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Challenging Societal Roots

The preservation of a heterosexual society is a well-established gender order with clearly defined norms and sanctions governing women and men’s behaviour.


If you identify as a gender nonconforming individual using a gym space, may feel scary. The stereotypes, stigmatization, devaluations and labels become a norm within the norm of patriarchal standards.


The accusation of labelling is a powerful controlling mechanism given to the pervasiveness of homophobia in North American society. Where queer lifestyles are condemned, devalued, and oppressed. Being perceived as a strong muscular woman in a gym setting, is confronting the normal standards of what a woman’s body should look like. A strong muscular women may deny, cover up, and suppress their gender role by silently conforming, and suppressing themselves.



As you can see this is a very effective system when the victims are contributing to their own internalized oppression.


This is why it is my passion to create inclusivity within the gym space. We must challenge these societal roots, that have deep historical influences. Trying new things that you’ve never done before such as lifting heavy weights can be deeply frightening. Especially if you suffer from oppression and some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Working with my clients through a body positive lens free of homophobia, trans phobia, and fat phobia, is how I approach my work. The end goal of this work is to allow my clients to feel more empowered, as those suffering from trauma tend to feel more disenchanted to move in their bodies.



Resources


Smith, E. (n.d). Creating Welcoming Gym Environments for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Athletes.


Adler, P., & Adler, P. (2016). Constructions of deviance: social power, context, and interaction (8th ed.). Cengage



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