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  #51  
Old 08-31-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by StarvingButStrong View Post
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.
People have done crazier things for love!

But maybe what she really needs is to know that she and the baby have your support. In spite of the bad decisions that have led to the present.
  #52  
Old 08-31-2019, 12:52 PM
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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.
I worked with a woman from Iran who became a good friend. I wanted to throw her baby shower, but she seemed oddly reluctant. She thought we were going to actually bathe her! But she said the same thing at the party: in Iran, you never gave anyone a baby gift until the baby was born. It was a big deal to drop by the hospital with a gift.
  #53  
Old 08-31-2019, 01:50 PM
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I don't see the greed, unless folks are fishing for gifts through it. I'm all about any reason to have a party.

Except for this reason. Don't have a party for this reason.

We're in a time when gender roles and gender identity are becoming increasingly fluid and left up to the individual. Anyone who supports individual liberty ought to be 100% behind this change. Parties that celebrate, before a person is even born, what their role will be, are gross, and exactly what we ought not be doing.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:08 PM
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Never been to one and most of my heterosexual friends are probably past the baby making stage.

But I don’t like them because any news mention of one means that some of my more activist friends in the LGBT community have to virtue signal their outrage on social media
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  #55  
Old 08-31-2019, 02:14 PM
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Never been to one and most of my heterosexual friends are probably past the baby making stage.

But I don’t like them because any news mention of one means that some of my more activist friends in the LGBT community have to virtue signal their outrage on social media
Poor you. Thanks for virtue signaling your outrage at virtue signaling, though!
  #56  
Old 08-31-2019, 02:40 PM
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In Switzerland it's considered bad luck to even wish somebody happy birthday before the actual day. So no baby showers and certainly no gender reveal parties.

My mom's cousin's granddaughter did one, but it was basically only close family, and it was her, her mother and her grandmother, holding the gender reveal "fireworks", which basically all went off at the same time, showering the lawn with blue bits of something which I hope is biodegradeable.

She shared the video and also announced the name. So I know it's a he and his name starts with a D. No idea when he's supposed to arrive, since she assumed everybody already knew that info.

They had fun. My opinion? It's amusing and an excuse to get together and have fun. So have fun. There are those who take it a bit too seriously, and that's not good.
  #57  
Old 08-31-2019, 03:27 PM
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We're in a time when gender roles and gender identity are becoming increasingly fluid and left up to the individual. Anyone who supports individual liberty ought to be 100% behind this change. Parties that celebrate, before a person is even born, what their role will be, are gross, and exactly what we ought not be doing.
I think that's very much the point of them. Far from a coincidence it's a deliberate attempt to push back against the concept that anything about gender is at all vague or fluid or anything other than entirely determined at birth and unchanging throughout time, even though the colors used signaled the opposite gender 100 years ago (pink was for boys, blue for girls). I definitely picture the people throwing them to be the kind of person who both asks an eight year old boy 'do you have a girlfriend yet?' and asks an eight year old girl 'what kind of husband do you want when you grow up' but also insists that prepubescent children can't possible know anything about their sexuality or gender.

Humorously they're also quite dangerous - fireworks at a gender reveal party in 2017 resulted in wildfires doing $8 million in property damage and in Australia 'burnouts' have resulted in cars catching on fire and people arrested.
  #58  
Old 08-31-2019, 11:49 PM
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Put me in with the "it's stupid" crowd. I get annoyed by any hint of over-focus on gender (surrounding girls with pink or boys with sports stuff). Let the kid be who they are, and don't put all these expectations on them before they're even born!
  #59  
Old 09-01-2019, 10:03 AM
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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. My non-binary kid and I have spent a lot of time making fun of gender reveal parties.....there is a lot of burden associated with gender - whether you are dealing with the expectations of femininity or those of toxic masculinity. And gender reveal parties seem to celebrate the worst of the "girls are pretty, boys are athletic" type of nonsense.

But the great thing about gender reveal parties is that they are so fun to make fun of....our favorite theme "Cupcake or Studmuffin" All I have to do is say "cupcake or studmuffin" and we both crack up
  #60  
Old 09-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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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*
Prom-posals not only existed 15 years ago, but were expected at my high school. I graduated in 2002. My sophomore year, the band and colorguard went to Hawaii for a competition, and one of the guys got the pilot to work a prom-posal into his announcement ("folks, we're about to begin our initial descent here, so if you could put your seat backs up and your tray tables away, and Stephanie, if you could go with Jared to the prom, that'd be super.") Ah, the last days before 9/11 when you could just poke your head into the cockpit with a request like that. My boyfriend at the time had a bit of a brain fart; he was normally very romantic, but hadn't thought anything up for asking me to the prom. He just immediately leaned over, while everyone was still awww-ing for Stephanie, and said, "oh yeah by the way will you go to the prom with me?" I was disappointed; my friends were horrified. He did come over a week later and decorate my house with streamers and pinwheels and signs asking me to the prom after he realized this was A Thing You Were Supposed To Do.

Incidentally, 15 years later, when my now-husband and I first started discussing marriage, I was completely over the proposal. I didn't like the idea of the man being the one to ask, I didn't like the performative aspect, and I didn't like the idea of treating such a serious decision like a surprise party. (In defense of my younger self, prom-posals were for boyfriends and girlfriends; you didn't put someone on the spot who might say no.) My now-husband affirmed each of my concerns and agreed that doing it in public or posting videos wasn't his style either. But he said he still loved the romance of the surprise proposal, and there could still be a serious adult conversation beforehand; the surprise could just be when and where the proposal took place. Half-seriously and half-calling his bluff, I suggested I could propose to him instead. He agreed without hesitation. And when I was ready to marry him (it took me a little longer than it took him), that's what I did. It was pretty low-key; I don't think anyone else at the restaurant knew what was up. I got him a watch and had it engraved, since he didn't want a ring. We enjoyed our little secret for the evening, then called our families the next day. We held off on the social media announcement. It was perfect for us; a little bit old-fashioned in the lack of attention-getting, a little bit modern in the lack of sexism.

Anyway, I have no real problem with people throwing themselves parties, but find the gender-reveal party squicky for the gender-norm-enforcing stuff. Wouldn't it be great if all new parents got nine months of practice loving their future kid without being able to lean on gendered assumptions of who that kid would turn out to be? If every family had male and female names picked out, or just one name that could go either way, and spent some time switching or using gender-neutral pronouns? Wouldn't that be a great exercise in loving your kid unconditionally, and being prepared to accept them for whoever they are--male, female, cis, trans, nonbinary, gender-conforming or not (some cis het women are still tomboys; some straight cis boys like pink), gay, straight, bi, traditional, or just plain quirky (as my mother learned, even your girly, cishet daughter who does get married after all might still break your heart by refusing to wear white.) How about we try that?
  #61  
Old 09-01-2019, 11:39 AM
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My boyfriend at the time had a bit of a brain fart; he was normally very romantic, but hadn't thought anything up for asking me to the prom. He just immediately leaned over, while everyone was still awww-ing for Stephanie, and said, "oh yeah by the way will you go to the prom with me?" I was disappointed; my friends were horrified.
This reminds me of a "This American Life" episode — https://www.thisamericanlife.org/610/grand-gesture — reporter Elna Baker, who is an ex-Mormon, told several stories about elaborate gestures that were common and expected in her Mormon community.

She mentioned that she used to be obsessed with grand gestures, but grew out of them, in part, when she realized that you could show someone how much you liked em by having sex.

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Anyway, I have no real problem with people throwing themselves parties
I have no problem with people throwing parties. I have a problem with people "throwing themselves parties" when there is an implication that gifts are expected and those gifts can't just be contributions to the food or drink to be consumed.
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  #62  
Old 09-01-2019, 11:49 AM
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I have never heard of a "prom-posal" prior to this thread.
  #63  
Old 09-01-2019, 11:56 AM
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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.
Exactly.

This is hyper-representation. It's not enough to have a baby, (and throw a baby shower). Increasingly people seek to validate human experience by creating events which can be represented and documented through social media. The representation of the event is the actual purpose, more than the event itself.
  #64  
Old 09-01-2019, 02:01 PM
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I think it'd be fun to have a gender reveal party, and the reveal shows...purple.

I agree that too many of life's moments get the Hollywood treatment. The most egregious is weddings, which in some cases have become a Broadway show:

groom sings to the bride (or vice-versa) during the ceremony*
couple's first dance is choreographed
father-daughter dance is choreographed
costume-changes for bride between wedding scene and reception scene

It's all directed outward, toward the audience (guests, youtube, social media). People aren't there to witness the vows and celebrate the marriage; they're there to be impressed by an extravaganza. Not that all weddings are like this. My kids' were beautifully low-key.


*In one I attended, the groom sang to the bride from a church balcony. Everyone applauded.
  #65  
Old 09-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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Some of those things can make sense ocassionally; the problem is when a group of people (be it a handful of friends or half a town) gets into a "who can make it bigger" mindset. Heck, I wish my BFF had changed out of her wedding dress: between the strapless top and the huge skirt, that monstrosity was a danger to self and others.

Last edited by Nava; 09-01-2019 at 03:09 PM.
  #66  
Old 09-01-2019, 04:57 PM
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I have never heard of a "prom-posal" prior to this thread.
Me, either.

But then, I never went to prom - my boyfriend and I went to a Beach Boys concert instead. And I think we had a better time doing that than going to prom.

Of course, YMMV.
  #67  
Old 09-01-2019, 05:21 PM
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I think that's very much the point of them. Far from a coincidence it's a deliberate attempt to push back against the concept that anything about gender is at all vague or fluid or anything other than entirely determined at birth and unchanging throughout time, even though the colors used signaled the opposite gender 100 years ago (pink was for boys, blue for girls).
This might be part of it, but also over-genderfication of small children has been increasing over the last few decades from what I recall in the 70's and 80's and IMO it has a commercial purpose - it's meant to stop little girls from handing down their bikes, woolly hats and Lego blocks to their little brothers, thus encouraging you to go buy another bike, woolly hat and bin of Lego blocks of the alternative colour scheme. (Didn't work on us, but we did think ahead and prefer the purple bike...)

Count me as another "dumb reason but hey! a party!"
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:51 PM
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They strike me as a bit of a gift grab (if they're ASKING for gifts, that is), but otherwise I think they're just for fun.
As for gender roles, and if the kid turns out trans, or non-binary, I would worry about that when and if it came. No use fussing over such things before the kid's even out.
And funny, even when you try to avoid gender roles, the kids DO stick to them on their own. My cousin's wife isn't very girly, and she HATES the color pink, so she decided they'd go with purple. Well, guess what their daughter's favorite color is?


Quite honestly, if I were having a kid, I'd rather wait and be surprised. That was the case with some of my family members recently -- they didn't want to know in advance.


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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.
I'm guessing the doctor (or whoever lets them know in advance?) would contact them first? At least, I would hope so!

True, tragedies happen -- Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks did a gender reveal where he shot an exploding puck to show if his wife was going to have a boy or a girl. It was blue. Sadly, she ended up having a miscarriage.

But then you might as well not throw baby showers either.
  #69  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:04 PM
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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.
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I'm guessing the doctor (or whoever lets them know in advance?) would contact them first? At least, I would hope so!
Well, yes, one would hope so but experience has taught me that there is often a gap between "ought to" and "what actually happens".

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True, tragedies happen -- Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks did a gender reveal where he shot an exploding puck to show if his wife was going to have a boy or a girl. It was blue. Sadly, she ended up having a miscarriage.

But then you might as well not throw baby showers either.
I prefer not to think of a child being born intersex as a "tragedy" on par with a miscarriage/death. It's unfortunate, but not the end of the world and should be less of a tragedy than some other types of birth anomalies.

But yeah, I get that parents are unlikely to make a big deal out of "hey, our kid is intersex". That does leave the question of what a gender reveal party would be like in that case, and if the parents are part of a crowd that does do gender reveal parties you have to wonder what sort of comments would be generated by NOT having one.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:17 PM
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Personally, I prefer to hear after the baby is born (along with the name) but I've never been to one of these.
  #71  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:32 PM
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I can't wait until the time that the parents who do these stupid parties start having reveal parties about getting their kid vaccinated or not.
  #72  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:32 PM
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Hopefully this brings you a little peace Johanna - the woman who is credited with “inventing” gender reveal parties regrets it now and her gender-revealed-as-a-girl baby has grown up to be non-binary (and the mom gets it). https://www.npr.org/2019/07/28/74599...er-have-change

Also Manda JO your list was excellent and I agree. Everything is very “extra” and expected these days.

That being said, I’m a person who’s friends kids are all 12 and under and I’ve never seen one of them have a gender reveal party. They may not be as prevalent as you think. OR my friends are just super cool (very possible yaknow)
  #73  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:37 PM
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Well, yes, one would hope so but experience has taught me that there is often a gap between "ought to" and "what actually happens".


I prefer not to think of a child being born intersex as a "tragedy" on par with a miscarriage/death. It's unfortunate, but not the end of the world and should be less of a tragedy than some other types of birth anomalies.

But yeah, I get that parents are unlikely to make a big deal out of "hey, our kid is intersex". That does leave the question of what a gender reveal party would be like in that case, and if the parents are part of a crowd that does do gender reveal parties you have to wonder what sort of comments would be generated by NOT having one.
I didn't mean an intersex child was a tragedy -- although I don't think I'd throw a party for that kind of thing -- I meant a miscarriage. (Or serious birth defects, like anencephaly or what have you.)

Besides, I'm also thinking we kind of take gender too seriously. Like those parents who are starting to raise their kids non-binary ("they-bies") and say they can choose their gender later. Remember that? That was kind of the opposite of the gender reveal party.

I think SOMETIMES, people confuse gender roles and gender identity. SOMETIMES. (Not accusing anyone here of doing that). Let kids like what they like, and if there IS some deviation from their gender/sex, I'm sure they'll let you know.

You know? Take it as it comes. Don't put any pressure on them the opposite way. Just be chill.


(Maybe I'm just thinking of back how it used to be when girls who were tomboys were assumed to be lesbians. Does that make sense?)
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:38 PM
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I can't wait until the time that the parents who do these stupid parties start having reveal parties about getting their kid vaccinated or not.
Now THAT I totally get behind.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:33 AM
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Hopefully this brings you a little peace Johanna - the woman who is credited with “inventing” gender reveal parties regrets it now and her gender-revealed-as-a-girl baby has grown up to be non-binary (and the mom gets it). https://www.npr.org/2019/07/28/74599...er-have-change
Yeah, how's that for poetic irony?
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:43 AM
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(Maybe I'm just thinking of back how it used to be when girls who were tomboys were assumed to be lesbians. Does that make sense?)
Yeah, it makes a LOT of sense because I was one of those little girl tomboys that people were continually trying to feminize to "prevent" me from growing up to be a lesbian. This was exacerbate by my oldest sister being a lesbian who came out in the 1970's, long before it was OK to do so.

Turns out I'm heterosexual, a solid 0 on the Kinsey scale, but if anything more butch than ever with a deep, deep loathing for anything pink which, as a child, I learned to associate with everything that prevented me from doing the fun stuff I wanted to do.

It's not the "celebrate girlhood!" concept I have a problem with, it's celebrating only one type of girlhood, the girly-girl definition. There are a LOT of ways to be a woman. Ditto for the boys - there's more than one way to be a man and the caricatures of "macho" are repugnant.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:19 AM
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That they're often called "gender" reveal parties is particularly silly.
Agreed, but if you call it a "sex reveal" party you might get guests in entirely the wrong sort of outfits.

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Never heard of a gender-reveal party in the UK though, I expect it does happen somehwere.
It does indeed, though I only know this through a friend who bakes cakes - I've never been invited to one.

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I have never heard of a "prom-posal" prior to this thread.
Nor me. Like most things in this thread, as has already been stated, there are tacky and non-tacky ways to do it, I guess.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:49 AM
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I think SOMETIMES, people confuse gender roles and gender identity. SOMETIMES. (Not accusing anyone here of doing that). Let kids like what they like, and if there IS some deviation from their gender/sex, I'm sure they'll let you know.
People also have a horrid tendency to believe that gender roles were in the fourth tablet Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. They change through time, as well as by location, (sub)culture...
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:32 AM
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I think SOMETIMES, people confuse gender roles and gender identity. SOMETIMES. (Not accusing anyone here of doing that). Let kids like what they like, and if there IS some deviation from their gender/sex, I'm sure they'll let you know.
Having spent a lot of time talking to non-binary youth over the past few years - my kid, my friends' kids, my kid's friends - no, they don't - because non-binary youth see them as parts of the same thing. Mine is more non-binary because they don't want to be defined by gender roles - gender roles is why their gender identity is non-binary. Some non-binary people have gender dysmorphia - their parts don't match their identity - but that's far from universal - and is more and more the minority with the people I interact with. Its more that their parts don't match the expectations other people have for them with those parts - so they turn to androgyny and a non-binary identification in an attempt to shed gender roles.

That likely means, IMHO, that as those who choose non-binary as an identity in their youth because labels are important my shed that non-binary identification as the label becomes less important to who they are....but that doesn't mean they aren't non-binary or trans.

I always think about a friend of mine that I've known 35 years now. When I met her, she was a Lesbian - didn't like men at all. And who could blame her, she'd been abused and screwed up and wrote off the whole sex. But over years, she met someone who happened to be male, that she fell in love with and married - she is still (nearing 60 now) resolving those issues from her childhood, but it hasn't precluded writing off all men as bastards for the past 20 years. Now, her sexuality is part of a continuum, and who she chooses to be with has more to do with the person than the gender - and the label that was so important to her in her late 20s doesn't apply. That doesn't mean there aren't people who are lesbians, and have no attraction to men whatsoever (my friend's girlfriend when I met her is still also a friend of mine - and has NEVER had any attraction to men at all), but that there are multiple variables that may affect any one persons sexual attraction - and those may change over time - along with a persons identity. I think gender is similar. I see a lot of young non-binary people running from toxic masculinity or toxic femininity - wanting nothing to do with the aggression of one or the bitchiness of the other because they've been hurt and damaged by it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:22 AM
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Uh, Dangerosa… you actually seem to be agreeing with the second part of what Guin said. As for the first part, the whole "gender" vs "biological sex" vs "identity" vs "orientation" vocabulary mess is still relatively new, is it any wonder people are confused? Specially since different people have different definitions of each expression. Is biological sex defined by your genitalia, by your genitalia at birth, by your chromosomes? Depends on who you ask. And that's the concept which used to be the easy one!

Last edited by Nava; 09-02-2019 at 09:25 AM.
  #81  
Old 09-02-2019, 05:38 PM
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Well, yes, one would hope so but experience has taught me that there is often a gap between "ought to" and "what actually happens".


I prefer not to think of a child being born intersex as a "tragedy" on par with a miscarriage/death. It's unfortunate, but not the end of the world and should be less of a tragedy than some other types of birth anomalies.

But yeah, I get that parents are unlikely to make a big deal out of "hey, our kid is intersex". That does leave the question of what a gender reveal party would be like in that case, and if the parents are part of a crowd that does do gender reveal parties you have to wonder what sort of comments would be generated by NOT having one.
Parehts who found out beforehand that their child is intersex would probably tell the people who they felt needed to know, and everyone else after the baby was born, if it was warranted. Sometimes it isn't, if it's clear-cut how the baby will be raised. Fortunately, that condition is very rare.

I've been following a vlog for a family who found out early in the pregnancy that their baby had a genetic disorder that is incompatible with life (Patau Syndrome, or trisomy 13). They did do a gender reveal (they exploded pink chalk popper thingies on a beach) and they knew the baby would not be coming home with them, so they did not prepare a nursery. She lived exactly 38 weeks prenatally, and 60 minutes afterwards.

As for girls and pink, I've never been a "girly girl" by any stretch of the imagination, but I wear pink sometimes because I do look good in it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:50 PM
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I look good in it, too, with my coloring, but I refuse to wear it because, as I said, it's too strongly associated with attempts to re-engineer who I am. Blame it on people who in the 1960's and 1970's couldn't accept that a girl wanted to run around outside, get muddy, repair/build things, fly airplanes, drive trucks, take woodshop, lift weights, and do other "boy" things incompatible with lacy dresses, panty-hose, and "lady-like" behavior. Forcing me to wear pastels - especially pink - was part of that process, as well as sending me to charm school not once but twice, constantly berating me for my interests, telling me to be quiet, be a good girl, don't get dirty, stop being so loud, etc.

Oddly enough, in large part it wasn't my parents doing this but the school system I was attending and the area I lived in. My parents at some point realized I was a tomboy and supported me, it was other adults in my life who made it very clear that my behavior was deviant and not acceptable in their version of polite society.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:18 PM
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I saw a clip where the wedding cake was pink to reveal the baby's gender. That rang my fogey bell hard. I'm the least judgmental person out there; I didn't marry my daughter's father, and I was right not to. But gosh that's, just, wow.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:34 PM
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Not my cup of tea.

That said, I don't see it as an attention grab. Hell, you've got grown ass adults throwing themselves birthday parties and nobody blinks an eye at that. Gender parties are no worse.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:37 PM
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Am I the only one who hadn't heard of these parties?
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:47 PM
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IMHO, gender-reveal parties are ridiculously vain.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:48 AM
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The only gender reveal party I've been invited to specified No gifts!, so it took the gift-grab designation off the table.

We did find out the sex of our babies...sort of. At the time, we were strapped for cash and it made planning easier. At the very least, I knew which friend to hit up for hand-me-downs. But I say sort of because it turned out that we were wrong about my oldest. Assumed female at birth, he is actually a trans guy. When he was ready to share that with the outside world, I jokingly said to my husband that we could jump on the gender reveal bandwagon that we thought we'd missed. In that case, though, would totally make it a gift grab. Kid's got very expensive taste.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:03 AM
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I can't wait until the time that the parents who do these stupid parties start having reveal parties about getting their kid vaccinated or not.
Antivax reveal = little coffins
Provax reveal = hearing aids, walkers, orthopedic shoes
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:15 AM
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I have two daughters aged 4 and 1. We knew the sex of both from as early a stage in the pregnancy as possible; neither my wife nor I are the type who couldn't know and plan accordingly. :-D We did not have a gender reveal party for either.

Personally, I have no problem with them. For expecting parents, especially 1st timers, it can be a pretty exciting time for both the parents and their family and friends. Of course every expecting parent is asked "Do you know if its a boy or a girl?" about a hundred times over the term of the pregnancy. I don't hold having a "gender reveal party" against a parent - it's just another fun way to celebrate a momentous occasion in their life with friends and family.

I can absolutely sympathize with the OP and the situation, it sounds like a recipe for disaster in terms of his great niece. It can be very hard to celebrate a pregnancy when it seems apparent to others this is a bad mistake.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:24 AM
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Uh, Dangerosa… you actually seem to be agreeing with the second part of what Guin said. As for the first part, the whole "gender" vs "biological sex" vs "identity" vs "orientation" vocabulary mess is still relatively new, is it any wonder people are confused? Specially since different people have different definitions of each expression. Is biological sex defined by your genitalia, by your genitalia at birth, by your chromosomes? Depends on who you ask. And that's the concept which used to be the easy one!
This is not actually true - in English gender was first used to distinguish social roles from biological sex in 1955, and before that it was normally only used for the grammatical concept of gender. The use of 'gender' as a way to say 'sex' without using a naughty word came after it's use to discuss societal gender roles as opposed to biological sex. Genders that don't conform to biological sex have been part of human societies pretty much as far back as we have records, at least as far as 4500 years ago. Intersex conditions have been known for a similarly long time. There was a strong push in Western Europe and the US in the 20th century to suppress and ignore this, but it's a pushback against something with a long history of being understood. While it's not surprising that people are confused, it's not because this is a new concept but because there are large powerful groups pushing to perpetuate the confusion.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:03 PM
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The first transgender person to be legally recognized so in Spain lived in the 17th century, but there was neither legal record of their gender, nor registry records to be changed, nor passport, nor did the King have a word for it other than "far be it from me to cirticise the work of God Our Lord, but it seems quite clear to His humble servant that this person happens to be formed by a male soul in a female body."

How many people do you think had heard of him between then and the 1970s? How many among those who never learned to read and write? Some had, because the story made good material for romances de ciego (the pre-newspapers version of tabloids), but nobody thought of it as "something which may happen to anybody, anywhere". That some societies recognized third genders as a matter of fact, and that some people knew that babies could be born with deformed genitalia (as it would have been seen then) doesn't make the current talk about gender "general knowledge that some people have actively tried to suppress in recent times".

Last edited by Nava; 09-03-2019 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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They seem kind of silly to me, but I am a firm believer in letting the flimsiest excuse for a party stand. What's not to like about getting together with your friends to drink booze and eat cake?

I am mildly disappointed that my wife vetoed my idea to have a gender-reveal party with bachelorette-party style pornographic cupcakes displaying the appropriate genitalia. So much more exciting than blue or pink cake batter.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:45 PM
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Do you think they're fun? Necessary? Just another gift grab?
None of the above.

1) I think they're silly; but someone started them and now everyone has to follow the trend until something new comes along. Just like the silly grand gestures for asking dates to prom.
2) No way are they necessary. In my experience usually word has gotten out anyway; which is its own problem I suppose.
3) The ones I've witnessed were mostly just parties. No gifts were exchanged.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:56 PM
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Whatever happened to waiting until you heard the doc say “It’s a ....!”
... baby!
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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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.




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.
Next up....

1st Wet Dream Party
1st Period Party

You heard it here first.
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  #96  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:21 PM
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The first transgender person to be legally recognized so in Spain lived in the 17th century, but there was neither legal record of their gender, nor registry records to be changed, nor passport, nor did the King have a word for it other than "far be it from me to cirticise the work of God Our Lord, but it seems quite clear to His humble servant that this person happens to be formed by a male soul in a female body."

How many people do you think had heard of him between then and the 1970s? How many among those who never learned to read and write? Some had, because the story made good material for romances de ciego (the pre-newspapers version of tabloids), but nobody thought of it as "something which may happen to anybody, anywhere". That some societies recognized third genders as a matter of fact, and that some people knew that babies could be born with deformed genitalia (as it would have been seen then) doesn't make the current talk about gender "general knowledge that some people have actively tried to suppress in recent times".
The Talmud, a text central to Judaism and written nearly 2000 years ago, recognized that there were intersex people, people of ambiguous sex, and even people who were identified as female at birth but became male at puberty, as well as those who ceased to be male (a category which included those whose penis was cut off through human intervention.)

https://momentmag.com/ask-rabbis-gender-identity/
http://www.sojourngsd.org/blog/sixgenders

I do feel like there's been a movement to "simplify" the world, and cut it into clear buckets in the last hundred years or so. The sexes overlap, species overlap, "races" overlap. That's how the real world worls.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:06 PM
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Next up....

1st Wet Dream Party
1st Period Party

You heard it here first.
Nope, sorry. "Period parties" are a thing, and have been for a good while. Not linking, but you can easily search the term!

As for gender reveal parties, I'm no more for or against them than I would be a Super Bowl or Welcome Home party. Just an excuse to share good times with family and friends.
  #98  
Old 09-03-2019, 03:41 PM
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Nope, sorry. "Period parties" are a thing, and have been for a good while. Not linking, but you can easily search the term!

As for gender reveal parties, I'm no more for or against them than I would be a Super Bowl or Welcome Home party. Just an excuse to share good times with family and friends.
OK, 1st blowjob party then. The need to celebrate and or document every single event in one's life has been become excessive in my opinion. Of course people can do what they want, but they shouldn't expect buy-in.
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  #99  
Old 09-03-2019, 03:57 PM
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Nope, sorry. "Period parties" are a thing, and have been for a good while. Not linking, but you can easily search the term!

As for gender reveal parties, I'm no more for or against them than I would be a Super Bowl or Welcome Home party. Just an excuse to share good times with family and friends.
Period parties are big and girls even give "it" a name. A popular one is "Flo" but others can be... interesting as reported on Conan.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:58 AM
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I've never been to one, but they weren't really a thing when I had my 4 kids.

I have watched some videos of them and have been amused (mostly at the fails), so in the (extremely) unlikely event I had another kid and my wife wanted to throw one, I'd be in. I wouldn't be looking for gifts though. I wouldn't throw one on my own. Generally we didn't tell anybody about our pregnancies until late in the game because she has miscarried.

Last edited by Ashtura; 09-04-2019 at 11:02 AM.
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