OPINION: For years I have watched my friends jump for joy as they got engaged and later married. During their displays of happiness I fume in the corner, feeling very hard done by.
My sadness and indeed anger does not come from a deep-seated longing for love, nor from my wanting of a princess cut diamond ring. My feelings of frustration rear their ugly head because I like female strippers and beer, and the boys, regardless of how close we are, just won't let me attend their stag do.
I sit with my arms folded like a scowling child while my closest male mates explain they don't make the rules, society does, and a stag do is no place for a woman. Unless she is taking her clothes off.
After all, they say, a man would never be allowed at a hen's do.
Their justifications never change the fact that I, in all of my womanly wisdom, feel deprived and ostracised.
I have an immovable belief that if any female should be allowed at a stag do then it should be me. I date women, I like beer and aside from the pretty dresses and the high heels, I'm practically one of the boys.
Sometimes I even consider a disguise of Shakespearean proportions, but alas I think to myself, these breasts are far too big to hide.
Attending a stag do is, for me, the last thing to mark off on my subconscious tick sheet of equality.
These days women can do anything. Women can hunt, women can vote and, aside from stag dos, women can even invade the metaphorical man cave.
Girl power has taken the world by storm and while this has been empowering for the femme fatales, one must wonder how the men feel about this.
If my latest observations are anything to go by then men are feeling somewhat silently annoyed by the full-scale invasion of oestrogen.
It's not that men don't like sharing, but ladies, I get the feeling we are smothering them.
Perhaps we have become so blinded by our equal rights that we have forgotten we still need spaces in our togetherness.
Gone are the days of boy time and a man's world. While women still expect female-only gyms and clubs designed for guiding just girls, we cannot seem to allow men anything that belongs solely to them.
Girls can now become Boy Scouts, ideas like The Men's Shed are labelled sexist and misogynistic, and even rugby matches are now strewn with an audience of women.
When do the men get time to themselves?
Some women seem to have an insatiable desire to be in a man's space. We are fascinated with what the boys do when we are not around.
In the last two weeks I have invaded the garage of men's tools and trinkets, declaring I can fix things myself, therefore I deserve to be in the shed. Even if it's not mine.
I've played with the electric sander, the ''cross-shaped screwdriver thing'', and I accidentally used the last of the house paint on something I was making for my wardrobe.
Without realising it I had invaded the only place men are trying desperately to cling to - their shed.
We are very precious about our female-only gyms, our scholarships especially for women, our no-boys-allowed book clubs, and yet what do men have that is only for men?
Stag dos and playing rugby, and that's about it.
Everything else, including the shed, has been infiltrated by an ever so sweet womanly presence.
Maybe we don't realise it but men need their space too. It's nice to go out on the motorbike with them and to have beers afterwards, but when a man locks himself away in the shed, leave him there ladies, without complaining.
There is nothing fascinating about what a male does in the shed when we are not there. He potters around, makes a few things and enjoys a bit of quiet man time.
Just because a woman can do anything a man does, doesn't mean we should do everything with them.
Give the poor boys room to breathe.
Men need their space too. They need places and things they can have just for themselves. Places that are not invaded by cupcakes and hairspray.
The one exception to this is of course the mysterious stag do. I, as a bisexual beer-drinking woman, should be invited to all of them. As a guest, not a stripper.
- © Fairfax NZ News