Culture

Apparently, ‘Sweat-Shaming’ Is a Thing Now

It’s not just slut-shaming and fat-shaming anymore. Now, you also have to worry about “sweat-shaming” — that is, basically acknowledging that someone is sweating — because doing so is sexist.

At least that’s the point that Amy Roe tries to make in a piece for the Guardian titled, “Why I Was Sweat-Shamed as I Waited for my Coffee at Starbucks.”

In this powerful, heart-wrenching piece, Roe explains that she recently went into a Starbucks after her run only to have some lady ask her if she’d gone swimming. Horrified, Roe explained to the woman that she was just sweaty — and then proceeded to flee the shop before even adding the half-and-half she wanted because she was just too traumatized to stay there a moment longer.

Now, this experience does sound pretty intense, and definitely like the kind of thing that could take awhile to emotionally process. Thankfully, however, Roe was able to figure out why it happened. Was it just a rude, nosy lady? Nope.

It was institutional sexism:

“Eventually the caffeine kicked in and it hit me: I’d been sweat-shamed,” she writes.

“Sweat-shaming is when someone points out your sweatiness as a way to signal disapproval,” she continues. “Like its counterparts, slut-shaming and fat-shaming, sweat-shaming is aimed mainly at women, who are actually not supposed to sweat at all.”

#share#Now, this is pretty interesting, because I myself can remember quite a few times that I’ve made fun of dudes for being sweaty. And I remember that everyone from Donald Trump to cable-news pundits was discussing how much Marco Rubio was sweating after the last GOP debate. Come to think of it, I also just remembered that men’s deodorant exists, and that that just might mean that sweating freely is probably not encouraged for anyone of any gender.

Of course, Roe would likely tell me that I’m being naive. After all, she confidently concludes her piece by characterizing the incident as one due to “stigmas surrounding women’s bodies.”

#related#Don’t worry too much about her, though. Even though her experience was so clearly traumatic, she has since regained strength by imagining it as if it had been a sassy music video:

It would play out like this: a spotlight comes down, and maybe a disco ball. Baristas dance back-up around me.

“‘I don’t think you’re ready for this sweaty,” I belt out, to the tune of Bootylicious.

What’s more, Roe assures that this new, Beyoncé-fueled confidence is going to lead to her making a different choice next time:

“I’ve got another long run this weekend and afterward, I’m going to sit down with my coffee, all sweaty and transgressive,” she writes.

Whoa. Power move Roe, power move. I hope that one day we can all be as fearless as you are.

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