A Friendly PSA To Men At The Gym

Okay, I’ve been unsure about how to write this post because I don’t want to come off as an angry ranting feminist, but sometimes things just have to be said. 

See I’ve had a number of frustrating situations recently, most of them in the gym, where men have given me unwanted attention and completely ignored my not so subtle indications that they are unwelcome. Now, and I hate that I even have to say this, I know it’s not all men. Most men exercise by themselves, enjoying the excellent feeling of pumping hard muscle or running to their hearts content. 

But sometimes, in their testosterone fuelled sessions, some men don’t seem to know how to treat their female counterparts and, so for the sake of our sanity, I just wanted to spell out how not to behave:

Telling my friend to correct my form: Hey, Mr. Muscle, if you notice that my form is a little off, the way to approach this is not tapping my male friend next to me and pointing out where I’m going wrong (in that irritatingly patronising ‘we know better because we’re men way’). The way to do it is how your nice friend with the glasses did: very politely ask if you can help, and then when I say yes proceed to show me a better way to exercise. The latter is much appreciated, the former is incredibly unwelcome.

Telling me what I should do: Somewhat related to the above, if I’m in the gym I’m doing it for myself. That means that if I’m on the treadmill, that’s because I think cardio is what I need today. I didn’t ask you if you think I should be doing weights, I’m very happy here thank you very much. If I’m not pushing myself hard it’s because I don’t feel like it today, and that’s on me. I don’t need you to tell me to run harder, I certainly don’t want you to. You do you, and I’ll do me, okay?

Asking me out: I really, really wish I didn’t have to say this, but when I’m at the gym I’m not exactly there to make friends, and I’m certainly not there to get a date. Phrasing it as an unavoidable option is even worse: “so when are we going to get coffee?” is most likely going to be followed by the reply “never”. I don’t want you interrupting me in the middle of a session, just in the hopes you can get a date with me. 

As I say, I’m sorry I even have to write this post. But I couldn’t not - the truth behind ranting feminists is that we (unsurprisingly) have something to rant about. So please take your patronising attitudes elsewhere, and let a woman exercise in peace. 

Oh the plus side, the rage induced by these experiences made for a great workout. But seriously, stop. 

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- Camera used: Canon EOS M with 18-55mm lens -