2013-04-21

The principle of the thing 2

Now women's only hours at the gym and women's only gyms for that matter could fall into both categories, really.

Some women are frightened of men. They have been harassed or know someone who has. Some women have religious beliefs that does nor allow them to do certain things where men are present.

Gyms are traditionally male environments. They are adapted for men. A gym for women might have smaller weights and smaller weight increments.

There is, of course, a larger issue of gender identity and sex here. It's always troublesome and somewhat unproductive to divide people up along hard lines. That doesn't make women only gyms illegitimate, it makes gyms catering to specific groups important.

Men get harassed too. Men too feel the pressure of adhering to ideals of physical beauty. Men too get eating disorders, men too feel insecure and judged and stuff.

But again that doesn't make women's concerns and gyms illegitimate. Nor does it change the fact that women get raped, harassed and are discriminated against by men at a considerably higher degree than men by women.

If are things were equal, salaries, opportunities, boards, objectification, victimization, then some men's suffering would be relevant, but it's not so it's not.

Lloyd might be uncomfortable at the thought of a gay man checking out his package, but that's just homophobia. Even if Lloyd has been raped or harassed by a woman, he still can't dismiss women's fear. He could ask the gym for men's only hours. That'd be fair.

He could ask that greater attention is paid to men and boys with eating disorders. He could ask that all men, regardless or sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, political and religious conviction be treated equally and with consideration and respect. He's not though, is he? He is just asking that women be forced to work out with men, because women's insecurities are women's problem and somehow a man up world makes it better for everyone.

Removing a particular group of people from a particular context is not fair to all other groups nor does it ensure that the environment for the included group is safe or, in this case, devoid of sexuality. That doesn't make exclusiveness unjustifiable. It's not the principle of the thing at all, you see, it's about who is removed from where and why. If you belong to a privileged group you'll find that efforts to make the world a better place might strip you of some of your privileges. Sucks, I know. It's a bigger picture thing.

Lloyd is a troll and he should be treated as one: stick him in the sun until he explodes.

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