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What you can do to stop sexual harassment in fitness

#MeToo is a movement, but it is also a moment. Or more precisely, there are countless individual moments that may sound shocking at first reading, but they have a certain familiarity the more you hear. And the fitness and health care industry was no exception.

Consider this situation: a scientist and speaker shared the bill at a conference with a distinguished male nutritionist who was to give the keynote address. She knew his work and had cited it several times, but had no other story. As is often the case with such events, both were present at a dinner together. But within minutes of sitting down beside him, the scientist was shocked to find the man who ran his hands through her hair and whispered vulgar things in her ear.

Her answer was straightforward: "Man, you're nice and everything, but I'm not here for that, please stop." He has … for about 30 seconds. Then it started again: the touch, the comments, the unwillingness to stop or listen. The scientist sent a text message to friends and reported "save me" to the people she had seen in the restaurant. As soon as she had the opportunity, she left the booth and immediately reported the nutritionist to the organizer.

In this particular case, the nutritionist was taken off the program, and in the following days and battles The comments in the social media just got messier. It became clear that the scientist was far from being the only woman who had experienced tremendous, unpleasant progress by the nutritionist and that in the past he had tried to discredit women who talked about his behavior.

Stories relating to this particular situation came to light, and many others who were not "related," but mirrored their basic pattern with trainers and customers, gym members, or elsewhere in the fitness culture. And for many of us, this discussion felt like it was a long time coming.

Due to the increasing discussion on these topics, many people want to understand the problems better. Above all, many people wonder if they are part of the solution or part of the problem. Dozens of men came to me and asked what they could or should do differently.

Everything starts with listening. As co-founder of the online fitness community Girls Gone Strong, I am in a unique position to hear from women who have experienced the dark side of what fitness could be called a rape culture. Some of the women have been telling me lately, and what you, the reading men and women, can do to help.

A long time ago

One moment ago, I said that the #meToo movement has been a long time coming. Why this is so: Sexual harassment and abuses are incredibly pervasive, and behaviors that were once swept under the carpet or dismissed as "normal" or "just so" are no longer tolerated.

  Long wait

In a 2018 survey, 81 percent of women reported being sexually molested. [1] That's twice as much as men's. These experiences include:

  • Verbal sexual harassment (eg, phone call)
  • Unwanted sexual touch (eg, grabbing her butt)
  • Cybersexual harassment (eg, lewd news) [19659013] Being Physically Followed
  • Unwanted Genital Flashing (eg "Dick Pics")
  • Sexual Assault

Worldwide, 35 percent of women are sexually assaulted or raped during their lifetime. [2] Unfortunately, the actual numbers are probably much higher than this given the fact that sexual violence is poorly reported.

These figures may seem high even for women. But here's one of the big unspoken truths of being a woman: most of us in the fitness culture and elsewhere are already changing our behavior in small and big ways to protect us from the dangers. In fact, this even has a name: a "rape schedule".

Rape Schedule is the term used to describe the conscious and unconscious ways in which women impose restrictions on themselves and / or change their daily behavior due to their constants. and not always fully aware – fear of sexual assault.

I recently asked a question about the Girls Gone Strong Instagram stories, which ask women what they do every day to protect themselves from sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Within 24 hours I had more than 250 answers. Here are some answers:

Rape Plans Related to the Gym:

  • Avoid wearing tight clothing or uncovering clothes in the gym so I will not attract attention.
  • Try to go to the gym when it's not full so the boys do not look at me in the weight room
  • changed my training schedule to dodge another spooky fitness member
  • Do not go to the workout sessions where men work out; Only go to the female-led classes
  • Wear track pants over my gym shorts when I go to the gym to reduce the nuisance
  • During my 10-minute walk to the gym wear my headphones so I do not hear any jokes , 19659013] Retrofitted gym because the walk to my gym passed a construction site, and I was constantly harassed.
  • Switched gym because the manager always commented on my body in a way that he considered "compliments," and I did not think anyone would do that. Believe me, if I told them
  • I stopped go to the gym, and now work out at home, even if I can not train so hard.
  • Change my training so I never have to do deadlift or hip thrust in the gym busy

As you can see, these are not small concessions. They are major changes in the way women exercise and live. It influences what they wear, which exercises they choose, when they exercise, who they are willing to ask – even if they are willing to work out in a gym.

  What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment in Fitness

And in the end, it makes it harder for them to find out what they want, harder to see, and harder to see and see the positive results of an active life. Even women who love training find themselves simply exhausted and exhausted from everything they have to endure.

And that's only in the gym! With a little pride, most women can also show how they are raping their daily lives. Some of them are:

No "rape program" related to the gym:

  • Never drink alcohol unless I am close to trusted friends.
  • Wear only headphones on one ear to maintain awareness when I'm in public
  • Choose my clothes carefully if I know I have to walk more than a few blocks down the street
  • Look , Men I walk on the street right in the eye, with a very stern look expression
  • Avoid eye contact with men on the street completely
  • Repeat me three times what every man who passes me carries, so that I can remember its features
  • Call my partner / mother / boyfriend at any time. & # 39; I walk at night and let them know where I am so they can request help when I need them
  • Check the backseat of the vehicle every time I come in
  • . Park in well-lit areas and do not park in dark areas
  • Do not plan night classes in college so I do not have to walk alone at night
  • Ale Manager, who brings me to my car at night when I go to the car Leaving Work
  • Avoid working too late in my office when I know that a scary male employee is also working too late, so I do not have to be alone with him
  • Never climb alone with a man in the office elevator.

Yes, sexual harassment and assault can happen anywhere. But do not make a mistake: it happens every day in the fitness industry.

  What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment in the Fitness Industry

I interviewed women in the Girls Gone Strong community about their experiences and received hundreds of replies. Among the many experiences our parishioners reported:

  • Catapulted, starred, and repeatedly struck while training
  • Men in the gym were heard, including other trainers who use pejorative language about women and rape [19659013"jokes"aboutthembeingtakeninthegymonvideo
  • Being attacked and sexually assaulted while working in the gym

I hope you agree that none of this is okay.

What You Can Do

At Girls Gone Strong, we are constantly working to create a culture where all women in their lives and bodies feel comfortable, secure, and empowered outside and inside the gym , But we can not do it alone.

We need men who actively help us to end this problem. Industry-wide change can not occur until men have recognized and started the burden of ending sexual harassment and sexual assault.

For many men, this means making a change and being ready to be honest about where we are right now. Of course, some men are more willing, willing, and able to seek change than others when it comes to actively preventing and stopping harassment and sexual assault.

Just as we can imagine clients on different levels of fitness, I have this willingness to create changes in three levels is characterized. I've found that understanding these levels can help the boys to get a sense of where they are and where it's possible to do better.

Level 1: The Guys "Getting It"

These guys understand the sexual assault and harassment are incredibly common and believe that the responsibility lies with men to solve the problem.

When women talk about harassment and assault, they listen. They know that their experiences are likely to be very different from women and they are actively seeking ways to help women and create safe, harassment-free environments.

These are the types who express themselves when they are witness of other types who perpetuate sexist or harmful ideas.

  What you can do

Tier 2: The guys who do not understand it, but there's a chance they'll do it

These guys understand that sexual harassment and assault are happening, but they do not know how common is it. They are surprised when they hear statistics, and they may even be surprised when they learn that a woman they know was being attacked. When women talk about harassment and assault, they also share their opinion.

Tier 3: The guys who do not get it, and it's likely they'll never do it

These guys believe that sexual harassment and assault happen to happen to make you think the whole thing is being inflated disproportionately. Maybe it's the boys who claim that some women are lying, opportunists or manipulating a situation because it has not turned out in their favor.

It's important to think about where you fit into this picture.

To be clear: Tier 1 guys are the guys who will help us bring about real change. They have the potential to change the fitness industry and improve women's lives – damn our lives – by preventing sexual assault and harassment.

Learning how to make a change

If you are not satisfied with where you are fit Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that you are a "bad guy". It means that you have the opportunity to do better. But it's also your responsibility to get better.

  Learn How to Make a Change

You can switch from a tier 2 or 3 animal to a Tier 1 animal, and you can become a powerful catalyst for change. Do you want to start? It can be so easy to add a moment of reflection where nothing else would be. Think twice before speaking or acting. Listen, when the opportunity arises. And actively looking for opportunities to learn.

Here's a great place to start. Sign up for the FREE five-day Girls Gone Strong course, "What You Can Do to Stop Sexual Harassment and Bodily Injury in the Fitness Industry."

This covers critical topics, including:

  • How to Identify Behavior that Seems Ok, but Not T
  • How to Avoid Common Mistakes that Boys Make (Even If They Think They Get It " to understand ")
  • How to create a safe, welcoming environment for clients and patients
  • What can you do to stop sexual harassment and abuses?
  • How to Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

We will also include case studies and sample scripts that will help you understand:

  • What to do if you witness or suspect Sexual Harassment in the Gym
  • What to do if a woman confides in you that she has been molested
  • What to do if you are personally molested

You are leaving this course with a range of actionable tools and a clear path to follow front.

  1. 2018 Study on sexual harassment and assault (2018, Feb. 21). Retrieved from http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/2018-national-sexual-abuse-report/[19659013Breachwomen(nd)Calledbyhttp://wwwwhoint/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women

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