news ‘Look at this creep’: Women exposing gym harassment on TikTok | Fitness
Women have long been very wary of unwanted male attention at the gym.
Catching perceived criminals is now a unique sport on TikTok. The woman surreptitiously leaves her cell phone recording and watches the resulting video to see who was staring behind her as she did the squat.
The app has more than 1.9 million views for the ruthless hashtag “gym weirdos” and shows videos of men trying to flirt and flirt with women who just want to get on without worrying about the set. can be
Gina Love is one such TikTok detective. She goes to the gym at least four times a week. This is because a good deadlift increases endorphins and relieves the stress of everyday life.
“Watch this creep come into my personal bubble as I’m doing it. [Romanian deadlifts]” Love wrote in the caption of the encounter she posted on TikTok, which has been liked more than 50,000 times. In the clip, the man stands right behind Love as she lifts a dumbbell before deciding to leave.
Love, 29, who lives in Atlanta, told The Guardian. This usually manifests as the man staring at her for an “uncomfortably long” time. “It’s like they’re trying to undress you in your head,” Love said.
Some might say inappropriate looks and creepy comments are as much a hallmark of female gyms as broken workout equipment and crowds. I found that I felt uncomfortable exercising in public because of Another study from Run Repeat found that 56% of women reported facing harassment while working out.
Ai sometimes leaves the gym when she stares too much. “You feel disgusted and anxious, and your survival instinct kicks in,” she said. “I usually keep my workouts short because I can’t get used to the people I’m around.” I told her that I tried to record it.
Comments on her videos and others posted by women with similar experiences elicit mixed responses. Some commentators agree that gyms feel like predatory spaces.
“It’s not your personal space,” one person wrote in reply to Love’s clip.
Joey Swoll is a male trainer and TikToker who calls himself the CEO of Gym Positive. He frequently reposts these videos with commentary on gym etiquette, exonerating so-called “creeps” or validating the feelings of women upset by his six million Tiktok followers.
Last month, an influencer named Jessica Fernandez posted a video from Jim. She was like “wild, wild, wild, fucking wild.” The man then asked her if she needed help with her weight, but she declined.
Sewall responded to her video, writing: An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim. The video got her over 812,000 likes, and Fernandez eventually apologized for her post. Suwol and Fernandez did not respond to requests for comment.
Why don’t men take care of themselves at the gym? He states that it was an intergendered space. Historically, there have been separate gyms for men and women, and fitness clubs have deliberately held “ladies days.”
“Hearing stories of men glaring at and hitting women in the gym often reminds me that for decades, women exercising was considered a kind of sexy spectacle,” says Petzera. I was.
For example, in June 1972, the first mini-marathon was held in New York. It was televised and hosted by his L’eggs, a sock brand. Playboy Bunnies lined up at the starting line for the race. “As you can see from the footage, some of the men’s spectators were looking sideways instead of cheering for the women,” Petruzela said. Even when second-wave feminism in the 1970s and ’80s encouraged women to enlist in workout classes en masse, late-night hosts were swayed by spandex-clad personalities like Debbie Drake and Jane Fonda. was constantly joking that he was watching twirling around for something “other than exercise” on TV. .
In the 1980s, after coeducational gyms became the norm, a columnist wrote an article about how gyms were the “new singles bar.” It’s the concept that powered the 1985 romantic comedy Perfect, starring John Her Travolta as a perpetually sweaty, ill-fitting reporter. Coach played by Jamie Lee Curtis.
Most gyms today are coeducational, and the idea of a return to women-only workout spaces remains controversial. Last year, Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled that these areas violated state laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender. Nonetheless, certain sections of gyms tend to be informally segregated by gender.
“Women are overrepresented in studios and on cardio equipment, and men are disproportionately flocked to the weight floor,” Petruzella said. Having a greater presence in some of the gyms where it was more prevalent probably means there are more examples of these unwanted advances.
This means that women like Love, who find great joy in working out, have to negotiate their own security whenever they want to go to the gym. “When the gym opens, I encourage people to work out as early as possible,” she said. I keep my clothes discreet — oversized hoodies and hats — because girls can’t wear whatever they want to work out without being harassed. is sad.