Parties are the best! I love karaoke parties and Half New Year's Parties and New Month's Eve parties and Releasing the Spirit of Christmas Back Into the Air parties and Playing Guitar Around a Campfire parties and Outrageously Fun Ski and Snowboarding Game parties. To name a few.
But according to Everyday Feminism (which, I've written, is a joke), I have been planning my parties all wrong. And, probably, so have you. But by using this convenient 10,000-point checklist, you can make sure your party is inclusive to everyone and doesn't accidentally hurt anyone's feelings. (See also: Why I Dressed as Microaggressions for Halloween.)
If you look really closely, you can find something offensive about it!
FIRST OF ALL, according to 6 Great Moves to Throwing a More Accessible Party, your party must "include people with mobility impairments, people of a sensory minority, people who are neurodivergent, people who experience psychic difference or mental illness, people with emotional disabilities, people with chronic illness, chronic fatigue, and/or chronic pain."
If you don't know what half the words on that list meant -- don't worry. I'm smart, and I didn't either.
Although the article claims to list "6" great moves, it actually lists over 41 of them, including (almost verbatim) these:
Throwing a party is a delicate balancing act.
Whew! Great. So now that you've got that checked off... let's talk about the theme of your party.
According to Everyday Feminism, there are many themes you should avoid, including:
Additionally, be careful what kind of music you choose to listen to at your party!
The list goes on.
Now. Let's talk about food and drinks. As I wrote in a recent post, Everyday Feminism warns that:
1. "Asian-style" or "Asian fusion" food is racist.
So keep this in mind as you plan your party menu -- and make sure you do some research on the history of all the foods you will be serving.
Obviously, I'm not 100% serious. I do think that these articles touch on some good points. It's better to be inclusive than it is to be exclusive.
But if you seriously think that I need to have a "sniffer" at the door sniffing all my guests and forcing them to wash their hair, skin and clothes in a bowl or leave my party... you're out of your f***ing mind!
If I showed up at a party and someone tried to sniff me, I would leave! Have you considered that I might have personal boundaries that I don't want violated? That I don't want random people sniffing my neck, armpits, hair, and who knows what else, on the off chance that someone at the party might maybe have a scent sensitivity?
If you seriously think that it makes sense for someone to do everything on this checklist in order to accommodate your disability... maybe you need to rethink your own perspective. Yeah, it sucks that you have a disability. But guess what? People don't have unlimited budgets. They don't have unlimited amounts of time to go inspect bathrooms and make sure the venue simultaneously does and does not have low, non-fluorescent lighting. And people can't read minds.
Instead of expecting everyone to do all this stuff all the time, just in case... why don't you just try using your words? After all, as Neve Be wrote in her post,
Unfortunately, ableism still comes close to last, if not last, on the lists of isms to wipe from the club kid circuit. I still find myself writing on Facebook events and messaging people to ask for the access info of parties, performances, and community events to be listed.
To which I say:
What do you think takes longer, Neve? You asking your host if a specific venue/plan meets specific accessibility needs (or even -- imagine this! -- calling the bar/restaurant/hotel ahead of time and asking them yourself!)... or you asking every host of every party to preemptively do all "6" of the things you wrote about in your article, in case someone attending their party has a disability?
In a perfect world, yes, every party would be totally inclusive. But some parties can't be inclusive -- whether because of time and money constraints, or because of hosts' inability to predict each and every need of people at the party. If something isn't perfectly accessible and inclusive... maybe it's your fault for not telling them about your wants/needs ahead of time.
Maybe instead of "calling them out" for not being perfect, you should thank them for trying. And, you know. For organizing and planning and paying for the party.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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