RESPECTIN' THE LADIES

It’s Time To Drop “Fag Hag” And Start Using “Gabe” (Gay + Babe)

“Fag hag” refers to a woman who hangs predominantly with gay men. But most of our close female friends would kill us if they knew we regularly referred to them as “hags” and a lot of our gay male friends don’t like being called “fags” either. So what’s a boy to call his go-to-girl? Gawker’s Bryan Moylan has an idea!

First, here’s Moylan’s beef with the word “fag hag”:

“… it’s degrading to women by calling them “hags” and, if you’ve spent any time with the women who hang around gays in New York you’ll know that they are often more attractive and well put together than the average lady.

“Also, it refers to their gay friends as “fags” something we wouldn’t even tolerate if Liza Minnelli called us that (maybe Judy, but not Liza!). When we toss it around to each other, that’s kind of OK, but… (straight) Americans… are using [“fag hag” too, so] maybe we need something with a better message…”

Hag” also carries a negative connotation of ugliness and desperation (ie. “the hag can’t get a real boyfriend, that’s why she hangs out with fags”). But the problem, as Moylan points out, is that all the alternatives for “fag hag” suck:

“Most people fight for ‘fruit fly,’ but… a fly is also a pest, a nuisance. The girls that hang around with predominantly gay men usually aren’t that at all…

Sometimes gay guys will call their female companions “an honorary gay man” since they’ve spent about as much time as actual gay dudes scoping out bulges at gay bars. One gay friend once scolded me for having to find any word at all for my female friend. He said, “Why don’t you just call her your friend? Why do you have to label everything?” To which I said, “Shut up, stewpid.”

Being slightly more sophisticated in this matter than I, Moylan prefers the new word suggested by his colleague, Jezebel writer Anna North. The word is “gabe”—a combination of “gay” and “babe” that is infinitely more flattering than “fag hag.”

But some people could argue that by calling women “babes,” we seek to infantalize them, treating them as if they are somehow less mature or powerless without the care of gay adult men. In fact, it’s often the other way around, with the woman in a group of gay guys providing a supportive core for her fellas.

But that logical argument leaves us yet again without a suitable synonym for “fag hag.” So I will simply respond to it by saying, “Shut up, stewpid,” and leaving the floor open for any better suggestions.

Image via Tri3vid