This “gender reveal” nonsense is getting out of hand

I’ve been in this rodeo a few times: 3 children, 2 grandchildren. We’ve been through that period of anxiety where you want to know the status of the pregnancy, and somewhere early in the second trimester you find out the sex of the fetus…and it’s no big deal, except that it’s a landmark in development, so it’s always good to know that all is progressing smoothly. That’s it. We were not hung up on getting a boy or a girl, because you know they’re all good kids.

Some people, though, stage these elaborate events where they tell everyone it’s a boy or a girl. Really elaborate. Like this act of stupidity:

That was the start of the Sawmill Fire in Arizona — some dumbass had to set off an exploding target with colored smoke to show off whether a fetus had a penis or a vagina. And he just had to set it off in a dry, grassy, arid place. Look at that sere landscape, full of dry brush — you’d think anyone would be smart enough to know that this is not the place for a fiery explosion.

You’ll be pleased to know they’re having a boy, and they’ve also been slapped with a $220,000 fine. He got off really easy.

Before the fire was over, it had burned 47,000 acres and cost $8.2 million to extinguish, with nearly 800 firefighters battling the blaze.

His name is Dennis Dickey, and he’s a border patrol agent. I hope this idiotic act haunts him for the rest of his life. Maybe he can explain it to his son.


  1. Snidely W says

    Apparently this clown used an $85 gender reveal kit from the makers of the explosive (Tannerite).
    Prediction: Tannerite will be in the news again in the future. And for a similarly bad reason, but probably worse. The popularity/notoriety of this video will have bad consequences.

  2. unclefrogy says

    Dennis Dickey is a border patrol agent.
    I remember hearing that earlier and the thought occurred given the lamentable string of stories involving the border patrol is this another data point on the intelligence and the character of the border control agents?
    uncle frogy

  3. marinerachel says

    Gender reveal parties are just about enforcing gender stereotypes on children early as possible, before you’ve even met or interacted with them. They’re a gross and creepy practice.

  4. vucodlak says

    Someone in the illustrious Border Patrol would never do something so clearly stupid. They don’t make mistakes!

    This was just his way of sharing the news that they’re having a balrog. Woe to the mortal races.

  5. Onamission5 says

    I found out the status of the genitals of my four kids via ultrasound in two instances and delivery in two others. Finding out their genders took a whole lot longer. In one case, more than 20 years. That was on Thanksgiving and we didn’t light anything on fire, not even the turkey.

  6. dorght says

    That was stupidity number 2. Number 1 was he fired a high powered rifle at a target with absolutely no backstop, apparently down a vehicle trail, and from the top of a hill.

  7. anthrosciguy says

    They should’ve billed him for the entire amount, and taken all his money, his income, and his retirement to pay. Let his son support him.

  8. wzrd1 says

    @12, so we should enforce the corruption of blood upon an unborn child?

    This episode would result in a revoked security clearance, which means that his job is gone.
    While the conviction is a misdemeanor, the entire chain of events calls into question his judgement and the intelligence community is infamous for pulling the ticket on anyone who is this questionable.
    That said, DHS has their own IC, with entirely incompatible levels, leading the intelligence to check in with them and never check out.

    Post 9/11, we rid ourselves of stovepiping intelligence. Alas, it’s back in force, courtesy of Snowden and Manning (whole different pet peeve for that, as that kid should’ve never been in a position to copy data that later was abused. Termination of access is immediate once flagged for deleterious personnel actions, by law. Hence, that entire chain of command should have been in adjacent cells).

  9. says

    Wait, the gender reveal explosive gun target is an honest to gods commercial product marketed for precisely that purpose? WTF?

  10. lucifersbike says

    whheydt. We told the sonographers we didn’t want to know our babys’ sexes, just that they were growing well. I am an Italian/English and Italian/German interpreter. None of the parents-to-be I have worked with have made a big deal about the baby’s sex although most want to know. One family I know has a beautiful ultrasound image of their six-month-old foetus holding his penis – as the sonographer said with a wicked smile “definitely a boy”.

  11. llyris says

    WMDkitty it’s worse than that. They think everyone else should be obsessed with their baby’s genitals too.
    And then they think they see pedophiles hiding behind every park bench.
    It doesn’t make sense.

  12. says

    Too bad that gender reveal parties didn’t just die in that fire.
    Not that you can actually know the gender of a baby…
    As for a baby’s genitals, there are some minor difference between cleaning up a penis covered in poo and labia covered in poo, but I am very sure that explosives are not needed in either case (sometimes a strong whisky is).

  13. DanDare says

    How do they know the gender of a non adult? All they know is some crude info about their genitals.

  14. DanDare says

    And why such a small fine? He should have to work of several million as an unpaid social worker in Mexico.

  15. says

    Ilyris @20

    They think everyone else should be obsessed with their baby’s genitals too.

    Why? It’s not like having an innie or outie has all that much bearing on who the child is — it’s just parts, parts that may or may not match the kid’s internal sense of identity, and the only people who need to be concerned with the configuration of a specific kiddo’s bits are the caregivers and — obviously, later in life — Baby’s eventual partner(s). (Also doctors, for medical reasons.)

    And then they think they see pedophiles hiding behind every park bench.

    To be fair, while there isn’t a pedo on every bench or lurking behind every bush, it is a very real risk that a child might be molested or raped. You do occasionally hear of someone attempting to lure children or behaving in a genuinely creep-tastic way in public. It happens.

    Sadly, it’s far more likely to be a trusted family member or caregiver (or coach, scout leader, etc.) than a random dude on a park bench. Same way that the “predator lurking in dark alleyways” certainly exists, but most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.

    It doesn’t make sense.

    No. It doesn’t.

    Giliell @22

    As for a baby’s genitals, there are some minor difference between cleaning up a penis covered in poo and labia covered in poo,-

    Of course. But no-one beyond the baby’s caregivers really need to know the baby’s anatomy.

    -but I am very sure that explosives are not needed in either case

    Explosives are occasionally involved prior to the diaper needing changed.

    (sometimes a strong whisky is).

    No argument here!

  16. lochaber says

    What really bugs me about this, is that from what I can see in the vid, is it looks like that fire could have been contained by a few people kicking unburnt debris away and stomping on the smaller flames. It doesn’t appear to be spreading very fast, and they should be able to stomp out the burning grass, and at least isolate the burning scrub and wait for it to burn out. Granted, this whole event was seven kinds of stupid from the get-go, but at least they could have mitigated the damages of their idiocy if they just didn’t up and run away.

    And, yeah, the whole obsession with genitalia and gender roles is some nonsense.

  17. rietpluim says

    This is the first time I heard of the phenomenon of gender reveal parties, and I naively assumed they were cheerful occasions where trans people would proudly come out of the closet. Reality is so much more stupid.