A man kept pushing his groin against me when I was on the bus. While hiking and climbing up a ladder, a man above me pulled out his phone and tried to take a photo down my shirt. While walking down the road, because I glared at a man that was trying stare at my bum, he spat at me. While getting out of an elevator with only men in, one man started barking at me and the other men supported him. When I told a man at work that I was in a relationship to get him to back off, he told me that because it was long distance I should still sleep with him. When I spoke to my HR manager about the sexual harassment that was occurring regularly, they informed me that an email would go out to everyone about it and it would be discussed with all the staff. No email was ever said, or if it was, no department discussed it with the workers. When I went to the gym as a minor, men would adjust themselves to better positions to watch me exercise.
I was at the gym squatting when a guy I had never seen before deemed that I needed help. I didn’t. He came mid-set to ‘spot’ me, literally hugging me from behind as I was lowering down. After that rep I stopped, pretended I was done, and left the gym. This was 5 years ago. What bothers me to this day is not slapping that MF instead of cutting my workout short and leaving.
I am woman and I don´t shave my legs, not even in summer! Because I don´t like it, I prefer my legs with hair, I don´t want to take that much time to shave them and because it´s my fucking decision. And I hate how, not only men but also women, find it weird or unhygienic. Like hello?? Men don´t shave and it´s perfectly fine, so why is my hair unhygienic and theirs okay or even sexy??
At a house party last night, I was participating in a chat about soreness and injuries from the gym. (So it happened that I was the only woman in this group). I mentioned I related to these problems and only performed particular exercises with someone to spot me. In response, one guy shifted the conversation to bluntly asking me how much I squat or bench press. I disregarded it, saying lightheartedly that I didn’t want to share, but he kept asking repeatedly, demanding an answer. He laughed loudly, *do you even put any weights on the bar?*… I casually pointed out it was sexist, that he wasn’t saying that to any of the guys, and I just didn’t wish to share my personal fitness progress with a group of guys at a party. Of course, I got laughed off. It’s not the first time a woman was expected to be weak. Judged for what she does with her body. Expected to share numbers regarding her body. Laughed at for not wanting to share them. Disrespected when saying “no.” But I sure as hell won’t be having it because I’m a woman, and we are strong if we only decide to be.
I’m 54 and a woman. I’m also a decent power lifter-elite standard for my weight. When I’m in the gym with my (young, male) training partner everyone gets out of our way, it’s nothing but respect. When I’m on my own, which is most days and I ask to share a lifting station with a man I’m frequently turned down, or I find that the equipment I need to use has been moved and not put back. I get stared at, and it’s not friendly, it varies from ‘I can’t believe she can do that’ to ‘I want her to leave’. Or there’s the questions-both to me and to my husband about who wear the trousers (obviously we both do, also shorts). I’ve been told the weights section of the gym is ‘for men’ and that ‘proper girls only come to the gym to make their arses bigger’. As far as I’m aware I can lift and press more than any other person, male or female in the place and yet every day I go in to train alone I’m made to feel like I don’t deserve to be there. I do all I can to encourage and support the other women who come in, but in spite of the fact I hardly have bulging muscles I have been told, by other women that weight training will make them bulky and unattractive to men-something which is untrue. Most days it’s all fine with me, some days, like today I just hate it. Why does everyone want women to be weak, quiet and decorative? Being strong in body feels great! But it’s a joy being denied to women because of an outright lie.
I’ve grown quit used to being stared at and hearing conversations from males about what they wish they could do to me. I have two stories that quit bug me but I feel I can’t share with my friends. Keep in mind at the time I was 13. I was in school getting my stuff out of my locker and some guys in my grade walked up to me. I was on my knees because my locker was on the bottom. The guys weren’t to close to me but I could hear them quite clearly. One of the boys said I wish she was on her knees like that for me and they all laughed. I ignored it and kept getting my stuff. Then one off the boys approached me. I couldn’t stand up because he was leaning over me. I’m quite short but even if I had stood up he was leaning over me so far I would of hit him. He said my full name which I never tell anyone and continued to tell me how “hot” I was. I was getting very uncomfortable so I asked him to please step away and give me my space he did and without having all my stuff I got up and left. Then a few weeks later I was walking in the hallway. I was the only girl there so I knew they where referring to me. The same guys where behind me and I heard one of them explaining how hot and “fine” I was. Nothing else happened but even the male teacher standing by heard and ignored it. My next story takes place at the gym about two days later. I’m a cheerleader and was working on my dance in the studio. The studio walls are made of tinted glass so you could clearly see in. There was a man on a machine watching me while I was working out. I was wearing a sports bra and some spandex and he kept staring. I was getting uncomfortable because the man was at least 20 years older than me. He then proceeded to take out his phone and film me. I got up and left the studio and while I was walking away he cat called me. I got very uncomfortable and left as soon as I could. I know my story isn’t as bad as others but it happened and with this website I hope we can share awareness about this stuff.
Guy at the gym, if you ask to share the machine with me, then notice I’m lifting more than you and feel embarrassed about it, don’t then proceed to give me a lecture about how I need to reduce the weight. I’m probably only lifting more than you because I’ve been doing it longer and I’m pushing to my maximum. This works for me and has seen me quadruple what I can lift in a year. It’s still not that much and you will get to lift more than me soon, because you are male and that gives you a natural physical advantage, but until then try not to be a twat. Despite Einstein’s laws of relativity, making random women you descend upon in the weights room lift lighter won’t make you lift any heavier. I don’t go to the gym to perform emotional labour and to sabotage my own progress for the sake of random dudes who can’t bear to think of women being able to do more than them, so kindly let me get on with my workout in peace. Instead, concentrate on your weightlifting and you will progress, as I have – although I would suggest that if you’re doing it to make yourself feel more important than people without muscles, you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons and a course of therapy might serve you better instead. Thanks.
I was taking my A levels at sixth form college, on this day I was lifting weights at the gym on campus. I went outside to get some water when this PE teacher who taught at the college said that “little girls shouldn’t lift weights”, I considered replying with “neither should old men” but I decided to ignore him and continue my weight training.
I was at the gym, nearing the end if my workout so heading to the mats to stretch. I have my headphones on still, but a man comes over from the other side of the gym and justiculates at the mat and I catch ‘scuse me love’and not the rest. He stands infront of me on the mat. I remove headphones. Question what hes doing. Him:’I need to finishes my reps here. ‘ Me:(confuses face) excuse me? HIM: I said I need to finish my reps here. Me: (still confused) Him: (gesticulates to the mats again) I’m doing my reps here. Me:(noticing there are two large mats free) Isnt there room for everyone?) Him: I’m just being polite and saying can I finish my reps here? Me:(still confused but,)aright get on with it then. Him: you need to move your stuff (my jumper and water) I pick it up and stand watching as he proceeds to lie the wrong way across the mats taking up two sections and continues his work out , like it was more important than mine. I watch over him unimpressed and scowling) until he finishes.
I have always felt uncomfortable at the gym. It is embarrassing and I have overcome this fear to change my body.Just as I was becoming okay with the uncomfortable feeling of being that vulnerable in front of others, a male came up to me as I finished my workout.He told me how he “enjoyed watching me stretch.” And I was mortified. I ran off into the locker room and cried.I felt so vulnerable and gross. All the progress of telling myself that “guys were not looking,” was lost. But I decided that he didn’t deserve to make me feel that way. I got myself together and walked out of that locker room and confronted him. I let him know why that was not okay and if he is watching someone he should never tell them. I never felt so constructive. He even listened. Well he tried to, I felt constructive till he tried complimenting me after this confrontation. Oh well, it was the beginning.