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-   -   What do y'all think about "Reveal Parties"? (sex of unborn babies) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=881289)

StarvingButStrong 08-30-2019 06:47 PM

What do y'all think about "Reveal Parties"? (sex of unborn babies)
 
Do you think they're fun? Necessary? Just another gift grab?

This is on my mind because I just received an invitation to a Reveal Party for one of my grandnieces. (Great nieces? Whatever you call the daughter of one of your nephews.)

The thing is.... well, the whole situation is unfortunate, imho. The girl was just one year into getting her nursing degree and got knocked up (don't they teach them anything??) by an unemployed boy she'd known for barely a couple of months. Who, we found out, is freshly released from prison (car theft.) She dropped out, of course, though rumor says she might have been tossed out due to grades in any case.

So, basically we have two young, stupidly acting people with no (legal) income, no real prospects, living in her parent's 'mother-in-law' apartment about to take on the responsibility of raising a child, ghod help him/her.

Did this prevent the girl/her parents from throwing a massive wedding and reception they (the parents) probably couldn't really afford? Of course not. She'd always DREAMED of her perfect wedding, you see, so why shouldn't she have it? And she had a bridal shower catered at a fairly Ritzy restaurant, too. And then a baby shower just a couple months later. (I know about all this because I was at each of them <sigh>)

And now she's having a Reveal Party.

Why??? How many parties does she think she's owed in the course of about five months? Does she really think it matters to anyone outside of her, her husband, and maybe her parents whether the kid is a boy or girl? In advance, I mean? I'm sure all of us can bear the suspense for another two months.


Or I suppose my old fogeyness is showing. Maybe Reveal Parties are damn near required and the most wonderful thing ever. Maybe I'm just prejudiced because of the situation surrounding this particular one.

What do you think?

begbert2 08-30-2019 07:06 PM

I went to one last night!

They didn't ask for gifts. They served cake.

Worth the trip, but pointless. Also (rather literally) it's counting chickens before they hatch.

TheCuse 08-30-2019 07:27 PM

I personally think those things are stupid.

It's nothing more than, "Look at us. Aren't we special?"

Johanna 08-30-2019 07:42 PM

What I want to understand is how in this day and age the importance of gender, the imperative to lock in gender definitions for each individual and reinforce gender roles for children in society so heavily. It was locked in and enforced long ago when I was born, of course, but what's up with the intensification in recent years as shown by gender reveal parties?

Tastes of Chocolate 08-30-2019 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCuse (Post 21834207)
I personally think those things are stupid.

It's nothing more than, "Look at us. Aren't we special?"

That's my feeling. Tell me ahead of time, or don't tell me. Just don't make it some big production. A co-worker is having her gender reveal 1 week before her due date. Yep, 1 week. Everyone in the office knows, but her daughter doesn't. The office pool is starting to place bets on if she'll go into labor before, during or after the party.

gotpasswords 08-30-2019 07:45 PM

Whatever happened to waiting until you heard the doc say “It’s a ....!”

CairoCarol 08-30-2019 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johanna (Post 21834220)
What I want to understand is how in this day and age the importance of gender, the imperative to lock in gender definitions for each individual and reinforce gender roles for children in society so heavily. It was locked in and enforced long ago when I was born, of course, but what's up with the intensification in recent years as shown by gender reveal parties?

This. It feels like moving backward. Decades ago, the sex of a child mattered a great deal, in determining what expectations would be placed upon them and what opportunities would be open to them. I sincerely hope gender is much more irrelevant these days.

And that doesn't even address the possibility of any kind of gender fluidity or transgenderism, which I would certainly hope we'd accept as any individual grows up.

So yeah, I think gender reveal parties send the wrong message. Plus they do come across as attention-seeking gift grabs.

Manda JO 08-30-2019 08:03 PM

The whole thing is really weird. This is reality TVs fault: as a society, we are obsessed with watching people have reactions. So now proposals have to be elaborate, so we can all share in the woman's reaction. Kids film themselves getting their college decisions and they go viral. We are obsessed with the moment of revelation, and we want it to be as public as possible.

It all seems like a lot of fucking pressure to me. Ultimately, it means your spontaneous reactions have to match the ideal, or you failed. And it also puts way way too much weight on initial reactions, as if those were more authentic. Instincts are not magic. There's been plenty of wonderful parents who were horrified when they realized they were expecting; plenty of good marriages that started with one partner working through doubts.

Snowboarder Bo 08-30-2019 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCuse (Post 21834207)
I personally think those things are stupid.

It's nothing more than, "Look at us. Aren't we special?"

Aye; I don't give enough fucks about most people to need to help make every fucking thing that happens to them "special". Yeah, yeah: it's part of your life. Great; thanks for sharing. NEXT!

puzzlegal 08-30-2019 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johanna (Post 21834220)
What I want to understand is how in this day and age the importance of gender, the imperative to lock in gender definitions for each individual and reinforce gender roles for children in society so heavily. It was locked in and enforced long ago when I was born, of course, but what's up with the intensification in recent years as shown by gender reveal parties?

This.

I'm sort of sympathetic to the desire to gather the tribe and throw a party. (although there seem to have been rather a lot recently for this branch of the family.) And hey, it's an excuse to serve cake. But the whole focus on the gender of a kid who isn't even born makes me uneasy. More because of the gender focus than the unborn thing -- I've never known someone who truly regretted that her friends knew she was upset about the still birth.

Also, I have never been invited to a gender reveal party, but I thought they replaced the shower, I didn't realize they were in addition to the shower. I mean, how many parties do you need for each kid?

Fretful Porpentine 08-30-2019 08:48 PM

I don't have a stake in this since it's unlikely that I'll ever have a kid, but I think they're silly and tacky and a bit sexist. (And yeah, it feels like society is going backwards in some ways, pushing way more gender-coded stuff on kids way earlier.)

monstro 08-30-2019 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 21834233)
The whole thing is really weird. This is reality TVs fault: as a society, we are obsessed with watching people have reactions.

You are so much kinder than me. I don't think it's about watching people's reactions at all. I think it is about wanting attention. A gender reveal party is just another avenue to get showered with attention. As if a baby shower isn't enough.

So yeah, I find these things to be incredibly stupid. Whenever I hear about someone throwing one of these, I inwardly hope that their baby comes out with the opposite genitalia.

StarvingButStrong, I think it is perfectly acceptable to sit this one out. Because there will inevitably be the baby shower and baby's first birthday party. Then there will probably be another baby after one and the whole cycle will repeat. No one with any decency would expect all extended family members--especially old fogeys--to show up to these things.

Beckdawrek 08-30-2019 09:12 PM

Hate 'em. Hate showers. Hate teas. Hate weddings. Hate any gathering where there are more that 3 or 4 people.
But, if peeps wanna do it. Fine with me. I ain't coming.
I endured my kids things like this but I was unhappy about it.

nearwildheaven 08-30-2019 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monstro (Post 21834285)
You are so much kinder than me. I don't think it's about watching people's reactions at all. I think it is about wanting attention. A gender reveal party is just another avenue to get showered with attention. As if a baby shower isn't enough.

So yeah, I find these things to be incredibly stupid. Whenever I hear about someone throwing one of these, I inwardly hope that their baby comes out with the opposite genitalia.

StarvingButStrong, I think it is perfectly acceptable to sit this one out. Because there will inevitably be the baby shower and baby's first birthday party. Then there will probably be another baby after one and the whole cycle will repeat. No one with any decency would expect all extended family members--especially old fogeys--to show up to these things.

And in OP's case a divorce party? (Yep, people do that too. Or rather, women do it.)

OTOH, I did love the Facebook post from a former co-worker who had gone through hell and back with her husband to get pregnant. Everything was pink and blue with question marks on it, and out in the yard was a large box, which, when opened, had pink balloons on one side and blue balloons on the other, and a huge heart-shaped balloon in the middle that said "TWINS." They had known about the twins from the start but hadn't told anyone about that either. The kids are about 2 1/2 now.

EmilyG 08-30-2019 10:08 PM

I think reveal parties are ridiculous.
Though it seems to me that the family situation described in the OP isn't quite related to gender reveal parties in general.

nelliebly 08-30-2019 10:16 PM

They're kind of silly , but if I were young and expecting, I'd invite everyone over for a gender reveal, except I'd know the gender in advance so when I cut the cake, it'd be...purple! :)

Pantastic 08-30-2019 10:53 PM

Yeah, these parties seem to be a combination of a cry for attention and an attempt to force or reinforce traditional gender roles on children. Nothing that I like in either one of those, plus they're incorrectly conflating sex and gender.

Also the idea of 'lets have a party so I can tell you what my baby's genitals look like' is pretty off-putting when you think about it.

Nava 08-30-2019 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johanna (Post 21834220)
What I want to understand is how in this day and age the importance of gender, the imperative to lock in gender definitions for each individual and reinforce gender roles for children in society so heavily. It was locked in and enforced long ago when I was born, of course, but what's up with the intensification in recent years as shown by gender reveal parties?

I call it "the repinkification". When I was little, I was taught that being a boy or a girl didn't mean jackshit except for the purely-physical differences; parents who claimed that their little girl was "their princess" might get a dry "that doesn't make you a king, you know. Maybe a stablehand."

Now all kinds of objects are pinkified. Pink clothing, pink power tools, pink pink pink pink! Someone decided that "little boys can't wear Dora backpacks to kindergarten!"; thankfully it seems to be less than 1/3 of the parents, but it still is a lot more than the parents who wouldn't have let their little ones wear Snow White, Mogwli or Maya the Bee backpacks. If you're a girl you MUST shower yourself in pink; if you're a boy you're not ALLOWED to get anywhere near the pink alley in the toy store.

What. The. FUCK?

Personal 08-30-2019 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beckdawrek (Post 21834293)
Hate 'em. Hate showers. Hate teas. Hate weddings. Hate any gathering where there are more that 3 or 4 people.
But, if peeps wanna do it. Fine with me. I ain't coming.
I endured my kids things like this but I was unhappy about it.

So no invite to the conception party for you!

nearwildheaven 08-31-2019 01:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pantastic (Post 21834388)
Yeah, these parties seem to be a combination of a cry for attention and an attempt to force or reinforce traditional gender roles on children. Nothing that I like in either one of those, plus they're incorrectly conflating sex and gender.

Also the idea of 'lets have a party so I can tell you what my baby's genitals look like' is pretty off-putting when you think about it.

I personally think it's really warped when people post the ultrasound pictures of the baby's genitals on social media. :dubious:

Which reminds me of this:

https://www.theonion.com/i-wish-my-p...s-o-1819584775

BigT 08-31-2019 03:45 AM

Meh. I've never been to one, but the videos show people who seem to enjoy themselves. The family and friends come up with a fun way to reveal it, and they do. The father (usually, though sometimes also the mother) gets a fun reaction that the friends and family , and everyone else has an excuse to get together, which is all parties are anyways. The actual party is never very elaborate.

It also, I'm sure, hearkens back to older traditions where people would in fact go around announcing "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." The cigarettes existed when I was a kid, and I'm sure they have for much longer. It also connects with the idea that having a baby is a societal event, and not just something for that one family. A new human is being added to the local tribe. Knowing the gender is part of preparing.

But, mostly, it goes back to what I said in the beginning. The people there seem to enjoy it. If they didn't, the whole thing wouldn't have started. Far be it from me to tell them that they're wrong, or assume bad things about the people who throw them.

Broomstick 08-31-2019 04:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 21834395)
I call it "the repinkification". When I was little, I was taught that being a boy or a girl didn't mean jackshit except for the purely-physical differences; parents who claimed that their little girl was "their princess" might get a dry "that doesn't make you a king, you know. Maybe a stablehand."

Now all kinds of objects are pinkified. Pink clothing, pink power tools, pink pink pink pink! Someone decided that "little boys can't wear Dora backpacks to kindergarten!"; thankfully it seems to be less than 1/3 of the parents, but it still is a lot more than the parents who wouldn't have let their little ones wear Snow White, Mogwli or Maya the Bee backpacks. If you're a girl you MUST shower yourself in pink; if you're a boy you're not ALLOWED to get anywhere near the pink alley in the toy store.

What. The. FUCK?

... and that is why I loathe the color pink and absolutely refuse to wear it, and avoid it as much as possible. I refuse to be color-coded in that manner.

Broomstick 08-31-2019 04:39 AM

But back to reveal parties - I remember the days when you didn't know the sex until the kid popped out, every now and then it still strikes me as weird that we can know ahead of time. Then I start thinking about kids who are born intersex and start having weird fantasies about one day someone will be doing a reveal party and instead of pink or blue will have white (or something) because they know in advance their kid is intersex... except that will never happen, of course.

Sure, have a party if you like parties and need an excuse, but this seems to be evolving into a "must-do" and yet another expectation of perfection and performance, and really, we don't need more of those. Whether it's the parents lavishly spending on the reveal or the extraction of yet more money from friends and relatives, I am not a fan of excess. There seems to be pressure to make each event more over-the-top than the last. I don't like that.

Cicero 08-31-2019 05:08 AM

Never heard of them before this thread but now I have something else to bitch about :)

Ravenman 08-31-2019 05:19 AM

Itís just a reason for a party, which involves people getting together in real life, talking with each other, and having fun. Of course itís a terribly unpopular idea on the SDMB.

Next week, Iím invited to a party because itís back to school week. Those bastards, trying to make me not play Minecraft in my basement or listen to my old record collection for a couple hours! Who do they think they are? Society is broken!

Alessan 08-31-2019 05:27 AM

In my culture, you're not even supposed to build the crib until the baby is born - at the retail chains, you can order a full nursery and have its delivery postponed until, well, the delivery. Baby showers? Gender reveal parties? Haven't these people heard of the evil eye? You wait until the baby is born, alive and healthy, and only then you celebrate.

Broomstick 08-31-2019 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21834558)
Itís just a reason for a party, which involves people getting together in real life, talking with each other, and having fun. Of course itís a terribly unpopular idea on the SDMB.

Oh, please - a bunch of friends getting together, bringing out a cake and cutting it to reveal pink or blue is actually a fun idea.

Spending thousands of dollars you don't really have on elaborate set-ups and demanding gifts is what's over-the-top crazy.

I feel that way about weddings. If you can afford an elaborate destination wedding with big ceremony have at it! But don't go tens of thousands into debt for a wedding. But what do I know? I eloped - in part because that's all we could afford at the time. I was told I'd regret not having the fairy-tale wedding but I never did, in fact I'm really glad we did things the way we did. Of course, there are people for whom the big party is important, in which case they should throw a big party within their means. On the other hand, I've been to some atypical weddings, and weddings outside the "wedding industry" memes, that were fabulous where everyone had a good time. I'm all for people having options and having fun, what I object to is the meme that a couple MUST do specifically this or that thing, or go into debt trying to out-do someone else's party.

Kimera757 08-31-2019 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gotpasswords (Post 21834224)
Whatever happened to waiting until you heard the doc say “It’s a ....!”

This is almost literally my thought. But in this and age, everyone goes to the doctor to check out the unborn baby's health, and while they're doing tests they might as well check the baby's gender. And number. (If you have twins, do you have to buy more than one crib? I assume so. And you'll want an appropriate number of diapers too!)

The first time I heard of a gender reveal party, I read an online post about how the person who knew the baby's gender* decided to rant about gender issues and wouldn't tell the parents what gender the baby was... in front of everyone at the party, of course. An embarrassing situation was had by all (except the ranter, I guess). So I probably have an overly negative image of these parties.

It's not a big deal if the parents don't know the baby's gender until birth. You can paint the crib gray or white, and the baby won't care what color its clothes are until it can talk anyway (by which point all the old clothes will have been tossed out or given away because babies grow fast!).

*So does the doctor just tell this one person, and not the pregnant mother? I wonder how the first doctor to get this request reacted.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 21834563)
Haven't these people heard of the evil eye?

We have more rational superstitions? :D

Alessan 08-31-2019 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimera757 (Post 21834566)

We have more rational superstitions? :D

That's true. You worry about jinxes for more important stuff, like sports.

FairyChatMom 08-31-2019 06:33 AM

Any excuse for a party, I guess, altho I expect for some folks it's definitely a gift grab. To my mind, the only reason to learn ahead of time is to narrow the name search. Personally, I wanted to be surprised when I squeezed the kid out.

My daughter was adamant that she didn't want a lot of fluffy girly stuff for her daughter, so she held off telling anyone the baby's sex for a pretty long time. At 16 months, my granddaughter has clothing that ranges from unicorns and bunnies to dinosaurs and planets. Not that the kid cares - her fashion genes haven't kicked in yet.

Anyway, to answer the question - I think the spectacle of "gender reveal" is pretty silly, but in the grand scheme of things, meh.

jz78817 08-31-2019 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 21834476)
I personally think it's really warped when people post the ultrasound pictures of the baby's genitals on social media. :dubious:

Which reminds me of this:

https://www.theonion.com/i-wish-my-p...s-o-1819584775

I like this one too: https://www.theonion.com/miracle-of-...ime-1819565067

Chronos 08-31-2019 07:04 AM

Hey, having a kid is a Big Deal (even if it has happened 83 billion times before), and when things happen to people that are a Big Deal, they want to celebrate it. Sounds perfectly natural to me.

jz78817 08-31-2019 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21834595)
Hey, having a kid is a Big Deal (even if it has happened 83 billion times before), and when things happen to people that are a Big Deal, they want to celebrate it. Sounds perfectly natural to me.

that's fine, but this wasn't A Thing until recently. Apparently my parents and grandparents (and so on) got by just fine w/o having their butts kissed over having a kid.

Ruken 08-31-2019 08:07 AM

That they're often called "gender" reveal parties is particularly silly.
Sometimes it's nice to have an excuse to get family together for something fun. My family had a long gap in weddings and babbies so for a while it seemed like the only big get-togethers were funerals. A reveal party is dumb but for a while there I might have welcomed it. Although I suppose it would have come along with other babby stuff so maybe not.

Of course if your family sucks, never mind all that.

Ravenman 08-31-2019 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broomstick (Post 21834565)
Spending thousands of dollars you don't really have on elaborate set-ups and demanding gifts is what's over-the-top crazy.

Nobody is ever in a position to demand gifts. Not for birthdays, funerals, weddings, divorces, housewarmings, welcome back from prisons, bar mitzvahs, bar crawls, Arbor Day, or Super Bowl Sunday.

Once you eliminate that, thereís really no difference between any ďcome here and eat cakeĒ event.

If someone wants to blow their money, thatís generally their issue and not mine. Iím not a busybody who insists that people adhere to my priorities on party spending, sports preferences, travel plans, or whatever.

doreen 08-31-2019 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimera757 (Post 21834566)
*So does the doctor just tell this one person, and not the pregnant mother? I wonder how the first doctor to get this request reacted.

My understanding* is that the doctor writes the information down and puts it into an envelope, which is opened by the baker, balloon-filler etc.







* Only an understanding because my daughter isn't having one and in fact says it's not possible to have one "We can't know the gender, only the sex"

monstro 08-31-2019 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21834639)
If someone wants to blow their money, thatís generally their issue and not mine. Iím not a busybody who insists that people adhere to my priorities on party spending, sports preferences, travel plans, or whatever.

I don't see anyone here insisting that anyone adhere to any particular standard. People are just expressing their opinion about a relatively new social phenomenon. As far as I can tell, no one here is signing a petition to ban anything.

you with the face 08-31-2019 08:57 AM

I wanted to know the sex of my kids ahead of time because...why not? You know early on which pronouns to use when talking about the baby and
it saves time on coming up with names. Me and my husband invested hours deliberating on what to name our daughters. It makes me tired just imagining having to come up boy and girl names for both pregnancies. There are practical benefits to not waiting until the baby arrives.

But a gender reveal party? Not my style at all.

In the case of the OP and similar situations, I wonder if the panoply of celebrations is an effort to infuse joy and merriment into a bad, stressful situation. Like, maybe the grand niece needs these parties to lift up her spirits and make her excited for what lies ahead. For this reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if parties like this occurred more frequently with unintended pregnancies.

kayaker 08-31-2019 09:10 AM

Initially I kind of liked the idea. An excuse to get together and drink, plus a chance to show off creativity. Then we were invited to one that was a "sober event". Fuck that noise; we sent our regrets and had a good time doing something else.

Ravenman 08-31-2019 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monstro (Post 21834644)
I don't see anyone here insisting that anyone adhere to any particular standard. People are just expressing their opinion about a relatively new social phenomenon. As far as I can tell, no one here is signing a petition to ban anything.

And nobody is taking of forcing anyone to throw a gender reveal party.

I see criticism of people who want to have a party, on a couple main grounds that I view are unfair:

1. It is an expression of self-centeredness ó well, parties for retirements, birthdays, weddings, etc are just as self-centered.
2. Itís an excuse to hit me up for a gift ó you are not obligated to bring a gift to any party you attend. And if your host for any party ó not just a gender reveal ó insists on a gift they are in the wrong.

Iím just expressing my opinion on why those criticisms are unfair.

doreen 08-31-2019 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21834716)
And nobody is taking of forcing anyone to throw a gender reveal party.

I see criticism of people who want to have a party, on a couple main grounds that I view are unfair:

1. It is an expression of self-centeredness — well, parties for retirements, birthdays, weddings, etc are just as self-centered.
2. It’s an excuse to hit me up for a gift — you are not obligated to bring a gift to any party you attend. And if your host for any party — not just a gender reveal — insists on a gift they are in the wrong.

A host should not insist on a gift- but certain parties ( showers, for example) are thrown for the express purpose of setting up a nursery or a household. This is why traditionally showers were not held for each baby- after the shower for baby #1, you should have all of the large items needed for baby #2 unless there was a very large gap n time between #1 and #2. Bridal showers are less common now than they were when newly married couples were leaving their parents' home and didn't own a set of dishes. This is also why showers were traditionally not thrown by close relatives of the honoree.Other parties may not be thrown explicitly for the purpose of getting gifts, but few people attend weddings or birthday parties without giving a gift - it's a social expectation whether the host insists on it or not. I mean, if you want to have a "come here and eat cake event", you can certainly do that without calling it a birthday party, baby shower , sprinkle or gender reveal party. I am going to a birthday party today for a one year old. If my niece had simply wanted to invite us over to spend time together, it could have just been a Labor Day weekend BBQ. But it's not.

Novelty Bobble 08-31-2019 10:13 AM

My wife and I. not so long ago, made sure we didn't know what we were having as it made no difference anyway and we rather liked the thought of the day itself being a complete mystery from start to finish.

Mind you we didn't have any pressure over it either, the only people present at the hospital were me, her and the little ones. We did note that lots of other people in the other delivery rooms had a whole extended familiy sitting outside with presents and balloons and all sorts. We found that wierd and if that's how close the family want to be does that increase the pressure on people to micromanage every last aspect of it?

Never heard of a gender-reveal party in the UK though, I expect it does happen somehwere.

TokyoBayer 08-31-2019 10:14 AM

I think social media distorts normal human interactions and makes too much of it into a contrived contests for external validation from casual acquaintances, which in turn drives these manufactured events.

Someone posts a video of themselves finding out the gender of their child and now everyone has got to throw parties so the entire thing can be posted on Facebook to gather those precious tokens of approval.

Something similar is happening with Mormon families when the young man or woman gets called on a mission. It used to be that you would get a letter, open it, call your grandparents and a few friends and life went on.

Now people post 30-minute highly produced videos of the entire day, including a standing room only party.

I get the sense that there are elements of one-upmanship about
Some of these things.

If you like it, fine. But don’t link a 30 minute video and expect me to watch it.

monstro 08-31-2019 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21834716)
And nobody is taking of forcing anyone to throw a gender reveal party.

I see criticism of people who want to have a party, on a couple main grounds that I view are unfair:

1. It is an expression of self-centeredness ó well, parties for retirements, birthdays, weddings, etc are just as self-centered.
2. Itís an excuse to hit me up for a gift ó you are not obligated to bring a gift to any party you attend. And if your host for any party ó not just a gender reveal ó insists on a gift they are in the wrong.

Iím just expressing my opinion on why those criticisms are unfair.

And you are also accusing people who have negative opinions about gender reveal parties of forcing others to adhere to their standards, which I think is unfair.

I do believe that retirements, birtdays, and weddings are self-centered events. I'm not one to assign bad qualities to something that is merely self-centered, though. Self-centered isn't necessarily bad. But gender reveal parties strike me as self-centered affairs that are being passed off as non-self-centered affairs. Moreover, it isn't even about the baby, but what the baby's genitalia are. So it's weird self-centeredness.

Also, birthday and retirement events are not an invention of social media. They have existed for generations. Gender reveal parties are new-fangled and thus have the veneer of "made-up nonsense" to them. Like the whole prom proposal schlock. Yeah, it's just young people having harmless fun. But IMHO it's still fair game for negative judgment.

And sure, you don't have to buy anyone a gift. Even if you show up empty-handed at a baby shower, no one is going to kill you. But that doesn't mean we can't judge someone who throws a gender reveal party in an obvious attempt to grab gifts. Tackiness is a real thing. I think it is perfectly reasonable to call out tacky social trends. I think calling out tackiness encourages more considerate behavior.

QuickSilver 08-31-2019 10:47 AM

I think your gender reveal party has jumped the shark if Subway is throwing shade on it.

Just sayin'.

Manda JO 08-31-2019 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21834595)
Hey, having a kid is a Big Deal (even if it has happened 83 billion times before), and when things happen to people that are a Big Deal, they want to celebrate it. Sounds perfectly natural to me.

Celebrate it? Sure. Of course it's a big deal. But in just the last few years, these sort of events have become increasingly standard. I think of them as "look cutes" --events where you want everything to be super produced and creative and slick, so everything "looks cute" in the pictures. Many involve custom props and professional photographers.

Here's a list. I have starred the ones that existed fifteen years ago.

High school--
  • Promposals
  • Senior Pictures*
  • Reaction vids for college acceptances
  • Graduation*
  • Graduation party*
Young adulthood
  • Public Proposal
  • Engagement photo shoot
  • Wedding party invites (where you ask people to be Bridesmaids in elaborate ways)
  • Wedding showers*
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette parties*
  • Bridal Suite (where the bridesmaids all wear matching kimonos and get photos made of getting hair and makeup and stuff)
  • Wedding, Wedding photos*
Parenthood
  • Cute baby announcement/staged photo
  • Gender Reveal Party
  • Nursery theme*
  • Baby Shower*
  • Newborn Photoshoot
  • Sip and See (this is when you have an open house and invite people stop by and see the baby)
  • Monthly photos (with the chalk board, all cute).
  • Big First Birthday Party*

Even the things that existed ten years ago have been ramped up to another level: senior portraits used to happen in a studio: now they go to ever more elaborate locations and have ever more elaborate costume changes. Bachelor parties are now whole weekends. A nursery theme used to be bedding and a couple pictures--now it's transforming a room into a wonderland.

Obviously, very few people do every one of these things, but the sum total of them is overwhelming. It's so much sharing, it's so much making events out of everything. To me, it looks like so much pressure to live a curated life, where you are publicly displaying your emotions in a carefully proscribed way. It puts everyone in a fishbowl. There's women out there right now worried about keeping their nails done all the time because their SO may propose and if he does and their nails look bad in the pictures, they will make a bad impression. And god help you if your emotional reaction--or the way you show it--isn't what people want to see. You're disappointing the masses. There are social circles where these things seem brutally competitive, almost. It's an emotional circle-jerk--instead of orgasm, it's "sqwweeeeee"s.

I'm not so much judging the individuals that do these things as I am shocked at what seems like a sea change in society, in how we interact with each other. Should I be working with my 8 year old to make sure he knows how to pose in "candid" photos? Is that going to be an essential life skill in the world he grows up in? I'm pretty sure most people age 14-30 have a set of poses and expressions they've worked on. I think you have to, these days.


Quote:

Originally Posted by doreen (Post 21834642)
My understanding* is that the doctor writes the information down and puts it into an envelope, which is opened by the baker, balloon-filler etc.

But weirdly, lately, I've seen more and more where the parents DO know and they are "revealing" it to others. Which seems insane. It makes it about the parents enjoying the reactions of the guests, not the other way around. But the simple reality is that no one cares about the sex of the baby like the parents do: for everyone else, either way is the same. It's only the parents who are going to find the rhythms of their lives potentially fundamentally shaped by boy or girl. Making the party about the GUESTS reactions shows a real lack of perspective about the whole thing.

silenus 08-31-2019 11:23 AM

Fuck 'em. I care not the least that you've spawned, and I care even less what sex the new drain on the planet is. More and more these "events" are causing fires, property damage and civil unrest. If I were God-Emperor such an activity would be dealt with by a weed-whacking to the genitals.

Ravenman 08-31-2019 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monstro (Post 21834764)
But that doesn't mean we can't judge someone who throws a gender reveal party in an obvious attempt to grab gifts. Tackiness is a real thing. I think it is perfectly reasonable to call out tacky social trends. I think calling out tackiness encourages more considerate behavior.

But gender reveal does not equal gift demanding, no more than weddings equal
brides demanding guests pay for the cost of the wedding. One can have a classy wedding, gender reveal, birthday, or Super Bowl party. One can have a tacky wedding, gender reveal, birthday, or Super Bowl party.

To use a stark example, it is unfair to imply that weddings are lame because some are indeed lame: a blanket criticism of weddings is unfair to a couple that just got hitched at city hall or whatever. People ought to call out what is tacky, and any kind of party isn't inherently tacky.

StarvingButStrong 08-31-2019 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by you with the face (Post 21834671)

In the case of the OP and similar situations, I wonder if the panoply of celebrations is an effort to infuse joy and merriment into a bad, stressful situation. Like, maybe the grand niece needs these parties to lift up her spirits and make her excited for what lies ahead. For this reason, I wouldnít be surprised if parties like this occurred more frequently with unintended pregnancies.


I hadn't thought about this aspect, and now I suspect you're right. So I guess I should suck it up and attend and pretend it matters to me if the cake is pink or blue.

monstro 08-31-2019 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StarvingButStrong (Post 21834850)
I hadn't thought about this aspect, and now I suspect you're right. So I guess I should suck it up and attend and pretend it matters to me if the cake is pink or blue.

If you don't want to attend, don't. There are other ways to bring comfort and assurances to the mother-to-be.


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