Gender Reveal Parties-Seriously?

Joseph Bender, Mirada Staff

A fad is a fad. A fad that is ridiculous, dangerous and destructive is a gender reveal party.

Thanks to this concept, over 10,000 acres have burned in Southern California at this writing, not to count past disasters that included a death. The person who popularized the trend has herself since condemned it.

In case any readers have managed to live their life without hearing of this trend, a “gender reveal” party is an event at which parents-to-be announce the gender of their unborn child. Not in words, though (how passé!) but rather through some kind of activity that reveals the color blue or pink to the guests. For example, a party might involve cutting a cake to expose either pink or blue coloring.

If only that were all. Instead, what might have been nothing more than an opportunity for people with good taste to mock those without it has become the cause of death and destruction.

The trend, begun in 2008 with a colored cake, has grown to include explosives, which are used to spray colored powder before the view of beaming family and friends, the color, naturally, being the surprise element. However, these events have generated more surprises than just the gender of a fetus.

On the morning of Sept. 5, a family gathered at a park in Yucaipa, a city in Southern California’s Inland Empire, for a gender reveal party. Their firework started the El Dorado Fire, which has consumed over 10,000 acres and forced evacuations. 

This feels like a recap of the 2018 incident in which explosives used at a gender-reveal party in Arizona started a 45,000-acre wildfire that cost upwards of $8 million. 

And, most tragically, in Iowa in 2019 an unborn child lost its grandmother when a homemade explosive device, intended to shoot powder, was accidentally turned into a pipe bomb. A piece of metal from this struck the woman in the head and killed her instantly.

This is so outrageous that if I heard it from a non-American I would assume it was malicious propaganda trying to discredit our nation. Sadly, it is true, and it needs to stop.

Not only have these events led to death, destruction, and mayhem, the message as a whole is flawed.

The sex that a child is assigned at birth is a small part of who they are. Even if they do grow up to identify with that gender, lavishing so much focus on what genitals you can see in the ultrasound puts an unnecessary spotlight on that and even before birth strengthens the expectations imposed on people based on gender. 

When everything revolves around whether the cake or the powder is pink, we ignore everything else that makes up a child. And when we destroy tens of thousands of acres to show what gender we expect our child to be, we are idiots.

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