” is just a way to label clothing and determine the price and style depending on the gender.
If someone who identifies as a boy wants to wear skirts and nail polish, why shouldn’t they? If someone who identifies as a girl wants to wear basketball shorts and cut their hair short, why shouldn’t they? In the end, it’s just clothing and it’s not harming anyone.
Second, the cost of hosting a gender reveal party can outweigh the pros. I understand having a party and people buying useful gifts for the child and parents to use. And this can be a perfect way to celebrate and cherish this new experience for the parents, but they should make it about the baby and parents instead of the gender and the ways in which the gender would be revealed.
There are numerous ways these parties reveal the gender, typically using blue or pink inside whatever object that’s decided upon. There’s cake cutting, balloon popping, smoke bomb releasing, and even fireworks shooting.
More recently and famously, there was a couple in California who decided to throw an extravagant gender reveal party, despite wildfires already taking place. In their reveal, there was a malfunction with a smoke-generating device, causing it to ignite nearby grass and quickly spread fire.
While this wasn’t the couple’s intent, it’s important to note and follow any and all safety precautions. In today’s world where the construct of gender is being called into question, these parties should be celebrating the new life rather than outdated norms.