The title says it all.
He didn’t have to. Sexual harassment. Ouch. Too harsh?
The reason for the title.
I look around my gym and often see the same thing. It could be just my gym, but I beg to differ. Trainers that lurk on women. Bro intimidation. Comments. Stares. Intrusion of personal space. As if us with the sports bras are in the gym to make new friends and have long conversations.
Trust me, the majority of us are not here for you. We’re here for us. For the improvement of self, mind and body. I truly understand if you don’t get it. How would you know?
As if our monthly payments for our gym memberships didn’t scream loudly enough.
Us with the sports bras have come a long way, and we still have a long way to go.
I look around again. Two of us with the sports bras are in the weight room. I’m happy to see this. Another sports bra watches longingly and instead goes for the cardio machines that welcomes her with open arms. Avoidance. I hope she gets to experience the joy of a good pump one day.
I knowingly go into the “bro space.” There is a guy lifting less than me to my left.
“Do you need help?”
Wait. You never asked him if he needed help, but I must need it right?
Unsolicited gym advice is the best. I personally never felt the need to “train” someone else without proper credentials and you shouldn’t either. If you are a trainer, high five. I’m sure you want to be helpful, but please first ask me if the advice would be welcomed. Otherwise you come off as creepy. Especially when I’m watching you give “advice” only to sports bras. Thank you.
The gym is a different arena for those with a lot less testosterone. We have to overcome the gender bias, misogyny and even sexual harassment at times. More often than not, we are forced to create buddy systems and wear shirts with messages such as “Strong is the new skinny” and “Shut up and lift” so that we’re taken seriously.
Spending hours in the gym is not seen as pleasantry like it is in your world. Instead, it is a recipe for potential unwanted misogynistic and threatening behavior. We carry yet another defense mechanism to the place where we both come to make gainz, have some time for ourselves and escape.
“Mind if I work in with you?”
“Are you using this bench?”
Don’t make eye contact. Continue your set. Let out a grunt. KEEP SWEATING. Gotta get in and get out. This is about me.
Just like what you’re doing is about you.