Queer | Feminist | Doctor


Today I was kicked out of the Teesside branch of DW Sports for the crime of wearing a skirt to work out in. I was told that skirts are not “appropriate” clothing to work out in, despite there being no such stipulation in the terms and conditions of gym use. I am appalled at this action and have contacted the local press. Many sportswomen wear dresses and skirts, and women boxers at the Olympics this year were almost FORCED to wear them, yet your gym is so out of touch that they tell me that I can’t work out there while wearing a skirt? This is absolutely preposterous. If Serena Williams can wear a dress at Wimbledon, if our national netball team can play in dresses, then by what justification are skirts “inappropriate” sportswear? I would like to know whether the actions of staff at this particular branch of DW Sports are in line with the national company policy, and I would like an apology for the way I have been treated. 
Sy Parker

On the left, the outfit I was wearing when I was asked to leave. On the right, the outfit I wore the next day with no problems from anyone. This is clearly not an issue of modesty

Dear readers,
I am still slightly in shock at the way I have been treated at this gym. I was told by the member of staff who kicked me out that someone had come to reception desk and complained about me. She said that I had to wear shorts in the gym and that people could see my underwear. You know, the roughly shorts-shaped underwear I had on under my skirt in order that I not flash my genitals to the world. In fact I own pairs of shorts that are SMALLER than the underwear I was wearing under that skirt. Perhaps they were freaked out by the fact that I was doing barbell squats – after all it is unladylike to lift weights, and anyone who transgresses gender roles must be punished. These days there are entire websites dedicated to selling skirts for sports and working out, and yes, some of the shorts that go under the skirts are the size of the underwear I was wearing. Then there are the work out shorts for sale that are actually smaller than what I was wearing. This is not an issue of whether or not I was dressed “modestly”, it is of whether women are responsible for the people in their workout environment getting “distracted” by the presence of their body in that workout space. I don’t go to the gym to be objectified, I go there to lift weights. Perhaps I should just wear one of these – it will leave nothing to the imagination, and is most definitely “appropriate” attire for working out.
If you would like to email customer services to find out what their policy on skirts is, the address is customer.services@dwsports.com
The phone number for my local branch is 01642 256266
They can also be found on Twitter: @dwsportsfitness
I posted a link to this blog post on reddit, the discussion can be found here

Comments on: "An email to the customer services department of DW Sports" (2)

  1. WHAAAT!?!? I work out damn near naked. My workout shorts are shorter than your skirt, I promise. I’m there to sweat and work and I’m not there for anyone elses comfort or pleasure. I think you probably have a gender issue here more than a modesty issue.

  2. gordon keel said:

    why is it I can not get a meal at the sunderland gym after a work out just because some one I on holladay this has been going on for the past three weeks can they not get some one to fill in the managmant are not botherd the club is going the same way as springs did .you will be losing a lot of members when Tesco opens nothing gets fixed when they break down you might as well talk to the wall there is only one cleaner that does anything it would not surprise me if it closed.

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