NYC Parents Bring Gender Exclusion to Comic Book Parties


A woman wrote into the New York Times Social Q’s column with an interesting question. Her daughter had been invited to a little boy’s fifth birthday. But then she was uninvited. No, it’s not because she peed on his sand castle during recess — it’s because she’s a girl.

Here’s the question:

We received a “save the date” card for a fifth birthday party for a boy my daughter knows. It was to be a Superhero Soiree. But shortly before the date, we were uninvited. The party is now just for boys because of its “masculine” theme, and my daughter was invited to a separate party for him just for girls. I don’t want to tell my daughter that she isn’t allowed to attend the real party, but she is going to want to know what happened. Something about this feels wrong. Should I mention it to the mother?

The Social Q’s guy says no, the woman shouldn’t say anything to the parents:

I’d leave the birthday boy’s parents alone. They mishandled their son’s party, for sure, and you are under no obligation to send your daughter to the separate (but probably unequal) sugar-and-spice shindig. Beyond that, it’s none of your affair. Better to lead by example and make your daughter’s party as inclusive as possible.

I’m more of the school of informing these parents that they’re — whether unwittingly or not — being huge jackasses. Like, in a nice way. I mean, what message is this sending to all the kids involved? Actively encouraging these wack cultural norms is ugly, stupid, and damaging.

And the daughter should definitely not go to the “ladies only plus birthday boy” party — creepy! — but instead, she should watch this ultra-cool Wonder Woman, and all the badass young ladies in media she can, and also have her own superhero party and invite all the kids. Oooh, what about a shindig themed around Miyazaki’s movies. I’m thinking about pregnant just so I can throw that party. It’s enough, right?

[NY Times]

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