I do find it racist, I just find Rol's post even more racist. Like when the KKK say things like "Blacks want our jobs and schools!!".
I'm almost 100% sure that Rol wasn't being serious, but the fact that people are actually defending Rol's joke as a rational, totally not-racist way of thinking is blowing my mind.
"“The messaging,” says Stanley, “is essentially: You’re allowed in this space if you are white, slender, able-bodied and less than 45, cis-gender and heterosexual. And if you’re not, then you’re not welcome.”"
Kindly point to these specific guilty classes rather than quite literally accusing every person who participates in these of ageism, racism, and homophobia please.
Seriously, I hate how people generalize like that and are applauded for it... I know of few communities that are more supportive and friendly than these types. Heck, there's plenty designed for older exercisers as well.
She looks like a nice woman and I don't think she's consciously aware of how many people she just threw under the bus, but let's stop lauding those who divide and label everyone else.
That isn't what point is being made at all. I think you are misunderstanding.
The point isn't that the people who take the classes are racist, the point is that the culture around these courses are dominated by a specific in-group, partially due to the marketing of these courses. This creates an environment where certain types of people feel like outsiders. It isn't the fault of the people taking the courses and it isn't really the fault of those running the courses. It is simply a way of calling attention to how this impacts the experience of those who aren't in that in-group.
As I said, she seems like a very nice woman and such and to me this is more a problem of misconceptions and presumptions. I've no doubt that's how many feel when they look through the windows at these people, but if they were to actually put aside their doubts and walk in there they'd almost certainly find a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.
This is a universal problem, as you'll see in the advertising for many gyms that they really emphasize you won't be working out alongside super athletic people or body builders, as there's something about gyms that bring you right back to all the stress and peer pressure of high school. I've experienced it myself but, as with most things, you'll find that the people in there had the same concerns when they started. If you actually walk through the door and commit to it, you'll find that those people tend to be very friendly, accepting, and helpful.
I'm sure there's some classes that are designed specifically for the "P-90x" type crowd, and that's fine; if you're not looking for that, you SHOULD feel as if it's not specifically catering to you. Otherwise, though, advertising has become exceedingly inclusive to the point that it often borders on insulting the more dedicated gym-goers as being assholes or meatheads. At some point you just need to bury those worries and doubts and just get in there.