There are plenty of videos online where female gym goers call out "creeps" who won't leave them alone while working out. Some of these interactions are truly disturbing, like this one where a guy gets up in a woman's face for "ignoring" him while she was just minding her own business and lifting weights while listening to music on her AirPods.
In other instances, it's pretty apparent that the person complaining about unwanted male attention while they're pumping iron are basically just shaming videos that look like they were put together in order to chase views. Many of them were summarily called out for doing so.
It's always a touchy subject when you push back on someone's assertions through the internet for an event like this, especially when they feel like they're being targeted by unwanted attention. And it's no secret that many women experience catcalling and other forms of creepy behavior from men.
However, this story from Pete Gustin doesn't appear to fall into that category.
Pete is blind. He even says so in his YouTube profile name: Blind Surfer Pete Gustin. He carries a card that medically defines him as blind in the state of Massachusetts. In a viral video, Pete shared an instance where a woman who was working out that the gym accused him of staring at her.
This is impossible, again, because Pete is blind and physically incapable of seeing. Something that he says he expressed to the woman in his viral video, however, it didn't seem to help.
"I'm blind. If you know what those two words mean, you are much smarter than the girl who was screaming at me at the gym." He continues, "Let me explain. I was standing there doing a tricep pushdown exercise and since I can't see I'm just kinda staring off into space doing my thing. Halfway through a set I start hearing footsteps that seem like they're coming in my direction."
He continues that he hears them "getting closer and closer and closer until all of a sudden this woman's all up in my face going, 'I didn't come here to be stared at!' Huh? He responds."
The woman continues, "I didn't come here to be stared at!" It's at this point that Pete says he explains to the woman that he wasn't looking at her because he is legally blind.
He says he told the woman, "'Ohh I'm sorry I'm blind!' I say to her. Her response? 'I don't care! Stop staring at me!' She storms off and comes back with the manager a couple minutes later. I reach into my wallet and pull out an ID card from the Massachussetts Commission for the Blind."
At this point in the video Pete shows his ID, with certain identifiers redacted, stating that he, "Explained to this guy as well, 'I'm blind. I wasn't staring at anybody.' He says, 'OK but you still can't make other gym members uncomfortable by looking at them."
Pet just laughs at the absurdity of the gym manager's statement and the video ends.
Calling out gym goblins who leer at women while they're working out has become something of a trend on TikTok, and again, there are certainly many instances where women have documented strange and sometimes aggressive behavior from other men accosting and/or harassing them on the gym floor.
But there are others who say that many of the videos posted to TikTok where women call men "creeps" for working out in the same area as them are harmful and usually feel as if the content creator is attempting to force a false narrative. The Washington Examiner also posted a piece that states "calling innocent men 'gym creeps' is harmful to both sexes."