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. 

Boy Vs. Girl: Episode 1 of our new podcast launches today!

Two years ago, I began thinking about producing a podcast of my own. The combination of my excessive love for podcast and my fundamental (and possibly narcissistic) belief that I have interesting things to say led to my desire to become a podcast host.

Today, my podcast partner Rachel Leventhal-Weiner and I have finally achieved that goal with Boy vs. Girl: a podcast about gender and gender stereotypes from a self-described expert on gender issues (the boy) who has spent the last two decades immersed in female culture and a sociologist (the girl) who is an actual scholar with actual scholarly credentials. 

Basically I'm a guy who thinks he knows something and Rachel is an sociologist and academic with an actual doctorate or something.

Boy Vs. Girl


The origin of the podcast was this:

I have been an elementary school teacher for 17 years, working almost exclusively in the company of women. Prior to that time, I attended an all women's colleges. As a result, I have spent the past two decades immersed in female culture, and as a result, I have a unique and thorough perspective on that culture, in addition to the myriad of differences between men and women. 

My original plan was to write a book on the subject (and that is still in the works), with Rachel - the sociologist, academic, and expert - vetting my claims and ideally declaring me to be a genius. 

It turned out that Rachel not only disagreed with some of my assertions, but oddly enough, she also had strong opinions of her own on gender and gender stereotypes.

Who knew?

Thus Boy Vs. Girl was born.

Each week one of us will bring a gender-based topic to the table for debate, and then we will discuss a mystery topic, provided by the listeners, that we will open while recording.  

Episode #1 topics include the modern day Tupperware party, children's Halloween costumes, and panty hose.

You can listen to Boy Vs. Girl in Soundcloud (and subscribe to the podcast there to listen to on your computer) or click on the link below to listen right here on the blog, but if you're a podcast listener, you can listen (and hopefully subscribe) to our podcast in all of your favorite podcast apps, including iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, and more.   

We hope you'll listen.
We hope that you'll tell your friends and family and random strangers to listen.
We hope that you'll let us know what you think.
You can send us an email at
You can Like us on Facebook at
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You can leave us a review in iTunes.

Thanks, and happy listening!

A book about sex that I should’ve written.

The Daily Beast reports on a new book, The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy, available in stores soon:

A new sex guide to be published in Hebrew aims at teaching orthodox Jews the basics of sex.

How basic?

The book goes as far as outlining the anatomical differences between males and females. The author, Dr. David Ribner, has a doctorate in social work and is an ordained Rabbi. He has spent the last 30 years working with orthodox Jews in Israel, who often know absolutely nothing about male-female interactions.


As a fifth grade teacher, I actually teach some of this basic anatomy as part of our health curriculum. I would’ve been the perfect person to write this book. I have plenty of experience dealing with students who are clueless in this regard. 

Of course, the book also address sex, which is not a part of our fifth grade curriculum. But it does so very carefully. Rather than actually including information about sex in the book, there is a a sealed envelope on the back flap, with a warning to readers that it contains sexual diagrams. If you don't want to look at them, you can rip off the envelope and throw it away.

Inside are three diagrams of basic sexual positions.

Just three?

This could be the first and last word that these people ever receive in terms of sex, and all they are being given are three positions?

These are grown men and women who have no idea what the anatomy of the opposite sex even looks like, and in many cases, they don’t understand how their own anatomy works.

Just three positions?

They need as much help as they can get.

I should’ve written this book.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that all these women were have sex in front of me?

I’m not sure which part of this column is more stupid:


The part where L.G. from Phoenix asks if it is appropriate for her sister to be reading FIFTY SHADES OF GREY in front of their father (while clearly taking a passive-aggressive swipe at her sibling in the process)… 

… or the part where The Boston Globe’s Robin Abraham asserts in her Miss Conduct column that reading this book in public equates to a public sex act.

Fifty shades of gross! Your poor father was probably only feigning unconsciousness out of embarrassment.

Reading in public is a fine, improving act. As a city dweller, I have always enjoyed the way public reading creates a barrier — yet a permeable one — between the individual and the people surrounding him or her. You have a sense of fellow feeling with readers, don’t you? Oh, look, that guy over there likes the New Yorker, too. Commuters catching up on the newspapers, students plowing through dense academic tomes, “escape” readers with their lurid science fiction or crime paperbacks . . . reading in public gives people a little window into your mind.

And therein lies the, er, rub. The purpose of Fifty Shades of Grey is to arouse the reader, which means that reading it in public is about as appropriate as feeling yourself up in the coffee shop. You are forcing other people to witness a sexual act.

There’s so much wrong with this response (and there’s more in the column if you’d like to see her complete answer), the stupidest being:

“Reading in public is a fine, improving act.”

What the hell does that mean? Improving? Is this a column written for nineteenth century girls attending finishing school? Has Abraham declared herself the arbitrator of all public activities? Is it her role to determine which activities are “fine and improving” and which are less so?  

“A fine, improving act?”

Could she sound more pretentious?

And did you notice the way she matches readers to their choice of books?

She is a New Yorker fan, of course.

Students read “dense academic tomes” as if they’ve stepped right out of a Harry Potter film onto the bus. No Kindles or Nooks or iPads for these young people. Dusty, intellectual books for them. 

“Escape” readers read “lurid science fiction and crime paperbacks,” because apparently everything written in these two genres is considered lurid in Abraham’s mind. 

And did you notice her use of quotation marks around the word escape? What’s the point? It’s almost as if Abraham cannot deign to touch the concept of an escape reader without first bracketing the term inside the protective confines of the quotation mark.

God I hate this women.

But of all the stupidity contained within her response, this is the worst:

“The purpose of Fifty Shades of Grey is to arouse the reader, which means that reading it in public is about as appropriate as feeling yourself up in the coffee shop.”

Is she serious? I have yet to read FIFTY SHAES OF GREY, but I am having a difficult time envisioning the reading of this book as a sexual act. 

My mother-in-law read the book on her Nook, which means she could’ve been reading it in my presence. I have no way of knowing for sure. 

Am I to believe that my mother-in-law may have been engaging in a sexual act in my presence?

In fact, I have seen dozens of women reading this book in public over the last three months. Am I to believe that each of these women were engaging in an act akin to masturbating in a coffee shop? If so, I wish someone would have told me about this sooner. I would have paid closer attention to these deviants.

Hell, maybe I should’ve called the authorities.

A woman was reading the book on the treadmill beside me last week. I had no idea how shocked or embarrassed I was supposed to feel. No one warned me. Little did I know what this sexual deviant was doing beneath the veneer of a high impact cardio workout.

I feel dirty just thinking about it.

And slightly stupider for reading this ridiculous column.