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Rape and Sexual Assault

“Pink Beach,” “Woman Only” Spaces as Sexist Men’s Latest Money-Making Gimmick, and Getting Underneath to What It All Really Means

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 The sign at “Pink Beach,” which says, among other things, “No Men.”  Isn’t that a weird picture of a man?  He appears to have boobs, for one thing.

I’ve been reading the news reports about the opening of a theoretically woman-only beach in Italy on the Adriatic Sea, and have found the coverage and responses to the news far more interesting than the news itself.

As women, we know how to find “woman-only” beaches for ourselves.   This, in general, is a matter of knowing when to show up (very early in the morning or on weekdays or in the off-season), what to avoid (beaches where men hang out, doh),  who to ask (local women), where to look (recreation guides which cater to women).

But “Pink Beach” isn’t really a beach at all.  It’s a spa, offering manicures, pedicures, healthy food, haircuts, and fitness classes, with children and men prohibited.    It’s sort of like one of those spas seen increasingly in tanning joints, except here the tanning takes place not in a “tanning bed” but on the beach. 

Since when does anyone denominate a women’s spa or beauty salon or tanning place or health resort or club as “woman-only”?  By definition, most of these places are, in general, woman only, sometimes women and gay men only.  Women don’t bring children (or men!) to spas because there is nothing for them to do there, because there are toxic chemicals and sharp instruments around, because there is no one to watch them, they will be bored,  they will aggravate the other women, and because in general, women go to spas to relax in the presence of other women. 

“Pink Beach” is in no way “woman-only.”  In fact, it is less woman-only than the ordinary spas women patronize.   For one thing,  “Pink Beach” is the brainchild and creation of a capitalist,  very sexist, traditional man, who will rake in whatever dough is to be raked in.   Organizations and businesses owned by men cannot actually be said to be “woman-only.”   Beyond that, Pink Beach is, in its operation, specifically not woman-only, because the guy has defended such anti-woman practices as hiring a single male lifeguard on the theory that women aren’t capable of saving the lives of women, because we are too weak, feeble, our boobs are too big and get in the way, or whatever.  He has also hired male hairdressers.

What this really is is a sexist, capitalist male entrepreneur cashing in on the idea of woman-only space as a gimmick to sell a rather ordinary-sounding, though nicely located, spa to women.  It is this that interests me because of the way it, and similar ventures, mark a certain shift.  No sexist man would create or market woman-only spaces unless he saw a lucrative market for such spaces.   We are at a time in history when women are increasingly seeking out these spaces and when increasingly women can pay for them. 

Women’s responses to this announcement are discouraging.  It’s disheartening to watch feminists — especially the kind of feminists who regularly defend femininity — lambasting the guy for offering manicures, pedicures, fitness classes, hairdos and a salad bar.  How does that work anyhow?  When feminists rightly challenge all of the above, and defenses of the above, as sexist and oppressive to women,  we can count on it that a certain number of our feminist sisters will mount the soapbox to vigorously and vehemently defend these practices and to roundly condemn us for even mentioning such a thing, yet when a man promotes and sells the same oppressive practices, the very same women seem to have no problem discerning that he is a sexist.  

Then there are the women who seem to live for the opportunity to utter some version of, “I don’t want woman only spaces!”  One writer’s rejection of the idea was based on her own premise that every woman “constantly” compares herself with other women, making woman-only beaches inherently unsafe and unpleasant.  Leaving aside, for a moment, that this is a woman who is projecting, and that many, many women really don’t compare themselves with other women, how is it that women silently comparing themselves with other women would make a beach less safe or pleasant than women walking amongst men, a certain (large) number of whom have or will rape women, sexually assault and harrass women, incest women, molest women, and most of whom are on the beach for the express purpose of objectifying and evaluating women on a scale of less-to-most fuckable, and who do not generally keep their evaluations at all private.  At Feministing,  one commenter says her husband is yucking it up over the story, har-de-har-har because this is a guy who has created himself a harem.  I can only wonder why it doesn’t occur to this woman that this beach is no more a harem than any beach is a harem to any man who goes to the beach to objectify women, including her own husband, who wouldn’t have leveled the accusation in the first place unless it was the first thing that popped into his own harem-fantasizing mind? 

Then there are the commenters who defend Italian men as so evolved, woman-only venues are irrelevant or unnecessary, then the women arguing about how evolved or not evolved Italian and European men really are, how handsome or not handsome Italian men are,  predictably turning a thread about something theoretically “woman-only” into, again, some more still, a thread which is all about the menz, nothing new there. 

In the mainstream coverage there is all of the wink-wink, nudge-nudging about finding ways to ogle from afar, there are endless photos of traditionally beautiful women sunbathing in bikinis, there is a focus on Lara Croft’s presence at the opening of the beach, despite the fact that it is clearly not woman-owned or woman-only.  Some articles make it very clear that this is — gasp, perish the thought — not a lesbian beach, no, no.  This is where “women can be themselves.”  Because, you know, lesbians aren’t women, and women being themselves aren’t lesbians.

Everybody misses what seems most important to me:  that woman-only spaces are something women want, so much so that capitalist men are cashing in on that phenomenon.   Male-identified women can talk all day long and all night long about all the reasons they do not really enjoy woman-only spaces; the fact is, most women do.  My sense is that an increasing number of women do.  Being able to live our own lives, by our own lights, without depending on men, without needing men, without caring what men think about us, is heady, intoxicating stuff.  A little taste creates an appetite.  Men know this, which is why they have historically until today resisted women’s efforts to create our own institutions, organizations, and spaces, which is why they violate our spaces, oppose them, and work very hard to eliminate them, which is why they have worked very hard to keep women from freely associating with women.  More and more women finding that they can live satisfying,  happy lives apart from men is not a scenario most men can appreciate.  They can be expected to be very creative in their efforts to insert themselves into spaces in which they are not welcome and not wanted.

I personally would not seek out a space like “Pink Beach”.  I know exactly where to go to find woman-only spaces, most women do,  although that’s something that most of us keep to ourselves, for obvious reasons.  At the same time, I admit I am enjoying the confirmation of what I have known in my gut for some time– that the time of women’s full humanity, experienced not only as a hope or dream but recognized by each woman as real and true, is coming.  This is what I see in events  like this.

Heart

Discussion

28 thoughts on ““Pink Beach,” “Woman Only” Spaces as Sexist Men’s Latest Money-Making Gimmick, and Getting Underneath to What It All Really Means

  1. Before I can put together a real comment, wasn’t it in Italy where a judged ruled a woman was not raped because she was wearing jeans, and jeans are an article of clothing a rapist could not manage to get off?

    I am going to go google and see what I find.

    Posted by E. K. (Kitty) Glendower | July 3, 2007, 10:19 pm
  2. That creepy misogynist who founded Curves saw the financial potential of women only gyms a mile away. He gives scads of money to anti-abortion groups.

    You notice the money is in spas and gyms and beaches. I know a lot of women who go to Curves specifically because they don’t want men watching them when they work out. I bet that’s why women like the idea of this beach, too.

    I’d much rather see women profit from these types of enterprises.

    Posted by Gayle | July 3, 2007, 10:58 pm
  3. “Then there are the commenters who defend Italian men as so evolved, woman-only venues are irrelevant or unnecessary, then the women arguing about how evolved or not evolved Italian and European men really are,”
    Really! Where????? I’m Italian–thats the most hilarioust thing i’ve ever read…if that was the case–why then is there such a HUGE ITALIAN FEMINIST REVOLT AGAINST MACHISMO CULTURE? SHOT THEIR FEMINIST FILM INDUSTRY ALONE IS LIKE ONE OF THE LARGEST COLLECTIONS I’VE EVER SEEN,
    anyway— the whole idea of womyn’s only beaches wouldn’t even apply to me or to millions of others–if most even get the chance to even go to a beach–i think the last thing they think is who’s there [other than maybe like it not being safe to camp or something],
    i could like see it like in parts of Middle East or something–but i don’t know–shit i’d just be happy to go to the beach–just a vacation lol–besides–i don’t and never have walked around with a bikini anyway–not even at the pool–a teeshirt does a lot to keep men from galking–they just give you the weird look—
    in south Texas i did get to go there–it was mostly families though and it was not like you know what you see on t.v. like parts of Florida–and these girls in this pic look young–
    i could see it like maybe if i was twenty–but at my age with kids–i’m more worried or would be worried about the kids drowning or jellyfish stings or sunburn–or getting stuff stolen and who watches the kids do we take turns,
    i will say the couple of times in TX–there was one time, i was walking with my daughter and saw this woman like half naked and i was sort of like thinking–oh my–like did you forget bottoms? I never forgot that, it was quite the shocker cuzz my little girl goes, Mommy why is she going without a bottom?
    uh, dear i guess she’s tanning–and my daughter goes, ‘but doesn’t the sand like get up there’
    i mean what do you tell a kid you know? LOL–and thats all i could think, yea isn’t that a tad bit uncomfortable, its bad enough With a swimsuit/teeshirt on–and like don’t forget to wear sandals [i learned That one the hard way–who’d would have thought 9 in the morning you could get blisters from walking in the sand lol]
    but seriously–maybe is just what beach one is at–cuzz like Galveston and Corpus–its usually families with kids and mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers– people and the numbers of scanty young womyn were like, minimal or if they were there i didn’t notice them.
    i noticed more people at the food stands and the long lines cuzz it was so hot. so like how much is it a culture thing too–cuzz south tx was 90% Latino–and while there is that machismo–there doesn’t seem to be a lot of the like ‘blatant gawking’ like i see here at the local pools,
    so how much i wonder is like related to culture? as far as the need for womyn only beaches??? [not saying i prefer or don’t prefer–just curious]
    also–as far as spas, gyms,
    like who goes to those places? seriously–they are like sort of expensive aren’t they? i always thought there was more of a desire for like–medium to larger womyn having a place/gym to work out in that wasn’t so bombarded with toothpick people, LOL, serious…most of the womyn i talk too-thats Why they don’t go–its not the men, its part of, but alot of it is the thin culture and not feeling comfortable in that.
    well anyway, just its interesting–i would tend to think its more about attracting money and the spas/nails/things like that–nothing wrong with it i suppose but it seems to me that would be more of the reason behind companies doing these like private beaches or private weeks or something–cuzz the hotels in Saudi are doing the same thing–but for obvious different reasons.
    Tasha

    Posted by Tasha | July 4, 2007, 4:45 am
  4. Men terrorize women and then exploit that terror and profit by it. Slick.

    Posted by Luckynkl | July 4, 2007, 5:36 am
  5. The problem with women only spaces is that it gradually creates an Apartheid mentality so if a woman goes to a regular beach she’s fair game for harassment “She wanted it otherwise she would have gone to the women beach”

    Posted by balom | July 4, 2007, 9:05 am
  6. Women can’t carve out our own woman-only spaces, such as Michfest, and be left in peace, but if a capitalist man does it for profit, that’s fine.

    Posted by Branjor | July 4, 2007, 11:46 am
  7. Maybe this sounds weird, but I would welcome a nice, safe women’s space. For one thing, it would be great to go to the beach and be able to spend some time without being ogled or looked at as a potential service object by men.

    Naturally, the idea of a woman starting it is even better.. but, heck, at this point, I think I’d take it where I can get it.
    🙂

    Peace,

    ~Chani

    Posted by Chani | July 4, 2007, 1:09 pm
  8. Chani, yeah, I just think women can find or make our own woman-only spots if we really want them? I mean, the lifeguard is male and he is going to be ogling, so the beach isn’t ogle free. Also, as I mentioned in my post, there’s already all the talk about finding a good outpost for ogling with binoculars. This beach might end up more ogled than regular beaches! Especially since there aren’t kids and men disrupting the ogling. :/

    I doubt that Italian men are worse than any other men. Ogling/sexism/misogyny/patriarchy happens, wherever there are men, I think.

    I have to go to the beach, as often as I can, it is healing and nourishing to me, which is one reason I would not want to live far from any of the coasts or from just very large bodies of water. But I never go to crowded beaches, because I do not find those healing or nourishing in any way! There’s a lot of beach available out here where I live where nobody ever goes, or almost nobody, so it’s a good place for women to go and take the kids, too. It’s pretty inconceivable to me that women would pay good money to go to this kind of a place, but whatever, people with money do a lot of things I do not understand!

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | July 4, 2007, 2:52 pm
  9. Uh, balom, women can always be blamed for having been attacked or sexually harrassed, doesn’t matter where they are, the existence of woman-only anything neither causes nor aggravates the blame-the-woman, i.e., (“She shouldn’t have been at the beach around men wearing that skimpy bathing suit!”)

    Beyond that, please read before commenting. This isn’t even a woman-only beach that we are talking about.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 4, 2007, 3:21 pm
  10. Heart, of course women creating these women-only spaces requires a lot of money which women typically don’t have. All the common class issues being involved.🙂

    I believe we can still find a way though. Maybe not through owning but by renting large spaces (a la Michfest) where we can be free to be ourselves without being emotionally raped by the men who insist that we provide entertainment and fantasy fodder for them.

    Just last night, I went to a Chinese restaurant for some take-away food. Now, I am not a woman who makes any particular attempt to look attractive to men. I’m 56 years old, overweight and very plain. Even given that, a man “hit on” me, making comments about how we could sit around at his house and “if something happens, it happens.”

    I politely but firmly asked him if he could forget, for just five minutes while I wait for my food, that I am a female. Was he capable at any level of getting beyond that to have casual conversation without bringing up the possibility of my “serving” him? His conclusion, jokingly presented, is that I must be gay. (The truth is that I am entirely asexual. Couldn’t care less about any of it. )

    This is becoming a serious issue for me… I’m so very weary of predatory men .. .and that is why I am so hungry for a space… a space in time.. and physical space.. where that simply won’t occur.

    Peace,

    ~Chani

    Posted by Chani | July 4, 2007, 4:03 pm
  11. What an interesting outlook. I knew there was something to this-and that sure is news to me, about Curves. It doesn’t matter to me or any of my friends or daughters whether there are men at a health club-it’s the “everyone is thin, and I’m fat, and I’ll stand out” issue. In fact, my girls and I would be least likely to go to an all-women’s anything for the simple fact of not wanting to be “checked out” by gay women. I have friends who are gay but they KNOW that I am not and they don’t look at me as a potential partner. I want to know if I’m being looked at that way. When I’m around all women, I have no way of knowing; when I’m around men, I know it is a possibility-therefore, if I see that “look” I can reject them immediately.
    Soni

    Posted by Soni | July 5, 2007, 4:16 pm
  12. That’s Okay Soni, most lesbians aren’t interested in haters anyway.

    Posted by Q Grrl | July 5, 2007, 5:04 pm
  13. Soni posted this: It doesn’t matter to me or any of my friends or daughters whether there are men at a health club-it’s the “everyone is thin, and I’m fat, and I’ll stand out” issue. In fact, my girls and I would be least likely to go to an all-women’s anything for the simple fact of not wanting to be “checked out” by gay women. I have friends who are gay but they KNOW that I am not and they don’t look at me as a potential partner. I want to know if I’m being looked at that way. When I’m around all women, I have no way of knowing; when I’m around men, I know it is a possibility-therefore, if I see that “look” I can reject them immediately.

    This post is a joke, right? Surely Soni isn’t so homophobic that she’d rather put herself and her daughters in a position to be sexually harassed by the rude remarks of men than to be looked at “that way” by a lesbian. I don’t know where Soni lives, but in my 43 years in the Dallas, Texas area, I’ve never been sexually harassed by a woman. Now factor in the risk of rape, I’ve never, ever read or seen a news report about a woman raping another woman. (What are the stats on rape perps? Isn’t something like 90-95% of all rapists are men and 75-80% of all victims are female?)

    I’m hetero yet I still would feel safer in the company of women, hetero, bi and lesbian, than I would – say – at one of the beaches during college spring break season, when they’re swarming with mostly white, middle-class young men – the ones who feel the most entitled to anything they want, including the flesh of all females. Lesbian women, on the other hand, may at times find straight women attractive but having been born female, lack the bloated entitlement of men.

    Posted by CoolAunt | July 5, 2007, 5:14 pm
  14. Heart, thank you for this blogpost. I’m familiar with at least one of the discussions about Pink Beach women who identify themselves as feminists and I hate the direction it careened into. Your comment there was right on, by the way.🙂

    I’ve been skeptical since first hearing about Pink Beach. Even if it truly were a woman-only place, like balom, I’m not comfortable with segragation of peoples who are already discriminated against even if the idea originated from and was supported by the group’s members. Not only can I see segregation used to strengthen and reinforce the “you asked for it” defense but I also believe that woman-only spaces could lead to bans of women in public and commercial places. Actually, it would be more like reinstatement of bans that were lifted in the 60s and 70s, like banning women from restaurants during lunch hours because the men on their business lunches found women’s “shrill” voices disruptive and disturbing. Or the banning of lone women from hotel lobbies because a woman alone in the lobby of a hotel must be a prostitute.

    Anyway, thanks for blogging about this Pink Beach thing from a perspective that has the potential to spur some intelligent feminist discussion.🙂

    Posted by CoolAunt | July 5, 2007, 5:31 pm
  15. Yeah, CoolAunt. Soni is from my old world, and as I understand, she may be in the process of exiting, I have yet to e-mail her but intend to, but she came here looking for me. So, there’s a road before her (sorry to talk about you in the third person, Soni) that she is just beginning, and she will have to consider all that she has learned/heard about pretty much everything, including lesbians.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 5, 2007, 5:34 pm
  16. Heart, I apologize if I was too hard on Soni in my response to her. I think the most pertinent point that I made and what Soni should know and think about is that lesbian women don’t behave toward other women the way that men behave toward women. At least no lesbian woman that I’ve known online or IRL behaves as if she’s entitled to look at, comment on or put her hands on other women’s bodies simply because she finds them attractive. Lesbian woman are not men in women’s bodies. They are women who are attracted to other women as partners in sex and life (or some combination thereof).

    Posted by CoolAunt | July 5, 2007, 5:41 pm
  17. I love this site!🙂

    That aside, I have to agree with CoolAunt. Never in my life have I ever experienced the same kind of aggressive behavior from a lesbian, whether she was attracted to me or not. The only times I’ve ever been approached have been with respect and kindness.

    Wish I could say the same for men, especially white American men.

    Sorry to sound prejudiced.. but I’m afraid there’s a bit of a struggle with that these days.

    ~Chani

    Posted by Chani | July 5, 2007, 7:33 pm
  18. Hey, CoolAunt, it’s all good, I was just offering additional, pertinent information and your response was right on time, in any event. And Q Grrl’s response was harder on Soni than yours in any event. :p Chani, I’m glad you are here! And I will blogroll you. 🙂

    Soni, you seem smart enough and strong enough to discern the intentions, intensity and feelings of the women who have responded to you here.

    Sad to say, due in part to the influence of anti-feminist, anti-progressive, retrogressive politics and the “sex positive” movement so-called, “Queer,” anti-woman movements like the “sexual liberation” movements and its various ugly stepchildren, and the overall return to patriarchy and the reign of compulsory heterosexuality of the last several decades, women do sometimes objectify and sexually harrass women these days in the U.S. and U.K. — not sure about other places — but that is in no way, shape or form a “lesbian” issue or something “lesbians” do. A woman objectifying a woman does not make that woman a goddamn “lesbian,” pardon my language. And don’t even get me started on all the “lesbians” so called and self-identified out there hollering about relationship and other kinds of abuse of various kinds who, in fact, are *male*. There are a LOT of people online who identify as “lesbians” who are in fact, in fact, *male*. A LOT. This is *especially* true online. And it is the result of all the regressive, anti-woman political politics/movements I have just named. This stuff has NOTHING to do with lesbians or lesbianism.

    In these times women, just in general, do indeed objectify women, but that is at least as often het women, or women who identify as “bi-“, as it is “lesbians”, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, if women are going to be offered up as the sex class, might as well everybody join in and objectify women and call that “liberated” and “progressive!” and “free”, it’s just so great to have someone to objectify, so I can pretend that they are different than me, and I have more power than I do, and I can behave like the menz and possibly get menz bennies. Sadly sadly, there are women — by far, most of them het — who go to strip bars, use misogynist pornography, and so on and think themselves to be oh so hip and whatever. That doesn’t indicate that these women are “lesbians”. These are women who for whatever reason think aligning themselves with men and male power might alter the fact that they, themselves are women and hence, members of the sex class. Or they have buttloads of internalized misogyny and think that being male-identified will distance them enough from their female sisters that they won’t have to face up to the fact that, in fact, they ain’t never going to have male power, I don’t care how male-identified they are or how often they objectify women, or accompany men to strip bars, or pay for lap dances, or whatever the hell they do (that most of the time was the men in their lives’ idea in the first place and they are being oh so progressive by going along with this shit.)

    ANYWAY. I spend a week in the woods every summer with thousands of lesbian women, most of us in various stages of undress at various times and places, all of us showering out doors in outdoors showers, etc. I am thrilled to bring my daughters, the youngest nine, and I would bring my three granddaughters, too, if I had the means to do so. Not for a single moment am I worried or concerned that my daughters are going to be objectified by ANY LESBIAN THERE And I know damn well that I am not going to objectify anybody and neither are my daughters! Women aren’t men. We don’t do what men do, we don’t think like they think, and even when some of us do, because we are messed up, or misguided, or because though we are women, we hate women for whatever reason, it’s STILL not the same as men doing it, for many, many, many threads worth of reasons which we’ve discussed before and will discuss in the future.

    I could say more, but don’t have the time right now, but I will be back and maybe I’ll say more, then, or maybe I won’t have to because Uppity or some of you wimmin will have commented.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 5, 2007, 10:58 pm
  19. Just feel compelled to say, once more with feeling, having sex with a woman, objectifying a woman, doesn’t a lesbian make. Lesbians are women whose primary emotional relationships, attachments, friendships, commitments, loyalties, love are with or go to women. Having sex with women may or may not be part of that for any given woman at any given moment. By the same token, a woman can be heterosexual as the day is long, be partnered with men, dislike women, and yet *objectify* and *have sex* with women. Which again, *does not make that woman a lesbian.*

    And NO male-born person is ever a lesbian, I don’t care how many times a day they appropriate that term as though it belongs to them. That makes them one thing: pricks. Not lesbians.

    Ugh. Intense at the moment.

    Heart

    Posted by Heart | July 5, 2007, 11:06 pm
  20. I don’t have anything brilliant to say regarding lesbians objectifying straight women.

    My usual response to any straight woman who thinks I am coming onto her is, “Don’t flatter yourself.”

    Posted by uppitybiscuit | July 6, 2007, 12:00 am
  21. Soni said:It doesn’t matter to me or any of my friends or daughters whether there are men at a health club-it’s the “everyone is thin, and I’m fat, and I’ll stand out” issue.

    I am much less intimidated by a women-only gym environment. I honestly feel like it’s a less self-conscious, less predatory, less judging-based-on-appearance atmosphere.

    The overwhelming phobia many people have of being hit on by members of the opposite sex is never something I really experienced. In my life, many of the men who have hit on me were unbelievably brazen, inappropriate, or made me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. A lot of guys like to pretend that sexual harassment is merely their playful form of saying they ‘like’ you, which is both devious and criminal. I have not experienced this same behavior on the part of the women who have professed to ‘like’ me.

    Posted by gingermiss | July 6, 2007, 12:28 am
  22. I meant to say “members of the same sex” at the beginning of the 3rd paragraph, obviously.😛

    Posted by gingermiss | July 6, 2007, 12:29 am
  23. It’s funny. The only time that I have ever felt uncomfortable with a woman, it was with a straight woman. She was a flat mate and she was going through some serious issues. She had no self-esteem to speak of. She had just broken up with a boyfriend who had forced her to have sex with him many times and she hadn’t had the capacity to say no. I was helping her sort through the mess in her head and helping her to put herself back together. I think it was because I was nice and kind and non-threatening that she began to attach herself to me. She knew that I was a lesbian and she was desperate for self-validation and she kind of began to throw herself at me. Literally at one point. I wasn’t ever threatened by her I just wasn’t sure of how to reject her without rejecting her and messing her up even further. But sleeping with her was even more out of the question and wouldn’t have done any good.

    I totally agree with Heart that women who fuck other women and objectify other women, who have sadistic sex with other women and yes rape other women ARE NOT LESBIANS. Yes, they call themselves lesbians but they are not. Lesbians are women who love other women.

    Posted by allecto | July 6, 2007, 4:55 am
  24. Heart, and all you other DykeHearts in this thread, y’all are giving me hope.
    🙂

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | July 6, 2007, 4:52 pm
  25. First – I did not know that about Curves. Thanks for the info. I did have a membership to a female gym once in South Texas. Funny – no one was dressed in those ridiculous outfits, just comfortable short/sweats. And the walls weren’t lined with mirrors.

    But I always felt a little strange. Not because of the women, but because I had to be segregated to be comfortable. I didn’t like that feeling.

    I tend to think visually, so when I first started reading this post, I had this image in my head of all the women being corralled onto the beach with some cowboy waiting nearby to rope one. I don’t know. Maybe it was that ridiculous image of the man with boobs that produced such a silly thought. Or maybe it’s because it’s male-owned.

    I definitely wouldn’t pay to go to one of these places, especially since I’m not into the spa stuff. I’m like Heart. If I want to be sans men, I know where and when to go.

    Posted by Christi Nielsen | July 7, 2007, 3:18 pm
  26. Oh damn, I don’t know if we have any woman-only beaches around where I live — we have tons of lakes, so maybe there’s one I don’t know about. Will investigate….

    I just went to the beach today, and being in Minnesota, guys don’t get up the nerve to actually hit on women as often as in other places I’ve been, but the staring was uncomfortable enough. When a couple of frat-boy types came into our swimming area, I said to my friend, “Katie, let’s move over that way,” gesturing away from them, as though to give them more room (plus there were a couple of middle-aged Italian men in that area ogling us). The hateful look the frat boys gave us was astounding, as though we were somehow OBLIGATED to stay and be subjected to their leering and unwanted attention.

    It makes me so angry, because I love being outside, and I love being in water and just being close to nature, but increasingly I find myself avoiding even taking a walk because I can’t even go two blocks from my house without getting harassed…The other day some worthless loitering shitstain asked me if I was wearing any underwear. (I asked him why the fuck he would say something so fucked up, and his very creative response was, “Fuck you!”) It just makes me so, so angry that men can separate me from the outdoors that I’ve loved my whole life, particularly since I’m exploring Dianic Wicca and other female, earth-centered religions. But I’m afraid to even go for a walk in the woods by myself because the woods around here aren’t completely isolated and are just as full of male harassers as the streets are. So, because of men, I can’t even pursue the religion I love, the religion that’s sustained me through five years of hell and probably saved my life. For me, a woman-only beach run by some misogynist dick isn’t enough. I want a fucking woman-founded, woman-only COUNTRY, and I want it bloody soon.

    Posted by mekhit | July 8, 2007, 6:12 am

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