Open Letter to the “Gym Dudes”

Conversations I don’t have with men at the gym. But should.

Vanessa Torre


Hey gym guy.

You’re struggling with me. I can tell. You’re looking at me a little weirdly. Something about me is slightly off putting to you. You don’t know what it is. I do.

I seem out of place. I am. This place is weird. There is legitimately a guy over there working out in khaki cargo shorts. You have questions. I have answers.

Yes, that noise is coming from me. I am, indeed, grunting. Why? Because I just made a 120 pound lat pull down my bitch. It’s heavy, it hurts. But, no, I don’t think I should go a little lighter.

No, I’m not wearing any make up and my hair is in an unintentionally messy bun. I didn’t spend 15 minutes in the locker room tweaking it just so.

I also do understand that my outfit doesn’t match and I’m wearing muddy Converse.

Yes, I’m wearing Converse because it keeps the balance on the heels of my feet which is where I need them if I’m gonna be able to pull a 275 pound deadlift. But, those expensive Nikes look cool, bro.

Thanks for letting me work in. No, I don’t need you to move the weight. I’ll lift what you got right there.

No, I don’t need you to put the body weight knee pad in place for the pull ups.

I’m not here to lift my body weight. I’m here to lift yours.

It doesn’t matter to me one bit if you think women shouldn’t have big, strong shoulders. Can I just use the 90 pound bar so I can get my shrugs done? You’re in my way.

Seriously, I am sure the 14th take on your gym selfie was the right one.

Nope. Not interested in cardio. I’m not here to be a size two. I eat size twos for lunch. I’m not here to lose weight. I’m…



Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. Email: