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Yoga and why I feel Sinfest s telling me to get the hell out
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Strawberrycocoa



Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Yoga and why I feel Sinfest s telling me to get the hell out Reply with quote

So, a few years ago, I decide to join a yoga class. I was looking for an aerobic exercise method and yoga looked fun. I went to the school and joined a free sample class.

Now at this point, a little bit about me. I am a white hetero cis male. And I was the only male in this class. Everyone else in the class was female, including the instructor, except me.

Didn't bother me, though. I went through the class, tried to copy the other student's poses, got some pointers along the way from the instructor, even got complimented by her on my flexibility for a first-timer (I am overweight but used to practice martial arts so I've retained a little bit of the flexibility).

But I never went back to that school after that first session. Because at the end of the class, the instructor was addressing the class on their progress over today's session, and then she walks over to me. Says in a very loud very pointed voice that she hopes I wasn't bothered being the only male in the class, that a lot of yogi's are male and she hopes being the only male in a classroom full of women didn't bother me.

I don't know for sure what her intent or reasoning behind this was, and maybe I was just being over-sensitive at the time, but being singled out in front of the entire class like that for being the different one, having my gender called out openly and having a big deal made about it in front of everyone didn't feel welcoming. It felt exclusionary. I felt very strongly like the underlaying message was, "We don't want you here and you need to leave." But in a way that didn't sound like it on the surface.

I've been ghosting these forums for a couple weeks now and I know this issue comes up a lot, so I apologize to people who are sick of seeing it. But over the past month or so, I've started to feel like Sinfest is trying to tell me the same coded message. I feel like I am being told to leave, that my presence is no longer welcome as a reader.

I've been reading Sinfest for years now and I follow it on a daily basis. But after this past Sunday's strip, the dehumanizing (on all counts) Man Cult strip, I feel like a message of "We don't want your kind here" is finally becoming apparent to me.

Maybe I'm wrong. I dunno. :\
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Mr. North by Northwest



Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHITECISHETBRODUDEEXPILADOCIOUS?

FUCK YEAH YOU NEED TO:




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aboutwhistles



Joined: 28 Oct 2012
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday's strip was saying that *masculinity*, as traditionally defined and enforced, is bad. It was NOT saying that MEN are bad. It was saying that men are pressured to conform to the harmful conception of masculinity, and to punish others who deviate from traditional masculinity. The consequences of not doing so include a loss of privelege, that's why Slick chooses to submit to the Patriarchy to some degree (but not all the way, as other commentors have pointed out, which is interesting). He doesn't want to be tossed in the pit so he chooses to conform, for now. It's a really interesting development that opens the door for Slick's eventual redemption from dudebro dickheadery. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SLICK'S REDEMPTION. How on earth are you reading that as denigrating?
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Finnegan



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 1080
Location: in that cool mountain air, on an appalachian trail

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think you're wrong. Wrong about the message of these strips, wrong about your yoga instructor who just seemed to want to make sure you felt comfortable, wrong about making a thread to introduce yourself, and wrong about putting this thread (both the introduction aspect and the "feminists are being mean to me" aspect) in the section of the forum dedicated to discussing the comic. Just so we are clear, I'm not saying "we don't want you here" per se, but just that things might go more smoothly for you here if you checked out the forum guidelines and if your first post wasn't you whining about girls hurting your feelings and then criticizing recent comics. I'm not saying you can't do those things but giving the impression that to do so was your sole reason for registering isn't going to win anybody over.
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Last edited by Finnegan on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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aboutwhistles



Joined: 28 Oct 2012
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry your yoga class was uncomfortable, I would suggest finding a new yoga class or asking the instructor in private to stop singling you out.

On the other hand, seeing as this is your first post, why don't you read through the forums and see what the interpretations and analyses of the strip are, before posting your own thread about it? There are some really good, productive discussions that happen here.
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Mr. North by Northwest



Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretend the yoga teacher has returned, this time as a nearsighted Asian webcomic artist to tell you what you failed to learn the last time.
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Dennis J. Squidbunny



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 3714
Location: AUSTRALIA YOU FAKIR

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No no, there is no code, the comic is seriously trying to tell you to fuck off. Go get a fucking livejournal, I'm sure no one has taken the username 'waaaaaaaaaaahihatemeanyogateacher'.
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pun



Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 35
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

since you attended a space that women normally felt safe to exercise in, i suspect the yoga instructor thought you were just there to "window shop". whether or not that is true, i honestly cant blame her.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17125
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, as someone who coordinates a yoga class and needs all the students we can get, i sorta do - hate to turn off half the population. i would say, maybe you should have gotten to know the yoga instructor a little better, before you decided she was speaking in a 'very pointed' manner? she may have been a bit nervous that her teaching method may have been off-putting to you, if she's used to all-female classes - if she came off as less-than-smooth, it may not have been a deliberate attempt to get rid of you.

but i also have to say, i'm not sure yoga is the best choice for an aerobic exercise class, since it is more about stretching and flexibility. when i hear 'aerobic' it tends to be people who want to burn calories, and you really don't do that in yoga. maybe you should try zumba?
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun wrote:
since you attended a space that women normally felt safe to exercise in, i suspect the yoga instructor thought you were just there to "window shop". whether or not that is true, i honestly cant blame her.


This is possibly the case.

Women often feel uncomfortable stretching/posing/etc. when men are around. That doesn't mean that you, personally, have done anything wrong. It's just the society that we live in. Women have been taught from a young age that every man within visual distance is leering at them, and that some of them even want to hurt us.

It's very unfair to you as an individual, because it doesn't seem like you've done anything wrong. If we could eliminate rape culture, it's likely that we could significantly reduce the number of women who feel unsafe around men, and that in turn would lead to men like yourself feeling more welcome in safe spaces.

If you like doing yoga, try to talk to the teacher privately about this. If you only go the one time, she will definitely think you were just there to browse the ladies, but if you talk to her privately and tell her that you honestly like doing yoga and would like to come back, it could get through to her that you're not there to bother anyone.
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pun wrote:
since you attended a space that women normally felt safe to exercise in, i suspect the yoga instructor thought you were just there to "window shop". whether or not that is true, i honestly cant blame her.


This is possibly the case.

Women often feel uncomfortable stretching/posing/etc. when men are around. That doesn't mean that you, personally, have done anything wrong. It's just the society that we live in. Women have been taught from a young age that every man within visual distance is leering at them, and that some of them even want to hurt us.

It's very unfair to you as an individual, because it doesn't seem like you've done anything wrong. If we could eliminate rape culture, it's likely that we could significantly reduce the number of women who feel unsafe around men, and that in turn would lead to men like yourself feeling more welcome in safe spaces.

If you like doing yoga, try to talk to the teacher privately about this. If you only go the one time, she will definitely think you were just there to browse the ladies, but if you talk to her privately and tell her that you honestly like doing yoga and would like to come back, it could get through to her that you're not there to bother anyone.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sinfest is telling you to get the hell out.
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Strawberrycocoa



Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finnegan wrote:
Yes, I think you're wrong. Wrong about the message of these strips, wrong about your yoga instructor who just seemed to want to make sure you felt comfortable, wrong about making a thread to introduce yourself, and wrong about putting this thread (both the introduction aspect and the "feminists are being mean to me" aspect) in the section of the forum dedicated to discussing the comic. Just so we are clear, I'm not saying "we don't want you here" per se, but just that things might go more smoothly for you here if you checked out the forum guidelines and if your first post wasn't you whining about girls hurting your feelings and then criticizing recent comics. I'm not saying you can't do those things but giving the impression that to do so was your sole reason for registering isn't going to win anybody over.


I registered to share this thought because I've been thinking on it for awhile and this was the first time I felt motivated to comment on the strip. If I breeched a protocol somewhere, sorry.
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Finnegan



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 1080
Location: in that cool mountain air, on an appalachian trail

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valerie wrote:
pun wrote:
since you attended a space that women normally felt safe to exercise in, i suspect the yoga instructor thought you were just there to "window shop". whether or not that is true, i honestly cant blame her.


This is possibly the case.

Women often feel uncomfortable stretching/posing/etc. when men are around. That doesn't mean that you, personally, have done anything wrong. It's just the society that we live in. Women have been taught from a young age that every man within visual distance is leering at them, and that some of them even want to hurt us.

It's very unfair to you as an individual, because it doesn't seem like you've done anything wrong. If we could eliminate rape culture, it's likely that we could significantly reduce the number of women who feel unsafe around men, and that in turn would lead to men like yourself feeling more welcome in safe spaces.

If you like doing yoga, try to talk to the teacher privately about this. If you only go the one time, she will definitely think you were just there to browse the ladies, but if you talk to her privately and tell her that you honestly like doing yoga and would like to come back, it could get through to her that you're not there to bother anyone.


what you're saying certainly can be true and it's for this very reason that women-only classes are often offered at gyms and I would assume at yoga studios too. since this doesn't seem to be the case with this particular class I'm inclined to think that the yoga instructor was just trying to make sure he wasn't uncomfortable. I did yoga regularly in the past and a relaxed state of mind and an environment that has a safe, positive energy is important to getting the most out of the experience. I don't see any reason to assume that the instructor would mean anything other than what she said. it sounds more like he was (at some level) uncomfortable to begin with and that insecurity colored his perception of the situation.
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Lasairfiona



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9702
Location: I have to be somewhere? ::runs around frantically::

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the instant you are even a bit uncomfortable, you bail? Then I don't have to tell you to get the fuck out - you'll do it on your own.

aboutwhistles explained it best. And if people really want you to leave, they'll fucking tell you. But by all means, if you aren't comfortable there is the door.

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