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Fitness at LUMS: A Gendered Divide


Ever since I have joined the LUMS Gym I have noticed that there are quite a few ways an educational institution may foster the solidification of gender roles in society.

The female gym has three rows filled with cardio machinery ranging from treadmills to ellipticals. However, when it comes to machinery for weight training there’s only one row worth of it. Even within that row, machines are sometimes broke or missing gear. When we move towards the dumbbells, the highest weighing dumbbell is of 10kgs. Females who want to use higher weights have to go to the front desk and request one from the males gym but that process is often inconvenient and sometimes there is nobody at the front desk to do so.

Now you may think that the lack of resources might be due to a lack of demand but believe me there is a demand. We females often find ourselves restricted by the limited weights and machines affecting our workout.

Contradictory to all this, the male gym has ample of equipment, machinery, and gear.

Being one of the top educational institutes, one offering fitness courses as well, LUMS should expand and diversify the female gym. The structure in which the gyms are organised right now only creates an atmosphere where certain body types for both genders a unconsciously reinforced.

The presence of ample cardio machinery in the female gym signifies the desire for petite slim woman in society and the structure of the male gym shows the demand for muscular bodies.

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Although your blog is well-written and sheds light on an important issue; one that is LUMS specific and affects the female community on campus, I still think you missed the link between gender and media. While I agree with whatever you said as part of your blog writing, I am also wondering how you tend to make this media specific and draw a link between media products and sexist gym rituals.

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Thank you for your response. I am now able to make more sense out of of your post while connecting the dots in my mind. I think a clarification was needed. Again, a very well-written blog indeed!

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