friendship

'I've got a problem with the school fundraiser's theme. Should I boycott?'

The cynic in me hates adult dress-up parties. But the party girl me me loves them. It doesn’t take much for me to raid Vinnies for a satirical outfit, throw on a wig add some crazy shoes and get into character.

But I have my standards in looking stupid. So now I don’t know whether to boycott or battle through the biggest annual event of my entire suburb.

Here’s the problem.

The school fundraiser is always fabulous. Organised by a group of tireless, fabulous volunteers, it’s a huge party for a good cause. We dress up, get down on the dance floor, drink too much cheap champagne and wake up in the morning moaning that we’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a group art work involving badly drawn pirates, stick figure mermaids and handprint fish.

After paying for the babysitter, the auction items and finger food that barely touches the sides, it’s an expensive night, but we feel all high and community-minded, and after getting a good laugh dancing around handbags with other mums and dads we usually just see in suits or beside the netball court.

Over the years, we’ve worn paper masks covered in glitter, bad 80s fishnet stockings and thin ties, hippy freak flares and afro wigs. We have no shame.

But this year the theme is ‘Sportstars and Wags’

Truly.

I can see the fun for the blokes to go out on a Saturday night still dressed in their cricket or footy ware. But WAGS. Are they kidding?

I'm not complaining because most mothers couldn't possibly find spanx underwear good enough to let us get away with the clothes WAGS almost wear. The plunging necklines, the split to the crutch legs are definitely a problem. But not the problem.

Read more: Why we strive to be ‘hot’ – but don’t want to be judged by our looks.

The problem is, well, where do I start?

Feminism 101, ladies.

WAGS (for those lucky enough not to know) are Wives And Girlfriends. They are groomed, gorgeous and show a lot of skin. They are famous for being accessories to men who play sport. They often make a living from this profession. Some, like Victoria Beckham, have built a life around it (and yes, we know her label is a success in it's own right).

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Take a look at some of Australia's most 'famous' wags:

It says a lot about Australia that it's often our sportsmen who can score the most beautiful women who like a fancy existence. Obviously it's what interests them. But it's not what I want to show my daughter or son as an ideal aim in life.

Am I being a no-fun feminist frump? Oh dear, the committee ladies will say, those hard core femi-nazis just can't take a joke! Lighten up, ladies. Yes, I could put the bloke in a fake muscle suit and I could wear fake lips and we could both wear fake bright white teeth. We could mock the whole concept.

But I just can't.

Read more: Three generations talk about ‘fun’. So why aren’t we smiling?

As someone who volunteers a lot for the school, I hate it when parents complain. I always feel like saying "well you do it then". So I don't want to complain. But this one just takes the cake. Except WAGS can't eat cake.

I'm sure WAGS are Weally Adorable Gals. I'm sure the night will be a lot of fun. But I just can't condone the celebration of celebrity handbags. And I know this sounds weird, but I also don't want to mock and malign them by dressing up like Elizabeth Hurley.

In boycotting WAG-dom, I could be wagging the dog, making something of secondary importance into something of primary importance.

Here the primary importance is the school. Smart boards. iPads. A better playground. Perhaps I should just pad my bra and botox up for the cause. I could be too PC for this P and C.

But I don't think so.

Read more: The numbers are in: Why every school should be a great school.

Perhaps we'll have a side fundraiser. We hard-boilers can dress up as our favourite feminist. There could be lace long white Virginia Woolf dresses, or Germaine Greer in her 70s dresses and boots. I could suit up as Andrea Dworkin and we could crash the other party.

What to do?

*** In news to hand, the P and C have realised some of us hard-core feminists were troubled so they've added a theme - Sports Stars and HABs. Husbands and Boyfriends.

Does it make it all OK?

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