On the internet, with so much information available to us, it's somehow really easy to jump to conclusions.
After all, who wants to sit there and read context?
However, it's very important we do, as vague descriptions of actions aren't always enough for us to get a complete picture.
You know what they say it means to "assume" right?
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A$hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
NTA – Not The A$hole
YTA – You're The A$hole
INFO - Not Enough Information
The Reddit user u/throwaway-gym7727 (who we'll call Gym for short) asked:
AITA for going to the gym during "women's hour"?
Based on the headline, you might be thinking there's no way for Gym to be in the right here.
But even the opening provides context necessary to understand the issue here.
There's a problem with Gym's apartment's fitness center.
"I recently moved into this particular apartment complex because its a lot closer to my work and it has a pretty spectacular gym. The gym fees are built into my monthly rent payment, about $40 and is optional. I elected to pay it because I'm an avid gym-goer."
"I've been going to the gym at my usual time of around 6:30ish and at first I was oblivious to the fact that during the times that I go, its all women - who usually give me pretty dirty looks but I thought nothing of it. I made a friend in my complex and when she saw me at the gym she was super surprised to see me."
"Unbeknownst to me, there is a women's hour every weekday from 6p-9p. Now look. I know that us dudes can be big creeps and it can be annoying for a woman to try to get off a workout in peace. But I think that 3 hours is far too excessive. I ended up leaving that day to keep the peace though."
Gym has an issue where the time he would normally workout is monopolized by a "Women's hour" that lasts from 6pm to 9pm. If you work a normal 9-to-5, that leaves men almost no time to work out.
But Gym is a good guy and understands that women often get creeped on, especially when they work out. Three hours might be a little excessive, but it's probably easier to work something else out, right?
Unfortunately, his complex's manager couldn't do much for him.
"So I thought about it and escalated this matter to the strata manager and I asked her about the women's hour because I was not informed of this prior to signing my lease. Apparently its not a policy instituted by the strata, but the tenants (who are mostly women) agreed on this policy as a community and the strata neither endorses nor discourages this policy."
"I was prepared to give up and make do with the other gym but first I inquired about getting my monthly gym fee waived if I won't be going there. Strata manager said that she can't do that until my lease is up for renewal in a year."
"So I said eff that, I won't be paying for a service that I won't use."
So, his choices are to waste $40 a month for a gym he doesn't use, on top of whatever he would pay for a workout elsewhere or use the fitness center where he lives and pays.
It shouldn't be a difficult choice.
"So I go to the gym. I make sure to go out of my way to not look at or talk to any of the women there because I want to leave them alone, and vice versa. I just work out and keep my head down."
And once again, this whole thing wouldn't be an issue, if Gym wasn't pressured to leave.
"Today one woman tapped me on the arm (more like hit me if i'm being real) and said 'you know it's women's hour right' and I said yeah I know that but the window makes it pretty much impossible for me to work out at other times so I have to go now. Oh and please don't touch me."
"She got pissed and told me to get out. I refused and ignored her and continued my workout whilst all the other women gave me extremely dirty looks. AITA?"
As we said at the start, context is important. Hearing about a guy who goes to his apartment's gym during "Women's Hour" initially sounds like an easy call of who the jerk is in that situation.
But as we all know now, Gym is definitely not the jerk here.
"NTA. 6p - 9p is prime gym time at a residential gym, that's a ridiculous amount of time. 'Women's Hour,' if it were an hour, would probably be all right. 3 is too much, and 3 of the most accessible gym hours for a working person is completely unfair." - GaiusHispidus
"Especially since it's prime time for people coming home from work, and after eatin having the spare time to actually work out. My gym closes at 10 in my building. So it seems rediculous it's 3hrs and not one." - lilhippy72
"NTA - Just be prepared to not make any friends there (which is just a bonus imo, hate talking to neighbours!)." - Tergic
"NTA if the gym doesn't recognize it than it's not a real thing. Also you can't call it womens hour if it is 3 hours." - myangelofthenight
It's a three-hour block taken over every single weekday. It's the prime time to work out for most working people. And the nearest gym is 40 minutes away.
More impressively, Gym does everything in his power to try and make it work. If the complex could have just canceled his fee for access to the fitness center, this might have gone nowhere.
And who knows how long it has been like this.
"INFO: are there no other men in the building that object to this arrangement? Seems like this issue would have come up before. How do they make do? Also, are there regular tenant meetings to bring up this issue and work out a compromise?" - KosstAmojan
"Exactly what I came here to ask. Where are the other men?? Can they all just be letting this go??" - eugenesnewdream
"Probably bullied out like they tried to do to OP or they may be married to women that go during this time. OP just moved in so might not have met many of them." - NosepickerPro
It's difficult to say what Gym can do in this situation. It may be best that "Women's hour" is adjusted.
Maybe make it only be an hour like stated or reduce the days it takes place. Two to three times a week might be more manageable, rather than every single weekday.
I'm sure the women have a good reason they started this, but they have to see that this is excessive now. At the very least, if Gym is leaving them alone, it might be best they do the same in return.