By Jenny Macler ’23
Beginning March 30th, Abigail’s Circle has initiated a Girls Gym Hour every Thursday from 6:30-7:30.
Due to popular demand to create a more inclusive and comfortable space for the females on our campus in the fitness center, Girl’s Gym Hour will be dedicated to achieving this purpose. The goal is not to further any gender division but to acknowledge the unintentional gym culture, which sometimes creates an unwelcoming environment for females. Abigail’s Circle hopes that a Girl’s Gym Hour will encourage more females to use the gym without having to worry about having enough space or feeling uncomfortable.
The idea for a Girl’s Gym Hour was first introduced last fall. Maeren Hay ‘23, leader of Abigail’s Circle, said, “It’s been on our radar, but we didn’t really take the initiative on it until winter when a lot of people in the affinity group and just around campus were asking about it, wanting to still pursue it.” The club got the idea approved by Mr. Marich and DOS while also speaking with Mrs. Gum and Mrs. Bell. They received positive feedback and the idea was approved.
Part of the motivation for getting this hour approved stemmed from Georgie Charette’s Gunn Scholar poll. One of the many questions she asked was whether or not people felt comfortable in the fitness center. In the results, most females felt either little discomfort or discomfort. That response did not come up as much among male-identifying students. To the members of Abigail’s Circle, that was a clear indicator that a Girl’s Gym Hour would be beneficial for many members of our community.
In the process of making this hour possible, Maeren received a lot of questions about whether or not there were complaints from students on campus. She explained that it’s not necessarily the people on our campus causing any issues, but the general gym culture of our country. She said, “The culture of our country is there, and the culture surrounding it right now is just that it’s more male dominating.” This culture is prevalent all over, motivating Abigail’s Circle to ensure that there is a time for the females at our school to use the gym without worry or discomfort. Maeren also added that this hour had been a great way for their club to spend time together and do something they enjoy. The club hopes to continue this weekly hour for the remainder of the year and keep promoting the presence of females in the gym.