Name Chosen For Fitness Class Sparks Outrage At Brooklyn Gym
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crossfit is a popular fitness trend, but on Wednesday night one local gym was getting a lot of attention for the wrong reasons.
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, the controversy has everything to do with the name of a class for women.
At Crossfit South Brooklyn on Degraw Street, the classes are intense. But even more intense is the scrutiny the gym has been facing for the name of the class – “Tough Titsday.”
“Some people have laughed about it and joked about it a little bit, but there’s never been any sort of issue,” said gym owner David Osorio.
But that all changed, after an anonymous posting to the feminist blog “Jezebel.” A woman looking to sign up for the class took issue with the name and posted an email exchange with the owner.
“Do you really have to call a female class “titsday” really???” wrote the anonymous woman called “Rachel” by the site. “It’s kind of misogynistic — which was not the vibe I got at the gym. I suggest changing the class name to something more neutral — and I’m not an uptight person but it’s a repulsive word — my opinion and probably other women’s opinion.”
Following a response defending the class as a celebration of women’s strength, “Rachel” wrote back saying be that as it may, the word “tits” is not appropriate.
“I don’t understand why you would use the word tits for a women’s class — granted you’re being cheeky but it’s objectifying and offensive to some people and obviously if I am not the first person who wasn’t comfortable with it and didn’t get your sardonic sense of humor then isn’t that a good indication that there’s a problem?” she wrote.
Osorio confirmed emails back and forth with the woman, but defended the name, pointing out that a female trainer came up with it.
“One of our coaches, Margie Lempert, started the class about two years ago — and it was sort of born out of her transformations with developing physical strength,” he said.
Women working out in a nearby park Wednesday were horrified by the name.
“That’s not a class I would go to,” one woman said.
“Oh no, I don’t like that,” another said.
But women who work out at the gym and have taken the class argued that you have to understand the culture of the gym to appreciate the name.
“With a word like that, you’re always going to find people who might have a problem with it,” said Grace Daniel, who takes the class.
“The class actually reaches out to women who typically don’t engage in weight-lifting, may be intimidated by doing something like that and the class is fantastic,” added Noor Alam, who also takes the class.
The question now after all this controversy is, are they going to change the name?
“I don’t think so,” Osorio said. “It really hasn’t been a problem for us. I can understand how someone would take offense to it.”
But, he added, he would rather those who don’t like the class try it before judging.
The woman who complained told “Jezebel” she was banned from the gym after the e-mails. But the owner said her membership was declined because she was being disrespectful.
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