Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's the Female Equivalent of a Sausagefest?

I went to a house party in Crystal City on Saturday night. I guess the operative term would be closer to "crashed", since I went with a friend who had, at best, a second-degree connection to the host.

It was a holiday theme party -- the suggested dress was "wear white," which runs you the risk of looking like you're going to a Backstreet Boys album cover shoot or a circuit party, neither of which are particularly appealing to me at this point in my life.

But hey, a party is a party, right? Especially when it's billed as having a "shortage of single men." (Sold!)

I would have worn my white jeans, which may have been acid-washed at some point but are now completely white, but fortunately they no longer fit. So I just went with a pair of light khakis and a white t-shirt.

We got to the party, which did start out with a highly favorable female ratio, though things evened out over the course of the night. Most of the folks had a connection through the Peace Corps, Foreign Service, or Columbia grad school. (Me, I took the Foreign Service exam but didn't make it past the oral interview. However, it turns out my sister knows a bunch of those folks -- additionally, she went to high school with someone there. Small world.)

It was a good party. Although at one point they -- okay, we -- were dancing, clapping, and yes, singing along with Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend (Hey. Hey. You. You.).

Okay, but What's a Female Sausagefest?

On the way there, I was trying to figure out the female equivalent of the slang term sausagefest. Outside of the obvious Seven Sisters jokes, I couldn't really think of anything, so I did a little looking around.

The question has been asked plenty of times before, but I don't think there's a consensus answer, or at least not one that rules the roost like sausagefest does. There are a few "taco" variants which are mildly amusing and seem to be in the lead.

"Hen" terms (hen house, hen party) just seem really antiquated, and they share the same problem as some of the "estrogen" suggestions, in that they don't feature any anatomical vulgarity. (Whereas a few of the "fish"-based variants have a bit too much. Yes, we're defining people by their anatomical characteristics, but we don't have to be nasty about it.)

Sampling around the internets: "Lilith Fair" was funny but it's too dated now; I don't think the ladies would go for "Clam Bake" (it gets an adolescent giggle from me, though I think the anti-Scientology people also have a claim to the term); "Box Social" is just way too obscure and anachronistic; "Pie Party" has the alliteration going for it and would seem to work, but I dunno, something just doesn't seem quite right... I will have to think about it more.

And, of course, there are a bunch of other ones that are either too vulgar or too sexualized. So I don't think we have a clear-cut winner just yet.

Part of the issue, I think, is that there are many more situations where men far outnumber women, when it's also not the desired outcome. If you're a guy, this means parties, but it also applies to, say, corporate boards of directors, or Congress, where everybody (well, nearly everybody) wants to have more chicks involved.

I'm having a hard time thinking of situations that skew heavily female that aren't self-segregated to some degree. Some professions are still predominately female -- teachers, nurses, dental hygienists, flight attendants. Also, apparently stay-at-home dads run into many situations that call to mind the female version of a sausagefest. But it's just not the same thing.

Anyway, if you have your own suggestion for a female analog to "sausagefest," I'd like to hear it.

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  • Hey, I learned some new terminology. And buddy, you wait until you're over 60. At that point, women start to outnumber men of the same age group no matter where you go. By the time you're 80, you'll have your choice of any old wrinkled-up grandma you want, because they'll outnumber you by about 10 to 1.

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But honest, grandmas start looking better as you get older. And they bake good cookies, too.

    By Blogger Donna, At 12/10/2007 6:32 AM  

  • ummm, how about less time wondering and more time appreciating stumbling upon one of life's truely rare events ;-)

    By Blogger Conor, At 12/10/2007 8:51 AM  

  • Well, insofar as I've always called the female equivalent of a sausagefest a "good thing," I have heard it referred to as a "Fish Market" or a "Tupperware Party," or the good old-fashioned "Babefest."

    By Blogger Dan, At 12/10/2007 9:20 AM  

  • Donna -- have to get back to you on that one.

    Conor -- one thing at a time.

    Dan -- re: "Babefest" -- ah, but have a little empathy; say you're a woman at one of these ladies nights, and it's not a good thing for you -- there needs to be a term that's somewhat anatomical and somewhat derogatory (or at least self-deprecating).

    By Blogger Joelogon, At 12/10/2007 11:45 AM  

  • Hmm... How about a "Melon farm?"

    By Blogger Dan, At 12/10/2007 6:09 PM  

  • Keep your Repo Man references out of here, you damned cheese head.

    By Blogger Joelogon, At 12/10/2007 6:13 PM  

  • I don't know, Joe, I kinda like the Clambake reference for the obvious reasons, but also because things are typically "hot" at one of those.
    I think the reason there might not be a mainstream term for it all is that those kinds of parties are so rare.
    But you may be starting a trend...

    By Blogger Jimmy, At 12/11/2007 1:03 PM  

  • Um. Vagina Monologue? How about PMS-a-thon? Hmm. Those don't sound like much fun. BoobBlast? Maybe I've been out of the social scene for too long.

    By Blogger Becky, At 12/13/2007 2:18 AM  

  • Damn... Okay. No more Repo Man.

    By Blogger Dan, At 12/13/2007 7:00 PM  

  • Somehow this seems appropriate here.

    By OpenID Ryan S., At 2/14/2008 1:07 PM  

  • Er, Ryan, I think Becky covered that about two months ago.

    By Blogger Joelogon, At 2/14/2008 3:48 PM  

  • FYI -- after doing some more research, I've determined that an acceptable term is "donut party." That's what I'll be recommending going forward.

    By Blogger Joelogon, At 6/24/2008 11:07 PM  

  • Bun Bake! I hold all rights to that word.

    By Anonymous AnnaBella, At 8/17/2008 12:05 AM  

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