‘I found that joking back actually made me not on edge, and I didn’t feel threatened’: Women’s embodied experiences of sexist humour (banter) in a UK gym.
Amy Clark

Judgement over the use of derogative humour (e.g. sexist humour) has become increasingly critical within public domains. Many cases of everyday sexism have been well documented, with sexism being interpreted and experienced in abundant forms. Recent work has begun to critique humour in society, examining whether the framing of sexist comments as jokes alter the way in which we evaluate and understand its meaning. Drawing upon ethnographic data obtained from an on-going research project, this paper delves into the embodied experiences of female exercisers within a UK ‘working-class’ mix-gendered gym. Through a feminist phenomenological lens, I explore how these experiences shape participants’ understandings of the embodied self, the gym spaces they engage in, and the broader social constructions of the gendered body.Discussion provided highlights how women’s experiences of sexism within the gym is heightened within particular spaces and times, and how comments received are considered within a dichotomous nature; i.e., that of benevolence or harm, or alternatively disguised as a joke or ‘banter’.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v6n1a2