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article imageOp-Ed: ‘Sexist’ reaction to Peloton exercise bike ad is unrealistic

By Paul Wallis     Dec 4, 2019 in Lifestyle
New York - Is buying your wife a $2000+ top brand exercise bike sexist? Some people think it is. A lot don’t. This negative response generates a few issues for the Everything Is Sexist argument. Online criticism has been predictable and polarized.
Criticism of the ad stems from the mere fact of the husband buying an exercise bike for her, indicating that she should lose weight. Buying the bike, therefore, is manipulative and sexist, it seems.
Well, is it?
Think about this – Being overweight is a problem for billions of people. Being unfit is also a huge problem for just as many people. How many women have ever said they thought they should lose weight? How many have tried, off their own initiative, some maybe even buying their own exercise bikes? This argument drops dead on that issue alone. So if she’d bought it, it wouldn’t be sexist? So if her husband saves her $2000 out of pocket, he’s sexist?
Let’s move on to manipulation. Judging by the narrative - The fact that she didn’t stick the bike up her husband’s nose, for example - We may assume she didn’t think she was being insulted, criticised, or manipulated. She accepts the bike. She uses the bike regularly. She’s obviously proud to have achieved something about her health.
A further issue – There are no genders in exercise bikes. Men and women use them. No implied sexism there, at least not obviously. Nor are there gender-specific issues in gym membership. If he’d bought her a gym subscription, would that be sexist?
Not everything is sexist
This negativity is at the heart of the “think sexist first” polarizations. It’s absurd, but it’s big business, too. You can always get published somewhere if you call something, in fact anything, sexist. You can always get a few Z class celebrities fearlessly agreeing with you for a bit of publicity of their own, too.
Business realities? Not really, in this case.
Stock in Peloton dropped 5% when this information about sexism hit the fan. Won’t make much difference. Peloton is a big name brand. Nobody’s going to suddenly repent and shell out a few more thousand for another brand. That’s even if someone’s husband bought that other brand for them. Scary, isn’t it?
A point or so
There are far more pressing issues in women’s rights than buying an exercise bike. If 5% of the effort put into calling this rather harmless ad sexist was put into domestic violence, poverty, or any of the atrocity list affecting women, maybe something would actually be achieved.
One more point – If the husband of someone you know buys a $2000 bike for his wife, it may not be a conspiracy of sexism. It may be something else. If you can’t figure out what that something else is, try minding your own business.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Peloton exercise bike ad sexism, peloton brand, Sexism, domestic violence aganst women
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