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Academic and trans ally has ingenious suggestion for replacing abhorrent gender reveal parties once and for all

Emma Powys Maurice September 9, 2020
Gender reveal

Heteronormative gender reveal cake (@GerryRessler/Twitter)

After the latest gender reveal party stunt sparked a 10,500-acre wildfire, it’s time for the trend to be ancient history, suggests one Egyptologist.

Professor Sarah Parcak is an American Egyptologist, archaeologist and trans ally who shares our growing exhaustion for the increasingly extravagant craze for gender reveal parties.

Instead of celebrating your unborn child’s genitalia by reinforcing restrictive gender-based stereotypes, professor Parcak has a much, much better idea.

“Gender reveal parties, but instead of blowing up something to see blue/pink smoke, at the crucial moment, an anthropology professor emerges to give an hourlong lecture on how gender is a social construct while everyone is served rainbow cake,” she tweeted.

Or if that’s not heteronormative enough for you, how about a gender reveal party that reflects actual societal differences in gender rather than outdated tropes of masculinity and femininity?

Hand out wallets with money inside, she suggests. “If there’s a dollar inside, it’s a boy, if there’s 72 cents, it’s a girl.”

Professor Parcak’s not the only one to note the nonsensical nature of gender reveal parties. LGBT+ people and allies have long pointed out how harmful it can be to place gendered expectations on a child before it’s even been born.

The trans activist Munroe Bergdorf raised the issue last year on the dating and relationships podcast, Millennial Love.

“Ultimately, all it is, is revealing your child’s genitals. You have no idea how that child is going to identify and it really is just placing all of your hopes and dreams on this child based on their gender,” she said.

“You see videos of dads getting upset when they find out they’ve got a girl or mums getting upset because they’ve got a boy… Fair enough if you want to celebrate that you’re having a child, but that should be the priority, you know?”

Even the woman credited with starting the gender reveal craze, beauty blogger Jenna Karvunidis, is calling for an end to the madness.

“Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you,” she wrote on Facebook.

Ironically, the baby at the centre of the very first gender reveal party is now gender non-conforming – proving just how pointless the concept really is.

More: gender reveal, gender reveal party, munroe bergdorf, Professor Sarah Parcak

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