Sunday, January 11, 2009

Overheard at the gym

by Chloe Angyal

It's amazing how powerful gender roles can be, and what a huge part peer pressure can play in enforcing them. Observe this scene, which unfolded while I was stretching at the gym tonight:

Guy 1: (gets on the groin stretching machine, the one that winches your legs apart like some kind of medieval torture instrument)
Guy 2: That is not a man's machine right there. Not a man's machine.
Chloe: (prays that the guy will show some spine and keep stretching, because Guy 2 is being ridiculous, and besides, stretching is important)
Guy 1: (gets off the machine)
Chloe: (dies a little inside)

I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry, I wanted to tell them that stretching is important (yes, even when it means spreading your legs a little. You know, like women do.) But mostly, I wanted to tell them that if they really cared about each other as friends and as workout buddies, they'd stop enforcing such restrictive and arbitrary definitions of masculinity. Otherwise, someone's going to pull a muscle. And everyone knows that injuries are for pussies, man.

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