It is a special occasion indeed for me to put on a dress and three inch heels. The one night where it is socially acceptable (and indeed, expected!) for the senior ladies to dress up, have a glass of wine (or three) and deign to bid upon the men exhibited before them. This year’s Male Auction was not as put together as the ladies, however.
Twenty groups of brave young men received middling response from a tight-pursed crowd. The inexperienced auctioneers did little to encourage the loosening of these purse strings. Next year, remember that no one likes an awkward silence, and ladies, if you’re going to spend three hours in Lynch on a Friday night, bring your checkbook.
After all, it’s for the babies.
Class of 2012
Though the name has changed from “Male Slave Auction” (as it was known in the 1960s), Male Auction still walks the fine line between class act and crass act. I thought Male Auction was a straightforward event, but walking out of Lynch on Friday night, I was left with many questions. Who are these dudes? When will they stop dancing? When did pelvic thrusting become cool? Is it really for the babies? And why do all boys think that girls want food?!
Halfway through a hilariously awkward dance routine, a friend turned to me and said, “Girls would never get away with this kind of thing.”
She’s right, but not because it would be degrading to have women embarrass themselves and then be sold – it’s because girls are way too smart to let that happen. Let the boys be idiots, and we’ll let them take us to dinner.
Class of 2015
The question in my mind after Male Auction is “Why do these girls bid on the acts they do?” “What are the criteria for a winning act?”
A great offer – something girly and “romantic” like a gondola ride or something practical like helping with moving? That’s nice, but offering the old “Uh, dinner?” seems to work just as well.
A great act – a clever skit, some sweet, well-sung/played song, maybe even some actual talent? Impressive, but money still goes to the lame dance numbers. How about, shall we say, physical prowess? Sometimes those acts are winning; sometimes they’re just uncomfortable to watch (really, we don’t want to see that). But I think the real criteria are even less rational. In the end what makes a winning Male Auction bid is the same as it is in high school class elections (not to mention other areas of, let’s be honest, adult life). It’s all about who you know. If you’re popular with the girls who are spending the money, your act will be bid up; if not, expect the “Do we hear..?” dead silence.
But my advice to everyone involved is this: Play the game! Yes, the tradition is riddled with cliché and female mob psychology, but so what? It’s for a good cause, and it’s all in good fun if you don’t analyze it too much.
Male Auction is not the kind of thing that is to be taken seriously.
Anna Marie DeLaRosa
Class of 2012