Women encountering toxic masculinity at gyms is a growing problem with many females now choosing to avoid them altogether or having to go at quieter times, as one gym-goer showed on social media
A woman getting on with her gym routine and minding her own business has recounted on social media how a man came up and harassed her about the time she was taking on one of the machines. Taking to TikTok, the women, called Leese, said that she was doing her normal workout routine when the man approached her and kept asking her how long she would be.
She said that the man complained to her that he “doesn’t appreciate being ‘inconvenienced’ by people who aren’t even lifting serious weights “. Leese said she was shocked that someone would be so rude but as the gym-goer was going to reply, another man who had heard the disrespectful comment approached the man and said: “Don’t you ever speak to anyone at the gym like that again.”
In the video, Leese describes the man’s approach as a “d*** move”: “I was using one of the machines and he kept asking me, would I be long and I said nope…” She then went on to describe how she told the rude guy that she only had two more sets of 10 left before she would be done and he could use the piece of equipment, though his response left Leese feeling “shocked”.
“And he just said that he doesn’t appreciate being ‘inconvenienced’ by people who aren’t even lifting serious weights,” she said. “And I was like ‘excuse me?’ And I was actually really shocked that people would say that but yeah,” she said, ending the clip. However, the online community were right behind her and praised the man who had intervened, with one TikToker saying: “Bravo to the man who said something… Joey Swoll would be proud. Don’t take it personal, keep doing you,” referencing Swoll, a fellow TikToker.
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Leese responded to the comment writing: “I’m really grateful to the other guy saying something. It was kind of him and made me feel safe. “Another user added: “I hope you told reception! That’s not acceptable. Everyone is there to improve themselves,” while a third commented: “C*** energy one man’s behalf, slay energy on second man.”
Others also stated that they would come and join the TikToker as backup with a user named Ash writing: “Well now I’m doing 10 extra sets on the lightest weight possible. Parking myself here now bud.” Leese told other users that she had, in fact, told staff at the facility and added that they were really understanding about the issue and vowed to deal with it.
The Guardian reported that a 2021 study found that 76 percent of women feel uncomfortable in gyms, with many being male-dominated spaces, while a survey from Run Repeat also found that almost 56 percent of women said they had faced harassment during their workouts, according to Women’s Health.