Gender reveals: Another example of "Not every thing needs to be a thing"

Gender reveal shenanigans are pretty stupid on a couple levels.

First, they are stupid just because they are stupid.

Your doctor tells you that you're having a girl, so you plan a party. You bake a pink cake with white frosting. You send invitations to friends and relatives who have much better things to do that day. Your guests gather around the cake and watch you slice, revealing the pink interior and therefore the gender of your future child. People pretend to cheer. They shake your hand with false enthusiasm and wonder how long they need to linger at the party before leaving. 

If you need this kind of attention, try stand-up comedy instead. Or ballet. Maybe learn to joust so you can perform in the local Renaissance fair. Do something where the public attention you so desperately crave is part of the deal. Required, even.

Stop turning things like gender reveals and prom proposals into performance art. Every thing doesn't need to be a thing.  

But here's the other reason gender reveals are stupid:

There's no way of knowing what your child's gender is. You can know the sex of your child, but as we now know, gender is much more complex than the genitals that you have been assigned. Cutting into that pink cake is no guarantee that your child will identify as female later in life.

If you're going to engage in this stupidity, you'll at least need to ditch "gender reveal"" and instead call it a "sex reveal."

Or maybe a "Penis or vagina reveal" (though it would probably be more accurate to refer to it as a "Penis and vulva reveal" since the exterior female sex organ is the vulva and not the vagina, as everyone seems to think). 

 Hopefully, you find phrases like "sex reveal" or Penis and vulva reveal"  so disconcerting that you cancel the whole shebang and reveal your child's sex the old fashioned way:

You call your mom. You meet your friend for dinner. You tell your buddy on the golf course. Hang some pink or blue balloons off your mailbox. You post the news to social media. 

Or do what my wife and I did:

Wait until the baby is born. Check for yourself. Then tell everyone.

And if you thought the sex reveal cake was bad - and it is - check out this Mensa candidate revealing the sex of his child via colored chalk and explosives. 

If you're using The Bible to support your opposition to same sex marriage and transgender restroom choice, you're simply obsessed with penises and vaginas.

It's not often that you can cheer on corporations for all the good they do, but on Monday, under increasing pressure from major corporations like Unilever, Disney, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and the NFL, Gov. Nathan Deal announced he will veto a bill that critics say would have curtailed the rights of Georgia's LGBT community.

House Bill 757 would have given faith-based organizations in Georgia the option to deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. 

Also on Monday, a federal lawsuit was filed against the North Carolina governor and other state officials over a new law there that blocks transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity and stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.

I can't help but think that if these conservatives would just stop obsessing over penises and vaginas, the world would be a lot better place.

And it really is an obsession. Same sex marriage. Transgender restroom choice. All of this amounts to where and how a person chooses to make use of their genitalia - even though said usage is almost never being done in public and does not impact the lives of these genitally-obsessed bigots in any way. 

It's an obvious and bizarre attempt to legislate the use of genitals, often based upon a religious text that also forbids the tattoos and the trimming of beards and calls for the stoning to death of anyone who works on Sunday. It's buffet-style Bible reading, and these people are choosing penises and vaginas over the pork tenderloin every time.

Let's put it this way:

If opponents of same sex marriage and transgender bathroom choice are basing their positions on religion - and in these cases, they have said as much - but these same opponents are also shaving on a regular basis, doing business with people with tattoos, and working (or even doing business with people who are working on Sunday), then this isn't really about religion or God or The Bible.

It comes down to a simple and bizarre obsession over penises and vaginas.

These people can't stop thinking about, obsessing over, and desiring command of our nation's genitalia. They are penis and vagina enthusiasts. They are seeking dictatorial control over the parts of the body typically concealed by underwear. 

All of this trouble because the conservative movement can't get their minds and hearts and heads out of other people's pants. 

Truly. It makes no sense.

Boy Vs. Girl: Episode 4: Barbie, Heels, and Penis Doodles

Episode 4 of our new podcast, Boy Vs. Girl, is now available. In the episode, Rachel the Sociologist and I debate the new Barbie television ad, heels, and the reasons why men doodle penises in restrooms and other public location.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, or you can listen to this episode and all previous episodes on our Soundcloud channel. And if you like what you hear, please consider leaving a rating and review in iTunes. It helps listeners find us and makes us feel like better human beings. 

You can also like us on Facebook to see links to all of the things that we talk in the episode.

The Barbie ad that we debate on the episode can be seen here. It's lovely. Isn't it?  

“In The Night Kitchen” relies on the penis for its success and notoriety.

This reading of In the Night Kitchen got a lot of attention on the Internet last week with the passing of James Gandolfini.

And Gandolfini delivers a spectacular reading of this Maurice Sendak classic, but let me go on the record as saying that I do not like this book at all.

Perhaps it’s because I first read the book when I was 40 years-old and therefore lacked the childhood nostalgia that can occasionally prop up lesser works of art, but I find the story to be strange, creepy, frightening, unnecessarily graphic and most important lacking a cohesive and compelling narrative.

Frankly, I think that had Sendak not included the little boy’s penis in the illustrations, this book would have disappeared into obscurity.

I think the inclusion of the penis gained the book its initial notoriety and has continued to allow it to stand out as something different and unusual.

But not very good.

You can’t lie to a man with a penis

My son was circumcised yesterday. I was not at the hospital at the time (appropriately enough, I was playing golf), but the doctor told my wife that Charlie didn’t cry a bit.

As a human being equipped with my own penis, I assured my wife that this was not true. Perhaps he did not wail as much as one might if an arm or a leg were completely severed, but there were cries of pain. That, I said, was a certainty.

It turns out that I was correct. The nurse who was present at the circumcision popped into my wife’s hospital room minutes before we were to leave to say goodbye, and she reiterated this fairy tale about the painless circumcision to me.

“He didn’t cry at all?” I asked.

“Not at all. But he was numbed before the doctor began the procedure, so he didn’t feel a thing.”

“How did he feel about the needle you injected into his penis? Did he cry then?'”

“Well, yeah,” she admitted. “He cried then.”

I was going to point pout that differentiating between the pain associated with the anesthesia and the pain associated with the actual procedure doesn’t mean much to the person who is dealing with the pain, but I decided to remain silent. I was trilled to be bringing our son home, and I did not want to spoil the moment with unnecessary oration. 

But I wasn’t surprised by this fairy tale circumcision. I have enormous respect for doctors and nurses, but when it comes to describing pain, I've said it before and I’ll say it again:

They cannot be trusted.