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Man Confronts Woman At Gym Saying The Way She Is Exercising Is The Reason Why There Is A 'Problem With Girls'

Photo: Crime Art / Shutterstock
man and woman arguing at the gym

Working out in a public gym can be an intimidating experience. In fact, according to the New York Post, half of Americans experience "gymtimidation" and fear working out among others in a gym environment. Seventeen percent experience intimidation specifically when exercising in front of the opposite sex.

While filming herself exercising at the gym, content creator Madi Ruvee unintentionally demonstrated why many people, especially women, fear going to the gym when a man questioned her technique and destroyed her property. 

A man approached Ruvee at the gym, telling her she is the reason there is a ‘problem with girls.’

As Ruvee recorded herself doing her "leg day warm-ups," she was approached by a man who was also working out at the gym. "Yo, what are you doing?" he questioned her unprompted.

She responded, “My leg day warm up," however, he did not accept her answer. “Don’t give me that [expletive],” he said, towering over Ruvee as she sat on the ground. “I know you know what you’re doing.” 

   

   

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When Ruvee didn't change her response, the man continued berating her. “You realize that you’re actually what’s wrong with girls,” he said, pointing at her. 

"Are you pointing at me?" Ruvee asked laughing, though her humor only seemed to anger the man who demanded she not to come to "his gym" and "keep this [expletive] online."

The conflict only escalated from here, with the man aggressively kicking Ruvee's phone. At the end of her video, she added an image of her now-cracked iPhone, making it obvious why she captioned her video, "This is why 2024 is unsafe for women."

The fitness industry remains run by men.

According to research by the Sport Alliance and the Women in Fitness Association, 70% of the fitness industry is made up of males. Although there are women in the industry who do have a leadership role, 27% of them claimed that it was harder to become a leader because of their gender and frequent disrespect. However, 7% of males unsurprisingly denied this. 

Man Confronts Woman At Gym Saying The Way She Is Exercising Is The Reason Why There Is A 'Problem With Girls'Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Stephanie Coen, a postdoctoral associate in geography, conducted a study regarding how males and females perceive themselves at the gym. Many of the men who participated in the research claimed they avoided certain equipment because it was deemed "feminine."

However, both men and women agreed that men do take up more space in the fitness area. This is not because men believe they are dominant, but because, according to them, the environment feels more masculine. 

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Ruvee's video received mixed opinions from commenters.

Some questioned her exercise, which she claimed to be "pulse squats." To those, Ruvee showed proof that the stretch does exist, clarifying that it "is actually beneficial for you" as it strengthens your glutes, thigh, and hip muscles. 

   

   

However, regardless of the formal existence of Ruvee's exercise, no one should berate someone else at the gym, nor should they destroy someone else's property. Poor technique is certainly no excuse. She had every right to be at the gym and was not bothering anyone until the man interrupted her. 

She also questioned the women in the comments who argued that Ruvee deserved to have her phone kicked.

“I deserve to be harassed in public because I was minding my own business in the smallest corner of the gym?” she questioned. “Is there a rule that says no phones? No, there’s not. Was it on a tripod? Was I being obnoxious? No. Was I being loud? No.” 

   

   

"It's really sad to me to see all these comments saying I deserve something because I went to the gym and I was stretching," she added. “Guys tend to get mad at things they can’t have." 

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Men and women have often expressed a desire for ‘gender-only’ gyms.

It is no secret that for years, gymgoers — particularly women, though men to a smaller degree — have been arguing in favor of ‘gender only’ gyms and it's obvious why. One survey found that nearly 71% of women admitted to experiencing an interaction at the gym that made them uncomfortable. Over 90% said they don't like being stared at while working out, and nearly 80% of women don't even want to be talked to while at the gym. Many of these women have admitted to skipping the gym or changing their routines for this very reason. 

Though the existence of women-only gyms seems ideal for dealing with harassment, they are surprisingly not allowed in most states. In 2022, the Connecticut Supreme Court determined that a women-only gym violates the state’s discrimination laws. The case was filed by two men who wanted to enter two gyms that only allowed women. 

"While we respect the court’s decision, we remain proud to have offered the positive service of our women’s only studios to our members,” read the statement from Edge Fitness — one of the gyms in question.

   

   

Ultimately, if everyone minded their own business at the gym, there would hopefully be fewer issues and less need for single-gender spaces. No one should be harassed, questioned, or stared at while simply trying to work out, but if you do find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, speak to a staff member and prioritize your safety.

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Lauren Reams is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news.