Add men, don't stir: Reproducing traditional gender roles in modern wedding showers

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The bridal shower is a ritual that dates back to sixteenth-century Western Europe. Traditionally, the bridal shower was a gendered ritual, organized by women, for women. Evidence suggests that the gender barrier for showers may be disintegrating as "couples " or "coed" showers make their way into the prewedding routine. However, it is unclear whether the presence of men at wedding showers is indicative of gender convergence or if couples showers replicate traditional gender roles. It is necessary to look at men's presence in showers empirically to understand the ways in which gender and traditional gender roles are either deconstructed or reconstructed in this ritual. I find that rather than indicating gender convergence, coed showers are markedly different from traditional bridal showers. In essence, the traditional bridal shower is transformed and masculinized so that it is an event men can participate in without stigmatization or threat to their "manliness.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-35
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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