Woman at the gym

Kentish Town Sports Center to Men: GET OUT!

Exercising my rights: Why I’m suing my gym for gender discrimination – and how you can help

In a recent Mail Online article I revealed my plans to sue a local sports center for gender bias.

The announcement, which ran in a piece entitled Bigot in a Bra, sparked both debate and interest – with colleagues, gym peers and friends keen to know more about this controversial case of sexual discrimination.

Encouragingly, beyond being curious, some passionate MHRAs went a step further, wanting to know how they could support my fight with emails, re-Tweets and donations to my legal fund.

Here, in an exclusive for A Voice For Men, I would like to thank them – and answer their queries.

Firstly, let me set the scene. The venue in question is the Kentish Town Sports Centre – a popular, local government-owned facility in north London, UK.

Following a successful, multi-million pound makeover, the gym now attracts hundreds of people every day from all sections of society; black, white, gay, straight, religious, atheist, male, female, young and old.

There is no dominant demographic. Everybody is welcome and everybody gets on. But not everybody is equal.

Because, co-governed by a very pro-feminist local government, the Kentish Town Sports Centre bans all men and boys for 390 hours per year.

Why? Because they’re considered potential threats to women. Yep, that’s correct – they ban all males from their gym room and pools – whether they’re gay men, pensioners or children wanting to burn off innocent energy – for 7.5 hours every week in the name of feminism.

Incredulously, they still charge men the SAME annual membership fee as women, have no ‘men’s hour’ equivalent and have failed to conduct any research into men’s needs.

In short, men are getting shafted in the name of political correctness.

Generally, this ban happens at peak times – with an abrupt announcement asking all men to leave the building in a walk of shame. The resulting sight is a sad one. Seeing hordes of men and boys – who’ve all paid good money for a public service they’re entitled to – being humiliated and rejected for nothing more than their gender is heartbreaking.

You can almost see them soaking up self-loathing like a sponge. Meanwhile, a misplaced, inherited guilt hangs in the air like smoke.

Simultaneously, female users look at these men (me included) suspiciously, constantly trying to spot which one of us is the threat.

Ironically, for all their blood, sweat and tears, these women’s prejudices are being exercised more than their muscles.

Yet, because we live in an age of acceptable misandry, many of the men are too polite to speak up. Rather, like a giant metaphor for life, they save their upset for the privacy of the changing room and deflate.

But not me.

Several weeks ago, I formally complained to the venue’s general manager, asking him to change the gym’s policy with one of three alternatives:

A) Maintain a women’s hour, but introduce a men’s hour in the interest of fairness
B) Keep women’s hour (and only women’s hour) but charge men less, OR
C) Scrap single-gender sessions altogether

Seems fair, right? My thinking is this: if the need for women-only sessions is so great (and not just a commercial/marketing decision by gym bosses) then great, have one. But don’t expect men to fund it.

Sadly, my suggestions were rejected.

“A report by the Women Sport and Fitness Foundation showed that a significant proportion of women (26%) “hate the way they look when they exercise”. This was based on a survey undertaken by WSFF of 2013 people,” they replied in an email.

“This takes on an even greater significance when you consider that women feel even more self-conscious when taking part in sport and physical activity when men are present. A WSFF survey in 2010 found that a significant number of respondents (total of 559 women) did not like the opposite sex to see them exercise.

“If you are wondering who or what WFSS is it is a charity that campaigns and specialises in increasing women’s physical activity levels.”

Translated into plain English, this means: feminists say a minority of women ‘feel’ bad about their bodies…and because heterosexual men are attracted to women, their very existence makes it worse, so they should be banned.

No, seriously.

That’s like trying to clean a dirty face by rubbing a mirror.

It also assumes that all men are heterosexual, when in fact many of them are gay and have no interest in the female aesthetic. In fact, if they really wanted to, these men can be voyeuristic in the showers.

So what next, gay hours? Straight hours? Gimme a break.

Then, when I told them that men typically die before women, thus have a greater need to access fitness services – something based on fact, rather than feelings – they had no answer. Similarly, when I pointed out that their policy assumes that only men can objectify the opposite sex, they were bewildered. But they still did nothing.

Only two weeks later I was forced to complain when four teenage girls were wolf-whistling at men in the weights area – jeering ‘who’s the biggest’ and laughing. The management barely raised an eyebrow.

Time to play hard-ball, I thought.

And that takes us full circle. This is precisely why I’m now suing them for gender bias. Because I have politely pointed out their discrimination and asked them to change it, but they’ve refused.

Relying on the law is my only option, but I’ve learnt that this isn’t easy.

In a bid to launch my case I contacted almost 100 solicitors, all of whom refused to help me. Perhaps for them it’s too risky – or too political.

Not only was this disappointing, but it was also frustrating because several editors had already shown interest in my battle – and were willing to run stories on my case; something which would’ve helped the MHRM significantly.

Fortunately, Erin Pizzey – AVFM’S very own editor at large – buoyed me by personally offering her support, as did human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who described my fight as “sensible and fair”.

In fact, Peter recommended I contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission for legal help, which I did. But I sent two emails – on 7/1/13 and 10/1/13 – and both were unanswered. I called to chase and was reassured, but that was over a month ago. Still nothing. No prizes for guessing why: there’s an endemic disinterest in men’s issues, which is another good reason to fight back, hard.

Only this time I realised I would be doing it on my own. That’s often how it works when you’re fighting for men’s rights.

Fortunately, with the help of the good people at MRA London, I found a solicitor who will take on my case for a reasonable fee. Given that I’m largely bankrolling this myself, this is important.

Now, we are working together to build my case and things are moving forward.

Increasingly, the gym seem nervous – not least by the public embarrassment it may cause them, but also by their own anti-male indoctrination.

And so they should.

Because, if I win, it would be very much a test case – with gyms all over the country being forced to update their policies to be truly equal, without feminist propaganda skewing it.

Not only would this be physically healthy for everyone who can access gyms without restriction, but it would also be socially healthy for those who understand the toxicity of sexism – whether directed at men or women.

That’s what I’m fighting for – and you’re welcome to join me. After a long process in getting to this point, things seem to be gathering pace. Fortunately, I think I can go the distance…especially with the brotherhood on side.

This is a heavyweight issue, but feels much easier knowing you’re all behind me.

Thanks for everything so far.

Publishers note: I am generally very hesitant to encourage readers to contribute anywhere but AVFM. We have significant operational costs and sweat the bottom line quite a bit.

I think this is a badly needed exception. Mr. Lloyd is not only the first undisguised and unapologetic men’s human rights activist to ever break through to mainstream media writing, but this is also a case that could benefit our cause in several significant ways.  

I will be donating personal money to help support his lawsuit, and I hope others will also make the same choice. To donate to Mr. Lloyd’s legal fund, you can use paypal and send the money to his account using the email address peter@handsomecopy.com.

If you have any questions about how to do this, please put them in the comments and they will be answered. 

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  • August Løvenskiolds

    Peter, I am so proud of your efforts, and wee bit jealous, too, that you got there before me. Give ‘em hell.

  • Near Earth Object

    Hi Peter,

    I would like to be a part of this undertaking.
    I will drop you an email on Tuesday—look for ‘Near Earth Object’ in the subject box—and we can take it from there.

    • Near Earth Object

      Plan B:

      The funds are now as good as in your bank.

      I know that these kinds of things can take a lot of time to resolve … I wish you all the best in this … look very forward to hearing of your success.

  • Steveyp333

    Definitely worthwhile. The story made me sick, so I threw in some for the legal fund. GL!

  • Turbo

    Brilliant, give it to them Peter.

  • Peter Wright (Tawil)

    A clearly articulated, straight-forward fight with great chances of success – and the possibility of reverberations throughout the world. What more could we ask for!

    Where do I donate… link please?

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      To donate to Mr. Lloyd’s legal fund, you can use paypal and send the money to his account using the email address peter@handsomecopy.com.

      • Peter Wright (Tawil)

        Ok I see you already offered that above, I wasnt sure how could be done by submitting an email at Paypal, have never used that option.

        I successfully sent a donation moments ago using this method…. For any who want to donate go to Paypal and hit the ‘Send Money’ tab and a box for inserting the above email appears…. its all straightforward from there.

        • Near Earth Object

          “I wasnt sure how could be done by submitting an email at Paypal, have never used that option.”

          T’was a new experience for me as well.

  • droobles

    I would like to donate, even is it is a little every month, but I didn’t see his paypal donate button and I would be very interested with updates (I guess monthly updates on the case would be enough).

    Hoping for this victory, no matter how small because it is only the first of many!!

    • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

      To donate to Mr. Lloyd’s legal fund, you can use paypal and send the money to his account using the email address peter@handsomecopy.com.

  • harrywoodape

    Similar circumstance with a major fitness club chain in Canada. They removed the heavybags from my gym. They used to be accessible to patrons in the studio – when there wasnt a class in progress. Hitting a heavybag was part of my workout that allowed me to get out some aggression. It was in a relatively private area. Other patrons used it too. They removed them, I was told, because some patrons found it to disturbingly aggressive to apparently see someone else hitting a bag. There is about 30% of the floor space that is for women only. The membership dues are the same. I sent an email questioning the decision and asking what the policy was and wasn’t given an answer.
    I think hitting a bag is better than hitting a person. It really bugged me. I honestly can’t say if it was women that found it offensive to see a man hitting the bag. I have seen lots of women hitting the bag and taking kickboxing…doesnt bother me at all.
    It wasnt just my gym…its all the gyms in my city! I really hate what this world is becoming.

  • Roland3337

    I ask, is this any different than the white drinking fountains down south during the Jim Crow era?

    Shame on these bigots.

    You can have my $10.

    • TheSameDog

      Perhaps it should be spelled “Gym Crow”.

  • MDATB

    First post here.

    If we could get off the ground somewhere,maybe you could boycott the place?Actions speak louder than words and suing isn’t a loud action.Boycott for a amount of time,deprive the gym of revenue,and watch it fall to its knees.

    It would show the power of the MHRA. Send them a letter saying they brought this upon themselves.After a few months of financial troubles due to lack income and money pouring in,it will collapse.But,I am a optimist.

  • STONE

    The fitness centres at the University of Toronto have a similar women only hours policy aswell, and this has been going on for at least a decade. I would imagine that this is very common at colleges/universities.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    This brings back memories…I cannot remember the specifics but I recall being booted from the gym and swimming pool here in the states. Maybe one of you knows some history on that, if it’s still happening or not.

  • MGTOW-man

    Two things similar have happened to me in the city in which I live.

    One was a reduction in price for women only. I inquired as to why and was given the answer by the male owner: “Because women have it so badly and I want to encourage more women to participate.”

    I replied with sufficient info that stated the truth about it now being men who suffer greater discrimination, hatred, oppression, and control. I told him I would never give him a cent for him being 1) ignorant of the truth, 2) traitorous to his own sex, and 3) a customer and a coward.

    This trend seems to be growing. Look at “Curves”…and even though similar rulings make it legal for men to convene with same-sex-integrity, not enough men will join all-male gym venues, thus, making it not very profitable. Apparently, going to the gym TO WORK OUT, (you know, duh!) isn’t as important as trying to keep women pleased. Where are all the men who just want to work out…maybe even hang out with other like-minded guys, make friendships, the camaraderie, …be a guy? There will be plenty of time to chase women later. Good grief!

    Another instance and venue: more time for women-only events but with equal pricing. I told him I was not going to finance his misandry. This occurred in person. He just had the most puzzled look on his face—not because I had to explain what misandry meant, which I did, which was news to him, but because his mindset is so entrenched and controlled. He just did not have things in perspective. He was being a good little puppet, yet totally oblivious.

    I finally found a place (with a bit more drive time but worth it) that doesn’t discriminate or rely on phony-feel-good, pseudo-science psychobabble and hatred-laced special preferential treatment for women. That is my activism. Not very much, but important to me.

    I came a hair from donating to the Tom Martin fiasco. He failed because he wasn’t ready to win…as it turns out. At least that is my opinion. I will watch this issue, and with updates, more info, etc, might just pitch in for the “lawsuit” cause. We have to try time and time again until we are victorious. Even if we fail, it is better to find that out on the other side of having tried.

    Plus, it brings awareness to all those ignorant people out there who live their lives as mindless copycats.

    Good luck with this endeavor. Keep us posted. More info will likely lead to more donations.

    • Near Earth Object

      “We have to try time and time again until we are victorious. Even if we fail, it is better to find that out on the other side of having tried.”

      I like your attitude, MGTOW-man

      • MGTOW-man

        Thank you, Near Earth Object.

        I look forward to the time when most men think like me. It will probably be too late, given that history shows people waiting to the last minute—or even worse—to do something about problems.

        A friend of mine said, “Not until something ‘big’ happens, will men take the reigns again”. I agreed. I genuinely would not mind truly sharing the reigns with women, that is, IF they can actually learn what 50/50 really means, which has nothing to do with their feelings whatsoever. But if what we have got from them so far, is a sign of things to come, then…. We must keep trying.

        United we stand a chance; divided we will be erased.

        • Near Earth Object

          “I look forward to the time when most men think like me. It will probably be too late, given that history shows people waiting to the last minute—or even worse—to do something about problems.”

          Yesterday, I would likely have argued the “too late” point with you (I believe that it would have been both an interesting and gentlemanly exchange). Today, after (further) processing yesterday’s unfounded allegations of “damselling” and a subsequent warning that my IP would be put in the “shit can”—for a perceived unwarranted and “cheap shot”, in response to a perceived unwarranted and cheap shot—I think that you may very well be correct.
          For me, one of the bigger problems in this entire dysfunctional mess, is the baggage of extremists on both sides of the gender aisle (if you will), who would willingly affect and infect the largely less affected. Men (women) and women (men) who do not see an equal place for one another in this most important human rights movement have evidently been seriously compromised by the scar tissue of previous wounds. I too, have deep and yet unhealed battle scars. But I recognize an essential need to put the personal aside, for the political. I can only hope that more of my brothers and sisters challenge their pain and do the same, or humanity is most certainly on an express elevator to hell.

          “United we stand a chance; divided we will be erased.”

          Eloquently, here, you have said it all, brother.

          So, after much consideration, as a poster of ideas about things at AVfM, I retire—MGTOW. It was a pleasure until the end.

          • MGTOW-man

            Don’t retire! Don’t let others knock you from your activism. All men (and women), while indeed having common threads that bind them as sexes, are not 100% alike, nor should they be.

            If you let them do this, not only you lose. Think about the movement, the badly needed momentum, the boys in crisis, the misandry, feminism skating by as “saintly” while behaving childishly and demonizing males for what nature did.

            Never quit! Even if you stop contributing here, always help men and boys somehow, somewhere. I understand the frustration but do not let infighting infect your love of wanting things correct.

            I like your new gravatar. If it was present before, I have somehow missed it. Earlier, in my reply to you, I almost used the NEO, instead of spelling it out. I didn’t because I didn’t know if I should or not.

            Thank you for commenting about something I am very passionate: “United we stand a chance; divided we will be erased.”
            —I coined this phrase, I think. …And I mean it. If men start competing with each other over who is the most right, the smartest, the most succinct, the most clever,etc…on and on and on… then we divide ourselves, breaking our front into dubious pieces of nothing that will stand a snowball’s chance in hell at succeeding.

            We all have the main task in mind and heart: stop feminism from ruining everything we know, while instilling a TRUE sense of real 50/50 equality. We do not always deliver with equal fervor, examples, skills, insight, diction, references, insider knowledge, accomplishments, and bravery, but we ARE—or should be—on the same side. Never forget that!

            We DO need each other! Oh yeah!

            Stay strong brother. We need each other even if we do not agree on every single thing.

          • napocapo69

            Sorry for your decision, I hope you’ll rethink about it, but anyway it is up to you.

            It just seems to me that “allegations of “damselling” and a subsequent warning that my IP would be put in the “shit can” are unfortunate episodes but not so deep wounds to justify an early retirement.
            There must be something else, deeper.

            Final words; sometimes people say and do something without meaning it, because it was a bad day. Shit happens.

            See you, or maybe not.

          • Kimski

            Don’t leave, bro’.
            I enjoy your comments, as I’m sure others do too. As others has pointed out, shit happens and we all have our bad days, when we take it out on eachother. It’s all part of being human, and you can’t let shit like that get to you. We have bigger fish to fry, than this circular firing squad shit, that seems to be occuring once in a while.

            Onwards, soldier!
            The alternatives to quitting are just to horrible to live with.

          • Bombay

            Hey Near Earth Object – I know you know as Neo did – there is go going back. Living the life of a person who believes in humans rights affects everyone around them. A person may feel like they are not being active, but we all influence others. You may have or will inspire someone who will be a MHRA leader in 10 years…..

          • Near Earth Object

            @ MGTOW-man, Kimski, napocapo69, Bombay, and Tawil:

            I have read your VERY encouraging and Thought Provoking and Much-Needed-To-Hear comments.
            I thank you all. Every one of you—in my mind—has set a very fine example.

            For more on where I am at, at the moment, please see my reply to ‘TheSandreGuy’ @ ‘Activist burnout – Signs, symptoms, and solutions’

    • napocapo69

      Well done but…actually you should have pointed out to that clown, that gym, althought it is highly recomended, is not a primary need, otherwise it should be considered a medical treatment, and that those that attend a gym have both spare money and spare time. The women attending to the gym have both spare time and money, likewise the men attending the gym.
      Further you should have assessed his “humanitarian” spirit asking him why he does not make discounts on the basis of income; shouldn’t a poor man be acknoledged of a discount more than a wealthy woman…?
      These men looking for women praise at the expense of dignity, make me sick.

      • MGTOW-man

        Thanks.

        So much of my activism is right up in front of people. I, of course, know how to get along and do so quite well. But when I see misandry, I make it a thing of mine to point it out, even if I have to “sneak it in.”

        Most people tolerate it because they have “equality” shoved in their faces, making them have some respect for men like me. Some of the men can’t snap out of their supposed “hardwiring” stupors to even pay attention or listen without getting mad at me. But I keep trying.

        I believe one of the best ways to communicate (be an activist) about the crisis of misandry is to talk about it to those we know, love, and support. Standing in line, riding the bus, etc. are other opportunities. While not every time obsessively, but especially if another starts up the subject (or related), I use these moments to educate.

        Little by little….

        As to your income suggestion that I should have nudged him on? Men like him do not want to help people in general. He was just being a good customer. You know what I mean?

        “These men looking for women praise at the expense of dignity, make me sick.”
        —Me too man! It is as if males have been mass-confused over what actually should and does make males into men. In this context, there is no nobility or dignity or self-respect anymore. Just make women like you—if even at the expense of nearly everything else— then presto, you’re a man!

        It is a hard battle we have ahead of us.

  • STONE

    One important question that I think should be answered unequivocally is “what is their rationale?”
    Is there an explicit feminist ideology behind this policy, or are they trying to accommodate both the demand for the co-ed and for the female only fitness centers simultaneously so as to increase the overall accessibility and utilization of their facility. Are they aiming to pander to feminists and to discourage or demonize men or are they aiming to encourage/include more people?

  • gwallan

    Women only gyms cater to a demographic that thinks half the human population are pigs.

    • Duncan Crickett

      I for one would like to see how the feminists of the world react to a Mens only gym opening.

      • MGTOW-man

        Someone correct me if wrong, but with the court’s ruling on “Curves” gym for women only, the decision gave men the right to have their own gyms, groups, etc, under similar conditions.

        The problem with that is like with so much of our struggle for MHR here. Men themselves are a great obstacle. If given the choice, most men apparently prefer to attend gyms where women attend—despite having to be “cleaner”, more organized, “respectful” less sweaty…and stuff like that in order to make the place “nicer” for most women to want to work out.

        What happened to the men who just want to work out, who arrives with a friend, or needs an occasional spot? …and while there, isn’t the ritual of making new friends a thing most sociable people want said about them?

        Are men becoming so afraid of each other that they can’t create a sense of camaraderie like in days past?

        And something else too. Me? I can’t work out as rapidly (strength and cardio combo) by having to replace weights back on the racks, for example, when in fact, another patron might just be using similar weight for his routine. I can’t help it if most women can’t lift weights (or do not want to try) that I prefer to leave on the bench, etc. I do not come there to please women; I want to work out rapidly, shake hands and shoot the breeze with a few buddies, perhaps go for a swim, clean up, and go.

        I love women. But I can stick to my routine without having them make me lose my bearings so much in fact that I let them mother me…even in a gym.

        Anyway, mens only gyms would be mocked as gay gyms. It is wrong, unfair, short-sighted, stupid, and assumptive, to be speculating such a baseless claim. But that is probably what they would be “rumored” to be—even if none of the men who attend are actually gay.

        So most men will go where the women are, you know?

        This is yet another way our society penalizes males—but at least with this one, men sort of bring it on themselves.

        • UKMan

          “So most men will go where the women are, you know?”

          Will they? I was a keen weight lifter/body builder for years, and spent most of my time in dingy, smelly, noisy, inner-city gyms that were ‘unisex’, but never had any women venture beyond the reception desk once they caught sight of the medieval scene within.

          It’s quite easy to create a male-only gym without any specific exclusions. You leave the walls a grey colour, play aggressive sounding music and fill it with heavy, black, cast-iron weights that females can’t lift. Job done.

          • MGTOW-man

            Yep! that is a recipe for making the atmosphere more male-friendly simply because we men go there to work out and be around similar people, not obsess over women. If at all, THAT can occur later, but our work-routines are for us, not them.

            Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, most men will shy away from your suggestion as well because of the superficial stigma described above that actuallly has no merit, but seems to control most men due to their placing too much emphasis on how people perceive them…”as men”.

            It is definitely narrow-minded bull-hype that controls those men. I do not want to make friends with them anyway. But the other men, who seem to tolerate being coralled into a one-way-to-think, as if manhood is group-owned, yet might just be OK, won’t attend either. Thus, I actually meet more people and make more friends at co-ed gyms—precisely due to the aforementioned phenomenon.

            As can be seen, I like the idea of meeting other like-minded men in the same place that I work out. I can do this because I am there mostly to work out and improve my health. It is, or can be, an excellent place to make more similar-minded friends who just might turn out to share more common values.

            When I go to a nightclub, or similar, that is when I might want to meet a woman or two; not when I am trying to concentrate, work rapidly—save for some communication amongst patrons.

            Anyway, great idea you have, if I were to try and start a male-only gym of myself…not that I am planning it. Make it as “ugly” as possible. LOL.

  • http://www.hermitparkclinic.com.au Greg Canning

    Donation sent and good luck Peter.

    Not sure how things work in the UK but in Australia – organisations need to apply for exemption from our Sex Discrimination Laws in order to institute a gender biased policy such as this – they do and often they win ( here is an example of a case of exclusion of men from a gym that was upheld even after complaints http://www.vcat.vic.gov.au/disputes/anti-discrimination/Array/exemptions)

    Currently our baby feminists at the Monash Student Association – Women’s Department are due to apply for a continued exemption from Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Legislation to continue to host a women’s room as a women’s only space on campus – but more about that in an upcoming article.

    • gwallan

      Interesting scenario isn’t it Greg. The government makes laws but issues permission slips to enable some to break those laws.

      • Peter Wright (Tawil)

        Yes, the permission slips in Australia are based on whether the group (of women) “feels” that they will potentially harassed by people for allowing both genders access…. hence the “feeling” negates and trunps sexual equality legislation.

        This would be like saying indigenous Australians are not allowed to ride on busses if the white passengers “feel” the blacks might potentially harass them.

        Would be interesting to see how this loophole is worded.

    • napocapo69

      quote form the policy in the link provided by Greg:
      “During that period, the discriminatory behaviour will not be against the law.”

      and quote:
      “Equal Opportunity Act 2010 also allows people to take positive steps to help disadvantaged groups. These are called “special measures”

      …”special measures”, the same terminology used in the Istambul Convention about domestic violence; and of course belonging to a gender entitle some people to be considered disadvantaged; yeah it is not your actual status, beign poor, sick, undeducated…no, your victim status is heritage, it is DNA …

    • Bev

      At the same time a request by a school to advertise for male teachers only to balance the 90 : 10 female to male teacher split was denied because it would be discrimination. Mens clubs were told to open up to women or be closed down (no womens clubs were told to open up to men).

  • napocapo69

    Thank you Peter.
    Still I do not get used to this institutional misandry….there must be something wrong in me. I keep telling me, misandry is good, misandry is good, it is for my own sake…but still there is some inner resistance in me, I can’t overcome it.
    By the way I’ve just donated to both you and AVFM, for sake of equality.

  • Aimee McGee

    I can’t wait till there are men’s hours! Many of male patients are too lacking in body confidence to exercise when women are present

    • Peter Wright (Tawil)

      “Many of male patients are too lacking in body confidence to exercise when women are present”

      Knapp! That will be a very handy comeback to what seems like the only excuse they can pull.

  • Robert Sides

    It’s all of a piece.

    Men remained silent when feminists said only men cause DV. With that hammered into the public’s consciousness, when women say they prefer not to be around “rape culture” guys in health clubs, who’ll protest?

    Also, since men are socialized to stuff feelings of “inadequacy,” it only APPEARS that women alone have issues about body image. Well, guys can feel equally bad but learn to mask it. It they don’t, they’re mocked for being gay or girls.

    On and on it goes.

    Of course, when men finally get fed up and fight back they’re called whiners and worse…feminists trying to shame men into silence. Again.

    At the same time, they complain that men are too “closed” and “emotionally repressed” and “don’t open their hearts”…as if females have nothing to do with how boys learn to be stoics.

    If men abused by their mothers/girlfriends don’t feel “safe” around women, can they have “vag-free” time, too?

    What about men who get nauseous seeing fat women exercise? Can they have the sweaty cows herded to pasture for a while, too?

    What about feminism’s oft-yammered claim to want equality? Are they saying the stereotype is true, that women ARE hysterical nitwits who need the Patriarchy to protect them?

    The gym will never do the right thing for ethical reasons. It only cares about economics. So you need to sue the place for big bucks and publicize its sexism. Stage protests. Refuse to leave when asked. Take videos of the responses.

    Feminism is “Animal Farm” codified into law. It believes women are more equal. Orwell got it right in “1984,” too, save for the overlord becoming Big Sister.

    • Duncan Crickett

      My girlfriend sometimes notes that I am more quiet and reserved than her. Stoic behaviour is deeply ingrained in many of todays men, and its sad, because they shouldn’t have to be like that. Feminism claims to be all about equality but they are unafraid to assign gender roles to men. Just so long as women can share those roles.

      • MGTOW-man

        “Feminism claims to be all about equality but they are unafraid to assign gender roles to men.”
        —That is because women, in general, have always wanted to control. Feminism is the perfect vehicle to enable such control over just about everything. It is literally happening all around us!

        However, men do this to themselves as well. They tolerate women taking on roles that mimic males— things males did necessarily in yesteryear. They even let them name the little girls names that reek of masculine-sounding.

        But how often do we see males try to do what women were cut out better? How many times have we found a male named Veronica, Sheila, Susanne, Beth….

        It seems males will stoop to whatever level they need in order to make women like them—to pamper their own egos (or self-worth “substance”, whatever it is called).

  • gateman

    This is fantastic work. Paypal payment on it’s way!

    I ran the numbers to see how much impact a pro-rata reduction in male fees would have on a gym’s annual revenue.

    The Kentish Town Sports Center reduces male access by 390 hours per year.

    If it is open for 12 hours per day, 365 days per year, that makes 390 hours out of a total 4380 hours per year, or a 8.9% reduction in access compared to women.

    If the annual fees are 500 pounds, that means that the fees for males should be reduced by 8.9%x500 = 44 pounds each.

    Assuming 2000 members per gym, that equates to 88,000 pounds lost PER GYM.

    So are they gonna compensate men and cop the loss, introduce non-discriminatory access, or fight everything through the courts?

  • knightrunner

    Maybe some civil disobedience is in order. “Hell no. We won’t go.” Then when you are removed by force simply because you are male it will make your case stronger IMO. Anyone get flash backs of “whites only” restaurants and water fountains?

    • MDATB

      This is it.They need to burn.Cut them off from the wallet and they will fade.

      • knightrunner

        I personally would much rather see a legal precedence set. Imagine what would happen if the state was found to be in the wrong for discrimination against men in this case. This could set the stage for future litigation against any and all gender bias laws, rules and policies. It could be monumental. This could be the lynch pin that causes the walls to fall. Putting it context of here in the U.S., this could put a legal precedence in place for litigation against things like V.A.W.A. and title IX. The problem is “they” know this too.

        • MDATB

          Right.I still have optimism for a boycott.It would indeed show power against discrimination.

  • http://www.handsomecopy.com Peter Lloyd

    Dear all,
    Look at all the virtual live in the room! Waking up this morning to so much genuine, heartfelt support literally brought a tear to my eye. I’m so grateful.

    Thank you. I promise to fights good fight.

    We WILL win this.

  • http://www.handsomecopy.com Peter Lloyd

    Look at all the virtual love in the room!

    Waking up this morning to so much genuine, heartfelt support brought a tear to my eye – and reinforced my determination. Thank you each and every one of you, especially Paul Elam.

    I’m so grateful and proud to be part of AVFM.
    I promise to fight a good fight.

    Expect updates. Px

    • Hombre

      Peter – well done on taking this stand mate, I am really impressed.

      Would you believe I came across this article after just coming back from the gym where, while I waiting to get a locker key at the front desk, a female member asked the staff member “is there a women’s only gym?” As if to say, “I don’t want to be forced to mix with males.”

      He replied, “Yes, in the next room.”

      And off she trotted.

      I was furious. I wanted to demand of the dude “and where is the men’s only gym?” But I didn’t. Partly because I didn’t want to be a dick, and partly because I knew it was hardly the guy’s fault or decision – he just works at the front desk.

      I have shit all in the way of money to donate to your cause, but I have decided that I will show my support, or solidarity, I spose, by writing a formal letter to my gym and demanding to know why they are continuing to enforce a policy of discrimination. I don’t know if it will make a difference, but I’m willing to give it a go – and that’s thanks to you, so thank you for inspiring me and possibly others to also do this. I feel like encouraging everyone here to write to their gyms and demand an answer as to why they are discriminating against men and enforcing a sexist policy.

      And good luck with the case, Peter. AVfM is clearly on your side, so you have a heap of supporters in your corner mate.

  • Lastango

    Peter, a few thoughts:

    – have you considered getting the EU involved, perhaps through a complaint? They recently passed a law prohibiting men being charged more than women for auto insurance.

    – ask for a membership list, and try to figure out the number of minority men. If there are more minority men than minority women, the gym’s policy can be construed to be a form of de facto racism. (Racism doesn’t have to be deliberate to be culpable.)

    – consider starting a website to publicize your battle. When Duke University tried to crush its lacrosse players, a couple of bloggers made sure the world knew the blow-by-blow. This gave conservative blogs something to link to in order to help spread the word.

    – see if you can discover other, similar situations, and offer yourself as a speaker on the topic of government-sanctioned discrimination against men. Your talks may attract press coverage, and public disclosure puts pressure on the gym.

    – try suing the government (at multiple levels), not just the gym. The more names you name, the worse it gets for them. Then, it becomes in the government officials’ interest to tell the gym to settle with you. Beaurocrats and politicians like to run their empire in the dark.

    – when you write or talk about what’s happening, point out the involved people (gym management, Kent officials, etc.) by name. Make them feel like they’re paying a personal price for this policy. (They will quickly realize that internet search engines will connect them individually to this debacle forever.) There are ways to leverage this; for instance, writing a letter to an official gets them involved, and lets you drag them into the spotlight when you point out (say, in a newspaper article) that you contacted them. If they refuse to meet with you, that makes it worse for them.

    – if the town council, mayor, etc. are involved in supervising the gym, do you know who will be running against these town politicians in the next election? Their opponents may be willing to help you — for instance, by staging a legal demonstration at the premises.

    – check with law schools to see if they offer pro bono legal support as part of providing their students with educational opportunities. They may be willing to help with some aspects of the case.

    – Is the gym getting any corporate sponsorship money? Try shaming the donors and advertisers. The same thought applies to any of the gym’s affiliations. For instance, as a municipal entity the gym may have relationships with local schools. If so, drag the schools or universities into this. These institutions may have internal policies that prohibit them from associating themselves with discriminatory activity. A similar thought applies if the gym is getting money from other levels of government in the UK; it may be illegal for those levels to be financially involved in discriminatory activity. (Yes, they do that all the time, but they don’t like having it pointed out.)

    – Are any of the women at the gym sympathetic to your cause? Try organizing a group of them to leave with the men. Then, photograph and publicize this.

    – Are men who are forced to leave the gym taking their children with them when they go? Are wives and girlfriends staying behind when the men leave? If so, make this about families, not just about men.

    – Find out what high-profile engagements involved officials and politicians have, and picket them there. A mayor attending a conference or dedicating a new bridge doesn’t want you intruding into the photo-op.

    That’s what comes to mind at the moment. Good luck with this very worthwhile project!

    • The Equalizer

      Lastango, would you consider suggesting to AVfM via Paul or Dean (or whoever – I don’t know the submissions protocol exactly) that you present a version of this comment as a lead article on effective activism?

      It strikes me as an excellent primer for any activist in the movement.

    • rgbflexer

      This is an extremely helpful set of pointers that should be made sticky, available at all times to all activists. Thanks Lastango.

  • Theaverageman

    Imagine if you replaced the word men with women.On every single media outlet this would be a front page story.

  • tamerlame

    I remember when my local library was closed to men for a day. It was a woman’s history event. The entitlement of the female gender is unbelievable. If you go to the library you will see lots of elderly people use it as a service. I think it is disrespectful to them. Also there was no advance warning as well.

    If the event was any good. (Doubtful as it would just be a female victim narrative.) why didn’t the feminists invite them to see it too? Perhaps it was because they wanted to say hateful things behind closed doors?

    • Mr. J

      A small man could disguise as a female and go to these things

      • August Løvenskiolds

        Any man can wear a burka – rumor was the very tall Osama wore one to disguise his movements.

  • http://www.shrink4men.com/ Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

    Give ‘em hell, Peter!

    When I was a child in the 1970s and 80s, I can remember women’s groups picketing, suing and boycotting men-only business organizations, clubs, gyms, etc. Now, women’s groups are trying to make co-ed organizations women-only by claiming victim status.

    When men want male-only spaces and events they are labeled sexist and are shamed for it or treated as if they’re dangerous criminals. There seem to be far more female-only events and orgs, but they’re lauded and viewed as female empowerment. For example, Tina Brown’s women in business event taking place in NYC next month – or as I like to call it, “The Wah, Wah, Wah Imaginary Glass Ceiling Conference.”

    Feminist western women have become the very thing they claim to be against. The hypocrisy is staggering.

    • Bewildered

      ” Feminist western women have become the very thing they claim to be against. The hypocrisy is staggering. ”

      There’s no stopping them because they are ” THE EMPOWERED HYPOCRITES ” in a culture that mollycoddles their infantile BS and calls itself ‘progressive’ !
      But then Hitler gave himself many titles !…..

  • Groot

    This write-up gives several legal actions brought against female only gyms in the U.S. and there is a good debate in the comments section:

    http://fitbiz.tv/2011/04/are-women-only-gyms-guilty-of-discrimination/

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism-page/karma/ KARMA MRA MGTOW

      I am going to start my own gym for men, it will be called MGTOW.

      • Murray Pearson

        Or you could call it MWOTG: Men Working Out in Their Gym.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/DannyboyCdnMRA Dan Perrins

    Hats off to you Peter.
    You mirror my sentiments exactly, if it is govt. funded it gets no pass for discrimination on the basis of sex.
    You gave them 3 viable and fair options, they chose not to act equitably, so screw them, get either a mandamus order plus costs.
    Or.
    take them for a few shekels and fund some more activism work. :D

  • tooktheredpill

    Wish you the best.
    Donation sent Peter.

  • donzaloog

    Keep fighting the good fight, Peter.

  • malcolm

    First off, there are very few women who get ogled at the gym. The vast majority are hardly worth a first glance, never mind a second.

    If there are cases of men ogling women and making them feel uncomfortable, then those men should be dealt with. It should not be a case of collective punishment for all men.

    If it’s simply a question of women feeling more comfortable exercising without men around, then how is that any different from bigoted straight men feeling more comfortable exercising without homosexual men around, and requiring that homosexual men leave the gym to make them feel more comfortable? Would the Kentish Sports Centre enact a policy to require homosexual men leave the gym to make bigots more comfortable? Maybe you can ask them that.

    If women have a neurosis regarding their own bodies, it is in their own heads and has nothing to do with men.

    Society bends over backwards to accommodate women’s bigotry, and I’m glad you are challenging this.

  • Andy Bob

    Congratulations on this fine example of activism, Mr Lloyd. Judgling by your articles, you are an articulate and plausable individual – an ideal person to repesent this cause.

    Regardless of the outcome, it will draw attention to the anti-male discrimination of such practices and encourage other men to question their implementation – and why they are so widely tolerated.

    Good luck.

  • bugger22

    Way to Peter, here in Australia we have just about the lot, feminasti Fernwood & Curves etc & ones like ‘Breathe’ with ‘ladies only’ area but refuse to apply a ‘mens only’ area, but the men forced to pay the same as the ‘use the whole gym’ females.
    Had one sexist 18 year old private girls school selling subscriptions tell me that female ‘feelings’ are more important than mens ‘feelings’ & not supplying a ‘men only’ area was not discrimination because womans ‘rights’ to feel ‘comfortable’ come first….. what a hypocritical arsehole bigot unbelivable. Not a single reply from them to emails or complaints.
    Wonder what they are afraid of…?

    • Turbo

      They’re afraid of the truth, that they are bigoted, discriminatory arseholes. They are always afraid of the truth.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism-page/karma/ KARMA MRA MGTOW

      Yep, but will the men at the gym band together and cancel their subscriptions on mass?

      Men are fucking piss weak now days…

  • August Løvenskiolds

    In 1990, on a flight back from Norway, I had a stroke and a DVT in my left leg. It took months for me to relearn how to walk. Part of my therapy was at a gym in a hospital.

    This gym had a small 1/11th mile, 4-lane track that was perfect in that it allowed me to measure my progress. As my speed and ability returned, I hit a new obstacle – when women used the same track, they would walk 3-5 abreast, and even as hobbled as I was, they would block my path and thereby frustrate my efforts to recover.

    I would’ve really appreciated a “men-only” time, even at 4 AM, wherein I could’ve used the track without a cabal of chattering harpies blocking my way.

    The gym had all sorts of rules for men’s etiquette, but when I suggested gender neutral rules for using the track…nothing.

  • Redfield

    Sorry to hear about your walk of shame …
    Haven’t read all the comments but a suggestion would be to get a copy of the online self report by the WFSS and take it to a research statistician … Sample sizes that big are pretty robust, but it doesn’t mean findings are valid … You need to see if there is any internal inconsistencies in the structure of the questionaire (biases) that may lead to a predetermined outcome ..
    For example was the questionaire sent out as a link to women that already use a gym or to women sampled from another group? Say women suffering from health issues (obesity, hypertension, diabetes etc) that were linked into a health service …. See, both sampling options here are very different and will give you different outcomes in an analysis …
    So you need to see how and where this sample was taken, the actual questions in the self report (for internal validity) and many, many other problems that may strengthen your case.
    If they have used a known sample, and the takeup rate was about 50% then the outcome will not translate across that sample to the population …
    good luck
    and love the word kentish, has a great ring to it:)

  • Redfield

    After thought … do all users of this gym initially need to sign some form of agreement on using the gym facilities? If these conditions of entry and fair use were changed how were you notified of this?
    If this proportion of the gym population (their saying potentially 13%) need special conditions of use of the gym’s facilities that potentially restricts fair use of these facilities to 50% of users through some form of social anxiety directed towards a group of users, then are the gym operators acting in the best interests of this group (13%)? Perhaps the self report when examined by a psychologist/psychiatrist may pickup traits of social anxiety in the respondents??? Who knows?? It just seems bizzare outcome for 50% of gym users …

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism-page/karma/ KARMA MRA MGTOW

    The men should cancel their memberships…

  • Redfield

    Afterthought again, if the report was written by a research company then view the actual document it may help you! Most will state the limitations of the research undertaken and are very transparent in their methodology and its application … Perhaps its a case of great research but its application needs some imput as I am sure you are about to do??:)

  • http://www.handsomecopy.com Peter Lloyd

    Hi Redfield, the terms and conditions of the contract state nothing about gender policies – or men paying more than women for fewer hours. Nobody informed me about it when I joined, either.

    Excellent suggestion about taking the WFSS report to a statistician. Will do.

    Once again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for their support.

  • TheSameDog

    Peter, I mentioned it already in my response to Roland3337, but that was in the middle of the thread and I don’t want you to miss it, so I’ll repeat: consider using “Gym Crow” as a term-of-art / slogan in your media campaign associated with the lawsuit.

  • Sting Chameleon

    Kentish Sports Centre? More like, CUNTISH Sports Centre. Let fire and brimstone rain upon ‘em, Peter!

  • Davos

    This story should be sent to local media as an example of sexism.
    However, the words “men” and “women” should be swapped accross the whole article. Only after receiving a reply you should tell them that actually it’s the other way around. Even if they rescend their support, it would be an interesting experiment to study the difference in treatment of women and male issues.

    • Acolmiztli

      I don’t think that is such a good idea Davos. Because the article most likely wont be rescinded, and it’ll be used against men in the future once everyone has forgotten the original intent of the “swaparound”

  • A. Anthony Villareal

    Sometimes I wish I can open up an all-male gym. I would call it Sparta and put it across the street from Curves.

  • Promoman

    Actually this bullshit is pretty common in gyms, especially ones with basketball or any other type of court sport areas.These places rival weightroom areas when it comes to this shit. Typical protocol of this type of fuckery has staff actually stopping games in progress or somehow barring access to these areas so some random broad can display her athletic fail for as long as she wants. Women who pull this shit and frequent said spots do tend to time their fuckery just to get her privileged cunt high. The best defense is to remember with your wallet.

  • tamerlame

    Why do women go on about controlling men all the time? I think they are protecting their own mentality on to men. Because they have the desire to control, and take over male space, they assume men want to control them. Men are less controlling and domineering than woman. Men don’t feel as entitled, so they don’t take over public spaces for themselves.

    Men need there own space for woman, it is healthy.

  • Acolmiztli

    Don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty out of shape. I’m taking steps to get fitter and make myself look and feel better, but I’m not ready to go into a gym – why? Because I too don’t like the way I look when I exercise. In fact I typically don’t like the way I look.

    Now where is my special fucking treatment?!

  • Amy_wall

    A while ago I read an article (not sure where sorry, and it might have been from the US) about men who get around ‘ladies hour’ at gyms and pools by saying that they are men who ‘identify’ as women, and that to ban them would be against equality policy for trans people. In the game of political correctness women’s needs may trump men’s needs but a ‘woman trapped in a man’s body”s needs trumps women’s needs (because, according to misandric feminazi types, what could be worse than being a female in a male body!!).
    So…one way around ladies hour could be to say you identify as female even if you are male. No need to have had a sex change, dress effeminately or get a doctors opinion, as it is completely self identified.
    Obviously, men shouldn’t have to do this and the fact that it has worked for some just shows how crazy the situation has become. However, it could be a way to play the PC people at their own game and completely undermine the current unfair system that men are subjected to. Imagine if a bunch of men started doing this en masse, it would demonstrate just how silly and unfair most peoples idea of ‘equality’ really is!