Going along to keep up

The Guardian reports on a study that found men don’t love stag parties but go along with them because of bullying. That doesn’t surprise me – the way men bully other men is horrifying.

…a study suggests that men do not enjoy the debauchery or the “extreme shaming, humiliation, and deviance” that are part and parcel of most modern stag dos.

According to the report, men succumb to peer pressure to celebrate one final night of “freedom” with the groom-to-be, despite the fact that the hedonistic experiences can leave them feeling scared and degraded.

So the experiences can’t be all that hedonistic, can they.

The researchers found instances of men being pressured into doing things they did not enjoy but nonetheless going along with to keep up with the other men in the group.

They record one groom-to-be who said he had no desire to see “half-naked dancing women, let alone pay them” in a lapdancing club that his best man insisted they go to. However, he went along with the group and spent a dismal evening “declining offers from various women for private dances, but did not reveal his desire to leave to the best man or the rest of the group”.

This is one way men have it far worse than women. Ironically that’s because it doesn’t really work to try to shame a woman by calling her a woman, whereas it works all too well to shame a man that way, so the worse is ultimately ours after all…But all the same, it’s a nasty form of bullying and shaming that we aren’t subject to.

At least, not from our friends. In the outside world of course there’s a lot of pressure on women to be not woman-like, and that sends a loud misogynist message. But we don’t have to choose between acting like an asshole and being taunted as a pussy or worse.

Or maybe I just mean I feel sad for men who have friends like that.

According to the research, “extreme shaming, humiliation, and deviance often plays in the stag party experience for all those involved, not just the stag”.

The authors report how they witnessed one man on a stag weekend with his friends being subjected to sustained ritual humiliation. His drinks were spiked with shots of spirits leaving him so incapacitated that he passed out in the bar, soiled himself and was tied up with cling film in their accommodation while still unconscious.

The study concluded that men on stag dos are “performing” a role rather than taking any real pleasure in their extreme antics. “We argue that these men are merely reproducing exaggerated forms of behaviour that are expected of them and that they expect of themselves in a pocket of available time to celebrate,” it said.

Poisoning someone with alcohol is not “antics.” Alcohol poisoning can be fatal.

You know what’s fun? I’m told? Dancing. Try that! Skip the naked women and the roofies, and just dance til you drop.

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