I saw this goodie on Dooce this afternoon: there’s a group of BYU students who are threatening to picket a Gold’s Gym near campus. Why? Because they can’t handle the oversexed atmosphere.
Here’s the article: Some students say health club showing pornography
The gym shows its own, “Gold’s Gym music video network” which they claim shows more conservative videos than, say, MTV. I don’t know, I’ve never been inside a Gold’s Gym. But hey, let’s hear from an eyewitness (quoting from the article above):
Dallen Johnson says, “I’ve had to leave, honestly! There have been four times I’ve run out of the cardio cinema because of racy and inappropriate things being shown, things I personally view as pornography.”
Okay. You know, I’ll buy that maybe you’re offended by something you see on the TV. God knows I’ve been in the gym and been offended by the umpteen-millionth replay of some Mariah Carey/ODB/Featuring Featuring Featuring video this week. Or by seeing Jerry Falwell on Larry King, or whatever. Never enough to say “Oh, Gawd, I gotta get outta here and I ain’t coming back,” although I’ll admit I’m happier in my classic-rock-radio-playing gym than I was in that former gym – the nicer, better-equipped but more crowded undergrad meat market where I used to work out.
So I’ll grant you that you may be offended. As one guy pointed out, there’s TVs all over the place, so it’s not like you can just go to the non-TV area. No such animal. If you go in there, you’re running the risk of being offended. Nobody has to subject themselves to something that offends them. So I’ll grant that you may feel the need to leave, and if you do, I have no problem with it.
I actually had a bit of a laugher for a second. I played, “what if?” What if there WERE a health club that actually showed pornography? At first I said “Hell, you couldn’t elbow your way in. It’d be sardine-packed with 19-year-old fratboys.”
But then I thought a little more, and no. The average fratboy doesn’t want to be caught out in public by just anyone watching his porn. First, he might get a boner, and the hot chick in the sports bra next to him might notice just how much his [insert-sports-team-here] mesh shorts don’t move. Second, there might be older women there (true, probably not many, but some older ladies are brazen enough to do it on purpose to laugh at the mewlish brats – and more power to ‘em!) and watching porn in front of the older ladies would freak out and/or mortify them. Third, most guys just don’t want to watch porn in public. Simple. I know, while occasionally fratboys might watch porn in semi-public, together and where others might come through, it’s in their space. In the sanctum sanctorum, where they together can enforce their mentality. Outside those walls, probably not so much.
So the result of that thought exercise was that I believe that if there was a gym that actually showed what most people believe to be porn, it would be mostly empty except for some creepy guys who’d run off even the brassy mid-40s MILFs.
But picketing the gym? Dudes, yeah, maybe the videos offend you, but I’d bet they don’t fit any Supreme Court definition of obscenity. (As an aside, fellas, don’t ever turn on BET. Your heads would explode. Both of ‘em.)
Ultimately, it’s a private club. You can always just, you know, not go. Start your own, squeaky-clean, smut-free gym. From the sound of it there’s a demand for such a place. For those keeping score at home, demand for squeaky-clean gym yes, demand for porn-o-gym not so much.
But here’s the kicker: They list their demands. I’ll copy them here, and add some emphasis.
- No rated R movies or sexually explicit or racy PG-13 movies.
- Change the content of Gold’s Broadcasting Network or don’t show the Network.
- Keep external TV’s on decent and clean stations, or let members choose the channels themselves.
- Install blinds on the aerobics room to block the dancing, which is very provocative.
Fellas, fellas, fellas. It sounds like the problem isn’t with the porn, or the dancing. It’s female sexuality. Oh noes!1! Hide us, help us, protect us from Satan in scantily clad female form!!
Guys, I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. There’s something not quite healthy about your being offended by women doing dance aerobics, any more than it would be healthy to be unduly obsessed with it. If a buck-nekkid woman walks right by you, she might or might not be sinning (depending on what she looked like, I’d personally thank her for sharing) but that’s not your problem. In my own humble beliefs, you’re not evil or fallen or anything else based on what someone else does, and nobody else’s sexuality is a threat to me. In a world of moral men, a woman should be able to dance in the middle of a city park wearing nothing but a million dollars worth of diamonds and a smile, and nothing untoward should happen. And if it did, well, saying “She was dancing naked and seeing her flesh put the devil in my heart” wouldn’t be a mitigating argument in my courtroom, bub.
Women are all around you. You can’t always make them cover up, stay at home, or pull the blinds on them while they exercise. Contrary to your belief, fellas, it ain’t about you. If you don’t want to go to the gym, go to another one or stay at home. But the bottom line is: Your discomfort is your own. Deal with it.