In a scene ripped straight out of the 1960s, dozens of women converged to picket a newly opened men-only gym.
Engines is the newest gym to open in the Atlanta general metro area, and it's already garnered much criticism. Most of those to protest the exclusivity of the men-only gym are members of Curves, the nation's fastest growing work-out facility.
Signs wagging on the protesters' frontline include such messages as "Go back to the Fifties, Ward!" "Chauvinism is dead!" and "Exclusivity is bigotry."
The founder of Engines admits that he's quite confused as to why he's attracted so much negative attention. "I started this gym for pretty much the same reason that Curves was started," says Jim Halleran.
Mr. Halleran has the classic "tall, dark and handsome" features ladies are said to desire. He says that half the time he went to work out at his former co-ed gym, he was approached by women. Halleran, who has been happily married for nearly 20 years, explained that he doesn't wear his wedding ring while working out. "The absence of my wedding band seemed to signal to the ladies in the gym that I was open game. Even after I told them, some would continue to press me and tell me that they didn't mind that I was married."
In the locker room, Halleran would often speak with or overhear conversations that indicated a need for a men's only gym. "I'd hear some guy express his overwhelming sense of insecurity when working out in front of women. Other fellows would comment on how every time they brought out Sports Illustrated, Maxim, or some other male-oriented magazine, some woman would inevitably harass him about his macho reading choices."
Ultimately, Halleran wanted to create a gym where men can be men. This decision has been met with incredible resistance from the female populus in the area surrounding Engines.
One female protester said, "Gentlemen clubs were outlawed in the 80's and 90's for a good reason. Men used their exclusive clubs to oppress women and minorities. Their day has come and gone, and opening Engines is an attempt to return our society to that oppressive culture."
When presented with this statement, Halleran said, "I knew that I would catch heat for opening an all-male gym. I expected it. Although I have no plans on opening membership to women, we do not limit membership based on ethnicity. In fact less than 40% of our members are Anglo in their ancestry."
As one member of Engines was confronted by a protester, he declared his intention to apply to join Curves. The protester stood aghast and replied, "Why? So you can stare at my tits, you pig?"
Curves has yet to file any charges against Engines, but rumor has it that the corporation may sue Halleran on grounds of Trademark infringement. Halleran said he's prepared for a long and spendy trial, and he has contacted the ACLU for help with his case. The ACLU has yet to respond to Halleran's request.
Note: This is a satirical piece. None of this is real, but it is loosely based on similar incidents. I thought the "satire" tag would clue folks in. Alas, it did not so I am posting this small print to cover my butt in case a protest/boycott results from what I have written.