I recently had a somewhat unexpected and disappointing experience at a local Chicago fitness studio. During the workout, the trainer criticized another fitness studio in a way that I felt was slut-shaming.
Why is it somehow acceptable to shame another woman if it includes slut shaming? As if it excuses mean commentary to frame it in a way that shames her for being sexual? You get a pass because she’s so slutty, I won’t even question that you agree with what I’m saying?
No one said anything during class. Maybe no one else was offended. But I found it not only unprofessional to criticize another fitness studio, but disappointing that the trainer would put down other women during a strength workout for women! It was odd feeling both empowered by my own strength while simultaneously deflated by someone else’s judgment. Because you know what, I do “slutty” things in public.
I ended up emailing the studio (in response to their presumably automated “thank you for coming, here’s a discount on membership” email) to express my thoughts, and did get a reply back from the trainer that was part apology, part excusing what she said because she didn’t mean it the way I took it.
But this isn’t necessarily an isolated thing. Why does women’s sexuality threaten some people? Why do they think it’s acceptable to criticize or shame a woman because she’s slutty or does something that we perceive as slutty, and therefore she’s bad, and that excuses them from being judgy assholes?
With Nina, one of my burlyQ besties and LoveCats duet partner and all-around inspiring empowered woman, getting sweating and strong at a studio that is definitely NOT the inspiration behind this post.