A female Twitch streamer has gone viral after posting a video of a “feral” gym-goer staring at her “like a piece of meat” during a workout.
Jessica Fernandez, a video game and lifestyle content creator with nearly 56,000 followers on Twitch and 10,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted the video on Twitter last week where it has since been viewed 2.6 million times.
“This guy kept making me extremely uncomfortable at the gym,” she wrote.
“This is why I’ll end up crying on stream [because] I feel so grossed out at times with the amount of sexualisation I experience. Hopefully this spreads awareness for girls who experience this type of treatment at the gym.”
In the video, Fernandez is lifting weights while a man in the background can be seen repeatedly glancing over at her.
“Stupid piece of f***ing sh*t behind me,” she whispers into her microphone. “I hate this. I hate when there’s weirdos. Gets me so uncomfortable. Feral, feral, feral, feral, like, f***ing feral.”
Later in the video, the man approaches her and offers to help put the weight on her bar.
“You wanna put it on?” he asks.
She replies, “You don’t have to do that, it’s OK. I got it, thank you, though.”
After he leaves she continues to rant to the camera, “What part of me working out by myself looks like I’m a damsel in distress?”
Fernandez explained on Twitter that the man’s staring “triggered my flight or fight and response to previous traumas”.
“I was completely fine until he followed me to my squat rack in the corner of the gym,” she said.
One Twitter user responded, “I don’t understand how hard it is to mind your business, people aren’t at the gym to get stared at or get hit on makes no sense.”
Another said, “Staring at the gym is 100 per cent normal, it annoys me but what are people supposed to look at? The floor? Walking up to and grabbing the weight … now that‘s not normal.”
A number of social media users claimed she was in the wrong, however.
“Girls like this go to the gym just to chase clout and be toxic. This man did nothing wrong. And she’s hiding comments calling her out. REALLY weak for someone who hits the gym,” one woman said.
Daily Wire host Matt Walsh wrote, “I watched the whole video. The guy glances over a few times, probably wondering why she’s recording herself. Then he comes over and offers to help her rack the weights. She declines, he says, ‘Oh OK’, and walks away. The end. She’s the problem here, not him.”
He added, “Ladies, if you’re wondering why you aren’t meeting any decent men it might be because they’re afraid of being publicly shamed as predators if they even so much as glance in your direction. Or God forbid try to speak to you.”
Responding to suggestions she overreacted, Fernandez claimed a lot of people had taken the video “out of context”.
“I found a squat rack area in the corner of the gym,” she wrote in a lengthy thread.
“He followed me there right after I did [reverse dead lifts]. There was plenty of ab machines to use but he chose that one was not doing his workout half of the time. The mirror faced just me and not the whole gym, so he was not looking around there was nothing but a mirror in my direction.
“I get constantly harassed by men in public spaces when I even show an inch of skin so yes I get p*ssed when they glare for disturbingly long periods of time. I am not looking for views or clicks. I just posted this to spread awareness on how disturbing being stared at can make a woman feel.
“I don’t think it’s bad to look at someone once and be like oh that’s a pretty girl but I personally put my headphones on I MIND my business and make sure to look unapproachable because I am only there to film gym vlogs and work on my progression in the gym.
“I wouldn’t be doing this for attention at all. I don’t trust random strangers, no person should – you don’t know their intentions?
“I can see how this makes me look like I have an inflated ego but I am an attractive girl in a beauty standard sense and I get extremely sexually harassed online and it makes trusting random strangers that approach me trigger my trauma which is why I respond this way.
“I am also extremely anti-social and being hit on is never a compliment to me. I don’t like to be approached, I haven’t dated for a year because I despise being sexualised.
“It happens anyway and I get frustrated. It’s normal for girls to feel this way because it happens OFTEN?”