Sammy Nickalls
February 03, 2016 10:42 am
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When Santa Clara University in California freshman Grace DiChristina decided she was going to the gym in January, she put on a (super cute) cotton shirt, shorts, and sneakers and headed out the door. But her workout was interrupted because she was deemed a health hazard. Why? Because one inch of her stomach was showing.

She immediately spoke to the supervisor of the athletic facility, who told her that there are two reasons why she is being dismissed: MRSA (a staph infection that can spread through skin contact) and her workout was happening in a Jesuit institution. Grace then took to Facebook to explain why neither of these reasons are grounds for her dismissal.

First of all, Grace explained, if an inch of her stomach could spread MRSA, why aren’t gym members required to wear gloves or long pants? Plus, there’s a MASSIVE double-standard at play here. “Muscles tees with long armholes are extremely popular for men,” she wrote. “If you walk into Leavey Center, the first thing you see is that the gym is packed with men sweating directly onto the equipment. However, these men feel safe. One of the rules in the gym is to wipe down equipment after use. Why are women being singled out and punished just because other people can’t follow the rules?”

Grace then pointed that the “Jesuit school” excuse was just as bogus. “I do not go to the gym to be sexualized or looked at by other people — I go to improve my health and my self-confidence,” she wrote. “Being told to leave the facility because my outfit is inappropriate is more than just annoying; it’s humiliating and degrading.”

Finally, she highlighted that if the gym was really trying to “prevent MRSA,” they would have given her more information, enforced rules regarding wiping down equipment, and raised awareness about the infection.

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After the college’s blog Her Campus SCU caught wind of the story and reported it, Grace’s story started spreading all over social media. She’s been receiving only support. . . other than from students on Yik Yak.

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“Chicks [sic] mad that she can’t be as whoreish [sic] as she wants at the gym,” one student wrote on Yik Yak, while another wrote, “Why do you think she needs to show her midriff so bad?”

But Facebook commenters have been responding to these sexist claims with pure, unadulterated sarcasm:

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It’s time we stopped sexualizing women’s midriffs and covering up the sexism with transparent claims of “MRSA protection.” All the props to Grace for standing up for what’s right.

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