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Kylee Graham (Facebook)
Kylee Graham (Facebook)

Double standard

Student confronted over ‘distracting’ gym outfit, told dress code exists so ‘girls can still workout with men’

By WITW Staff on October 12, 2018

A university student in Canada has spoken out about being dress coded at the school gym over a crop top that a staffer declared was and too “distracting” for men. University of Prince Edward Island student Kylee Graham posted an image of the supposedly offensive outfit to Facebook, detailing how a gym employee stopped her as she entered the gym to tell her that her outfit “was considered inappropriate.”

“The staff preceded [sic] to pull out a binder and show me that women were not allowed to wear sports bras alone, open back shirts, and shirts that were cut low on each side even with sports bras underneath,” wrote Graham. “I told her this isn’t a sports bra as you couldn’t even see my belly button … I must have been starring [sic] at her like she was crazy because she replied with ‘if a man came in here and was wearing a shirt cut so low on the sides you could see his nipples I would tell him the same thing’.”

Eventually, the staffer allowed her to enter the gym and Graham went about her workout. But as she was about to leave, the staffer confronted her once more to tell her that she had discussed her outfit with the rest of the gym staff and that they “decided it was OK.”

Kylee Graham posted a picture of her ‘offensive’ outfit to Facebook. (Facebook)

“At this point I was angry and so I asked ‘what exactly isn’t allowed then and why?’ She said ‘sports bras’ I asked why, she said ‘because it shows your abs and cleavage’ again I asked ‘soo why can’t women wear them?’ To which she said ‘because we are trying to find a happy medium where girls can still workout with men … so that [girls] aren’t too much, and distracting,’” Graham recalled.

Everything about the experience, she said, left her furious. The staffer’s implication that her crop top was so “low cut on the sides” it showed her nipples — and the fact that apparently she and the rest of the gym stuff had spent time discussing the supposed sexuality of her outfit all while she was trying to simply do her workout — was bad enough. But still worse, she said, was that the staffer’s words strongly indicated not only a double standard in the gym’s dress code, but an underlying insinuation that women should feel thankful to be allowed in the gym — apparently a province of men — since their bodies posed such a risk of distracting men.

“So if there wasn’t a dress code then women just wouldn’t be allowed to workout?” she asked. “Abs are not sexual, a back is not sexual, breasts are not sexual unless the woman wants them to be sexual, stop sexualizing women’s bodies doing mundane things and let them live their lives in peace.”

Read the full story at CNN.


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