I see it on my Facebook feed every couple of months: a gay man complaining about women in gay bars. Sometimes it's a complaint about annoying bachelorette parties who harass and tokenize men who are simply trying to dance and hook up. Sometimes it's a guy saying he doesn't feel comfortable having sex at a sex party if there are women around. Sometimes it's some older gay man saying, "There should be no fish allowed." That is seriously a comment on saw on a Facebook post this week.
Dear gay men, stop telling women they can't be in gay bars.
I know this might surprise you, but in 2017, women can go anywhere we want to! And furthermore, we don't need your approval to do it! When I see these kinds of discussions on social media, there are usually a few men who comment something like, "I love bringing my girls to the club!" Well, that's nice, but not only do women not need your approval to be somewhere, we also don't need you to take us anywhere. We know how to drive, get on the subway, flag down a cab, or download Uber.
I understand that bachelorette parties can be annoying, that they do harass and tokenize gay men, and I would have nothing wrong with someone saying, "I don't think bachelorette parties should come into gay bars and harass and tokenize gay men," but saying that no women should be in gay bars is a false equivalency because not all women in gay bars are there to drink through penis straws and request that the DJ play "The Thong Song," even though the DJ totally should play "The Thong Song." Women in gay bars are not limited to bachelorettes, did you forget that queer women exist? Trans women? Straight women with gay friends or straight women who just like gay bars or drag queens? Well, yeah, you probably did.
And even if you did, requiring some kind of reason for a woman to be in a gay bar, or an excuse or some gay to supervise her, is misogyny. Questioning a woman's right to be anywhere or do anything is misogyny. It's perfectly fine to ask cis-hetero women to be more respectful of our spaces instead of being misogynists.
The real t is that misogyny is a huge issue in the gay community, and this is one of the ways it's most frequently enacted. If you can't dance to some shitty house song or go down on a stranger just because a woman is in the room, you need to examine what that says about you, not call for that woman's removal.
And seriously, DJs, I want to hear "The Thong Song" more, ok?