To The Boy At The Gym

To The Boy At The Gym

To the boy who told his friend that he was taking a "woman's bar" at the gym the other day...
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To the boy who told his friend that he was taking a "woman's bar" at the gym the other day,

When you looked over at your friend who picked up a smaller bar and told him with a face that it was a "woman's bar", I heard you.

As I was squatting with my own bar and weights I heard your comment and I saw your eyes glare at me.

And I didn't appreciate it. And I'm sure many of the girls who work out at the gym have heard similar sly remarks, about how somehow certain things at the gym are more for boys than for girls.

Now I'm not going to deny that some girls do indeed use the bar you were referring to.And that the bar you referenced is lighter. Or that according to science (and popular opinion) women just aren't as physically strong as men.

None of that is my problem. My problem is that you gave a gender to an inanimate object.

Bars, weights, cars, occupations, sports, all these things that are not alive, do not have a gender. There is no right or wrong gender attached to anything because naturally inanimate things are simply not gendered. By you saying that a lighter bar was a "woman's bar", you assigned it a gender that it didn't formally have and therefore created an unfortunate sort of segregation between things for women and men.

Maybe your comment wasn't directed at me. Maybe it was just a passing comment. Maybe it doesn't really matter to you what I'm saying because to you it will always be a girl's bar.

But why is that?

Because you were not born knowing that lighter things are meant for girls. Society influenced your opinion and you just confirmed what society told you.

It might only have been about a bar this time, but what about when you start thinking the same way about other things?When suddenly certain sports are "woman's sports". Or certain jobs become "woman's jobs". Suddenly, we have started a trend where things without a natural gender assigned to them, now have one.

Not only is this extremely limiting, but it simply isn't right.

You don't get to decide what gets assigned to a girl and what doesn't, just like I don't get to decide what belongs to a boy and what doesn't. Especially when what you claim is a "woman's bar" enhances the stereotype of women as weaker, less athletic and not as capable.

Now I know we are all guilty of what you did the other day at the gym. But I just hope that maybe next time you won't say the lighter bar is the "woman's bar". That maybe next time you'll just call it for what it is: the lighter bar, or the 35-lb bar, or something that marks it as inanimate and describes characteristics it actually has. Maybe next time you'll think about how if a little girl heard that the smaller bar was the only bar for her, how that might affect what she thinks she is capable of.

Maybe next time you won't fall into one of our society's favorite pastimes, giving gender to things that don't have a gender.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiE9pj6hYnSAhWGyyYKHYIgD8YQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbanditfitness.com%2F&bvm=bv.146786187,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNHCI3-E6jdv-Bqq4kEW1TsXZTVktQ&ust=1486936928026577

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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