Recently I was asked what I do for a living and when I responded the guy said “that’s hot”. It’s not the first time I’ve had that response. I’ve also been told that my job is “sexy”. Other times men have invited me to come watch them workout or I have been asked if I want them to “show me a thing or two”. Now, watching some of the media coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics I think I am starting to see the wider picture of where this comes from.
Before anyone gets their boxers in a wad I will put forward that I am not a ‘man-hater’. It’s sad really that I even feel I have to make that concession just to comfortably express my opinion on the sexist treatment of women in sports and fitness, but you see some men are sensitive #mensofragile
My male counterparts are assumed to be knowledgeable and treated like professionals, whereas, often I feel I am treated as a novelty act. Isn’t that cute…she lifts weights! So I feel there is something I have to get across here:
I do not do this for you. I do not get up at 5 am every morning and make my way down to the gym so that I can be “sexy” or “hot” or be any form of entertainment to you.
I do not do squats or pushups or chinups so that I look good to you. I do not run, cycle or swim so that I fit into clothes for you. I do not lift weights, progressively heavier and heavier, for your amusement. I do nothing with you in mind at all. This is not to say that I don’t want to be attractive. It is to say that my standard for attractiveness is not a bar set by anyone but myself. It is to say that my workouts are my workouts. They are for my health. They are so that I feel stronger, healthier and happier each and every day. They are so that I can aspire to greater adventures. They are so that I can fulfill my own desires to do more in life with less restrictions. They are so that I can look myself in the eye at the end of each and every day and know that I did my best for me.
They are my power.
And I work in this industry so that I can be a champion for anyone else wanting to carve their own wellness journey. Those female athletes we so readily body shame as they perform to super human standards do not train to look good in bikinis. They do not train to be consumed by you. They are not products.
Women are being constantly policed each and every time we step out the door. We are persistently judged for what we wear, how we look, the shape and size of our bodies. There is no winning. I was told once that I look like a ‘prude’ because I always wear scarves and don’t show enough cleavage. The advice given was that I should show more skin. But what if I like wearing scarves? What if my reason for dressing the way I do has nothing at all to do with what other people like? And yet if I did show more skin…well, I think we all know how that goes too. We want women to dress ‘respectfully’ but why? It doesn’t add up to being given more respect. We collectively police which bodies get to be on display and what the display should look like. And we collectively abuse each other into submitting to ever changing norms that are unattainable and have nothing at all to do with what is in the best interest of women. We show no care for the health and vitality and well being of women. Worse yet, we don’t even ask women what they want.
I want to scream each and every time I see an article with a title like “10 things women wear that men hate”. Dudes, I don’t care. So apparently a random poll of men revealed they don’t like Ugg boots. So what? I don’t like your hairy back but that doesn’t stop you from showing it off on the streets every hot day of the year. The way that guy has his plaid shirt buttoned up makes me think he’s a prude. If he rolled his sleeves up a little bit more I wouldn’t be able to help myself. If he has one more pint in that pair of jeans I’m going to have to follow him to his truck and make sure he gets home “ok”.
I train for me. I work in this industry because I want to help others feel better. I am educated and I am an experienced professional. My knowledge is wider than the circumference of my waist. My expertise is more valuable than how good I look ( or don’t look) in my yoga pants.
I do not exist for you. I do not exist because of you. I do not exist in spite of you. You did not factor in to any of my choices for me.
I simply exist.
#sorrynotsorry #mensofragile #womenwholift #womeninsport #strongbodystrongmind