I’ll be the first to admit, my gym’s testosterone-laden weight area is a bit intimidating and before I started personal training sessions, I’d avoid the weight equipment altogether.
I’ve often wondered if I would get a better workout in a female-only facility.
Harvard University had to address a related issue when a group of six Muslim women, with the support of the Harvard College Women's Center, asked the university for special women-only hours. The group of women didn’t feel comfortable exercising among men due to religious and cultural reasons.
In response to their request, Harvard University banned men from one of its gyms for a few hours a week. Now, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays and between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m on Tuesdays and Thursdays, men are not allowed to use the gym’s facilitates and the gym is staffed by female employees doing those hours.
It was certainly a controversial move on the school’s part and many students feel that the restriction on gym usage is unfair. Others don’t mind, deeming it a matter of tolerance and respect. What do you think?
Grade C: I admire Harvard’s responsiveness to its students’ unique needs but I think this should only be a temporary solution. It would be great if Harvard created a smaller, female-only facility. Until then, I’ll have to deal with male undergraduates who take up space in the law school gym on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
ABOUT ME: In undergrad, my idea of exercise included dancing in clubs into the wee hours and walking to and from classes. As for my diet, breakfast consisted of Red Bulls and 3 a.m. IHOP visits, lunch was generally non-existent and pizza was a late-night staple. Now that I'm in grad school, I've come to realize the important roles that health and fitness play when it comes to academic success. I'm no longer "allergic" to sweat and I make an effort to fit the gym into my hectic schedule. Although I'm still no stranger to Red Bull, my new and improved lifestyle is helping me to make the grade.