Not all equal – gender and funology

It started with balloons.  I was chatting with a young mom at Corbs party last night about Funology.  Mandy was curious about what we had learned in our quasi-scientific exploration of fun.  I talked about the balloons that her kids were playing with and how accessible they were and engaging, observing them as an effective  funological tool.  She was unimpressed by this insight.  But as we talked more, about funological event grading, about how to make events successfully multi-generational, about catalyzing romance at events and kissing workshops, Mandy got more engaged and animated.

I mentioned that our research had found that when we designing invitation lists for parties we often tilt the attendance towards are greater fraction of women.  She was curious and perhaps slightly uncomfortable about this.  I explained that part of what we do as funologists is we ask event participants afterwards what they liked about the event and what could be improved and when it comes to gender we often find that both the men at the event want more women participants and so do the women.

i get why this does not sit quite comfortably.  Shouldn’t we be striving for equality?  Aren’t men being left out?  i must confess i dont worry about these concerns much.  There are parallels to the commune which may be useful.

With some regularity we get visitors to the commune who it is clear that we are a much better fit for them culturally and socially than the mainstream is.  Oft they have found us thru a concerned family member who is looking for something that might work better for their loved one.  Rarely is it the case that these situations work out for us.  We are not a therapeutic community, tho often people who move here find some healing.  We are not principally a refuge from a dysfunctional world, tho many of us do find a peace here which is oft less available in the mainstream.

i do design parties as a partially political practice, but not with the intention of taking care of all the worlds ills by pursuing notions of gender balance.  i dont worry about what the people we dont invite will do with themselves that night.  What i hope is that we create events that inspire others to do the same and that our efforts create more celebratory social and cultural events.