[Content Note: Misogyny; objectification; violence; heterocentrism.]
Shaker Sarah emails, which I am sharing with her permission:
I just saw this advert outside Farringdon Tube Station in London. It's for a gym called Gymbox. It made me furious: the idea that women only work out to be desirable to men; that sexual harassment is secretly flattering or something women desire; that women send mixed messages, both wanting attention from random strangers and being unreasonably aggressive in fending it off. Hideous.
I also find it interesting, ahem, that clearly "builders" are exclusively men in this construction, which reinforces the narrative that women are never, ever, meant to work out to bulk up, but only to slim down.
Men are meant to work out to get bigger; women are meant to work out to get smaller.
And of course we know what happens to women who use violence in self-defense. Is everyone laughing until their sides ache at the idea that it would be cool for a woman to "beat up" a man who wolf-whistles at her?
If anyone is inclined to send some polite correspondence to Gymbox to ask them to stop using this advert, you can visit their contact page. Or their Facebook page. Or their Twitter.