In 2020, a story in The Guardian went viral detailing how women face harassment and stalking when at the gym. Another recent poll by Bar Bend reports that 4 out of 5 — 4 out of 5! — women have felt unsafe while working out in public. Now, a Kansas gym is attempting to combat that frightening pattern by operating exclusively for women… and they’re getting blasted on social media by angry men. But are we really surprised?
Blush Fitness, a gym in the Overland Park park suburb Kansas City, heralds itself as a safe space fitness center. “Had a great workout with no men insight” is the exact term used in a now-viral TikTok by @heatherhuesman. Apparently, it is strictly an all-women gym Like many gyms, Blush Fitness has locker rooms, personal training sessions, 24-hour service, group fitness classes, Zumba classes, etc. But there are also some other key features: tinted windows, free tampons, free babysitting, 24-hour service, pink floral decor, a so-called Blush Boot Camp, and a listing for members which details when any male trainers will be around.
The marketing for Blush advertises and emphasizes it as a female gym “Empowering women through fitness.” Now, that message has circulated further than ever. Heather Huesman’s happy TikTok, which previews BlushFit’s free weights center and training rooms, has acted as something of a trending advertisement for the unusual space. But not everyone is so entranced.
According to The Daily Dot, many men who have watched the TikTok have commented their own condemnations of the idea. Some of the lines include “doesn’t sound like equality,” “discrimination and segregation,” “swear we’re going backward in time,” and “if it was only for men there would be so much hate.” Obviously, applying the terminology of “reverse-sexism” to a gym that aims to be safe and inclusive for female members is ridiculous. For some ladies, limited-access gyms like Blush hare the first chance to safely reach fitness goals — without gross ogling or harassment. And if you’re offended by that, well, you can always work out at home.
For anyone in the Kansas City area thinking of checking out Blush Fitness, the address and phone number are listed below:
7204 W 119th St, Overland Park, KS 66213