Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Disrespectful Sleazeball

I work out with Mr. Lukie more often than I work out alone. But on days that he is at the Station, or weeks (like this one) when he is on a 6-day but is taking some mandatory continuing education class, I work out alone. Typically, I have no problem working out alone.


But yesterday? Yesterday I hated that I was working out alone. I was harassed by a gentleman on two separate occasions, at a gym I had never visited before. It was the closest 24 Hour Fitness near school and I had a 2 hour break, so it worked. 


The first incident occurred when I was hopping off of the treadmill after a sprint and making my way back to the free weights room to begin the next round of my workout. As I bend over to lift the olympic bar, I hear a loud, "Wooooo! Yeahhh...niiiice!" come from the cardio room above (that overlooks the free weights room). I glance up that direction in the mirror and notice 2 guys on cardio machines looking at me & talking amongst themselves animatedly. I glance around the free weights room & notice I am the ONLY female in there. I ignore the obnoxious comments because 1- at this point, I'm not even sure it's been directed at me, and 2 - what, exactly, was little ol' me going to say to two giant bodybuilder lookin' dudes?


The second incident occurred when I was on the treadmill a few minutes later running a sprint. The obnoxious man who made the "wooo" comment earlier walked into the room. There was a towel & a notebook on one of the machines.


"Is this your sh*t?" he asks me.


I, running a full sprint at 9.0 on the treadmill, do my best to shake my head 'No.' 


"Well then, whose sh*t is it? Do you know?"


I, still running a full sprint at 9.0 on the treadmill, do my best to ignore the jerk & keep my eyes straight ahead.


"Hrummphhhh," came the long, angry sigh of frustration from Mr. Macho.


Later, after I finished stretching after my workout, I had to walk past the room he was in, in order to leave. As I did so, he glared--literally GLARED!--at me as I walked by. You know the term "mad dogging" someone? THAT is what he did. I could feel him shooting daggers through me with his eyes.


I didn't say anything to him, let alone make eye contact with him. But I couldn't shake the feeling of having been slightly violated, on some level, for the rest of the day.


          1- He was a disrespectful sleazeball for having hollered at me in the way that he did. Does "Wooooo! Yeahhh...niiiice!" usually get him attention from women? Do they typically respond POSITIVELY to him when he makes derogatory comments to them like that?


   and 


          2- Is he really not intelligent enough to find another, more appropriate word (especially when talking to a FEMALE he doesn't know?!) than sh*t? I mean, how about "Is this your STUFF?" or "Does this belong to you?" or "Do you know whose ITEMS these are?" 


Anyway, I wasn't sure how to respond to him, without stooping to his level. Or without giving him the attention he was seeking. I wanted to say something to put him in his place, but then, I'd just be a hypocrite, really. But at the same time, I feel that just ignoring him and not saying a word was being submissive and allowing him to have some type of control over me.


When I'm put on the spot like that, I freeze and words don't come very quickly to me. So...what would you have done in this situation?




17 comments:

  1. I'm not sure- I might have froze up too, or come back with "what's your problem?" Or "take a picture, it'll last longer" I also find a friendly wave and smile works wonders to piss them off further - like to another driver with road rage. Try it, it's fun.

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  2. I am not going to lie, I definitely would have frozen on the spot and did exactly what you did. I would have wanted to put the guy in his place, but at the same time, not give the attention he was definitely asking for. What a jerk! Next time, kill them with kindness.

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  3. I would have totally ignored him too. I agree with Julia that saying something may have been counterproductive.

    I *hate* that about gyms though. Why do people always think it's appropriate to talk to people they don't know at all at the gym?!

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  4. I've been there. In fact, I stopped going to the gym during certain hours because I can't stand the sick pigs who hang out and do nothing but gawk and make me feel uncomfortable.

    I realized that giving bad looks only encourages them which ticks me off even more. And ignoring them seems to give them the green light to keep looking which again ticks me off even more. Finally, I've resorted to telling a male personal trainer that another member is making me feel uncomfortable. One look from the trainer and the guy stopped. I've also walked up to these pigs and flat out asked if there was a problem. They were so shocked, they just stumbled over their words. But really, in the end, disguisting men at the gym get under my skin more than most things.

    As far as the rude comment, I probably would have looked and talked to him as though he had social issues. I know it's not the Christian thing to do but when you act like a moron, don't be surprised if others treat you like one.

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  5. That's so rude! I probably would have done the same thing as you - my brain tends to freeze up with moments like those too. But sometimes it's better just to be silent, because anything you say could just egg them on or give them something worse to say to you.

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  6. What a jerk! I don't think I would have done anything differently. I think you handled yourself well.

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  7. I know exactly this feeling. It's very frustrating, and very violating being "cat-called" whether at the gym or on the street. I've never understood it. What woman in her right mind finds this attractive? I hate to say it but has affected my desire of going to the gym during certain times and using the weight room alone.
    I worked at a gym for a couple of years in college and we didn't tolerate this sort of behavior (or the meathead equipment tossing/showing off, ugh!) If it happens again, you have every right to report harassment and typically they will reprimand them or kick them out.
    Good for you for taking the high road! That can be tough to do. I'm like you where I either freeze or am tempted to lash back, which in the past I have done and tends to worsen the situation. And although you feel like it was submissive to ignore it, it usually bothers them more that you held your head high and were unable to bring you down to their level by responding.

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  8. heheeh I love all the comments. In this situation...my mouth and attitude would have gotten the best of me. Knowing me I would have turned to him and as sarcastically as possible I would have said "NO, this is not my 'shit' as you put it" heheeheh I get a sick pleasure in stuff like that.

    I know, I know, not very Christian of me...but commmeeee onnnnn!!! :)

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  9. I probably would have done the same as you, because even after reading I can't come up with a good response!

    *in the voice of michelle tanner* How rude!

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  10. I would have done the same thing. I'm the kind of person who goes "Dang, I should have said that, or this"... 10 minutes too late hehe.

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  11. I probably would have turned 90 million shades of red and asked him who taught him his manners. And then I would have left. Gosh, some people. What a jerk.

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  12. Hard to say....I would have A. ignored him like you did. B. Told him to go $@#% himself. (which clearly would have done a lot of good....but what an obnoxious prick?!?). Or C. left the gym after reporting it. I think you handled yourself very well. I love all the comments. And isn't it annoying that this is only a problem women are faced with? I refuse to work out at coed gyms. Call me a prude but I can't handle situations like this and it seems like too many women have had similar encounters.

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  13. I think you did exactly what you should have done...it's impossible to know how a person will react to anything you could have possible said. Sure, not saying anything might encourage them to keep being obnoxious, but that's when you talk to the staff at the gym (if there are any). If there isn't any staff, and it keeps happening, and they seem to be there at the same time every day maybe see if your husband can show up with you one time. Maybe then they will get the hint.

    I agree with you though...I don't understand why people, men in particular, think it is "cool" to swear when there are so many other words that you can use!

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  14. I think it is important to not snap back at a person, but still kindly let them know that you deserve respect! By all means I think it is okay to defend yourself, maybe politely saying "hey, I don't appreciate you raising your voice to me when I don't know you," or something like that. I don't know - tough situation and I don't even know if I would have the guts to vocalize my irritation too. Or maybe it would be better to just leave the dude alone. Sorry that happened love!

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  15. How rude of them! Why do people have to act like that?

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  16. I think you did the right thing. I freeze in those situations, too. Anyone who talks to a woman like that doesn't deserve any kind of attention.

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  17. I totally would have given him an icy glare and either said "excuse me???" with an attitude and if he continued to harrass me, I would have just said "back off". I used to work in a bar and was the only female bartender so I'm (sadly) used to all the male idiots out there, an attitude, a dirty look and a firm tone will quickly get you labeled as B**** and then they'll back off.

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