I’m Getting Divorced. Let’s Celebrate.

by | November 10, 2011
filed under Feminism, Pop Culture

Divorce parties are on the rise. Over in Japan, couples have been realizing that there’s nothing like a natural disaster to get you to rethink priorities. Divorces have been up 300% since the March tsunami and the popularity of ring smashing divorce parties has been making headlines worldwide.

In the United States, divorce parties are becoming a booming industry complete with divorce-party planners, divorce cakes, divorce registries, cake toppers, piñatas to smash and ring coffins. Might I also add that many of these divorce-related products are dark and designed to denigrate the other partner.

Over the past few years, many public figures have celebrated divorces, sparking this trend, including: Shauna Mokler, ex-wife of Blink 182 singer Travis Barker; Heather Mills, ex of Paul McCartney; Jack White from the White Stripes co-hosted one with his ex; as did Charles Bronfman and his ex. Who knows, maybe Kim Kardashian will be next.

What I have noticed to be glaringly absent from commentary on divorce parties is the irony that in a country like America where same sex couples continue to be denied the right to marry, we see such a booming industry dedicated to celebrating divorce.

I’m all for a post-divorce night out with friends, complete with pep talks and lots of alcohol. But this whole industry just seems so wrong to me. What do you even say to someone who is hosting a divorce party – congratulations? Do you have to bring them a gift? Do you have to eat the expensive cake where the strawberry icing symbolizes the ex’s blood?

What has started as a trend for a select group of super-rich former couples is now ballooning into a common phenomenon, supporting this bizarre industry.

Remember the First Wives Club? Those women had to pull their lives together after the painful, destructive process that is divorce. And then they got even, and in the process rebuilt their friendship. All to a soundtrack of “Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves” and “You Don’t Own Me.”

I have to believe that there are better, more empowering ways to move on and rebuild after divorce.

-E. Cain

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