Author Topic: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club  (Read 16341 times)

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weeblewobble

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Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« on: February 04, 2014, 09:03:42 AM »
This is regarding today's first letter:

http://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/?uc_full_date=20140204

Basically, a man has started two clubs within a 55+ retirement community, one that meets regularly for breakfast and one that meets twice monthly in the evenings at the members' homes.  The clubs are "men only" with the organizer declaring "no skirts allowed." Meaning that the lady of the house is expected to prepare snacks and clean the house, then vacate as soon as the meeting starts.

The LW says the organizer has "bamboozled" the members and practices a lot of control over them. ETA: Anything said in the meetings is "confidential," he tells them. When someone suggested meeting in a coffee shop for the evening meetings, to prevent ousting a wife from her home in the evenings, the organizer objected that meeting at home provided a more "intimate" setting.  The LW's husband enjoys the group, but feels bad for the way the wives are treated.

Abby suggested that the wives stop preparing food/cleaning for meetings where they are not welcome, which I DEFINITELY agree with.  If these guys are adult enough to host in their homes, they're adult enough to prepare for it.  The other suggestion was that the LW's husband just join the group breakfasts, since that made him less uncomfortable.

I thought this made an interesting counterpoint to the ladies Bunco discussion the other night, in that the organizer of the club is demanding that the wives leave the house, rather than just avoid interaction with the club while home. 

Also, I would wonder what sort of club activities require my husband to be alone in a house with a bunch of other men that requires an "intimate setting" and "confidentiality" warnings.  (Frankly I would be more worried about this self-styled Sven Gali trying to set vulnerable seniors up for bad investments than anything Scrabble-related.  But that would be on my list, too.)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:06:54 AM by weeblewobble »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 09:13:08 AM »
This is a relationship decision amongst each couple. These are adults. The organizer can't bamboozle the men if they aren't wanting to participate. The organizer can't insist the wives prepare for the event. If the men are uncomfortable with asking their wives to leave the home for a couple if evenings a month or the wife doesn't want to, they shouldn't have joined the group. I personally think the husband in this story is blaming the organizer.

It wouldn't occur to me the guy is trying to swindle or encourage bad behavior.

lowspark

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 09:14:43 AM »
Since I was the one who started the Bunco thread I feel compelled to voice my opinion. I think the difference here is that the husbands are making two demands, neither of which I find reasonable.
1. Wife has to prepare snacks and clean the house.
2. She has to leave the house as opposed to just going into another room to let them have their privacy.

As far as #1 goes, though, how does the club organizer dictate this? I mean, isn't that just between the husband and wife in each case? If hubby asks wife to prepare snacks, then she can do it or just say no. Surely Mr. Club Organizer isn't coming into each house and holding a gun to these wives' heads while demanding they do his bidding.

Of course, #2 does hit closer to home regarding the issue at Bunco. I don't see anything wrong at all with the husbands saying, we want to have our meeting with no wives around but demanding she leave the house as opposed to just going into another room if that's what she wants to do is where this ventures into the realm of unreasonable.

meronym

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 09:35:53 AM »
While I would not make snacks and leave, this is a older generation where that might be more common. However, that comes down to each couple's relationship. The wives have a say and apparently they've agreed to this system. So basically, if it works for them, it's no one else's business.

I also don't think there's anything wrong with asking the wife. However I think making her vacate the premises is a bit much. But again, if it works for them, it's no one else's business.

Finally, to me, "bamboozle" means to trick/swindle someone. I can't see how the organizer is tricking anyone. I think he's been refreshingly upfront about his strange demands. If the organizer and others like this system, it's a little rude for the LW's husband to try and change it.  If he doesn't like it, he's free to quit the club and just maintain the friendships on his own. If the LW doesn't like make meals and getting kicked out, she can simply refuse. Problem solved.

All that said, I think this all sounds a little immature. Like a Backyard Clubhouse for Seniors - no girls allowed and everything's super secret.  ::)

BatCity

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 09:52:51 AM »
I have to wonder if the LW just doesn't like the organizer, because I just can't see what the problem is with having a men's only club. When my neighborhood started a women's only Bunco group years ago, the men had to take the kids and get out of the house. The men responded by starting a monthly poker night and joined each other for Monday Night Football. This was 15 years ago and we've since moved to another state, and we remain close friends with these people today. *

The fact that the organizer sounds like a jerk is beside the point. Maybe his wife likes to prepare snacks and make sure the house is tidy because it makes her feel useful. Other wives don't. Maybe he is a chauvinist, but that doesn't mean that guys wanting to have some "guy time" are as well.

* on the topic of preparing snacks! I do remember one of the Bunco/Poker wives complaining that she had to clean and cook for her husband's party. We laughed and told her to make him do it himself. I think my husband a a few other guys ended up setting him straight.

lowspark

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »
While I would not make snacks and leave, this is a older generation where that might be more common. However, that comes down to each couple's relationship. The wives have a say and apparently they've agreed to this system. So basically, if it works for them, it's no one else's business.

I also don't think there's anything wrong with asking the wife. However I think making her vacate the premises is a bit much. But again, if it works for them, it's no one else's business.

Finally, to me, "bamboozle" means to trick/swindle someone. I can't see how the organizer is tricking anyone. I think he's been refreshingly upfront about his strange demands. If the organizer and others like this system, it's a little rude for the LW's husband to try and change it.  If he doesn't like it, he's free to quit the club and just maintain the friendships on his own. If the LW doesn't like make meals and getting kicked out, she can simply refuse. Problem solved.

All that said, I think this all sounds a little immature. Like a Backyard Clubhouse for Seniors - no girls allowed and everything's super secret.  ::)

The two lines I bolded are excellent points. If the couples who are involved in this are ok with it, then there really isn't anything wrong with it. It would bug the heck out of me for my husband to say, "fix us food and leave" but then again, we aren't members of this group.

And yes, the exact point of my original Bunco thread was, "These are the rules. You need to abide by them. If you don't like them or can't follow them, then relinquish your membership."

So if the husband and his wife in the letter don't like how this club is organized, then they need to bow out, not attempt to change the club. If enough of the members quit, there won't be a club anymore. If the husband wants to start his own club with different rules, he certainly can do so.

Of course, if the wives want to take Abby's advice and just go out for their own girls' night out when the guys are meeting that's fine too. But the husband needs to either drop out or abide by the rules.

lady_disdain

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 10:08:15 AM »
Ok, I disliked the organizer just from the description! Calling women "skirts" (or do I get to stay since I only wear pants?) and his assumption that all households are run 50s style (women do the all the housework) are setting my eyes rolling. He does seem to exert a lot of control over the group but the letter writer seems to be quite biased.

I have no problem at all with men's groups or women's groups with expectations that they can meet comfortably in each other houses and that the partners will not participate (expecting them to leave the house is too much for me but that they will leave the group alone). I would have no problem in preparing food and leaving my fiance and his friends on their own. And, yes, I would fix food because I am a lot better at it than he is. If the situation was reversed, he would have no problem moving the heavy table to the center of the room so my friends and I could play bunco (or whatever), since he is stronger than I am.


siamesecat2965

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 10:44:11 AM »
Hmmm. Here's my take on it, being unmarried, so not an issue for me. My parents moved from NJ to VA about 8 years ago, and immediately joined a number of social groups. Together, and men's only and ladie's only. Many of the co-ed groups met in people's homes, on a rotating basis, and my parent's split the responsibilty of "prepping" the house, food etc.

As for the single-sex social groups, sometimes they met elsewhere, as in they both belonged to a ladies/men's lunch out group, meeting at a different restaurant each time. But each also belonged to a book group, which met in someone's home. At least with my parents, they'd jointly get the house ready, and the other was welcome to be in the home, partake in snacks, say hello and schmooze a bit, but then would retire elsewhere and let the group do their thing. Having met many of the members of all their groups, I don't think any of them would have done what the LW's group did. Sure, maybe some of the spouses left the house during the group meeting, but on their own, not beacuse they were told to get out.

As far as the LW,  Ithink it depends on how the rest feel; if they don't like the way things are run, they're free to leave, or if he's the only one, then he can leave.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 11:32:26 AM »
I'd be interested in knowing the age of the organizer of these men-only groups.

My DH is 66, and would never call women 'skirts'.

shhh its me

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 11:40:55 AM »
  I think Dear Abby's answer was spot on.

I wouldn't be concerned about something nefarious.  He's an elderly man too and investment scams are targeting at both sexes. If there's a group of men going and none are telling their wives of 20 ,30 or 40 years what being said and still going I'd concluded its just private and fun to have a "secret lodge".  Separating men from their wives for a few hours a month doesn't make them extra susceptible to pressure to make investments or  to cheat.   

It's a couples issue. 

doodlemor

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 01:02:07 PM »
  I think Dear Abby's answer was spot on.   

Me too. 


.......... I think this all sounds a little immature. Like a Backyard Clubhouse for Seniors - no girls allowed and everything's super secret.  ::)

I think that is an apt observation.  Too bad these guys are no longer agile enough to climb a tree and build a treehouse. 

It bothers me that this man has decreed that the meetings will be in other men's homes, and that the wives must leave after performing their menial duties.  That seems very entitled to me, and the word "bully" keeps coming to my mind, also.  If he wants to have his secret club with stringent rules, perhaps he should be the primary host.

If I were the letter writer I'd be chatting about this with the other wives.  I like the idea of the wives going to clubs while the husbands are having their meetings.  They also should plan some activities that their husbands will be sorry that they have missed.

It may be that if the letter writer's husband stands up to this boor, and only goes to the breakfast club, that some others may stand up to him also.  If the wives find the man very objectionable, I don't think that there is any reason why they have to invite him to parties that they throw in their homes.  That would be logical consequences of the boor's behavior.

Amanita

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 03:47:14 PM »
Count me in as another who disliked the event organizer from the get-go. None of my elderly grandfathers would have been caught dead referring to women as "Skirts". And insisting that it will be the women who prepare for the event, and then be banished from their own homes? Aww E-Hell no!

lollylegs

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 04:00:03 PM »
As a feminist I had a pretty powerful knee jerk reaction. The organiser sounds absolutely awful and I would be furious if my partner told me to clean the house and make snacks for his friends then get out. However, I do agree with everyone else. The husband shouldn't be considering quitting - he should have quit the moment he heard the sexist and unreasonable rules.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 04:07:19 PM »
Count me in as another who disliked the event organizer from the get-go. None of my elderly grandfathers would have been caught dead referring to women as "Skirts". And insisting that it will be the women who prepare for the event, and then be banished from their own homes? Aww E-Hell no!

The bolded is the reason why I think the letter writer is openly biased about the organizer. The organizer can't insist the wives prepare anything. Their husband's might ask them to or the husband's might be assuming the wives will do it. But the organizer has no standing in the home.

The use of the word skirts I found funny. Sort of like saying "No Chicks Allowed" or for a women's party "No Dude's allowed". I don't find the world anymore chauvinistic than I would hearing someone use an old fashioned term like Dames. Neither are PC in today's world but lot's of humor isn't PC.

TootsNYC

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Re: Dear Abby 2/4/14 - Men's Only Club
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 04:13:38 PM »
For all we know, the organizer is not the one who said, "The wives have to clean and cook." I think that's on the letter writer.

I kinda bet that the organizer never said anything about who cleaned--why would it occur to him? I'd think he'd assume that the house would just, oh, be clean. So he wouldn't even address it! And why would he said, "the wives have to make the snacks"?

I think the letter writer is assuming that the prep work is always being done by the women; not thta the orgnaizer explicitly stated that this is a requirement.