Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars

I saw an article in OUT Magazine about straight bachelorette parties invading and disrupting gay bars and goggling at gay men like zoo animals that I thought was interesting, but even more interesting was the feminist push back on the article.

Before we get started, let’s get clear on some terms. “Gay bar” means a bar oriented at a gay male clientele. There are lesbian bars and there are all gender bars. I am not talking about those here. By “bachelorettes” I mean 1. groups of more than three young women 2. coming into gay bars not as guests of a gay man 3. who  try to turn the place into their private roadhouse. I am not referring to all women, all straight women or any larger group of women than this specific demographic.

From the article:

I’m chatting with Yaz outside his DJ booth at Wave Bar when a hen party gyrates through the door. Now Yaz has a simple solution to get rid of them. “I just immediately put on gay nightclub classics. Classic disco and show tunes are the audio equivalent of Mace to those people.”

Yaz puts on “Go West” by the Pet Shop Boys. “Watch,” he says. “There’s no ghetto, there’s no girls, there’s no pitchy voices. They can’t relate.” Sure enough, as though something is jamming their radars, the bridesmaids immediately slow down, and their faces grow long. They take out their phones. One approaches Yaz to request Britney Spears. (By the way, I don’t like the “ghetto” reference but that’s the quotation.)

“We’re brides-to-be,” she says. “You can’t play one song for us?”

“Do you know where you are?” Yaz scolds. “You are in a gay bar with men in their 40s, and I’m playing to my demographic.”

“Fuck you,” the bridesmaid says. The group leaves. Yaz says they’ve noticeably hurt his business. On Yelp, a month earlier, multiple reviewers wrote about this, including one named Mark F.: “EGHHH full of bachelorette parties. There are better places in P-town that won’t treat the gays like zoo animals. Was there this past Saturday and there were about 60 straight girls there with all their annoying antics! I wish Wave took this into consideration and did not allow organized bachelorette parties. It’s disruptive and doesn’t make people feel comfortable.”

The comments from women were generally supportive on this. They were mostly either straight women who go to gay bars with gay friends or else lesbians.

Here’s a comment from a male commenter:

Robert Evans · San Francisco, California
This happens at any and every gay bar. “Look at me and give me attention hot gay guys, I’m getting married, play with my boobies.” Then proceed to get wasted and pissed at the very gay guys that made their night amazing. I don’t really think this will ever go away as women will always feel safer in a gay establishment, hence going in droves. But some people just can’t hold their liquor and then become jerks and they see gay guys as just guys that are denying them (as thats what happens to them in the str8 bars/clubs). But again, anyone should always know the situation they are in and be respectful of it. I don’t mind them going to a gay bar and enjoying themselves, but I’m not here to entertain them as they bitch or yell at me. I don’t go to straight bars and force my gayness on everyone so why do the same anywhere else?
Tom Yaz · Video Disc Jockey at Crown & Anchor
true.. i worked in straight bars and it’s just as bad

But of course there has to be at least one po-faced Church Lady to lecture gay men on who gay bars have to let in and what is and is not acceptable to say about women – nothing negative, basically, and objective observation of a situation is no excuse to be truthful.

First there is the obligatory what about the wimminz centering of white women’s welfare and emotional comfort:

Katy Meyrick · Norwalk, Connecticut
I think this author has the same moral obligation as anyone else to be sensitive to feminist issues. He doesn’t get to say “not my department.” Sorry, he doesn’t. Women don’t have safe spaces to party….

This is an article about gay men and gay bars; there is no obligation to address women’s issues at all.
“Sorry, he doesn’t.” So this woman sets herself as some kind of moral arbiter over what gay men get to say about gay bars. I wish this were a surprise but it is an example of a very specific kind of white female privilege, the privilege of norming everyone else in society like some kind of Great Mother.

It gets worse. Then comes the damseling:

Bryan Scott Langley · Assistant Manager at Cliff’s Variety
Ah, third wave feminism.

Katy Meyrick · Norwalk, Connecticut
Bryan Scott Langley We’d love to not need it.

In response she doubles down:

Katy Meyrick · Norwalk, Connecticut
Robert Beste All I said was: point that out without “girls gone wild!” and “reality tv stars!” kind of code. The way women party isn’t different from men and shouldn’t be noted. But whenever women party in a way that’s not sitting down and quietly talking via mannie/peddies or paint-and-a-glass-of-wine thing, we’re Out! Of! Control!

Feminists have a moral obligation to stand by LGBTQ activists and take their issues seriously, whether or not it affects us personally.

So she starts out by deciding someone is using code, presuming to decide what they are saying. This is the Denial of Subjectivity form of objectification. Then she complains about the way women partying are being portrayed – whether that portrayal is objective or not, she objects – and claim men party the same way. Men do not party the same way, grabbing older men’s crotches in gay bars, as these specific women do. Then she engages in a strawmanning distortion of what is being said.

And as for their “obligation to stand by LGBTQ activists” – save it. What about showing some regard for the issues actual gay men face in stead of a bunch of self-centered whining that some man pointed out how some women were acting like out of control frat boys )except that frat boys never invade gay bars to gawk at people).

She picks up again in the same sub-thread:

Katy Meyrick · Norwalk, Connecticut
Andrew DeLoach Strawman. All I said was to skip the crappy, gendered language. And it’s not just white feminism. Women of color don’t like being viewed as loud whores who need to go back to the tearooms and be nice ladies either.

Well when they do act exactly like that, what is wrong with saying so? I’ll compromise – I’ll call them out of control frat boys in drag. Happy now?

Going back a step, remember when Katy claimed “Women don’t have safe spaces to party.” One commenter sets her straight on that:

Paul Boat
If straight women want safe spaces, free of heterosexual men, in which to treat other people horribly and, thereby, as second class citizens, they are plenty of bars for sale.

Exactly. Get up off your back, drop the hypoagency and DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT RELYING ON MEN TO DO IT FOR YOU.

And then she wraps up with more damseling, spiced up with an outright lie, and then concludes with a distortion:

Katy Meyrick · Norwalk, Connecticut
Raymond Mitchell Stankowski Women aren’t the only ones to face assault but we do make up the bulk. You’re doing the “I’m a white person who was called a cracker so I know what it’s like” thing. Just don’t use crappy language to describe women. It really is that simple. Anything clear (like slut) or subtle (like Reality TV Star). It’s not good for women. And it’s not helpful to anyone to perpetuate stereotypes.

News flash for you, Katy – men are overwhelmingly the victims of assault and even in the area of sexual assault the victimization rate is about even, if the same criteria are applied to all instances. And “crappy language about women” even when they are acting crappy? That’s prohibited by the Concerned Women’s League for Regulating Male Behavior?

Go choke on your sanctimony. Your approval and disapproval mean nothing. And if you have so little respect for gay men as to lecture them on complaining about their spaces being invaded, why should any gay man have the least respect for you?

Hmmmm?

It’s not a trick question.

Onward. One commenter puts his finger on what the real issue may be:

Chris Andoe · The University of Oklahoma
From my experience Millennials of all persuasions don’t get the aversion older LGBT people have to our spaces being invaded and watered down. A popular bear and leather bar in STL has become overrun with women and twinks, many who are hateful to the original patrons (in this case it’s the young gays who are the worst behaved). In a blog post I suggested starting an intergenerational conversation about respecting the space you’re in, and was met with surprising backlash. This generation feels entitled to whatever it wants with no dissenting opinions, and will descend like killer bees when met with the slightest resistance. The substantial silver lining, however, is they are overwhelmingly for LGBT rights. Otherwise we’d be in trouble.

So that’s the state of play on gay bars and gay men’s right to have spaces of our own.

It’s not as if feminists haven’t done yeoman work on LGBTQ issues – especially as they benefit lesbians – but there is also no denying a steady drumbeat of misandrist disapproval of gay men. Lesbians good, gay men bad. The sneering about promiscuity is one example of this but the real core of it goes back to the earliest days of Second Wave Feminism when Kate Millett theorized that male homosexuality was all about denying women sexual access to these men.

Yes, Virginia, there is a rape culture. And this is about what we can expect from these people.

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  • politicalcynic

    Thank you!

    • http://www.genderratic.com/ Ginkgo

      More than welcome.

  • Saiyo

    these women behave like princess. They want everything and deny everything to which they see as peasants (men)

    • Neptus 9

      They are raised as princesses in a culture that worships females. This is the outcome.

    • http://www.genderratic.com/ Ginkgo

      Princesses – exactly. That was basically what most of the female commenters on that thread said, though not in so many words.

  • Robert Crayle

    There also seems to be the subconscious world of regendering people as agents and patients. These women gender themselves and everyone apart from white, cis, sex-with-women (straight or bi) men. Then presume that everyone is them with a different coat on.

    Which means when they go into gay bars, they expect a women’s only bar. Which means you aren’t just agents. You’re traitors – gender traitors. You’ve betrayed the patient gender.

    • http://www.genderratic.com/ Ginkgo

      They see it as a betrayal only because they take gay men so much for granted that anything less than slavish adoration and indulgence is betrayal.
      And for a lot of them it’s been that way since high school. It was them and they gay guys against the straight guys. God help them if we switch sides because we know all their secrets. That’s what you get when you make someone into your diary.

      • Robert Crayle

        Oooh…no wonder gay MRAs burn them so much. I always wondered at the aggressive stance that “MRAs ignore gay men, there are no gay MRAs”. Such defence, very distraction….

  • Andybob

    Excellent article written by a gay man who has the audacity to talk back to the kind of women who are appalled at the very idea that their opinions, and overwhelming sense of entitlement, should ever be questioned.

    Gay male disobedience to feminist dictates is becoming rife. Madam is responding by ramping up the shaming, and playing the misogyny card – yeah, that’ll work.

    • http://www.genderratic.com/ Ginkgo

      “Gay male disobedience to feminist dictates is becoming rife.”
      Quoted for truth. And good choice of words – ‘rife” is etymologically related to “ripe” – and this revolt has been ripening for a long time now. And it is catching feminists completely off-guard.
      When a gay man attacks their privilege it is from a position of indifference to their gender system. Far too many of them have nothing more than their carefully nurtured and constructed (toxic) femininity, and when there’s no market for it, they don’t know what to do. They fall back on “male privilege” all the while twitching their ass and getting drinks and dinner and lynch mob beat downs on command, because their position is coherent like that..

  • Rene Miranda

    I would love to see what they can do for Vegas Bachelorette Parties
    but for some reason gay bars haven’t been a hit out here yet

  • Curtis Axel

    In spite of heterosexuality and general.aversion.to drinking or socializing I would be more interested in hanging out at a gay one. Kind of scared though since due to conditoned androphobia I feel like I would get assaulted upon exiting one by a gang..which does happen. Doubt ladies are doing much to stop it.