Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gender Reveal Cakes

So what, really, is America about? I call to your attention a new source for investigating this old question, the Gender Reveal Cake.

A Gender Reveal Party is held by expectant parents after the ultrasound has shown them the sex of their baby. I had heard of these, but I just learned that at some of these parties the Big News is revealed by cutting into a cake. Somehow the inside is dyed either blue or pink; generally this is just the frosting between the layers, but some people go beyond.

I think these cakes are about the most American thing I've ever seen. I mean, just look at them. Buck or Doe!


Guns or Glitter!


Touchdowns or Tutus!

Cupcake or Stud Muffin!

Bows or Arrows!

Prince or Princess!

I feel like I made a wrong turn and blundered straight into the Discourse. Looking at these, you get a sense of why progressive ideas about gender touch so many American nerves. For the people who make and serve these cakes, biological gender is not an arbitrary little DNA accident, but the bedrock of identity. These are not children, but Boys and Girls. Boyhood and Girlhood are things to be celebrated, not glossed over. These parents get their results and think, a girl! Dresses, make-up, ballet, cheerleading! A boy! balls, sports, guns!

On the other side are people who worry that they'll permanently damage the next generation if they so much as use gendered pronouns before the child has had a chance to choose an identity for themself.

Somewhere off to the side are people like me who mostly just don't want to offend anyone. I mean, I think the difference between men and women is pretty much the grandest thing in the universe, but I'm not trying to impose my views on anyone else, or judge anyone who feels differently.

So here we are.

4 comments:

David said...

Meanwhile, the poor apostrophe goes on a-dyin' . . .

G. Verloren said...

"I mean, I think the difference between men and women is pretty much the grandest thing in the universe, but I'm not trying to impose my views on anyone else, or judge anyone who feels differently."

There are a couple very different ways to interpret what you mean by this, so I'm gonna ask for clarification of your actual view rather than risk making any assumptions one way or the other.

(Although I secretly hope you're making a subtle off-color joke about the joys of hogmagundy, as that would greatly amuse me.)

G. Verloren said...

Separately, I'd also like to quickly comment on this snippet.

"For the people who make and serve these cakes, biological gender is not an arbitrary little DNA accident, but the bedrock of identity."

I do hope you don't find it pedantic, but "biological gender" isn't quite right. In terms of your physical body, you have a biological sex (male/female*). Gender refers to intangible differences - namely culture, behavior, and societal roles and expectations (masculine/feminine).

*(Most of the time, anyway.)

John said...

On the subject of the apostrophe, I have wondered if it may be saved by autocorrect. My phone is dictatorial on the subject of apostrophes and sometimes makes it all but impossible to type "were" or "cant."

On the subject of male/female difference, well, a gay friend of mine once called me "the most heterosexual man on the planet."