Gender In The Gym

1054 Words 4 Pages
My visits to the gym gave me a lot of insight as to how space in the gym can be gendered and how this may be a result of the social construction of gender. In the gym, my observations indicated that weight-lifting equipment and free weights were used more so by men than women. In the instances that I visited, I only saw one woman utilizing weights. This may be due to the mere aggressiveness and masculinity that is associated with lifting weights, and by a woman engaging in these acts, she may be seen as transgressing gender norms. Furthermore, a woman engaging in weightlifting activities may be seen as lesbian or transgressing heteronormative standards. Moreover, a woman lifting weights is not seen as a product of her natural ability and talents, but can only result from n …show more content…
This may stem from less participation of women in sports that require weight use, such as American football and basketball, which has led to a lack of knowledge. The lack of participation is not necessarily conflated with a lack of interest, but is a result of fewer opportunities for women to excel or engage in these sports. Thus, a combination of these factors leads to the weight room being labeled as a masculine space and a space solely for men. In both of my visits, mainly women were seen utilizing cardio machines and were in the fitness class that I had witnessed. These ranged from treadmills, elliptical, and stationary bikes. There were only one or two men utilizing these machines in the both times that I had visited. Why have cardio stations become the predominant gendered space for women? This has to do in part with how women are supposed to look, which is thin, and not necessarily muscular or fit. Looking thin and establishing cardio as a gendered space for women is further perpetuated by media and advertising. What women’s bodies should look like stems outside the control of the individual woman, but is controlled by society’s

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