The Sexuality of Celebration

Graphic by Priyadharshan

After all the progress that humanity has made in the last centuries, we still set the structure of society based on genitalia. Gender roles are instrumental in propagating gender-based violence and failure to stick to the norm of binary gender buys one a ton of judgment from society. We cannot fault ourselves entirely because this has been ingrained in us since the moment we left the comfort of the womb. It is from the way we treat boys with less compassion, to the way that we expect girls to behave mildly and gently at all times; society has failed each and every one of us as human beings. Who grieves the most loss in this situation? All of us.

We are a generation that has, for the most part, shaken free from the shackles of tradition only to fall into the trap of trends. Actions have consequences, something that people forget when they do the craziest things, all in the name of trends. Among these is the “Gender Reveal Party” trend, where the gender of the baby is revealed based on an ultrasound image. These celebrations are often elaborately planned, sometimes outrageously dangerous, mostly ending with pink or blue (smoke, cake, paint, etc) indicating the gender of the baby.

The most obvious impact that this trend has on the human population is enforcing the notion that gender holds great importance in one’s life, so much so that we hold huge parties just to announce it. It normalizes sexism and denies the possibility of gender fluidity, all before the baby is even born. At the end of the day, one’s genitalia does not define their sexuality or their personality, so why do young parents think that it’s okay for them to not only make this decision for their child before they’ve stepped into the world but also announce something so personal to each individual for all to hear?

The person who started the trend, Jenna Karvunidis, an LA Blogger, was interviewed by The Guardian in which she admitted that starting this trend was a mistake. What started out as intimate gatherings have now grown into performances. Even though she gained fame and fable, the ground reality remains the same. Last year, around 80 pounds of explosives were detonated at a gender reveal party in New Hampshire that caused the foundations of neighboring houses to shake. In 2020, a forest fire ravaged El Dorado Ranch Park in LA, consuming thousands of acres and taking the lives of first responders. The cause of the fire was the use of a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used in a gender reveal party. The list of mishaps is unending and still, the trend persists.

In countries like India, pre-natal sex determination was made illegal to tackle female foeticide. Gender reveal parties and the ideology they push on to people is no less of a reason to ban them. These ideas are harmful to the next generation who are the future. An egalitarian society cannot be achieved without conscious decisions that we make in the present, and these decisions should not be left up to trends or spectacles. We are all living, breathing beings with many layers and intricacies and to reduce that to mere body parts is unfair and limiting, not to mention, criminal. It is time that we put aside the craze of social media fads and build a society with humanity at its crux.

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2 thoughts on “The Sexuality of Celebration

  1. AleemAhmed Khan

    This is one of the wisest sentences i’ve read today: We are a generation that has, for the most part, shaken free from the shackles of tradition only to fall into the trap of trends.

    Indeed a nicely worded article.


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