Cosmo magazine is asking parents to stop celebrating the gender of their forthcoming child. They claim it potentially may damage the baby, and it reinforces the outdated notion that a woman’s value rests on her ability to have children.
Diane Stopira, who wrote the article, discussed her discomfort with gender-reveal parties and women’s values. “It goes beyond my standard objection to fanfare surrounding gestational markers—which is primarily that, because we don't celebrate non-pregnancy-related milestones with the same enthusiasm.” She continued. “We’re reinforcing the archaic notion that a woman’s value rests squarely in her ability to grow tiny humans.”
She informed readers that “gender-reveal parties” only reveal anatomy, not their gender. “Gender is a wholly different thing, inextricably tied to the social constructs around it,” Stopira writes. “A gender reveal conflates the two.”
But Stopira also has a problem with the community’s identity association of pink and blue. She notes how blue used to be the color for little girls, and how pink was feminized by Hitler when he forced “gays to wear triangles in that shade during World War II.”
Carly Gieseler, an assistant professor at The City University of New York, told Cosmo that people are “affixing a label to a child who hasn't even had a chance to enter the world and assume that identity."
Gieseler, who also wrote a book about the community identity of pink and blue, writes that “some of the themes we're seeing are so backwards and biased.” She continued. “"I'm thinking of 'Tutus or Touchdowns' and 'Bows versus Badges.' Women can't become a sheriff and wear a badge? At a time when these expectations about gender are eroding, this type of ritual is working against that progress.”
Stopira warns people that gender reveal parties leave out non-binary and transgender people. And because 150,000 American teenagers identify as transgender, the parties become exclusive, and this can make people feel abandoned.
She adds that “in a ritual that celebrates only a binary way of thinking about identity, we're leaving a cross-section of the population out, adding to a culture of trans and intersex shame.”