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,