Black 'N' Whyte
What if B&G Club auctioned off women?Tim Whyte · July 6, 1997
I really didn't think Karl McCarthy needed help meeting women. But there he was, planning to auction himself off in the name of charity in the "bachelor auction" portion of the SCV Boys and Girls Club Auction.
Karl is, next to Cameron Smyth, SClaritatown's most eligible and sought-after bachelor. He's a good-lookin' fellow with a solid employment future -- he's a mucky-muck at Blue Barrel (Monopoly? What Monopoly?) Disposal -- and is a rising star in the local mover-and-shaker scene.
And there he was, a piece of meat on the auction block.
Mind you, most guys would say that's not such a bad place to be, assuming anyone bids. And in Karl's case, as was the case with several other "bachelors" who were auctioned off for dates to raise money in the name of the Boys and Girls Club, there were plenty of bidders. A date with Karl cost each of two winning bidders $3,400 apiece.
I'm going to take a long walk around all the obvious jokes, Karl. The point here is not to embarrass Karl any more than is necessary (although, I wonder if we've reached that point yet . . . hmm . . . aw, heck, I don't know . . .).
No. The point here is to illustrate that, here we are, several weeks after the auction, and no one -- not a soul, not even a jealous coed who hoped to get a date with Karl for nothing -- has said a peep about the fact that the Boys and Girls Club did not auction off some women, too.
Yes, there was a woman -- Barbara Morris -- who joined the fray at the last minute. But the "bachelor auction" was not promoted as an auction of eligible males and females.
No. It was a "bachelor" auction. It was promoted that way, and those who attended the B&G fund-raiser with an intent to bid on certain auction "items" fully expected to be enticed by some guy taking his shirt off in the name of charity.
And that's OK, really. Most men don't mind being objectified by women who eyeball them as if they're tomorrow's main course. At least, so I hear.
Plus, the bachelor auction raised $12,000, a healthy chunk of the $180,000 or so that the entire B&G auction raised. It was in good fun, and the money goes to a good cause.
But suppose the event had also featured a "bachelorette auction," to use the "Dating Game" lingo.
Would we have heard from the National Organization for Women? Would local feminists have taken up arms in the name of sisterhood, to battle against the objectification of their gender?
Would it have been "sexist"?
I wonder. It's odd that the Boys and Girls Club -- at least in advance -- only chose to auction off dates with men. I mean, if nothing else, they missed a chance to raise a few extra bucks. I know Morris was a late addition, and the high bidder (a married man) thought he was paying $800 for a golf cart, but with the right advance promotion, she surely would have fetched a bid comparable to those who snagged Karl McCarthy for a date apiece.
And suppose some of SClarita's most eligible bachelorettes were on the auction block. Hmm . . . My wife's reading this, so we'll just take a left turn and avoid any further speculation. No need to name the dream team now.
But of course, if there were a "bachelorette" auction, that would somehow be wrong, at least in the eyes of those who like to haughtily peer over their glasses with disdain at such travesties, such setbacks in the millennium-long battle for gender "equality."
That's the thing with double standards: What's good for the gander isn't always good for the goose.
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Tim Whyte is the magaging editor of The Signal. His commentary appears on Sundays.
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