Amy Roe is a runner. And she sweats like a pig. One day after running, she went into her local Starbucks, sweating so profusely her hair was dripping wet, and another well-dressed woman called her out on her rudeness in typical, ladylike, passive aggressive style.
Amy was sweat-shamed. Objecting to people dripping sweat on the floors and counters and surfaces of a coffee-shop is sexism. No one cares if men drip sweat all over other people’s pumpkin spice lattes, amirite? It’s totally cool for men to sweat where and when they like and everyone else is just High-five, dude! Good workout?
Let me tell you something about being a woman and sweating, Amy. I go to a boxing gym five days a week. Boxing may be the original high intensity interval training. We train to fight in three minute rounds, 10 rounds at a time, with 15 seconds to rest between rounds. That’s 30 minutes of full out energy expenditure. The first round is okay. The second one starts to hurt. The 8th round is agony, with 2 more to go. Every muscle in your body is screaming for relief. The 2 minutes and 45 seconds you’re pinned in a corner throwing hard lefts feels like two hours. The 15 seconds you get to rest before the bell rings lasts half a second. By round 9 every one is pouring sweat. Some are pouring tears. Some collapse and puke. There are puke buckets at stations 8, 9 and 10 for that reason.
In a boxing gym, you will slide in other people’s sweat. You will get hit with sweat flying off the body next to you. You will pick up weights slick with other people’s sweat. And guess what?
It’s fucking gross, but the pain in your body is so intense, and for most of us, the will to make it 10 rounds so strong, we don’t care. We just want to hear that last bell without dying. Like everyone else, I have to walk around, gasping for breath, for a few minutes before I can even think of unwrapping my hands, even though my wraps are soaked in sweat and so fucking hot and I need the wraps off right fucking now but I can’t do it until I get some oxygen in my bloodstream. When I can finally breathe, I pull the wraps off and dump them on the same bench everyone puts their sweaty wraps and sweaty asses on and lean against the same wall every other sweaty back has leaned against.
It’s a boxing gym. Boxing gyms are sweaty, sweaty places.
I train with police officers, firefighters, tons of military, athletes, and lots of amateurs who just really like beating the shit out of stuff, like I do. And guess what? Lots of them are women. They sweat just as much as the men and no one gives a single fuck. Did you make it 10 rounds? Did you cry? Did you throw up? No? Good job! Each and every workout ends with a trainer high-fiving the boxer, saying good job! A big sweaty, enthusiastic high five. It’s a bit of sadism on the trainer’s part, really. I have to raise my arm again? Fuck you, you bastard! Oh, all right. Thanks!
I have never seen anyone sweat shame anyone else, ever. Ending a big, sweaty, hot mess means you worked it, and hard. Boxing gyms are not for the squeamish. If the thought of being covered in other people’s sweat grosses you out, you’ll probably be happier at pilates.
That indifference to other people’s sweat ends at the gym doors.
Now, pay attention, Amy. This is the part you need to grasp: I would never in a million years expect anyone outside the gym to tolerate my sweaty, stinking body close to theirs. It’s fucking rude! How is it possible you have survived 42 years without comprehending basic fucking courtesy? I pass three different coffee shops on my way home from the gym, and would never even consider going in to one drenched in sweaty, smelly gym clothes. Who the fuck wants to stand next to someone who smells like Lysol and armpits and wet leather? You got shamed by a woman who clearly met public grooming standards because you were being an inconsiderate, ignorant, entitled pig.
Let’s talk for a moment about what Amy was really up to: she was fit-shaming the women at Starbucks. Yes, I just made that up, but it’s a thing. Walking into public spaces where basic standards of grooming and presentation are in effect, decked out in sweaty gym gear is a way for vain, competitive attention whores like Amy to say ‘Hey, look at me! I exercise! Check out my ass! Ha ha! Yeah, fat bitch, I’m way hotter than you!’ It’s another manifestation of women’s misogyny against other women.
Amy wants to engage in physical competition with other women, but, like Charlotte Proudman, not appear that she is competing. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that another woman called her out for it, because men likely wouldn’t even notice that she was a hot sweaty mess- they probably wouldn’t notice her at all. But women can see the machinations of other women, especially the passive-aggressive cuntiness of women like Amy.
The feminist mind is such an interesting place, isn’t it? Amy is a rude, disgusting, entitled human being, who clearly thinks her sweat don’t stink and she has the right to impose her gross body functions on anyone, anywhere, anytime she likes, and when another woman gives her shit for it, it’s somehow the fault of men, sexism and patriarchy. Is there anything a woman does that isn’t the fault of men, sexism and patriarchy? Rude bitches are now a patriarchal construct?
In a way, Amy is almost the perfect feminist: she does something virtually every sane, reasonable, mature adult recognizes as ignorant and presumptuous, and then lays the blame for her own boorishness at the feet of men. It can’t be her fault that other people object to her lack of hygiene and common courtesy. No, it must be the patriarchy, insisting she use a toilet and underarm deodorant and maxipads and make use of a shower after a hard workout, before appearing in spaces other people populate.
From the looks of it, a feminist world will consist of men who don’t speak unless spoken to, and then speak only in words approved by feminists (No dick jokes! No mansplaining!). They will wear clothing approved by feminists (No sexy lady shirts!), sit in ways approved by feminists (No manspreading!), and amuse themselves only in ways approved by feminists (No video games! No comic books! No science fiction!). Women will freebleed all over the place, impose their sweaty, smelly bodies on whomever they please, wear whatever the hell they want regardless of social or community standards and just generally be rude, gross and arrogant.
Thanks, I’ll pass.
I need to go out and grab and a few things from the grocery store for dinner tonight, but given that I just got back from the gym, I’ll have a shower first. I’m sexist that way. You might want to try that kind of sexism, Amy.
And try not being such a gross pig.
Lots of love,