Hannah Rudderham
Hannah Rudderham
February 28, 2020

Bachelor Auctions: Better than Bake Sales?

Photo by Cameron Behymer on Unsplash

Neill House holds an annual charity event where men are auctioned off as a date, usually to an upcoming formal. The money raised is donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. This is the annual Neill Week Bachelor Auction.

Neill Week, a week dedicated by the residence to in-house activities and social events, used to include a pageant. This year, the pageant wasn’t held, because it had lost favour in recent years. Maybe it’s time for the Bachelor Auction to go too. I mean, Bachelor Auctions don’t happen only at the University of New Brunswick. All over the internet, you will find tips and tricks on how to organize a successful Bachelor Auction and YouTube clips from past bachelor auctions at universities and highschools all over the place.

What kind of Kissing Booth bullshit is this?

If you’ve never seen Netflix’s The Kissing Booth, it’s about as stereotypical as you can get when it comes to cheesy, (usually mysognyistic and heteronormative) romance films. A blindfolded kissing booth allows students to kiss a stranger in exchange for a donation.

I don’t know about you, but Bachelor Auctions and kissing booths have some very similar ideologies. 

In my opinion, you can’t buy romance, and you shouldn’t be selling people. Would people have the same causal reaction to this event if women were the ones being sold as dates? Not likely.

Saturday Night Live had a skit about Bachelor Auctions where lunch with Chad, the tennis pro-shop worker who vapes in the parking lot, sells for ten million dollars. 

I think anyone who’s seen that skit knows how ridiculous it looks, especially to someone like me, who didn’t even know Bachelor Auctions were still permitted on university campuses.

Why is it so socially acceptable to auction male students?  

In a world that is supposedly progressive, why, in 2020, do Bachelor Auctions still exist? It feels like something that should’ve been left in the 70’s.

Of course, the guys that do it are offering themselves up, and the money is all going to charity. So it can’t be that bad, right? The issue stems more from the culture that creates this kind of event. These events aren’t really good natured. There are palpable undertones of toxic masculinity, and most of the sales—especially the high-rolling ones—are steeped in house drama and usually involve male friends “jokingly” trying to buy their friend so he’ll spend less time with a girlfriend of whom they don’t approve. The entire event is bizarre and uncomfortable. Imagine if someone actually had to go to formal with a date they had bought. 

Although it’s nice of the men to volunteer themselves and their time, and for people to give up their money to buy the men for charity, there are less bizarre, patriarchal ways of doing it.

Just, have a bake sale. 

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