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BlackSwanEffect's avatar

Can male-only institutions still survive in today's world?

Asked by BlackSwanEffect (698points) June 18th, 2015

I’d like to open a gym for men only. Gyms for women are all over the place, as well as other female-only institutions. This is perfectly fine. But the classic old men’s clubs seem to be dying out or being forced to accept female membership. There aren’t really any male-only spaces in the modern world. I’m not sure if the same would apply to gyms. So would a gym that does not accept female membership, for the explicit reason that they are female, be able to function without being dragged before every tribunal in the state?

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10 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I think it would be allowed to exist. Do men want to work out without women around? Seems like most men are voyeurs.

When I lived in South Beach quite a few gyms appeared to be all men, but I don’t know if there was a rule? But, South Beach is full of gay men.

It should be pointed out that some of the women only gyms are so women who are out of shape or very overweight feel more comfortable. Is that the idea for the men only gym?

cazzie's avatar

When I was in New Zealand, there were plenty of men’s clubs. Here is a bit of background on those men’s clubs and it might give you a feel for what they were like and their historical place and current relevance.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The Catholic Church has been surviving for 1600 years.

Blondesjon's avatar

MLB, NFL, and NBA all seem to be doing fine as well.

BlackSwanEffect's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks. There are many reasons for a male only gym, but in that context one of the bonuses is getting rid of the guys who try to impress girls with their workouts, or who try to pick up girls in the gym. It’s to focus their mind on the tasks at hand – getting stronger.

@cazzie Thanks. Did you mean to include a link with that?

@elbanditoroso Ever heard of nuns?

@Blondesjon I think there are safety reasons for those institutions that don’t cover a regular gym, but you raise a good point.

JLeslie's avatar

^^So, who exactly is your target market? Guys who want to be very muscular and pump a lot of iron? The average guy just trying to be healthier? The overweight guy trying to lose some weight? Or, do you feel like you don’t have to define it that far?

Is it just machines? Or, do you have classes also?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Back in St. Pete Beach, there is a place called Hell’s Gym. 24–7, all free weights, no showers, no monitor, profane graffiti on the walls. For about fifty bucks a month, you get a key the the club and a small locker. There is a duffle bag of dirty towels near the door to the toilet.The stink is on the house. It sits in a block of strip stores between a bail bondsman and a check cashing place. Most the guys who workout there are white, loners, covered with prison tats, serious people. They are working on a lot more than just their bodies. Women are found in the strip club across the street.

Hardly my kind of place, but I think male-exclusive environments are valid—as valid as female-exclusive environments. We should all be free to associate with whom we wish and if a man feels a need to remove himself from the company of women, or vice versa, I see no harm in that. But what is termed as a “Gentleman’s Club” in the States is usually a very expensive strip club with high-end booze and girls available in the VIP Room where the prices triple and anything goes. Also not my kind of place.

For me, I don’t wish to segregate on the basis of gender as much as common interests. I find yacht clubs homey. Some are bare-bones and blue-collar and offer fine camaraderie of a serious seagoing sort, but others are as comfortably appointed as the Harvard Club in Boston, complete with overstuffed leather chairs, a formal waitstaff, and a fine library of charts, reference books, sea fiction. Good food. Tradition. There are slips and fuel docks. This is where you will find the man or woman who has been to wherever you are heading and can tell you what the charts and travelogues can’t. There is also the chaff, the weekend shoal sailor, but these harmless social butterflies are always glad to introduce a serious sailor with a member who has a sailing history. These places are expensive to the visitor, but worth it, to me anyway.

I think excluding women from these clubs of common interests are a mistake. IMO, women are different than us and they bring to the table important qualities men either lack or haven’t developed in themselves. And vice versa. We could probably argue this till the end of time, but this opinion is a result of observing them under many conditions for many years. But when I work out I am so self-absorbed that women, like everyone else in the gym unless they are my spotter, are inconsequential. But I understand if a man feels more comfortable working on his body without the feeling that women may be watching and evaluating. Some guys are like that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t know about gyms, but there are plenty of exclusive clubs and organizations for men. They are nearly always setups by the very well heeled.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If men get a spine it will

Just make the dress code topless, you will not have any women around.

cazzie's avatar

You’re wrong there, @Hypocrisy_Central

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