Thursday, May 26, 2005

The New and Improved Bachelor Party

For the record, no, Stoker will not be going to a bachelor party and he will not be going to a strip club. I bring this up because my coworker asked me if Stoker would be participating in this tradition. When I said no, my coworker said that maybe the guys (meaning Stoker’s friends, not the guys I work with) would take him, you know, and then Stoker wouldn’t have control over this and he’d just have to go along begrudgingly. I told this coworker that there are no ‘guys’ to speak of. Stoker’s not a man’s man. He doesn’t hang out with the ‘guys.’ He hangs out with me, my family, his family, and occasionally our friends who consist of both males and females .

There’s this problem in modern society of double-standards. Double-standards irritate the hell out of me. Case-in-point:

Before marriage, women throw what’s commonly known as a ‘wedding shower’ for the bride-to-be. At these showers gifts are given to prepare the bride for her upcoming marriage, such as towels, dishes, pots and pans. Sometimes gifts relate to sex, like lingerie or tasteful nightgowns. But again, this is to enhance the relationship. Women prepare and look forward to being a wife, while also aware that it’s an end to an important phase of their life: being single.

What do men do before the marriage? Bachelor parties (except Stoker, he’s not interested in this ritual). Some men are good and have friends who are also good and they simply go out to dinner, or go on a fishing trip. Whatever. Their focus isn’t on something that’s detrimental to his relationship with his fiancĂ©e and I don’t care what a man says about his wife being okay with strippers or porn or whatever. Deep down no women is okay with it. It hurts. And it’s an insult to his wife. If Stoker went to a bachelor party with the guys and there was a stripper, it would say to me that he doesn’t care about how I feel if he didn't leave or put an end to it. You know the word, cuckold? That’s a man whose wife has cheated on him. Where’s the word in our language for a woman whose man has cheated on her? As far as I know, there’s not one, but in my mind the crime warrants its own word, such is the importance and depth of pain caused by a man’s infidelity. And I think in the hearts of many women, a man watching a stripper has as good as cheated on his woman.

The solution: men need to change the view of marriage being the old ball-and-chain and look at it as something freeing. A married man has someone to love and who loves him. He has a hug to go home to at the end of the day. He has someone to listen to him. And there’s always sex. I’m not saying marriage is easy. I imagine that like most good things in life, a person has to work hard at it and make it a priority to fend off decay.

So the next time one of your buddies gets married, throw him The New and Improved Bachelor Party*, which mirrors the wedding shower. Instead of pots and pans, give him a barbeque grill or power tools. What better way to show your buddy that you wish him well in his new life than by giving him a ratchet set? Men need tools, it’s not like they grow on trees. They’re expensive and to have a happy, comfortable home a guy needs to be able to go out in the garage and get his pneumatic drill when home repairs are calling.

*This term has been copyrighted by me. Just kidding. But I offer it as the solution to our culture’s negative stereotypes regarding marriage rituals. Not the opposite, which is women regressing to the lowest common denominator and taking the Sex in the City way out of things by having lame-assed bachelorette parties at the Chippendales club. Real great, girls. Real great. Take five steps back on the evolutionary scale. That’s a good idea.


Stoker said...

That was one of the big problems with the movie Sideways. It just perpetuated the idea. The double standard. And you're right, it's shameful that women stoop to the same level. Sad.

More words of wisdom

Notyetfamousartist said...

I agree.
I think that a man that goes to a stripper is commiting a sex act.

I mean, what is so hard to understand???

You are watching a half dressed woman dance, in order to get turned on. it objectifies women, and sex.
How should a woman feel, that her man is telling her "you're not good enough. you're not total package for me. this woman is sexier than you. you will never completely fulfill me."

Alan and I had a talk about this the other day.
Why do men mourn the end of their single life?
Any man that i've spoken to that's being HONEST with himself, has said that being single sucks.
It's a society stereotype and idea that men should live it up, boys will be boys, women are battle axe's and marriage is death.
The problem is that there is a double standard.
if you tell your man "how would you feel if i went to a strip club and watched a half naked man dance around?"
they'd tell you that's FINE.
and why? because either the stripper is gay, or because they KNOW that you're not going to get turned on.
go for fun. go for laughs, go to be embarassed. whatever.

so how do you explain it in a way that makes sense?

the fact that i'm not comfortable with it should be enough. the fact that i view it as a sex act should be enough.

i wouldnt be okay with some girl at a party taking off her clothes and giving you a lap dance. why should i be okay with it at a bar, by a stripper, who you PAY??
it's just icky.
i havent figured out how to win this battle with a guy who thinks it's okay yet.
men feel it's their RIGHT. it's so socially acceptable, how does one even begin to explain that it's NOT, without coming off as a feminist bitch? *sigh*
you may have guessed....he wants the stripper at his bachelor party.
he's never been to a strip club.
i think it's unfair that men go to these things and make their future brides worry, and sick to their stomachs, while we sit at home and eat freaking cookies and drink coffee and open pots and pans.

Stoker said...

Well, I wouldn't be fine if Nikki wanted to go to a strip club. I really wouldn't. But I'm also a very jealous Scorpio, so that explains that.

The fact that you aren't comfortable with it SHOULD be enough. You're right. So stick to your guns, and you'll end up finding a guy who respects that and admires your intelligence and perspective. Are you and Alan officially engaged? I've read your blog a bit and I don't think you are. Well, if he pops the question just hold your ground. If he can't respect you and your wishes, which are very reasonable, he won't last through a marriage. You're going to want a guy that respects you more than a shitty cultural tradition.

Just because you command respect and fidelity doesn't mean you're a feminist bitch. Hang in there....

The Smoker said...

Great post! I agree whole-heartedly!

Also to note: A man only enjoys a stripper inasmuch as she is able to, in his imagination, fulfill his needs in a woman. This is why the most successful strippers(I used to be good friends with a couple) feign cheerfulness, and a sense of comraderie(sp?) with their clients. They are perpetuating the fantasy in their clients mind, that they are all the woman(including the social, and emotional aspects, along with the sexual aspects) he needs.

Blog On!

Aries327 said...

notyetfamousartist: I agree with Stoker -- the fact that it bothers you should be enough for Alan. It's important to agree on these topics (at least I think so) before you get married. Stoker and I get kind of jealous of each other and ultimately it works out since we both have jealous natures. I decided to stop reading Rolling Stone because of all the half-naked girls and guys in it. It wasn't fair of me to look at it -- even though women don't stereotypically get off on nudity like men stereotypically do -- if I didn't want Stoker to look at it. Plus it bothered him to have me thumbing through the magazine with all those bare-chested men staring out at me.

Here, in Utah, many of the LDS women get angry about their husbands having problems with pornography (online), and yet many of those very women look at Cosmopolitan and read sexually explicit romance novels (if you can call them novels) -- to illustrate that men aren't the only ones who have double standards about this kind of thing. The point is that if you love someone, you make sacrifices. A sacrifice means that it's not what you necessarily want to do, but you do it out of love and respect. If it doesn't hurt, it's not a sacrifice.

Anyway, the whole Rolling Stone thing worked out nicely in the end. It's not a very good magazine anyway. So I didn't change my address when I moved, it's still being delivered to my old address where my single girl-friends can read it uninhibitedly.

I don't usually reference sacred texts because not everyone is of the same religion (and others aren't any religion at all), but some guy in the Bible said it best when he said, "As a man thinketh, so is he." And having seen it in my own life I believe it. Like you said, a man watching a woman strip or a man getting a lap dance has really committed adultery in his heart. And that's what you really want from your man: his heart. I'm pretty confident that I have Stoker's heart.

A good angle you can use to help a man understand how wrong strip clubs are, is to ask him how he'd feel if he knew his sister was a stripper. If he doesn't have a sister, ask him how he'd feel if his mother did it. If he has a heart and loves and cherishes his mom or his sister, the question will hit home. The thought of another man objectifying his sister, daughter or mother is fairly intolerable. At least it should be.

Smoker: great input. A good, wise old man has told me the same kind of stuff. I think only the most lonely men must find enjoyment in strip clubs and pornography and all that stuff (you may not agree on this 100%). Real women are multi-dimensional and complicated, and being involved with someone is hard work. The stripper and porn-star are only one facet of a human and it just so happens that it's a part of the human that doesn't take much work at all. It's instinctual and easy (this is a blanket statement, with room for exceptions. And I'm not saying sex is lame because it's instinctual. On the contrary, it's important, healthy, fun and beneficial in a committed relationship). Looking at porn and watching strippers are easier pastimes than maintaining long, meaningful relationships.

BUT, most people have felt loneliness and have found themselves doing things they aren't proud of or wouldn't do if they were truly happy. My goal isn't to bash men because I love men. What bothers me is the silence of people like myself, who don't think it's okay to behave like a pig (males or females), like the women in Sex and the City who think the answer to the popular image of sex-crazed men is to become sex-crazed women.

I could go on for hours. So I'll just end there. Thanks for the comments. (You too, Stoker.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole, I totally agree. I don't get why men think it's okay...if they were going to a strip club for any occasion besides getting married, wives would be offended, so why is it okay right before the marriage? I hate our sexist culture.....

-Bonnie(Stoker's co worker)

liz said...

Imagine how RIDICULOUS I felt on my bachelorette party, back in San Francisco, the party coordinated by my gay friend, Rafael. What I wanted to do was gather some friends for a day in Napa, wine tasting. Which we did, and which was GREAT. But the night before, Rafael arranged an outing to a gay strip club. It was my first time to a male strip club, but I'm pretty sure that the "Chippendale" shows for the ladies are NOTHING like the complete and total raunch that goes on at a gay strip club. Three other girls and I sat in complete and total shock while my gay friends drank little airplane bottles because we were all SO EMBARRASSED. It wasn't even a laughable, funny time. Just awful. One of the male strippers got so discombobulated by us girls in the audience that he lost his, um, you know, and left the stage..... it was AWFUL.

liz said...

Oh, the point I was going to make was that.... sometimes your well-meaning friends make arrangements and plans, falling into the stereotype, and you just have to go along with it. I lasted a full 15 minutes at the strip club and said, Enough.

Aries327 said...

I'm glad you left. What an awkward situation! I understand friends with good intentions and it sounds like you stayed your obligatory 15 minutes.

From what I can tell, men who really love their wives or wives-to-be don't want to go to strip clubs. It seems to me good men put their wives first and this means over the comraderie of their buddies.

Though, I'm not advocating that a man give up his guy friends once he's married. I simply think they should be selective about what they do with their friends. Strip-clubs don't build a relationship, I don't think. There are things straight-men can do with their guy friends that DO build relationships. Fishing, hiking, stuff like that. That's just what I think. Thanks for your comment, Bonnie.

Christina said...

You make a good point. I would break it off with anyone who looked at porn or went to a strip club. I wouldn't care if it was the day before the marriage. I agree with the ball and chain part. One of my husbands friends refered to me as a ball and chain once, my husband quickly replied - "I don't have a ball and chain, I have a wife."