Gendered Spaces: The gym culture and the construction of gender..

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Just came across this interesting article on gym culture and gender. It talks about how gendered spaces are constructed within gyms. The areas in gyms are segmented not physically but more through stigma and taboo. For instance, the men use the weights because thats masculine and the women use the aerobics because thats feminine. When people cross these gender boundaries they are not just crossing a gym floor but they are crossing a line created by society, a line that exists because we as humans feel the need to categorise and conform.

The article points out how the use of gendered spaces in a gym can be seen as an experimental arena for society as a whole. The fact that woman are more likely to cross these boundaries to infiltrate “male” zones in the gym corresponds with the fact that in society also women seem to be more interested in blurring the gendered boundaries than men.

At the same time the article points to the increasing feminization of gym culture as a whole. Gone are the days of the “dirty” weightlifting culture with spit and sweat everywhere, as gyms are now evolving into aesthetically driven places. Places where men now devote themselves to beauty and the narcissistic pleasures of their bodies…

 

http://logic.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/~b114299/young/1996-3/artikkelJohansson3-96.htm

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