From getting in shape to aiding mental health, exercising has many benefits, and for a lot of us, a public gym is where we go to work out. But as women know, sometimes gyms attract creeps.
Now a woman who went viral on TikTok for sharing a women’s-only gym has fired back against critics and trolls who say the facility is akin to “discrimination” and “segregation.”
Social media is filled with stories of women at public gyms who are leered at and harassed by strange men. In response to this, numerous “women’s-only” gyms have popped up in an effort to give women a safe space to work out in.
But these facilities are not without their critics, and that’s something a woman on TikTok experienced for herself.
Heather Huesman, also known as @heatherhuesman on TikTok, went viral with over 6 million views for her TikTok of a women’s-only gym. While women’s gyms are becoming more popular, Heather’s innocent tour of the facility soon became a hot-button topic for viewers.
“The BEST GYM! We need these everywhere, we feel so safe and comfortable going to the gym, gonna be my new favorite spot!” she wrote on TikTok.
A Tour Of The Facility
Called “Blush Fitness,” Heather gives viewers a tour of the facility and highlights its many safety features.
At the front entrance, windows are tinted black so people on the outside can’t look in, and not only is it open 24/7, but the front door is always locked, so only female gym members and employees can enter.
Because it’s a women’s-only gym, the facility even posts notices that inform gym users when men will be working in the building, what they call “male staffed hours.”
Any woman knows the panic of suddenly getting her period but not having any feminine hygiene products on hand, and Heather shows viewers that the gym offers members free tampons and pads.
The facility also features a variety of spaces to accommodate different types of workouts such as rooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and various pieces of equipment, such as medicine balls and weightlifting equipment.
Heather captions the end of the video with, “Had a great workout with no men in sight!”
A Safe Space
The TikTok quickly went viral with nearly 2 million views and 63,000 comments, and users definitely had a lot to say. Women loved the idea of a women’s-only gym and users said they hope their city opens a similar facility one day. Other women meanwhile defended the facility against misogynist critics.
“It’s called giving women a safe space so [they’re] not being stared at and harassed by men,” one user commented.
Discrimination And Segregation
But not all users fully supported Heather or the women’s-only gym. The comment section of her TikTok was soon flooded with users who claimed the facility amounted to “segregation” and “discrimination” for not allowing men inside.
Meanwhile, other men trolled Heather and women in general with misogynistic remarks.
Other men commented and wondered that in response to women’s-only facilities if there would be any backlash if guys opened their own “men’s-only” gym, and to that, many women had only one response—so what?
“Literally why are the boys so pressed?? Go open your own all men’s gym then if you want one like what??” one user commented.
Now Sit Down And Let The Women Talk
In response to Heather’s TikTok, trolls continued to voice their displeasure with the women’s-only gym across her multiple videos, while others started attacking her personally.
In response to one user who said it doesn’t matter what gym she goes to because she’s “nothing to look at,” Heather began firing back at her critics. “I literally don’t go to the gym for you,” she says.
Avoiding Creepy Men
It’s obvious that women want their own gyms and a “safe space” so they aren’t subjected to harassment while working out. In a follow-up video, Heather addresses this issue, which for some reason is very difficult for people to get their heads around.
“I actually do expect creepy men, which is why I go to an all-women’s gym, where there’s no creepy men. So now I don’t expect it! Thank you for listening to my TED Talk.”
Consent Is Key
In another follow-up, Heather addresses claims that she might be viewed as a hypocrite for her career choice, namely the fact that she supports women-only gyms but works at Hooters.
She explains that men looking at her at Hooters and her not wanting men to look at her while at a coed gym is not hypocritical for one key reason. “Consent.”
From attacking women’s gyms to her career and physical appearance, Heather continued to fire back. In a later TikTok, she says she doesn’t care if people don’t want to look at her at the gym because she’s not there for them.
“I don’t care if I’m ugly, I don’t care if I’m beautiful. I care if my heart is kind,” she says. “The people commenting things like this, it doesn’t matter if they’re a 10/10, if they have an ugly heart, they project ugly.”