In salons, or at least where I usually go for mani-pedi, women still make up the majority on any given day, but these days there are now men-clients. Their entry don’t fail to cause otherwise droopy heads to snap to attention. Who’s this rose? But I still have to see a gay come in. These men are all straight. Mostly middle-aged.
But, what I want to say is I have yet to feel comfortable with a man’s presence in the salon. Twice, I was having my mani-pedi in a common area with other women when a man came in to avail of the same service. Although he was seated several chairs away from mine and probably didn’t give a shit about the pairs of exposed female legs to his left and right, I did suddenly felt exposed and anxious. But I endured the internal disturbance. My limit however was to be in the same spa room with a man even if there were other women besides. I once went for a facial and saw a man three beds away from where I was supposed to be on. I left without having a facial. I so wanted to throw a tantrum (because I especially woke up early just to have the spa service). If men are allowed entry shouldn’t the establishments at least have separate areas for men and women?
A few months back, in the news, a clamor to have separate bathrooms for gays caught my attention. The men were accused of being homophobes. Human rights activists say it’s a throwback to gains in LGBT equality rights. But, using my own reaction as an example maybe that’s not a fair observation. I mean, I’m not a manhater. It’s more about dealing with personal discomfort.
Digging deeper, I think it has something to do with losing control, that is, control over an unexpected change in privacy rules: men “invading” what traditionally was a women-only space which for the longest time has been privy to sisterhood-only stuff.
Likewise women are not allowed inside men-only clubs and women are not complaining. Shouldn’t the same apply to women-only spaces? But with men being allowed entry, such spaces have started to lose it’s purpose and meaning to women and it’s not about gender. I feel strongly about this.
I’m sure though that if David Beckham were to come in for a mani-pedi, I would’ve gone gaga like the rest and be the first to ask for an autograph but still his presence will feel intrusive. Man, I’m in trouble. I’ve been by myself for far too long. But my point writing this is, maybe spaces for women should be left as that.
What do other women feel when men enter that space? Why do they feel as they do? What do men feel entering that space? What makes them feel as they do? I’d like to make a quick and dirty survey. It just might be my control issues getting out of hand.