AITA for telling another gym member to wear a bra?
reddit: the front page of the internet 2022-11-28
trigger warning: sexual harassment
AITA for telling another gym member to wear a bra? - 19 August 2021
I (25f) fucking hate wearing bras. They're uncomfortable, constricting, and expensive. With work from home, I spent the last year and a half basically never wearing a bra and got used to it. Quite frankly, my boobs are nonexistent anyways.
I recently started going to the gym again and started working out braless. I should note that up until now, no one has ever pointed out anything wrong with me not wearing a bra. However, in the middle of a set of squats (yes, MID SQUAT), a guy comes up to me, taps me on the shoulder to get my attention, and tells me that my nipples are poking through my shirt. I get really irritated because why tf is this guy staring at my nipples in the first place and then stopping me mid-set to inform me?
I get really annoyed, try to finish my set, but then this fucker literally grabs the bar, as I ascend and re-racks it for me. He claimed it looked like I was having trouble with the last rep, and that he had come over to make sure I could do it, then noticed my nipples. I'm really fucking pissed off at this point and told him I didn't need his help finishing my set and why the fuck was he looking at my chest in the first place?? He said he was going to spot me, but then noticed my chest and thought it'd be inappropriate.
I pointed out that the safety bar was set, so even if I did fail the set, he wasn't needed. But he just insisted people at gyms look out for each other, and that going forward, I should probably wear a bra so other people wouldn't get uncomfortable and that it may help me stay more balanced in my squats. I'm literally the only girl at the weights section of the gym at the moment, and other guys who were squatting and failed sets never have to worry about this shit. I've seen guys fail multiple sets in a row and no one ever rushes to their aid, but I have a very slight pause, and everyone thinks I need rescuing. So I'm now really annoyed and also kind of uncomfortable that this guy I've never spoken to in my life thinks he's helping me and then has the audacity to tell me how to dress.
So I tell him "You have bigger boobs and nipples than I do. Maybe YOU should wear a bra so people won't get uncomfortable and you won't fail your squats." He then got really defensive, saying he was just trying to help, then called me a bitch. Honestly I'm not sure if I overreacted, but I'm still kind of pissed off so maybe that's clouding my judgment. AITA?
Edit to add: I'm not sure if people think I'm walking around and it's extremely obvious my nipples are showing. I actually really hate constricting clothes. My t-shirt size is x-small but I wear size large to the gym (and pretty much everywhere lately), and you can't tell my stomach from my chest. My nipples might've been showing a little more while squatting because I was wearing a lifting belt
UPDATE: AITA for telling another gym member to wear a bra? - 2 September 2021
Thanks so much for all the feedback on my OP. A couple people said it was just a validation post, but tbh after you go off on someone like that publicly, getting a lot of attention, you kind of do feel like an asshole, even when you feel it's justified, so yeah.
I finally did start wearing bras again, and not at all because of this incident, but because I'd been dealing with depression that made me not really try to get dressed in general (not just at the gym), and "dressing for success" has been a small way to try to get myself back into a better place mentally.
Anyways, the guy goes to the gym roughly the same time I do most days, so unfortunately, I did have to see him again. Even though I really wanted to grab his bar out of fake concern while he was squatting, I mostly ignored him. Until two days ago.
I was deadlifting, and recording myself to check my form. The guy comes over and says something like "You know sumo is cheating right?" I get this comment a lot, mostly from men half joking, and it's annoying, but I just completely ignore him. He repeats it a little louder, and I continue to ignore him. I guess he sees that I was recording myself because then he asks if I have an Instagram (I don't post my lifts on Insta) and if he could follow me. I keep ignoring him.
Finally, he says something like "see your form is so much better now that you're wearing a bra." And I fucking lost it again. I screamed at him that he's a disgusting, harassing piece of shit (honestly I don't remember exactly what I said but it was, admittedly, very vulgar and got a lot of attention). A worker came over and asked if something was wrong, and I said that the guy was sexually harassing me for two weeks and asked to speak to a manager.
The guy denied it and said he was just trying to help, and that I was being sensitive. But either way, the manager asked what was going on and got both our stories. Because I had been recording my lifts, I actually had a video of him where he commented on my bra, so the manager gave him a 30 day ban and told me that if he ever bothered me again to let her know, and she would permanently ban him.
So I feel kind of vindicated, but I also feel a little frustrated that just one man actually saw consequences for this kind of behavior towards women in the gym. It's nice to see someone have repercussions for their actions, but it's also exhausting dealing with this kind of thing constantly at the gym, even if it isn't quite as overt. But I guess I'll have to keep calm and lift on.
Reminder - I am not the original poster.