In this community, we all look out for each other.
This is a great sentiment when you’re protecting someone from hurtful comments or ensuring someone’s safety.
What happens, though, when someone takes it upon himself to use this line of thought to try and change someone else’s personal choices?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Far-Experience2070 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for telling another gym member to wear a bra?”
OP began with a personal truth.
“I (25 female) f*cking hate wearing bras.”
“They’re uncomfortable, constricting, and expensive.”
“With work from home, I spent the last year and a half basically never wearing a bra and got used to it.”
“Quite frankly, my boobs are nonexistent anyways.”
“I recently started going to the gym again and started working out braless.”
“I should note that up until now, no one has ever pointed out anything wrong with me not wearing a bra.”
Everything was fine, until…
“However, in the middle of a set of squats (yes, MID SQUAT), a guy comes up to me, taps me on the shoulder to get my attention, and tells me that my nipples are poking through my shirt.”
“I get really irritated because why tf is this guy staring at my nipples in the first place and then stopping me mid-set to inform me?”
“I get really annoyed, try to finish my set, but then this f*cker literally grabs the bar, as I ascend and re-racks it for me.”
“He claimed it looked like I was having trouble with the last rep, and that he had come over to make sure I could do it, then noticed my nipples.”
“I’m really f*cking pissed off at this point and told him I didn’t need his help finishing my set and why the f*ck was he looking at my chest in the first place??”
“He said he was going to spot me, but then noticed my chest and thought it’d be inappropriate.”
“I pointed out that the safety bar was set, so even if I did fail the set, he wasn’t needed.”
“But he just insisted people at gyms look out for each other, and that going forward, I should probably wear a bra so other people wouldn’t get uncomfortable and that it may help me stay more balanced in my squats.”
“I’m literally the only girl at the weights section of the gym at the moment, and other guys who were squatting and failed sets never have to worry about this sh*t.”
“I’ve seen guys fail multiple sets in a row and no one ever rushes to their aid, but I have a very slight pause, and everyone thinks I need rescuing.”
“So I’m now really annoyed and also kind of uncomfortable that this guy I’ve never spoken to in my life thinks he’s helping me and then has the audacity to tell me how to dress.”
“So I tell him ‘You have bigger boobs and nipples than I do. Maybe YOU should wear a bra so people won’t get uncomfortable and you won’t fail your squats.'”
“He then got really defensive, saying he was just trying to help, then called me a b*tch.”
OP wasn’t sure if she’d been too harsh.
“Honestly I’m not sure if I overreacted, but I’m still kind of pissed off so maybe that’s clouding my judgment.”
So she was left to wonder:
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
For some there were safety concerns.
“He could have seriously hurt her! Grabbing the bar while she was ascending? He can f*ck right off, that’s dangerous!” ~ icecreampenis
“Honestly this should be way up near the top- this is a massive safety issue.”
“Dude should be banned from the gym for reckless engagement.”
“Further, if he didn’t know that already, then his advice on ‘safety’ and ‘help’ are complete garbage.” ~ elciteeve
Others pointed out that this needed to be escalated.
“He was harassing you, and you should tell management about it.”
“As a fellow bra-hater, it’s no one’s f*cking business if I wear a bra or not.” ~ ellabcedar
“This is 100% sexual harassment and taking the bar from her and racking it is taking it to another level.”
“And the suggestion that wearing a bra would make you better at lifting is just fucking wild. NTA and report that guy.” ~ moxiecontin714
“He clearly doesn’t understand how bras work, but still needed to manslpain it to her.”
“Ugh. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Also isn’t it dangerous to randomly grab a bar from someone while they’re working out? Definitely report him.” ~ MPBoomBoom22
“You should report him to the gym management for sexual harrassment for”
“staring at your nipples”
“telling you what you should wear to the gym”
“interrupting your set & putting your weights back on the rack unasked for when you clearly weren’t struggling”
“calling you a b*tch.”
“Tell them he made you feel unsafe wouldn’t leave you alone & continued to stare & comment on your breasts after you repeatedly asked him not to & your worried about other female gym members & how that incident might of escalated had their not been other men at the gym at the same time.”
“Edited to add: also complain about the lack of social distance we’re still in a pandemic.” ~ [deleted]
Commenters thought he might have had ulterior motives.
“I’m male but I can see from here he wanted to be a knight in shining armour for a damsel in distress”
“- He was then obviously disappointed that you did not need saving so defaulted to being a jack-*ss in a poor attempt to save face and keep talking which obviously allowed him to look at your nipples whilst also pretending ‘iM nOt lIkE OtHeR GuYs”‘ ~ SubjectiveAssertive
A line of thought which led tot his absolutely delightful exchange.
“m’lady, tho doesn’t needeth to show of your perky pawns on such an occasion, why, a gentleman such as I would much rather see them in privacy, perchance after a soothing dinner of tendies and m’ntdew?” ~ RaymondBeaumont
“‘Alas, good knight, but my pawns doth not be revealed for none but mi’self.”
“And for far more than a cup of dew, be it from mountain glen or meadery.'”
“I doth not need thy help in mounting my weights, nor other types of mounting neither; it would require a chevalier true with a strong destrier and lance of oak, and not a squire with bonnie horse and gimbal stick to strike my quintain.”
“Away with you, back on to the lands of the pageboys and choir lads, stick to your high song and low verses, and mayhaps one of thine lads will lend ye a hand with your chess game and romp about the jousting lists.”
‘”In a score of years mayhaps thou can attest to enough swords fights to impress me, though I suggest not; a dagger brought to a fight of falchions does not fare well, and I much prefer the blades of the claidheamh mòr, montante, and passot entirely so.”‘ ~ Kiyohara
There were also questions of logic.
“And how the literal F does a sports bra make her more balanced for squats??”
“Oh no, y’all look out!!”
“My itty bitty titties are gonna exist and somehow make it hard to…bend down??? I do not understand.”
“Also, NTA” ~ Suspiciouscupcake23
Also, personal stories,
“After three kids, sports bras, even with pads in (which, to be honest is rare because they are the stupidest shit ever), there is not a single bra that can contain or hide my nipples.”
“And I didn’t even breastfeed.”
“I personally hate how men in general feel it’s fine to interrupt a woman’s workout.”
“When I was 18ish weeks pregnant with my third and running on a treadmill a guy kept talking to me loudly until I stopped and took my headphones out to acknowledge him because he wanted to comment how pregnant I was.”
“Edit: typos in that first paragraph.” ~ Becsbeau1213
“NTA he needs to concentrate on his own workout.”
“I’ve been to the gym and seen women go braless. It’s not scandalous. I mean FFS half of us there are wearing tight bodycon clothing anyway that leaves little to the imagination.”
“I might be an outlier though, I’ve done stuff like ren faire and theater for decades and my puritan streak was kind of burned out of me with years of seeing people get dressed and undressed back stage.”
“This guy was a sh*tknob.”
“Generally speaking, if a guy’s reaction to whatever is going on is to call you a b*tch, he probably was not operating in good faith.”
“At least, as a guy watching men interact with women, that’s the conclusion I came to.” ~ Flatline2962
OP did return with some final commentary.
“Edit to add:”
“I’m not sure if people think I’m walking around and it’s extremely obvious my nipples are showing.”
“I actually really hate constricting clothes.”
“My t-shirt size is x-small but I wear size large to the gym (and pretty much everywhere lately), and you can’t tell my stomach from my chest.”
“My nipples might’ve been showing a little more while squatting because I was wearing a lifting belt”
Clothing is a personal choice and despite what you might think of what someone else is wearing, their wardrobe isn’t your decision.