Being a writer for Pinoy Fitness for so long, I found that the stories that inspired me the most are those of women who, despite all challenges, bloom in the fitness world as one of the fastest, strongest, and enduring athletes. They – you, inspire this short letter I send today.
Let’s face it: The world is not innocent of belittling women, no matter where we find ourselves.
It’s sad to think that women frequently fall victim to harassment and toxic notions that we are “too weak” to be leaders, to achieve anything grand, nor compete with men in the physical or other arenas. It’s even sadder to think that these experiences of women are normalized and passed off as ‘jokes’ or ‘compliments’ to this day.
Before I go on, let me set things straight: Harassment is not a joke, compliment, nor anything good and normal.
However, these evils that women confront – though not easily overcome without collective effort – are being subdued day by day. As a person who keeps close watch over our little Facebook Group, I see this in most of the women who participate and share their stories.
Every day, I smile and am moved by the women of the Pinoy Fitness Community who are overcoming these trials by reclaiming your spaces, your voices, and your power.
The inspiring women in the fitness community
Getting to know and sharing your stories through this platform is one of the best things about this job that I am thankful for. It may sound corny, but it’s true.
There are women in this community who post about their struggles with their fitness progress. Women who give tips to each other. Some women raking in medal after medal. Women lifting the same, or twice the weights, men can. Women who don’t let rude comments slide. All of them, voice out unapologetically, and it’s such a marvelous thing to witness as an admin.
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It’s through this job that I got to know many brave, strong, and enduring women, and I’ll bet that I am far from running out of these kinds of women to meet. After all, there are so many of you in the world and each of you is a rich well of stories that the world needs to hear more of.
In a world that is so loud about telling women about what we can and can’t do, let your voice that shouts “you definitely can” be unignorable.
Because your stories warm hearts, it invigorates, gives hope, and most of all, empowers. Through your stories, so many other women have felt braver, stronger, and endure their battles longer and with renewed might. So tell your stories. Shout them out, even.
In a world that is so loud about telling women about what we can and can’t do, let your voice that shouts “you definitely can” be unignorable. Because you definitely can – not despite being a woman, but exactly because you are one.
As we close out another month in celebration of the women of the world, I want you all to remember that you, woman, are a cause for jubilation – in any case, for any reason, on any day.
PS to the men of the Pinoy Fitness Community
I couldn’t leave this without a message of appreciation for all of you who have contributed to making this space safer for the women here.
Apart from thanking all of you, I hope you welcome this note so that we can all work together to making this safe space bigger and better, and so, I would like to give you all a few more ways you can show your support and appreciation for all women:
- Side with women on harassment issues; believe their stories first and provide the support they need.
- Educate yourself about misogyny, sexism, and gender-based violence and oppression.
- Police yourself and your peers’ tendencies to sexualize, objectify, or undermine women.
- Learn about microaggressions and unlearn the few that you may be saying.
- Create and nurture spaces for women that make them feel safe and empowered.
Sending love and light, and hoping to grow in this safe space with all of you,