I’m the mother of two girls. Two beautiful, loving girls. My toddler demands a princess dress before both of her eyes have adjusted to the morning light, the other is too young to object to her sister’s suggestion that they match.
Both had rooms dressed in pink waiting for them before they arrived into this world – and according to the author of a recent article I read in Marie Claire, that essentially means I screwed up as a mother before I even held them in my arms.
If you haven’t seen this article circulating on social media, let me break it down for you: celebrating a baby’s arrival with a gender reveal is not only narcissistic and over-individualistic, but damaging to the baby and society as a whole. Because apparently we’re living in a world that is completely black and white (except when it comes to a child’s sex). And if a woman in that world is going to be president, she can’t also be feminine with an affinity for pastels.
To the woman that wrote the article:
Before I go further, let me be clear that my goal is not to bash you. I don’t know you, I don’t even know if you’re a mother – you made no mention of whether or not that’s a title you hold. I can’t help but wonder if that was strategic. Truthfully, you’re a great writer. I’d venture to say you’re entertaining and witty – if it wasn’t for the fact that every witty statement you make is dripping with judgement and hypocrisy. I’m sure you’ve received a lot of nasty notes in response to your article – I’m really going to try to make this more than that, because while I doubt we’ll ever be BFFs, I respect that you have a different point-of-view. And something in your life moved you enough to write what you did.
Let me start with, I agree.
We’ve totally over-commercialzed milestones. I’ll give you that. But that includes weddings, 30th birthdays and bachelorette parties. And maybe it’s the mother in me speaking, but if anyone deserves a big bash – it’s the clueless parents-to-be whose world is about to be rocked. And as the article points out, kids come with a boatload of issues, including gender confusion, so don’t set your sights on checking out when they hit 18. It’s your party and you can have blue and pink confetti if you want to.
And please, someone explain to me the problem with celebrating a woman’s ability to bring life into this world and why a baby shower translates that into a woman’s ONLY role in this world. I fail to see the correlation. Especially, since so many of these fun-loving fetes take place in between meetings and among colleagues.
Baby isn’t a dirty word.
The use of the word fetus in this article, not once, but three times makes me more than a little uncomfortable. Clearly, if my writer friend had an interest in a real conversation with those who hold differing opinions she would have used a less callus word: like oh I don’t know, baby or child. Because for me, the bigger issue is not that she’s rallying for a child to be genderless, but that she’s not even fully respecting that child’s genderless humanity.
What’s so wrong with tradition?
There’s a place for tradition in our new world. We don’t need to take things to extremes to move forward as a society. What’s so wrong with bringing an “It’s a Boy” balloon to the delivery room? Dressing a 2-week-old in a hand-knit pink gown by grandma? Signing them up for toddler ballet? I’m all for today’s girl boss (see: The Side-Hustlin’ Mama), but why is rooting for women in the boardroom synonymous with downplaying those who choose lives at home? I will forever say that my children are my biggest accomplishment. Does that mean I’m supporting the notion that birthing babies is their main goal? I certainly hope and pray they are granted this privilege.
Let’s talk about narcissism.
The irony behind the author’s fall back argument is the narcissism behind a gender reveal party. The fact that the first few graphs of this piece are dedicated to relishing in her ability to put her feminist beliefs aside and play a game that is so beneath her is not lost on me. I’m actually hoping her baby shower story is fabricated…otherwise, she attended and then mocked a dear friend’s celebration for the advancement of her writing career. Holy, narcissist.
It’s never my intention to hurt others. My heart breaks for others hurting.
I truly have no idea the fear and confusion a man or woman must feel when they don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. As a society, there are a million and one things we can do to better support and care for each other – but forgive me for not getting on board with the idea that gender reveal sparklers are the reason behind our world’s pain and suffering.
I’m not one to make political statements. While I have opinions, I’m not educated enough in the way of health care or taxes to stand on a public platform and preach. But I’m a mom, and while I admit to many failures throughout the day, from snacks packed with artificial flavoring to losing my temper, I refuse to be criticized for treating my girls like girls.
I don’t know the woman who wrote this article. But it’s personal. She mocks some of my fondest memories with family and friends in an attempt to push her own agenda.
We celebrated finding out the gender of both our babies. And we celebrate their gender everyday. I teach them there is a strength in femininity and that their beauty isn’t found in the reflection of a mirror.
To all my friends reading this who have birthing babies in their future: invite me to your gender reveal. I’ll come wearing bells and whistles in your color of choice.
Now excuse me…I have some onesies that need bedazzling.