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,

An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

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An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

Twitter

A West Geauga High School teacher in Ohio is being investigated for using a racist image in class. The teacher showed students a meme of Dora the Explorer portrayed as an undocumented immigrant during an 11th-grade Advanced Placement government class. 

Multiple parents called the school district to express outrage and vented about the incident on social media. Some parents even pointed out that besides being offensive the information the photo was supposed to convey was inaccurate, according to Fox 8

The teacher was put on leave pending an investigation but eventually reinstated by the superintendent. 

An Ohio teacher uses a racist meme about Dora the Explorer to discuss voter eligibility.

The teacher used two photos to demonstrate voter ineligibility. One showed the mugshot of an alt-right man with a felon, the other showed Dora the Explorer with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “resisting arrest.” One of the upset parents, Stephanie Anderson, expressed that the lesson was inaccurate according to Fox 8. Anderson noted that undocumented citizens would obviously not be allowed to vote so listing their charges would be pointless. However, the offenses that are listed are not felons but misdemeanors. 

“I was outraged,” said Anderson, “Whether this teacher intended it to be a joke, something he found online it’s simply inappropriate and outrageous.”

“Seeing that white supremacist juxtaposed with a brown-skinned child who has a superimposed black eye, blood coming from her mouth with the offense of illegal border crossing and resisting arrest combined with 666 666666 is 100% inappropriate,” she said. “There are so many other more appropriate ways to get your point across.”

The Superintendent released a statement to parents. 

“We are investigating the matter related to the politically-insensitive slides allegedly contained in a teacher’s classroom presentation today. The teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation,” Superintendent Richard Markwardt, Ph. D wrote in a statement to parents. 

While the teacher was put on leave, Anderson was hopeful that the entire district understood the gravity of the situation. The mother, whose son was in the class, believes the classroom is not a place for a teacher to impose their personal political beliefs. 

“It’s not okay for either extreme,” said Anderson, “So whether you are very liberal or very conservative at either end of the spectrum, imparting your views on your students in a non-educationally beneficial way is unacceptable.”

The Washington Post followed up on the story and found that Markwardt had already finished investigating. He told the paper he recognized the inappropriateness of the imagery but didn’t think the teacher had any ill will and refused to terminate them. 

“I will not use what I regard as a lapse of judgment as the reason to damage the career of a good teacher,” Markwardt said. “That would be following one mistake with another.”

Anderson told the Washington Post that the school district has struggled with addressing diversity and inclusivity, but that she was satisfied with the school’s response. 

“I genuinely believe they’re taking measurable steps to ensure all the students in the district can come to school in an environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination,” Anderson said.

Markwardt said some individual staff members may require diversity training, but the district overall will continue to focus on the matter. 

“I perceive the use of the objectionable image as symptomatic of a general lack of attention to the diversity of individuals in a largely homogeneous school district,” he said.

The Dora meme is a decade old and you can thank Arizona SB 1070 for that. 

According to the BBC, the Dora meme first appeared in 2009 in response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s SB 1070 Bill, which would propose the strictest immigration laws in the country. The bill that allowed law enforcement to demand documentation from anyone they thought “looked” undocumented and made it illegal to be caught without papers would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. The meme was used to illustrate the effects of the law, which some members of the right championed. 

University of Cincinnati sociology professor Erynn Masi de Casanova told the Washington Post that using a meme in like this in class can legitimize and trivialize the real lives of Latinxs. 

“Because Dora is what I call a ‘generic Latina’ stereotype, a fictional character without any identifiable national origin, people may feel comfortable projecting their ideas about Latinos onto her,” Casanova said.

However, Casanova did point out one silver lining to the disturbing incident. 

“It is heartening to me that students and parents were disturbed by this image that dehumanizes and makes light of immigrants’ struggles,” she said. “It seems they are learning something about empathy in spite of this teacher’s efforts to discourage it.”

A Mother Discovered Videos Of Her Missing 15-Year-Old Daughter On The Adult Site PornHub

Fierce

A Mother Discovered Videos Of Her Missing 15-Year-Old Daughter On The Adult Site PornHub

FTND / Twitter

A Florida man was arrested following a mother’s discovery of videos that show him and her 15-year-old daughter, who had been missing for a year, engaging in sexual acts, police say. 

According to NBC, 30-year-old Christopher Johnson was taken into police custody and charged with lewd and lascivious battery of a child under 16. Authorities also found the girl with him in the car where Johnson was apprehended. The girl was reported missing in December 2018 after leaving her home in Sunrise, Florida at around 3 AM. 

Police were unable to track down the girl until her mother contacted authorities with a tip after discovering sexually explicit images and videoes of the missing teen on Porhub, SnapChat and Periscope. 

The teen was spotted two months after she was missing, but the lead went nowhere.

The girl was seen at a convenience store with two men according to a tip police received in February. Surveillance video showed the teenager covering her face and after realizing the store clerk recognized her. The clerk told police that she and the two men left in a black Dodge Challenger. However, without the license plate they couldn’t find the vehicle. 

Only now did authorities discover that one of the two men at the store with her was Johnson. 

The girl’s mother sends in a second tip to the police.  

A Davie Police affidavit indicated the mother contacted authorities on September 3 regarding the discovery of images of her daughter. In the videos, the teen performs sexual acts with two adult males. Around 58 videos of the 15-year-old girl were shared online. 

During the investigation, police determined that Johnson was one of the males involved in the videos. 

Police track down Christopher Johnson.

After getting a license plate for the black Dodge Challenger when it was spotted at a different store in the area, police were able to trace it back to Johnson. Authorities began to keep Johnson’s apartment under close surveillance before making the arrest. 

“Surveillance was conducted on this address by several detectives,” the police department said. 

Police then apprehended Johnson when she and the girl were getting into the car. Johnson denied having sex with the girl. However, according to FOX 32,  Detective Adam Granit wrote in his police report, “the victim stated that she got pregnant from the defendant and he took her to the clinic to have an abortion.”

According to NBC, during a search of Johnson’s apartment detectives uncovered paperwork from an abortion clinic. The girl, whose identity is anonymous because she is a minor, told authorities that all of the sexual videos were filmed on her cellphone in Johnson’s apartment. She also told police that Johnson got her pregnant and took her to an abortion clinic to terminate the pregnancy. 

Johnson is being held on a $75,000 in Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale. 

Many of the women in crowdsourced pornography websites are sex trafficked. 

According to Fight The New Drug, the United States is a major source of sex trafficking in the world. Anyone who watches pornography on a website with user-generated content has probably seen a victim of sex trafficking. 

“Sometimes, pornographic images and videos are fringe “products” from victims being sold for sex. Sometimes, recruiters specifically use force, fraud, or coercion to ensnare vulnerable or unsuspecting people into performing sex acts on camera.” 

According to Rescue:Freedom, in the nine countries surveyed, 49 percent of sexually exploited women say pornographic videos of them were made while they were being sold for sex.

Just this month the owners of the website GirlsDoPorn were charged with sex trafficking by the FBI after discovering the men tricked women into appearing in pornographic videos. The website made $17 million off of the scheme. Many of the victims’ videos were also discovered on PornHub. 

The owners used a bait and switch method of promising college students they would do modeling only form them to discover the modeling gig was pornography. 

“They agreed to participate anyway, federal authorities claim in court documents, because of a promise that the videos were being created exclusively for private collectors or DVDs sold abroad and would never be posted online,” according to the Washington Post.

“The women say they were horrified to find out their shoots were online; many were harassed or ostracized as a result. At least one was disowned by her family, according to the FBI.”

However, the FBI discovered that it was a lie. Moreover, the women were often coerced threatened with legal action if they didn’t perform sexual acts, were prevented from leaving the shoots, and sometimes forcibly sexual assaulted.  Thus, one mother’s discovery highlights a damning truth about pornographic websites.