If you live in Brooklyn like I do, you know gender is a construct, and to impose that construct onto an unborn child is absurd. Even if you are super woke and understand the nuances of identity politics, again, like I do, that doesn’t mean everybody does. But screaming into your liberal echo chamber about how ridiculous it is that your cousin forces their infant to wear a pink bow, actually do something about it. In order to bring down the gender binary you have to jump into action. You have to ruin a gender reveal party.
Ruining a gender reveal party is pretty easy. All you have to do is be a pill, a real wet blanket, a Debbie Downer with a cause. First things first, kick in the door and immediately ask where the vegan options are. Then, with a mouth full of potato chips — and those will be the only vegan option, trust me — pose this question to the party: What are we really celebrating here, anyway? You’ll be met with eye rolls and scoffs. Persist, there is more to be done.
As excitement builds, start spreading rumors. For example, you heard the baby was intersex, or that it doesn’t have any defining sexual characteristics whatsoever. You, of course, know that gender and sexual organs are totally independent, but they don’t. Skip past educating these bumpkins and just scare the living hell out of them. This might seem like a step in the wrong direction, but the more people feel uncomfortable at a gender reveal party, the less likely they are to throw another one.
The climax of any gender reveal party is whatever Pinterest inspired method has been chosen to conceal the colors blue or pink depending on the perceived gender of the child. This could be food coloring in a cake, pink or blue balloons being set free — don’t even get me started on the environmental impact of that one — or a whole variety of equally farcical games your cousin’s old college roommate saw in Instagram and decided it was “just so cute!” The moment the soon-to-be parents learn the “gender” of their child is the moment you bring out the big guns, metaphorically, of course. This is the moment you bring up genitalia.
If a cake is cut revealing a pink interior, yell “Oh, it has a vagina!” and if a box is opened and a bunch of blue balloons shoots into the atmosphere, scream “Yay! A penis!” Talk of sex organs at a party such as this is going to ruffle some feather, similar to those of the bird that will eventually eat those balloons and choke to death, manifesting physically the ways in which society shoves the gender binary down our collective throat. If you are really going big, rather than allow those binary chauvinists to even have a brief moment of satisfaction seeing those colors, bring yellow balloons and swap them out, or bake an exact replica of the cake, but with a black interior. They’ll never see it coming.
At this point, you’ve probably ruined the party. You could go back to your Bushwick artist collective, back to the windowless loft you share with your partners, and you could be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But why stop there?
Take out your Sharpie. I know you’ve got one on you.
Find every pink or blue object in sight and scribble away. Scribble like mad and don’t stop until every last item has the erratic, black scrawlings of an emotionally disturbed child who was just asked to draw how they feel by a therapist who has no idea what they’re dealing with. Sure, it’s dark, but it will be impactful and who knows, maybe next time they’ll think twice about shackling their children to a harmful social construct. If not, at least all their stuff is ruined.