Last night I went to a Partylite show at my sister’s house. Partylite is a candle and home decor company that sells at in home shows and online. Their target audience is middle class female home owners. Last night wasn’t my first show but it was the first time I almost left a show.
See, the shows are a little gimmicky and the guests are asked to participate in cheesy games. There is the purse game and the right-left game. The game we played last night was a point game. It was written in rhyme and required you to add or subtract points. It was probably the most offensive game I have encountered in a long time (and I played a game names the purse game). I felt like I was in the 1950s.
Beauty was highlighted as a negative or positive (five points for blues eyes but minus ten for red hair). Housekeeping was brought up (minus ten for not doing your dishes). And of course relationship status was a high point (points for kissing your husband or boyfriend but penalized for having both and being single was not even mentioned). All of these made me angry. All of then pissed me off. But the kicker was giving point values to children.
See daughters were only worth three points while sons were with four. I was livid. Talk about living in a society where stereotypes are systemic. In a room full of women, we were reinforcing the idea that sons are worth more than daughters. I couldn’t believe it.
And what happened when I said something? I was shouted down. By a room full of women. “Its just a game”. “Obviously we don’t think our sons are more important”. “Well boys are just harder so that’s why they are worth more points.”
I just couldn’t believe it. This is exactly where change needs to occur. This is exactly the situation that allows gender stereotypes to perpetuate. This is where we complictly accept the current gender inequality in our society.
Why are women still paid less then men? Why is body shamig acceptable? Why do we turn a blind eye to male infidelity but call women whores? This is why. We as a society don’t find these games offensive. We don’t see anything wrong with shaming a women for not doing the dishes. We have no problem reinforcing ideals of beauty in blue eyes. And we, a room full of women, had no problem writing down more points for our sons then our daughters. And our daughters were there. Our daughters saw. Our daughters heard. They know that they are worth less then their brothers now… Even if it is just a “silly” game.
I quit the silly game. I am sure I was being a bad sport but I don’t care. If being a bad sport makes a change, then I will continue to be a bad sport. I want my sons to understand that they are no better than women. I want them to advocate for changes in society and I want them to be better than me.