Weird pseudo-date school fundraisers

I’m kind of a jerk about school fundraiser events and in fact it is an area you might call me un-civic-minded. The girl scout cookie thing, the wrapping paper, the cookie dough, the auctions… God I hate the idea of the auctions, I’m sorry.


What the hell people. Just pay your taxes! And go vote for higher school taxes if that’s what it takes, and if you’ve got a wad of money extra then give it to the district so they can spread it out fairly, or donate it to the Teachers’ Union to help the teachers get some decent pay. Instead of dicking around endlessly organizing your Box Tops and your toy drives. It drives me crazy… Go get a job. Instead by volunteering you are enabling a classist system that means schools that serve wealthy populations get decent funding, and schools where there aren’t a bunch of housewife-role-filling parents don’t. Plus, women pressured to systematically disempower themselves by doing unpaid political and fundraising work. That is bogus! I respect organizations like the PTA, and the women who do the difficult politics of them, and YET… again… how about making those jobs into REAL PAID JOBS. You’re doing work, ladies. Demand a paycheck for it. What are you teaching your sons and daughters in this meta message? That you… that mothers… that women’s work is invisible and unworthy of being considered “real” work.

Chew on that during your next Auction.

And now to the substance of my rant. Ever since I heard of Father-Daughter Dances, which was mercifully only a few years ago, I’ve loathed the idea. What a weird thing. And it ended up… or maybe started, I don’t know, in these grotesque and oversexualized Purity Balls. Gross! Why would you at all want to imply that it’s normal for dads to take their daughters on a formal date in a ball gown?

Why do I rant, you ask?

I am asked to participate in a Mother-Son Dodgeball Dance. Oh fine, I’m over-reacting to a cheesy 2 hour long fundraiser and I could pay up the 20 bucks and go to it and sit in the corner glowering in my wheelchair. But no… I won’t.

There are so many things to dislike about this whole deal. For one, the implication that I need some sort of special school event to make me bond with my son. For another the weird violent undertone of the whole thing. For another, my son isn’t a jock and I hate the way this is slanted to make “sportiness” and sports and dodgeball into a male thing, a boy thing, a thing that naturally as a female I wouldn’t normally do but have to be pressured to do.

Here is the flyer:

“Boys… Here’s your chance to ‘Get Mom’ at the thing you do best! Mom… Here’s your chance to show him how you get your head in the game! When you’ve worked that out, get out and shake it! $20 includes admission for 2 with disc jockey, momento photo, sweatband, drinks, and treats! Sneakers required! It’ll be a blast!”


You can see I hate it just from the jolly fakey sporty tone and the bad spelling.

But further how about that “Get Mom” idea? WTF? Sure… because all little elementary school boys like to play “violence towards women” so much that they need special lessons for it?

And how about that “sneakers required”… does that strike anyone else as an implication that Moms wear pointy toed shoes at all times even to “Dodgeball Dances”? Special reminder! Get wild n crazy and kick off those lawyerly pumps!

Though, the real truth is… if it was a World of Warcraft Mother-Son combat night then I would gladly accept the challenge.

I hated dodgeball!!!

15 thoughts on “Weird pseudo-date school fundraisers

  1. Totally… I’d so pay 20 bucks NOT to have to enter a loud, sweaty, dodgeball-filled gym, ever again.

    I shall return now to kicking my son’s ass at chess, a kingly and warlike pursuit with a little bit of dignity, especially for the Queen.

  2. I’ve always hated school fund raisers. They never pay even minimum wage. I was always infuriated and insulted. Now they are sexist too. What fun I have to look forward to.

  3. this is how i feel about aids or breast cancer rides or walks or runs. FUCK! peopel if you ALL just donated your money. and didnt have a pay a bunch of asshole coordinators and advertising.. you would have so much more money.

  4. I’m not a fundraiser fan either, though I definitely planned and helped with many for the high school band when my kid was in it…but…this one is by far the weirdest I’ve ever seen. It sounds like something a football player thought would be a good idea.

    Heck, I’ll send 20 bucks if they call the whole thing off.

  5. Well said. At our school, we don’t sell cookie dough and wrapping paper and all that crap. Instead, everyone donates $10/month through automatic withdrawl as an acknowlegment that our (public) school is underfunded. It is easy, effective, and no damned box tops are involved.

  6. I like your first idea. If schools had the funding they need, those ridiculous fundraisers would be a thing of the past.

  7. ::clapCLAPclap::
    thank you.

    I am the ONLY mom who has refused her 6 yr old the experience of selling girl scout cookies. as a brownie. who is SIX.

    I just smile and say “We don’t sell things.”

    end. of. discussion.

  8. Depends on the fundraiser for me. I do not like the expectation of selling things. But I do like the auctions. It’s rather amusing at the end of the evening to see all the people who have drained their wine bottles and no longer care how much they are bidding for things.

    But, oh man, I hated dogeball.

  9. ohjesusgodalmighty do I hate the fundraisers and the auctions and all the other stupid things they do to squeeze a few bucks out of us. I’d rather just give my lump some at the beginning of the year.

    And dodgeball? I fucking hate it. Take little kids that you’ve taught since they were old enough to walk not to hit or hurt others and throw them in a game where that’s the objective. It’s moronic and and uncreative.

  10. Hi, I’m new to your blog (forgot how I got here though, sorry!) and oh man do i feel ya! and thank you so much for pointing out the unpaid labor aspect of alla this volunteer stuff at the schools, which i’d not realized! Yet another reason that the time I have for the school will be spent in the classroom reading books and serving snack, not being on a fundraising committee.

    and that dodgeball thing? how twisted.

  11. Brilliant post! I’ve often thought that the people who marketed those fundraiser schemes to schools realized that there are parents out there who would get all competitive about it and would lemming their way into fundraising slavery.

  12. Dodge ball??? They couldn’t think of anything better or more appropriate for everone?

    First of all, it is not my child’s job to raise money for the school and frankly, it’s not my job either. If our society would wake up and start to value education, then perhaps schools would be adequately funded. Raise the damn taxes!

    As a teacher, I hate the fundraisers for another reason. I hate the pressure they put on the students and I hate the hassle of having to orchestrate it.

    The ones I particulary detest are the ones where the kids who sell the most get a party. The kids whose parents who call every relative in the Western Hemisphere and then take the forms to their offices to pressure all their work friends to buy the junk are the ones who get the party and the rest of the kids feel like losers. And it also punishes the kids whose parents object and won’t allow them to participate.

    My kids aren’t school age yet, but when they are, we will not be participating.

    I just found your blog and think you ROCK.

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