People seem obsessed with gender in our culture. From the time you find out you're pregnant, people can't wait to find out "what you're having." It seriously pisses me off. Why are people concerned about my baby's genitals and my desire for boy or girl, as if a child of a particular gender makes a family complete? (See also: bullsh*t ideas about how kids will behave based on the sex they are assigned at birth. Spoiler alert: gender doesn't determine temperament.) There are so many questions people will ask you after you find out your baby's gender that are infuriating, irrelevant, and completely inappropriate.
Our family doesn't really do traditional gender roles, and we definitely don't view gender as a binary. While I completely understand that we are far from "normal" in this regard, I also know that the gender the doctor writes on your birth certificate may not match your gender identity, especially after you've had a chance to grow into yourself and find out who you are. All of the interest in my baby's gender (or rather, anatomy) seemed so silly to me. So much so, in fact, that we did a silly gender reveal video to protest. After all, gender is a social construct, not a set of anatomical characteristics.
I didn't always feel this way, though. When I was pregnant the first time, I seriously wanted a daughter. When the ultrasound tech told us that she had a vulva, I was overjoyed and excited to have a child who would look like me and who I could raise to be a strong, empowered feminist. Eight years later, as a mom to daughters and sons, I realize that gender is far less important than raising my kids to hold progressive, feminist values and to not buy into harmful stereotypes about who they are, based solely on their assigned gender.
"Is It A Boy Or A Girl?"
We're not sure, but you can ask them in a few years. Gender is a social construct, not determined by anatomy. I think you mean, "What gender is the doctor likely to assign at birth, based on their anatomy?"
My response to this is, "Why do you want to know, and why does it matter?" Besides, we try to raise our kids in a gender neutral environment at least at home. It's important to us that they choose who they want to be.
"What Are You Hoping For?"
"A healthy baby. Or a velociraptor. Maybe a unicorn." Next.
"Are You Disappointed?"
What kind of a question is this? Even if I did hope for one gender over another, that is a super personal and emotionally charged question. Besides, these types of questions always seem to imply that one sex is preferable over another, and that attitude is bullsh*t.
"What Foods Are You Craving?"
Ummm, you can't determine my baby's anatomy from what foods I crave during pregnancy because, you know, science.
"We're You Trying For A Boy/Girl?"
Yes, because the decision to have another child to expand or complete our family was totally based on hopes for a baby of a particular gender. False.
While I am 100 percent pro-choice, I get really sad when I think about the places in the world where girls are not valued or loved and where pregnancy termination, based on gender, is a reality.
"Have You Decided About Circumcision?"
"Are you asking me another question about my baby's genitals? Seriously? None of your damn business."
"Are You Ready For A Girl/Boy?"
This one is problematic, because it seems to always based on preconceived ideas about how children behave based on their sex, which are often completely wrong and reinforce harmful stereotypes about girls and boys. Not all boys are rowdy, loud, and destructive, and not all girls are quiet, agreeable, and "ladylike." Let's not reinforce stereotypes about gender.
See also: heteronormative questions about my daughter's future relationships. Gross.
"Are You Going To Try Again For A Different Gender?"
I'm only halfway through this pregnancy, and you already want to know if I am going to try again for a baby of a different sex? That question is so loaded and complex I don't even know where to start. Having a baby is not something I take lightly. Also, getting pregnant isn't just a matter of desire.
"Are You Having A Girl, Because You Look Like Crap?"
This idea, and really all urban legends about gender and pregnancy, need to stop.
1. Girls don't steal their mother's beauty. That saying can die in a fire.
2. Everything you've heard about predicting gender based on a pregnant person's appearance is pseudoscience nonsense.
Seriously, you have a 50/50 chance of being right.
"Are They Sure?"
Oh come on. Nothing about a screening ultrasound is 100 percent, but yes, I think the medical professionals who attended years of schooling to learn how to do their jobs are more accurate than the internet article you saw about how to predict gender by looking at a pregnant person or analyzing their diet. Just stop.
"Have You Chosen A Name?"
There is no way in hell I am telling anyone my baby's name, before they are born and then have to endure their comments, questions, and dirty looks. Nope. Not gonna happen.