October 23, 2021

INDAC

Keep Fit & Healthy

We need to talk about how some men are ruining the gym experience for women

4 min read

A certain level of anxiety is normal while attending the gym – especially when starting out. But unfortunately for women, the one space intended to relieve stress and act as a catalyst towards personal health and fitness goals is increasingly becoming a hotspot for ‘boys club’ culture



a person standing in front of a window: Woman in gym


© AFP via Getty Images
Woman in gym

A jaw-dropping 70 per cent of women have experienced a negative interaction in the gym that has left them feeling uncomfortable – at the hands of a man, according to Fitrated. Women have been inclined to accept this as the norm and alter their workout routine accordingly to avoid harassment.



chart, bar chart: How harassment has affected women’s gym experience (Fitrated)


© Provided by Indy 100
How harassment has affected women’s gym experience (Fitrated)

From being watched, unwanted flirtation, mansplaining, being followed, body criticisms, physical contact and sexual harassment, the concerning catalogue of negative experiences have driven women to avoid certain areas of the gym – or quit altogether. What’s worse, this type of behaviour is becoming increasingly normalised with a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude and very few consequences given from the gyms themselves.

It’s even prompted women to work out at unsociable hours and opt for oversized gym garments to disguise the shape of their bodies. These unwanted interactions have had moderate to extreme knock-on effects on more than 1 in 5 women’s long-term fitness goals.

The issue: men sexualising the gym experience. Harassment is not a compliment – nor will it ever be.



chart: How women have dealt with harassment in the gym (Fitrated)


© Provided by Indy 100
How women have dealt with harassment in the gym (Fitrated)

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter The Viral Democracy

indy100 spoke to Emily Williams, the founder of Gym Safe Ladies. Emily has collaborated with The 97 March to form the #LetMeLift movement. Their aim? To end sexual harassment in the fitness industry.

“The gym should be a place of empowerment for women, but instead, they are ogled, secretly photographed, given unsolicited advice, followed and inappropriately touched.

“Not just by fellow members but personal trainers too. Enough is enough.”

Emily has had multiple meetings with some of the biggest fitness chains in the UK, including Pure Gym and The Gym Group in a push to do more against harassment in the gym space. “We want to highlight the issues women are currently facing in our gyms and to push for changes in policies and gym culture”, she said. “We have also been in talks with the Mayor of London’s office, specifically the Violence of Women and girls department, who have been super keen to push change also.”

A look inside the viral all-women gym that has men complaining about ‘segregation’

  • a man holding a sign: Amazon Plans To Hire 125,000 Employees
    Amazon Plans To Hire 125,000 Employees
    Amazon ([email protected]) shared its plans to fill 125,000 roles nationwide at an average of $18 per hour. This is after the e-commerce giant announced it would cover the cost of tuition, including books and fees, for its 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S. The company also plans to add 40,000 corporate and tech roles. Amazon said it had hired 450,000 workers nationwide since the pandemic began. Amazon’s starting pay is $15 per hour, but it said it would offer a $3,000 signing bonus in some locations. Other roles could offer up to $22.50 per hour. In 2021, Amazon opened more than 250 new fulfillment centers, airport hubs, and other facilities in the U.S. It plans to open 100 additional sites in September.

    Indy 100 Logo
    Indy 100

  • a person taking a selfie in a car posing for the camera: 'I was in a state of shock', says woman who found human feces in grocery store
    ‘I was in a state of shock’, says woman who found human feces in grocery store


    Indy 100 Logo
    Indy 100

  • a person standing in the grass: Parents Are Going Out of Their Way To Teach Their Kids About Menstruation Products
    Parents Are Going Out of Their Way To Teach Their Kids About Menstruation Products
    A study for the DivaCup conducted by OnePoll found that parents want to have the “period talk” and handle puberty better than their own parents did. Buzz60’s Johana Restrepo has more.

    Indy 100 Logo
    Indy 100

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Nearly 18 per cent of women feel more comfortable working out at home, while a further 8 per cent would prefer to join a women-only gym.

“Female-only spaces play an important role in building confidence and comfortability for women wanting to learn and train with zero issues”, Emily said – though she doesn’t believe this is the answer, “We personally do not believe this is the answer to eradicating sexual harassment in our gyms and that this issue needs to be faced head-on in order to create safer spaces for women.”

To showcase how real of an issue this is, four women shared their horrific gym ordeals.

One highlighted the lack of accountability from gyms: “A woman had her breasts groped while squatting with 100KG at a branch of the gym group where I used to work. It was caught on CCTV, yet the company took no action. Part of the issue is that the gym is open 24 hours yet totally unstaffed for most of those hours.”

While another shared that some of the gym staff aren’t innocent either: “I see this particular male personal trainer at my gym approach young women and touch them in inappropriate places when he is training them.”

“Men wolf-whistling while women are working out, or men stood in groups at the weights area whispering about myself and other women”, one shared.

While a fourth revealed: “I’ve had my form corrected, outfits commented on (which led to me now wearing big T-shirt’s and leggings – which hasn’t stopped the harassment), followed from machine to machine/around the gym floor with smirks and comments muttered at me under their breath, been asked where I’m from/where I live… all of these comments were continued after asserting myself. And sometimes even from gym staff?”

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

Source Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *