U.K. Journalist Sues His Gym Over ‘Sexist’ Female-Only Hours

Owners say 26% of women hate how they look while exercising

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A British copywriter and journalist says he’s suing his local gym for “women-only hours,” intended to help females feel more comfortable while exercising. In a 1,300-word column published in the Daily Mail, Peter Lloyd argues that Kentish Town Sports Centre’s decision to exclude men and boys for 442 hours a year—while still charging them full price—is a sexist policy that sends a “toxic” message about males. Lloyd’s write-up is compelling and thought-provoking, even for those who might find his opinions whiny and insensitive. Although he lays out an array of complaints, he focuses on the fact that it’s simply unfair (and possibly illegal) to charge two different genders the same amount for different hours of service. He says he requested the gym offer one of three remedies: create male-only hours to compensate, charge men less per year or end the female-only hours. The gym reportedly declined, telling Lloyd in an email, “A report by the Women Sport and Fitness Foundation showed that a significant proportion of women (26 percent) ‘hate the way they look when they exercise.’” (A comment that seems perfectly timed with the debate over Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” this week.) In some of his less-diplomatic moments, Lloyd responds, “That's like trying to clean a dirty face by rubbing a mirror,” and “If these women have issues with their bodies, I truly sympathise—but it's their problem, not mine.” His column is generating praise from male advocacy groups in Britain and even here in America, but the aggresiveness of his tone could also be seen as an argument in favor of keeping guys out of the gym on occasion. Will he be part of the solution or part of the problem? Via Reddit.

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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: April 20, 2013 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/uk-journalist-sues-his-gym-over-sexist-female-only-hours-148795/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT