Men would never put up with this Tupperware party nonsense

My friend is scheduled to attend one of those Tupperware-type parties next week, where someone tries to sell the attendees a kitchen gadget, styling cream or knitting accouterments.

My question:

Why is this almost strictly a female phenomenon?

tupperware party

Why aren’t there parties for men, where tools, golfing gadgets, ties or other male accessories are sold?

Perhaps more accurately, what would possess a woman to want to gather her friends in her home or a friend’s home and subject them to a three hour sales pitch? It sounds perfectly dreadful to me, but women do this all the time, and at least some of them respond positively to the invite.

Even more mystifying:

Those that have no desire to attend these kinds of parties (and I use the word parties loosely) attend anyway out of a misplaced sense of obligation.

It’s bizarre.

If your friend opens a beauty care shop, I’d expect you to eventually stop by and at least to check the place out. But if your friend wants to bring that goop into your living room on a Friday night under the pretense of a party and convert your home into a retail outlet, I think it’s perfectly acceptable (and perhaps advisable) to say no.

Tragically, many women will not say no. Instead, they call on their friends and acquaintances  many of whom despise these parties as well, and they all gather ’round the coffee table so that their friend or a friend of a friend can pitch product under the guise of entertainment. Worse still, because of the plethora of free samples provided at these parties, women feel obligated to purchase something even if they hate the product and just want to get the hell out.

And don’t let anyone fool you. If given the choice, the majority of women would wipe these parties off the face of the Earth and never give it a second thought. For every women that enjoys attending these retail living room shindigs, there are at least two Lady Macbeths at these parties adopting a “false face must hide what the false heart doth know” countenance.

As pervasive as these parties are, they are not popular.

I was discussing this issue with my friend recently and she thought that I had hit on a great business idea:

Sales and marketing parties for men.

“Yes,” she said (into my voice recorder). “That’s a great idea. Tools and ties and sports stuff would be perfect. You might have found a real moneymaker.”

Sadly, I had to explain to my friend that hell would likely freeze over before any male friend of mine would attend a party like this.

In fact, there is an unspoken male pact, infused in our genetic code, that demands that if any man were to invite us to a party like this, we would be required to beat him to death with the claw end of a hammer lest this vile ritual infect our world as well.

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6 Responses to Men would never put up with this Tupperware party nonsense

  1. Wendy says:

    I saw an intriguing Penn & Teller Bullsh*t episode (the only one I ever saw) about multi-level marketing, aka pyramid schemes. They spent some time on ManCave “Meatings”, where men drink beer, eat meat, and supposedly buy products and get recruited to have their own “Meatings”. Like many of those pyramid scheme parties, it seemed kinda creepy.

    link to

  2. Ann Kingman says:

    A few things:

    Those “parties” are mostly a means to recruit other “demonstrators,” or whatever the individual company’s term for salesperson is. It’s very tough for salespeople to make any money unless they recruit people to work under them — then they get a cut from each salesperson’s commission. There was a great NPR piece about Mary Kay that uncovered many of the dirty little secrets of this industry (some would call them pyramid schemes): link to

    Secondly, a lot of men get caught up in this through Amway. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor dude was big into Amway and always trying to recruit the other neighbor guys.

    As for why people go? For some it’s the only excuse for a night out. For others, it’s wanting to support your friend who may be trying to earn a bit of money for a trip or something. Most of us only ever go once, though.

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  6. Denise says:

    Tupperware and other such parties were a source of life for me as a young army wife placed in a way of life so outside my understanding of ‘normal’. I think that many of the army, navy and air force wives of that era felt the same way too but none of us ever spoke the possible horrible truth out to each other. We came from many walks of life and many different class, cultural and religious differences. Being displaced young mothers however made us all ‘sisters’ of a kind civilian wives could not comprehend.
    I live in the bush now not in the city where I came from and I frequent a family restaurant right next to an army base so there are a lot of very young army wives and mothers dealing with the same issues of displacement and disconnection as I did way back then.
    Life for them is far more connected re the virtual world of technology but the human touch can’t be substituted for a blog session but it is far better than a voice on the phone and little more than that.
    Sisters of service men united at these tupper-ware and other such parties where we kissed and hugged each other and our kids and were there thought the highs and lows of having babies; loosing them; getting sick, our kids getting sick, first days at play-school, pre-school, sports, school celebrations and the stuff going on all around us that affected us but we had no control over save staying grounded in a life of shifting sands.
    I am a much richer, more compassionate and tolerant person because of all the servicemen’s wives who shared so very much of themselves with me, my kids, and each other. Without them, life for me would have been an emotional and cultural wilderness. I was very ill with my third child and as soon as I sent my four-year-old next door as a cry for help, she would swing into action, get the other wives to help, I’d be back in hospital to save baby number three while babies one and two were in the safest, kindest and most loving hands.
    Party Plans created safety networks for mothers and babies in distress and the compassion and the kindness was always reciprocated otherwise there would be no more invitations because freeloaders drained the life out of our lives rather than to add to life.
    Sharing so very much of ourselves with each other and our kids at a sales party kept us sane, grounded, focused in a world where the compass of our lives was held my the armed forces that the men we married chose as a career path.
    Love comes in many forms and feeling safe in a strange town or city was a constant and the first social and emotional lifeline usually came with the tupper-ware or other such parties. Cheers, from Denise the grateful Old-Bag!


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