Many people enjoy going to the gym to workout and relieve some stress. Most consider it a safe place, but for some, especially women, the gym can be a terrifying and uncomfortable environment.
Women who are trying to work out in peace are often harassed at the gym by men. Men will try and start unwanted conversations with women in the middle of their workout. Some will even go as far as to film girls without their consent. This has led to many women feeling like they can’t work out in a safe space without feeling violated.
Talk has begun about opening more gyms designed specifically for women. These gyms would accommodate women and help create a comfortable environment where they can work out without worrying about men’s comments and actions.
“In my opinion, a women’s only gym is a great idea and I would not hesitate to apply for membership. A lot of women who I know that usually work out in gyms have had at least one unpleasant encounter with a man sexualizing their body. Although I don’t work out at the gym, and instead go running on the street area around my neighborhood, I have been catcalled multiple times. I remember I was walking to where I usually run, and there were two men in a truck, driving behind me. Just as they passed by me, they honked the car horn numerous times as well as making whistling noises. It made me feel unsafe, even though I followed the “normal procedures” when working out (not wearing anything too tight or revealing) to prevent any creepy interactions. Overall, I believe that a women’s only gym is a great idea to prevent any further harassment and/or sexualization towards women by men,” says Chloe Le (12).
Obviously, not all men harass women at the gym but more and more of these types of scenarios are occurring daily.
While more women-only gyms continue to open up, the best advice I can give going to coed gyms is to bring a gym partner (someone you trust) to accompany you. Both can keep each other safe while working out and it can give you the reassurance you need that everything is going to be okay.
Not only do women experience this, but also men can be harassed during their workouts. Everyone should be given the opportunity to be able to finish a workout in peace.
At a women’s gym, the equipment, as well as the workout classes, will be specifically designed for the female body. Women’s Fitness provides more information on the benefits of an all-women’s gym. Women will be able to feel comfortable in their bodies while they work out because the gym will be full of females. The worry of men making sexual comments or spiking up unnecessary conversations will be eliminated.
Although these incidents can occur in an all-women’s gym, they will hopefully be limited.