TikTok

Joey Swoll calls out woman for calling man in gym a ‘feral weirdo’

How To Give Advice At The Gym Without Being Condescending

It’s no secret that the creepy starers of the world love a good gym.

But most men really are just there to work out, as one fitness influencer has stressed.

Joey Swoll shared an impassioned message with his 6.1 million TikTok followers in response to a video posted by Twitch streamer Jessica Fernandez.

In a series of captions on the clip, she wrote that a “feral” fellow weight-lifter was “staring [at her] like a piece of meat”, as she zoomed in on a man in the background.

The man then walked towards her and offered to help her attach a plate to her barbell, prompting her to write in a new caption: “What if I just ripped his pp out of its socket so he could never reproduce again.”

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Swoll followed up on the post with a stitch titled “Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim.”

He began his analysis of Fernandez’s video: “First and foremost, as I've said before, there is a big difference between staring at somebody and simply looking or glancing at them.

“So why did this man look at you? Well, you're in front of him off to the side. You're in his peripheral. You're also taking a video with your camera pointed directly at him, and you're talking to yourself. He's probably watching you wondering what is she doing? I know I would.”

@thejoeyswoll

Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim.

He then suggested that the stranger came over to help Fernandez because he saw her struggling and, as an “experienced lifter”, knows how difficult it is to load plates onto a barbell.

“He comes over to try and help you because that's what kind people do,” Swoll continued, insisting that the man was not being misogynistic by helping a woman.

“I've been in the gym for 20 years, I can't tell you how many times I've helped men and women load plates, take plates off, put weights back. It has nothing to do with sex or gender. You help people because it's kind to do.”

He went on: “It's very sad that you took an act of kindness [...] and turned him into a creep at the gym – talking about how you want to rip his reproductive organ off, so he can't reproduce, and that natural selection should take him out. Really?

“Trying to make yourself out to be a victim, which you're not. There are women harassed in gyms. You're not one of them. You need to do better.”

Swoll’s assessment racked up nearly 400,000 likes and more than 8,600 comments in just two days, as hundreds of fellow TikTokers backed his take.

“Looked like he was assessing the situation and was contemplating whether he should ask her if she needs help,” one female commentator replied.

“I stare at everybody. But I don’t mean it malicious I just am a watcher lol,” wrote another.

One man admitted: “As someone who goes to the gym this is my worst fear, I tend to find myself doing what he did, looking around in between sets.”

While a fourth user said: “There’s definitely a toxic person in her video but not the person she thinks.”

Fernandez turned off the comments on her original post and, on Monday, addressed the fall-out.

She tweeted: "I will be coming out with a response to this whole gym situation in a few days. I'm sorry."

It is perhaps worth noting that Swoll has shared a number of TikToks that are critical of female gym goers, and others which seem to make light of men gawking at lycra-clad bodies.

Here are a couple of examples:

@thejoeyswoll

I like it! Picasso! 😂 #gym #gymhumor

@thejoeyswoll

How dudes be walking around gyms in 2023. Stay safe out there gentleman.

Indy100 has contacted Fernandez for comment.

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