Fierce

It’s Become The Norm For Women To Feel Unsafe At The Gym And Here’s Why That’s Not Okay

Forgive us for stating the obvious, but women have to go through a lot of bullsh*t. Whether it’s unequal pay in the workplace, discrimination or sexism in the workplace, having to constantly deal with unsolicited advice about our bodies, getting cat-called out on the streets, being slut-shamed or whatever-shamed — women just have to deal with A LOT.

This is not to sound like we’re complaining (even though we have the right to), but it’s exhausting to have to navigate our daily lives this way.

So you can see why it’s even more infuriating that we can’t even feel safe when going to the gym because men always feel entitled to stare at women, try to make passes at women at the gym, or just be downright creepy.

Lately, more women have shared on social media their thoughts about feeling unsafe at the gym and how they cope with these feelings.

Twitter user @clarisa_leona shared on the platform that while she was at the gym, a girl came up to her and pretended to know her, gave her a hug and suggested she play along because she had overheard two men plan on following her to her car. “We need to stick together ladies,” she added in the tweet.

It’s experiences like this that leave a bad taste in a woman’s mouth and almost make us not want to step foot outside because of the fear that men will continue to make us feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

FIERCE also shared the tweet in an Instagram post in August and many women opened up about their own similar experiences. Many women commented that they too had also been approached by a random woman who was simply trying to look out for them at the gym, grocery stores, or just out and about. In some cases, men stood up for these women too.

“When I was pregnant some dude at the grocery kept following me around talking loudly about pregnant porn,” one Instagram user commented. “Two big high school football players in letterman jackets came up and said ‘hey mom, can we go now?’ and walked me out of the store. They told me their dad was also in the store and was making sure we weren’t followed.”

On Twitter, many women are constantly sharing their feelings about men approaching them at the gym or making them feel uncomfortable.

One woman on Twitter wrote that men should mind their own business and “stop staring at women that are just trying to have a regular workout.” Behavior like this makes women feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and men need to learn to just let women live.

Another woman on Twitter reversed the roles and tweeted that she wonders if men who also wear “tight pants” or “muscle tops” feel unsafe at the gym because they might be sending the “wrong sexual message to women.”

Women should be able to wear whatever it is they want when at the gym without feeling sexualized. Point blank.

Twitter user @zul_franchesca said in a tweet that she leaves places “IMMEDIATELY when [she] feels uncomfortable.”

“Never make eye contact and never say a word,” she wrote in the tweet. “I cannot go to the gym without getting looks and smiles. fuck this. I should never have to feel unsafe or scared. be very aware of your surroundings! & not just women!”

Men also go as far as taking photos of women working out at the gym which is downright disgusting and completely wrong.

“Enough is enough…. women should not feel uncomfortable or unsafe leaving their house to do everyday tasks,” Liera Bender wrote on Twitter. This is so true, it’s one thing to stare but to take photos and videos of women at the gym or to follow women around in other public spaces is just not OKAY. In what world is this ever okay?

But alas, the audacity of men is outstanding and we feel like a broken record trying to make our concerns heard.

“No one should have to feel unsafe while just trying to work out,” one Twitter user wrote.

Sometimes it gets so bad for women we even decide to switch gyms because they feel “unsafe” and “very uncomfortable.”

This woman shared on Twitter that she switched gyms because she was tired of dealing with the “same creepy-ass male stares and getting followed around the gym.”

Another Twitter user even shared the importance of being to communicate through sign language to gesture people to help you out if you ever feel uncomfortable at the bar or the gym.

“This is one sign I think everyone, especially women, should know,” the woman on Twitter wrote. “It’s a simple gesture that anyone can do when they’re feeling uncomfortable/unsafe at the bar, gym, etc.”

A woman on Twitter also shared that she has to go as far as asking the manager at the gym to let her know if the “coast is clear” for her to go to the gym.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, it’s not OKAY for women to feel this way. Hold yourself accountable, men,

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Women Are Commiserating About The Predatory Things Men Do To Make Their Internal Alarms Go Off

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Women Are Commiserating About The Predatory Things Men Do To Make Their Internal Alarms Go Off

Toxic masculinity might not always be so easy to report. Sometimes, because of how outlandish, how underhanded it is, we often struggle to report it as women. After all, fears of being too outspoken, or “dramatic,” or sensitive loom large.

Recently women on reddit decided to speak out about the things men do that scare them that men might not often realize.

The responses to the Reddit post were pretty eye-opening and relatable.

“Getting really intense about our relationship/ friendship really early on. A lot of guys turn women into this kind of fantasy thing that’s supposed to make them whole/ help them change or whatever. Sir I am the main character in my own life, not just a supporting one in yours. When you put that pressure on me right away abs without reciprocation, I know that I don’t actually matter, you’ve been taught that women serve you.”- clarkthecatismyguy

“I have gone on a lot of dates in the last few years and every single time the reason for me having doubts and calling things off has been this exact thing. I always feel like the side character in the conversation, while simultaneously carrying the conversation (not always but a lot of the time). A lot of effort with very little pay off. They’ll never ask questions, just waiting for me to react to their ‘wild’ stories and them trying to ‘educate’ me on things they like because I’m so unenlightened. Then after the date, instantly saying they’re very interested in me when they know literally nothing about me, due to not asking a single question about my own interests or life. It’s like… what planet are you on? What do you think you even like about me? You don’t know me.”- OtherSideOfTheTune

“Messages you on a dating app commenting on having found your profile and that they are in the same location as you, they can see you but you can’t see them. I had a guy do this on a fully packed train I was on to go to work. I’m not an anxious person but it felt really uncomfortable.”- elgrn1

“English isn’t my first language so I can’t really generalize this but asking if I need a ride and keep pestering me when I decline.

I used to walk home from school when this old man literally parked his car in front of me while I was crossing a small parking lot and asked if I needed a ride. I lied and said the house at the end of the block was my house. He did it a bunch more times until I had to change my walking route. It was a longer way but I felt safe again.”- Scarlet_B9

“I had to walk the long way to and from school because there were a series of assaults on schoolgirls. It’s so unfair; rapists rape and we’re the ones who have to adjust our behaviour.”- allhailtheboi

“Following you to your car to get your number.

Don’t. Ever. Do. That.”- dadadawn

“A man chased me out of a bar and into the street one night to get my number. I’d like to say that’s the worst part of the story, but it’s not. He wasn’t chasing me to get my number for himself–he was doing it for his friend. They were both in their early 30s.

Literally none of that is okay. Don’t chase people. It’s not cute. I blame romcoms for people failing to see how uncomfortable this makes women.”- RoeRoeRoeYourVote

“I took the light rail from school to home and this one guy decided he was going to sit next to me on a decently empty light rail. I was just minding my own business. He started asking pretty personal questions. I ended up learning he was in a relationship!! (So was I at the time). He literally missed his stop to get off at the same stop as me and wanted to walk me home. I wasn’t comfortable with that for obvious reasons so I told him he can go that way to take the light rail back to his stop because I gotta go this other way, and he wouldn’t leave until I gave him some sort of contact info.

This is only one of many instances I dealt with men going out of their way to make me feel uncomfortable on the street or on public transport, it’s extremely awkward and quite scary while it’s happening since you don’t know who these people are and how they will react if you don’t smile, nod and act friendly until they’re gone and leave you alone.”- katsaurus

“I want to add strangers offering rides. Has happened to me so many times. A guy once watched me walk past his car at a cross walk and when his light turned green he had followed me, like had to do a U turn to get to where I was to offer me a ride. I’m obviously not going to get in a car with a stranger so they’re either stupid or dangerous.”- SailorSpoon11

“I had a mild creeper problem with a guy I worked with. Too vague for me to go to HR about but serious enough that I got a new position in a different lab.

The final day of the job I was leaving, dude showed up while I was testing at our new site, which wasn’t staffed yet and where we didn’t spend much time. 3 story building, nobody else would be there until the next day. He worked night shift and it was maybe 11am. The only way he could have known where I was was if he’d been watching me or if my shift partner had told him, I never found out which.

There was only one door to the lab and he was blocking it. I thought he was there to kill me. He’s 6’4″ and I’m just under 5’3″.

He congratulated me on my new job and then left a “goodbye gift”. It was the gift he got from me from the office secret Santa, nine months earlier, which he had not unwrapped, and had then wrapped again, to look like a different gift.

Then he left and I used the lab phone to call first my husband and then an off duty coworker I trusted and told them exactly what happened in case I didn’t make it home, then called the south site security guard to escort me to my car. I still didn’t call HR because the guy knew where I lived. I went to my new job and he didn’t talk to me again and I was never on site alone again.

I had a lot of nightmares about it and I still panic if someone blocks a door.”- techlabtech

While talking online and I say “I don’t know about meeting up” and their response is “You are more likely to be raped by someone you actually know in person”

Yup… Not meeting up now.”- curious-lycanthrope

“I’ve been approached several times in public by random men who say they want to be friends with me. One leaned in really close to have a conversation and asked me where I was from and where I live. Another grabbed my hands and remarked on how soft my skin is. Another one literally locked arms with me and dragged me to a coffee shop to “get to know me” and then later told me to come with him to a more private place for a view of the city. I weakly joke about it sometimes but in the moment it really does make me nervous. I don’t know if I just look really unimposing (I’m an Asian woman but I’m taller than average?) but I’m not sure why it happens. Regardless, please don’t just grab random women, even out of friendliness, and respect personal space.”- kerbula

“Asian woman here too. This happened to me a lot in NYC. A few times I got so sick of it I’d scream at them in the middle of the street and make a scene. They usually skitter away immediately. I hate to do that, but it’s just infuriating.”- foodsexreddit

“It’s so creepy. Most recent time that happened I was just taking a walk by myself to unwind from confinement and this dude just catches up with me and says he want to be my friend, just asking a bunch of personal questions and wanting to know exactly where I live. Eventually I told him I’m married and he said “oh I just want to be friends”. I was originally gonna go the same way he was going but ended up taking a different path.”- naughtydismutase

“I’m a bartender, and it’s amazing how tactless people can be as they get drunker. They just want to keep me by them by asking me question after question, so I have to cross the line into being rude if I want to put a stop to it. Sometimes, people come up with actually some pretty silly things to ask me, and it can be fun to engage them. But I absolutely HATE:

  1. is this your only job? Where else do you work?
  2. do you live close to here?
  3. oh you’re closing huh? When do you usually get out of here?
  4. when do you work next? Do you normally work on this day of the week?
  5. what are you doing after this?

I don’t think ppl always realize how they sound when they ask me these questions but I’ve honestly been asked them so much its ridiculous. And honestly, threatening undertones aside, they’re the most utterly boring questions you could ask someone. The worst of the worst of small talk. How some men manage to be both unnerving and bore me to tears at the same time is utterly fascinating.”- FudgeJudy4booty

“Or following me to do it. I’ve had several guys stop me in the street and explain they saw me 5 blocks back and have followed me all that way to talk to me. I guess they think it’s a compliment they were that committed to come after me. For me it’s terrifying and unhinged.”- Own-Bridge4210

“The maintenance guy at a condo I now rent out still thinks I’m a rude bitch for not wanting to talk to him first time we met, which was me alone walking a puppy at a park across the street from the condos. Never properly introduced himself or anything, just starts asking me if I’m new and which unit I moved into.

Alarm bells were flying off in my head at this guy who was clearly over 20yrs my senior asking where exactly I live and then he got extremely butthurt over me ignoring him and walking away.”- Ixi7311

“Any time someone tries really hard to convince me he’s a “nice guy”. Every guy I’ve met that desperately brings it up every chance he gets isn’t usually very nice. It always makes me wonder what are they trying to hide? Like why do I have to think you’re nice? Prove it with your actions, don’t tell me repeatedly.”- ElectricPinkMango

“I had a taxi driver hit on me, question me about my love life and ask for my number. I was literally locked in a moving vehicle with the guy, how are you supposed to feel safe saying no?! Luckily, I think he was just a nice clueless guy so I felt safe enough to negotiate and take his number instead of giving mine out.”- ineedapostrophes

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4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

Things That Matter

4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

A mother living in the United Kingdom is enduring a “hellstorm of grief” following the tragic death of her 4-year-old daughter. Just days after welcoming her twin daughters, Elise Thorpe was forced to learn of her daughter Freya’s shocking death after she climbed a tree near her home in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire.

Just before her death, Freya was wearing a bicycle helmet when she went for her tree clim.

Freya slipped and began to fall off of the tree when her helmet strap caught on to a branch.

Elisa Thorpe is speaking out about the incident which took place in September 2019 despite efforts to resuscitate her daughter by emergency responders. According to Yahoo, “An inquest into her death in January 2020 ruled that she ‘potentially slipped’ and her helmet caught on a branch, causing the helmet strap to become ‘tight against her throat.’ She died in hospital two days later.”

Speaking about the incident Elise told The Sun “We live every day and night in hell, torture, sheer shock, and grief that can’t be comprehended.”

Elise told South West News Service that she and her husband “were on cloud nine after the long-awaited arrival and difficult pregnancy” of their twins Kiera and Zack. Speaking about the grief she experienced, Elise said that she would have taken her own life had it not been for the birth of her children.

Recalling the day of Freya’s death, Elise explained that her little girl had gone for a playdate.

“In the early afternoon, Daddy had to go off to collect the special milk from Boots pharmacy in Cowley for the twins, as they were allergic to cow’s milk,” Elise Thorpe explained about how her daughter had been invited to play at a house just a 10-second walk away.

Freya had gone outside without her mother knowing.

“I had a gut feeling I wanted her home. Shortly after, I saw an ambulance at the end of the road – I panicked, at the time not knowing why I was panicking,” Elise told SWNS. “I called my husband to say I was going to get her back from the house behind. He said, ‘No, I’m five minutes away, stay with the babies.’”

“I saw his car go past and not return from the little cul-de-sac. I knew something was wrong,” she went onto explain. After spotting her husband speaking with a firefighter, Elise “grabbed the twins and rushed to a cordoned area where she saw first responders working desperately on Freya.”

After two days of waiting at John Radcliffe Hospital, the Thorpe family learned Freya could not be saved.

“I never stepped foot inside my home again. This is something I also lost and miss to this day — my home,” Elise went onto say. “Had I not given birth only 10 days before we would have taken our lives in the hospital that night, without a shadow of a doubt… We have had so much support over the last 18 months and we can’t tell you all how much that’s helped us through and for that I can never thank everyone enough for the support, kind words and donations – even from those we’ve never met.”

“But we’ve also experienced scrutiny and abuse from people who’ve asked, ‘Where were the parents? How could they let her out alone?’” she added sadly. “It has caused family rifts from relatives and judgment all because people didn’t know Freya wasn’t in our care when this happened.”

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