I attended a 'stag-do' this weekend. I'm more than slightly ambivalent when it comes to 'stag-dos'.
I can't write the words 'stag-do' without wrapping them in bunny-ear hand gestures. I guess I have a problem with the modern concept, though I secretly relish the sentiment.
There is something intrinsically chauvinistic about 'stag-dos', despite the fact that 'hen-dos' appear to rival them, in levels of drunken debauchery and overall levels of crassness. To be honest, I enjoy the sexist banter & beer-swilling laddishness of a an all-bloke get together, and this is because I am well-practiced. It's what we do.
The differences between a football lads night-out, a drink & a curry after work with the boys, and a 'stag-do' are minimal, if at all, with the latter giving focus to a particular member of the group, due to the necessity of the occasion. These things I have done for many a year now.
This is what blokes do.
Ok.Things have changed a bit. The 'stag-do' is evolving.
In my teens in the mid-80s, reconstructed-man was beginning to move out of 'the local' and move into town. A meal & a club became part of the evening, and this led to the concept of 'making a day of it'. In the 90's, stag-days became the thing to do. And after go-karting & golf lost their allure, and young Brits found themselves with more NDI, organised weekends away to former Soviet republics offered new hope to lusty, booze-fuelled numpties, hell-bent on 'avin it.
But now that internet companies offer these all-inclusive packages to both fellas & hen-parties, the last bastion of healthy male-chauvinism, has been well & truly kicked in the balls, by a bunch of over-exhuberant, badly trained, inexperienced & under-dressed 'ladies', determined to redress social-inequality by taking on the lads at their own game!
This is ludicrous!
As a man, I don't try to host Ann Summers parties. As a man, I don't throw bridal or baby-showers. I don't shop for bridesmaid dresses, I don't discuss the cake, I don't watch Neighbours or go for pony-hacks 'with the girls'.
There is no glass ceiling to be smashed through on this one. Just a vomit-splattered urinal & the faint memory of singing I'm Gettin' Married In The Mornin' with your trousers 'round your ankles.
A bridegroom-to-be should not have to compete with the opposite sex, in a gender-testing alcoholic version of It's A Knockout, especially on what is supposed to be his 'last night of freedom'.
Fortunately for me, we didn't run the gauntlet of a busy bottle-strewn high street in Tallin or Torquay this weekend. We went climbing trees in Thetford Forest, and then hid ourselves away in author John Osborne's house, playing poker and offering up un-PC comments about girls that we knew.
The stag, poet Joel Stickley, got the chance to behave like a monkey, and we, his cohorts got to throw bits of metaphorical shit about, disregarding of etiquette, social sensibilty and in proper, time-honoured, blokey fashion.
Well done Luke Wright - Best Man-managed to perfection!