Guess who was cited at the Ninth Carnival of Radical Feminists hosted at unconventional beauty? Yep, it's me. Blogger ladoctorita/lily liked my post, Viva Las Vegas!, about gender in the gym and included it in the carnival. I like to think it had something to do with my snarky writing that day which included the line that she pulled as a header "But hell hasn't frozen over yet, so I'll revert to my cynical explanation."
Ladoctorita offers some gym anecdotes of her own--well actually those of her friends--and recounts the story of a man who goes to the gym, for hours, just to ogle. He never works out. He has been kicked out of one gym thus far for his staring and hitting on women but persists nonetheless.
This situation seems more egregious and potentially dangerous than the one in my gym but since I have been irked by one particular guy twice already this week, I am going to take this opportunity to complain. "The Admiral" (nicknamed by RP) has been there during both my weight workouts being loud and offering advice to anyone. Today it was to a very fit woman lifting a lot of weight. In other words--someone who knew what she was doing. Yet he felt the need to tell her to lift faster and breathe better. The other day, The Admiral was being exceptionally loud and carrying on with a much more quiet fellow about reps and food and the size of his chest (the homoeroticism was palpable). I cradled a 2.5 lb plate in my hand and contemplated violence. Luckily, for The Admiral anyway, he has never spoken a word to me. I think it's the company I like to keep in the gym. I don't think he's all that interested in discoursing with some pretty smart, pretty strong, pretty confident dykes.
The performance of masculinity in the gym continually amazes me. The amount of space men take up in the gym amazes me. The apparent need to raise their voices and talk about how strong they are and how totally awesome their lifting music is amazes me (and EB). Actually it usually enrages me. This is why I was so disappointed that I hauled my butt out of bed at 6 the day after Christmas to get to the gym early, which usually guarantees a fairly quiet and uncrowded space, only to be interrupted by The Admiral.
I think most of us who go the gym on a regular basis have stories like the above from myself and ladoctorita. We probably have enough to comprise a book. Anyone interested??
And now time for some thank yous. I know I am supposed to do the thanks first. But given that I am so radical, I decided to put them last. First, I'd like to thank the feminist blogosphere--for existing. For offering some sanity and the feeling that I am not alone in my allegedly radical ideas. To EBuz over at the Title IX Blog for sending a link to my post over to Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors. And to Ann for posting it. And to ladoctorita for naming it to the carnival. It's encouraging to see feminists recognize the importance of sport and physical activity to the feminist discourse.