Author Topic: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?  (Read 8416 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2012, 12:38:12 PM »
Yes, the guy crossed the line.  And yes, I'd be pretty angry at my BF for not telling him so.
No offense, but this is pretty sexist.  The OP should have spoken up since she was the one being harassed, and if that didn't work she should have gone to management.  While it is is great to have a SO support you, it's important to be able to take action against these sorts of things on your own.

While I understand what you are getting at, I do think what made this situation weird was that he was talking to my boyfriend 100%, not to me. That's the only reason I think he might have listened to him -- though he obviously didn't listen to either of us (and other posters are right that we're both nonconfrontational to a fault).

We chose not to let it get to us because it was so absurd it was easier to ignore one ranting weird man than engage the staff, but I appreciate everyone saying they'd have engaged a professional's assistance.

Allyson

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2012, 12:40:59 PM »
Allyson, you have a good point.  The OP could have said something as well.  But something needed to be said to him sooner rather than later.

I'm not saying a threatening statement; I'm saying a "Knock it off.  You're not funny, and I do not appreciate these comments" type of statement.

Then, I'd go to management.  I would make my own statement first, though, and then go to them.

I definitely agree that that statement would have been the best, coming from OP *and* her significant other. I just don't want to blame him (or her!) for not being able to do that under pressure. I know with me, sometimes I freeze up when in a situation like that..this board has helped me with good responses in situations like this.

I wouldn't be angry with my boyfriend if he wasn't assertive enough. I would be angry if he started laughing and joking along *with* the guy, or if he started escalating the situation, but anything in between those two extremes I'd probably be right there with him, standing there going '....is this seriously happening?'

In my experience it's unusual for a strange guy to make comments like that to a woman with a guy right there. I've had a hard time getting guy friends to believe comments like this happen as much as they do because usually they happen when a woman is alone. So for this guy to start this sort of thing right in front of her boyfriend is odd. I wonder what he was thinking the reaction would be? Some people...

TootsNYC

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 12:41:47 PM »
Yes, he definitely crossed the line! Why are people expecting that the boyfriend has more responsibility than she does to get him to stop, though? It sounds like they both said one thing to him, but didn't follow up. We talk a lot about how women have trouble speaking up, and trouble with conflict--some guys can have that problem too. And really, I'd rather a guy inclined to back off than one inclined to jump in and start threatening the guy. Sure, it would've been ideal for both of them to be able to tell him to back off firmly in a way he would listen to, but *lots* of people lack those skills.

And I wouldn't be that thrilled at my boyfriend "taking the bait," perhaps. Maybe a fight is what this guy wanted. And, from years of living in NYC, I don't want the confrontation; I don't want to win; I want to be free of the situation--not just in the moment, but in mindshare. So I prefer the solution that has the shortest mental and emotional repercussions *for me*.

At the very least, I'd report him, even after the fact. Even now, today. Make a call to the manager.
(It might help you stop stewing about it, and feeling angry and powerless--see "shortest mental and emotional repercussions," above. Taking action, even belatedly, might make you feel less agitated.)


I think the "Your comments aren't welcome" response is good. But if you can't think of it, or don't think it would do any good (I don't think it would have), my suggestion would be to make a beeline for the front desk and say, "This guy is saying this creepy stuff. I want you to do something about it."

And I also, from years of living in NYC, am not above going "to the next subway car" to avoid someone like this. 

sourwolf

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 12:42:03 PM »
Yes, the guy crossed the line.  And yes, I'd be pretty angry at my BF for not telling him so.
No offense, but this is pretty sexist.  The OP should have spoken up since she was the one being harassed, and if that didn't work she should have gone to management.  While it is is great to have a SO support you, it's important to be able to take action against these sorts of things on your own.

While I understand what you are getting at, I do think what made this situation weird was that he was talking to my boyfriend 100%, not to me. That's the only reason I think he might have listened to him -- though he obviously didn't listen to either of us (and other posters are right that we're both nonconfrontational to a fault).

We chose not to let it get to us because it was so absurd it was easier to ignore one ranting weird man than engage the staff, but I appreciate everyone saying they'd have engaged a professional's assistance.

I get what you are saying, but someone talking about me like I wasn't there would have driven me crazy and probably caused me to speak up faster than if he was "talking" to me. (although I'm not really the best person to judge, I've got no patience for cr*p like this and would have had a few non-ehell approved things to say to him.)

cicero

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 12:43:50 PM »
I think that is actually a matter for the gym management to handle.  You were being sexually harassed in the gym.  It should not be up to your boyfriend to have to defend you, the gym should be a safe and comfortable place for you - full stop.  Boyfriend or alone.  I think you should have asked him to stop commenting on your body once and after that just walked over to someone who works there and told them the situation and let them handle it.  The next woman he does this too might not have a boyfriend to defend her - he might do this to two women or a single woman, or whatever.  Its not ok.
I agree.

and he was way over the line with his *first* sentence.


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lady_disdain

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2012, 01:09:18 PM »
Creep. He was trying to be alpha male by hitting on you in front of him. He was the target, you were merely an object. The longer you two put up with it, the more he got his kicks.

Like PP said, call the management. The guy is trouble.

Jones

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2012, 01:20:09 PM »
He crossed a few lines and can't even see the initial line from where he is currently positioned. It's people like him that convince so many to go to all-one-sex gyms.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2012, 01:26:50 PM »
Sounds like this guy has a permanent camp so far over the line that it can't be seen!

Maybe I'm just combative, but I probably would have told him to back off and mind his own business right at the start, even if he wasn't talking to me directly.

If that didn't work, I'd complain to management.
“Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.” PBS

Deetee

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2012, 01:30:12 PM »
Sounds like this guy has a permanent camp so far over the line that it can't be seen!

Maybe I'm just combative, but I probably would have told him to back off and mind his own business right at the start, even if he wasn't talking to me directly.

If that didn't work, I'd complain to management.

This, but he was SOOO far over any line that I might go directly to the management. A gym is for working out. Any eye candy that you might enjoy is to be enjoyed discretely.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2012, 01:41:09 PM »
Another "Yes, he crossed the line!"  And another vote for OP going to the gym personnel, whether Mr. Squicky was talking to her directly or not.  I would also hope that my DH, were he the one being addressed, would go to gym management, whether it involved me or a total stranger.

ilrag

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2012, 03:06:11 PM »
I wouldn't wait for my boyfriend (husband in my case) to say something. I'd look the old man in the eye and say "You're being a real creep, stop."

If he didn't? Management.

weeblewobble

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2012, 03:18:14 PM »
First of all, this guy wasn't a "flirt."  He was sexually harassing you.  Flirtation implies a reciprocation and acceptance that just wasn't present in this situation.  This guy was a creep, and he accrued double-creep points for assigning self-gratifying motives to your actions, i.e. that you were "putting on a show" for him, rather than just working out. 

While it would have been acceptable for your boyfriend to tell him to cut it out, honestly, more woman need to take action on their own behalf and step up to confront these creeps themselves.  As long as women stay silent, these creeps assume that what they're saying is OK.  It would have been perfectly acceptable and appropriate for you to give him the dead-eyed Icy Glare and tell him, "Stop talking about me. Right now."

And then walk directly to the nearest gym staff member to report him, because surely there is some sort of policy against harassing other gym members.

onyonryngs

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2012, 03:21:57 PM »
I don't expect a SO to protect me from words.  In fact, it would probably anger me if a my BF confronted someone as I'm not big into the macho confrontational thing.  I would address it with the gym staff and let them deal with it.

gingerzing

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2012, 03:25:09 PM »
Okay creepy (And after the daughter comment...UBER Creepy!)

I get the whole "do not engage with crazy", but he is way over the line. 
First off, I rarely talk to people while they are working out.  Or at least very little past "Are you using that machine?" 
Next, talking about you as if you were an object to your boyfriend.  Yeah, the guy was trying to start something.
Also, if he is talking like that in front of other guys, I would hate to think what he is doing when women are working out alone. 

My curiousity is the fact that he is being a creep to any gal who is working out.  Seriously?  Not the brightest penny in the roll since you most likely can take care of yourself. 
Added bonus of saying it to the guy with her who is also working out.  (Again, I think he was looking for a fight.)   I started thining about the old song of Bad Bad Leroy Brown, who had bad results after hitting on a wife of a jealous man.

I will jump on the bandwagon of those who say to tell the creep to take a long walk off a short pier and then mention it to the gym management team.  My bet is that he has had other complaints...or at least they will know to watch him. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Gym "flirt" -- did he cross the line?
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2012, 03:25:36 PM »
If you want some idea of how prevalent and awful the street harassment phenomenon is, go to http://www.ihollaback.org/

Reading the stories there is sort of horrifying, but at the same time, empowering, because you know that you are not alone.  That other women go through the same thing and that you're not "making a big deal out of nothing," no matter what that minimizing, after-the-fact voice tells you. There are some great tips and videos on how to handle situations like this if it comes up again.