Change the Intramural Sports Building Apparel Policy
I am absolutely appalled by the University of Michigan’s Intramural Sports Building. Today my roommate went to the IM building to work out in between classes. In the middle of her workout she was approached by an employee who told her that she was reported by someone using the space for wearing a sports bra...at the gym. The employee explained that there is a policy against shirts that don’t cover your torso. The employee asked my roommate to cover up, but she only had a fleece jacket. Feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed my roommate felt the pressure to leave the gym before completing her workout. This is a blatant example of body shaming and sexism. The IM rules are perpetuating sexist policies that affect women’s mental and physical health. The specific policy states that ‘A shirt is required and must cover the entire torso-stomach, rib cage and chest.’ Yet, when I go to the gym, I frequently see men in cut-out shirts which fully expose the rib-cage and torso side. This has become such common form of gym apparel, it is now a cliché commonly referred to as “bro- tanks”.
My roommate had 2 inches of her midriff exposed.
It is unfathomable to imagine a circumstance where a male would be reported for exposing the same amount skin.
We are not blaming the IM building, it’s employees, or the University of Michigan. We are simply asking them to reevaluate their policies. Their current attire policy prioritizes the discomfort members have with women’s bodies over the benefits to physical and mental health for women. This alienates women who are seeking out a judgement-free place to improve their overall health and wellbeing. We need to change the dress code because sexism has no place at the University of Michigan.