Longtime military spouse and contributor to Militaryspouse.com, Jen McDonald has a brand new Q&A for military spouses on her website, jenmcdonald.net.
For this post, Jen answered the question, “Why Can’t I Get Male Spouses to Attend Military Spouse Events?”
Here is her answer:
“If you really want male military spouses to attend your events, make them inclusive to ALL.
Take a look at your messaging. Does it scream “all are welcome”? If not, you’ve got to change it.
I’m talking your spouses’ group website, your social media, your flyers, any of your ‘branding.’ You can’t send invites to your bunco night in a hot pink swirly font and expect it will appeal to anyone other than a certain type. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that type, but you’re trying to appeal to all spouses here.)
In fact, for the love of God, lose the endless Bunco Nights.
And the “Little Black Dress” outings or the like. Those are better for subgroups of your main group or a private gathering.
Seriously, please remove the wording “wives” from any of your flyers, titles, handouts, etc. You would think I wouldn’t have to even say this in 2018, but a friend recently showed me an invite she’d received from her husband’s unit titled “Wives’ Coffee.”
Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do.
On that note–be sure to host nighttime as well as daytime events.
If you’re an event planner for your FRG, unit spouses’ group, or whatever iteration it takes in your service branch, remember that many spouses, male or female, have their own careers going and will never be able to attend a daytime gathering. Don’t immediately cut out that group by only planning daytime events. Plan activities at a variety of times: play groups for parents at home, evening get-togethers, etc.
ASK male spouses what they want.”
To read more about what Jen has to say, check it out here.