Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: LifeOnPluto on October 03, 2012, 10:23:42 PM

Title: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 03, 2012, 10:23:42 PM
This is on behalf of my friend "Zoe".

Zoe's birthday is coming up, and she is hosting her own birthday party (in our circle, this is not uncommon. No one has a problem with it, so that's not the issue here).

Zoe is planning on treating a group of girl friends (around 6-8 people) to afternoon tea at a nice cafe. The issue is that Zoe has a new-ish boyfriend (of around 5 months standing) and would like him to attend also. Several of the invitees have husbands or boyfriends, but Zoe can't afford to pay for them all (she is a grad student on a limited budget). Inviting the husbands/boyfriends would mean that several of Zoe's single friends would need to be cut from the guest list (so she could stay within her budget), and Zoe is reluctant to do that.

There is an option of going someplace cheaper, so that the SOs can attend, but Zoe has wanted to try this cafe for a long time, and has her heart set on it.

Is it rude of Zoe to invite her friends to a "Girl's Afternoon Tea" but also bring her boyfriend? Or is it ok, since Zoe is both the hostess and the GOH? Would it work if Zoe told her friends in advance that whilst their SOs were not invited, her boyfriend would be present?


Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: pickles50 on October 03, 2012, 10:26:31 PM
Take gender out of the equation, she is inviting who she wants to have there.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: NyaChan on October 03, 2012, 10:26:48 PM
Well if she hadn't called it a Girl's Afternoon Tea would you have cared that your SOs weren't invited?  Imagine you were just invited out to a hosted tea for her birthday and arrived to find that her boyfriend was there too.  I personally would not have a problem with that.  I think it is fine of her to create her guest list of the friends she wants to spend her birthday with which includes her boyfriend.  It seems clear from your post that these SOs are not also her friends anyways. 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Roe on October 03, 2012, 10:28:11 PM
I don't think she's rude for wanting him there but it is odd to have a man at a "girls tea."  If she wants him there, she should call it something else or just enjoy the day as a celebration with her girlfriends and choose to celebrate with him at another time.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2012, 10:30:27 PM
Does a new-ish boyfriend want to be the only guy in a group of women and the new guy in a group of more established friends?  She might want him there but he might be happier taking her out when it is just them.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: lady_disdain on October 03, 2012, 10:36:07 PM
Does a new-ish boyfriend want to be the only guy in a group of women and the new guy in a group of more established friends?  She might want him there but he might be happier taking her out when it is just them.

Very good point!
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: bopper on October 03, 2012, 11:08:36 PM
Since she is hosting, she can invite who she would like.  If it is a problem for you, then don't attend.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: artk2002 on October 03, 2012, 11:16:49 PM
Since she is hosting, she can invite who she would like.  If it is a problem for you, then don't attend.

You're right, she can invite whomever she wants. That doesn't make one man on a "girl's night out" any less peculiar. "People unclear on the concept..."
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Bluenomi on October 03, 2012, 11:27:04 PM
If she's calling it a girl's afternoon tea she can't really invite the boyfriend because it then wouldn't be a girl's afternoon tea. If she just wants afternoon tea then she can invite him.

I'd asked the boyfriend first though, he might not want to be at a afternoon tea with just a group of girls who he doesn't know well (assuming he doesn't since he's a new boyfriend)
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Isometric on October 03, 2012, 11:36:53 PM
Personally, I would do the girls lunch/tea and have something different with the boyfriend. In a new relationship the participants generally tend to spend a lot of time together so Zoe's friends might enjoy having her to themselves for an afternoon.

But, I also get the "it's her party, she can invite who she wants" point of view too.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: snowdragon on October 03, 2012, 11:45:11 PM
I thought it was rude to only invite one half of a social unit unless it was a single gender event.  If her boyfriend is there it's no longer a single gender event and the other husbands and boyfriends should be invited - or he should not be. I am not sure where the exception is coming from for this.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: sweetonsno on October 04, 2012, 01:01:21 AM
She can invite whomever she wishes. However, she shouldn't call it a "girl's only" event if she does invite him.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: MariaE on October 04, 2012, 01:54:55 AM
Yes, it's rude. She can't invite people to a girl's only event and then have a guy there.

As for inviting whoever she wants... I know that if you go 100% by the book then it's rude to invite one half of a social unit, but I think it depends on the formality of the occasion. A formal event - very rude. An informal gathering - not so much. I see this as more of a group of friends hanging out together.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: staceym on October 04, 2012, 06:01:13 AM
I have to ask why she feels she needs to invite him to a "girls only" tea?
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: 25wishes on October 04, 2012, 06:59:39 AM
EvilBarb thinks you should all start talking about intimate "girl" type problems when he is there... >:D
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Amava on October 04, 2012, 07:11:54 AM
If her reason is that "she really has her heart set on trying out this new place, and can't afford to invite more guests there", I think the better solution would be to have the larger group at the more affordable place, and try out the new place with her boyfriend alone, as a couple.

Who wants to "try out this new, rather expensive place" to treat a group of people, anyway? There would be too much risk involved for me! What if the place turns out a disappointment? Then she is out of all that money to treat her friends. If I wanted to try out a new place, I'd go alone or with one other person first, to make sure it's as good as I think!

But if she /really/ wants to make it a "girls-only" thing, then I think it's really weird and uncomfortable to include her boyfriend. He is not a girl! I personally don't "get" or "do" girls-only things, but if I did, I would know well enough not to include one man. The heck??? That's just bizarre.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 04, 2012, 07:16:08 AM
I don't think its cool. Esentially she's saying "its MY birthday and having MY boyfriend there is super awesome cool fun. But as far as the rest of you? Yeah its a girl thing, leave your men at home!"

Plus the reality is, having a guy there changes the atmosphere. Not better or worse, but different. If you are doing mixed gender do it, if you aren't don't, but don't half-bottom it. What she's suggesting is all the awkward of a mixed group with zero of the fun - why would she want to do that to her own party?
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: camlan on October 04, 2012, 07:29:38 AM
Zoe has several options here. She's picking the rudest one.

Zoe could:

1) Invite just "the girls" to the "girls only" party at the expensive tea shop.
2) Invite fewer women with their SOs to the expensive tea shop, so that Zoe can invite her BF.
3) Invite everyone, men and women, to a less expensive restaurant.

But instead she is choosing 4) Invite the girls and invite her BF. Which then negates the "girls only" aspect of the event and pretty much requires her to invite spouses and SOs, but she values the venue (the expensive tea shop) over the proper etiquette in this case.

I doubt her friends will end the friendship over this. But it is not the most polite thing to do to her guests.

Frankly, if I were invited to a girls only tea, I'd be pretty surprised to see a guy there. His presence would change the tone of the event, and the conversation.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: JenJay on October 04, 2012, 07:34:30 AM
I agree with

I'd asked the boyfriend first though, he might not want to be at a afternoon tea with just a group of girls who he doesn't know well (assuming he doesn't since he's a new boyfriend)

And

I don't think its cool. Esentially she's saying "its MY birthday and having MY boyfriend there is super awesome cool fun. But as far as the rest of you? Yeah its a girl thing, leave your men at home!"

If her boyfriend doesn't want to go, problem solved. If he does she might want to consider inviting all the boys and changing the venue to something more affordable. Personally I'd be confused if I was invited to a girls-only tea and found one guy there. I'd probably make an Interesting Assumption and figure he crashed.  :-\
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Zilla on October 04, 2012, 09:40:11 AM
Since she is hosting, she can invite who she would like.  If it is a problem for you, then don't attend.

You're right, she can invite whomever she wants. That doesn't make one man on a "girl's night out" any less peculiar. "People unclear on the concept..."


Well she is calling it Girls' Tea because she can't afford to host their SO and doesn't want to cut single friends.  So she isn't calling it Girls Tea to have it only  girls, she is doing it for affordability reasons.


And I agree with others, her party, her tab, her rules.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on October 04, 2012, 09:46:15 AM
She might have the "right" to bring her boyfriend along, but this will probably create resentment among her friends.  I think she would be better off just enjoying a true all-girls' tea with her friends, and then doing something else with her boyfriend.  The dynamic really changes when a boyfriend is in tow, especially if it's a new boyfriend. 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: NyaChan on October 04, 2012, 09:49:40 AM
Ok, maybe I made a mistake, but I had an "Afternoon Tea" for my birthday as well.

My roommate invited 6 girls and 1 boy on my behalf - no SOs were invited and no one gave any indication that they would have expected this.  In that case, I wasn't even paying for the people - this group was entirely pay for your own, and I covered my own bill as a matter of course.  It didn't even occur to me that those girls or the boy would have expected their significant others to be invited just because it was a mixed gathering.  Granted the boy wasn't my boyfriend, but the issue seems to be that it is now a mixed gathering where it wasn't before right?  Or is it that the girls don't want to be without their boyfriend if the GoH gets to have hers there? 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: bah12 on October 04, 2012, 09:59:54 AM
I think this arrangement is awkward, for both her girl friends and her boyfriend.  And I don't think that she should call it a "girls only" event, if it isn't.  As others have mentioned, there are other, better options and I think it's short sited of her not to consider any of them.  She definitely runs the risk of alienating her friends, and maybe even her "new-ish" boyfriend who might not even enjoy the event to begin with.

But, at the end of the day, it's her party.  She's hosting, she's paying, so she can decide who is on the guest list.

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: SiotehCat on October 04, 2012, 10:03:25 AM
I think its rude.

Like a previous poster, I thought that you could only exclude an SO if its a girls/guys only event.

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on October 04, 2012, 10:04:09 AM
Ok, maybe I made a mistake, but I had an "Afternoon Tea" for my birthday as well.

My roommate invited 6 girls and 1 boy on my behalf - no SOs were invited and no one gave any indication that they would have expected this.  In that case, I wasn't even paying for the people - this group was entirely pay for your own, and I covered my own bill as a matter of course.  It didn't even occur to me that those girls or the boy would have expected their significant others to be invited just because it was a mixed gathering.  Granted the boy wasn't my boyfriend, but the issue seems to be that it is now a mixed gathering where it wasn't before right?  Or is it that the girls don't want to be without their boyfriend if the GoH gets to have hers there?

NyaChan, was the boy already friends with you and the other girls?  I feel like the problem with Zoe's gathering in the OP is not simply because it's a mixed gathering, but because she's bringing a person who doesn't have any relationship with the other guests other than the fact that he's her boyfriend.  Plus he's a new boyfriend, so it's likely that he and the other girls don't know each other well, which can make things awkward.

I actually agree that because she's hosting and she's paying, she can invite whomever she wants, but I also think that she has to take the risk that the other girls will feel awkward or will resent not being able to bring their SOs. 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: JenJay on October 04, 2012, 10:11:31 AM
Ok, maybe I made a mistake, but I had an "Afternoon Tea" for my birthday as well.

My roommate invited 6 girls and 1 boy on my behalf - no SOs were invited and no one gave any indication that they would have expected this.  In that case, I wasn't even paying for the people - this group was entirely pay for your own, and I covered my own bill as a matter of course.  It didn't even occur to me that those girls or the boy would have expected their significant others to be invited just because it was a mixed gathering.  Granted the boy wasn't my boyfriend, but the issue seems to be that it is now a mixed gathering where it wasn't before right?  Or is it that the girls don't want to be without their boyfriend if the GoH gets to have hers there?

I don't think they're the same thing because your event wasn't described as being "girls only" and the one man wasn't the SO of one of the ladies.

The issue with the OP is that boyfriends are being specifically excluded with the exception of one. Normally I think the consensus is no, that isn't okay. There are wrinkles in this scenario, though, because the boyfriend being invited is 1) dating the guest of honor, and 2) dating the hostess. Is it okay for the guest of honor to say "No boyfriends except mine!"? Is it okay for the hostess to say "I'm paying so no boyfriends except for mine!"?

I vote no to both, but only because it feels off to me, not because I'm convinced it's necessarily rude.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Two Ravens on October 04, 2012, 10:12:25 AM
I think it is very strange that she is calling it a "Girl's Tea" when she is planning on bringing a guy.  If she wants her BF there, just call it her "Birthday Tea" or whatever.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: hobish on October 04, 2012, 10:12:44 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: NyaChan on October 04, 2012, 10:12:57 AM
I can see that meeting someone new may not be the same as a gathering between old friends, but this isn't a group created outing right?  It isn't about all the friends getting together to hang, it is a hosted event where the host has invited her friends who happen to be girls along with her boyfriend - of course, I am assuming that she isn't deliberately leaving out other male friends of a similar level of closeness which might change how I feel about it.  Really, if people can't handle being around someone they don't know for maybe 2 hours tops, I think they are over-thinking the point of the outing - to have some fun.  If I went to a birthday party, I wouldn't expect the guest list to be limited to people I knew and felt comfortable with, I would expected it to be limited to people the host knew and felt comfortable with. 

ETA:  I guess my only issue with this arrangement is that she is calling it a Girl's only event.  If she didn't call it that, I don't think I would have a problem with it.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: JenJay on October 04, 2012, 10:17:24 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

That's a really good point! If you remove "boyfriend" from the equation and say "Zoe has stated she's got limited funds so she's paying for X for herself but not her friends because it's her birthday and she's hosting. Is that okay?" I wonder if more people would say "You need to accommodate all guests equally and plan the party accordingly." ?
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: amylouky on October 04, 2012, 10:22:06 AM
I think it's rude, and I'd be put off if I were a guest. She is using the "girls only" label as an excuse to not pay for the SO's, but not applying that to her SO.
If I got an invite to a "girls only" event, I'd be fine with not bringing DH. But if I then found out that someone else's SO was invited (even if it was the hostess/GOH's SO), I'd be irritated.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: NyaChan on October 04, 2012, 10:23:13 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

That's a really good point! If you remove "boyfriend" from the equation and say "Zoe has stated she's got limited funds so she's paying for X for herself but not her friends because it's her birthday and she's hosting. Is that okay?" I wonder if more people would say "You need to accommodate all guests equally and plan the party accordingly." ?

I see the boyfriend as another equal guest, not a special accommodation or privilege for Zoe.  I guess that's where my disconnect is  :) 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 04, 2012, 10:27:57 AM
As a guest I wouldn't be bothered by it because my SO would not want to go to an afternoon tea.

However, I would think the host was doing a "Hey look, I have a BF!!!"  A long term BF joining in the group would seem less "off" to me. 

Why does she want him there?  For a chance for her friends to meet him? 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: JenJay on October 04, 2012, 10:30:43 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

That's a really good point! If you remove "boyfriend" from the equation and say "Zoe has stated she's got limited funds so she's paying for X for herself but not her friends because it's her birthday and she's hosting. Is that okay?" I wonder if more people would say "You need to accommodate all guests equally and plan the party accordingly." ?

I see the boyfriend as another equal guest, not a special accommodation or privilege for Zoe.  I guess that's where my disconnect is  :)

That makes sense.

I see the boyfriend's presence as an accommodation she's willing to provide for herself but not her guests. (Of course once he's there he should be treated as any other guest!)

This is a great topic!  :D
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Sharnita on October 04, 2012, 10:32:45 AM
Hobish, I get your point and agree somewhat but it also seems petty to cut single friends to mzke way for the SOs. Deciding who comes based on their  romantic success rather than  their relztionship with the host just seems off.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Betelnut on October 04, 2012, 10:33:56 AM
It wouldn't bother me.  She is inviting her friends to her birthday tea.  Maybe the SOs are not considered (by her) as friends.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: WillyNilly on October 04, 2012, 10:34:18 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

That's a really good point! If you remove "boyfriend" from the equation and say "Zoe has stated she's got limited funds so she's paying for X for herself but not her friends because it's her birthday and she's hosting. Is that okay?" I wonder if more people would say "You need to accommodate all guests equally and plan the party accordingly." ?

I see the boyfriend as another equal guest, not a special accommodation or privilege for Zoe.  I guess that's where my disconnect is  :)

And that would have been the case except the cat's out of the bag.  Its already been said that the reason the others SOs aren't being invited isn't because they aren't friendly with the group or wouldn't normally be part of things.  Nope.  Straight up its cause she doesn't want to pay for them.  And its already been said its a "girls" thing.  Once you say those things you can't really say "well no it was always going to be this way this is simply a gathering of my closest peeps." 'Cause its been made clear that's not the case.

I also think that gender isn't what makes for a changed atmosphere, its romantic relationship.  A random guy-friend of the group?  He's still just a friend.  But this is a boyfriend.  And that does change dynamics.  And I know lots of people say "well when my SO & I hang out its just hanging out, its no different it doesn't change the atmosphere!" and I say to you: you are deluded.  Because it does.  Not for better or worse necessarily, but it is different.  And if its not different then they aren't really a very "significant" significant other then are they?  Maybe there is no romance whatsoever in your relationship then.  Because being "significant" and being a "romantic" partner are what makes for the difference.  It might be subtle but it is there.  Because its no longer a group of equals - where everyone is simply platonic friends.  Now its a group of platonic friends and a subset of romantic friends.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Giggity on October 04, 2012, 10:36:18 AM
Is it rude of Zoe to invite her friends to a "Girl's Afternoon Tea" but also bring her boyfriend? Or is it ok, since Zoe is both the hostess and the GOH? Would it work if Zoe told her friends in advance that whilst their SOs were not invited, her boyfriend would be present?

I don't think it's *rude*, per se, but what it is is a lie, because if there's a guy there, it's not a girls' thing.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: hobish on October 04, 2012, 10:37:29 AM
Hobish, I get your point and agree somewhat but it also seems petty to cut single friends to mzke way for the SOs. Deciding who comes based on their  romantic success rather than  their relztionship with the host just seems off.

Oh, that is definitely a much worse idea. I hope it wasn't seriously considered.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Sharnita on October 04, 2012, 10:40:10 AM
It was one of the options mentioned in the OP.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Roe on October 04, 2012, 10:41:28 AM
I think its rude.

Like a previous poster, I thought that you could only exclude an SO if its a girls/guys only event.

Exactly.  Just because it's "her tab and her party" doesn't make it her rules.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: #borecore on October 04, 2012, 10:43:06 AM
I guess I don't get the point of calling it a "girls" event at this point, but beyond that I don't think it's rude.

Maybe it's because my friends come in all stripes, from married straight folks with kids to cohabitating straight folks to people who don't believe in monogamy, to single folks of all orientations, to bi/gay folks in or out of relationships to people who don't identify with a particular gender or who are in transition and in or out of relationships, but I just don't feel like it's necessary to put a label on these things in the strictest sense and be offended if one man who's special to the host is invited to an otherwise girls' event that's not for a particularly huge occasion.

It's not like she's picking and choosing among her guests whose SO is worth inviting. That, I'd have a problem with.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Giggity on October 04, 2012, 10:44:08 AM
It's not like she's picking and choosing among her guests whose SO is worth inviting. That, I'd have a problem with.

She sort of is, in that she is saying only *her* guy is worth inviting.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Texas Mom on October 04, 2012, 10:47:03 AM
When the invitations were issued, it was billed as a "Girl's Tea."  People accepted based on that representation.

Inviting her BF under these circumstances is rude - she changed the nature of the event from a girl's gathering to something else.

I vote rude.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: #borecore on October 04, 2012, 10:48:17 AM
It's not like she's picking and choosing among her guests whose SO is worth inviting. That, I'd have a problem with.

She sort of is, in that she is saying only *her* guy is worth inviting.

Not really. I can see why people don't like it, but it's not an issue of inviting one guest's SO because he's the host's boyfriend, not her guest's boyfriend.

Honestly, I'm just saying I get why she's doing it, not that I think it should be widespread practice to have these sorts of gatherings. I just don't find it "offensive."
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: SingActDance on October 04, 2012, 11:13:38 AM
I'll admit I only skimmed the thread, but has the OP mentioned whether the hostess said this was a "girls tea", or was this just inferred by the OP because mostly girls are invited? I think that will have a huge bearing on my opinion.

If the hostess said "This is a girl's only thing" and then invited her boyfriend, then I think that's off. But if she just said, "I'm only inviting these people, because they are closest to me" and they just happen to be girls, then I think that's fine.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: bah12 on October 04, 2012, 11:21:34 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought giving yourself better accommodations your guests was a faux pas? You wouldn’t serve yourself champagne and give your guests grape juice, or eat caviar when your guests are having hot dogs. Does that only apply to food? I know it is her party and her tab, but something about inviting only her SO seems off to me. I just can't put my finger on it.
Personally, i would be a little put off. I don't like those one-gender-only events. I just don't. If i participated in one to help my friend celebrate her birthday and found out it was only SO-free only for some it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe i am petty, i don't know.

That's a really good point! If you remove "boyfriend" from the equation and say "Zoe has stated she's got limited funds so she's paying for X for herself but not her friends because it's her birthday and she's hosting. Is that okay?" I wonder if more people would say "You need to accommodate all guests equally and plan the party accordingly." ?

I see the boyfriend as another equal guest, not a special accommodation or privilege for Zoe.  I guess that's where my disconnect is  :)


This is how I see it.  People are not accommodations...they are guests.  I think the only things she's doing wrong is calling it a "girls tea" and creating a possibly awkward situation with having one guy there (that doesn't seem to know everyone well) with a bunch of girls.

I think you could effectively argue that she changed the dynamics of the original party when she invited her boyfriend which leaves her other guests free to now decline the invite. 

And while I get the whole social unit thing, it kind of makes inviting anyone to do anything overly burdensome if you aren't allowed to organize an event with your best friends (if they aren't all of one gender) without inviting double the people every time.  I've definitely had times where I wanted to spend time with my three best friends...which includes 2 girl friends and my DH.  And my friends have done the same.  Would I throw a big dinner party and leave off just one boyfriend?  No.  And if it were any other kind of event, I might encourage her to pare down the guest list so that she could accommodate all SOs. But this is her birthday...so I do think she's ok to say "I want to spend time with the people that mean the most to me" which would include some girl friends and a boyfriend.  But she can't dictate that any of those people actually show up...and that's where she should maybe reconsider this event.

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Tabby Uprising on October 04, 2012, 12:57:20 PM
I'll admit I only skimmed the thread, but has the OP mentioned whether the hostess said this was a "girls tea", or was this just inferred by the OP because mostly girls are invited? I think that will have a huge bearing on my opinion.

If the hostess said "This is a girl's only thing" and then invited her boyfriend, then I think that's off. But if she just said, "I'm only inviting these people, because they are closest to me" and they just happen to be girls, then I think that's fine.

This is my frame of mind as well. I can add nothing more but agreement to your post  :)
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: Kiwichick on October 04, 2012, 07:09:41 PM
EvilBarb thinks you should all start talking about intimate "girl" type problems when he is there... >:D
Why would you want to make another guest uncomfortable?
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: cheyne on October 04, 2012, 08:04:36 PM
I agree with WillyNilly's post about romantic rel@tionships vs. platonic rel@tionships.  I would like to add that DH and I dated for 6 months before we married (going on 20 years) so this may be a "new" boyfriend, but that doesn't mean he isn't a serious boyfriend.

My DH would rather slit his wrists than attend an afternoon tea, so I have no dog in this hunt in that regard.  However, I would be a bit taken aback if I was invited to and accepted to a "Girls Tea" and found someones [male] SO there.   I wouldn't say it was rude, but it would definitely change the dynamic.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 04, 2012, 10:06:33 PM
Just to clarify a few things:

1) The afternoon tea hasn't expressly been billed as a "GIRL'S ONLY AFTERNOON TEA". However, invitations have been addressed only to the female half of the couples. In conversation with invitees, Zoe has also been saying things like "It'll be great to have all the girls together again!" and "I can't wait to catch up with all the girls!"

I believe she has also mentioned to some people (including me) that the guest list will consist of all her closest girl friends plus Zac (her boyfriend). However, I don't know if all guests are aware of this.

2) Zoe doesn't have any close male friends, so that's not an issue. Whilst she enjoys the company of her friends' husbands/boyfriends, she doesn't socialise independently with them.

3) Yes, the relationship between Zoe and Zac is new, but serious. Also, they are still in the "honeymoon" stage of their relationship, and strongly prefer to spend all their free time together. Zac definitely wants to attend the afternoon tea (even if it may be "girly").

4) The cafe in question is quite fancy. It has a dress code - you wouldn't be allowed in wearing tatty jeans and flip flops. Most invitees are planning on wearing nice frocks, etc. Zoe has also booked a private area for her afternoon tea. So I guess it's a kind of semi-formal event?

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: LEMon on October 05, 2012, 01:47:56 AM
I would feel very awkward having him there. 

Reason:
He radically changes the tone of the event from a girls' time, to a mixed group.
They are in the 'honeymoon' phase and could easily make me feel uncomfortable.
Is he really going to feel as comfortable as he (and Zoe) think?  I suspect that it will be very awkward.  What will the group talk about?

If she is hiding this from the girls, she knows there are problems with it, she just doesn't want to think about it.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: JenJay on October 05, 2012, 07:08:34 AM
The update changes my opinion. If she didn't specifically say "Girls Tea" then it isn't and she's free to invite him.

Granted, maybe an argument can still be made against inviting half of a couple, but I'm not sure that rule has to be strictly enforced in casual settings. Obviously it's okay to invite just your girlfriends to a spa day, and it's not okay to invite the disliked spouse of your college roomie to your wedding. I know the line is somewhere between those two examples but I'm nowhere near etiquette-pro enough to advise on it.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: Zilla on October 05, 2012, 07:44:28 AM
The update was close to what I was envisioning.

She is on a budget and really wants to treat the closest friends/people in her life which would be her girlfriends and her boyfriend.  As the update says, she isn't close to any of the SO's.  And she is keeping it small and affordable for her.  She is also not selectively letting some bring SO's and not letting the single ones bring a date which is a topic of debate on this forum.  I think what she is doing is fine. 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: Winterlight on October 05, 2012, 08:13:33 AM
I would feel very awkward having him there. 

Reason:
He radically changes the tone of the event from a girls' time, to a mixed group.
They are in the 'honeymoon' phase and could easily make me feel uncomfortable.
Is he really going to feel as comfortable as he (and Zoe) think?  I suspect that it will be very awkward.  What will the group talk about?

If she is hiding this from the girls, she knows there are problems with it, she just doesn't want to think about it.

Agreeing with this.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: Roe on October 05, 2012, 08:25:55 AM
I would feel very awkward having him there. 

Reason:
He radically changes the tone of the event from a girls' time, to a mixed group.
They are in the 'honeymoon' phase and could easily make me feel uncomfortable.
Is he really going to feel as comfortable as he (and Zoe) think?  I suspect that it will be very awkward.  What will the group talk about?

If she is hiding this from the girls, she knows there are problems with it, she just doesn't want to think about it.

Agreeing with this.

Pod. And considering that it's a semi-formal event...I don't know, something about that and leaving out the SO's just doesn't sit well with me.  I think it's because her BF is invited to a nice, formal celebration while the SO's don't make the cut. 

I'd decline the invite if it were me and I had the full details.  I am assuming that some of her friends might feel hurt, even if they don't say so, when they realize that her BF was invited.

Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: Two Ravens on October 05, 2012, 08:36:36 AM
With the update, I really don't have a problem with this either.  I'm not sure how many SO's would be excited to go to an afternoon tea (or who would be offended not to be invited). I think my own husband would rather pull his eyelashes out.

As for a guy changing the tone, well, it really would depend on the guy. I know plently of men who would blend in perfectly. If he's the type who can make polite conversation about multiple subjects, fine. If he's the type to dominate the conversation, not so much.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend?
Post by: still in va on October 05, 2012, 09:12:58 AM
Just to clarify a few things:

1) The afternoon tea hasn't expressly been billed as a "GIRL'S ONLY AFTERNOON TEA". However, invitations have been addressed only to the female half of the couples. In conversation with invitees, Zoe has also been saying things like "It'll be great to have all the girls together again!" and "I can't wait to catch up with all the girls!"

I believe she has also mentioned to some people (including me) that the guest list will consist of all her closest girl friends plus Zac (her boyfriend). However, I don't know if all guests are aware of this.

2) Zoe doesn't have any close male friends, so that's not an issue. Whilst she enjoys the company of her friends' husbands/boyfriends, she doesn't socialise independently with them.

3) Yes, the relationship between Zoe and Zac is new, but serious. Also, they are still in the "honeymoon" stage of their relationship, and strongly prefer to spend all their free time together. Zac definitely wants to attend the afternoon tea (even if it may be "girly").

4) The cafe in question is quite fancy. It has a dress code - you wouldn't be allowed in wearing tatty jeans and flip flops. Most invitees are planning on wearing nice frocks, etc. Zoe has also booked a private area for her afternoon tea. So I guess it's a kind of semi-formal event?

i don't have a problem with Zoe inviting whoever she wants to invite to her afternoon tea.  but to the bolded?  i think Zoe may have somewhat of a different experience than she is anticipating.  if "the girls" haven't met the new boyfriend, they might not feel comfortable catching up or going into "remember whens".  the conversation might become somewhat stilted.  if she's fine with that, then onward.  it's just something she should be prepared for.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: Cami on October 05, 2012, 10:01:22 AM
The update changes my opinion. If she didn't specifically say "Girls Tea" then it isn't and she's free to invite him.
The hostess may not be labeling it a "Girls' Tea" but she's acting as if it is a "Girls Tea":
Quote
Zoe has also been saying things like "It'll be great to have all the girls together again!" and "I can't wait to catch up with all the girls!"
It's honestly a little confusing to me or naive of her to think that she can have a women-only event and stick her man in the mix and have nothing change.  Just as it would be naive (but less problematic) of her to think she could add an unknown woman to a mix of girlfriends and not have the dynamic change.  Whenever you add an unknown person to a group of people in a social situation, the dynamic changes. It simply does. And if the dynamic you were expecting was one of intimacy, then that dynamic is gone.

So I agree with this:
Quote
i think Zoe may have somewhat of a different experience than she is anticipating.  if "the girls" haven't met the new boyfriend, they might not feel comfortable catching up or going into "remember whens".  the conversation might become somewhat stilted.  if she's fine with that, then onward.  it's just something she should be prepared for.
I think Zoe may not be thinking about how having a boyfriend, especially one unknown to many, will substantially change the tone and content of this party. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable having the type of conversation "girls" have together with a guy there or the type of conversation I'd have with good friends with an unknown person there and I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be in the minority on that. Which would mean that the conversation might be both perfectly polite and perfectly stilted as "the girls" attempt to navigate through the situation, excising whole areas of expected conversation from the table. 

Then again, perhaps I am making assumptions about this group's dynamics. Perhaps Zoe is wanting a polite "tea" where everyone catches up by skimming highlights and it's all very proper and formal and polite and everyone would be happy with that.


 
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: lowspark on October 05, 2012, 10:02:52 AM
Reading through this thread I've gone back & forth on how I feel about this. I'm big on girls only get togethers. I have several different groups of girls who get together for different purposes. And a male inserted into one of these events without the previous agreement of all the girls, and the option to bring their male SOs, would not go over well.

However, in this case, it's the hostess's birthday party. And as such, she has the right to invite whomever she pleases. So inviting the girls and her boyfriend as the only male, well I kind of give her a pass. It's her bday party after all. Saying stuff about catching up with the girls is probably not that great of an idea but she's probably just not thinking in those terms of "girls only". She's thinking in terms of "people I want to celebrate my bday with", most of whom happen to be girls, but also includes her new bf, especially since they're still in the "honeymoon" stage.

Now, as a guest, if I got the idea that it was actually girls only, which is easily assumed based on her comments, I'd be pretty surprised to see her boyfriend there. It would definitely be averse to my expectations of a girls' night out. So I'd have to adjust my expectations and possibly my conversation to better suit the atmosphere. I don't think I'd be miffed that my DH wasn't invited because, again, it's her birthday and she should invite those with whom she wants to celebrate.

Now, if you kick out the birthday aspect of this, that would completely change my answer.
Title: Re: Girl's Only Birthday Party - is it rude for the GOH to bring her boyfriend? p50
Post by: shivering on October 05, 2012, 12:07:12 PM
Having her boyfriend there will change the dynamic, but Zoe's not being rude.

However, I hope that Zoe has either discussed it with her boyfriend and/or taken him into consideration. Now, he may an exception, but being a newish boyfriend and all, I know that a lot of guys would find the situation a little stressful and uncomfortable.