The Influencer Responsible for Gender Reveal Parties Has a Few Regrets

Illustration for article titled The Influencer Responsible for Gender Reveal Parties Has a Few Regrets
Image: David McNew (Getty Images)

After a gender reveal party held at Yucaipa’s El Dorado Ranch Park was found to have triggered one of the many devastating wildfires currently raging across California, the woman credited with popularizing the gender reveal party format, blogger Jenna Karvunidis, has denounced the parties for destroying the planet. Seeing as this is not the first time a gender reveal party has left thousands of acres of destruction—in 2017, a gender reveal in Arizona created 47,000 acres of scorched earth—I’d say she’s onto something.

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“Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis,” Karvunidis wrote on Facebook. No one cares but you.” Here’s the screed in full, via The Mercury News:

Oh my god NO.

The fire that evacuated parts of California is from a GENDER REVEAL PARTY.

Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.

It was 116 degrees in Pasadena yesterday and this tool thought it would be smart to light a fire about his kid’s dick. Toxic masculinity is men thinking they need to explode something because simply enjoying a baby party is for sissies.

Oh, and of course I’m getting hate messages. Excuse me for having a cake for my family in 2008. Just because I’m the gEnDeR rEvEaL iNVeNtoR doesn’t mean I think people should burn down their communities.

STOP.

Edit - If you agree or don’t hate this post, please do not put “angry” or “sad” reacts on it because Facebook punishes pages who get those reactions by limiting their reach. Facebook wants puppy pictures, not anti-gender reveal screeds.

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To be clear, Karvunidis appears to be condemning explosions or violence stemming from gender reveal celebrations more than the antiquated format in which adults celebrate the publication of the kind of genitals a fetus appears to have in the womb. The more obvious argument is that gender reveal parties uphold dangerous and inaccurate gender norms, where biology unequivocally equates to identity, but hey! If Karvunidis wants to stand by her decision to cut a cake revealing pink frosting for her baby girl, so be it. (She told NPR in 2019, “Plot twist! The baby from the original gender reveal party is a girl who wears suits. She says ‘she’ and ‘her’ and all of that, but you know she really goes outside gender norms.” So there’s that.)

The very premise of a gender reveal party is stuid, even more so since the forma can and has resulted in death: according to CNN, in 2019, a family in Knoxville, Iowa built an explosive device to reveal the biological sex of a baby and instead, inadvertently created a pipe bomb, killing the family’s grandmother. That should be enough to stop.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

snide-o-mite
Snide-O-Mite

My understanding is that the reason Jenna did the gender reveal in the first place is because she’d had a series of miscarriages and wanted to celebrate something positive. She didn’t do it because she cared about the gender of her child.

In an odd twist, I get where she's coming from.