The collective gay hive mind has given all sorts of crap to people who use the f-word (as in "fag"), like Brett Ratner and Kobe Bryant, but even gay men walk around calling our closest female friends "fag hags." Well, it's time for an alternative.

I've been doing the same thing, walking around talking about and bitching about "fag hags" for years. I even called Kelly Ripa a "celebrity fag hag" yesterday. I figured if the girls called themselves that and the guys called themselves that, what's the big deal? After Gawker commenters raised some concerns, I actually thought about it. First, 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 it's taken on a life of its own. Like so many other terms that once you would only hear in Chelsea or West Hollywood, "fag hag" has gotten into the mainstream, so if average (read:straight) Americans out there are using it, maybe we need something with a better message.

The problem is the alternatives all suck. Most people fight for "fruit fly," but it is so cutesy and silly and stupid. And, just like a flock of screeching bachelorettes in a gay strip club, a fly is also a pest, a nuisance. The girls that hang around with predominantly gay men usually aren't that at all. I also hate the girls who are all "my gays" or "my best gay" like their friend is some sort of accessory, like he's some bedazzled Prada purse who you take shopping and, every time you come out of the dressing room shouts, "Werq, hunty!" (Gay to English translation: You look wonderful, my friend.)

One could argue that as gays are more accepted in the mainstream and people hang out with all sorts of people of all sorts of orientations, maybe we should retire the concept altogether. A woman who hangs around with gay men is just that, a "woman." But the F in a group of M4Ms is still a common occurrence, a wonderful phenomenon, and if people are going to need a name for her, we should at least have some control over it.

But what should it be? My Jezebelian colleague, Anna North (no stranger to nights out with a cadre of homosexuals) suggests "gabe," a portmanteau of "gay" and "babe." I like that! She also points out that Gabe is probably the name of the closeted boy every girl-who-loves-boys-who-loves-boys dated in high school, so that might be a little weird. I also like "Tori," in honor of "fag hag" extraordinare and costar of Trick Tori Spelling (and also gay icon Tori Amos), but that might get confused with a conservative British politician, or, you know, girls actually named Tori. But wouldn't it be funny to rebrand Tory so that when you say it out loud, Brits don't know if you mean a right-winger or a gay-loving lady? It's like a whole new Santorum!

What do you guys think the new term should be? Leave your suggestions in the comments, and I'll collect the best ones and we'll have a poll to decide on the new name for some of our favorite ladies. We don't have such great success with developing words to replace "douchebag" or "hipster" but maybe, unlike "fetch," this will be the one that happens.

It's up to you, guys (and girls) (and gays).

[Image via Getty]