Differently equal and equally different Monday May 16, 2005, 3 comments

Last week a man in the city I live in was barred from a women’s gym.

This in of itself may not surprise people. It didn’t surprise me. It did make me think, however.

The man in question is a transvestite, who was being harassed at the gym he was previously patronizing. It seems that the men working out there didn’t approve of him, and the constant comments made the experience so unpleasant he had to leave.

These are the exact same reasons women-only gyms were conceived of in the first place. Women were uncomfortable working out in the presence of men, and felt harassed. Understandable. It is interesting, however, that the women’s gym denied access to the man. But not surprising, as I said before.

The women’s gym is fundamentally discriminatory. By excluding men, they are discriminating on the basis of gender, which is illegal in Canada. There will be claims that it’s a private club, and therefore exempt from the discrimination policies of Canada. But that’s not going to fly. Golf clubs used to bar blacks, but the private club argument fell apart in court.

This case hasn’t gone to court yet, but it’s on its way. What it’s highlighted is that the concept of a women-only gym is unconstitutional by the laws of Canada. Undoubtedly years of court battles and arguments in the popular press will precede the eventual elimination of the women-only gym concept. Women will argue their rights are being trampled.

Just for a moment, picture an all-male club, and the subsequent wailing and gnashing of feminist teeth.

Extremism. Again.


Comments

Barbara Monday May 23, 2005


Ok, I’m reading this at a late date, but how many men really want to bar women from their gym? Get real – most would get bored of staring at the other men, and many are not there “just” for the physical work-out.

Adrian Tuesday May 24, 2005


It doesn’t matter Barbara. It’s sexism. Some sexism is okay, and some isn’t?

Sweetie Thursday May 26, 2005


I’m not defending the sexism, I’m saying that men will never want men-only gyms. It just won’t go that far. They may try to stop the women from having their own, though, and that will be a fun piece of jurisprudence to listen in on.

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