So, I've had a lot more time to calm down and think seriously about this whole Bachelorette party thing from both a personal and more general perspective and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.
For starters, my friend's bachelorette party is not going to be totally crazy or horribly sexual or anything like that. Some wine, appetizers, and conversation, perhaps with a few games at one of the bridesmaid's places, and then off to the bar for some dancing. Now personally, I hate the bar, I've locked up a few too many drunk people in my day (working in the drunk tank) to enjoy being around a whole bunch of drunk people, however, it's her day, so I suppose I will go.
In theory, I like the idea of a bachelorette party. It's a nice way for the girls to get together and celebrate the bride and mark the change that is about to occur in her life. You get to play fun games, maybe be a little bit "kinky" and let loose a bit. I'm all about that. I see absolutely nothing wrong with drinking a bit, eating a bit, and laughing a lot. I think it's great. For me, where it becomes a problem is when it becomes more than that, when it turns into something degrading, cruel and dangerous.
First of all, there's the degradation of both males and females. The male part is easy, we put up plastic penises (and by we, I simply mean females), we scour the bars looking for them in order to exploit them for drinks and/or money and we mock them. One might say that a bachelorette party is a way of expressing ones feminism and celebrate being female, however, I tend to disagree. I read about one game in which the bride to be has lifesavers pinned all over her shirt and men pay her in order to suck on her shirt, degrading to both parties if you ask me. The same goes for getting points for getting a man to buy you a drink, let you sit on his lap, or let you kiss him. Degrading for both parties. The entire idea of a bachelorette "gone wild" shows women to be drunk sex objects, rather than human beings.
Then there's the sex thing. These type of parties turn sex into a commodity, human sexuality into something to be bought and sold, won and lost, a subject to be joked about, trivialized and made into a show. And here's the thing, if you ask me, sex isn't those things. Sex is something precious and personal that happens between two (or I suppose more) people. Our culture says that sex is nothing, that it's just something that happens, that it's casual, that it's "no big deal", but I really don't agree with that. I think sex is something much deeper, much more meaningful, and leaves a deeper impression on people than our society would like us to believe.
Old fashioned as this idea may be, I believe that anything that happens at a bachelorette should be something that the groom to be would not be hurt, disappointed, or disgusted to find out about. That's not to say that there shouldn't be girly sharing, laughing, and giggling, and that some things should never leave the room, just as a general principle, if you wouldn't do it around your husband, you probably shouldn't be doing it at your party.
So, for any of you reading this who may at some point plan be a bachelorette party, take note. I don't want to go to a bar, I don't want there to be giant plastic penises everywhere, and I don't want to go trolling for men. What I want, is to spend some quality time with my girlfriends, have a lot of laughs, eat some food (cheesecake anyone?) and drink some wine.
(maybe some day I'll get around to talking about bachelor parties, although really, I have pretty much the same views on them too).