Woman wants to boycott friend's women-only baby shower as she thinks it's sexist
"I don’t want to support this gender-essentialist nonsense."
Baby showers are becoming an increasingly popular global affair.
With the mammy-to-be's nearest and dearest wanting to celebrate her and the upcoming arrival by showering her in love, advice and gifts, they've become a special and memorable part of pregnancy for so many.
The sisterhood that comes with motherhood has understandably led to these showers becoming a fairly girly space with little to no men present.
However, one baby shower invitee has expressed disdain for her friend's wishes to make her special day a girls-only event, admitting she wants to miss out so as not to support "gender division" and "exclusion."
In a submission to Slate's parenting advice column, Care and Feeding, one woman says: "I’ve been invited to a women-only baby shower and am conflicted about going."
The woman says that her pregnant friend previously had a women-only bridal shower that she was "marginally OK with" as the bride's husband-to-be was stationed abroad and she would have been sad to have male friends there but not her fiancé.
"Now that she’s pregnant and her husband is stationed in town, she’s having a women-only baby shower 'same as the bridal shower,'" the submission continues.
"She’d always seemed progressive, so I’ve been surprised by the binary gender division and the exclusion, and I’m tempted to RSVP saying no.
"I want to support my friend, but I don’t want to support this gender-essentialist nonsense. Do I just send my regrets, or do I tell her why I’m not attending?"
Listen, out of all the things your pregnant friend wants or needs to hear, we're pretty sure "it's sexist to not have men at your baby shower and it's making me, personally, uncomfortable" is like... so far at the bottom of the list, it's underground.
Thankfully, Care and Feeding columnist Jamilah Lemieux raised some excellent points in response.
"While baby showers are increasingly becoming mixed-gender events, there are still a lot of women who seem to view this as a day for 'the girls.' To be entirely fair, the lack of hands-on effort that previous generations of men (and some backwards-ass modern-day descendants) put into baby care has a lot to do with this," she pointed out.
"...I think it’s harsh to punish this person for choosing to have a baby shower with the people that she wants most to be showered by at this time. Maybe she really enjoyed the crowd at the bridal shower and wants to have the same energy again. Maybe her husband has been getting on her nerves, and she wants a break."
The columnist added: "Your friend is doing what marginalised people often do, which is creating a space exclusively for her and others like her, and there’s no shame, regression, or gender violence in that — as long as anyone in her group who identifies as a woman or femme is included.
"In any case, there’s a good chance she’s just limiting the invite to people who seem most likely to be hype about onesies — and while that isn’t the case for all women, that might be the truth for her circle," she concluded.
Hear hear. And anyway, regardless of her reasons for wanting to keep it a girls-only event, isn't it important to respect the wishes of the one who's carrying the baby? She's the one facing disruption and change to her body, and is likely going to be the one faced with the most disruption and change to her lifestyle once the baby is born.
Let's decentre ourselves from a day that should be about celebrating our tired, hormonal, and excited-but-overwhelmed friend, shall we?