December 4, 2018

Is it in poor taste now to show enthusiasm about the news of whether your baby is a boy or a girl?

That's my question, reading "Why Are Gender Reveal Parties a Thing?/They say a lot more about our culture than they do about the sex of our soon-to-be children" by Jennifer Finney Boylan in a NYT op-ed.
[C]elebrating a child’s gender before it’s born... sets expectations for who that child will be. It also leaves the unfortunate impression that gender is the most important thing to celebrate about that child. And sometimes it’s just plain wrong. As a late-transitioning transgender person, I’ve experienced both sides of a lot of this world....

What does bringing a new life into the world actually mean, in the end, besides lighting a fire, passing the flame of your own life on to a new generation? But I can assure you, that fire will glow whether your child is male or female or even something in between.

There are a lot of things to celebrate about a new baby. Gender isn’t one of them. Instead, we should celebrate our child’s humanity — with all of its complex, contradictory potential — with openheartedness and with love.
Gender-reveal parties are a recent fad, and in the old days we couldn't do them and we therefore didn't do them. We did send out birth announcements that usually said "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me. It's a specific individual, a stranger arrived from the beyond, who will gradually be revealed to us. Yes, there's one thing we can see right away, what kind of external genitalia this new person has. But instead of making a big deal about that one specific we do know, we could show awe and respect for what we do not know: Who is this? I thought all of that years ago and without the influence of the trangender-rights movement. But I'm happy to see this new basis for disapproving of parental over-enthusiasm about the genitalia of babies.

127 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Why waste your time with this diddle shit?

You must have something better to do.

Ralph L said...

One announcement versus answering the same question over and over.

Eric said...

A friend who lives in a progressive community where parents are careful to avoid imposing gender norms on their children noticed at a playground that the kids sorted themselves by "gender at birth" and the resulting two groups engaged in "gender norm" behavior. When he pointed this out to his fellow parents, they said that this wasn't their fault. So who's fault is it?

Annie C said...

I never wanted to know the gender. During birth, I kept up a mantra - "ten fingers, ten toes." This was my breathing practice and it was shorthand for "Please God give me a healthy baby."

Didn't really care if it was a boy or girl. Don't know why others do unless there is some part of the culture that values one sex over the other like China or British Royalty.

God, being the jokester that he is, gave me an 11 pound boy and an OB that went "uh oh" during the C- Section when he realized he would have to cut a larger incision on my belly.

Doctors should be trained to never say "uh oh" when they have a sharp cutting instrument in their hands. Especially if the patient is wide awake with only an epidural block.

Lucid-Ideas said...

I may not agree with your having a gender-reveal party sir, but I'll gladly defend your right to have a gender-reveal party to death if I have to.

So you have that gender-reveal party, if you can keep it!

Gahrie said...

We did send out birth announcements that usually said "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me

But cutting the babies spinal cord, sucking it's brains out and then removing the lifeless body from its mother's womb at 8 1/2 months is just fine and dandy.

BarrySanders20 said...

People announce buy or girl because that is the info what normal people want to know first. “It’s a baby!” announcement leaves unanswered questions, and “it’s Pat!” Is too dated for millennials to understand. That the child will grow to be an individual person is understood.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Good Lord. Who reads the fricking NYT? Why do these people want to read garbage about “gender as a social construct” and whatever other unreality based hokum the NYT spews for its bubble dwelling readers? Seriously. No wonder they don’t understand Trump voters...

rhhardin said...

It almost always matters which you are, male or female.

Shouting Thomas said...

In the same vein, I've been doing some sub organist work with an Episcopal church.

The church experienced, literally, a schism over gay marriage and clergy in 2003. The feminist, gay activist side won out in the national struggle, as it always does, because lefty activists don't have families and they spend all their time in political struggle. Families don't.

The result for the Episcopal Church? Families have walked out en masse. Attendance at services and at catechism is a 1/3 of what it was pre-schism. All that's left of the church is the lefty activists, who have moved on to creating the next schism.

Deliberate suicide for what purpose?

Ralph L said...

If you don't successfully fake enthusiasm about your baby's parts, people will think you're disappointed.

HG said...

What a load. These parties are just another reason to have a party.
These people should top obsessively looking for ways to spin everything as bad.

Temujin said...

A1 trolling. Let's just say that some parents prefer to know ahead of time so that they can prepare and others- close family and friends- will know what to buy for them and the baby. Pink or blue? With a newborn, I'm not sure any of that matters, but after a few months you're going to want to put your son in baby boys clothes and your daughter into baby girls clothes. Their physical gender has worked pretty well as an indicator of who and what they are for roughly...oh....1 million years?

Of course we're smarter now than any other previous human iteration. How else could you explain Trump as President, The View being on TV for 22 years, and thousands of women (and more than a few men) walking around in pussy hats? This is the first generation in 1 million years to have mass gender confusion. But- they're absolutely sure about global warming. Science!

Bob Boyd said...

What about a gender reveal party when your adult child reveals that your initial assessment couldn't have been more wrong? Would that be tasteful?

Joel Winter said...

"It's a person!" hardly has the same impact or interest.

In fact, biological sex is probably the most obviously distinguishing and surprising characteristic at birth (other than length, weight, hair and eye color, and skin tone--some of which are hereditarily predictable, to some degree). ["It's a light-skinned, brown-eyed, blonde chubby-kid!" Yeah--no....]

I don't think that "gender reveal parties" are necessarily celebrating one gender over another--just giving people an excuse to reveal one additional known-characteristic of their future offspring (while also giving people the chance to choose gender-stereotypical--sacre bleu!--clothes and accoutrements as gifts).

MayBee said...

I hate the gender reveal parties because there is an excellent way to be surprised about the sex of your children-- give birth. It seems to me a way to not have the discipline it takes to wait a full nine months, but desperately try to recapture some of the magic of the surprise.

As for announcing the gender, that's just what you've got. You don't know very much about the baby when it is first born, but boy or girl is actually a pretty big part of who they are. How they'll be can only be revealed in time.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Sub organist? How very espicopalian. Or too much information.

MayBee said...

You can't look around at women and men in the world and think "Ah, the sex of this baby means nothing to them as a person or the people who will interact with them"

Pookie Number 2 said...

But I'm happy to see this new basis for disapproving of parental over-enthusiasm about the genitalia of babies.

Althouse has thoughts on this particular issue; the article’s author is just looking for something to disapprove of.

Annie C said...

If I recall correctly, there was a gender reveal that was and explosion of blue smoke and it started a wildfire. California, I think.

Shouting Thomas said...

For those of you who don't know the history of schism that produced the current Episcopal Church:

Anglican Church born from schism with Catholic Church... over Henry VIII's divorce.

Episcopal Church born from schism with Anglican Church after Revolutionary War... to break English monarch's rule over church.

2003 Schism... gay marriage and female clergy.

mandrewa said...

This seems like nonsense to me.

I don't see what's wrong with new parents announcing that they have a baby and it's a boy or it's a girl. What else after all can they say?

There are a lot of things to celebrate about a new baby.

Really? What specifically are people supposed to say?

Other than whether or not it's a boy or a girl, the news is pretty much restricted to the new person's name, and then we move on to problems the baby might be having, which seems inappropriate.

It's true that babies are the future but for people outside that baby's family any meaning, to the point where the child will be talked about, is far in the future and unknown.

The puzzle for me looking at this is: why is this an issue? There must be something going on, but what the real issue is for the people that are objecting to this seems hidden.

(Ok. One thing I can guess. Suppose you are the mother. This baby is a huge thing for you and the consequences are so enormous that you can't even think about it all. So having people talking only about whether the child is a boy or a girl could get irritating.)

Otto said...

"But I'm happy to see this new basis for disapproving of parental over-enthusiasm about the genitalia of babies."- cultural marxism

rhhardin said...

The announcement is of what you're raising. Boy raising is different from girl raising.

Jupiter said...

" As a late-transitioning transgender person, I’ve experienced both sides of a lot of this world...."

The thing calling itself Jennifer seems to feel that there are two sides to "a lot of this world". What would it call those two sides?

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...


“Blogger HG said...
What a load. These parties are just another reason to have a party.”

Entirely. This may sound uncharitable, and it’s not meant to be as no one respects motherhood more than me, but gender-reveal parties are just a means for the gestating woman to garner more attention and swag. It’s social media made flesh.

MikeR said...

"We did send out birth announcements that usually said "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me"
Jeepers. Fighting reality doesn't usually work. Gender is really important.

Rob McLean said...

There are a lot of things to celebrate about a new baby.

Really? What specifically are people supposed to say?


Anything you want, as long as you don't refer to gender, race or appearance. Doing so would make you history's greatest monster.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HipsterVacuum said...

Shouldn't these be called "gender assigned at birth reveal parties?"

Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics had the best reaction to a gender reveal.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"But instead of making a big deal about that one specific we do know"

As opposed to saying, "it's a kid"?

"we could show awe and respect for what we do not know"

How exactly? What announcement describing the unknown would pass muster?

"But I'm happy to see this new basis for disapproving of parental over-enthusiasm about the genitalia of babies"

Because, as we all know, "gender" is merely a matter of "genitalia."

@gahrie: "But cutting the babies spinal cord, sucking it's brains out and then removing the lifeless body from its mother's womb at 8 1/2 months is just fine and dandy."

Sure. It's women exercising sovereignty over their bodies, which is the very essence of good taste. Except when they spout overenthusiastically from their mouths, that is in bad taste.

damikesc said...

Whats a more recent fad: gender reveal parties or dour and tedious trannies whining about reality?

Leslie Graves said...

@annie c. Great story. My mom also taught us (by constantly repeating it in any situation where it could be considered even remotely relevant) that the health of the forthcoming and/or new baby was the only thing that mattered.

Limited blogger said...

It's a girl! - Excellent! It's a boy! - Excellent! It's a human! That's good.

Hagar said...

Women generally do not get that excited about a girl baby; they have been a girl themselves and are not that impressed. A baby boy now, then they think they have done something special.
The fathers go the other way around.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Instead, we should celebrate our child’s humanity

What humanity? It's not a person until the mother decides it's a person--it's not really even a human, just a "fetus" or a "parasite," right? Since it lives inside the mother's body it's the mother's choice whether it's a thing worth consideration at all-her body her choice--so it doesn't make any sense to make a blanket statement premised on the idea that unborn children have some claim to humanity when your moral beliefs require the conclusion that they don't (or at the very most that whatever humanity some may have is contingent on the granting of such by the woman carrying the child and that grant can be withdrawn at any moment).


What percentage of people are biologically intersex? What percentage of young children are transgender? What sense does it make to build our culture around the demands of a tiny portion of that tiny portion (since not all intersex or transgender people demand the same things the activists we hear from in the Media demand)?

Darrell said...

You need a gender reveal party so that the child will know which gender to reject when he/she/xe/ze turns six.

Darrell said...

"It's a Dick! (For Now)" parties will become a thing in the next few months. Guests will be given a copy of the NYT's "Some Women Have Dicks" guide. "It's a Pussy (For Now)" parties will never be a thing.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Something that's been bothering me lately: if these people believe so strongly that gender is a construct and both has and should have little to no bearing on a person's core identity then why is representation so vitally important? If "being identifiably female" ("looking like" a woman, being XX, whatever) shouldn't be linked to the idea of being a woman and only how the individual currently identifies should determine that then why should it matter that this or that industry, movie, etc doesn't have enough "female faces?"

If a person's gender isn't supposed to matter and isn't supposed to even be considered a characteristic we notice at all then shouldn't we reject demands for "more women in the boardroom" or for special consideration for female applicants in any context? If "having a female body" is meaningless then it can't also be a valid criteria for some diversity requirement--it can't simultaneously matter and not matter!

Darrell said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

You are applying logic.
Which is banned under the NWO.
Report to the camp upon Hillary's win.

Leland said...

I suspect that most of the people worried about others parties for newborns are likely Malthusians concerned about human over population in general.

iowan2 said...

This is a good topic to wonder why...then fall back on the truism. If this is important, it is proof positive we are living in the most obscenely prosperous times of all of humanity.

If people truly have time for this, the rest of their life is very rich, full, and unencumbered by outside stress.

jaydub said...

Gender reveal parties do say a lot about the parents since they consider their baby to be one of the two genders. Sure, their child may ultimately grow into an identity confused head case, but at birth the child has no such baggage and the parents, regardless how woke, are certainly not hoping it picks up any such baggage in the future.

mockturtle said...

We did send out birth announcements that usually said "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me. It's a specific individual, a stranger arrived from the beyond, who will gradually be revealed to us.

You surely can't be serious. Or can you?

Unknown said...

Get a grip. “It’s a baby” is a pretty dumb announcement. It’s the first question anyone, everyone will ask ( other than is everyone ok),

Fernandistein said...

[C]elebrating a child’s gender

Sex.

Yes, it has become a dirty word again, but it's still the right word.

There are a lot of things to celebrate about a new baby. Gender isn’t one of them.

So says the imperious little scold with the female name "Jennifer Finney Boylan".

mccullough said...

Sex can be determined at 17 weeks while abortion is still legal. Celebrating while abortion is still legal bothers The Left.

Gender isn’t determined until much later. Late-transitioning is Bruce Jenner.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Whenever some mentally ill person tries to tell normal people what to do, the correct response is to tell them to go fuck themselves.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

MayBee said...You can't look around at women and men in the world and think "Ah, the sex of this baby means nothing to them as a person or the people who will interact with them"

Not only CAN you, MayBee, pretty soon you'll be REQUIRED to do exactly that. Noticing someone's gender--noticing the outward appearance and then assuming their gender based on that--is a form of bigotry. You're not supposed to notice! You must train yourself, and more importantly train your children, to simply not notice. Failure to do so will be considered downright ugly by all the nice people who after all just want to get along and have everyone feel happy and accepted; that ugliness is punishable by social ostracism (and, you know, job termination, etc).

Get your mind right!

tcrosse said...

There are a lot of things to celebrate about a new baby. Gender isn’t one of them.

Neither is a psychological disorder.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I never wanted to know the gender. During birth, I kept up a mantra - "ten fingers, ten toes." This was my breathing practice and it was shorthand for "Please God give me a healthy baby."

Agree with Annie C here. I didn't want to know the gender and all I cared about was healthy, complete and happy baby.

Besides to know the gender ahead of time was a rather invasive procedure in the ancient days. Why risk anything during pregnancy. The anticipation of the coming child was enough without worrying about gender. Gender is immaterial.


MayBee said...

Hoodlum Doodlum- will you throw food over the wall to me when I am in the camp?

Greg Hlatky said...


Why should we let lunatics like this shame us? What moral standing can they claim? What intellectual superiority do they have? Are their lives so ordered that they deserve to dictate how normal people should live?

gahrie said...

Sex can be determined at 17 weeks while abortion is still legal

Abortion is legal until the moment before birth.

Renee said...

I thought it was a way to get more stuff, but having yet another party.

Funny how there is a push for all this non-binary ling0, we end up with a very binary based party.

Howard said...

We were early cohort of ultrasound. Like many here we only wanted health info not sex.

MayBee said...

Can you think both that sex has little to do with who a person is, and also think some people have to change their gender?

The author is late transitioning. Gender obviously meant a lot to her- she has spent a lot of time, maybe more time than most, giving a lot of weight to gender. What it must feel like to be a woman, what it must feel like to be a man, that is separate from genitals. Someone who has decided their gender doesn't match their genitals has spent a lot of energy deciding what being a girl means vs what being a boy means. Enough to decide their own personal feelings don't match what they think they should be to have the genitals they have.

We'll celebrate our babies. Even if they turn out to be assholes or cheaters or loud mouths. And if they decide to change genders, we can celebrate with them when they do it. But if we are going to have to stop celebrating birth in the way we want because of who they might become, well that opens a whole can of worms.

Howard said...

Shame only works if you believe in the original sin mythology, therefore it's on you not the preaching moron

Howard said...

Sex is physics. Gender is social construction

Mark said...

"It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me. It's a specific individual, a stranger arrived from the beyond, who will gradually be revealed to us. Yes, there's one thing we can see right away, what kind of external genitalia this new person has. But instead of making a big deal about that one specific we do know, we could show awe and respect for what we do not know: Who is this?

For all this talk about how irrelevant sex is, the trans militants sure are making a big deal about it.

Mark said...

Here is a question for you --

Is the person who gave birth a man or a woman? Or don't we know? Is it an unfathomable mystery?

Professional lady said...

I was invited to a couple of baby showers recently where the parents did not want to know the sex of the baby. While I was shopping for presents, it was kind of interesting that there were very few gender neutral outfits to choose from. There used to be yellow and green outfits you could buy back in the old days. Now, mostly everything is ultra boy or ultra girl. Managed to find some light gray outfits. Believe it or not, light gray is now a baby color.

Mark said...

But cutting the babies spinal cord, sucking it's brains out and then removing the lifeless body from its mother's womb at 8 1/2 months is just fine and dandy.

The same folks who told us that it is impossible to know objectively if the entity in the womb is a living human being ("We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 160)), are the same ones now telling us that it is impossible to know objectively if a person is a male or female.

Ken B said...

Wow, have you ever missed the point here.
When a baby is born we know only one thing about it. So new parents trumpet it. Later, if the child proves to be smart that is trumpeted, or if it is a fast runner, or if it is tall, or if it is short, or if plays piano that is trumpeted in turn. Did you keep JAC's high school graduation a secret? If not why not? Apply all your arguments about an unformed child to an unformed adolescent.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Feeling sympathy for those guilty of thoughtcrime is a betrayal of the regime; I'm no traitor Maybee.

What a thing to get Room 101'd over! It makes a certain kind of sense, though: if the people who hold power over you (who run the culture, set the social rules) want to express that power in the most obvious way what better method than requiring you to deny reality in a way everyone can see? You're forced to speak the lie and teach your children the lie (all in the name of niceness and inclusion) and eventually to BELIEVE the lie yourself...all while enduring the humiliating knowledge that everyone hearing you understands that you're either speaking nonsense or you truly believe nonsensical things.

Such a minor step from "we have to do this in order to not hurt someone's feelings somewhere" to "you will be made to believe these things or you will be ruined."

Fernandistein said...

NYT also has an article about how male and female brains are different, as are male and female personalities, but those differences don't matter because reasons.

Mark said...

Instead of those "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" parties at birth or even prenatal, would it be OK to have them at, say, age 16? Will the person and parents have figured it out by then?

In fact, it seems to me that when we have these teenage gender-reveal things that everyone in the world is required to celebrate when he declares that he is a she, and vice versa.

stevew said...

Who asked ya?

Geoff Matthews said...

You do know that sex does reveal a LOT about a person? There are definite qualities that are strongly associated with sex.
And also a lot of interest from parties on whether your child is a boy or a girl.

MadisonMan said...

there was a gender reveal that was and explosion of blue smoke and it started a wildfire. California, I think.

Arizona. $8M in damages. I recall the Dad -- a ranger or something (!!) -- is paying back $200K on the installment plan. This was just in the news last week.

Link

California Snow said...

Honestly I think b/c it's one more way to get material to post on social media. We HAVE to share everything about ourselves now so why not?

Mark said...

What is the definition of a female/girl/woman? Is there one? Can there be a definition?

What does it mean to be female/girl/woman? Is there an inherent meaning? Or is it ultimately without meaning?

Is there some inherent meaning to having XX chromosomes and a natural uterus and ovaries? Or is that irrelevant to such things as being able to conceive, carry a pregnancy and give birth?

And is there anything more absurd than to have to seriously pose and consider questions such as this??

Mark said...

Parents: We just had our baby!!

Family and friends: So, tell us more. Boy or girl? How big?

Parents: 8 lbs, 6 oz, and 20 inches.

Family and friends: OK, good. Boy or girl?

Parents: Um. Yeah. That's a real head-scratcher. We don't know. How could we? If only there were some way we could figure that out. If only there were some criteria by which our baby could determine that too, some standard by which to gauge whether one is female or male other than gross stereotypes.

reader said...

Oh, good heavens! People are having fun and it must be stopped!

My husband and I had no desire to know the sex of our baby but it is no skin off of my nose if other people do. Strangely enough I don't expect everyone to act exactly like me.

I ended up having an emergency C-section so I missed out on a lot of the family interaction that took place the night my son was born. I have been told that two things happened that night. 1. My mother-in-law and her twin sister were so giddy and loud they were told they had to quiet down or they would be asked to leave. 2. The first time the rest of the family saw my husband he was behind glass so he gave them a thumbs up to let them know things were alright and then used both index fingers to point to (my father-in-law's choice of words) his pecker.

Freeman Hunt said...

People asking about the baby's gender are the least of your worries when you're pregnant. People actually ask if your cervix is dilated. They actually ask that!

Earnest Prole said...

Five babies and each time we waited until birth. I came from a very large family of mostly boys, and following the birth of my first two sons it was staggering and wonderful when the third emerged as a daughter.

James K said...

We did send out birth announcements that usually said "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" That always felt like poor taste to me. It's a specific individual, a stranger arrived from the beyond, who will gradually be revealed to us.

Geez, get a life! We aren't imbeciles. We know babies are distinct individuals, we know that their sex isn't the only thing that matters. At this point it's pretty much all we know, and it does matter. Find something more important to gripe about. I don't know if it's happened, but I'm guessing women have had or will have had abortion parties, given the "Shout your abortion!" movement. Now THAT is poor taste.

gerry said...

Planned Parenthood gender reveal parties will become the new feminist revolutionary rage:

"IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GIRL!"

[wine bottle corks popping]

Freeman Hunt said...

The most disgusting question asked of pregnant women: "Have you lost your mucous plug?" Imagine saying that!

tim maguire said...

False choices all around, professor. Why is it that whenever we take satisfaction or pleasure in doing something not vitally important, this strange obligation pops up that demands we spend our attention only on the most important thing in the world?

You may as well argue that we can't have art until there are no homeless.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Who gets all exercised about spmeone’s revealing the sex of a baby, either prenatal or neonatal? A baby brings most people great joy, The announcement (in years past) would naturally include mention of the sex because that would be the first question if you didn’t include it.

We suffer not for want or wonders, but for want of wonder.

tim maguire said...

Annie C said...I never wanted to know the gender...Didn't really care if it was a boy or girl. Don't know why others do

Is any sane person really suggesting the celebration is only for one gender and if the child was the other, the party would be cancelled?

Yes, actually, it does matter whether it's a boy or a girl because (provided the child is healthy), that one fact determines your experience as a parent orders of magnitude more than any other aspect of your child.

Qwinn said...

There... are... FOUR... lights!

Darrell said...

Have you lost your mucous plug?

Why? Have you found one?

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

" It's an X !!"

JohnAnnArbor said...

Life is not a Monty Python skit. People are curious and have been for all history.

Ralph L said...

then used both index fingers to point to ... his pecker.

He had every right to be proud of his work--or did you mean the baby's pecker?

PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis Wetzel said...

These days it is extremely common for our intellectual elites to claim that sex is "assigned at birth," and not determined by a biological process.
The passive construction "assigned at birth" is missing an actor. Who is assigning the sex of your new born infant? Odd that it always comes out fifty-fifty. How do the people at the hospital know which sex to assign to your new born to keep the ratio at 50-50? A coin toss?

wildswan said...

People are curious about the sex but we didn't use to ask even when the baby was born because then, what do you say next? do you say "Oh, good" as if the other sex would have been "Too bad?" We'd have names picked and when the baby was born we'd hear: "So and so,(the name) was born at (exact hour) after short /long labor. Weighed X pounds. Mother is fine / tired; baby is fine / has jaundice. Visiting hours at (exact hour)." Then you visit and pick up more information since the personality of many newborns is evident almost at once. I helped take care of a great nephew once. He was six weeks old when I met him and after short while I wrote him a poem:
Roy T
and me,
We used to sit together
For hours.
All we did was laugh.

stevew said...

My daughter gave birth about two hours ago, it's a boy and they will name him Cole. He is our fourth grandchild, the only boy. Everyone is thrilled and excited (in the family at least). And, yes, there was a gender reveal event a few months ago; it was light hearted and fun.

Why do some people feel the need to piss on other's good times?

Rocketeer said...

"Have you lost your mucous plug?" Imagine saying that!

A man wouldn't ask that, unless he was an obstetrician and had a professional need to know. Meaning that question had to have been asked by a particularly nosy woman.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

As I recall, when Lady Mary gave birth, Carson forgot to ask the sex of the baby.

And that led Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore to say "Men!"

mockturtle said...

Why do some people feel the need to piss on other's good times?

Misery loves company.

ALP said...

"...sets expectations for who that child will be."

Oh sweet jesus, I have not even had my coffee yet. The stupid, it hurts! Too stupid to see gender fluidity or 'neutral' is simply another expectation. For fuck's sake, let's not get ahead of ourselves and predict 10 fingers and toes either. Why burden the child with the expectation that comes with having two functional hands with 10 fingers!

ALP said...

Annie C @8:09 -

I never wanted to know the gender. During birth, I kept up a mantra - "ten fingers, ten toes." This was my breathing practice and it was shorthand for "Please God give me a healthy baby."
**********************
LOL I posted before I read this. Annie, how dare you impose the expectations of health and all that implies on your poor child. The burden!

mockturtle said...

Mark @ 10:05: Excellent! :-D

ALP said...

iowan2: This is a good topic to wonder why...then fall back on the truism. If this is important, it is proof positive we are living in the most obscenely prosperous times of all of humanity.

If people truly have time for this, the rest of their life is very rich, full, and unencumbered by outside stress.
************************
I think these same thoughts every time an article in the alternative press covers a racist/homophobic incident - entailing no more than the exchange of angry words. We find a mere verbal argument newsworthy. Isn't this GOOD news that it has come to that - people getting paid to write/cover spats between neighbors that cross over into non PC language.

MB said...

But if there existed a test that could determine a child's sexuality at birth (which I think is implausible, because it probably also depends on formative experiences at a later stage in life), the same people would be celebrating it as an expression of the child's unique individuality and insisting that the child should be raised in accordance with what "science" says.

As long as the result were somewhere toward the queer end of the queer spectrum, that is. The test could never be wrong, the science would always be settled, ignoring its results would be deemed child abuse.

It's just the child's sex that's unimportant, because after all one can always change it with a little bit of surgery.

Modern "progressive" theology is all about ignoring the course, obvious stuff and arguing instead about intricacies like how many genders can dance on the head of a pin. That's how you know they are elite and they think subtle, profound thoughts.

MB said...

course=coarse

SDaly said...

All of you seeking safety by claiming you don't care if it's a boy or girl, only that the child is healthy, are ableist monsters.

funsize said...

I'm expecting in spring. I don't want to share the secondary sex characteristics because of excited family members who want to buy unnecessary things, and project their expectations on the kid.

Besides, all this extra stuff we're supposed to do now like gender reveals? Waste of time and money.

JaimeRoberto said...

I find the idea of gender reveal parties to be obnoxious because they seem to be another manifestation of the narcissism in our society, and we already have too much of that. But maybe that's just my Puritan heritage coming through.

On the other hand, I don't really think people should be shamed into rearranging their lives to please an exceedingly small percentage of the population who are also mentally ill.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

stevew said...My daughter gave birth about two hours ago, it's a boy and they will name him Cole.

Congratulations!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Freeman Hunt said...People asking about the baby's gender are the least of your worries when you're pregnant. People actually ask if your cervix is dilated. They actually ask that!

"I don't know--why don't you take a look and tell me?"

eddie willers said...

Do it this way and save money:

Collect call from Mr. Bob Wehadababyitsaboy.

ALP said...

BTW: I used to work for a historical garden site that often hosted weddings and was a very popular site for all manner of photography: engagements and the like. Photo shoots had to be scheduled.

The first time a person approached me asking if the could schedule a 'gender reveal' photo shoot - I thought is was an unveiling of a transsexual that had completed all the surgery!! LOL - I am terribly out of the loop with regards to all things reproductive and kid related. I'm the type of person who gets confused when I see a bunch of kids out and about in the middle of July...wondering 'why aren't these kids in school'?

The Godfather said...

Whether the announcement says "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!", it implies that "It's a human being and not a mere clump of cells that we can dispose of at our convenience". So I think that's worth celebrating.

n.n said...

Gender reveal parties... It's a masculine clump of cells, that may or may not be male. It may be homosexual, bisexual, transvestite, or neo-female.

Fritz said...

We have a new grandbaby coming, and our son and daughter-in-law have opted not to find out the gender on this one. The suspense isn't exactly killing me, but why not know when you can?

Jonathan Graehl said...

Besides the identity of the two parents, XX or XY is the most concise single yes/no* (*99%+) bit of information possible in getting to know a new person. Sure, an in-person meet or video would tell more.

Mrs Whatsit said...

Oh for Pete's sake. Can't we just let each other alone, for crying out loud? There is just way, way, way too much heavy-handed, judgmental squeezing-all-of-the-fun out of life going on, by way too many people who haven't yet explained to my satisfaction who put them in charge. It's so tiresome to turn every single thing in every human being's life into a test of how sexist or racist or whatever-ist we are -- or, on the other hand, how perfectly woke we are (and -- the really important part -- how superior we are to all of you Neanderthals who had the poor taste to actually tell their relatives that the baby is a girl!) Why on earth do we need "a new basis for disapproving of parental over-enthusiasm about the genitalia of babies"? How about we all stop being so sanctimoniously eager to find reasons to disapprove of one another, and just let people be glad about their babies?

James K said...

Besides the identity of the two parents, XX or XY is the most concise single yes/no

Sometimes the identity of at least one parent is, well, ambiguous. Or concealed. Or unknown.

Mark said...

If I get a puppy, how do I know to get it spayed or neutered? How would a vet know?

Birkel said...

In which Althouse tells people that they've been doing it wrong for the last 8000 years of civilization.
Good one!

The Vault Dweller said...

Most of the people I know, intentionally did not learn the sex of their child before it was born. So baby showers got lots of neutral pastel colors.

Paul Mac said...

"people who privilege feelings over facts are not sane, and the facts always win in the end. Though, unfortunately, often not before the insanity has inflicted a great deal of unnecessary suffering."

Your identity is not your choice

Paul Mac said...

"people who privilege feelings over facts are not sane, and the facts always win in the end. Though, unfortunately, often not before the insanity has inflicted a great deal of unnecessary suffering."

Your identity is not your choice

TreeJoe said...

I really wonder when the mental health profession is going to catch up and begin asserting itself, professionally, with the sociological experiments that have become the norm in the past few years involving redefining gender.

PJ said...

1. So early-21st-century. Pretty soon, we’ll have the boy-or-girl announcement before conception. Or, more likely, we’ll only have “It will be a girl!” announcements, because announcing that you’ve decided to make a boy will result in shaming.

2. But instead of making a big deal about that one specific we do know, we could show awe and respect for what we do not know This approach should be applied to other major life events, too (marriage, graduation, death), and in fact could be usefully appplied to known-things in general. After all, much of what we think we know turns out to be untrue, so why make a big deal out of what we think we know? Better to show respect and awe for what we don’t know, it’s less disappointing.

Tina Trent said...

Jennifer Finney Boylan was a third-rate academic fiction writer teaching in an MFA program at Colby College (I think) when he decided to change his sexual identity despite having a wife and kids. Changing his sexual identity to female brought Boylan professional success he could not achieve through his writing.

His memoir about transitioning confirms the worst stereotypes of narcissism and sexism inherent in the political gender movement. Boylan's ideas of femininity are as adolescent and insulting as his politics are Maoist and repressive.

It's naive to imagine that the agenda of these activists includes respecting people who disagree with their assertions that gender is entirely "fluid." Nobody may opt out from agreeing with them. This is a transgender-superior ideology in which heterosexuality and what they label "cisgenderism" is deemed inherently oppressive, like "whiteness" in race politics.

Boylan's editorials ram up this politically priviledged het-hatred. She alone is enlightened: the rest of us (now including gays who say they were born gay) are regressive and bad. It's lazy, ugly work like the memoir, but it brings power and rewards in the current Maoist re-education atmosphere. Boylan eagerly tried to befriend Bruce/Caitlin Jenner during his transition and then tried to purge her for being politically incorrect.

None of this is about liberation: it's about forcing others to participate in your own private fantasies about sexuality. And increasingly these people have unlimited power to create negative social consequences for those who would rather not participate.

MayBee said...

PJ said...This approach should be applied to other major life events, too (marriage, graduation, death), and in fact could be usefully appplied to known-things in general. After all, much of what we think we know turns out to be untrue, so why make a big deal out of what we think we know? Better to show respect and awe for what we don’t know, it’s less disappointing.

True! Why congratulate people on their new marriage? It might turn out horribly! There's so much we don't know about it. Same with a new job. Could end up being the worst thing that ever happened to them.

mikee said...

In 1990 I got a polaroid of my son, taken as a courtesy by the technician, from the ultrasound monitor. It was grainy, and a bit hard to interpret, becausein 1990 ultrasounds weren't all that great, but the picture definitely revealed his gender.

I expanded it to fill an 8"x 11" Xerox and hung it on my office door, with a note saying, "It's a Boy!" People would stop, read the note, stare at the picture, and (suddenly realizing it was crotch shot of a fetus) recoil in horror.
Good times.

Bunkypotatohead said...

In the future doctors will be able to determine very early that the fetus will grow up to be a homo, or maybe even transgender. At that point most parents will just abort the pregnancy. It will be interesting to see the LGBT lobbyists arguing the government must step in to prevent it.