our enemy is not each other

hi ladies and gays, just a quick one bc my timeline has been ON FIRE today over that slightly controversial opinion piece from OUT on whether straight women are allowed in gay clubs

the two main sides of the argument I’ve cast my eyes over today are the OUT piece that started it all and the Attitude response, neither of which address the issue in full but instead take largely antagonistic stances against the opposing party – lots of finger-pointing and no real answers – but as we all know very well: short-term solution ain’t no resolution

in brief, the OUT piece mouthily and aggressively states straight women’s right to have hen parties in gay clubs and accuses gay men of being dead misogynistic about it, while the Attitude piece declines to confront the misogyny accusations and in short tells straight girls to sling their hook

(at least that’s how I read them – I provided links, y’all can make up your own minds)

as a straight woman who parties in LGBT+ venues almost exclusively, it’s hard not to bristle at both arguments – it’s absolutely not right or acceptable to carry on in gay clubs with disregard for the communities they are meant to service but it’s also dismissive to read me/us the riot act without considering that a) LGBT+ venues can be safe spaces for women too and b) fail to hold hands up to the fact that gay men frequently use this issue – among others – as an excuse to have open misogyny season on women and get away with it

to the ladies I will say this: no matter where we go and what we do, in society there are unwritten – at times unspoken – rules and conventions that we must follow in order to live in harmony with each other. LGBT+ venues are places with unspoken rules, and no, straight women cannot just flout them because it’s 2017 and we can do what we want when we want. we are guests in LGBT+ venues. sometimes, admittedly, not welcome ones – shout out G-A-Y and their gross, sexist door policies! – but nonetheless, as guests it’s our duty to remember our place. you wouldn’t sprawl around your mate’s house picking fluff out of your bellybutton and eating what you like from the fridge (or maybe you would idk ur life) and in that same way, you don’t post up on a queer dancefloor like you own the place. you don’t own the place. you’re there by the good grace of a community of people who don’t seek to exclude in the same way we do. it serves us to be humbled and grateful for that.

as for the gays… well, sometimes your attitude stinks, lads. you know it does. you know sometimes you like getting the boot in on women because it’s a cheeky lil’ un-PC thing you can get away with because you think being gay means you can’t be as grossly misogynistic as your straight brothers (brothers? or bros? I think ur only allowed to call straight guys bros) here’s the thing though – you definitely can. sometimes you can even be worse! not on a big awful systematic scale because you don’t have the same power, but inter-personally? for sure. I’ve heard misogynistic comments from gay men over the years that would make even the most ardent MAGA inbred stop interfering with the family pet and say “that’s a bit disrespectful to women, you cuck”. you absolutely shouldn’t have to tolerate harassment from straight girls on a night out, but you also don’t have to be sexist about it. please remember that while LGBT+ venues are very welcoming, they’re mostly welcoming to you, the (white) gay men of your community

of course, like so many conflicts, the simple solution to this one is, for both parties to be considerate of each other. for every gay man that has had his crotch palmed by rowdy Susan from HR inexpertly wielding her straight privilege there’s a straight girl that has her tit grabbed by some gay who reckons that’s okay because he thinks vaginas are disgusting and there’s no sexual intent behind it. for every lesbian who couldn’t get in because they don’t look gay enough there’s an Abercrombie & Fitch Chad and his gang who are just there to gawp at the homo-safari and try to pull some unsuspecting straight or bi ladies while their guard is down. for every chick who wants to hear ‘Thong Song’ there’s a straight-acting gay who likes the Calum Scott version of ‘Dancing On My Own’… we’re all as guilty as each other of being awful sometimes – let’s just blame it on the alcohol and promise to do better, yeah?

the need for LGBT+ spaces, for both the community and straight girls, is a shared one. our enemy is not each other. we should remember that.

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