Friday, December 6, 2019

The Peloton Follies

Until approximately yesterday I had thought that conditioning exercise was a good thing. I had been led to believe, by a multitude of studies, that the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health is to exercise regularly.

Aerobic conditioning is a powerful antidepressant. Weight training also improves your mental and physical well being. Exercise slows down the aging process. High intensity interval training, the kind you experience in spin classes, has protects you against dementia. What's not to like?

I have often posted on this blog about the benefits of exercise. For a more comprehensive approach to the developments in exercise physiology I recommend Maggie’s Farm. I have also been known to counsel clients on the benefits of being physically active. 

Naively, I had imagined that encouraging people to exercise was not controversial. What is wrong with doing something to improve your health. True enough, it requires effort. It requires discipline. And yet, it is well worth it. Any physician will tell you as much. 

But, now, the woke legions of contemporary feminists want us to know that if a man gives his wife a high end exercise bicycle for Christmas he is subjecting her to an unendurable insult, to her dignity, to her womanhood and to her feminist creed. You see, the hidden meaning, discernible only through the lens of feminist ideology, is that the gift of a Peloton can only mean that he thinks she is fat. 

Nothing about the ad in question suggests as much, but if you are a thin skinned feminist, you know the truth, and you will do everything in your power to make Peloton suffer for ever having suggested that a woman should get in shape. 

For your edification, here is the ad:

Apparently, the key to understanding the ad is the look on the woman’s face. She does not show great enthusiasm about her new Peloton. Which apparently  means, to the thin skinned feminist masses, that she believes the bike is a critique of her incipient flabbiness. By all indications she does not possess any body fat, but that has not prevented women who took critical theory courses in college from projecting whatever they want on her.

As for her less than thrilling facial expression, have we all forgotten the old mantra--- No pain, no gain. Might it be that she, like many people of my acquaintance, does not view exercise with quite the same enthusiasm as she might anticipate, say, a slice of chocolate cake.

One understands that she might have preferred a Hermes foulard or a diamond tennis bracelet, but still, we can easily imagine that an enlightened feminist might find such gifts to be sexist signs of patriarchal oppression, designating said wife as an ornament whose purpose in life is to sit around the house all day doing nothing but luxuriating.

For your further edification, examine the thoughts of Amanda Mull  in The Atlantic:

Those people all live in a culture where exercise has long been regarded as punishment for the joy of indulgence, and where women are supposed to maintain an impossible level of physical perfection well into middle age, lest they face the denigration of both the culture at large and their own romantic partners.

Wherever did she get this idea? In a culture where the good news about the value of exercise has been reported incessantly, and where women inhabit exercise and fitness classes in large numbers, whatever forces her to have such a negative view of the female body.

As it happens, for the record, men do not notice the extra globule of female body fat. That task has fallen to women. Women obsessively compare their bodies with those of other women.

As for the physical perfection, or the slimness quotient, have these women ever, for instance, glanced at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Magazine. Even before SI got woke, the magazine was not putting their swimsuits on stick-thin mannequins. In truth, you will be far more likely to find slim teenage mannequins in the pages of Vogue or Elle than you will in any magazine or on any website that attracts the male gaze. 

As for whether or not men are looking for women’s physical perfection, I recommend that Ms. Mull and her sisters ask a man what he thinks. 

Clearly, the outrage flung at Peleton, outrage that has by now cost it a billion dollars in market capitalization, should be seen as a symptom of the insecurity of modern liberated women. Women have abandoned the feminine mystique, notable for its ability to attract male interest. They have rejected all traditional female roles, like wife and mother, roles that define them as women in society. They have overthrown patriarchal rules concerning the division of household labor. They have summarily discarded the rules of dating and courtship, and have replaced them with Tinder hookups.

The result of denying their womanhood and of desocializing the role of woman is that the only thing they have left is their female bodies. Being desocialized they often fall into something resembling a depression, characterized, as noted above, by being severely thin skinned. 

Perhaps they would feel better about themselves if they had heeded the advice a grandmotherly woman once offered to the world from her seat in the audience at an old Oprah show. Please tell young women, the older soul asked Oprah, to start acting as though they respect themselves.

Surely, that is far better advice than to rant and rave about an exercise bicycle, an instrument whose regular use will, at the least, do wonders for their depressive condition.


JPL17 said...

The ad (which I thought was cute and not offensive in the least) does one other thing that feminists absolutely can't stand: It shows the wife adoring her husband and showing effusive gratitude for the gift. I think that's the other reason they had to fling their outrage at it.

RNB said...

Saw a comment on the ad this morning: "100 percent guarantee that this woman's husband is abusive." Zero percent awareness that both wife and (unseen) husband are completely fictional...

Anonymous said...

A billion dollars.

And the outrage seems awfully fast and furious if you stand back a bit and look at it.

Almost like it could be planned and organized ahead of time.

A billion dollars is great inducement if you're shorting the company.

trigger warning said...

Feminist twitter reminds me of the monkey room in a primate lab. Theyre all chittering, munching on monkey chow, and grooming eack other... until somebody drags a broomstick down the cages and you get a riot of screeching, threat displays, and feces-throwing.

I wish I'd been following this. I'd have gone long on Peloton.

UbuMaccabee said...

If my wife gets fat I wouldn’t get her a peloton, I’d get myself a mistress instead.