The idea of a women only gym seems innocent enough. After all, many women may feel more comfortable exercising in a gym where there are no men around. In a women only gym, they would be more likely to give and receive open advice on their health condition and their workout plan. With women-centric trainers, females could likely get better advice as well as have options for activities that may not be available in co-ed gyms. There are also religious factors to consider. Some women are simply prohibited to expose too much of their bodies to men.

But are women only gyms guilty of discrimination?

A women only gym means that no men are allowed. Period. No questions asked, right? There have been cases where men have tried to joining a women only gym and sued when they were denied access. There might be some question as to why a man would want to join a women only gym; whether his intentions are to simply be disruptive or because of some ulterior motive. However, there may very well be a good reason for a man to want to join a women only gym. It could be that there are no other facilities in his local area or region. It could be that the particular women only club meets with the man’s health requirements.

Despite the growing popularity of women only clubs, there are a handful of lawsuits that claim these clubs are discriminatory. In 2000, the Alaskan Human Rights Commission–at the behest of a disgruntled man–made an attempt to ban gender only health clubs. However, the result of that backfired when the Alaskan legislature made it legal for gender discrimination in Alaskan health clubs.

More recently, there was a case in 2005 where a civil rights group sued a women only club in Santa Rosa for potentially refusing entry of one man. It turned out that the women only gym had already been told to make changes to accommodate men in 2004, but had failed to do so. This refusal led to the 2005 case being brought up and consequently enforced.

What followed were successful lawsuits against women only gyms in Minnesota, Wisconsin, California and Orange County. Some of these cases were won on the premise that men were not only denied access to work out at the clubs but also because they were also denied employment. In a case against Women’s Workout World in Chicago, not only were men finally allowed to work at the gym, but the ones who were turned down were paid $30,000 in damages. In 1997, a lawsuit against a Massachusetts health club, Healthworks Fitness Center, ruled that the club could not exclude men.

And despite the small number of men opposed to women only health clubs, you would be surprised to find that they have actually gotten some support from NOW (National Organization for Women) who object to any law they feel is permitting discrimination.

Due to the amount of protests from angry women regarding rulings in favor of men, many states have passed legislation to permit single-sex health clubs that benefit both sexes. These states are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Tennessee and New Jersey. NOW has objected to each of these rulings.

In another twist of events, in 2008 North Carolina sued Peak fitness for actually going from a women only gym to a co-ed gym! In this case, Peak fitness closed its women only Arboretum gym and notified members that they could use other Peak fitness facilities. Peak fitness would not release the contracts of those women who didn’t want to be forced to go to a co-ed gym. The state of North Carolina argued that Peak should have released those women from their contracts. The final ruling was that Peak fitness could not continue to take money from former Arboretum members without permission.

There are many opinions on the issue of women only gyms. The general feeling from most people is that it is fine to have women only gyms as long as there can be men only gyms as well. After all, it is true that men act differently when around only men, and so it only seems right to have a place where a man can work out comfortably without women present.

But for many women’s rights advocates, women only gyms and men only gyms open up the door for further discrimination against women in other areas.  Many activist groups claim this could actually be a step back for women’s rights!

What do you think?  Leave a comment below..

    420 replies to "Are Women-Only Gyms Guilty of Discrimination?"

    • Drew

      How is women only any different than whites only? You can have a private gym and invite whoever you want. Public businesses must not be discriminatory based on race, religion, gender, etc. For these women to think they should be able to be exclusive, but no one else can is a selfishly sick mentality.

      Someone else said “Women only gyms are absolutely sexist bigotry and should be opposed at every chance.” and I agree.

      Most of the supporters say something like women have special needs because they may have been abused or raped, but I certainly couldn’t start a whites only gym just because black guy called me names and beat me up. This is total BS, and honestly you ladies are total a holes to go there.

      • Tom H

        I couldn’t agree with you more, Drew. On learning that instead of recognizing the counterproductive discrimination inherent in such gender bias some states have written discrimination into law, I was dumfounded. Equal treatment before the law ought to obviate gender bias. Period.

      • anyway

        The difference between women only and white only is that women aren’t the privileged ones in power. Perhaps some of these gyms came to be because the women felt unsafe or harassed or whatever in a coed gym. Or they were hit on, stared at, or just felt unsafe.

      • saffy

        so Drew do you workout at Curves

      • Christine

        Yeah, lets not compare being raped/assaulted to being called a name. False equivalence. Secondly, most gyms, particularly the weight area is congested with majority male clientele, so in essence males have their own space. Believe it or not, we do not live in a world where women are treated as equally as men. Women are subjected to catcalling, harassment, unwanted attention, and intimidation by males in gyms at a higher rate then men. Men need to recognize their privilege when it comes to what you think it’s so trivial such as harassment/intimidation. So no, women who want these separate rooms are not assholes, they just want to work on in peace which men have the privledge of not having to worry about. Stop whining about waiting in line and blaming the women’s room and complain to the gym about the lack of equipment.

      • Zoltan Bajac

        Good point “anyway”. But following that logic, couldn’t I have a gym for whites only with the same principle? Statistically blacks are much more likely to commit violent crimes and steal, and some whites don’t feel safe with them around. If you are about to say that we shouldn’t judge all blacks on that merit, why would we judge all men in the same way? I don’t harass or even interact with women while lifting.

        In practice I’d be happy if businesses were allowed who to serve. If women want to train just with other women, fine. If some people only want to play among the same race, fine. If bakeries don’t want to make gay wedding cakes, fine.

      • Wade

        Christine, they might have been abused or felt “unsafe” around men that’s ok too want a women’s only gym. Men however are more subject to abuse. The feminists like to hide the true facts and want gender superiority. Shouldn’t men at least get something of there own or at least be included. Even though I’m young, and a guy. Not all men are bad, practically all of my friends are women. If they were to go in the women’s olny gym, I would be excluded from my only close friends and that’s depressing. I do agree with drew in most means, his comment isn’t perfect and that’s that.

    • Marcus

      Women Only Clubs isn’t ridiculous. Men and Women are different physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some women want to have a place were they don’t have to worry about a guy looking at their ass or trying to hit on them them and like above some women have religious reasons. To sit here and disrespect another human by not letting them have their own secure place is just mean. As a man you can go to a co-ed gym or a private gym to work out. Why do people have to be up in someone else’s business.

      • Jason

        Women would flip the hell out if a men only gym opened. They want their cake and eat it too. Now, if both sexes are provided with equal opportunity to have gender specific gyms, fine, let it happen, but to have women only and disallow men only is sexist. It is implying that men are nothing but rapists and perverts.
        Don’t like men? Workout at home.

      • brad

        Where I live we had mens only and women’s only gyms. The women complained that it was unfair to have men’s only gyms and it was changed. There are still the women’s only gyms? How is that fair? We had men’s only golf clubs and that was also changed so women could join. Interesting how there is all types of women only events that men can’t go to. They have a 2 dollar beer and burger for womens night at the local pub yet your paying full price if your a man. Imagine that the other way. Women just bitch a lot and get whatever they want. Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

      • mw

        As a man, I do not want to go to a coed gym. I want to have the right to go to a men only gym.

      • Tom H

        If you truly believe “to sit here and disrespect another human by not letting them have their own secure place is just mean,” then you’d have to support males-only spaces, as well. But such spaces not only are consistently challenged (successfully) from a discrimination standpoint, but they’re virtually non-existent today. That’s a double-standard. In fact, the same reasoning you’re advocating could be used to support race-specific establishments (like schools). That’s not going to fly.

        It’s also insulting to women to claim you know how most women feel–that their physical appetites are inherently less than those of guys. And it’s just as insulting to the rest of the male population to imply we cannot control our desires.

      • anyway

        @jason, I’m sorry, are men experiencing sexual harassment from women at the gym? then they SHOULD get their own gym. Oh wait.

        It’s not a privilege women have to be able to go to their own gym. It’s a result of unwanted stares and sexual harassment from males.

      • Ryd

        Some women want to have a place where they don’t have to worry about a girl looking at their ass or trying to hit on them and may have religious reasons too. Mandate that Gyms who resort to such discriminatory measures have to supply the same (equally local) features to men too.

        As a woman, you can go to a co-ed gym or private gym to work out. Why *DO* people have to be up in someone else’s business?

        Hey, next leap of “progress”: Women-Only Drinking Fountains, and legal mandates that men have to ride at the back of the bus…

      • Jay

        Marcus you are an ass! Women want to be equal to men, which they are, so why should they have their own clubs? I work out as a man and I see see overweight men that feel uncomfortable ! Should they have their own space too? Politically correct people need to stay in their warm little bubbles and fuck off

      • Dave

        Then you’d accept Men’s only clubs, or we only get co’ed’s? By the sound of it, Women don’t want to be around men in the gym. Also I’ve never seen a guy come onto a girl at the gym. Harassment is rare, so stop making the extremes, seem like the norm, and again, stereotyping and discriminating against men. Also what’s up with women getting custody of children pretty much every time in a divorce.

    • Jenna Thompson

      As a women I can say that I would never work out if there were not women only gyms.

      • How is this different from saying “I’m a white person and would only work out at a white only gym” ?

      • Bill M.

        There is a big difference between a white’s only gym & a all woman’s gym. I believe there should be a men & woman’s only gym. I think some of these guys only want to be members to try & hit on woman or just so they can sue. These clubs could offer a gym that is semi co-ed. Meaning have a place for just men, just woman & then co-ed. If a woman wants to work out with just woman or without worrying about guys hitting on her. She should have that choice. A guy should have the same right. I believe it can be religious reasons too. BTW, look at country clubs. There was a Dallas county club that just allowed its first black member this year. Before that it was all white. Hellilled his application 13 years ago. Not to mention Augusta national allows men only. So it is not like this doesn’t happen.

      • Bill M.

        I meant he applied with his application 13 years ago. BTW, there are white only clubs still around. We have a very affluent country club in PA. It cost 50 to $100,000 per year. Not sure if they are all white, but I doubt they have many black members, if they have any at all. They are on the GPS tour, which obviously doesn’t have problems with all men’s clubs. Considering the Masters is held at Augusta & considered the most outrageous club around. So if you play golf. You should have a problem with country clubs & the PGA as well.

      • Bill M.

        Damn, meant PGA tour. Using my tablet & Swype changes the words sometimes.

      • Tom H

        Your prejudice shouldn’t affect my liberties. If you have a problem sharing space with males, there are therapies to help you deal with that. If a male asserts that he’s perturbed by women sharing his gym due to some objective differences between the average woman and the average man, he’d either be ridiculed or immediately PC-silenced. It’s time to end the blatant discrimination men are being subjected to merely for having y-chromosomes.

      • Ryd

        Just like certain groups would never work out if there weren’t Whites Only gyms.

      • Gia

        I agree Jenna. I will only work out at an all women’s gym. It’s where I’m comfortable. Mine closed recently and I cannot find one in my area. It’s just a matter of preference. Why should anyone care or judge where people feel comfortable?

      • Dave

        Christine,

        Then you’d accept Men’s only clubs, or do we only get co’ed’s? By the sound of it, Women don’t want to be around men in the gym, so why can’t do e have men only (double standard). Also I’ve never seen a guy come onto a girl at the gym. Harassment is rare, so stop making the extremes, seem like the norm, and again, stereotyping and discriminating against men. Also what’s up with women getting custody of children pretty much every time in a divorce, and then pay child support. This destroys men.

    • Bill

      If women only gyms or clubs of any kind are permitted, men only gyms and clubs should also be permitted. No gender should have any advantage over the other.

      • anyway

        the thing is that you don’t realize all of the advantages that men have, purely for being men. We live in a patriarchal society, not the other way around.

      • Ryd

        Sorry, sorry… I get a laugh out of women who say “this is a patriarchal society” and “men have the best of everything” and “men get better pay”…As a man surrounded by proud, powerful women, many of which can (AND WILL) prove that they are in charge around the household, and nothing goes without their say, I disagree.

        I’m not going to over-generalize and say that EVERY woman, or EVERY ethnic minority has equal chance with their peers, but do you know how many people (white, black, male, female) have a crutch they lean on (ethnicity, religion, gender, etc) as an excuse to not actively pursue opportunities and take risks others do? Do you know how many females, convinced of their gender’s oppression, DO NOT go out on a limb and apply for the higher-tier jobs, or take a risk and go to their Boss for a well-earned Salary Raise?

        I’m not saying there aren’t male sexists, but there are certainly female sexists. I have seen as many powerful women as I have men, and even as women are campaigning for and attaining more rights (which I’m 100% in support of), I see no hint or trace of them relinquishing the power they’ve always wielded over the household, INCLUDING their husbands. “A happy wife is a happy life”? I don’t know many women who aren’t chasing their dreams, kicking ass and taking names, and taking the necessary risks (and preparatory steps) to make their dreams come true.

        This isn’t the 1920’s. Women have greater use of their brains (scientifically speaking), and they work every ounce of that to their advantage. Those who don’t, they cannot blame Society for their own shortcomings….they can blame it on their own unwillingness to take the necessary risks to get ahead. A black man in the South or Midwest may lament that African Americans have no power or say in the world….. but a trip to the East or West Coasts will show him a COMPLETELY different set of demographics than what he grew up with.

        Not everything is fair, but most of the people complaining aren’t aware that there are methods and opportunities out there *THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT* that would give them equal footing with those who’re achieving more. All we can do is improve with each generation, and – when we have an opportunity to rub elbows (and maybe even merge with) more successful families, etc – learn the tips and tricks people have been using for HUNDREDS of years to get (and stay) ahead.

      • Gia

        I think men only gyms should also be allowed.

      • Dave

        Jenna, if that’s the case, can we have men only gyms?

    • Jan

      I’m an American who has been living in Australia the past seven years. In these past seven years I have belonged to a womens only gym. At first I was sceptical because I’m an American and OMG we have to coed everything! Well, I LOVE a womens only gym. Firstly we don’t have to listen to the men grunt and get saturated by the sweat they fling. We can wear whatever we want and feel comfortable that some man is no lusting in some obscene way when all you want is a workout. Finally the classes and weights are suited to women who do not power as much weight as men and focus on fitness not body building. I belong to a lovely gym now that has pink throughout the gym and it makes me feel so good to be among the older ladies as well as the new mothers. There are enough gyms around that are coed and if that doesn’t work then make men only gyms. TOILETS ARE STILL MEN ONLY AND WOMEN ONLY in most places, why not allow a comfortable workout place for women only?

      • We agree with your comments here at QTFitness.me…Jessica/Jan, if are ever in Pacific Palisades (Cali) come check us out…it is an AWESOME studio!!

    • Jessica

      I think women should be entitled to have “women-only” gym’s and I do not see anyone stopping men from creating “man-only” gym’s either? It is not a matter of being exclusive, it is a matter of women feeling comfortable when they go to the gym. A lot of women nowadays have insecurity and body image issues as is, and when they go to the gym to better themselves, they do not want to be looked at by the opposite sex, it is as simple as that for most women. Yes, some prefer all women gyms for a more woman-oriented environment, but for me personally I feel much more comfortable with my surroundings and myself in an all-female gym. Prime instance would be myself, I am 5’11 and 150 lbs, I have stretch marks (very noticeable) all over my thighs, and when I go a co-ed gym I see the men staring at them, and it is extremely emotionally painful for me, I do not even wear shorts out in public because of them, when I go to all female gyms there are no stares or comments because women UNDERSTAND.

      • TJ

        1) you’re assuming all men act in such a manner to women
        2) What about homosexuals ? You realize that lesbians also enter gyms, right ?
        3) The problem isn’t that men should be allowed to open up their own male only gyms , but rather that this could possibly lead to other types of segregation

      • We agree with your comments here at QTFitness.me…Jessica/Jan, if are ever in Pacific Palisades (Cali) come check us out…it is an AWESOME studio!!

      • Randy

        The law allows women-only gyms but not allow men-only gyms. So to answer your question, the law is stopping people from creating men-only gym. See how that is discriminating? I only feel comfortable around men when I work out. I wish many more men will speak out against this sexist rule.

      • Mark

        Jessica, I feel like white people should have “whites-only” gym’s. It is not a matter of being exclusive, it is a matter of white people feeling comfortable when they go to the gym.

        See how stupid that sounds?

      • Gia

        Jessica, they are all the reasons I prefer a women’s gym. Feeling comfortable.ive tried co-ed gyms and quit immediately. Only women with the same issues understand.

      • gpb

        Yes Jessica I agree. And actually there was a franchise started for men only called “Cuts”. It failed miserably because a male only gym can’t survive without women for them to show off in front of or stare at or try to pick up. I believe most of the men commenting on this topic here today are the exact reason women don’t want to work out with them. They are jerks. You will notice that in a co-ed gym you are surrounded by mirrors. Those are for the men. In most women only gyms there are no mirrors, we just want to work out and get on with our day because we are busy. We don’t hate men, we just don’t go to the gym to find them. We go to work out in peace. If anything, a lot of the men at co-ed gyms are discriminatory in the very way they treat women. Not for me and I’m 5’5 and 120 lbs.

    • KeneticaxXx

      Women only gyms..
      Well I think its a super Feminist attempt. But.. I also think that this works out PERFECTLY for Men.

      See with Women Only gyms being so accessible it makes it far more acceptable to hit on girls at co-ed gyms. After all the logic is clear…

      You MUST be enjoying me as much as Im enjoying you. Or else you’d be at “Your” gym and NOT mine.

      Men are natural hunters. So when a hottie goes shaking her titties and ass for half a hour on a treadmill in her tiny lil outfit… shes asking for it. So dont be surprised when someone offers to give it.

      If you dont want to risk sending the “wrong message” girls.. go to YOUR gym.

      🙂

      • David Murphy

        I genuinely hope your joking, the thinking that if a woman goes to a coed gym she wants to be hit on is why feminists go around screaming rape culture. The fact of the matter is women are somehow allowed to have discriminatory gyms while at the same time can use coed gyms and be protected from “stare rape”(actually a thing. I wish I was making it up) is crazy. But men shouldn’t say anything about that because that’s misogyny. Finally I like to say that your notion that men are sexual predators isn’t just stupid it highly offensive and frankly quite dangerous. Read a book.

    • Mickey

      “Women would flip the hell out if a men only gym opened.”

      Apparently, Jason and quite a few other commenters are confused. A men-only gym already existed. (I use the past tense because I don’t know if they’re still around. The local one closed.)

      It started quite a few years ago. It was a franchise based on the 30-minute Curves model and was called Cuts Fitness for Men. I didn’t hear anyone, men or woman, complaining about it.

      If so many co-ed gyms refused to allow male members to do things like stand outside classes and leer at women, maybe more of them would feel comfortable at a co-ed gym.

      • Hamilton

        may i ask, totally from a neutral stand point, why did the men only gym close in your area?

    • Kristina

      The fact that both gyms exist should tell us that there is a need. To look at the operational aspect as prejudice in my opinion is insane. Men like to have a place where they go for comradery or where “men can be men” and women join all women gyms for several reasons but mostly because they just want to work out without feeling like an object. Some are insecure about their bodies, some have jealous husbands, some feel more comfortable in a smaller, more intimate setting, and some women, like men, enjoy the comradery, it gives them a sense of empowerment. Let’s face it, one of the reasons we work out is to either gain confidence or maintain our confidence. If you are reading this and you have always been confident, turn on your empathy and chill.
      Discrimination in schools or the workplace display a superior attitude message, stunt’s America’s growth, creates haters, stands for nothing, limits our ability to become more peaceful… The list goes on and on. Offering all men or all women’s gym means we just don’t want to sweat with the opposite sex WHILE working out. America, the beautiful, quit your sue happy games. How many men really want to be in the middle of a gaggle of women?

      • Randy

        The problem is the laws do not allow men-only gyms. I agree we all have special needs and I’m fine with that. The problem is that men are not allowed to have their needs according to the law.

      • Tom H

        With all due respect, are you being serious? Where is there today in the USA a males-only athletic facility? In fact, where is there, other than a public restroom, a male-only space in the USA? Women are not the only ones who would prefer to be among only other women in certain settings, but the law is prejudiced towards allowing such for women, but not for men.

        This is ultimately a matter of codified discrimination, and to pretend otherwise is patently disingenuous. And for the record, telling other adults to “chill” isn’t likely to produce the effect. More and more of us are sick of discriminatory policies allowed to stand, and rather than “chill,” we’ll continue to challenge the legality of prejudice.

    • Wow, big and heavy subject with a lot of opinion. I don’t think there will be enough space on this forum to cover all the pros and cons but I will give an opinion based on experience. I live in Australia where common-sense seems to prevail.
      I have experience in all aspects of this argument. I owned and ran a mixed gym for 13 years, I own and run a women’s only gym (last 5 years) and I am a member of a men only sporting club.
      Whilst running the first gym, I had a women’s only gym open 100 meters away. At that stage women only was a new business that seemed to be getting a reasonable slice of the gym industry.
      I lost about 60 members,(in the short term) not enough to hurt me but every member adds to the bottom line of a gym business. I rang a few of the members that had left so I could try to understand their reasoning. Generally there was no animosity, the women’s only simply offered a different environment with a different time table. I realised that there were women joining the other club that would never step foot in the door of my gym, there were women that were members of my gym that would never join the women’s only and then there was a cross over market that would join either based on programs and the feel. (Or, as in the movie “The Castle” the vibe.)
      The gym my wife and I run now is not a one room women’s only, it is a full 3 studio, cardio, full weights, crèche and change room gym. I work part time on reception and sales, as the only male working in the business I get the odd question as to why I am there, but my presence causes no issue. Being on the front line gives me the opportunity to talk to the members, new and existing, and bolster my resolve to maintain the women only membership.
      In short the bulk of the members would not join a mixed gym, not because they have an issue with men but simply, they feel more comfortable. I have bought equipment with women in mind, that does not mean men could not use the setup it is simply orientated toward women. There are no 50Lb plates left on the bars, the gym is much cleaner and easier to keep clean, and it smells much better. I don’t train there (out of respect of our women only policy), I am a member of my old mixed gym as it is near my home, and I prefer the atmosphere and the setup. (I don’t prefer the smell).
      I am a member of a men only club because it has a squash court, I still play competition squash, I see no issue with women being excluded from membership. I did not join because it was men only, I joined for the court but, after 8 or 10 hours at the gym with women, I really enjoy having a beer at the club with the blokes.
      Different environment’s suit different people, there is no discrimination in either club just different.
      I enjoy the fact that we have not made everything the same, that we still have choice. If you don’t like a club for whatever reason you don’t have to be involved, you can walk away and leave the people that do enjoy it alone.

    • John

      Common sense has it that men will want to be around men only, sometimes. Women will, at times, want to be around women. I see no problem with Men Only or Women Only clubs and orgs. But, in the USA, whether it’s race, gender, some people want their cake, and they want to eat it too. Notice how NOW did NOTHING when Curves took off, but as soon as suits came up and the result was the formation of men only clubs, suddenly NOW was interested in fighting discrimination. How blatantly hypocritical is that?

      I’m not at all surprised that Curves disallowed not only male members, but male employees, too! GO America! If you practice the right kind of discrimination, it’s OK!

      But, man, don’t practice the wrong kind. You’ll be on CNN in a heartbeat.

      And don’t complain about the right kinds… you’ll be labeled a right wing whacko. LOL.. so sad.

      As for the comment that women have body issues, self esteem issues, does anybody really think that that problem affects women only?

    • STEPHEN

      Where do men go to work out if they do not want to be ogled by women? This is an issue for good looking guys. Women only is like white only – no real difference. The whole notion sets back the women’s movement by a couple of decades. Get over yourselves and stop discriminating.

    • jonathan

      I AM NOT GAY and i dont have a problem with the women! But honestly the amount of money i pay to enter a gym + membership fees + p/trainer & nutritionist advice costs and other charges it does get expensive! So honestly speaking i am at the gym to get MY MONEYS WORTH AND GET RESULTS if i want to see women i will go to a beach or nightclub (though my misses won’t approve)I dont have a problem with women but i HATE IT when they look at me with a certain look as if i am a predator! and they even move a machine away from me so they dont have to work out next to me is just annoying! i cant afford a home gym atm BUT I WANT ONE… I HATE WORKING OUT WITH WOMAN AROUND! they are immature too a mens only gym would get us results quicker anyway !

    • RON

      WELL as a POLE FITNESS gym co owner ( my wife is the owner/ chief instructor) , i am the only man here and even i am in my office 95% of the time. I would hate to think a straight guy would want to take a pole class..lol BUT?? anyway,,,what has come up is…a trans gender male wants to take a class…. i want to say yes but i don’t want to make my existing female clients feel uncomfortable. i live in a state NJ where single sex facilities are permitted so legally i can deny the person but morally i must admit im a little uneasy. any suggestions?

    • JJ

      I’m simply shocked that women have double standards. Lets not discourage them in any way from exercising away their lard and flab. I always wonder why men even go to a gym when you can get exercise and money at a JOB. If you are a man and you are out of shape likely you do not work a man appropriate job like construction, shipbuilding, military, oilfield, lumberjack…etc When you have these jobs you will be in shape, have money, and plenty of women.

    • Shantelle

      I’m all for a female only gym because I understand the anxiety that comes with fitness at a regular gym. I love lifting weights – heavy weights- more than any thing. But I get really nervous when I am the only female in the weight room. Think its not so much about being ogled but its about the mentality of gyms.

    • Beth

      i love the idea of women only gyms, though i do go to a 24 hour co-ed gym and there are not women only gyms in my area, the hours i can only work out has a lot of tradie guys and even though i am sure their not looking at me and getting on with their work in my head i am very self conscious, and i also love the idea of men only gyms,, but i would love to see a gym that has both say upstairs for men and downstairs for women, all the same equipment nothing different aand see if there where any complaints

      • Frank Nizzo

        Upstairs for men…. that’s discriminatory against men yet again… pandering to women’s inherent laziness… do the world a favor and go f–k yourself with a stick laced with AIDS:)

      • James

        Frank Nizzo- you are an absolute idiot.

    • Mike

      I don’t have a problem with women-only gyms existing. What I have a problem with is men being forced to subsidize the cost of women-only gyms. I have a membership to Goodlife Fitness in Canada. That membership lets me use any Goodlife gym in the country which is nice because I travel for work a lot. However, over the past few years, Goodlife has accelerated the rate at which they are opening women-only gyms which, of course, I can’t use. They are now close to 50% of their facilities being women-only. My question is, why do I have to pay the same membership fee as a woman when I get access to only half the number of facilities?

    • Greg

      What about this example (my real-life example): i am married with a VERY beautiful/hot woman and at EVERY single gym we went (together), i ended up angry and decided not to go anymore, because every single (junk) man was starring at my wife, like there was no tomorrow.

      On the other hand, the ladies there were “accidentally” working out in front of me, bending over, just to make my wife angry, because they were jealous they didn’t look as good as her. This made my wife angry, so she said: “no more gym EVER”.

      Now we both would LOVE to go to the gym, but we really tried all the gyms in our area and it’s the same everywhere. Honestly, i would even pay DOUBLE if i found an “only women gym” and an “only men gym”, because this way we could both work out in PEACE. I really don’t understand why would anybody CARE that there is an “only men gym”, if there are hundreds of “mixed” gyms all over the place. You can pick your favorite one and let me pick my favorite one also. Why make me watch you bend over in front of me, if i don’t want to?! Isn’t that kind of discriminating me, for not allowing me to choose not to watch women work out? After all, i can’t be working out with my eyes closed, can i?

    • Caro

      I have no problem with men but I don’t want to work out with them! I am short, older and I have a thyroid condition so I am always fighting my weight. I also don’t wear makeup or fancy gear to work out in and when I’ve tried co-ed gyms I get condescending looks and under the breath comments from men which is hurtful. Men are visual – we all get that but women shouldn’t need to worry about how we look when we are working out. Plus, men sweat more and need different weights than we do so why not let us have our own gym? I have no problem with male only gyms as long as I can have my female only gym!

    • Sarah-Mishelle

      This is an interesting thread. I was part of a Women’s Only Gym a long time ago. The reason I joined is because my mom wanted to adopt a healthy lifestyle and join a gym but did not feel comfortable in a co-ed gym. I joined and worked out with her for support. It was a pleasant place and very motivating. Since then, I have not joined a women’s gym again simply because I am into power-lifting and body building now and women’s gyms are not really the best place to cultivate that and do not cater to my needs. I think it is all a matter of peoples’ needs and comfort levels. I am not against men only/women only sections of gyms, or entire gyms for that matter. Let people do what they want and let people have a choice.

    • max

      i hated women only gyms befoee. But now as a father of a growing daughter, i’m all for a place she can be comfortable and focus on her health. to hell with all the men complaining here.

    • Hendrick

      There used to be many Men only clubs and establishments in the United States until the feminists kept suing for discrimination. Then they had to let women in, and that caused the club to close because the men went there to hang out with other men.

      Has anyone else noticed a tend in society. It goes like: Anything that women like = Good. Both men and women think like this. Back when they had men only clubs, and women didn’t like it, there were many men who agreed with the feminists. Now that women want women only clubs, men are now agreeing the opposite.

      Womans powerlessness has always been a tool that they use to get their way. And it shows that women are not discriminated against at all.

      Just a few of my thoughts

    • It seems to me that the strongest arguments for a women’s only gym is the program need differences and religious values.
      Some women can’t expose themselves certain ways because of a practice that they have been following and their ancestors have been following for years. So be be it. Everyone has the right to workout, lift , whatever. I think that is a reasonable argument.
      What isn’t reasonable is the idea that men ogle women in the fitness centres. it is a two way ogle street! i know! i am a victim! lol
      Anyways, what really made me agree with the Women fitness centres are that men and women have different needs when working out. where men offend lift heavy weights and body build, there is lots of room for that in the coed gyms, women are just working on their fitness and health, attending zumba and yoga classes. so that makes sense to me.
      However, i am worried about the men that want to focus on fun healthy activities such as zumba. but im sure it will all workout.

    • Of course they are discriminating . Its against the law in Canada to denial membership to a person based on color ,religion ,nationality or Gender !!!! Simple ! They are going to court . How to I explain to my two sons and husband that they are not allowed in the GYM with me ?? How ? That’s pure Misandry what they are doing . Could you imagine if there are Men only Fitness’s ?!! Feminists would be screaming …..Bunch unsecure women have decided that they are special and should not allowed men to join …OK but than Men should have the same right to discriminate against women . Fair is fair . Or Gay fitness only ??!

    • Sopeoplelikemebelonginahole?

      I am a woman. I don’t like working out with men. They make me very uncomfortable. From what I gather from the comments I see above, I should “just get over it”, “go jump in a hole”, “go to the Middle East”, etc… because my comfort level doesn’t matter when I pay my money to work out…only that everyone be allowed to be where they want?
      I personally don’t see anything wrong with a men’s only fitness club.
      Laws are written, re-written, OVER-RULED, abolished all the time.
      You mean to tell me, they can’t create a well written law to protect women like myself (and men in the case of not wanting to work out around women) that provides the sanctuary that we are looking for?
      It’s only a freaking workout facility..not the job market (which affects a person’s livelihood).
      I also prefer a woman personal trainer and physician vs. a man…I don’t want any man’s hands touching me that’s not my husband or male family member that I am comfortable receiving hugs from…unless it’s a matter of life or death.
      Today’s society would label me an archaic prude and unreasonable. I disagree.
      And, no, I’m not a muslim.

    • If conventional yoga clubs give you a phobia where there are men around then, probably Namaste Yoga is the place for you.

    • Rjg

      How to satisfy the cry babies on discrimination, open the gym for a few hrs or one day to them only! This way they can’t say we don’t like them and not satisfy their real purpose of waching us do our thing.;)

    • paul evans

      why discourage women working out separately. let them take their soap operas and food shows OUT of REAL Gyms and into their little fantasy gym

    • Tom H

      I am disheartened to read in these comments that so few people GET that many guys’ furor over females-only facilities has nothing to do with how women feel and what they want. Many of us (guys) wholly celebrate personal autonomy in the spirit of different but equal *before the law.* What has so incensed so many of us is the blatant *legal* discrimination. If women feel more comfortable in a women-only gym, and such gyms are allowed to come into existence, denying membership to some community members based solely on our chromosomes, then make the complementary exclusion criterion equally legal. Allow, legally, men-only facilities. Anything else is blatantly discriminatory and unjust.

      How is it that so many people here aren’t seeing that THAT is the issue–not one of mere personal choice?

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    • Joe

      Where can I go to work out away from black people? Black people scare me and I am afraid they are looking at me behind my back. They make me nervous and it’s not that I have a problem with them or anything, I do have a black friend, but I can’t imagine working out with them because they are always looking at me like they want to rob me or something. I need a safe space where I can go to mentally clear the air, and be around people that are ONLY like me.

      Sounds pretty f’d up when a white male says it right? Why does it somehow become acceptable when women say it about men? Are all men to be assumed and treated as perverts and rapists until proven guilty?

      Unfortunately not enough men stand up to sexism when it exists. We just move on with our lives; why would a guy care to be part of a women’s gym anyway? But it’s the principal. Feminists would NEVER allow men to do the opposite. But when feminists start protesting for women to join the draft, equal prison sentinces, and child custody laws, that’s when I’ll start taking them seriously. But, that will happen when hell freeses over.

    • Kevin

      I am a man. I think that women have the right to access a women only gym. But Men have the right to the same value. A gym membership i was offered gave me a area for 40$. The problem is there are 2 female only gyms in that area. So my 40 dollars is 50% less value able then a females membership. I do not hope that women lose the right to access women only gyms. Just have the scales be equal. If its a membership to 4 locations… make it 4 locations for everyone. I would be very happy with the option of 4 co ed locations. Any opinions?

    • Michael

      I’m a guy and I don’t see anything wrong at all with Women Only gyms. It’s pretty sleazy that some men actually sue women’s only gyms for not letting them in, like they obviously don’t care about the concept of the women’s only gyms, they just want money. Women’s only gyms should totally be allowed, I think it’s ridiculous that it generates this much controversy. I mean, c’mon there are so much other real problems out there in society right now that we should be focusing on. Leave the ladies alone, let them have their own gyms. We guys are fine with going to our local co-ed gym.

    • Dick

      If women claim the right to exclude men from their health clubs and other facilities on the premise that they are uncomfortable with the latter’s presence, what about the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not permit the same criteria to be used in discriminating against people with disabilities?

    • Paul

      Every “special interest group” only want “equality” when it works in their favor, but then special considerations/treatment when it does not.

      And in truth, they actually don’t even want “equality”, what they truly want is the immature revenge of “How do YOU like it?!”
      They want everything reversed so they can now be the ones in “power” (as they feel this is what “all” evil white males possess).
      And most of the time they have a really twisted/one-way view of the world. And a large percentage of them are also mentally unstable.

    • Elliander Eldridge

      To have a women’s only gym you have to exclude men from working there, but if the laws are changed to allow this, what would it mean?

      Well, for starters, you have to accept gender bias on other environments. Take, say, a programming company. A company might argue that the men are self conscious working with women, even if most men don’t care, and say that they don’t hire women. It’s a men only establishment. If a law is written to allow gender bias in other work environments on the basis of feelings this would be a legitimate argument to make.

      Then you have legal justification for gender bias across the board. suddenly, all the progress made by women’s rights groups would completely unravel. Any company could segregate as it sees fit keeping women from advancement. Seems like a stretch? It isn’t, because once you start making excuses for discrimination this is what you end up with. That’s probably why NOW so strongly opposes it. They are smart enough to understand what it means.

      Now, gyms with women only hours or rooms open themselves up to lawsuit because they either charge men the same, despite getting less, or keep men from equal access tp the same kind of equipment. If yoy want women only hours just create equal men only hours. If a room is women only, create a comparable men only room. As long as the genders are treated equally it’s not discrimination. If a company didn’t want men and women working together, they could have a separate floor so the same job opportunities exist for all.

      My personal complaint would be how at my las5 gym women got private shower stalls. But men had to share a cramped shower room. Not surprisingly, most men stunk because no one wanted to shower with other men. I deliberately decided tp only work out late at night to avoid that situation, something that no woman had to do. I call that sexism as well because women got better facilities, but it’s also easy yo solve.

      The only way I’d ever support a gender specific gym is if it was divided into men and women sections where each gender was treated fairly and equally.

    • Richard

      Retry sad that men are being discriminated against just as men and women fought to prevent in the last 50 years. Now women want what men had yet they don’t see the road where it is leading too. Men are being discriminated to the point they do not even have a right to their own body integrity. A doctor or lay person can cut body parts off of a healthy male baby, sell them to a pharmacuidical company and feel do legality if the male baby dies. How sad the current state of our law is. What a joke. No wonder so many of our men are taking their own life. What is astonishing is that the powers t be in the health industry know the damage they do yet continue to steel the body parts and do the harm. Look at how many boys have lost their lives in the last 20 years from the lack of the law defending a basic human right as they are male and not a female.

    • Donna

      I want a women only gym because I am quite petite. The equipment in most gyms are too big or the weights are to heavy. I am older. If a small statured man wanted to work out at a women’s gym with smaller equipment that is alright with me. It is a size and age issue for me.

    • Celaya

      Generally as a male I get mildly ticked off at these gyms but as I was reading this article the one argument I agree with in favor of these types of gyms is that due to physical differences it might make sense to have equipment and regimens designed for the female body, much the same way it would be pretty inappropriate for a male to insist on being seen by a gynecologist. But I guess if they insisted and they had the money the law seems pretty clear that you’re not supposed to discriminate. Interesting conundrum!

    • Aubrey

      I really don’t understand why men are upset about this. So many women go into a gym and are stared at and told such inappropriate comments from men. It makes me really uncomfortable when I’m at the gym and can literally feel a guys eyes staring at me. Once a guy like 17 years older than me made really inappropriate comments to me and wouldnt let me NOT give him my number. And I mean there are other reasons to why I think having an all womens gym would be cool. Surrounded by like-minded individuals, and especially when it is about fitness, and weight lifting because so many people think that makes a woman manly, when it is really empowering.

      • Dave

        Not all women think alike. To assume they are all like minded, because they are women is ignorant. You seem to be suggesting women are all special flowers, and men predators that don’t have feelings. Harassment is rare, and when in happens like any other crime, report it, as I would if a person or colour stole my iPhone from the bar. I wouldn’t ask for a White only bar, because I’am not going to discriminate, because something happened to me once.

    • EricB

      So interesting to see most of the comments are placed as – women emotional needs and should be entitled, or that men gawking, nobody has stated what about the women cat-calling, gawking at men’s body. Hell, I was on a treadmill for an hour to hear two twenty-somethings talking how they would like to lick the man’s body like it was an ice cream cone or I wonder if his package is real men who are massive build compensate for a small winky. It goes both ways on what is what. Now all men are the same as not all women are the same. Hell, what are you going to say when a woman who is in the homosexual aspect starts eyeing other women are you all wanting to create a straight woman only club? I mean I really get unconfrontable when a homosexual man starts to eyeball me, but I get over it and continue my work out, but hey my emotional needs do not care because in society men are not supposed to feel, except only if it is their crotch. Trust me there are much more that can be posted, the overall goal is getting along. Having male/female only gyms should happen, it is not like we are all keeping anything from each other or doing anything special.

    • Nancy DeVuyst

      Sorry I am a woman, but I think Men should have a Men’s only gym, he’ll if women do not want to work out with them then let them alone to work out with only men….what double standards some men feel uncomfortable working out around women…so we can have Women only Men only and Coed what’s the issue Here?

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    • Fred Doug

      It is so bizarre to hear women simultaneously whine about needing their safe spaces, claim to not want to be treated like victims, and castigating anything that men are more likely to use than women. Just admit it, you want more power and special rights. You define discrimination only insofar as it benefits you. If you can’t see the logical fallacy then maybe you are a victim that is incapable of making it on your own without being dependent on men.

      • Educator

        The idiocy of your statement is such that I had to respond…out of sheer ‘teaching moment’ drive. I’m writing a paper for grad school, so forgive the timing…my guess is this comment was left years ago. However, your “simultaneously” comment suggests that you will name something at odds with what we need. Yes, we need a safe space and respect. Those two things are not in any way bizarre to seek simultaneously. One can choose to control their environment in order NOT to become a victim. That’s logical. My belief is that when a woman IS harassed in a gym with men, your reaction would be “Well, what did you expect? Don’t go to a gym if you don’t want to be ogled.” Men like you, if I may generalize, will find any reason to attack, belittle or name-call women. Case-and-point? Your above vitriol. You’re “mansplaining,” in case you weren’t aware. And it’s this very “I have a right to do as I please” attitude that drives so many women to seek women-only facilities.

        The irony is that I would never want to work out in a women-only gym. I tried it once. I hated it. I like my eye candy too, and working out with a bunch of other women doesn’t motivate me at all. I work out in a predominantly male gym and I love it. But I am neither of a religious sect that prevents me from doing that, nor have I been attacked and scared to the point of fear. So while I do not partake is such things, I support people in their need for it entirely. Similarly, I do not begrudge male-only gyms. If you guys decide you need a space free of women so you can be gross together and not feel like you’re on display, I support that as well. I don’t believe things should ever be one-sided…THAT is discrimination. But if gyms are allowed to be gender specific (as they are in many states), then everyone can choose what is best for them.

        In closing…please change your thought process. We aren’t “whining” about it. We’re acting to make changes that support our needs. Imagine, if you will, that you’re in prison. You’re expected to work out with the group that just a few weeks prior attacked you in the shower. You’re just wanting a workout, but there’s guys who look just like the ones who raped you everywhere. Can you just work out? Are you comfortable? Do you not ask the guards if you can work out alone next time so that you aren’t doing so in fear? We aren’t whining.

        Thank you.

    • Justin

      I am wanting to potentially start a business and was thinking of opening a mobile gym/personal training business. For personal, relational, and religious reasons I would only feel comfortable providing services to men. Would this be legal?

      Thanks.

      V/r,

      Justin

      • Educator

        If your religion prevents you from working privately with women, then you have zero issues. Additionally, as a small business you are not held to the same expectations and standards as a large company would be. It’s usually around 15-25 employees when legalities change. So you’d be able to work with whomever you choose, for any reason, legally. How that will be portrayed by people who feel wronged is another story. Legal rights don’t protect you from social media backlash.

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