Guys Hill

There are men in this world – far too many of them, in fact – who complain about feminism. About nearly every aspect of it, but none moreso than about women’s only spaces. (Far too few of them are childless, alas.) In Melbourne, at least, these men can be told to put up or shut up – for there is a space set aside just for that kind of man. For that guy, and all his mates.

The aptly named Guys Hill was originally founded as a reservation for the male of the species by the nascent suffragette movement (who apparently envisioned a matriarchal future in which men would be kept more or less as pets and sources of breeding materials) of Melbourne. The whole process was undertaken with a degree of secrecy, as a part of the planning for the suffragette-led female revolution that was apparently just around the corner at the time.

The plans for this revolution and the sanctuary were put on hold by what was actually just around the corner, a tiny deviation in the plan called World War One, and then more or less lost in the deaths resulting from the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1919-1920. The area was at that time called variously Menshill or Maleshill, although most locals remained ignorant of why it was so called, believing that it was named after some early settler or other.

In the 1960s, the idea was dusted off and renamed (although the intention remained more or less the same – some of the more extreme lesbian separatist groups proposed the use of the site for labour camps, as a final solution to the male question, but cooler heads prevailed), but little progress was made, largely because the land had been sold off in the meantime. The new name stuck (although locals now believe the area to have been named for an early settler named either Guy Male or Guy Men), but aside from a few Goddess rituals intended to make the area attract guys, the idea never really went anywhere. Still, it remains a metaphorical capper to any argument about single gender spaces, and even today, no Melbournian woman in her right mind would set foot there voluntarily.

Suburbs near Guys Hill: