GENDER AGENDAS TOO WACKY
IF YOU’RE feeling the need to reveal the gender of your unborn child in an eccentric and creative way, make sure you’ve got emergency services as a backup.
Recently a car caught fire doing a burnout at a baby shower. The burnout was the gender reveal: the smoke was pink. I wonder whether these bogan procreators were inspired by an incendiary gender reveal party in Arizona that caused a bushfire that spread over 19,000ha and cost more than $15 million. The fire raged for six days and took 800 fire fighters to contain. I’ll bet the dad-to-be wished he’d bought a doodle cake instead. (Yes, sadly, this is a thing.)
Anyone who’s been keeping up with the current push for expectant parents to find unique ways to share a baby’s gender with friends, family and siblings wouldn’t be surprised.These days, handing around a photo of a grainy ultrasound with the relevant bits circled in texta doesn’t cut it.
The ultimate gender reveal is supposed be a surprise to the parents as well. In the US parents get the sonographer to write boy or girl on a bit of paper, which is then sealed. It’s given to a baker who makes a cake which is neutral on the outside and has either pink or blue on the inside, and then cut open in front of family at a party.
So much excitement, so much fun and so many iPhone videos celebrating something that’s the size of a dimple on a grapefruit.
Some go even further. Singer and actor Hilary Duff announced the gender of her second child by releasing cannons filled with pink confetti, while others have incorporated pet alligators and fireworks into the big revelation.
The real question is not pink or blue, as far as I am concerned. The real question is WHY? Let’s face it. These parties – even the sweet and boring ones rather than those visited by fire brigades – are an exercise in self-absorption with a side order of rampant individualism. I’d prefer to squeeze my kids’ blackheads than spend an afternoon pinning a penis on a foetus before watching people cry while cutting open a cake.
Interestingly, these grand gender announcements – which are more about the amazing fecundity of the parents rather than the unborn child – fly in the face of the current gender-neutral push.
There are now gender-free birth certificates, gender-free toy aisles and some kindergartens have banned any division of kids in gender terms at all.
Some parents are even raising their kids in a gender-neutral way and insisting they can wear and play with whatever they like.
And don’t forget about No Gender December, where parents were urged to “buy a boy a Barbie”. It’s a lost cause, as far as I am concerned. As one mother of boys once said, “You can lead a boy to Barbie but you can’t make him pink”.
My objection to gender reveal parties has nothing to do with the premature stamping of a binary gender identity onto an unborn child. Rather, I think it’s boring and self-indulgent. I’ve got two boys and a girl, but I haven’t once put a pair of colour-appropriate bootees on Facebook.
Our grand gender reveal took place in a sterile office with a radiographer telling us at the 20-week mark of my pregnancy what we were having. I waddled to the car, got in and went home. No cakes. No burnouts. No wildfires. No insurance claims.
I wouldn’t have ever expected my friends to spend five hours celebrating the sexual characteristics of my unborn offspring. Watching a video of the conception? Maybe.
The gender reveal? Definitely not.