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Dear Event Planners – We are lots of women. We think it’s time we introduced ourselves. You’ve been sending us invitations to your fundraisers and tradeshows for some time now, but we think you must be mistaking us for someone else.

y women main article image event layersLots of women would much rather go to a hockey game than a fashion show. (Lots of women secretly like the fights.) Lots of women like to read, but we think chick-lit is stupid. Lots of women watch movies, but romantic comedies bore the hell out of us. Lots of women have never had a manicure or a pedicure. Lots of women would never go to a spa and actually think that paying somebody (usually another woman from another country) to ‘pamper’ us would be creepy. Lots of women have beauty regimens that begin and end with a little lip balm. Lots of women consider cooking to be just another boring chore and are oblivious to window treatments. Lots of women aren’t, first and foremost, mothers. Lots of women have children, and still aren’t first and foremost mothers. Lots of women don’t want to look ‘yummy’. Lots of women already know that a screwdriver isn’t just a cocktail, and lots of women don’t need to be shown how to change a car’s oil. (Although some of us do, but still resent the assumption.) Lots of women drink beer.

Lots of women find the events that you throw that are intended to appeal to us to be totally unappealing and yes, even offensive, because they’re based on outdated stereotypes about who we are and what is important to us. And when these sexist events are supposed to benefit women and women’s causes, it boggles our minds.

Keep throwing your events if you like. We understand that some women do enjoy them. But be aware that you’re annoying and alienating lots of women when you do. And if you know any advertising executives, we’d appreciate it if you’d share this letter with them, too.

Lots of women

Elizabeth Clarke is Cheif Executive Officer at YWCA Kitchener Waterloo and a member of the Social Action and Advocacy Committee.

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As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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